Caribbean Cruise Ship Port of Call Profile

The islands of the Caribbean are located in a region southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north of South America.

Tropical Weather

Atlantic/Gulf Coast

MARIA

 

Eastern Pacific

Montego Bay Weather

 

Need to know

Hurricanes

Jamaica is situated in an area of the Caribbean prone to hurricanes.  Rainy season is from May to November, and periodic hurricanes between June and November.

In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane alert, a notice will be posted on our Weather Page

Getting around  

Taxis

Travelers who use taxicabs should take only licensed taxicabs having red-and-white PP license plates. Always make sure to negotiate your fare with the taxi driver before you leave. Not all taxis are metered. Look for red PPV license plates; these indicate legitimate taxis.

Several serious and fatal accidents take place each year involving American tourists riding in taxis without seat belts. All passengers are strongly encouraged to utilize vehicles equipped with seat belts.

Buses

Public buses are often overcrowded and they are frequently a venue of crime. 

Driving

• Driving is on the left
• Drivers and passengers in the front seat are required to wear seat belts. 
• Breakdown assistance is quite limited in urban areas and virtually unavailable in rural areas. 
• Drivers should make every effort to avoid areas of high crime and civil strife.  Roadblocks are sometimes employed by residents as protests intended to draw attention to particular issues and require extreme caution by drivers. 
• Always keep windows up and doors locked when driving and to leave enough distance between yourself and the preceding car at intersections to allow a roll forward in case of harassment by pedestrian panhandlers. As a rule, drivers should always avoid contact with large groups of pedestrians. 

Road Conditions

• Most roads are paved, but suffer from ill repair, inadequate signage, large pot holes, and poor traffic control markings. 
• City roads are often subject to poorly marked construction zones, pedestrians, bicyclists, and, occasionally, livestock. 
• Street corners are frequented by peddlers, window washers, and beggars walking among stopped cars.
• Smaller roads are often narrow and they are frequently traveled at high speeds. 

ports > destinations > Montego Bay
 

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Location

Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea and part of the Greater Antilles island chain about 90 miles south of Cuba and 120 miles west of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea.

jamaica map

Montego Bay is located on the NW coast of Jamaica and is the second largest city in Jamaica - a nation of 2.6 million people. 

The bay is surrounded by picturesque low mountains and the coastland near Montego Bay is occupied by numerous tourist resorts. Most of the resorts are newly built with some occupying the grounds of old sugar cane plantations. The most famous of these are the White Witch's Rose Hall and Tryall, both of which now feature world-class golf courses.

Good to Know

Port of Entry

Freeport -  just a few miles south of "MoBay"

Time Zone

 EST (UTC/GMT -5)

Map Coordinates

18°28′N 77°55′W

Average Temperatures

Water: 83° Summer - 79° Winter

Air: 85° Summer - 80° Winter

Medical Services

Medical care is more limited than in the U.S. Comprehensive emergency medical services are located only in Kingston and Montego Bay, and smaller public hospitals are located in each parish. 

Emergency medical and ambulance services, and the availability of prescription drugs, are limited in outlying parishes. Ambulance service is limited both in the quality of emergency care and in the availability of vehicles in remote parts of the country. 

Medical Facilities

Montego Bay Cornwall Regional Hospital. 876) 952-5100

Doctor's Hospital. (876) 952-1616

Montego Bay Hope Medical Diagnostic Center. 876 953-3649

Serious injuries or illnesses often necessitate evacuation to another country. 

Many US insurance companies do not provide protection outside the country. Contact your medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether your policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health

Personal Safety

Some street vendors, beggars, and taxi drivers in tourist areas aggressively confront and harass tourists to buy their wares or employ their services.  If a firm "No, thank you" does not solve the problem, visitors may wish to seek the assistance of a tourist police officer.

While the vast majority of crimes occur in impoverished areas, the violence is not confined.

The primary criminal concern for tourists is becoming a victim of theft.  In several cases, armed robberies of Americans have turned violent when the victims resisted handing over valuables.

Gang violence and shootings occur regularly in certain areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. These areas include Mountain View, Trench Town, Tivoli Gardens, Cassava Piece, and Arnett Gardens in Kingston, and Flankers in Montego Bay.

Crime is exacerbated by the fact that police are understaffed and ineffective. Additionally, there have been frequent allegations of police corruption.  Tourists should take their own precautions and always pay extra attention to their surroundings when traveling, exercise care when walking outside after dark, and should always avoid areas known for high crime rates.

As a general rule, valuables should not be left unattended or in plain view. Care should be taken when carrying high value items such as cameras, or when wearing expensive jewelry on the street.  Women's handbags should be zipped and held close to the body.  Men should carry wallets in their front pants pocket.  Large amounts of cash should always be handled discreetly.

Some neighborhoods are occasionally subject to curfews and police searches. Impromptu demonstrations can occur, during which demonstrators often construct roadblocks or otherwise block the streets. These events usually do not affect tourist areas.  

Jamaica is a major transit point for cocaine en route to the United States and is also a key source of marijuana and marijuana derivative products for the Americas. Jamaica is the Caribbean's largest producer and exporter of marijuana.

To enhance security in the principal resort areas, the Government of Jamaica has taken a number of steps, including assignment of special police foot and bicycle patrols.  

Culture

Music

Though a small nation, Jamaica is rich in culture, and has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub, and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island's vibrant, popular urban recording industry.

Rastafari

The Rastafari movement was founded in Jamaica. This Back to Africa movement believes that Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was God incarnate, the returned black messiah, come to take the lost Twelve Tribes of Israel back to live with him in Holy Mount Zion in a world of perfect peace, love and harmony. Bob Marley, a convert to the faith, spread the message of Rastafari to the world.

Things to do and see

Shopping

City Centre Plaza is a plaza devoted almost entirely to Duty Free Shopping. The main Crafts Market is on Harbor Street in town but there are two smaller ones in the hotel area, one next to Fantasy Hotel and another on Fort Street on the site of a 17th century fort.

Attractions

Rose Hall Great House

Once the home of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall, who murdered three husbands and terrorized her slaves.

Aquasol Theme Park

Situated on the dazzling white sand Walter Fletcher beach, this theme park offers enough entertainment to keep you busy all day.

White Water River Rafting

Caliche River. Website

Bob Marley Experience and Theatre

Situated in the Half Moon Shopping Village. Shows every hour on the hour are a touching tribute to Bob Marley.

Belvedere Estate

Belvedere is a family-owned estate set on one thousand acres of land just minutes away from Montego Bay. It was one of the first sugar cane plantations in Jamaica and is still a working estate.

Beaches

Doctor's Cave Beach

Closest to the cruise terminal. Requires $3.00 entry fee and if you want one, $2.00 per beach chair rental. Website

Sunset Beach

At Sunset Beach Resort. Get a day pass and enjoy the amenities. Especially good for snorkeling. Website

Area Events

Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival

Annual January event at Rose Hall.

Caribbean Classic Golf Tournament

Annual June Event. Website

 

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