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Jamaica is not that bad

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by Tamarah, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Tamarah

    Tamarah Guest

    I am not sure why everyone is bashing Jamaica. I understand that there are extremely "pushy" vendors that just needs to be told "no thank you". No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. As in any culture there are people who are in society only to do bad things...like trying to sell people drugs....

    Well I am from Jamaica, so I know both the good ones and the bad ones. I, like everyone else wish to go to Jamaica and enjoy myself and not be bothered by some of those pests. I have to say however, that no one should be scared to go there. As in any country you have to be smart....crime happens EVERYWHERE...News Flash!!!

    Please do not bash my country, because I had the opportunity to grow up there and know that it is one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean.

    Also, I am going on my first cruise on Aug. 3rd Voyager of the Seas. I AM SOOOOOOO EXCITED I CAN'T WAIT....one of the stops is JAMAICA. Have not been there in 7 years!!!

    Anyone going on this cruise?? Voyager of the Seas (aug. 3 - aug 10)
  2. elmorejj

    elmorejj Guest

    I totally agree with you Tamarah. I have pleasant memories of my times in Jamaica. All you have to do to pushy vendors (who are on other Islands too!) is be polite and say no thanks. I prefer Mo Bay for shopping and friendly people and Ocho Rios for touring. Enjoy your cruise and have a great homecoming....jean
  3. I'm going to Jamaica in December for the first time and I can tell you I can't wait. I don't listen to the bashers. There is always someone who has negative things to say. I've heard many good things about Jamaica. I'm glad to hear that you are getting the chance to go back to visit.
  4. Cruzman

    Cruzman Guest

    Jamaica is truly a beautiful island! Most criticise Jamaica because of the very agressive street vendors and even beggars who do not know how to take no for an answer. I have a handicapped child who has been taken advantage of by some of these people. They ask her name, when she responds they immediately engrave some trinket with her name and then insist that she has bought the item. This is just one example of the kind of behavior that turns many people off.
  5. Cruise_fly

    Cruise_fly Guest

    Hi Tamarah,

    Jamaica does have many beautiful attributes. That is why many people travel there, despite the negative points. Please don't call me a "basher", however.

    My comments are only based on my experiences there. There are many Caribbean ports of call where I would take a cab and do my own thing and feel safe doing it. Jamaica is not one of them. When in Jamaica, I will stick with experienced and trustworthy tour guides. There are many con-men and criminals that freely roam the streets looking to take advantage of unwary tourists.

    Happy Travels!
  6. ginny

    ginny Guest

    I enjoyed Jamaica and really did not see the people as any more pushy to sell their things than they were in some of the other islands we have visited. We walked around where we were warned not to go in town near the pier and met some really nice people that talked with us, not trying to sell drugs or anything but maybe a tour of the island and they were very proud of thier island too and curious about our country. We were only able to do this for a couple of hours because we had booked a tour and had to go back to the ship to meet the tour. (Went by yacht to the falls and snorkeling a reef nearby) I wasn't too crazy about the falls, that water is just too cold for this Florida girl. The snorkeling is just fair not even good, water quality must be poor because the reef was dead, not dying but dead. Still fish around but not plentiful and the coral was only some soft corals, the hard corals were all dead. It's such a shame, that other islands nearby (Grand Cayman for example) have such wonderful reefs, vibrant and alive and Jamaica's are so poor. It's a beautiful lush green country. Enjoy your trip back. :)
  7. Kathy

    Kathy Guest

    I'm with you ,Tamarah. Jamaica is one of our favorite ports. We find the people to be warm and friendly and very eager to tell you about their country. Of course, as on most islands, there are pushy vendors but we have always found a firm, polite "no thank you" keeps them away. The majority of the people are very kind and they depend on tourists for much of their livlihood so they want you to leave with a good impression.

    We have no problem hiring a taxi and going out on our own in Jamaica. We have done it many times and had nothing but wonderful, positive experiences - once even being taken to the taxi driver's home for lunch and to meet his family.

    As others have mentioned, you will always find those who have something negative to say but I find your island beautiful and the people wonderful.

    Enjoy your cruise!

  8. Tamarah

    Tamarah Guest

    Thanks Kathy.

    I am sooo excited about this trip I can concentrate at work...lol....I think I might have bought too much stuff to take with me....lol....Anyway I cant wait to go to Jamaica and to see the other ports also. I have booked with Peat in Jamaica since everyone has said so much good things about him...
  9. Cruise_fly

    Cruise_fly Guest

    Hi Tamarah,

    I am actually really excited for you and interested to hear you perspectives on going back to Jamaica after being gone for 7 years. Please give us a trip review when you return home!

    I hope you have a fabulous vacation!
  10. LovetheSea

    LovetheSea Guest

    We will be going back to Ocho Rios for the second time on the Mariner of the Seas. I am a little hesitant. We had a bad experience there a few years back. After going on an excursion to Dunn River Falls we decided to take a cab to the shops. We were told on the ship NOT to go to the straw market. That it was not safe. When we got into the cab we told him to take us to the shops but NOT the straw market. ( it was farther away than the shopping area we wanted to go to ) He became enraged that we were warned against it by the ship staff. He ranted and raved and yelled all the way to the straw market and dropped us off . I was with my elderly Mom and he scared us to death! We just got out of the cab wanting to be away from this maniac! So we were basically kidnapped! Taken somewhere without our permission. I was furious. We walked back to the shopping area and took a cab with a lady cab driver back to the ship. This trip I will stay with the excursion and not go shopping at all. Jamaica is a beautiful place and it is a shame that some ruin it for everyone. As far as pushy venders. The worst I have found were in Barbados, St. Lucia, Cancun, and Cozumel.. You just have to be polite but FIRM. I read a review recently that a woman was at Labadee and the venders were grabbing her arm and pulling her into their shops! Don't ever let them grab you. She also had to call a security guard to get them to give all her change back to her.
  11. jorene

    jorene Guest

    we went off on our own, rented a cab and explored on our own, We had been told about the aggressive vendors and thought we could take care of ourselves.2 times during our day both my husband and myself thought we would die in Jamaica,I am a 6 foot woman and my man is a big guy too and the vedors did not hesitate to seperate us. I was shoved into the very back of a shanty that was a narrow long dark hut, I truly felt trapped, and the vendors only let me out after we traded all the money in my pocket for a wood carving, when I did get out my husband frantically looking for me told me that the vendor hounding him TOLD HIM that he had to buy something for me,fourtunatly I had just given ALL our money to the vendor that trapped me. We were not hurt, but we were scared. Our cab driver also took us to the poorest part of town, we thought for sure he's gonna get us out of sight and rob us, but he did not, thank god,we also survived the drive.so in the end the adventure was fun.
    People were nice too, not everyone was a pushy vendor,
    we were told ahead of time several things that helped...
    we did not wear any jewlery
    I wore my long hair in braids( people would pull you by the hair so they could braid 4u)
    I kept all the money 1/2 in my pocket 1/2 in my bra
    and try real hard not to let people seperate you, go in a larger group than we did(2)
    we told our driver that we won our cruise on the price is right and that we really couldnt afford a nice trip like this.
    when we got back on board we thought about our day and in hindsite we had fun, the challenge of the day was thrilling, most of the people were great,the few that scared us really did leave a strong impression,but we met more than them on our journey.
    always havin fun
  12. Tamarah

    Tamarah Guest

    That is such a shame what you experienced in Jamaica. I would have been scared as well even though I am from there. Just don't let one bad experience from one individual ruin your views of the island.
  13. Tamarah

    Tamarah Guest

    Wow sounds like you went to some remote parts of South America and you were in a jungle. You totally make Jamaica sound like a bad dream, and you are totally wrong! You need to say NO. Your money is your money. Just because someone says you have to buy something does not mean you have to. Also, why are you venturing out is a foreign country by yourself. That was not smart at all.
  14. diana b

    diana b Guest

    My daughter and I will be on the same cruise. We are so excited and can't wait. we are trying to figure out what excursions to take. I found a site, shoretrips.com that has some nice looking trips and I've read good things about them. What do you think of the Martha Brae river trip?
  15. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    I will be going to Jamaica for the first time next month and after the things I've heard, I will definitely be careful and aware (as I would anywhere). I may be a little more careful in Jamaica because of some of the experiences of some of the posters here, but it won't dissuade me from having a good time. I am looking forward to our tour of the falls and the other sites w/Peat Taylor, but I don't think I'll do much shopping other than finding my customary magnet. Not because of the pushy vendors.....I've been all over western Mexico, and if I can handle the beach vendors and the kids selling gum there, I know I can handle the ones in Jamaica. I am a bit afraid of them touching me and trying to pull me....I've heard that happens a lot.

    I realize there is crime and "bad people" everywhere, but I think this is one time when I'd rather not take too many chances. I am very glad that our ship stops in Jamaica....the Western Caribbean is an itinerary I've wanted to try for years. There are ports that I think I WOULD feel safe going out on my own, but Jamaica is not one of them. Thank goodness for Peat!

    Tamarah....by the time I finish this post, you'll probably be on the ship at the welcome buffet....I hope you had a wonderful time!! Remember when you read these posts that no one is trying to bash your country.......they are just trying to share experiences and give advice to those of us who haven't had those experiences yet!!
  16. negril-lover

    negril-lover Guest

    As you can tell by my name, I love Jamaica. But, I haven't been to the ports. I vacation in Negril one week almost every year, since my daughter turned 8 (she's now 15) I've been taking her with me. And she fell in love with the place as well. Jamaica has a "vibe" that's hard to describe. And perhaps, you can't get it by being there for just a few hours. They absolutely adore children. If your cruise stops in Montego Bay, I highly recommend having a driver take you to Negril for the day. With the new road finished, it's only about a one and half hour drive. I promised my daughter a Western Caribbean cruise as a high school graduation gift so that we can experience another part of Jamaica - Ochi.

    It really bothers me that the vendors in Ochi & MoBay are so aggresive because it really hurts it's reputation. Stay away from them and you'll be okay. I'm not saying that people don't try to sell you things in Negril, but a simple "no thank you" is all you need. And there aren't swarms of them after you, unless you go to the craft market and when I go there, I know what to expect, but no one has ever yanked me into their booth.
  17. p.g.

    p.g. Guest

    Tamarah , you sound very defensive, don't completely disregard other peoples opinions, They don't make up stories to offend you. I have travelled in many places, including Greece( where they also try and solict your patronage when you get off the ferries.)and I also found the Jamaican venders to be VERY aggresive and some of them DO try and intimidate you.As for going to Negril that doesn't count as you are enclosed in resorts that supply your every need. One thing is for sure though Jamica is by far the prettiest caribbean island I have been on, so lush and green!
  18. negril-lover

    negril-lover Guest

    p.g. -- What you said is not true about being enclosed in Negril. I have been to Negril 8 times and never stayed in an all inclusve hotel. There are about 6 all-inclusive resorts in Negril and hundreds that are not. You don't get a feel for the culture and the town by staying in an AI. I would never stay in an AI in Negril, you could be anywhere.

    There are indivdually-owned hotels all along 6-mile beach and many on the cliffs. I stay at different hotels, I dine all over town at some upscale restaurants, but mostly at small inexpensive ones with great Jamaican food. I'd get so bored eating the same thing every day at an AI. I walk the beach a mile or more every day. There are beach bars all along the beach with live reggae music every night. Most of the hotels on the beach have security guards and if you are being hassled, they run them off. And if you went to Negril for the day, you can lay out at almost any of them and they don't care. They don't even charge your for using their chairs. If there's anyone who is ever interested in a day trip like this, let me know and I can suggest a few places you might enjoy lounging for the day. Or if you want, you can take a boat ride for $20 pp or parasail for $40 pp.

    If you don't believe me, check out www.negril.com and click on "Places to Stay." I think there's only one AI listed. Read the message board -- there are hundreds of people who feel the way I do.
  19. ALK

    ALK Guest

    I have been going to Negril every year for more than 13 years. I count the days until my next visit. I fell in love with the beautiful beaches, the wonderful people, the food, the music, the sunsets-need I go on. We rent a car and drive to Negril from Montego Bay. We love driving around the countryside going to the many wonderful attractions such as Lover's Leap, Ys Falls, Black River and of course the Appleton Rum Factory. We also enjoy going to Negril restaurants along the beach and on the cliffs. Yes the vendors can be agressive-but I have learned to say no thankyou and be firm. Yes it can be intimidating. I remember leaving the straw market in Negril with a dreadful headache from the multitude of vendors pleading with me to "have a look". Shopping at the straw market is not for the faint-hearted. But there are always alternative places to shop.

    There are pushy people and people that will take advantage of you everywhere. I also suspect that these people particularly thrive on cruise passengers. The visitor is there for a short time, limiting the opportunity to get your business. It also limits the potential repercussions of inappropriate actions since they know you are not going to miss your ship. I think that a visit to a port via cruise while enjoyable is much different than making that town/location your vacation destination. It is just a taste. It is almost like venturing out of an all inclusive resort/compound for the day. You do not really get the flavor.

    I hope that some of you will come to Negril and give my Jamaica another chance. But please don't come all at the same time. I love the quiet beaches and don't want to have to make restaurant reservations. Happy cruising
  20. negril-lover

    negril-lover Guest

    ALK, looks like we both caught the Negril fever. I agree with everything you said. You did a great job of wording it well. The straw market is quite an experience. I've only gone once. I do my shopping downtown at Coral Seas plaza and on the beach at Times Square -- no hassles from anyone. One of my Jamaican friends mentioned that it would be cool if there was a cruise ship port in Negril because that would bring in more buisness. No, No, No!! I don't want that. I hope that never happens.

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