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_holly_25_ Sep 21st, 2003 09:34 AM

Another Jamaica question
Hi again. Because of recent safety issues in Negril we are thinking about changing this part of our itinery (we don't want to worry on our honeymoon). We fly into Montego Bay but would like to see the blue mountains and PA. I was thinking about a week in Treasure Beach and a week in PA. Or, dividing our trip between Treasure Beach, the blue mountains (Strawberry Hill looks awesome, but expensive), and PA. Our other option is to just stay in one are, i.e. treasure beach, or blue mountian/PA. Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance

tivertonhouse Sep 21st, 2003 11:36 AM

Holly--E-mail me for info on 5 Treasure Beach possibilities for you, all quite a bit less than Strawberry Hill....
[email protected]
If you're splitting the two weeks, would STILL recommend a week in Port Antonio/Blue Mts and then another in TB to give you totally different terrain/experiences, beach/mountain,etc.

steve Sep 21st, 2003 02:45 PM

can you please elaborate on the recent safety issues in Negril

atticus Sep 21st, 2003 03:14 PM

Last week a group of men armed with machetes and guns robbed a hotel and it's patrons in the wee hours of the morning. The take was reported at $50,000jamaican. There was a security gurd injured in a prior attack and then the group came back to rob and killed a gardner who apparantly tried to intervene. The tourists were unharmed and continued their vacation at a different hotel.

travleis Sep 21st, 2003 07:18 PM

And when was the last time this happened in Aruba, or Anguilla, or the BVI's, or Grand Cayman, or Barbados, or......?
The people who blindly defend Jamaica as if it is without crime problems baffle me.

atticus Sep 22nd, 2003 06:05 AM

In all the travel boards I visit, I have yet to see anyone post that Jamaica is crime free. Muchless, have I ever seen anybody post a "blind defense" of the island as being crime free. Point us to these posts. What is the url. If they exist, I will jump right in on the person and tell them they are wrong.

I find it hard to believe that someone can't walk along a beach in Jamaica without fearing for their safety. A few hundred thousand people do it every year. I have done it. Does that mean walk without being aware of your surroundings? I wouldn't walk on a beach in the Caymans or any other place and be unaware of what is going on around me.

Jamaica haters completely ignore the point being made. Crime happens everywhere. Certain places more than others. A beach in Negril is not Kingston anymore than a park in New York City is a park in Jasper, Tennessee, but you know what? Bad things happen in the park in Tennessee too. You name me one island (with 100,000+ each year) with zero crime for any of the last 3 three years, then I will no longer post a response when you try to dissuade people from visiting Jamaica because it is too dangerous.

babyblue78 Sep 22nd, 2003 07:04 AM

What hotel did this happen at??

Mary1 Sep 22nd, 2003 07:42 AM

It has the highest murder rate per capita of any Caribbean Island. You can not dispute this. However, you can relate your experiences. I agree that no-one is saying that Jamaica is crime-free but people do need the facts to help them decide. Would you say that most people go AI in Jamaica? I would like to visit Jamaica( my husband has worked there in the past in Kingston and found people there to be very hostile towards foreigners) but think I should go AI and just take organised excursions, for the sake of feeling safe.Also what would you advise Holly- from her previous postings I gathered that she was thinking of making her own way around the island. Could she do her new itinery and still find her own way from point A to point B? After all this is what the post is about!

travleis Sep 22nd, 2003 08:08 AM

My reference to people defending Jamaica is from past discussions on this (always controversial) topic.
The Jamaica defenders always seem to downplay the extent of the crime problem as if it's just a concern to overanxious, sheltered travelers.

babyblue78 Sep 22nd, 2003 08:29 AM

I usually do not get involved in the pro/con Jamaica fight (I love Jamaica, just returned from Negril in August...)
but I must comment on something here.

No one wants to be robbed, etc. while on vacation. However, many people get into trouble by showing no common sense (flashing cash, walking around in the middle of this night, etc.) You can get robbed in the US if behaving like this.

If people avoided every location due to some crime, no one would travel anywhere (including the US). There are murders, rapes, and robberies every day in the US. Foreign travelers to the US get accosted by punks and thugs for their money and belongings. Does that mean that the US is not safe???

Also, $50,000 Jamaican is not very much money. Using todays rates, (1 USD = 59.42 JMD) the take would be $841.47 USD. I realize that people were hurt/killed, and that is awful. However, people get killed for less than that working at a 7-11 in the US.

My 2 cents. Let the flaming begin.

travleis Sep 22nd, 2003 09:01 AM

No flaming necessary.
All very valid points.

The crux of the debate always seems to be that while some people feel the downsides of crime/risk in Jamaica are more than balanced off by the upsides of the beaches, beauty and ambience; others feel that they can find the same upsides elsewhere without the downsides.
But these are all gray issues, not black and white.

Mary1 Sep 22nd, 2003 09:02 AM

don't understand your ref to "only" $50000 Jamaican. I don't think the original point was about the money so much as the people killed.Still at least the robbers didn't get much!

liza Sep 22nd, 2003 09:23 AM

I think people expect beach vacation destinations to be different, somehow, than the rest of the world.

No one seems to say "avoid London" (or Paris or whatever) because of a report of a robbery or murder....we KNOW those things happen there and we take proper precautions.

There's something about a beach that seems to make people think nothing bad should ever happen, the real world isn't part of the picture...I'm not sure why that is, I guess it's the "escape from it all" idea we have on that sort of vacation.

My family travels to Jamaica about once a year, with our children and NOT to an AI. We rent cars or hire drivers and use the level of caution we use when visiting family in Oregon or NY, in fact a bit more, to allow for the fact that we are not in a familiar place and we don't know or understand all the customs.

I will certainly not lock myself up inside an AI resort because I'm afraid. Doing this is no guarantee anyway, I personally know of 1 rape that occurred in an AI and the perpetrator was another guest.

This robbery (at Falcon Cottages, a small guest house in the downtown area, for the person that asked), is about the third violent incident involving a tourist that I've heard of in Negril in the 6 years or so that I've been active in online Jamaica travel forums.

Considering that many thousands of tourists are there at any given time, I don't feel this is an excessively risky place to visit. It's true Jamaica (Kingston, mainly) has a very high crime rate but crime in tourist areas remains low (Kingston has 90% of the murders in Jamaica, leaving a rate for the rest of the island well below that of 138 US cities including the most violent one, New Orleans, and ones you wouldn't think of like Witchita Falls TX, Tucson AZ, Reading PA and even Salt Lake City.)

But everyone must do what makes them comfortable....if you are the type that will worry a lot over this, you probably shouldn't go.

sailor Sep 22nd, 2003 09:35 AM

This was a very, terrible tragic event that has happened in Negril. Loss of life over a senseless robbery is extremely upsetting to hear.

But as blueeyes78, has said this will and does happen world wide.

We have become immune to even paying attention to the crimes/robberies/murders that are happening on a daily basis, in and around our own communities and cities here in the US. We don't even listen anymore.

travleis, I think you give the impression that there island's that are safer? Where do I go? This week someone is putting bombs in mailboxes of a neighboring community of mine here in the States. Two children have already been hurt. Have you heard about this going on?

Just because things go unreported on other island's. Or because we have not heard the news, can give people the sense that these crimes are not happening on other island's. They do and will happen everywhere, including our own neighborhoods.

A good thread of posts is going on at under the active topics- Robbery Jamaica

Seems I shouldn't go to Anguilla anymore?;p=1#000011

Robin Sep 22nd, 2003 10:49 AM

The point is that crime happens more often in Jamaica then at many other caribbean islands. Are there safer choices, absolutely. Does crime only happen in Jamaica, of course not. But having been there, I plan to never go back. It's just not worth it. IMHO, their nice beaches along with SOME nice resorts is all they have to offer. Jamaica is not on my top ten list of great beach spots because of the poverty, drugs, and crime.

TomCayman Sep 22nd, 2003 10:52 AM

to sailor....yes, some islands are safer than others and have lower crime rates, some maintain their safety for visitors through heavy security measures.

As mentioned in other posts, I love Jamaica, but it does have a huge crime problem and one just has to take that into consideration.

Do you feel comfortable with the fact that all houses in Jamaica have to have "burglar bars" and that the people have to literally lock themselves in behind bars at night to feel safe....or that all resorts have to hire security guards in order to maintain some people that is not a problem, as already pointed out, if you are aware of your surroundings and act accordingly, you will likely have no more problems than in any major US city.

On the other hand, you may genuinely want to visit somewhere where there is a very low level of crime and the only reason some resorts have security guards at night is for the peace of mind of the guests....or in the case of our resort, to take our resident Cockatoo for evening walks :)

travleis Sep 22nd, 2003 11:05 AM

Sailor, your argument is silly hyperbole. Nothing more.

Condensed, what you're saying is that since crime exists everywhere, no one place is safer than another.

Jamaica is the most dangerous of the Caribbean islands.
Just admit that, then move on to the discussion of why you think its positive attributes outweigh the negatives. That's when the discussion becomes useful.

babyblue78 Sep 22nd, 2003 11:21 AM

Mary1, my point was that people get killed over much less in the US, and no one seems to get up in arms about that.

I agree that Jamaica has it's problems, and there are other islands that are most likely safer. It depends on what people are looking for in a trip. Some people want the exposure and experience of different cultures (the good along with the bad), while others want to sit on a beach with a drink with no worries.

No problem with either. To each their own.....

babyblue78 Sep 22nd, 2003 11:24 AM

Oops, hit reply to soon. Mary1, I also said that the killings were awful. Obviously human life is more important than money.

sailor Sep 22nd, 2003 11:37 AM

travleis, I am only responding to your post that follows: Message: And when was the last time this happened in Aruba, or Anguilla, or the BVI's, or Grand Cayman, or Barbados, or......?
The people who blindly defend Jamaica as if it is without crime problems baffle me.

I have no reason to defend or want to defend Jamaica. This is one of the only main islands in the Caribbean that I have not stayed on yet.

My point is when people state of safer islands only gives guests a false sense of security when you need to be cautious everywhere. Obviously!

What do you say to the poor woman from Florida that was assaulted and murdered recently in Anguilla? On a so called crime free island?

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