Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville sits in a prime location in Montego Bay and is a popular tourist spot for those disembarking from a cruise ship or going to Montego Bay for a quick excursion.
And just like any other tourist hot-spot, there is a a mix of good and bad and Margaritaville is no different. Margaritaville is a restaurant and bar for the most part with a few activities to attract tourists right by MoBay's HipStrip - a collection of tourist venues, bars and restaurants.
The food here is going be much more expensive than your local restaurant or bar in Jamaica. And because this is a tourist destination the food is made fast and without much care. Think fast-food Jamaican style. But don't expect anything traditional. This is American food.
Drinks are also priced high and be aware of the venders and friendly personalities walking around the large patio. They may be dressed up and present your children with a Jamaican flag - welcoming them to the island. Once your child takes the mini-paper flag and you snap a picture - guess what? They want compensation. Usually about $5 but here is a tip: you don't owe them nothing. Give back the flag and thank them. And unlike beach vendors these sellers know they cannot harass you, they smile and thank you back. But by all means, if you want to keep the flag as souvenir and the picture is worth it, give the man a tip.
The patio and the seating does get very crowded so be aware especially around sunset when the skies fill with brilliant orange and gold that reflects on the Caribbean Ocean.
We have been to Magaritaville twice, both dropped off as part of an excursion that gave us minimal time to enjoy. There is access to the ocean here two ways, one is a dock and the other is a waterslide.
The waterslide drops you down 120 feet into the ocean at a good speed. It is the quickest way down and in, but I don't recommend it. The slide is not a standard waterlside and is made of metal. The welds are not that good and there are several bumps along the way that can skin you.
The easiest way, and safer way, is to take the stairs down to the dock. Here you can swim and dive in the water to cool down but our favourite activity was to swim out to the on ocean-water park. It is a combination of floating obstacles and bouncing devices that is incredible fun.
Keep in mind the water park is actually a little ways from the main dock and ladder so you have to be a good swimmer and little ones must be able to swim on their own in ocean waves and currents. Also note there are no life guards on duty.
If you are staying in a Montego Bay Resort there is free transportation to and from the venue for four or more guests. On most evenings and weekends there is also free live entertainment.
If you want to visit Montego Bay's Margaritaville they stand out considerably with a bright colored sign on Gloucester Ave.
Most excursion companies such as Catamarans, bus tours and cruise lines add this on to the tour because it is a good place to dock, add more excitement and also because the restaurant pays them to do so. You will spend money on food and drinks and it pads their tour offering. Keep in mind, however, it depends on the tour and tour company. They may give you 20 min or a few hours. It is best to ask ahead to make sure you are getting exactly what you want.
Below are some amazing Jamaican Tours and Excursions. Some of which take you to Margaritaville in Montego Bay: