Only Good Stories about Jamaica Please

Oct 21st, 1998, 07:10 AM
  #1  
Christine
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Only Good Stories about Jamaica Please

I'm getting married at Sandals Dunn's River (Ocho Rios) in April '99. I don't have time to go through this entire forum. Could you share your Jamaica experience with me? Only good stories please. I read through the "Jamaica Warning" and "Jamaica Sucks" forums. I realize Jamaica can be dangerous and I'm aware of the warnings, but I still want to go and I still want to hear your stories. Thanks!!
 
Oct 21st, 1998, 09:37 AM
  #2  
Lee
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Christine: Congratulations!

If you read "Jamaica sucks", then you've probably seen my post. I'm the guy that lived in Ocho Rios when I was young. Being a minority (caucasian) was certainly a unique experience for me.
I used to hang out at the Plantation Inn (from the movie "Prelude to a kiss) and later, the (former) "Carib Ocho Rios", where my dad worked.

I have many wonderful memories about the place and the people. Some of those negative comments that you read about are true. It can be a dangerous place for the unsuspecting tourist. So can Dayton, Ohio.

Things to consider: Play it safe, keeping expensive jewelry, lots of cash, etc., at home. Be polite to the locals with a "hello" or "good morning", yet don't allow the street vendors (goods or ganga) to intimidate you, be firm when saying "no", not threatening. Don't drive around on your own or walk through secluded areas, instead rent a car, preferably with the same man daily. The best way to prevent problems is to minimize the opportunity for them.

I remember some great things: The bluest sky and most beautiful beaches; Bob Marley and steel band music; "Jamaica Jerk" seasoned food; The cool way everyone talks; The lush tropical countryside; Local rum and beer; The endless choices of fresh fruits; The laid-back lifestyle.

If you go, take an open mind and just be careful. Enjoy it because it can be a beautiful place.

Have fun & good luck!
 
Oct 21st, 1998, 11:37 AM
  #3  
Cheri
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Lee, beautifully said.
 
Oct 21st, 1998, 12:19 PM
  #4  
Leslie
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Keeping caution in mind and what was written above, I've had the chance to meet some of the best people I've met anywhere right near where you are going at Sandals. My husband and I have visited several Caribbean islands, and after one trip to Jamaica we were hooked. We've even replaced our annual trip to Florida with a week in Jamaica.
The key for us was to find some local people we felt comfortable around and could trust. I realize there are dangers with trusting strangers, but we were lucky enough to meet some wonderful people who have become lifelong friends. Now when we go to Jamaica, it's more like going home than on vacation. Christine, from what you write, you sound like you have the right
frame of mind to really enjoy your visit. Also, Sandals Dunn's looks beautiful! Please feel free to e-mail me if you need more information on the area.
 
Oct 26th, 1998, 05:10 AM
  #5  
Christine
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Thanks Lee, Cheri and Leslie! I really appreciate it!
 
Oct 29th, 1998, 04:26 AM
  #6  
Tara
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If you're going to Sandals, you'll love it. My husband and I have been to Sandals Negril... Sandals OchoRios and Sandals in the bahamas and have never had even close to a bad time. Sandals pampers you so much that as soon as you get home from your vacation you'll be wanting to book your next one there. My husband and I are going back to Sandals Negril in early December.... I'm counting downt the days... i can't wait it's so wonderful there. As far as the bad things you've heard on here about Jamaica.... as long as you stay arond your resort, you won't even have to worry about them. There is so much to do at a Sandals resort, you probably won't want to leave it anyway. Its definitely got the best food anywhere around in Jamaica.

Have fun!
 
Oct 30th, 1998, 11:41 AM
  #7  
Linda
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Hi Christine:

We stayed at Sandals Dunn's River about 4 years ago and it was the best vacation we have ever had. The staff at the resort we very friendly and the food was spectacular. You will be treated very well there. In March 99 we are going to try Sandals Negril and we only hope it will be just as great as Sandals Dunn's River. E-mail if you have any questions.
 
Oct 30th, 1998, 11:43 AM
  #8  
Linda
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Hi Christine:

We stayed at Sandals Dunn's River about 4 years ago and it was the best vacation we have ever had. The staff at the resort we very friendly and the food was spectacular. You will be treated very well there. In March 99 we are going to try Sandals Negril and we only hope it will be just as great as Sandals Dunn's River. E-mail if you have any questions.
 
Oct 30th, 1998, 03:44 PM
  #9  
carol
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christine,my husband and i have stayed at sandals montego bay twice and it was wonderful.the staff is attentive,friendly,and really makes your stay special.i would encorage anyone to stay at a sandals resort.
 
Nov 3rd, 1998, 11:15 AM
  #10  
Roxanna
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Hi Christine,

My husband and I just got back from Jamaica and absolutely love it. We originally booked our 10 day honeymoon with Sandals Ocho Rios but transferred to Sandals Royal Jamaican for the last 4 days. We loved both resorts. We also visited Sandals Dunns River one evening, we were in awe of the resort, it was spectacular. The pools and swim up bar were breathtaking, the beach a lot bigger than any we had seen and the food (the "Internaional") was excellent. I'm sure you'll love it there, we wished we could have stayed longer.

Although Dunns River is 'paradise', I would highly recommend experiencing more than one resort. Sandals Ocho Rios is only a 15 min. bus ride away; it's a 'garden of eden', very lush and beautiful to walk through. The average age there was approx. 20 - 22 yrs old, a bit of a younger/partying crowd. The ocean front view from the Reef Terrace restaurant is amazing and the food, in our opinion, was the best at Ocho Rios. The Royal Jamaican resort was also very impressive; lots of statues and beautiful antique furniture. There's a restaurant on an island, a dragon boat takes you there, kind of cool. The average age was probably 30'ish. Although both resorts were very nice, we preferred the Royal Jamaican.

Be sure to visit Dunns River falls, it was a fun afternoon trip.

Hope this helps, Please e-mail me if you'd like anymore info. Congratulations!

Roxanna & Kenny
 
Nov 4th, 1998, 10:11 AM
  #11  
Christine
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Wow, Thanks everyone for all your help!!! I feel very confident about our SANDALS decision. I'm very excited. I wish I didn't have to wait until April. At least the next two months should go kind of quick because of the holidays.

Oh, and Roxanna, I am definately planning on going to Dunn's River!
 
Nov 5th, 1998, 07:53 AM
  #12  
Lorio
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Hi Christine, thought I would add my input too. My husband and I got married in Sandals Montego Bay. We stayed there for 8 nights in a bueatiful oceonfront suite. It was the best trip of my life. Securtiyt is definately an issue once your off the resort but just use common sense as you would anywhere else. Plus, most of the time we were off the resort we were always with other tourists. Sop it's "no problem". At Sandual we had five star service. Food was exceptional, and the beach had white fluffy sand and crystal clear blue water. We fell in love with it and can hardly wait to go back. Maybe for an anniversary, as we are trying to experience different islands and countires in the caribbean for our vacations. But will definately recommend it. Also, like someelse said, DO NOT MISS the Dunn's River Falls trip - it was the best!!!!

Hope you have a great time.

 
Nov 13th, 1998, 04:25 PM
  #13  
KIM
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Christine,

I have been to Jamaica for three years in a row. It is a beautiful place. I haven't been to Sandals Dunn's River but hear it is a great place to stay.

You have to try Jerk Chicken while you are there. It is fun to listen to the Jamaican's talk. Their music is great.
The beaches are beautiful in Jamaica.

Since you are staying on a resort, you will have many activities there and they will keep you busy most of the time. You may want to take a trip into town to do some shopping. Just be cautious with your jewelry and money, like you would anywhere you would go. The police in Jamaica keep a close watch out for the tourists. The people of Jamaica know that tourism keeps there country going. For the most part you don't have anything to worry about.

The hotel should provide you with a taxi to take into town. Try to use these taxi's if possible.

The people of Jamaica are very nice. They are very hospitable to tourists. It is interesting to talk to them to learn about their country.

Jamaica is a very poor country. The people there usually work six days a week and make way less than minimum wage. Some of the people make their living from selling things they have made to tourists. If you walk down the streets it may seem as if they are being pushy trying to sell you things they have made, but they are only trying to make a living. If you are not interested in buying anything, be polite, but firm and they will leave you alone.

You can get some good deals on gifts. Take plenty of dollar bills. The people will bargain with you for the things they are selling. It is good to have low bills on hand to give them. They love dollars.

The people there are the most relaxed people in the world. The stress level there is very low. It is hard once you get back here to the United States to get back into the fast way of living that we have.

Jamaica is a very beautify island and a wonderful place to spend a honeymoon. Have a great time!!

If you have any questions e-mail me at [email protected]

Kim





 
Nov 23rd, 1998, 02:09 PM
  #14  
Ken
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Stayed at Dunns River two years ago. Great resort. Beach is nice, restaurants were excellent. Entertainment so so. Good choice. Many weddings were going on the week we were there.
 
Dec 1st, 1998, 05:51 PM
  #15  
Eileen
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Jamaica is our favorite island. We have beento many in the Caribbean. the Sandals resorts are the finest. Remember that Americans are the worst type of traveler. They expect everything to be as it is at home. The people are wonderful and genuine. Love the music and food. You will have a wonderful time and memories to last a life time. E-mail me if you have any questions..Negril is our favorite.
Good Luck, Eileen
 
Dec 15th, 1998, 06:33 AM
  #16  
Jay
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Christine, My husband and I got engaged in Jamaica, married in Jamaica, and now travel there as often as we can. I'm not nervous about walking the streets of Mo-bay but understand why caution is necessary (as with any major city).

We have gone to many other islands (I think you feel like you have to try other places) but we always come back to Jamaica -- I love the culture, the music, the laid back way of life, and I love the smell of the air -- it's unique to Jamaica -- the flowers and trees and ocean all mingled together is breathtaking.....
enjoy enjoy enjoy
 
Dec 15th, 1998, 11:04 AM
  #17  
Donnet
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Congrats and you will have a ball. A friend of mine directed me to a website called jamaicans.com which has everything you need to know about Jamaica including travel reports. Good luck.
 
Sep 17th, 2008, 05:07 PM
  #18  
 
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I guess it's kind of funny to resurrect a necro-thread like this but I thought I'd add my two bits about the Plantation. Mrs. K. and I spent our honeymoon there back in '97 and couldn't have been more satisfied. It's old school relatively speaking in terms of its appointments but it was enjoyable. In fact, while we were there, the biggest challenge to our enjoyment was the Sandles resort next door. It wasn't inexpensive but it's a stay I'd do again in a heartbeat
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Sep 18th, 2008, 06:13 AM
  #19  
 
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A good history of Plantation here:

http://www.royalplantation.com/history.cfm
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Sep 19th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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It was a stay I'd certainly have no problem recommending to others. I think one of the most amusing moments for me was about midway in our stay. Lunchtime arrived and among many options for us to choose from was curried goat.

Well, long being of the 'when in Rome' mindset, I ordered the goat. I know for a fact from the grin on the server's face that this white boy surprised and pleased him. I wasn't disappointed either, I might add.
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