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Falmouth Jamaica

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What is best way to see Falmouth? This is a one day opportunity and I don't want to waste it. Royal Caribbean offers a bus tour and a walking tour.  Has anyone on this board taken either tour?  Recommendations please.

Edited by purrl

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24 minutes ago, purrl said:

What is best way to see Falmouth? This is a one day opportunity and I don't want to waste it. Royal Caribbean offers a bus tour and a walking tour.  Has anyone on this board taken either tour?  Recommendations please.

 

Falmouth is one port where I recommend if you want to take an excursion, do it through the ship.  I don’t advise wandering outside the port area on your own.

 

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Agree!!

 

Having been to Jamaica many times, we have done the tours and have seen everything we want to see there.  Many years ago after their revolution we stayed for a week -- horrible.  

 

Outside the gates, Falmouth is terrible.

 

Some tours will drop you off at a "mall" and then you are expected to get back to the ship on your own.  So be careful of what ship tour you do.  I would not want to do a walking tour there.

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Look over the ship's excursions and choose one of those.  It is not recommended that you go out of the cruise port on your own. We did a River Rafting Tour purchased through our cruise ship tour department, which we enjoyed. We felt safe and looked after the whole time. Enjoy your visit to this area of Jamaica!

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17 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

IMHO, the best way to see Falmouth is from the balcony of your cabin.

I totally agree. The best way to see Falmouth is to stay on the boat. If you want to get off the boat and just walk around the pretty little port for tourists - that's just fine.

Outside the port, Falmouth is literally a fishing village. On our first trip there a couple of years ago, we went around it with a local "guide" for $20. Underwhelming at best.

If you want to spend money to go to the underwhelming beach, you can do that as well.

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Many of the Caribbean ports are becoming shopping stops for the cruise line.  RCI is investing a ton of money to build out an "authentic" port...when in fact it's just a bunch of stores.  Falmouth is a perfect example.  RCI touted it as a great, historic port, when it fact, outside the gate, it's a dump.  The only nice thing is the port shopping area they spent a ton of money on.

 

Seeing this more and more, and for me, it's leading to port fatigue.

Edited by schmeed

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Another alternative that we did on the last cruise to Jamaica was to get a day pass at the Royalton White Sands and Blue Waters Resorts.  They are 2 resorts next to each other...we bought passes online from shoreexcursioneer dot com.  The food buffet lunch had more food than I've ever seen before and was delicious.  We had 2 loungers under a palapa, but the infinity pool (that overlooked the ocean) was wonderful and had a swim-up bar where all drinks were included.  Loved this place!!  $100pp with a $20 deposit.

 

What's included....

Round trip transportation from your Falmouth cruise ship terminal!

Enjoy 2 Falmouth Resort Day Passes for Price of 1! Royalton White Sands and Blue Waters Resorts!

These Falmouth Royalton's Resorts Day Pass is valid from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM!

Air-conditioned, fully licensed and insured transportation!

Unlimited snacks & full buffet lunch!

Unlimited beverages at any of the resort bars!

Lazy river and water park for all ages!

Use of the 2 pools and children's splash pool!

Sun chairs and towel service by the pool and beach!

Non-motorized water sports equipment!

Bathroom and changing facilities!

Kid's Club with supervised indoor and outdoor activities!

Complimentary Wi-Fi in common areas!

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Either just staying on the ship or walking around a bit in the secured port terminal is what we now do on a port stop there.

There's a Margaritaville within the port complex if that sort of thing is of interest to you.  

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I heard the same crap on board ship a few years ago so I just walked out of the port and down to Burwood Beach.  Everyone was friendly.  Deep apologies for not getting cooked in a pot and eaten.

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The one time we were in Falmouth, and RCI ship was there.  We thought that we would have a drink at Margaritaville after walking around and looking at the shops.  We didn't see anything worth buying.  When we got to Margaritaville, it was closed to everyone unless you were from the RCI ship -- they were having their own private party!!

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8 hours ago, Lard Greystoke said:

I heard the same crap on board ship a few years ago so I just walked out of the port and down to Burwood Beach.  Everyone was friendly.  Deep apologies for not getting cooked in a pot and eaten.

 

Glad you had a good experience.....many others have not been so lucky.

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Here is the issue with Falmouth, its location. It was built specifically to accommodate RCI's larger ships, as neither Ocho Rios or Montego Bay were able to. All of the main "touristy stuff" in Jamaica is either in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, which is about an hour or so away from Falmouth. When I was there I took a "horse and buggy" tour of the area. First off, the tour wasn't that good. Second, the main highlight was a tour of a church (due to religious reasons I don't tour churches) with locals set up outside like a straw market. And third, for a horse and buggy excursion (where you ride in a cart pulled by a horse) they had us sign a liability waiver. 

Next time I'm in Falmouth, I'll just stay on the ship.

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10 hours ago, Lard Greystoke said:

I heard the same crap on board ship a few years ago so I just walked out of the port and down to Burwood Beach.  Everyone was friendly.  Deep apologies for not getting cooked in a pot and eaten.

 

I've only driven in Falmouth, not from a cruise ship.

I too am surprised that it's considered dangerous.

But certainly it seemed that it had nothing to offer, so.definitely get yourselves out of town.

 

Mebbe rafting on the Martha Brae as another poster has suggested. Totally the opposite of a white-knuckle ride, just a lazy drift down the river on a comfy sofa.

Or fix a ride to climb Dunn's River Falls near Ocho Rios. It's an hour away but on an attractive coastal road and we've done it on a port-of-call visit from further away at Mo' Bay - in fact we fitted in river-tubing on the White River in the same trip.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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On 7 November 2018 at 10:04 PM, purrl said:

What is best way to see Falmouth? This is a one day opportunity and I don't want to waste it. Royal Caribbean offers a bus tour and a walking tour.  Has anyone on this board taken either tour?  Recommendations please.

 

I am sad to see the replies above.  I think it is important to try and give something back to the local economy wherever I am visiting.  I have chosen this for our visit in December.  The TA reviews are good and it just won an award for the "Most authentic food or beverage tour operator experience." I am really looking forward to it.

 

http://jamaicaculinarytours.com/tours/view/falmouth_food_tour_868291713#.W-qrkOvfWrU

 

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On 11/9/2018 at 9:18 AM, 1025cruise said:

Here is the issue with Falmouth, its location. It was built specifically to accommodate RCI's larger ships, as neither Ocho Rios or Montego Bay were able to. All of the main "touristy stuff" in Jamaica is either in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, which is about an hour or so away from Falmouth. ....

******************

concur!  There ain't much in Falmouth beyond what was built with the pier ... most excursions head to Ocho (DRF) or Montego.  You can walk into town and it IS safe ... but you will be exposed to 'real Jamaica' and this upsets a significant portion of US folks. But they also feel uneasy on Ocho and MB !!!!  I've spent plenty of time in JA and never had a problem .... JA was in my patrol area from 1978 into 2000 and I continue to visit by cruise ship regularly. 

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On 11/9/2018 at 7:35 AM, John Bull said:

 

Or fix a ride to climb Dunn's River Falls near Ocho Rios. I

JB :classic_smile:

 

x2.  Been to Dunn's River Falls twice.  It is an absolute blast particularly if you are with a group.  I would recommend it without hesitation for a fun activity.   Anyone with physical limitations should check it out first to make sure they are comfortable.   

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On 11/8/2018 at 10:58 PM, Lard Greystoke said:

I heard the same crap on board ship a few years ago so I just walked out of the port and down to Burwood Beach.  Everyone was friendly.  Deep apologies for not getting cooked in a pot and eaten.

 

I had no problem walking around too. I...ummm...blend in a bit more than many on here, I would guess, but it's still clear that I'm a tourist. No problems. That being said, it's not a great place and there is very little to do, and I could definitely see it being an uncomfortable spot for many.

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6 hours ago, Zach1213 said:

 

 I could definitely see it being an uncomfortable spot for many.

I can see this.  But 'uncomfortable' has two sides, the reality and the perception, whereas 'dangerous' ought to be objective.  I think too many people confuse the two terms to no one's advantage.  I get a bit tired of the constant panic.

 

And I do not 'blend in' anywhere in the Caribbean, and I've never had a problem.  In my opinion people are people.  Others may disagree.

 

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12 hours ago, Lard Greystoke said:

I can see this.  But 'uncomfortable' has two sides, the reality and the perception, whereas 'dangerous' ought to be objective.  I think too many people confuse the two terms to no one's advantage.  I get a bit tired of the constant panic.

 

And I do not 'blend in' anywhere in the Caribbean, and I've never had a problem.  In my opinion people are people.  Others may disagree.

 

 

Yes, and I think it's also what you're used to. If you only travel to Western Europe and safe Caribbean ports (nothing wrong with that, I love safety), places like Falmouth or other developing countries can be intimidating just from the lack of unknown and the lack of experience in a second or third world-country. If you're more used to it, it becomes more comfortable like anything else.

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We love Jamaica but this port is not that close to places I like to visit, we normally just walk around a little and stop for something cold in margaritaville. Much preferred where they used to dock by Dunn’s river in Ochs Rios . Some people get day pass at a resort in Montego Bay.

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On 11/15/2018 at 7:53 PM, Lard Greystoke said:

I can see this.  But 'uncomfortable' has two sides, the reality and the perception, whereas 'dangerous' ought to be objective.  I think too many people confuse the two terms to no one's advantage.  I get a bit tired of the constant panic.

 

And I do not 'blend in' anywhere in the Caribbean, and I've never had a problem.  In my opinion people are people.  Others may disagree.

 

 

Excellent point about the distinction between uncomfortable and dangerous. To some, a poverty stricken area without all the ‘niceties’ we’re used to from our homeland gets painted with the dangerous brush when really it’s more about the discomfort some may feel about being completely out of their comfort zone. I’ve travelled all over Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. Have had only two really negative experiences; both with pickpockets, both in two very cosmopolitan cities - New York and Madrid.

 

Spent a lovely afternoon in Falmouth, outside the gates of the ‘Disneyfied’ area created by the cruise lines, and enjoyed the best jerk chicken and rice I’ve ever had. And we were two females (the rest of the family went off on a zip line excursion - something far more dangerous to me than wandering around the busier part of Falmouth 😀). As in any place, have your wits about you and stay in the more public areas. During my visit, Falmouth had a lot of very friendly female police officers in the touristy areas. At the end of the day, however, everyone should do what makes them comfortable; let’s just not let cultural ethnocentrism keep us from some amazing experiences. I think I live in the absolute greatest country in the world, but when I leave its borders, I park that value judgment at the door; otherwise, I might not have had such a great time on my Vegas visit this past week 😉.

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