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did anyone else feel they were "fleeced" in Jamaica?

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by plainjane, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. plainjane

    plainjane Guest

    I could not believe this place. You were expected to pay an attendant a $1 for using the bathroom. These were not nice bathrooms guys-equal to a campground bathroom.

    These people had their hands out for everything. We took this tour to Dunn Rivers Falls. We knew we would tip the guide on the bus and bus driver. But we were espected to tip a guide at a park they took us to, tip this guy who dressed up silly for you to take his picture, (I didn't) and ofcourse tip the guides who help you up the falls.

    We paid $70 for this stupid tour but then were expected to tip everywhere we went-I imagine with tips we paid out this tour cost us a $100 a person at least.

    Then we bought some of the coffee so many raved about. $22 for one pound and heck I like Folgers better. Next time I want gourmet coffee I will buy it at my grocery store-at least $7 for Seattle's Best is a reasonable price!

    This was the worst island I have been to-if a ship I am on goes there again-I am staying on board ship. I do not liked being fleeced.
     
  2. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Plainjane,

    I am sorry you had such a bad experience. Jamaica is not one of our favorite islands either, but more because we feel unsafe there than for any other reason. They are sooooo poor compared to us that panhandling and trying to "earn" tourist dollars are a way of life and all many of them have to support their families. It does not make it more pleasant, but at least I understand why it is that way. I am confident most of them (if not all) would gladly trade places with you and me. I pass.

    Other Caribbean destinations that we have found not to our liking -- and where we are likely to stay on board during the port stop -- are Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Isla Margarita.

    Ted
     
  3. DarrellC

    DarrellC Guest

    These are just the kind of postings I want to see. I leave on the Rhapsody 12/10/06 and wanted some insight on the land excursions for Jamaica. I've heard it was kinda dangerous to roam alone over there AND didn't want to get fleeced like you did.

    Question is: Are there ANY excursions to be had in Jamaica where I'm paying these seemingly outragous prices?

    Any comments are appreciated.
     
  4. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Darrell,

    As I repled to Plainjane, above, Jamaica is not one of our favorite islands to visit, primarily because of the very poor and aggressive panhandlers, etc. But, the cost of excursions there is not any more expensive than elsewhere in the Caribbean in my experience. Are they a bit pricey? Maybe. But most of the ones I have done are worth the money if the experience is decent.

    Dunns River Falls is worth doing, despite the hastle, if your cruise is going to Ocho Rios. Any of them that do snorkling, wave runners, etc will be fun, since the Jamiacan beaches are as good as all but a few others in the Caribbean.

    If your cruise is landing in Montego Bay or Kingston, I wouldn't get off the ship. These two ports can be dangerous as far as I am concerned.

    Welcome to the boards.

    Ted
     
  5. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Oops! Double hit.

    Ted
     
  6. tll

    tll Guest

    We just got back from Jamaica, after reading some of the postings here I was very concerned. However, we had a great time, we did the canopy tour and loved it, the guides were great and made the tour really fun, yes we were expected to tip, however, we found that to be the case in every port. We also went shopping, mostly staying with the shops the ship recommended, and we didn't feel pressured at all. We received a lot more pressure in the market in Labadee, Haiti.
     
  7. jodymc

    jodymc Guest

    Just returned from a cruise which included a stop in Ocho Rios. This has been my favorite port and remains so. We booked to go to Dunns River Falls and had a tour before going to Margaritaville. Wished there was more time in port so that we could have also gone water tubing. Jamaica is quite poor and the people depend on tourist dollars to survive which may be why they can be quite aggressive.
    Go with a good tour guide and you should have no problems. I have gone with Trevor Hudlin now 2 times and he is great.
     
  8. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    Can anyone give me information on the canopy tour? Is it really physically difficult? If you have had past back problems, would you recommend not taking it?
     
  9. tll

    tll Guest

    The hardest part of the canopy tour is the walking (there are stairs to climb), the zip line itself was very easy. I have a friend who has had back surgery and she did a canopy tour in Puerto Vallerta and had no problems at all.
     
  10. mchtc

    mchtc Guest

    We're new members from Michigan who are hooked on "Princess". Will go on our next one Jan. 26 on the Crown.

    Have been to Jamaica 3 times and all you have to say is a polite, "no thanks". Other member is right tho - it is their way of feeding their families. We stayed there a week and found them to be very nice people.
     
  11. Xpose

    Xpose Guest

    I just got back from Jamaica and LOVED it!!!!! All you do is just say NO if you don't want to buy something. I highly recommend Phil Lafayette, who is a very knowledgeable local, for tours http://www.phil-lafayette-tours.com/

    . We had so much fun and it was one of my favorite islands. Yes, there are vendors at Dunns Falls, but just say NO. We did the Falls, river tubing (had a blast), a tour of Ocho Rios and some shopping--it was great and we want to go back and spend more time on the island!
     
  12. c&wvebes

    c&wvebes Guest

    Trevor Hudlin Tours - Recommendation for Ocho Rios, Jamaica

    Trevor Hudlin Tours - Recommendation for Ocho Rios, Jamaica
    by c&wvebes

    My husband Wayne and grown son David and I had a magic day for our tour of Ocho Rios, Jamaica due to the kindness and caring attention of Trevor Hudlin. Sept 12, 2007 was the best day of our cruise! I had contacted Trevor to arrange this through the Internet, due to a review by Tom Ogg in PortReviews.com. I just e-mailed him at trevorhundlin@hotmail.com, and he suggested a wonderful tour at a very reasonable price. Our experience was just as the review had describedâ€â€and really wonderful to experience for ourselves!
    Trevor met us where the boat landedâ€â€you can just mention Trevor Hudlin Tours to anyone, and they will point the way to him. He is polite, friendly, and immediately reassured us that he was as nice as he had sounded in his e-mails.

    He whisked us several miles away to Dunn’s River Falls, in his spotless air-conditioned 8-passenger van, ahead of the crowds. He narrated wherever we went, with lots of interesting details. We learned about the history and the people and the politics (there had just been an election.) They say of Jamaica that out of many peoples, they are one people, since they have many nations represented in their country.
    At Dunn’s River Falls, we discovered that we had to rent water shoes (our water thongs would not have worked on the smooth, slippery rocks!)

    It would have been better to buy water shoes for $20 on the ship instead of renting them for $15â€â€using up most of our cash. (We were so impressed with Trevor already that we had to save a tip for him). While Wayne watched from the nearby stairs, my son and I enjoyed 45 minutes of exciting, exhilarating, somewhat strenuous, and very memorable climbing through a rushing wall of water up to the top of Dunn’s Falls. We went up single-file, holding hands before and after, with young men reaching a helping hand to haul us up when the way was steep. These young men took my camera and took several pictures of us along the way. They also filmed a DVD of our little group climbing, which we could charge for $20â€â€worth it even though it’s repetitious.
    Shopping at the top of the Falls was also memorable. They said we could charge, so that encouraged us to shop. However, because we were charging, they said they couldn’t lower the prices. So we spent more than $100 on trinkets, T-shirts, etc. Some were nice art pieces, actually, but not really bargains. We worried too whether they would overcharge usâ€â€but they charges were just as expected.
    Then we were off to the next stop on our tripâ€â€tubing down the White River.
    Trevor took our picture, and we were off in large inner-tubes down a placid river, guided by a young man on a tube. He often put himself in harms way to push us away from the bank with scratchy branches. It was all green and serine. Then the rapids started, and we were glad that the inner tubes had fiberglass bottoms. We felt safe and just pleasantly jostled and excited. The young man did have his hands full guiding us all safely through. There were smooth passages and rough rapids for quite a long trip. About mid-way we stopped and saw pictures of ourselves on a preview screen with a computer set up in a wooden, covered structureâ€â€quite a site in the middle of nowhere. The pictures were good and inexpensive, but again we had no cash to purchase. So sad!
    With our two main exciting activities over, we were content to sit and watch the sites of Jamaica. We stopped at a roadside stand and Trevor bought us sugar cane and taught us how to chew itâ€â€delicious!
    We drove around the hills, stopping to take pictures of the ship from high above.
    Just driving was thrilling, because the roads are narrow, not in great shape, and everyone is on the wrong side of the road! We drove through Fern Gully, a narrow road through a tropical rain forestâ€â€very lush and scenic.
    To conclude our Jamaican adventure, Trevor located a good restaurant that would let us charge (the first one we stopped at had the charge set up broken). It was Mama Marley’sâ€â€yes, Bob Marley’s mother’s restaurant. We enjoyed jerk chicken and a tropical drink.

    We felt very fortunate to have found Trevor to be our guide. He also guides tours in Montego Bay; we’ll have to go back and see more of beautiful Jamaica.
     
  13. Calgon1

    Calgon1 Guest

    Don't travel/tour/wander Jamaica alone. Stick with legimite tour agencies. Yeah, more costly, but much cheaper than being robbed or extorted.
     
  14. spoheating

    spoheating Guest

    stick with a tour and you will be fine. WE love Jamaica, but it is a third world country with 30+% unemployment. People are pushy and desperate to sell their wares. Lots of people stay on the ship in Jamaica and enjoy having a lot of amenities to themselves.

    Try river tubing--there was no "native market" there.
     
  15. lynbopp

    lynbopp Guest

    I have upper back problems and did a canopy tour last week. I didn't have any problems with my back, but my flabby stomach muscles are quite sore from jumping and pulling myself up to hook onto the lines at each platform. Get going on those crunches now!
     
  16. Yes, I have the same feeling. We had a taxi take us around the island- big mistake. The driver only took us to places where
    he must have had an agreement with the locals there- everyone at every stop asked us for money or a tip of some kind. We never felt
    safe enough to really shop or sightsee, and the driver was constantly trying to move us along to the next stop on his "tour".
    I really think the ship sponsered tours are the way to go on this island!
     
  17. I have been to Jamaica; stayed 7 nights in an all-inclusive resort in MoBay...

    Did Dunn's River Falls, Canopy Tour, beach by horseback, Cliff Diving at Rick's Famous Cafe...and no problems...they are a bit pushy to buy things at their hut shops; but no means no...honestly; we found out when we said no; they moved to the next person...it's that simple.

    We ended up with some VERY good deals in Jamaica...Dunn's River was 33 dollars per person out of our Hotel (Holliday Inn Sunspree Resort), which included a tour guide, admission to park, and bus ride round trip...so consider doing it; OR Ricks Famous Cafe when you dock; it's really not all that bad.

    Except Kingston...DO NOT GO THERE...

    Other than that; these reviews are really giving Jamaica a bad rap; and I had 7 days of pure bliss with my wife while staying in Jamaica
     
  18. runningdeer

    runningdeer Guest

    You can't compare staying at an all inclusive, which is separated from the community to exploring a port-of-call. I have traveled/cruised the south pacific, as well as Mexico and central America, and the Caribbean. Jamaica (Ocho Rios) is not a pleasant stop. You are constantly solicited for drugs, and followed for "tips". It is not the only stop like this, but one of the worst. It is an unfortunate result of poverty, but caution and common sense need to be used when visiting here.
     
  19. pormond

    pormond Guest

    I don't want to ever go back to Ocho Rios! We were literally mobbed when we came out of the port. The locals were so aggressive and bold and the whole thing had an unsafe feel to it. I'd never experienced anything like it before and will not put our family in that situation again. We did end up hiring a taxi for the day. Only because the taxi driver came to our rescue, and got the mob to leave us alone. He did show us some sights and was very knowledgeable. However, he must of had an agreement with the vendors at the sights. Every time we turned around someone was asking for or expecting money. We were never so glad to leave a port as we were with Jamaica. Big disappointment. In the future I will either avoid itineraries with Jamaica or stay on the ship.
     
  20. Rperini3

    Rperini3 Guest

    I have been reading a lot of post on Jamaica and think we will be suntaning on the ship.
     

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