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Port of Ocho Rios, Jamaica



Official Language:  English
Currency:  Jamaican Dollars
Time Zone:  Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Est. Population:  6,000
Cruise Port City:  Ocho Rios



The island's tropical climate averages 85 degrees year round. As a result, the "dress code" is always "island casual." Anytime is a great time of the year to travel here, however, to avoid crowds and high prices, April to November is off season. It is important to note that the rainy season is May to June and October to December, but because it is a tropical climate, brief showers can come at any time. The hurricane season is from June to November.

U.S. dollars and major credit cards are also accepted by most establishments. Though English is the official language, many locals speak Patois. You can make phone calls at stations near the cruise port. Get a local phone card for the best rates. For reliable internet access, use Internet Jungle at Island Village. The post office is located on Main Street. Post office hours are 8am-5pm (Monday-Friday).

Banks are open from 9am-2pm (Monday-Thursday) and 9am-4pm (Friday). Most ATMs do not accept ATM cards from the U.S.  Most stores are open 9am-5pm (Monday-Friday). Passports are required for U.S. citizens.

You should drink bottled water when available. Bring sunglasses, a hat and plenty of sunscreen lotion. Electricity is the same as the U.S., however, some places may operate on 220 volts, so check with the establishment before using the outlet.

Cruise ships dock at the Main Pier or James Bond Pier. The local men are very aggressive towards single women traveling alone. You should use a taxi when visiting tourist attractions and shops. Many shops are within walking distance of the cruise port, but it can be a hassle for women walking alone.

The crime rate here is similar to many major metropolitan cities, so exercise caution when walking around. Women should leave expensive jewelry and extra money on the ship, since there are many pickpockets. Women arriving at the cruise port during the week have seen many men sitting outside the cruise port making remarks towards them.  Several cruise passengers have been approached by men trying to sell ganja (marijuana) to them. To avoid harassment by the local men, women should consider traveling in groups.

The major holidays in Ocho Rios are New Year's Day, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labor Day, Emancipation Day, Independence Day, National Heroes Day, Christmas, Boxing Day.

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