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Relaxed, laid back tour of Montego Bay and Falmouth

We were a group of 8 adults who wanted a relaxing tour of the island. We were picked up at the We... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
anngh60
,
Covington, Kentucky
Book before you go! Cheaper

Lovely island! Booked on internet, tour thru “Excursion Ocho Rios”, Richard Brooks! Great guide... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Christine M
,
Port Orange, Florida
via mobile
Read all 322 reviews
  
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Reviewed May 2, 2013

If you want an amazing tour with an amazing guide while in Jamaica, you have to spend some time with Patrice Bailey of Patmar Tours. With an upcoming trip to Jamaica with best friends on the horizon, one of my friends did some research into hiring a private driver from the airport to the resort rather than taking the normal bus. During her research, she started to notice a number of references regarding an amazing driver named Patrice, who was praised for her passionate devotion to making sure her clients received the best care whilst in her charge. My friend and her husband booked with Patrice and quickly found that she was everything the earlier reviews said about her, and more. In that 30 minute ride from the airport to the resort, they knew without doubt that Patrice was the perfect driver for the 4 of us on our upcoming shopping trip/tour of Montego Bay/Falmouth and rafting along the Martha Brae later in the week. After discussing the idea with us, we booked with Patrice.

Patrice picked us up on time, met us with a smile, and was full of energy to show off her beloved country to people who were eager to experience it. She had Red Stripe, soda, and water in the car ready for us. She took us to the Martha Brae river rafting facility, pointing out all along the way, the history and points of interest. When we got to the facility, she took the lead, talking to the managers there telling them that we were VIPs and wanted to make sure that we received the best in service from them. She even went as far to personally talk to the raft captains, to ensure a pleasant trip.

She took us shopping and suggested several areas where we could receive the best merchandise as well as the best price. In each store, she took the lead to bargain with the merchants to get us a better price than even we had negotiated. Statements like, "Oh you can do better than that," or "No mon, I need your best price" were the norm. It didn't matter if it was a shopping area she picked or we picked, she was the same.

Since it was also my birthday, Patrice was working to help me find something that would wow me and make my day special. By the end of shopping, I still hadn't found that special gift for myself. During a rum tasting, Patrice suggested that I try a 25 yr old rum which was indeed one of the smoothest rums I have ever tasted. However, I was in no mood to pay the $60 for it. I'm just not that big a rum drinker. And with that, we went on to the next place. Every now and then, Patrice would ask me, "so you found anything to wow you yet?"

When it was time for lunch, the restaurant we picked out was quite crowded. Patrice said, "Wait here," and went in to talk to a restaurant manager. She soon returned and walked us to a table, ahead of everyone else. She then took our orders and went to the kitchen, a little while later, she returned with the food.

Patrice then took is on a tour of the Falmouth and Montego Bay ares, with stops at the White Witch Golf Club - a former plantation with breathtaking views, famous celebrity homes, tours of some upscale working class neighborhoods (an interesting contrast to the unfortunate neighborhoods with shacks you normally see along the roads), a trip to the former Dewers mansion which sits on a hill overlooking Montego Bay with a panoramic view of the city, and then drove some of of the crowded streets of Mongeo Bay. Everywhere we went, everyone seemed to know Patrice; managers, shop owners, people along the streets - everyone knows Patrice.

She watched over us like a mother hen, keeping an eye on us even when we split up and wandered off. For dinner, Patrice suggested, Chill-Out, a restaurant with great food, ambiance, and timed just right, a beautiful sunset. We ate dinner on the beach and never thought for a minute not to include Patrice. She had become a beloved member of our little group. Dinner was phenomenal, and the company spectacular. We, and Patrice, shared stories about one another and our previous trips to Jamaica. Toward the end of dinner, the waitstaff came to the table singing happy birthday to me and in their hands, they held the $60 bottle of rum Patrice had purchased for me as a gift. I was truly wowed by her compassion for her customer and her generosity.

Patrice was more than our driver. She was representative of all that's great about the Jamaican people. She is driven by a passion to deliver excellent customer service and provide an extraordinary experience to her clients. Patrice will drive all across Jamaica to meet her clients and usually has a waiting list of people who will only ride with Patrice. We now count ourselves in that group. Contact Patrice at 876-612-0120 or patbailey52@yahoo.com

Date of experience: April 2013
39  Thank Dgande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We were recently on a seven day cruise to the western Caribbean and went to Red Stripe beach as a shore excursion at Falmouth, Jamaica. Our driver told us that it is a new beach (~ 1 year old) and at first it seemed to be tucked away in a waste land of swamp and knocked-over trees! Once we entered the property and reached the beach proper, however, it was a Very cute little gem tucked away on the shoreline. Here's our impressions:

The Good: Pretty!
We arrived at opening and I saw the staff industriously raking the beach and making it free of twigs, seaweed, and other debris. The beach itself was probably about 150 yards overall with a beautiful view of the wooded and rocky shoreline in both directions. We were able to relax, enjoy or chosen beverages, and watch the massive cruise ships pass by, in the distance, on their way to the port! The water was nice and there were two lifeguards keeping a constant eye on the guests.
There was beach chair and floaty rentals, two cute little shacks for tourist swag and beach supplies, a bar/cafe, and clean toilet facilities. Later in the morning, local artisans come and sell their wares at the edge of the shoreline.

The Not-So-Good: Size
It is a small locale. Thankfully, we were part of the early arrivals and were able to get prime spots at the beach's edge with perfect views. The later arrivals ended up a row or two back and hemmed in by other visitors. To be fair, it is NOTHING like the crowded beaches we can all imagine from our Spring-break days! But the tight confines and relative crowding does detract from the relaxation. The lifeguards were very nice but in some ways trying too hard to be friendly for the sake of tips. As a result, it again became hard to relax. My wife finally twigged to the idea of putting a book over her face and pretending to rest until or host moved on to another family.

Overall:
I actually wish we had spent more time there! I know it doesn't sound great from the description, but it really was a Very Nice beach and they made a genuine effort to keep their guests happy and safe. It wasn't insanely crowded and it was, after all, Spring-break so I expected other families to flock to this excursion locale.

Tips/Suggestions:
I would definitely recommend arriving early so you can grab the prime real-estate at the shoreline! The food and drink is pricey but that's to be expected. Bring plenty of cash.

Date of experience: March 2013
24  Thank Raymond R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Went to Red Stripe Beach as a shore excursion. We were fortunate to be one of the first shuttles to the beach as it became very crowded for such a small beach. Not many places to put your beach chair you have to rent for $5 and as others came, the chairs were placed right next to yours. If you can, have them put your chairs close to the water as others come, their chairs will be placed behind you and not between you and water. Only stayed a short time due to the crowds. Beware of all the sea urchins that are on this beach too. If you can, spend a little more money for a better beach excursion.

Date of experience: March 2013
10  Thank DonkArizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

There are a lot of things to see and do in the port of Falmouth. However, I would recommend contacting a taxi can driver named Carlos (Courtney) and taking a five dollar per person trip to the nearest beach called Burwood. They water is clear and the beach is clean and somewhat secluded. The shops in and around Falmouth are nice as well.

34  Thank RickPerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Just returned from wonderful cruise to Jamaica and 2 other ports on the Carnival Magic... beautiful ship... we took the Rose Hall tour in Jaimaca... back in history, the mansion was ran by the "White Witch" , Annie Hall... and it was reputed to be haunted.... very informative.. plus they suppled a complimentary cocktail of "Witches Brew"... with or without the alcohol...
gorgeous flowers surround the mansion... best picture of the trip was of my wife smelling an exotic flower that i cannot pronounce the name ... let alone spell it !
am already planning another cruise... to Alaska !
yes, we love cruising... and if you travel at the right times of the year, it is very affordable...

Date of experience: March 2013
3  Thank gannsjigs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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