~Jamaica~ How is it there?

Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 05:51 PM
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~Jamaica~ How is it there?

I am planning go to go Jamaica (Beaches Negril) during the last week of March. Has anyone else been there during that time? How is Negril overall? Any critism or praises of the place would be appreciated.
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 06:39 PM
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We love Negril its been our favorite place. beaches is a great resort good food, wonderful staff and great beach.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 06:42 AM
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Be advised that there seem to be only 2 views of Jamaica, the polar north and south.

My wife and I travel extensivly in the islands and remember our trip to Jamaica as (my) worst travel experience ever.

Search this forum for past views on the subject. Try "Jamaica SUCKS" for example!
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 07:09 AM
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Better advice might be to search for
'Beaches Negril'
in the search block above. I've been to Jamaica many times -- not Beaches, and not Negril -- and have loved every trip. Never had problems like some who leave feedback here. Never got in a taxi that hadn't been arranged by front desk personnel, always had good dealings with higglers by saying "Not today, thanks, not interested."
Never had anyone try to sell me illegal substances. Never got gypped by shopkeepers. Never got into arguments with Jamaicans. Never flashed rolls of cash in inapproprate places.
Never got mugged. Never got attacked on lonely roads in the mountains.
In short, none of the bad things that seem to happen to some people ever happened to me when I was in Jamaica.
Lucky? I suppose so. Typical? Yes, absolutely!!!
Based on the feedback I read on this board, you are going to have an outstandingly good time. And if you get hooked like so many others, you'll be planning your next Jamaica visit before you finish this one.
Ever'ting gonna be irie, mon.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 07:19 AM
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Mike -

Let me get this straight: of all those higglers to whom you said "Not today, thanks, not interested," not a single one was trying to sell you illegal substances?

That's truly amazing - you must have been wearing a police uniform.

Old Jan 24th, 2002, 09:05 AM
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We went to Jamaica about four years ago or so. We enjoyed ourselves although it wasn't our favorite vacation destination. Funny story to tell about people trying to sell stuff to you: We were walking about in the touristy section of Ocho Rios. A woman approached me and my husband and showed us a small cloth doll which she wanted to sell. She pointed out that it could be used for some voodoo purposes as it also came with a long pin. I said no thanks and proceeded to walk away. I turned around just in time to see her sticking the pin into the doll's back as she watched me. I turned quickly around and grabbed my back and let out a loud "ouch". She appreciated the joke - I could hear her laughing for quite some time. I laughed, too.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 09:26 AM
It's kind of blah
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Is there anywhere else you've been interested in going? I say this because I would agree with Baba that it seems people who go to Jamaica either absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it. And, I wouldn't want to risk my money or time off on something that could turn into a disappointment.

I recently went because my husband had always wanted to go. For me, however, Jamaica was on the bottom of my list, mostly because of the reports I had heard regarding the crime, danger, poverty and partly because I wanted better diving/snorkeling than what Jamaica could provide. So, we agreed to split our time between two islands, Jamaica being our second stop.

We stayed at Sandals Negril which is next door to Beaches, actually, on recommendations from this board. We were there for 5 days. The resort was fair, 3 out of 5 stars. The beach was narrow and unimpressive. There was quite a bit of debris on the beach as well. My opinion on Jamaica as a whole? It was okay. On a scale of 1 to 10 for vacations, it was a 3.5. If a friend asked for a recommendation, I would say, "don't go, pick another island".

I don't have any horror stories like others do. I didn't experience any of the crime or danger that I had been warned about. No aggressive salespeople, they were mostly just friendly. I wasn't turned off by the economic conditions of the island - the level of poverty there is better than some parts of the world i've been to, worse than other parts.

But, still, the experience lacked some element that all good beach vacations should have. We talked to other couples at our resort, and they felt the same way. It just wasn't very fun. A large majority of the people there, employees and guests alike, looked kind of apathetic and bored, looked like they'd rather be somewhere else, to be honest. The only people who were having any real fun were the people who seemed to be drunk or stoned the whole time. I don't know. Some people love Jamaica, others passionately hate it. Maybe we would have been better off in a condo or villa rental. I just thought it was a "did it once, will never go back" kind of a thing.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 10:15 AM
it's up to you
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It's definitely up to you and your expectations. Some people go in with a lousy attitude and end up having a lousy trip. Some people are looking for a more secluded place. Some people are looking for more luxurious accomadations. Some people have money growing out of their ears and can afford to spend every vacation at Cap Julica.

Me, I'm not made of money. I need a vacation that gives me a good value. Flying to Jamaica is relatively cheap from my area. I got a deal on the room, food, and even spa services. I'll be happy sitting on the beach with a stack of books and a frozen drink in my hand.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 11:56 AM
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Can't say too much about Negri. We prefer to stay at Sandals MoBay. Our last visit was 1/02 and we are going back next month. I have seen many negative posts about hating Jamaica. All I can say is your vacation is what you make it. If you associate with negative attitudes during your stay, you may develope the same negative attitude. Next month there will be about 60 to 80 couples, who go the same week every year. Must say something for Jamaica and the Sandals chains.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 12:27 PM
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Please don't listen to those people with negative responses. Negril is beautiful and really fun. If you love the beach and having a good time, you will have fun. Just order your drinks three at a time, the bartenders are slow! Have fun, Annie
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 03:44 PM
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went to jamaica last feb/01.Stayed at the beaches in Negril and flew into Montego Bay. The taxi ride to the resort was over 2 1/2 hours long. If you can afford it and you go the simular route, I'd get a flight from Montego to Negril (small airline and approx $100. each) Well worth the dollars and Negril is beautiful but the beaches resort stunk like sewer. Stay away. Ciao.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 04:05 PM
d motl
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We spent our first two weeks there last year in Negril.
We put together a first timers brouchure which has stuff we would have like to have known. E-mail us and we will e-mail you out a copy.
We are going back for two more weeks this year.
Would definately avoid during march and 1st half of april--spring break madness--big time.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 04:11 PM
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BEWARE: March is spring break time. NOT a good time to go for a first time if youre over 22! And Negril is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, the Jamaican people are a blast!
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 06:38 PM
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I was there 6/2001. Stayed in MoBay. Took a day trip to Negril. Spent the day at Hedonism...beach was bad, lots of seaweed type stuff in the water. If you take the trip to Rick's Cafe, enjoy the sunset and the Red Stripe, but think twice about jumping off the cliff. It looked fun at the time, but the impact fractured my tailbone and have just recently finished Physical Therapy for back/SI problems related to that jump. It makes for a great story now, but really was not worth the 2 seconds of thrill. Our resort was small, the food was mediocre, the staff was very friendly, and there was always a chair available on the beach. Outside of the resort was a different story. Within 50 ft of the gates (that are there to protect you from life on the streets), my husband was offered pot, cocaine, and women. Not a place for a late night (or even midday) stroll for shopping. We traveled with another couple and did nothing but sit on the beach and read and relax. If you wanted more than that, it wasn't really available. I have travelled extensively, and I would have to say that I have no desire to ever return to Jamaica. The people were nice, but the crime and feeling of not being able to go anywhere off the resort property without fear is not worth it. You can get great deals, but I think I would spend a little extra and pick a different destination. Also, the beaches are separated by chain link fencing, etc, so you can forget any long, romantic strolls. Also, if you happen to step foot on a public beach, you will know it instantly, because people will be all over you trying to braid your hair or sell you pot or cheap little tourist items. The air conditioning in our room did not work well and there were tiny ants all over the place. If it hadn't been for the Red Stripe and the wonderful drinks of the day, our experience would probably have seemed a lot more unbearable. Hope you have a better experience. If you are up for it, you should go to Hedonism for a day. It was quite an experience, bad beach, (other than the nude scenery), but very interesting lunchtime entertainment ;-) Good luck!!
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 08:32 AM
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i've been reading the jamaica posts with interest on this board for about a year now, trying to decide whether to go. what interests me is that a huge percentage of the pro-jamaica posts over the past year always claim that anti-jamaica posters are going there "with a lousy attitude" or being negative about a place to begin with, which ruins the vacation. i find that REALLY hard to believe.

i mean, who in the heck starts out for a tropical vacation with a bad attitude? sure, i'm going to sacrifice $1500 and half of my yearly vacation time so I can go on a trip that I KNOW is going to suck from the beginning? who goes with the attitude, "oh heck, I have to leave for jamaica next week - that blows". just an interesting observation.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 09:11 AM
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Not everyone likes Jamaica, seems that you absolutely love it and start going multiple times a year or you hate it and don't go back. It seems to be a personality thing. It has struck me that the people who seem to like it most and go back again and again don't stay in all inclusive resorts. (Actually, scratch that. I've met a bunch of people who go to Sandals or Lido multiple times a year).

Jamaica is significantly cheaper than a lot of other islands. $100 a night gets you a very nice cottage/room/suite in tourist areas, and less than that away from them whereas other islands cost $300 a night for similar quality accomodations and amenities. (I'm not talking AI here).

Jamaica is the only island where fully staffed villas are the norm, not exception, and they cost about as much as unstaffed (do your own dishes clean up after yourself cook your own meals) villas on other islands.

Jamaica has an awful lot to offer away from the tourist areas. When people make it to Treasure Beach or Little Bay or Mandeville or even just day trip with a private driver/guide to waterfalls or a river trip, they seem to like it a lot more than people who stay at their resort or only on the tourist strp along the north and west coasts.

We're going for trip #8 in April. Obviously we like it.

For the person who couldn't walk the beach because of fences - that's Montego Bay, it's true. Negril is not like that - 7 miles of walkable beach, and the south coast has LONG virtually deserted beaches. MoBay is chopped up like that because the all-inclusive hotels don't allow non-guests on their beaches.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 09:41 AM
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I guess the best thing to do is to agree to disagree. Not all people like the same things and that's what makes the world work. I know people who spend all of their vacation time at Disneyworld. Every time they have a few days off they fly to Disneyworld. They don't understand why I would want to sit on a beach and do virtually nothing all day. I don't understand why they want to shake hands with Mickey every few months.

I like Jamaica. I honestly do. It's warm. It's easy to get to. I stay at a great place where they wait on me hand and foot. I know how to say "no ganja." I've met some great people. I've met some bad a** people. But hey I live in Rhode Island and the same can be said about people here.

If you don't like, I'm glad. Stay away. I don't want to hear your whiny voices while I'm lounging on the beach.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 04:38 PM
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"We traveled with another couple and did nothing but sit on the beach and read and relax. If you wanted more than that, it wasn't really available."

I beg to differ - there is a LOT avaialble to do in Jamaica! Are you saying your resort didn't have anything else available?

"The people were nice, but the crime and feeling of not being able to go anywhere off the resort property without fear is not worth it."

Were you the victim of a crime when you were there?
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 10:42 PM
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Here's a link to an article of crime in Jamaica. It would not stop me from going even, but I'm not the avg American.

Old Jan 27th, 2002, 11:40 AM
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My husband & I went to Negril in Oct. We stayed at Grand Lido on advice of travel agent who gushed about the service. It was HORRIBLE! Rude, unfriendly staff, restaurants closed because no one was there, VERY slow room service. Husband broke his toe on broken board on exercise deck. The nurse was made because we interrupted her exercise time in the gym, asked if I didn't know how to wrap a toe myself. We later discovered she implemented a wrap that hadn't been used in most places since 1973. She was a horrid woman who is definitely in the wrong profession! Requests for towels went unheard and we never saw the glorious bath robes they advertised. We were terribly disappointed in the Grand Lido and would never return there nor would we recommend it under any circumstances. Catherine, the manager, did not get interested in my husband's injury until we told her our attorney had been contacted. There was an air of marijuana coming from a room down the corridor from us and we were offered drugs at every turn including the minute we stepped in the airport. The poverty of the country is terrible and it was depressing to see people living in such deplorable conditions. The shopping tour we took included a trip to the market which was an adventure. People lived in their little shops and were high on drugs and offered them freely. Food was mediocre and we didn't see the first shrimp or lobster. Find another place to go.

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