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  #1  
Old December 15th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Default Dunn's River Falls Safety

Question - do many prople fall or get hurt doing this? I can't have any pushing or pulling on my left arm. Should I forget about doing this one?
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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We were there last year and when you start off they want you to hold hands going up the rocks, but we felt like that was dangerous. I had a fat one on either side of me and DH had a child on one side and a older woman on the other side. We let go of everyone's hand and still stayed with the group but I did not want the heavy people to pull me down which this is exactly what they did to other poeple. If you are really heavy set, injured, really young (5 and younger) unless the parents are there to help them, and older I would say no! The rocks are very slick! Frankly I thought it was a waste of money and time!
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Old December 15th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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We went last summer and it was the best day of the cruise. Make sure you book this through a private tour company. The group we were with only had 12 people going up the falls and it was nothing more than climbing a set of wet stairs. The ships excursion looked like it had 40. I didn't find it slippery at all. However you said you cant have any pushing or pulling on your left arm. If this is the case then maybe you will want to sit this one out as at times you are asked to assist the person ahead or behind you.... sort of like helping someone whos fallen get up by extending your hand. Hope this helps.....TAZ
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Old December 16th, 2006, 03:06 AM
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I have to agree that the not pushing or pulling on your left arm sounds like this might not be a great idea for you. I'd be less concerned about wheher that would impact any line they want you to form, and more concerned about whether not being able to rely on your left arm would put you in danger. You don't want to be in a situation where you need that left arm to stop you from falling.

There's definitely an element of risk to climbing the falls. The guides do have a good grasp of where all the bad rocks are, but I also heard that it's not unusual for there to be a couple of broken bones on any given day. And that wouldn't really surprise me.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Like Onboard, I found the line of people holding hands to be more precarious than climbing by myself. We did have a 'guide' who was helpful in telling us where the best climbing places were, and helped a little when necessary, but I much preferred to find my own hand/foot holds.

It might be the time of year/water level, but we did find many very slippery (mossy) spots.

Our guide told us that there are often a couple of broken bones PER DAY. And we personally saw two people back on our ship who had pretty nasty cuts/scrapes/bruises from the climb.

If you have any mobility issues or an arm that can't take much pressure, I'd rethink this excursion.

That said, we enjoyed the climb (we were aboiut 55 at the time, in pretty good shape) and would do it again. A couple of years later when our 30'ish sons and their wives climbed they thought it was really easy; either the water levels/slipperiness were different or their ages made the difference. I couldn't believe how fast they made the climb! OK, I think I know the answer to that one!
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Old December 17th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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Dunn's River Falls is a lot of fun but it is also an excellent reason to buy trip insurance with good medical coverage. Broken bones and cuts requiring stitches are a daily occurrence at the falls. A compound fracture is a very serious injury especially in a country like Jamaica. I always have good emergency medical evacuation coverage on my trip insurance policy for very serious illness or injury. If you get seriously hurt in Jamaica or other 3rd world countries it is best to get back to a major medical center in the US quickly.

Good evacuation coverage will get you back stateside via private air ambulance jet in a matter of hours. That could be a life saver.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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If your left arm has any type of condition that it cannot be pulled or pushed, then choose another excursion. It is a stenuous climb in some places and you will need both arms to climb the falls. If you seem to be having trouble in a spot, it is very likely that someone will try to help you by touching or grabing your arm to be of assistance.

Frankly, if you have a medical condition, then its just not worth it. There are some fun catamaran type excursions or possibly rafting or tubing type activities that would be a better choice. Why take a risk?
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Old December 19th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Question Stairs?

I have read as an alternative to actually climbing the falls, that there was a staircase you could use to get to the top? Does anyone have any experience with this? Any safer?
Thanks for your replies.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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I did the staircase thing while my family climbed the falls. I was having trouble with my asthma and didn't want to chance an attack while climbing.

Climbing via the stairs that go along the falls if fiine if you are with a group and want to stay with them but can't or don't want to climb the falls, however, I would not recommend it as an alternative activity. It was fun seeing my husband and daughters climb, but except for that, its just climbing a concrete set of stairs, no real fun or adventure.

If everyone else wants to climb then to use the stairs in an effort not to hold the rest back is fine. I would not recommend going to the falls and climbing the stairs otherwise.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Thumbs up Go For It!

Len, you DO NOT have to join any of the large groups that climb the falls. (Many people do not know this and just get herded by the group leader into something they're not prepared for.) There is a guide's kiosk inside the grounds..go there and tell them about your arm...stress the fact you DO NOT want to be in any of the 'daisy chain' groups...the guide will then be there for just you and your partner.

When you start out, again, remind him your left arm is off limits...and when you need a helping hand, and extend your right one...YOU'RE in control. Also, with just you and your partner in the group, you'll have much more time/freedom to linger in the shallow pools, take advantage of the areas where you can back up against the rocks for a great massage on your neck, back and shoulders should you want, from the water running down.

Take your camera, don't be afraid to carry a digital one or a camcorder. The guides are experts at handling all kinds of equipment and will be able to take shots for you...when and where you want...the guide may even suggest shots in areas you're not thinking about.

Take your time...you'll be in no rush, and should have a thoroughly enjoyable time!
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Old December 19th, 2006, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmom
I did the staircase thing while my family climbed the falls. I was having trouble with my asthma and didn't want to chance an attack while climbing.

Climbing via the stairs that go along the falls if fiine if you are with a group and want to stay with them but can't or don't want to climb the falls, however, I would not recommend it as an alternative activity. It was fun seeing my husband and daughters climb, but except for that, its just climbing a concrete set of stairs, no real fun or adventure.

If everyone else wants to climb then to use the stairs in an effort not to hold the rest back is fine. I would not recommend going to the falls and climbing the stairs otherwise.
Thanks Vmom, that was exactly the info I was looking for. I'm also concerned about my asthma, so will have to give this some thought before I book anything.
Thanks again!
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Old December 19th, 2006, 06:08 PM
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At the age of 68 and 64, my cruising friend and I climbed the Falls in 2004, and we had a great time.
However, 3/4 of the way up, my foot slipped into a hole between the rocks (which of course was not visible because of the water rushing over them), and I sustained a bad sprain of my right ankle and a deep abrasion on my left shin. I received appropriate medical care onboard, but even with antibiotic ointment and twice daily cleansing and redressing, the abrasion became infected. It took almost a month for it to completely heal. Must have been due to contamination in the water.
Nontheless, I am very glad we did the climb. It was exhilarating, but is not something I would now chance at the age of 67.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Len: I think some people are over reacting (go ahead and flame me)! The falls are not anything like the Olympics

They are a bit of a workout and can be slippery. If you wear the correct shoes the climb is much easier. Take your time, don't rush because you are afraid of holding people up....your in Jamaica everything is slow in Jamaica!

there are also several areas that if the climb is too much you can get off the falls and finish climbing the stairs. I really think if you are in fairly good health, you can do the climb.

When are you going? We will be back in Jamaica beginning of Jan and are doing the falls with a group of friends. I will be happy to report back to you as to the condition of the falls......

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Old December 24th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Len, did you have rotator cuff surgery recently, or about to? I'm asking because I went through the same syptoms. If so, don't risk making it worse by any sudden strains on your arm. Sorry for being nosey about this!
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Old December 27th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Default I guess I was injured...

but it was a wonderful experience & I'm sure glad I did it!

I did wear water shoes & was sure glad I did.

My foot slipped into a hole & I twisted my ankle a bit. No big deal. I just wore flip flops to dinner that night & not heels. (have sprained ankles many, many times over the years, so very loose ligaments).

What I didn't know had occured was that I had done something to my back. Those beds on Princess are so uncomfortable (which proved to be a blessing in this case!), I didn't know it until we slept on the bed at the Sheraton in FLL. CRASHED flat on my back for 2 hours...woke & could barely move. I was like a little old lady (hey, I was only 38!), even as we flew home the next day. Saw the chiropractor the following day...he was NOT impressed. Worked me more than I have EVER had done. Much ice after that...so sore he couldn't even work on me the next day! More ice...the next day one more session, and viola, good as new! (Yes, I, too, was a nonbeliever in chiropractors once!)

But that fall obviously wacked my back out (I did fall hard on my rump).
Luckily once seems to be enough for the Falls!

There are few things in life that don't carry risk...at least the really fun stuff. I refuse to stop living life because of the risks!
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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My hub and I just did the climb last week as part of an excursion from the Star Princess.

First, thanks to the kind woman who pointed out that the fat people pull others down. I'm one of those fat people, and though I needed help at times, so did the featherweights. Be kind, will you? No one is exempt from stumbling or misstepping on such a climb.

Second, regarding the guide, I have to give big kudos to our guide -- she showed all of us where easier footholds were to be found, helped us over hard spots and made sure NO ONE in our party got injured. So you might want to do it on your own, or without holding hands, but I wouldn't ever recommend that. Follow your guide's advice. Ours walked the falls in bare feet and it was like there were suction cups attached to the bottom of her soles.

Lastly, DON'T BUY the stupid DVD. The footage is not of you climbing the falls, it's of you looking like a silly tourist at every rest stop on the way up. Nice idea, badly badly done.

For the original poster, I'd not do the climb in the water. There's a HUGE amount of tugging on your arms as you walk your way up, and I can't imagine it being anything but a disaster for you.

Summary: glad we did it, sorry we bought the dvd, relieved we'll never have to do it again.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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Oryx: I love your response and it made me laugh....I doubt that (as it was put) fat people bring anyone down!

I'm glad you enjoyed your climb, we will be doing the climb in a few weeks (no we are NOT part of the weatherweights) and it was nice to hear that you are glad you did it but no need to do it again!

Wish us luck
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Old December 27th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dst
there are also several areas that if the climb is too much you can get off the falls and finish climbing the stairs. I really think if you are in fairly good health, you can do the climb.
This is actually rather decieving. Yes there are areas where you can access the stairs and "get off" the falls, but in reality there are only 3 places along the way you can do this. If you need or want to get off and you are not near one of the 3 places then you have to either continue to keep climbing, or climb back down some. I had read the same about access areas to "get off" which made it sound like you can get out of the falls almost anywhere, but in reality you can only get out at one of these access areas.

Also being in faily good health is no guarentee that someone else won't try to grab his arm or that he won't stumble and fall against it.

Last edited by vmom; December 27th, 2006 at 02:50 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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I have climbed the falls, and when I say there are several areas that you can get off at, that is what I meant. I did not imply that you could just walk off the falls at any given moment. I guess if that were the case you would be in a parking lot and not a naturally beautiful enviroment!

Fairly Good Health can also get you killed crossing the street, but I still do it
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Old December 29th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Talking Fat People Comment

I am pretty sure that was unkind. You can fall regardless of who is clinging to you, near you etc, please be kind.
You can also enter the falls from the top and just sit in the massaging waters with none of th estress of the climb. If you want to try it then by all means do so or else feel free to hang out at the end up top enjoying the massaging waters.
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