Jamaica’s bubbly side is on show in Montego Bay. This lively north-coast town has a strip full of reggae bars and Caribbean restaurants, and you can dip in and out for rum cocktails and jerk chicken. Montego Bay’s biggest pull, though, is its coastline. The shores here are bracketed by clear blue waves and coconut palms.
• Rose Hall is one of the island’s first plantation houses, and locals swear it’s haunted by its former owner, the infamous White Witch. If you’d rather avoid the ghosts, head to the Greenwood Great House instead. It’s the former home of poet Elizabeth Barrett Brown’s ancestors.
• The Dunn’s River Falls are Jamaica’s number one attraction. The waterfalls here are terraced, like a giant flight of steps, and the safest way to get to the top is by holding the hands of fellow tourists and walking as a human chain.
• The Crocodile Nursery in Montego Bay makes for a great day out. The reptiles range in age from hatchlings to 5-year-olds, and the highlight of the day is feeding time, when you can watch the babies enjoying their lunch.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Ocho Rios & Dunn's River Falls►
The world-famous Dunn’s River Falls are a Jamaican national treasure, and it’s easy to see why. Offering up plunge pools, waterfalls and thermal springs, this place is seriously easy on the eye. And don’t be surprised if it looks familiar – it featured in the very first James Bond film, Dr. No. This tour gives you the chance to don your swim gear and explore the place up close. First up, experienced guides will lead the way as you climb the waterfalls. Soak up the backdrop of ferns, bamboos, ginger lilies and orchids along the way, and pause for a natural massage under the cascading water. If you’d rather not join in with the climb, just relax on the viewing platform and take it all in from dry land. Later, there’ll be time for a buffet lunch before taking the scenic drive back to port.
Rafting on the Martha Brae►
This half-day tour is a fantastic way to get to grips with some of Jamaica’s picture-perfect waterways. After a scenic, air-conditioned drive along the coast you arrive at the town of Falmouth to see St. Peter’s Anglican Church, one of the oldest and largest Anglican churches in Jamaica before pulling up at the Martha Brae rafting centre – a laid-back spot hidden in lush vegetation by Miss Martha's Herb Garden. After a short safety briefing, you’re ready to climb aboard your bamboo raft. Your very own raftsman will sail you down the lazy river, so all you have to worry about is listening to the birdsong, taking in the jungle-like backdrop and enjoying your guide’s tales of local folklore. Three chilled-out miles later, you’ll moor up at Rafter’s Rest – a riverside café and hub of craft stalls. Then it’s all aboard the coach for the return trip to port. Once in Montego Bay, there’ll be free time for a duty free shop before heading back to ship.
Catamaran, Snorkel & Doctor’s Cave Beach►
This laid-back tour promises plenty in the way of relaxation. You’ll board your catamaran at Montego Bay Pier and take a short sail through the harbour. Here, there’ll be a snorkel stop so you can get up close to one of the island’s finest coral reefs. Back on board the boat, fruity rum punch sets the scene. Lastly, we’ll drop anchor at the famous Doctor’s Cave Beach, where your time’s your own to sprawl on the sand or go exploring. This place got its name thanks to Alexander James McCatty – a doctor who donated his beachside property to set up the Montego Bay Bathing Club back in 1906. At the end of the Twenties, an article declaring the waters here to have curative powers was published. The beach became an overnight must-visit destination as people from all over the world came to check out its claims for themselves. Take a dip for yourself and see what all the fuss is about.