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Jamaica (Falmouth & Ochos Rios)

By John Sage

Jamaica Disabled Access Review Jamaica disabled access presents some of the biggest challenges of any of the Caribbean islands I have visited.  Mountains, steep wheelchair ramps, and rough terrain are a few of challenges that disabled visitors will need to deal with.

Even though there are accessibility challenges, there are still many accessible Jamaica shore excursion options including an island driving tour, swimming with the dolphins, or visiting a historic plantation.

I was tempted to give Jamaica disabled access 4 Star Sage Accessibility Rating because the island has wheelchair accessible vans, but I couldn’t quite do it.  There are hills at almost all the tourist attractions, so I gave it a 3 Star Sage Accessibility Rating instead.


View Jamaica accessible shore excursions


Best Aspects of Jamaica Disabled Access

Can experience the coast, mountains, and Jamaican culture in a single day – Cruise passengers who spend a day in Jamaica don’t have to limit themselves to a single region or experience.  You can easily visit a historical plantation in the mountains before swimming with the dolphins or visiting an accessible beach.  And don’t forget to try the Jamaican cuisine!

Accessible beach Accessible beach


Accessible port exits – Both Falmouth (shown on the left) and Ochos Rios (shown on the right) have accessible exits to the cruise pier and cruise port.  I haven’t had a chance to personally inspect Montego Bay yet.  Sign up for our newsletter and I’ll let you know when the photos are uploaded. 

Falmouth Ochos Rios


Multiple cruise ports mean multiple visits–It’s a good idea to visit Jamaica more than once before you check it off your list. 3 different cruise ports mean you can take 3 different excursions visiting 3 different parts of the country.

No tenders at any of the 3 ports – Unlike Grand Cayman and Belize, cruise passengers will love that the Jamaica disabled access scene doesn’t include any cruise tenders.  Cruise ships at piers mean you can easily get ashore.


Worst Aspects of Jamaica Disabled Access

Mountainous IslandMountainous Island – Jamaica is one of the most mountainous islands that I have visited in the Caribbean.  It is much more hilly than flat islands like Cozumel, Freeport, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Key West,  It’s even more mountainous than hilly islands like Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Most of the popular tourist attractions have steep hills or steep ramps.

None of the major attractions are within walking distance of the ports – To reach the top attractions in Jamaica you will need to book private transportation.  There are no accessible public transportation options available.

Heavy accent – Although English is one of the two languages here, the accent can be so thick that it can be difficult to understand.

Swim with the Dolphins is not as accessible as other ports – While disabled visitors might be able to swim with the dolphins in Jamaica, it’s not a wheelchair friendly as other swim with the dolphins locations.

Wheelchair ramps can be very steepWheelchair ramps can be very steep – Jamaican wheelchair accessibility standards are either not well-defined or not well-enforced, and I have seen many Jamaica wheelchair access ramps at Shaw Park Gardens, Dunn River Falls (shown on the left…the photos doesn’t do the steepness justice), and the Great House at Good Hope that are much steeper than US and Canadian standards. 



View Jamaica accessible shore excursions