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Thread: Excursions

  1. #1

    Default Excursions

    We are arriving to CSS on November 19, and I am wondering about some of the optional excursions. Would you recommend the Chukka Adventures Zipline/River Tube and the Blue Mountain Bicycling tours? What can we expect on these? What do we need to bring with? Any and all input is welcome!

  2. #2

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    Welcome to Couples

    Some recommendations

    Dunns River Falls is included for free at the resorts located in Ocho Rios. Not as difficult as it looks. Aqua Shoes are a must. We bring our own or you can also rent them at the attraction. They go every Monday through Friday. Be at the lobby at 9AM. Don't forget that your bus driver is not a Couples employee and will expect a tip. Your guide at the attraction will expect a tip also. Don't worry. They will gladly accept wet money. You don't need to bring many things with you. If you have a waterproof camera bring it along. We may bring a towel along and leave it on the bus. The bus driver will stay with your bus. It is relatively safe to leave items on the bus as long as they aren't too valuable. We don't even bother with towels. You would only need to rent a locker if you bring too much stuff with you. You would be dry by the time you get to your locker. Remember this is a tourist trap. There is a flea market at the exit of the attraction, we like to call it the gauntlet. The vendors may be a little more aggressive than you are used to. If you are not interested just keep walking. Some vendors will try and give you something for free. Nothing is ever free, there will be strings attached. However, if something interest you don't be afraid to negotiate the price. They will try and sell you a DVD of your experience. Up to you if you want to buy it. Kind of cool. But in all reality you will typically only watch it once or twice then never watch it again.

    We also liked the Zion Bus tour to the Bob Marley Mausoleum. Most people will smoke once they get there but you don't have to. We were fortunate to have an outstanding tour guide for our trip. Told us lots about Bob Marley and Jamaica. Bring extra money. You will tip your bus driver, your tour guide on the bus, your tour guide at the attraction. You may want to light a candle in the mausoleum. You will also need some money if you decide to smoke at the attraction. You will be herded through a gift shop at the exit. Not aggressive like at Dunns River Falls. You will also stop at a little bar and grill both going to and returning from the mausoleum. Refreshments are included but you may want some extra money if you want to purchase a drink or a beer. They server Rum Punch on the bus. A little Rum Punch helps on the ride as this can be an adventure on its own.

    We have also done Rafting on the Martha Brae. Romantic. Just the two of you and your guide on a big bamboo raft. We got a couple of beers at the beginning of the excursion. You will see some venders along the river. Bring some cash if you think you may want to buy anything. Also bring cash to tip your bus driver and your guide.

    We have also done Dolphin Cove. One of the more expensive excursions. In our opinion worth the money. We did the entire experience. We didn't do the swimming with the sharks, which cost extra. If you decide to do the whole experience don't take a lot of time at any one location. You can easily run out of time before doing everything. As usual, tip your bus driver. Also tip teach of the people at the main areas at the attraction. At this location we usually rent a locker. Like Dunns River Falls you can buy a DVD or you can buy pictures. I recommend looking at the pictures. We bought the DVD but in all honesty only watched it a couple of times.

    A common theme. Your bus driver, your guide on the bus if there is one, and your guide at the attraction will expect a tip. You do not need Jamaican money. They will accept any currency like US Dollars. Each attraction will have some sort of gift shop at the end that will be impossible to avoid. Don't be afraid to say no. If something interests you don't be afraid to negotiate price. Any off resort excursion will be some sort of tourist trap. As long as you have the correct attitude this won't be a problem. Not really all that much different than any other tourist trap you will find at home.

    Finally. We won't book any off resort excursions until after we get to the resort. Each resort will have a tour desk. On our first day we will usually stop by the tour desk and grab brochures for ant excursion that interests us. We will bring them back to our room and look at them later. We won't book any excursions until after we have looked at the resort's weekly activity schedule and have made our reservations at any of the special restaurants. This way we don't miss anything because of a schedule conflict. The tour desk on the resort will accept most major credit cards.

    Enjoy your stay in paradise.
    Jack and Kathy

    CSA 2007, 2010, and 2016
    CTI 2012, 2014
    ??? 2018

  3. #3

    Default

    WOW Mad Jack, great synopsis!
    We always have grand intentions of participating in excursions but find that we seem to really, really like sand gravity. I completely agree to not book any before arrival...relax and get a feel for the resort and then decide.
    Gene and Jeanne
    CSS October 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
    CSS October 2017 SOON COME!

  4. #4

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    We are like JeanneW. We always have good intentions of doing some excursion but that sand gravity is so damn strong.

    Mad Jack - very nice. may have to revisit our sand gravity issues.

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