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JerseyJulie Jan 4th, 2010 09:58 AM

Jamaica Safety-HELP!!
I'm completely torn. For Christmas, my boyfriend told me that he would like to take me to Montego Bay in Jamaica for a long weekend get away, that i get to plan. We are 25 and 26. All of our friends have told us that they loved it and some even went as far to say that they loved it more than Turks and Caicos. It looks beautiful and I'm actually really excited because Secrets will be opening 2 new resorts there this March (we stayed at their Maroma Beach location and fell in love with the resort and staff).

However, my family and their friends are not so thrilled. They think it is the most unsafe island in the carribean and that it's full of drugs. Are these conclusions from things that have happened in the past or is Jamaica like this now? Help!!! Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

sherhatfield Jan 4th, 2010 12:00 PM

I've been to Jamaica three times and never felt uncomfortable. Everyone I've met has always been very warm & friendly. Don't let someone else's paranoia dissuade you from taking this trip! My husband and I were married in Negril and have great memories of all of our trips there.

As with anywhere, just use your best judgment. I've had people tell me Jamaica is dangerous, and sure - anywhere can be, but it is a beautiful place and you should definitely go. If someone offers you drugs, and they probably will, just tell them no. It's really no big deal. I'd advise you to stay on the resort property at night unless you were taking a cab to a club or restaurant.

If you haven't already, check out the forums on TripAdvisor. There are a lot of Jamaica experts there. Enjoy!

pwj155 Jan 4th, 2010 04:10 PM

just like jersey or anyplace else, there are places in jamaica that you shouldn't go. but don't let that stop you from going to a resort with great beaches and beautiful blue water. just use a little common sense as you would at home, go and you will have a great time!

KVR Jan 5th, 2010 06:53 AM

I have to agree that I really liked Jamaica more than Turks & Caicos, which is why we are planning our second trip there for our 10th wedding anniversary in July and have no plans to return to T & C. Yes, Grace Bay Beach is mucher nicer and the "safety" factor is not an issue in T & C and most other Caribbean Islands for that matter, but it just doesn't have the beauty and vibe that Jamaica has.

I understand your comment regarding Secrets Maroma, but be aware that the Secrets in Montego Bay probably won't be the same. I would suggest for your first trip to stay in Negril. That area is quiter and the beaches are much nicer than Montego Bay. If your not objectable to having to walk across the road to the beach, look at Sunset at the Palms. Cute little treehouse rooms on stilts. Another option would be Couples Negril. Splurge for the highest catagory room.

We've been to Mexico several times. Please don't try to compare your AI experiences in Mexico to Jamaica. The AI resorts in the Riviera Maya are excessive and priced accordingly. You will not find that same level in Jamaica.

I also suggest that you take time and do some tours off the resort. They can be booked directly from your hotel's tour desk and absolutely worth seeing.

Weadles Jan 5th, 2010 03:08 PM

We've been repeat visitors to Jamaica since the 1980s, and have never had any problems with safety. Of course as in any of the islands or any big U.S. or European city, there are areas that are best not traveled alone or in the dark. Go and enjoy what's undisputably one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, but do yourselves a favor, and try to stay in Negril instead of Montego Bay. There's simply no comparison for beach, culture, or nightlife. Have fun!

drsaloni Jan 6th, 2010 01:26 PM

We have been to secrets rivera maya in mexico & also negril, stayed at grand lido.The former was heaven & the latter decent for the price.The drug peddlers were our jet ski guy, the lady at the beach shop at grand lido & trust me when we politely refused that too in paranoid muted tones they immediately smiled & left us alone.They are friendly friendly people, the culture just is to smoke pot.Negril has better beaches & more romantic.I wouldnt go AI in Jamaica again, but would do so in Mexico.

suze Jan 10th, 2010 08:23 AM

I am planning a trip to Jamaica next summer (with no concerns as to safety, just be aware and don't go looking for trouble). I also would recommend Negril over Montego Bay.

Caribheart Jan 10th, 2010 12:49 PM

We happily returned to Jamaica this past year and with our 5 year old - we had a sensational time and had no danger concerns even though my family made similar statements as yours.

It is my experience that Jamaica is like any major city in Canada - there are real issues however, they don't seem to significantly affect anyone not directly related to the "issues"...Jamaica is one of the most beautiful islands and the people are wonderful esp. the ones you will likely come in contact with as a tourist - often not likely to bring any personal stress or difficulties they are experiencing to your door...!

I hope you get to see and enjoy JA for all of its wonder!!

Knowing Jan 10th, 2010 03:55 PM

My, oh, my. Your family and friends are being quite the downer. I can only think they've never been. We have been to MoBay and were happy there. We leave for Jamaica again in 23 days. The locals are welcoming, friendly and genuine. Go and enjoy!

Michaelpl Jan 11th, 2010 03:11 AM

Yep....your friends are right....You can get into trouble in Jamaica...that said I could more easily get into trouble in my home town of Chicago.

I've had the pleasure of visiting Jamaica dozens of time over the last couple of decades and thankfully had not a problem one. Go, relax and have fun. Just use common sense and I promise you and your family and friends will come back thinking you invented the place :)

janetele Feb 4th, 2010 12:46 PM

I totally agree. I have traveled a lot and have been to Jamaica 5 times. I have always felt safe in Jamaica . Of course, I use common sense with my wallet and belongings. The only problem I've ever had is the last time I was there in Dec., my credit card info was stolen.
Last month we took the canopy tour by Chukka tours. It was fantastic. Also used Barrets adventures for transportation - they were on time, friendly and drove safely.

Have fun

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