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1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

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East Midlands, UK
Level Contributor
149 posts
34 reviews
1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Our wish list is:

1. Bob Marley museum

2. Party Boat/catarmaran day

3. Crocodiles / Falls

4. Live music/night out/partying

5. Quadding - if worth it

6. Rum tastings - if worth it

Just had an email from First Choice where we can book excursions upfront - not sure if they are cheaper than in resort - maybe someone who has been recently can tell me as we will do 4 probably?

It got me thinking about planning as our long awaited holiday is 28 days away........ I think we are a long way away from many things so wanted some advice as to what really is worth it and what we can combine -is it worth hiring a driver for a day and doing several on one day?

If anyone has any suggestions or can help all views welcome as we want to make the most of our holiday but also chill out and catch some sun......

Thanks in advance :-)

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
51 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Hi There,

I am so jealous that you are going to GPLH and we haven't booked to go back as the prices are very high this year. You will enjoy this hotel as we have been 4 times and love it there.

GPLH is located 40 minutes from Montego bay as well as Negril.

You could do the Crocodiles, YS Falls, and Rum tour all in a day as they are in the same direction. It might be a bit rushed, but can be done.

The Bob Marley nine mile would be a 2-3 hours drive each way as it's located in outside of Ocho Rio, but I wouldn't

We used RAS Wayne's Tour guide.. He works out of the GPLH lobby, but also owns a bar called the chill spot just down the road outside the resort. We met him through friends that work at GPLH and he is a very professional and reliable guy. His number is 1-876-840-4216.

You can tell him Marvis and Andy's friends Michelle & Curt sent you to him and say a big hello for us.

You must go to Negril beach for sure.. spend some time and see the sunset. You can get those tours at the hotel rather cheap.

Enjoy your holiday!

East Midlands, UK
Level Contributor
149 posts
34 reviews
2. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Thank you so much for speedy reply......

So dont bother with Bob? Heard same about Rick's so took it off the list.........

Thanks for the tip - I will go see him as really wanna get out and see real Jamaica and experience the wonderful music and people.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
51 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

No problem at all

We went to Ricks our first time in Jamaica and it is very touristy, but the cliff divers were kind of neat.

The food and drinks were expensive. There are tours for like $25 that leave in the afternoon and take you shopping and to Ricks, I wouldn't spend the whole day on a bus tour to Negril. Maybe hire a driver instead that you can spend the entire day doing what you would like.

Wayne was very good at taking us to local stops and parks along our way instead of the tourist places.

We took our local friends with us for the day which was really cool.

We love Jamaica and the people there.

Hope you have a great time!

Moncton, NB
Level Contributor
111 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

I highly recommend Alrick from yourjamaicantourguide. He will take you wherever you want to go and can customize any adventure to your liking. We did the Appleton Rum Factory tour and the Crocodile Safari on the Black River. On the way we stopped for fresh mangoes and for peppered shrimps from the shrimp ladies in Saint-Elizabeth Parish. It was a wonderful day.

Level Contributor
6,828 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please


some thoughts on your requests for an ideal holiday

Grand Palladium is not located close to anything except for the resort. Every one on your venue requests will require a taxi operator or a tour guide.

Catamaran cruises are available in Negril or MoBay; either is 40 minutes away by taxi.

Live music on the beach does happen in Negril, not sure what the situation is at GPLH. The live music schedule can be found at negril.com Alfreds is considered an excellent venue

Do not know what "Quadding" is.

Spending a day in Negril will provide a marvelous impression of Jamaica. The 7-mile beach is the best in Jamaica if not the Caribbean (the beach at GP is mostly man-made). I would taxi to an eatery called Cosmo's for a seafood lunch, then turn to the beach and turn left and just keep walking. Lots of eateries, pubs, vendors, watersports (parasailing, for example).

Now, to be clear, I like Negril. It is a mellow experience. I dive in the AM, and relax on the beach afterwards. I enjoy the peace that comes from watching the turquoise sea stay turquoise. My favorite excursion is the walk from the beach lounger to the bar and back again to verify the turquoise sea is still there.

If I were to pick an excursion, it would be to YS Falls and the Black River Safari cruise.

Here is a sat image of your resort: wikimapia.org/…b

As you can see, there is nothing around the resort.

This mega resort (1056 rooms) has lots of beautiful glitz and marble, which I assume you are looking for. Most important, it is your holiday and enjoy it as you wish.

East Midlands, UK
Level Contributor
149 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Thanks everyone - want to chill out and over indulge in good food and cocktails but not sit and do nothing, so looking to squeeze in 3 or 4 main things into 2 days out ideally and relax the rest of the time unless we head out to party one or two nights.

I researched a lot before booking and this was the only hotel that ticked all of our boxes and was within budget and we dont mind being away from eveything and travelling to do some excursions as we did not want to be in the thick of it - was hoping we could combine them and hire a guide and not just join the bus tours that are only intersted in those venues who offer kickbacks and have a constant stream of tourists.

Can any of our choices be combined because they are in the same direction.......?

United States
Level Contributor
8,869 posts
93 reviews
7. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

"Can any of our choices be combined because they are in the same direction."

1. Bob Marley museum - From the direction requirement it can be. However, The Marley museum is located in Kingston which is about a 4 1/2 hr. drive, one way, from Lucea. This activity alone will require 12 hr. or more of your time (a whole day) so you should not expect to combine it with anything else.

2. Party Boat/catarmaran day - This can be done from the Grand Palladium.

3. Crocodiles / Falls - If you go to YS Falls and the Black River for the crocodiles, you can combine these with #6, rum tasting, at the Appleton Estate. All of these places are south of the Grand Palladium. Plan on a very full day to do these three, or even just the crocodiles and falls, together.

4. Live music/night out/partying - You will need to go to Negril or Montego Bay to do this. Plan on a 45 min. taxi ride, one way, from the Grand Palladium to either city. These places are east or west of the Grand Palladium depending on which you go to.

5. Quadding - See chukkacaribbean.com/location/… for their offerings. These folks are located near Sandy Bay which is about 10 miles east of the Grand Palladium. This could be combined with #4 if you go to Montego Bay and do not want to clean up after being out in the brush and mud for several hours (but not advised).

6. Rum tastings - See #3 above.

In short, most of the things you list cannot be combined. Rather than 2 days I would plan on 4 or even 5 days to do everything on your list. From your list, items #1 and #3 will each require a very long day to do while the others can be done in half a day each.

Edited: 8:30 am, November 07, 2013
East Midlands, UK
Level Contributor
149 posts
34 reviews
8. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Wow @ thevinnie- exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, you are a star and it is kindly appreciated - roll on 3 weeks!!

Pontiac, Canada
Level Contributor
42 posts
9. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Just to add for your party night. The Palladium used to have a shuttle that went to Margaritaville on Monday nights. It usually left around 10:00 or 10:30ish. It has been two years since we were there so I can't guarantee they still do that.

As for music, they usually have one night at their infinity bar where they bring in a steel drum band and have reggae dancers. Again, presuming they still do that but if they do, what a fun night that is. The dancers will pull people out of the crowd and get them dancing. Since the bar is right there well the booze is flowing! Ask about it when you arrive at the resort because that is one night not to be missed. If they still do it, go early to get a great seat as the place will fill up!

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
92 posts
37 reviews
10. Re: 1st timers at GPLH excursion queries & advice please

Good information, (thevinnie) I was just reading your post.

Do you know how much approx. #3 and #6 combined would cost?

Is it better to book through the GPLH resort or hire a cab/driver and vehicle?

I understand it would be a long day to do all 3 but they are on one route?