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It can be a strange and quirky place, Ocho Rios after dark. Dominated more than any other town in Jamaica by the cruise ship industry, its population swells during the day with foreign visitors, most of whom ship out just before dark, leaving the locals to fend, romantically speaking, for themselves. The result is a quirky set of nightclubs that range from the raw to the very very raw. Here, below, is a selection of some of the tamer choices. Those that we considered too edgy (but visited anyway), we deliberately didn't include. Nor, alas, did we include a detailed description of a club that we've enjoyed in the past, Jamaica'N Me Crazy, within the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa. Despite its hot music and allure, it lies within an all-inclusive resort, with all the attendant difficulties for a non-resident to talk his or her way inside.

An alternative and somewhat more sanitized way to spend the early part of an evening involves signing up for a sunset cruise before dinner. Sunsets in this part of the world often evoke the color of peach melba. In operation since 1986, and one of the largest sailboat companies on the island, the best cruises are offered by Heave-Ho Charters, 180 Main St. (tel. 876/974-5367; www.heavehocharters.com). These early evening cruises cost US$60 per person.

The Sports Bar at the Little Pub Restaurant is open daily from 10am to 3am.

BiBiBips has a hopping bar and live bands on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.