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HELP!!! I"ve heard conflicting things about Montego BAY...

HELP!!! I"ve heard conflicting things about Montego BAY...

Aug 29th, 2002, 07:48 AM
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HELP!!! I"ve heard conflicting things about Montego BAY...

As I posted earlier, my boyfriend and I (we are in our mid 20's) are planning a trip to Montego Bay. We are planning to stay at one of the all inclusive resorts hotels such as the Wyndham Rose Hall. Many people have told us we should reconsider going to MO Bay. It has been said it is unsafe, dirty, and that we will not have a good time if we go. What are your honest opinions on Montego Bay? I understand everyone has opinions, but I'd like to hear both good and bad comments. What I don't want to do is spend money on a vacation and have a bad time. I'd like to make as much of an informed decision as I can...Your comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated, Thank you.
Aug 29th, 2002, 07:57 AM
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My opinion is that young people who have travelled little can have a great time in MoBay.
The more you travel, the older you get, the less you'll like it.
It's a great place to start out.
You don't want to hang out in the Greek Isles, Bora Bora and the Gold Coast of Australia in your 20's or you'll have nowhere to step up to as the years pass.
Aug 29th, 2002, 10:43 AM
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My wife and son and I spent a week at the Wyndham Rose Hall a few years ago. It is about 10 miles from the city of Montego Bay, on a large, fenced property that is partially surrounded by a golf course.

Montego Bay itself is a large city that does pose some safety issues. My recommendation is that you limit your city time to daylight hours and the Gloucester Ave. area, which is the main tourist "strip."

Some tourists do venture into town after dark (there are some clubs there) and as far as I know, most of them survive the experience.

There are several other all-inclusives that are also located several miles from MoBay. Some (e.g. Jack Tar) are right in town.

The beach at the Wyndham is adequate but while we were there the water was rough and turbid. We found much better swimming and snorkeling conditions at Doctor's Cave Beach in MoBay. There is an admission charge and that keeps the riff-raff out.

We chose Jamaica largely because it was a less expensive destination than most other Caribbean islands. It's also larger and more scenic than most islands. We had a great time. However, it is NOT a good place to explore on your own. Also, when you venture off your gated hotel property, you will be besieged with solicitations of various sorts. This is annoying but tolerable, in my opinion.

If cost is a factor, don't hesitate to visit Jamaica. Sure I'd rather spend a week on St. Bart's, Virgin Gorda, or St. John, but I haven't won the lottery yet.

Aug 29th, 2002, 10:49 AM
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Bill, come on, what kind of response is that? Sooooooo because they are in their twenties they shouldn't research and find the best possible trip for themselves. I am only 35, but am so grateful that I have researched my trips thoroughly. Not all twenty somethings are a bunch of party South Padre wanna be's.
Val-------good for you, you do the research, read all the posts and plan the best possible trips, may every trip be the best one and may they only get better!!!!!!!!!!! Just because you're twenty doesn't mean you can't go to Greece or Bora Bora.
Safe Journey, from one that has traveled extensively since a young age and traveled well!
Aug 30th, 2002, 06:33 AM
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Mobay can be a fun place if you know where to go. There are gudebooks that you can pick up at your hotel or at the Tourist office on Gloucester Avenue (Cornwall Beach). The Doctors' Cave Beach is a beautiful beach and there's also a cool little grill-restaurant there as well called the groovy Grouper. The Aqua Sol Beach is another fun area.
Make sure to check out the Ritz Club House - amazing view!!!And great food! It's located in teh Rose Hall area.
You can also go rafting either in Trelawny - which is about 15 minutes from Mobay.There are also several sugar plantation tours available which you could check out - if that's your speed. There's a submarine like thing that does a "tour" of the ocean floor. It leaves from Gloucester Avenue as well.
There are also ATV tours of the Rose Hall hills - I just did that a couple of weeks ago and saw just how beautiful Montego Bay really is! The view is spectacular!!!!
Margaritaville is a must and so is Coral Cliff. It's a casino type setting that has two restaurant and it has a live band on most nights and jazz on at least two nights per week.
If you're going to be in Mobay I would recommend that you not stay so far out of town. The Wyndham Hotel is kind of far...instead I would try the Sandals Inn or Breezes Montego Bay - a Super Clubs Resort. Even Sandals Montego Bay is a lot closer to the town than Wyndham. Can't testify to the rooms at either of these places but can tell that the food is good and the service is great.
Anyway...I live in Mobay and as such I can speak from first hand experience about all these things. If you want to e-mail me with more questions please feel free.
Have fun wherever you decide to go and as usual be safe.
Aug 30th, 2002, 07:30 AM
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Get a clue.
Read more carefully.
My statement was that most people evolve in their travels. When people are younger and typically have less money, the first few pretty decent places they go open up new doors and seem amazing.
As time passes and people learn more about their own tastes and get more money and freedom, usually their travel patterns evolve.

This is the point: if at 20 years of age you start out with trips to the world's best places and stay at hotels which cannot be topped, what will you have to aspire to later?
It's fun to have things to look forward to and to grow in your travel experiences.

Kids who are given the best of everything from birth don't usually appreciate or enjoy their own accomplishments as much as those who 'climb the ladder' on their own.

You rarely find the world's most discriminating travellers flocking to Jamaica. Jamaica has many great attributes. But it's position in the hierarchy of most desirable travel destinations is somewhere in the middle to upper third IMO. It's not Bali or Bora Bora. (But it's sure not Dollywood, either).
Aug 30th, 2002, 08:14 AM
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You'll have a great time. My husband, young son and I went about a year ago. While there are families at the resort, there is always a large group of couples/singles. A relatively recent addition is the "water park" (slides, lazy river) which is right next to the swim up bar. We thought the location was nice - not right next to the airport and a very short cab ride into town.

Mo Bay is a nice option, especially if you are on a shorter trip. Negril and Ocho Rios travelers are greeted with a 1 1/2 hour car trip when they arrive at the airport. If you do want to see other parts of the island, take a tour to Dunns River Falls or up to the Mountains.

Have a great time!
Aug 30th, 2002, 08:16 AM
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I have been to Mo Bay in 99 and we styaed at Sandals Montego Bay. Loved it!!! We didnt leave the resort at all and had a wonderful time. Last year we went to Sandals Negril had a wonderful time. This time we did the day trips that are planned from the resort so you go with groups of people. We went horseback riding, and Ricks Cafe. We also stayed at Wyndham Rose Hall two nights. It is a very nice hotel. I don't know what kind of activites they have to keep you entertained for 6 days. On Sep 3rd we are going back and staying at Couples Negril for 6 nights and back to Sandals Montego for two nights. We plan on making Jamaica a yearly trip. We enjoy it very much. Our first trip to Jamaica we were we were 25.
Aug 30th, 2002, 09:47 AM
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Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply and reply honestly. As far as Bill's response I didn't take any offense to it at all. I'd still very much enjoy hearing from others and I'm taking all your suggestions into thought. Thanks for all your help once again.
Aug 30th, 2002, 11:16 AM
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My last trip to Montego Bay was for a conference two years ago and it was great. We stayed at Half Moon Bay which in itself is like a little village. I have to say that I had no concern for my safety during the trip, although I will say that once I was off the hotel property, I was in the company of a local Jamaican friend - I don't know if that changed anything but he took me all over the place and I felt very relaxed and had a good time. All I will say is do not leave your common sense at home - the precautions that you would take at home you would take equally while on vacation in Mo Bay - no more no less - Do not throw caution to the wind and think that anything goes - be vigilant but not obsessive about your safety and well being.
Aug 31st, 2002, 09:58 AM
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Bill, I disagree with your statement about discriminating travelers not going to Jamaica...if you visited places like Tryall and Round HIll and Portland-the Trident Hotel for example- or the Blue Mountains-Strawberry Hill- you'd perhaps rethink that statement...but whatever...I suppose you can only speak from your experience.

Mobay is a decent place to vacation in Jamaica. It's where the major airport is and as such your hotel is never far away. It's a small city and so getting from place to place is pretty easy.
I agree with JAGIRLThe Ritz Club house is a must if you go to Mobay...good food...EXCELLENT VIEW!! It sits on the almost brand new White Witch Golf Course - excellent if you play golf!
Wyndham is a nice hotel-if you have a playfyul side (like me) you'll love the water slides! Lots of fun! It's not in the heart of town but it's easy to get to. YOu can't walk - it's too far- but it's maybe only about 10-15 minutes by car.
The Doctor's Cave is a really nice beach and it's right on the "Hip Strip". Make sure to go to "Tapas" restaurant. It's also located on teh Hip Strip on a little road called "Corniche Road" I think. The atmosphere is quite romantic and teh food is pretty good. Also make sure to pay a special visit to "The House Boat". It's a floating restaurant(literally)-make reservations first though. It's in the Freeport area.
YOu cannot go to Jamaica and not have local food. And one of the best places to find such food is the Native Restaurant or the Pelican restaurant where you will find the national dish-ackee-and saltfish as well as other local dishes that are quite tasty! Other cool night spots to hang out are Margaritaville, Coral Cliff, The Brewery and The Groovy Grouper (on the beach.
You should definitely try to do a side trip to Ocho Rios and visit the Island Village. It's a souvenir haven! And you won't get hassled in this village. I would stay away from the craft markets in both Mobay and in Ocho Rios as they can be quite a hassle. But if you do go there don't worry about your safety. No one will rob you or try to harm you. They're just "assertive salesmen and women". Just be prepared to not take the first price as the final price. BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN!!!
Also worth a side trip is Negril.
Like any "urbanised" area in the world, Montego Bay has its good areas and its bad areas. It's not perfect and as such you do need to exercise the usual caution -i.e. don't advertise that you are walking with loads of US$ and don't take stupid chances. In other words, if you wouldn't think of doing it in New York, don't necessarily think of doing it anywhere else. Hope you have a great trip!!

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