Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
#1TravelMom

Super fun day from Falmouth to falls with Cool Dave!!!

Recommended Posts

For everyone who is unsure how to get to the Dunn's River Falls or Secret Falls/Blue Hole from Falmouth, we found a great guide! I know it can be a confusing decision. Should we go to the falls over an hour away - should we just do something close to the port - do we book a ship excursion to the falls???

enhance

 

Don't miss out on the spectacular experience of the falls. Both are sooo much fun. We have been on more than 55 cruises. Cool Dave is one of the best guides we've toured with. He is fun from the start. He has a very nice van with lots of space for a group of 4-15 people. His prices are great.

 

The best part is how early you can get to the falls. Dave can meet you the minute you get off the ship. It is awesome to arrive at the falls before the many coach buses full of people. This totally makes a difference in your experience. We have been to the falls 5 times. It was not fun when we arrived after 4 buses of "climbers". We had to stand and wait at many points.

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

Dave stopped at several points of interest. Scotchies is a great place for lunch on the way back to the ship. There is also a gorgeous uncrowded beach. We have also done the river tubing - lots of fun. It is so great to be able to have a private guide for the day. Go at the pace you like. Go to both falls, choose one falls and tubing, choose falls, lunch, and beach - whatever you'd like to do for the day. We do not use a climbing guide at the falls. We climbed them twice. The kids had a great time! There is plenty of time to have a great day from Falmouth when you go with Cool Dave.

enhance

 

enhance

 

We cruise often, but I rarely post endorsements for guides. I thought this one was important because we had such an awesome day and I know many people are hesitant to leave the Falmouth area. We felt very safe and can't imagine a better day in Jamaica. Cool Dave is a licensed JUTA driver. Don't miss out on an opportunity to see the beauty of Jamaica. Email: davedawes69@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He charges for the transportation only. You pay for admission fees, lunch, etc. The price would vary depending on how many are in your party. I think he has a minimum of 4 people because he has a large van and gas is expensive. I'm sure he would take a party of 2 or 3 but he price might be higher. We had a party of 8. The cost was $30-$35pp(sorry, I don't remember exactly) plus admission to the falls. We also gave him a nice tip. He is knowledgeable and friendly - soooo fun! We thought the price for a private driver for the day from Falmouth was very good. I can't imagine a better day.

 

We left around 9:30am and returned to the port around 2:45pm. We climbed Dunn's Falls twice and stopped to take lots of photos. There is plenty of time. We've gone to the falls 5 times from Falmouth - twice we did Dunn's and Blue Hole/Secret Falls. Once, we added river tubing. Once, we did Dunn's, Scotchie's and a 1 hour beach stop. Cool Dave was the least expensive and definitely the most fun! We will be using him again this year for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome. I want people to know that it is possible to travel from Falmouth to the falls, tubing, etc and return alive and in plenty of time. We cruise a lot and always use private drivers. Jamaica has a reputation for being dangerous and I know it can be scary traveling a distance from port. Both falls are so amazing, I just want to give information on how to visit safely with a great guide. Such a great family day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found him quite by accident. We have been on 55+ cruises and not afraid to go out on our own. We had reserved a van and were anxious to drive to the falls ourselves. We had been there many times before and knew the way. We went to the meeting point and there was no rental van in sight. We called the rental company and they said that there was a problem and it would be an hour until they could get the van to us. I was so upset. We like to be at the falls before the massive buses arrive.

 

A woman standing nearby heard us talking and came over. She said that her brother had a van and didn't have tours scheduled for the day. She said he was great and would take us immediately. We decided to check him out. I was picturing a guy using his personal van to drive people around, but knew we could say no. We were so pleasantly surprised. "Cool Dave" has a new van and is a licensed JUTA driver. He was soooo friendly from the minute we met him. He was entertaining and we felt very safe with him. I can recommend his with full confidence anyone would have a great day with him.

 

As I said in my review, we have cruised more than 55 times and have done 100's of private excursions. In all my comments, you will find that I endorse Rony of Ronystours.com in Roatan and now "Cool Dave" in Jamaica. It takes a lot to impress me to the point that I recommend someone so highly. We feel that these two men stand out above all the others we've used on these islands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We booked with Dave Dawes as well. He was very responsive via email. We were port off the oasis of the seas the week of February 21. You meet him outside the secured cruise area. I think it was Gate 2 or 3 he instructed us to. He loaded up a cooler with some red stripes and some waters and left in his van. We went to blue hole and Dunns River. Blue hole was more like brown raging river due to the rain but it was still fun. We left around 10am and got back to port around 430 pm. Is very friendly and has a lot of great stories. Everyone seems to know Dave on the island. He stayed with us wherever we went and waited for us at blue hole and Dunns River. We also went to scotches for lunch which was incredible. Get the chicken wings ! We stopped at a couple scenic spots and some other interesting areas as well. He does private tours all around Jamica and has very reasonable rates. It was a great private tour for 6 of us. I would recommend him as well if doing an outside tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the review and i just emailed Dave to get a quote for our family of 9. I just wanted to ask you what time did you get back to the ship? This will be our first time in Falmouth and i ideally would like to get back at least 1 hour before sail away time if not a bit more since i heard both these destinations are quite far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got back an hour before the ship left. It was cutting it close for me as it is a lot to do in one day. I would just do dunns river falls and a beach break or something else if I had to do it again. Blue hole wasn't really worth it with the water being so rough when we went. Wasn't as nice as dunns river. We also had to go really fast through Dunns river since we were short on time. We told the guide we had an hour to do the falls and we practically power walked through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last visit, we got back about 1 hour and 20 minutes early. It really depends on what time you leave and how long you spend at the falls and other sights. It's so great to have a van to yourself and go at your pace. We stopped at several sights(don't miss the future Walmart-LOL) and climbed Dunn's Falls twice with 4 kids. We stopped to check out several beaches on the way back. We had plenty of time to shop when we returned.

 

Honestly, we have done this trip many times, don't spend one minute of your day worrying if you will get back on time. I have never heard of anyone missing the ship because they went to the falls from Falmouth. We have had a fabulous day every time and will continue to climb the falls over and over. I'm sure you will have fun with "Cool Dave".

 

I just thought of this. MAKE SURE you go to the meeting place that Dave designates. Just politely walk by the other guides. As soon as you say you are walking to meet "Cool Dave", many of them will say they are "Cool Dave". Make sure the "Cool Dave" that you meet has your names, then you will know he is the one and only real "Cool Dave". Don't be tempted to go with anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thank you for the info! We always enjoy booking private tours whenever we are in port. In fact, we used Rony of RonyTours in Roatan as well. Loved him!

You mentioned that you didn't use a guide at the falls. I didn't realize you were able to climb the falls without one of their guides? I haven't been there in years....and I am anxious to take my boys...ages 14 and 11 on the falls.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
New email for "Cool Dave" cooldavetours@yahoo.com

 

 

Thanks for the update. I am a PLANNER who just booked NCL with a stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica for Dec. 2019. :eek:

We went around with Rony's Tours this March in Roatan and had an amazing experience. Can't wait to see if Cool Dave can help us out next December!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you have been to Jamaica a few times, what do you suggest for a family with a 3 year old and a 10 and 11 year old? I would like to do something but I don't think the falls will work with the 3 year old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I will get blasted from some for this opinion. We are a very active family. We climbed the falls for the first time when our daughter was just under 3. She has always been adventurous and loved the falls from he first visit. I definitely wouldn't miss out on seeing the falls. I've seen guides carrying tiny toddlers. When our kids were little - my husband would go first and grab their hand and I would be right behind if they slipped. If you arrive and don't feel that you want to climb with the 3 year old, you could play on the beach or play in the water at the top of the falls. There is a huge flat area at the top with no people. There are a few wooden steps that enter right into the flat area. It is even in the shade. There are many entry and exit points along the falls. If you want to join the family at some point or if you are struggling, you can exit. That is the nice thing about the falls. Some may think if they start the climb, they have to go completely to the top. Nice wooden steps allow you to decide where you start and finish.

 

There is also a little water park with slides and water sprays to step on, etc. I'm sure you could keep a 3 year old busy if you played at the top of the falls and at the water park.

 

I'm not sure how much you travel or if you will visit Jamaica again in the near future. We just love the falls and it would be a shame if the 10 and 11 year olds missed out. If we were talking about Blue Hole/Secret Falls, I'd say absolutely not, but Dunns is totally doable.

Many of the things in Jamaica - Secret Falls/Blue Hole/zipling/bobsledding at Mystic Mountain are going to be almost impossible with a 3 year old. If you decide against the falls, you most likely will want to just visit a beach. Even thought we are blessed to travel quite often, we like to do things what specifically can only be done on each island. We have friends that are totally the opposite - they look for a beach at every port on every cruise.

 

Remember, this is just my opinion - please don't turn this thread into a discussion on the safety of the falls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your opinion. I will discuss this option with my daughter. Her husband is not that interested in beaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunn's Falls is beautiful to visit even if not climbing. You can enjoy other sights along the way and stop for an authentic Jerk chicken lunch at Scotchies. You would still have time to shop at the pier area when you return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the recommendation! We contacted Cool Dave and are using him to take us to the Falls next week! I have a question, though, did you pay him with cash? Do you recall paying for the entrance for the falls with cash? And finally, did Scotchies take credit cards? Just trying to determine how much cash I should be taking with us or if credit cards are sufficient for all these places. Thanks so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used cash to pay Cool Dave and to tip him. We also used cash to pay to enter the falls in Jamaica. After many years of travel, I really recommend using cash as much as possible in the poorer countries. Unfortunately, It is very easy for your credit card information to get into the wrong hands.

 

Reply when you get back. I'd love to hear what you think of your tour!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for responding so quickly!! And thanks for the advice... that's what I was afraid of. For our family of 4, he quoted us $150 which I think is totally fair. I will definitely let you know how it went when we get back. My husband and I did the falls long before we had kids, back in 1999 and we are excited to take our 14 & 12 year old sons back there now. Trying to make the most of our time and really experience Jamaica with our boys, this was the perfect option for us so I'm so glad I found your post. Thanks, again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

Does Cool Dave have multiple drivers? Just checking since I inquired about his availability using the first email you listed (didn't see the yahoo one) and got a response from Keron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...