TripAdvisor Review from Bo- Visited March 2016
Every encounter with Jamrock has been great, from the planning to the set-up, to the actual execution. I can HIGHLY recommend Jamrock Journeys. YES they will be a bit more expensive than the cruise tours....but these guys don't do tours... they do Journeys.
Our family of combined 9 people (parents, brother, kids etc) were on a cruise vacation, and our first stop was on Jamaica. As none of us are really in to the big-bus-full-of-tourist experience, we wanted something different, something off the beaten path... We definitely got that.
I e-mailed back and forth with a very passionate Teresa, who set up a specialized journey just for us. One of the locations we were going to, they had to send Marc (guide) out to scout ahead of time, to make sure it was still accessible. We met up with Marc, a tall friendly smiling, well spoken Jamaican with a classic massive dreadlocks hair. got in the van, and set off.
Our Journey took us to a smaller rum distillery. Got a 2 hour tour of their facility, and some rum samplings. Very interesting. (a bottle of Rum: 9$)
Next we went on to a place out in the bushes. The roads there would have been better if they had been just gravel roads! At one point my brother pointed out that I had asked for "off the beaten path", and that I had definitely gotten that...
We arrived, got out of the van, walked another 3-4 minutes, and found ourself in paradise. We are talking a nice big stream, falling about 2-3 meters over some rocks. Big green area with trees, a small mountain, and a couple of tree huts.
We were served lunch on the open porch overlooking this magnificent place.
After lunch we were given a guided tour by one of the locals there. This guy was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the place, the plant and wildlife there, etc. This tour took us over the stream on an "Indiana Jones" bridge. The bridge is COMPLETELY safe, and very sturdy! Not high off the ground, but certainly not build to any public access regulation. From there, in to the "jungle" continuing along the river, and then further in to the jungle. All along the way our guide explained about the various plants, the history, etc etc.
Finally we hiked/climbed about 200m up the side of the mountain. We are talking no stairs, and following a dirt path, at times pulling our self up by the plants. This part of the journey requires that you are mobile, beyond walking around the block! With everybody up, and sweating like crazy we descended in to an old cave where various people had hidden from various types of aggressors through time. We could have gone a lot further in to the cave, but one of our participants have a very poor eyesight, so we only went about 15 meters inside (flashlights provided). What an exceptional experience!! One of us slipped at one point and got a scrape on the arm that bled. On the way back, the guide stopped a couple of times, looking for specific plants, from which he created a plant juice for the wound. I cannot tell you if it did anything to help heel the wound... but there was no infection, even after hiking back through the jungle.
After hiking back to the lunch-place, it was time to get in the swim-trunks, and take a refreshing, and not least cooling dip in the stream.
Having spend a great deal of time on both locations, we actually had to start heading back to the ship at that time.
Marc is a very nice person, telling us about the things we wanted to know, clearly not just reciting a "broken record" of facts along the way.
We got to experience Jamaica in a way not thought possible when arriving together with 4000+ other people at the same time.
These guys are worth it!
SOME PRACTICAL INFORMATION:
Arriving in Jamaica with Royal Caribbean, and this being our first cruise, everything seemed a bit overwhelming, and we had no idea of what to do.
As a "public service" to those cruising for the first time and coming to Jamaica, here is some info:
once you get of the boat, you find yourself walking in a souvenir shop area, only for cruise guests.
1: the cruise arranged trips are on the left
2: the "outside-of-cruise" arranged trips are on the far right
3: Jamrock Journeys are in non of those locations!!
4: you walk straight down the middle of all of this, out of the entire cruise port area past the guards, ignore the taxi-and-tour-operators trying to get your attention there, turn right and walk 150m / 450ft to the big yellow building, and meet up with Marc there.
Thanks Bo for sharing your reflections on our journey together, and for recommending us!
Teresa, Oniffe and Marc