Jamaica- Negril vs. Montego Bay

Nov 16th, 2010, 07:34 AM
  #1  
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Jamaica- Negril vs. Montego Bay

Ok so, I am a female in my late 20's planning a trip to Jamaica with another one of my girlfriend's. I have heard many great things about both Negil and Montego Bay. We are looking for a place that we can relax, enjoy the beautiful beach and also have a little bit of a party. Afterall, we do not have a foot in the grave!!! Any insight would be great!!! Thanks in advance!!!
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Nov 16th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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No contest. Negril is better than Montego Bay in almost every way. It attracts tons of people your age, has a wonderful nearly seven mile long white sand beach, lots of reggae/jazz/folk clubs, inexpensive restaurants, and parties that go straight through to the morning.
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Nov 16th, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Negril, Negril, Negril... did I say ***NEGRIL***
No contest. I was there for 10 days this past summer and stayed up on "the Cliffs". The beach is incredible, it's a town you can get out and explore safely, lots of things to see and do, or not, as you choose.
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Nov 18th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Thanks guys!! I think Im also leaning toward Negril... I have heard that Mont. Bay has a better party atmosphere because it is in the City... but Negril is said to have better beaches and atmosphere all around.. I guess that explains the jump in price!!

Any suggestions on places to see in Negril?? Things to do??
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Nov 18th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Negril has *plenty* of a party scene if that's what you're looking for. You have to watch and ask around because they are in different locations different days of the week.

To me it seem people who go to Montego Bay just go to their resort and stay there (or do formal tours) it's not like they are out nightclubbing around the city. I only know from reading travel forums, because I don't like MoBay and have only been there at the airport, on my way out to Negril (3x).

As far as the jump in price, it just depends what you are comparing to what. In Negril there are all the usual suspects of AI resort chains, but there are also loads of cool independent places to stay, both on the 7-mile beach and up "one the Cliffs" at the west end.
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Nov 18th, 2010, 10:23 AM
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As far as specific things to do, you can certainly book tours to various places around the island. Within Negril it's mostly about kicking back, in my experience. Going to the beach, swimming/jumping off the cliffs in the ocean, there are all kinds of boating opportunities (from funky local glassbottom boats to high-end fancy party boats, and everything in between).
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Nov 18th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Thanks Suze!! Im very adventurous! I will definately be doing the cliff jumping... do you know if there is any place to do some zip lining in Negril?? Would really love to do that? Are there any must see places? Waterfalls etc??
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Nov 19th, 2010, 01:59 PM
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I'm not much of an expert because I get *real* lazy once I'm in paradise (lol). But yes there are day trips you can take to waterfalls and other places of interest. Most people hire a driver for the day or half-day. I'm not sure if there are ziplines specifically.

Negril is more about being there rather than "must see places" imo. It's really unique and definitely fits your desire for an adventurous trip. Check out the Negril forum over at Trip Advisor. Lots of helpful posters there with extensive Negril experience. Just Google Negril to see photographs of the 7-mile beach and the cliffs. It's breathtaking. best, suze
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Nov 20th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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I was in Negril this past March and loved every minute of it. We stayed at the Palms Resort which was reasonably priced right on the beach, which is so beautiful. We hired a cab to take us to see some waterfalls (YS Falls, I think), which was a nice outing. We also went over to the cliff side of Negril for some meals, massages at Jackie's on the Reef and to have a drink at Rick's. If you like reggae, there are live shows almost every night along the beach. We loved walking on the beach every night, stopping at beach bars and having meals at tables on the sand. I cannot speak about Montego Bay as I have never been there. But I really cannot say enough about how much I loved Negril and cannot wait to go back. Reasonably priced food, great coffee, really friendly people, so wonderful!
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Nov 23rd, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Thanks everyone!! I just booked NEGRIL over new years!! It should be fabulous!!! I can't wait!!!
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Nov 23rd, 2010, 12:41 PM
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Whoo-hoo!! Congratulations! Please ask if you have any questions (like getting from the airport, around Negril, money exchange, whatever).
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Nov 25th, 2010, 05:49 AM
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Thanks!!! Is it safe to venture out in Negril on your own Via taxi or would you advise a more structured tour kind of thing??

Also what currency do they take?? Jamiacan Dollar?? US Dollar?? What would be my best bet?
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Nov 25th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Most people go with private drivers when they do day trips out to the waterfalls or other sights. I'm not sure it would be actually unsafe, but you probably don't want to be wandering around Jamaica outside tourist areas by yourself.

Jamaica is great but it's a little rough around the edges, it's not like going to Cancun or more developed tourist meccas.

You can arrange something thru your hotel or from a service like www.clivestransportservicejamaica.com or other. There are also lots of activities happening on the water right off the shore at the beach & cliffs in Negril, like funky glass bottom boats, snorkeling trips, fancier dance/party/music boats.

There is an excellent forum for Negril over on Trip Advisor. Lots of experienced and helpful posters contribute there.

It depends where you are but you will probably want to have both USD and JMD. You can exchange for Jamaican Dollars at a cambio once you arrive Negril (better rates than if you exchange at the airport). Or better yet go to the Scotiabank at the round-about in town and use your ATM card to w/draw JMD directly. You definitely want Jamaican Dollars for taking taxis around town, eating in local-style restaurants, shopping at the grocery store or in the crafts market. Some of the nicer restaurants have menus in USD, and I'm not positive (since I didn't do these) but am guessing to pay for an activity or formal type tour, USD would be accepted. Also small denomination USD ($1s and $5s) are handy for tipping your room maid or driver.
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Nov 25th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Thank you SUZE!!!! I can ALWAYS count on you for a prompt and brilliant response!!

I will definately look into the different water activities and also check out the trip advisor forum! Thanks for the great advice!!
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Nov 25th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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There is an excellent group of taxi drivers directly across the street from COCO LA PALM and IDLE AWHILE. Any one of them would be totally reliable and safe. We particularly like Whitney and Clifton.

We almost never use Jamaican currency when we visit. Dollars are widely accepted,even for most tours.

Have a wonderful time!
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Nov 25th, 2010, 07:14 PM
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Weadles, I really think that answer depend where you will be hanging out in Negril. I'm sure USD is OK at the all-inclusive resorts or for booking tours but the places I ate & shopped everything was priced in JMD (Hi-Lo Grocery Store, internet cafes, paying for 'route taxis', and all the smaller local restaurants out on the Cliffs where I was staying). I'm sure they would accept USD and convert but I doubt at a very favorable rate.
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Nov 26th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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suze,

Good point. We paid all our taxis, tips, and two tours in dollars, but the rest ( hotel-Coco La Palm, Chicken Lavish and a few other places on the West End) in credit cards.
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Nov 27th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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I don't use credit cards when I travel (other than to pay the hotel bill). I only use cash and always get local currency. It's a habit I have from traveling in Mexico and seemed to work best for me in Negril. But I can definitely understand you could handle it other ways. best, suze
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Nov 29th, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Thank you Both!!! Very Helpful... I will do both US and JAM Currency. I will convert my US dollars when I arrive in Negril bc I heard that I will get a better rate! I'm just like Suze, I NEVER use my Credit card on Vacation.. im big on travelling with Cash!!

Can't wait!!
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Nov 30th, 2010, 04:53 AM
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So interesting. We often use credit cards on vacation because of the protection they offer in case of theft, or an airline,hotel, restaurant, or purchase dispute. Also, we don't really like to carry around chunks of cash for everything. But to each his/her own! We've taken 29 trips to Negril (!), and you will find that US is widely accepted, even in some of the smaller, but more well-known restaurants on the cliffs. Have a great time in Negril! It's like a second home to us!
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