We didn't go to the Margaritaville in Ocho Rios but have been to the one in Montego Bay at the end of one of the booze cruises. You can play on the water slide or the water trampoline but past that I guess I just don't get the appeal.
One of the excursions offered by our resort was a trip to Margaritaville, I understand that the drinks are very expensive so I'm not entirely sure why people who are staying at an all inclusive resort that offers all you can drink would want to go there. Not to mention that we stayed at a couples only resort so the majority of the crowd is not looking to pick up somebody for a one nighter.
Dont buy anything without negociating the price because they want to sell everything too expensive. Also be careful, there is lots of drugs around. Sellers are very pushy.
Unique Suggestions: Say "no" and dont discuss if somebody wants to sell something. If you start talking the dont let you go without buying.
That's how things go: you arrive at a free beach and look for a good place to lay your towel, while some guys watch you. You began to feel a little anxious, but pretend nothing happened. Their eyes follow you and they mutter among them. Then they get up you and sit down into the shade of the trees. Now you are worried and say to yourself 'What have I to do now?' At last they come up to you and say: 'Hey, mon! would you like...some ganja?' So you know them and lastly you understand they aren't so dangerous, no matter if you want or not to try the smoke...you now have new friends!
P.S.: I'll never tell you if I tryed it!!
Fun Alternatives: Don't go on a free beach.
It's not really a trap... just a tip. While most duty-free shops will accept a credit card (and I would rather use credit card than cash -- for protection), you may want to buy something from the local merchants. For example, when we went to Dunn's River Falls, they required cash for the rubber shoes, pictures, etc. They did have an ATM but it was extremely slow and the charge was $6.00.
It's not really a trap... just a tip. While most duty-free shops will accept a credit card (and I would rather use credit card than cash -- for protection), you may want to buy something from the local merchants. For example, when we went to Dunn's River Falls, they required cash for the rubber shoes, pictures, etc. They did have an ATM but it was extremely slow and the charge was $6.00. Also, bring only small denomination bills -- $1s, $5s...
the Crafts Market is advertised as the place to get something produced by the locals. It's typically filled with Carved wood of various sorts.
It's also filled with the most high-pressure natives you'll find on the Island. Once you get used to it, you are alright but if you don't like to get hassled, this is not the place to go.
Most of what you can get here you can get at the resorts since they host a craft night themselves. Prices are negotiable on anything you buy.
In between looking at the various crafts you'll be asked to purchase narcotics. Don't even engage these people as drug possession is a serious crime in Jamaica.
Unique Suggestions: Get something of SOLID wood and avoid the bamboo stuff. All of our Bamboo Split on us before we even got home but the heavy wood Bob Marley is still with us!
Fun Alternatives: Check out Dunns River Falls instead. It's close by and a lot of fun, especially on a hot day.
A beautiful waterfall, but run by a greedy bunch who constantly have their hand out. Exiting the place, they force you to walk through a market that is full of extremely aggressive peddlers, selling the typical crap that no one realy wants. Extreme harrassment.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid the market, if at all possible.
I saw the locals braiding my wife's hair.
I wasn't carrying much cash with me. They got very insulted when I offered them a few dollars and demanded $25.00 U.S. No price was discussed before they started braiding.
Unique Suggestions: We decided to go to the ATM and get them some money. This was going out of our way to try to be nice to them. My wife wanted to pay them mostly.
Fun Alternatives: Do not offer them money.
It's not safe to use your camera while climbing the falls. A few guides hold a camera offering themselves to tape your group. Check the price and identify who's filming you, because, at the end there is some confusion.
Don't expect good quality in the film (you only need to watch the way they balance the camera to have an idea of the final product).
Making some plans from outside and using them in the final mixing was my (good) idea.
It wasn't that bad, but to take a inner tubing trip down this river is a total rip off. We only went because we had a coupon which made it reasonably priced. The trip was way too short!