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rethinking trip to jamaica

Old Aug 15th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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Thanks Liza! That's just what I was looking for.
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Old Aug 16th, 2003, 09:36 AM
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Anytime, J Correa.

Holly, you read my trip report so you know we didn't have "no problems" (think tires!), but all that stuff is part of the adventure for us

(We were on Long Island beaching for a couple of weeks)
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 06:11 AM
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If you feel uncomforatable about going to Jamaica, then DONT GO. Why would you want to go someplace where you feel threatened. Go to Disney, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Hawaii, heck stay home.

I will be heading down again in only 5 days. Taking the wife, our 7 month old and oh yes our 27 month old is making his 3rd trip.

Holly_25, I think you will have a fabulous time. If you dont like then you will have had your own experience and not the one from a friend on a friend.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 05:48 AM
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Jamaica IS dangerous...and a dump. Stay away..it's not worth your life or an unpleasant time there.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 06:27 AM
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FirstinLastout: Can tell you obviously have never been there. Jamaica has many, many return visitors every year.

Exactly what did your friend's friend tell you was so dangerous about it? The most dangerous thing about Jamaica is not wearing the proper sunscreen.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 03:18 PM
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Admittedly it has been years, but I took my boyfriend, (now husband) on a trip to Jamaica and we stayed at a wonderful place in Ochos Rios. I had taken a recommendation on faith from friends and booked there. They neglected to tell me about the bus ride from hell that you have to take from Montego Bay, and it stops at several hotels before it finally stopped at ours. I remember the Hilton looked like a prison. I was sinking in my hot sweaty seat wondering if he'd speak to me again when we pulled up in front of the Hibiscus Lodge. Set on a cliff it was the epitome of charming. No A/C, no tv but very romantic. Not an AI, we went to breakfast every morning at the hotel, went to dinner upon recommendations from the front desk and we found ourselves adopted every where we went. At the hotel it was a waiter, at the then famous Rooftops it was just a very nice Jamaican who took us past a long line, through the kitchen and watched our money on the bar like a hawk. What did we do for him? Just bought him a couple beers. We saw a historic sight guided by a homeless man who lived there, rented a motorcycle and drove clear to Kingston. We were amused that every time a vendor offered us an illicit substance he would casually walk my boyfriend away from me to do it. Upon receiving a "no thank you" they would smile and wave to us. All you need is an open heart and common sense. Have a wonderful honeymoon.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 04:00 PM
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hi Never been to Jamaica, planning a trip in January. But some thoughts living in the UK I have travelled alot in Europe when visiting the Balerica islands off Spain constantly bombarded with timeshare sales people or people getting you to try this bar or restaurant they get paid by the person they attract so quite persistant.There are areas of every major city in Europe I wouldn't walk at night incl London +Paris,drugs are on sale in some cafes in Amersterdam and have near naked women on sale in windows in the red light district we witnesses a lady having her bag snatched at 7 pm on one of the main roads there. My point is all large populations have crime its being informed on where to go and want to do or not to do that's the key. Go with want you want to do or you will regret it get lots of advice from people who have been and have a great time.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 06:33 AM
  #48  
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Thanks again for the responses. Tivertonhouse, I'm not worried anymore. Very excited actually!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:44 AM
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holly_25,

Remember - Trip Report when you return.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2003, 07:44 AM
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We have been to Jamaica twice. Both times to an AI (Sandals Royal Carribeaan and Ocho Rios) Although we stayed at AI's we did venture out often. Although there is quite a bit of poverty we found the Jamaican people to be wonderful. All they ask is for respect. Give that and you should have no propblems.
Take a little time on the internet and get an idea of what the Rasta culture is about and it may help to explain some of the people and their movement. I found that knowledge and some good old "Respect Mon" to be valuable and helped to make for some rewarding experiences.
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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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This topic always seems to generate the largest volume of responses in this group.
I've been spending close to one month a year in JA for the past 15 years first training with the Jamaica Defense Force then on vacation with the boys now with my wife and family.
While this doesn't make me a local (although my wife is Jamaican!) I can offer my humble thoughts.
As a vacation destination JA has much to offer from a proud friendly people to natural beauty to a favorable exchange rate, but there are some detractions year to date JA has had some 600 murders, crimes against tourists are common from cab drivers padding the fare to muggings to B&E's.
Folks crime exists in EVERY destination even in your home town!!
Yes, there are no go areas in JA just as in London, Paris, San Fransisco and New York.
If you are looking for a crime free vacation take a nap while locked in your bedroom, if you want to experience island living go to JA with open eyes and go and explore. See Lovers Leap, Dunns River Falls, Kingston, Negril, The Blue Mountains, raft down the Rio Grande, drive thru Walkers Wood and Fern Gully have a jerk dinner in Portland or frolic sans clothing at Hedo, like everything in life JA is so much more than the sum of its parts.
I'm sorry if anybody took offense to this but these are my beliefs, take em or leave em.


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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 04:40 PM
  #52  
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Thanks again for your thoughts. I will absolutely post a trip report.
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Old Sep 20th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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I too have heard a lot of security problems within the last few days especially after making reservations. I have read in Frommers Jamaica of their editor, by the name of Claudia Kirschhoch being missing from Sandals (Beaches) Negril. They found everything in her room but her. To my knowledge they have never found her. Why isn't this listed in things about Jamaica so you can make a level headed decision????
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Old Sep 20th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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Uh, because the tragic story is at least a couple of years old? Can you imagine what foreign visitors to the U.S. must think reading our crime reports?
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 07:09 AM
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Yes, it was a tragic event which happened a couple of years ago but after Sept 11th I believe security is on everyone's mind. I sincerely hope that my trip will be a great one but I do want to be aware of things that go on in the places I vacation at! I had some friends who have just came back and they stated that it was a lovely island and the people were great, I hope to be a part of that environment too! The fact remains that Jamaica is one of the most dangerous destinations in the Caribbean and I am hoping that this isn't SO!
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 02:39 PM
  #56  
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FYI. On our last trip to Grand Cayman we met a nice family vacationing at our resort. They are from Canada but are living in Jamaica for 3 years because of a work related transfer. When I asked why they came to GC for a vacation when I heard that Jamaica is such a beautiful place, there response was that they could never take their children to a beach and go for a walk safely. They said the island and beaches are fantastic but it isn't a place for a worry and stress free vacation. So they just bought a time share in GC and fly over from Jamaica to GC. I was surprised to hear that.
 
Old Sep 21st, 2003, 06:16 PM
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Re the last posting, I live in Cayman (guess the screen name makes it obvious!), and do visit Jamaica quite frequently (it is only a 40 minute flight).

Jamaica is indeed an island of stunning natural beauty, with a great "vibe", as earlier posters put it....it's nice to visit.

However, I have to say I feel a tremendous sense of wasted resources when in Jamaica. With such marvellous natural resources and great people, it should be so much more successful than it is, but instead the whole economy is in a slow but sure death spiral, the political parties have a long history of being beholden to gangs and organised crime, and the murder rate per capita is astonishing, probably the highest in the world.

Put it this way, I love Jamaica, I love Jamaicans, but after a few days there (particularly if my trip takes me to Kingston), I feel a palpable sense of relief and relaxation once the aircraft takes off on the way back to Cayman.

I guess for tourists it is all a question of weighing up the pros and cons of a destination....its a beautiful and unique place, but don't pretend that Jamaica is all pros and no cons.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 11:38 PM
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Holly
why gamble with your honeymoon? Why not leave Jamaica for another holiday and pick somewhere else? I have not been but my husband has worked there in the past and although he might take me there some time it would definitely be to an all inclusive as we would only venture out on organised tours. This is obviously not your idea of a holiday( I mean AI)
Statistics don't lie, as Tom said, Jamaica has a high murder rate per capita.Would you really be happy travelling around the island?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Love how the people who have never been to Jamacia seem to be the ones with the strongest negative opinion. Jamaica has tons of problems, its not Disney, its not Bermuda, there is poverty, there is crime, you name it its there. Jamaica is more than a beach. Next year when its time for me to book my family vacation I will be going to Jamacia...again.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 11:43 AM
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Is Jamaica for everyone? No, thank goodness! Does it have it's problems? Yes! Yes ! Yes! Still after visiting at least 8 other Caribbean islands, it's our favorite. To each their own......that's what makes the world go around. If you don't feel you can relax and enjoy a destination, by all means......go somewhere else where you think you might. Have fun!
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