We paired this cruise with a morning Dolphin excursion in Negril during our trip in May 2015. Many thanks to our driver, Dexter, from Book Jamaican Excursions.COM. If you use this company, request Dexter. I assure you that you will be more than happy with your excursion. If you cross paths with Dexter, tell him I sent you.
We made it to Margaritaville in the later afternoon and were able to enjoy the Negril beach before our sunset cruise. We found the water to be noticeably warmer than in Mobay or Ocho Rios, which was very interesting. Margaritaville was hopping. It was crowded and loud. I guess I actually expected something a little sleepier and laid back which was not the case. We ate and things did not seem to be too out of hand as far as prices go but don't expect any bargains! The food and service were good. The place just seemed a little too trendy for me and I guess I should have expected it.... Maybe I'm just getting old.
It soon became time to board el Tortuga for the sunset cruise. Early in the cruise you have an opportunity to snorkle when they anchor off of a reef. It was a great snorkeling experience and quite lengthy, but felt like I could have snorkeled longer. Beer and rum are available thereafter as you enjoy the cruise to Ricks Café. Expect loud contemporary reggae and dancing if that's your thing. It was a lot of fun.
As we got closer to Rick's Café, the only rain we experienced the entire nine days in Jamaica started. I believe ordinarily, you would expect to jump off the boat and swim a very short distance to the railing and sea stairway leading to the stairs up the cliff to Rick's café. Weather and other boats did not permit this so a tiny boat was used to transport us to the stairs to Rick's Café. It was pouring rain but still enjoyable. Take time if you can to watch the cliff divers if you can. The cliffs are high and there is an even higher wooden platform to jump from accessible only by a nearby tree. We watched a member of our crew jump from that platform in the pouring rain and it was quite awesome. It was really crowded at Ricks and well let's say at least I can say I've been there.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It's a great way to see the Negril coast and experience the Negril sunset. We got lucky, the rain stopped and we were able to get just a glimpse of that famed Negril Sunset. Although it wasn't exactly as I would have liked due to the weather, we were able to capture and enjoy a semi-Negril sunset.
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