After reading all the wonderful reviews we booked with KnowJamaica Tours. Marva mentioned In her e-mails, that she’ll be hosting our “Irie jam private tour” for 3 people in Ocha Rios for $150. I was excited to meet her because I‘ve read many good things about Marva specifically as tour guide in Jamaica.
It was quite a disappointment to find out after waiting at the cruise terminal for half an hour that our guide is not Marva, but her employee Maroon (spelling?). He got Marva on the phone, she sounded nice and we chat for a minute. She promised to check on us later, but we’ve never heard from her again.
We wanted to do some sightseeing, shopping, visit Dunn’s Falls and to spend some time on the beach. During the long drive to Dunn’s Falls we found out that Maroon is not a “guide”, but just a driver. He was very quiet most of the time. It's partly not his fault because the drive to Dunn’s Falls isn't a very scenic one so there's not much to point out but he could've filled us in on general facts about the country like history, culture, government, or any other interesting facts. My daughter and myself asked him a couple of questions and he briefly answered them, but being a "guide" I expected him to volunteer more information (after all, it is the country he lives in and he knows more about it than we do).
After the falls he took us to the “craft” market (terrible) and to some beach (nice), and then dropped us at the cruise terminal. We could've saved money by just using the Dunns River shuttle and taxis if we just wanted transportation and not an actual island "tour" that we expected.
I am writing all this just to warn: if you OK with just having a driver to get you from point A to point B - then you are fine. But if you want to KNOW Jamaica or learn about Jamaica, then be aware of who is going to be your “guide”.