Jamaica: Holidays

Clear seas, Cocktails, Rastafarianism and Reggae

Cruises

Cruises in Jamaica

There are many ways to see Jamaica, but one of the most pleasurable is a cruise holiday. Cruise holidays in Jamaica offer the chance to have all the comforts of a hotel while seeing the many sights of the island. The Western Caribbean cruises from Miami, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica tend to be the most popular and get booked up very quickly.

You should also bear in mind when booking a cruise holiday to Jamaica that, like hotels, they will differ, with some being more child-friendly, some themed, while others are geared to a more glamorous holiday. Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise holidays to Jamaica offer the most reasonably-priced packages, but if you’re after something more, premium cruises are more expensive but are based on smaller ships. Other things you may want to consider when picking a cruise holiday is the location of your cabin: cabins close to the gym, bar, theatre, etc, will be noisy, so make sure you check. Travellers with young children should avoid rooms with balcony access, and if you’re prone to sea sickness, cabins on the lower deck, in the middle of the ship are the best.

Disabled Needs

Disabled Needs in Jamaica

Going on holiday in Jamaica if you are disabled doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is important to check that your needs and requirements are made very clear at the booking stage, as the scope for error can make things complicated. One way around this is to book through a disability specialist travel agency or tour operator – there are several listed in the Tourism for All directory. It may also be useful to bear in mind when travelling outside hotels and resorts in Jamaica that public transport may be difficult: buses and taxis are unlikely to be disability-friendly.

Family Holiday

Family Holiday in Jamaica

There are many resorts and hotels that will ensure that you have the perfect family holiday in Jamaica. If you are staying in a resort there will be lots of activities for children, but your family holiday in Jamaica will benefit from venturing beyond your resort: a day trip to one of the islands landmarks, or a canopy tour through the jungle or a historic plantation tour, perhaps, can give your family holiday even more of a boost.

It is also handy to bear in mind that many resorts come with certified nannies – they are even included in the prices of some all-inclusive resorts. Another option for a family holiday in Jamaica is through the island’s Meet the People programme. If you are looking for a proper Jamaican experience and want to make new friends, this programme will team you up with a Jamaican host family. As well as staying with them, they will give you an insider’s guide to Jamaica, something no other family holiday in Jamaica can give. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between €608 - €1,327 per person. Children under the age of usually travel at 10% of the adult fare, but check first.

Honeymoon

Honeymoon in Jamaica

Practically every hotel and resort in Jamaica trades on the island’s romantic reputation, which means that there are no shortage of places to go if you are planning a honeymoon in Jamaica: many even include the wedding and honeymoon package. Looking for the perfect honeymoon in Jamaica is up to you and what you want, although there are ample opportunities for romance wherever you go. A dreamy cruise down Port Antonio’s Rio Grande river on a bamboo raft to Lovers Lane (named by Errol Flynn) in the 1950s, or a swim in the blue lagoon (also in Port Antonio), which featured in the Brooke Shield film of the same name – honeymooning in Jamaica offers no end of choice.

If you’re thinking of getting married in Jamaica, Sandals and SuperClubs pretty much dominate the market: between them, they hold more than 3,000 weddings a year. Prices can vary and can include everything from rooms, meals and drinks to unlimited water sports, but it all depends on the season, and location. The wedding package will cost extra but will include a licence, an officiant, flowers, announcements, a cake, appetisers and taped music.

Backpacking

Backpacking in Jamaica

The increasing demand to explore countries like Jamaica as a backpacker means that there are places to stay across the island. The Hollywell National Recreation Park and Clydesdale, and Whitefield Hall Hostel in Saint Thomas, offer conventional hostel accommodation for backpackers in Jamaica, but there are plenty of guesthouses bargains to be found across the island, too. With prices ranging anywhere between €12 and €33 a night between off-peak and peak, even the most remote areas in Jamaica cater to the backpacker. The cheapest way to get around Jamaica is by bus, which can be slow but it is a good way to get to the countryside, meet locals and see a side of the island you may not as a conventional tourist.

Beach

Beach in Jamaica

If it’s a beach holiday you’re after, Jamaica has no shortage of holidays to suit. Jamaica has over 200 miles of beach coastline and although there many public beaches, some of the best beaches on the island belong to hotels and resorts. One such Jamaican beach holiday is in Montego Bay, along the Doctor Cave beach: on the downside, it is often very busy, but it is considered to offer one of the best all-round beach holidays on the island and is a great place to go snorkelling. For the all-inclusive approach to beach holidays in Jamaica, try Sandals: this chain of island-wide resorts offers everything from sandy white beaches and family-friendly stays, to wedding ceremony and honeymoon all rolled in to one. Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s south coast, it is highly regarded. Although slightly off the beaten track, it is no less beautiful, and has the added bonus of being less crowded than some of the more popular beaches on the island.

Naturism

Naturism in Jamaica

If you are a naturist, thinking of taking a holiday in Jamaica, the island has plenty to offer anyone in search of an all-over tan. Not only are the owners of naturist beaches in Jamaica mindful of people’s privacy, many stipulate that cameras are not allowed. Breeze, in Runaway Bay caters to naturism for all the family (14 years and over), while Couples and the Grand Lido, in Negril, cater specifically to coupes. Many hotels have an optional attitude towards nudity, but it is best to check before you book.

Party Holiday - Singles Life

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Jamaica

There are no shortage of singles holidays in Jamaica to choose from, whether you’re looking for adventure, romance, like-minded singles or the ultimate party location, Jamaica is the place. There are many resorts across Jamaica which offer the ultimate singles holiday: Sandals resorts (across the island), Breezes, in Montego Bay and Hedonism, in Negril are some of the most well known. The SuperClubs’ chain of nine resorts across Jamaica are also worth investigating if you are interested in a singles holiday. Price-wise, some offer the option of singles sharing, which means that if you are prepared to share with someone (of the same sex) you will pay less. One of the ultimate destinations for singles has, and continues to be Negril, in the south western part of Jamaica. Formerly a hippy hang-out during the 1960s, this area has turned into one of the best places for people to go if they are looking for a singles holiday in Jamaica.

Couples Holiday

Couples Holiday in Jamaica

Any place with a chain of resorts called Couples, is the right destination for anyone looking for a romantic getaway. If you are thinking of going to Jamaica with your partner, make sure you do your research before hand. There are resorts across Jamaica which really cater for couples, but beware that if it’s adventure and sightseeing you’re after, not to book into a resort which specialises in raucous, party holidays for couples.

Camping

Camping in Jamaica

There are a number of sites available for travellers who want to go camping in Jamaica. The Holywell National Recreation Park in Kingston offers camping and several cabins with basic amenities. Camping in Jamaica is also permitted in Cinchona Botanical Gardens, and the grounds of Whitfield Hall Hostel, in the parish of St. Thomas. It should be emphasised that camping in Whitfield Hall’s grounds must be booked in advance through the Jamaican forestry department.

Well-being and Spa

Well-being and Spa in Jamaica

Given the appeal of holidaying in Jamaica, and the relaxing benefits of spas in general, it was only a matter of time before hotels and resorts around the island began to combine the two. Jamaica’s natural landscape makes it a great place for resort and day spas, lifestyle transformation centres, nature retreats, convalescent centres and mineral springs and baths; in fact, Jamaica has many mineral springs across the island, with Milk River in Clarendon being one of the best mineral spas in the world. Any major hotel in Jamaica will have a building dedicated to its own spa which is likely to offer everything from a full range of massage and beauty treatments, and other relaxation therapies. Jamaican spas tend not to serve alcohol with dinner. Prices can range from $€38 - €3,763 or more, depending on location and treatments.