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Mitch Conor

Things to do in Falmouth port

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myself and the wife to be were planning on doing a dolphin/dunns rivrer falls excursion on the falmouth leg of our cruise in october, but the excurions we had looked at have been removed from the cruise planner online - nothing else is taking our fancy. Is there much do around the port itself - shopping etc - to make a day of it, or do we need to bite the bullet and just pick an excursion?

 

We are already doing a beach day in Labadee, and will likely do a dolphin experience on the Mexico leg.

Edited by Mitch Conor

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Yes. There are many shops in port. There is also friendly entertainment, which is fun. This port is enclosed by a fence. You may leave the enclosed fence into town (which we tried once) and it was somewhat scary. Towns people all over you ......such a poverty stricken area.

 

Some people will say it is fine to leave the fenced area, but I guess they are braver than I am. :(

 

Get off the ship and walk around for an hour or so. It can be fun. They also do a "Goodbye" dance when the ship leaves port...so get your camera out.

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thank you - I had heard similar about the town itself, beyond the port.

 

In all fairness....the second time we were there we went to Doc Caves Beach. All of the shuttles are inside the fence. It was a 45 minute bus ride and this beach was right in town. Tons of fun with shops and a Margaritaville there also. The shuttles are all lined up to take you back to the ship.

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In all fairness....the second time we were there we went to Doc Caves Beach. All of the shuttles are inside the fence. It was a 45 minute bus ride and this beach was right in town. Tons of fun with shops and a Margaritaville there also. The shuttles are all lined up to take you back to the ship.

 

The shuttles you mentioned... are they private taxi type shuttles? Do they fill up w/ people before departing? Doing a solo cruise and Falmouth is the only port I have no plans.

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We always enjoy spending some time ashore in the port area exploring the shops and perhaps dining in one of the many eateries.

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The shuttles you mentioned... are they private taxi type shuttles? Do they fill up w/ people before departing? Doing a solo cruise and Falmouth is the only port I have no plans.

 

All of the private ones are outside the fence. They bombard you trying to top the fees of other transportation. Again....very scary.

 

I honestly do not know if the ones on the inside of the fence are private or not, but they are there for the cruisers. They are sooo nice and give you a bit of history during the 45 minute drive. I am assuming they are approved by RCCL or they would not be on the inside of the fence. Everyone used them.

 

If I remember correctly it was something like $20 round trip ticket. You will see all of the shuttles lined up on the INSIDE of the fence . There are soooo many security guards in that area. You just have to find the right shuttle, but they are clearly marked. If you are thinking of doing this, it is soooo much fun. Go to Doctor Caves website and you will see. Great for families too, as they have tons of water toys.

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We always enjoy spending some time ashore in the port area exploring the shops and perhaps dining in one of the many eateries.

 

Hey Trainman......We spent our Oasis cruise with you :eek: You may not remember, but we always shared a table on the Lido deck every day.

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myself and the wife to be were planning on doing a dolphin/dunns rivrer falls excursion on the falmouth leg of our cruise in october, but the excurions we had looked at have been removed from the cruise planner online - nothing else is taking our fancy. Is there much do around the port itself - shopping etc - to make a day of it, or do we need to bite the bullet and just pick an excursion?

 

We are already doing a beach day in Labadee, and will likely do a dolphin experience on the Mexico leg.

Same shops as all ports. No unique food. Totally cruise line built. You can have a relaxing couple of hours but it's hardly Jamaica at all.

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I went outside the fence on my first trip to Falmouth. Yes it's intimidating because there are hordes of people trying to sell stuff. But I just said no and kept walking. I wanted to see a bit of the town and walked to the park area to the right as I left the fence. This took me through some side streets that had a few historical buildings. I passed a few people on my walk and they seemed nice. I found the park and took a few pictures. A security officer came over, turned out I was on school property and had to leave (school was in). So I appreciated their security for the kids.

Honestly I don't know if it was a smart or stupid thing walking side streets alone. My guard was a little up, but I found no problems. If you're adventurous and have nothing to do, venture out and get through the crowd and head down the main street. If you look on the web there are supposed to be some good bars and restaurants in town.

For me, we aren't great fans of Jamaica anyway. We get off the ship, wander the shops in port. See what we want, then get back on board and enjoy the ship. If I was solo cruising, that's what I'd do or I'd do a ships tour.

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Don't rule out private excursions. Check with your roll call and see what others are doing. Next time I am trying out the Blue hole.

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Don't rule out private excursions. Check with your roll call and see what others are doing. Next time I am trying out the Blue hole.

 

I saw the video another ccer posted about blue hole! Looks amazing!

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Yes. There are many shops in port. There is also friendly entertainment, which is fun. This port is enclosed by a fence. You may leave the enclosed fence into town (which we tried once) and it was somewhat scary. Towns people all over you ......such a poverty stricken area.

 

Some people will say it is fine to leave the fenced area, but I guess they are braver than I am. :(

 

Get off the ship and walk around for an hour or so. It can be fun. They also do a "Goodbye" dance when the ship leaves port...so get your camera out.

 

The enclosed area is not really Jamaica. It is extremely fine to leave the fence area and enjoy the town. Myself and hundreds of others gladly and safely walk around. They have Police all over the place. Just like anyplace, you should be careful and aware of your surroundings. Go with someone, don't walk alone. Follow all the safety procedures you would do in any big city, or tourist area.

 

Keeping in the fence is just hiding and the purpose of visiting other countries is to enjoy and see.

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Last time we were there we booked the Falmouth Food Tour, a private walking tour in which you get to see a lot of Falmouth and taste some local foods from street side vendors, a local "Juicy Patty" bakery, an outdoor bar/grill and at a historic private home. You also get to see some of the historic sites in the city. Being with a group led by some locals, we encountered no problems and found the people friendly.

 

http://www.jamaicaculinarytours.com

 

PS: Don't bite into a raw Scotch Bonnet Pepper.....

 

 

Pete

Edited by OKC Cruisers

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Not that fond of Jamaica but we shopped around for awhile and had lunch at Margaritaville They have a free pool shopping and a street show Really worth it not to take tha usual boring excursion

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The enclosed area is not really Jamaica. It is extremely fine to leave the fence area and enjoy the town. Myself and hundreds of others gladly and safely walk around. They have Police all over the place. Just like anyplace, you should be careful and aware of your surroundings. Go with someone, don't walk alone. Follow all the safety procedures you would do in any big city, or tourist area.

 

Keeping in the fence is just hiding and the purpose of visiting other countries is to enjoy and see.

 

As I stated above....other people will feel differently....BUT...just reading your post....scares me. POLICE..DON'T GO ALONE....BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS...ETC. Lol.....sorry....I never feel this way in any other port I have visited. Just this one. :eek:

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We have been in Falmouth several times and have taken excursions and also once, just stayed in port. We enjoyed both type of days, although they were very different. Here are a few photos of the port area including Margaritaville, which has some beautiful grounds, entertainers and a swimming pool.

 

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My wife (31) and I (31) felt perfectly safe outside the gates in Falmouth. I guess technically we were "bombarded" with drivers asking if we needed a ride, but would we call it "scary?" Hardly. It's how they make their living in an area of the country that just became a tourist trap in 2011, and the same can be said for the local vendors.

 

If a police presence makes you nervous, you'd feel quite scared in many cities in the United States. Come to downtown Denver and you'll see many an officer on foot around town. Would you go alone in Detroit, Chicago, NYC, or LA? That's Falmouth except it's filled with people you aren't used to instead of Americans. Take a chance, you might surprise yourself. Or you'll get murdered and dismembered, but that's the fun of it! ;)

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We have been to Jamaica 3 times. The first time was a week-long land based trip to Montego Bay. We took a day trip to Negril on that trip. We have been to Falmouth twice and done to excursions.

First of all, everything inside the fence is controlled and scheduled by the cruise line. So, all of the excursions are ship sponsored. You will need t leave the fence to book private tours or get a private taxi.

Falmouth is not all that close to many of the tour locations. It is over ½ hour to Montego Bay and Doc Cave Beach and ~ and hour to Dunn River Falls.

 

I tried to organize a private trip to Dunn River Falls on my roll call [on our first cruise visit] and could not get anyone to go with us. So, we booked a ship tour and were very pleased with it. On our second time I decided I wanted to see some of the town. So, we booked the historic walking tour of Falmouth. They send 2 tour guides with you. Ours were both young women— they knew what they were doing. One led the tour and the other walked behind everyone. One big concern was making sure everyone watched out for traffic. The roads are narrow and sometimes they had a sidewalk and other times not. Cars drive fast and do not pay much attention. We thought the tour was pretty good. It was not the best I have ever had—but, it worked for us.

 

Now that I have taken the walking tour I would not feel uncomfortable leaving the fence. I agree that the best way to walk out to see something is to the right, after leaving the port area. There is a courtyard with a fountain and a few stores. There is not that much in Falmouth. But, the area inside the fence could be anywhere.

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As I stated above....other people will feel differently....BUT...just reading your post....scares me. POLICE..DON'T GO ALONE....BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS...ETC. Lol.....sorry....I never feel this way in any other port I have visited. Just this one. :eek:

 

We've been to this port many times. It's not my favorite but I can find something to do even if it's just walk and shop a bit.

(There is a Dairy Queen inside the fenced port area, that I find funny to get a blizzard in jamaica.)

 

Last time DW and I were there we shopped outside the fenced area a bit and I started counting how many times I was offered weed.

It started about 20 feet from the gate and I quit counting at 40 offers. Told my wife apparently I look like I'm just here to buy that.

 

The first time were were there as a family I took the kids down to the gate and asked if they wanted to go out and shop or walk around town.

They all declined and said it was scary. So the the last time we were there as a family (and I warned them ahead of time) I told them we're

going outside the fence. (Ages were 21, 14 and 14.)

 

We did shop a little but I used it mainly as a training experience.

Be aware of your surroundings. Who and what is around you? Who is watching you? If you can't see the ship, which direction is it? Are there other people from the ship around you? Can you tell them apart from a local person? etc.

Just getting over the fear/anxiety of being in strange surroundings and knowing that feeling versus real danger.

 

There is also a lot of the same stuff being sold cheaper than inside the fenced area. If you're wanting stuff like hats, tshirts, keychains, purses, etc.

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myself and the wife to be were planning on doing a dolphin/dunns rivrer falls excursion on the falmouth leg of our cruise in october, but the excurions we had looked at have been removed from the cruise planner online - nothing else is taking our fancy. Is there much do around the port itself - shopping etc - to make a day of it, or do we need to bite the bullet and just pick an excursion?

 

We are already doing a beach day in Labadee, and will likely do a dolphin experience on the Mexico leg.

 

Mr Spook subscribes to a certain philosophy: if the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, get the hell OUT of the area IMMEDIATELY.

 

the first time he was in Jamaica( working ship, not cruise ship) he didn't even get off the pier it was so bad. he felt fine inside the fence at Falmouth but one look outside the gate and he was like, no way am I bringing you out there.

 

he was recently in Jamaica again, (working ship not cruise ship) and since it was Humanitarian he felt less freaked out on the pier since it was crowded with lots of hopeful patients . but he would NEVER do anything outside the gate on his own.

 

there is enough inside the gated area to keep you busy few hours. nice shops, some decent food and of course the rum and coffee.

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Been to Falmouth three times now, and have progressed from taking an excursion from inside the gates, to walking outside the gate and getting an excursion from someone in town, to wandering the streets deeper into town to see if there is anything there to do. I never really felt unsafe, but then again I have lived in Baltimore, Philly, LA and now Denver so I do have pretty good street smarts. If you go outside the gates, just understand the expectation is that you have money to spend and everyone wants to get some of it. If you politely say "no thank you" to everyone and keep walking they will tend to leave you alone, but the moment you engage anyone the expectation immediately becomes that you are going to a) pay them for some sort of service, b) tip them, c) buy something from them, or d) all of the above. When you don't take one of those options after engaging someone, they are very good at making you feel uncomfortable that you did not.

 

Falmouth is not really a place where people visit unless they are on the cruise ships that dock there. Since most of the cruise ship passengers stay inside the compound or only exit the gates in taxis or buses to go somewhere else, there is an additional sense of urgency for for the vendors/people outside the gates with those of us who choose to go out into town. The locals also resent the whole setup since they are not getting the benefits they expected from having a cruise port in their town.

 

With that said, we're going again in October and I'm hoping I can convince the DW to just stay on the ship for the day...

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We booked a resort for a day. It was an all inclusive resort on the beach. They picked us up and took us on a 30-45 minute ride to the resort to hang out for the day. We went in the water, and hung out at the swim up bar overlooking the ocean. They had delicious jerk chicken for lunch as well as a drink or two or three or eleventy-seven or something. They then took us back and dropped us inside the fence and we made our way slowly back to the ship, stopping along the way to shop a little and try a beef patty, etc...

 

Good times.

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As I stated above....other people will feel differently....BUT...just reading your post....scares me. POLICE..DON'T GO ALONE....BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS...ETC. Lol.....sorry....I never feel this way in any other port I have visited. Just this one. :eek:

 

We though we would be brave & try it.

VERY poor area. We did not get far when a lady asked me if I wanted my hair braided.

Mind now that I am OLD & not a lot of hair. I politely said no.

She started to follow us...screaming at me and others joined in. I felt we barely made it back to the gate....very scary.

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