What's Jamaica like?

Feb 2nd, 2004, 01:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
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What's Jamaica like?

Some couples are thinking of going (AI) to one of the Super Clubs in Jamaica. What is Jamaica like? I've heard mixed comments. Is it safe to wonder about going to different shops & restaurants or do you have to stay at the resort for safety reasons? Thanks for your help.
jjohnson is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 01:47 PM
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This is my opinion and I hope you will get many and different....Through my eyes I saw Jamaica as a beautiful place with intelligent, creative people who have the misfortune of having a government that has major problems. The landscapes are breathtaking, the music intoxicating and the food wonderful. The resorts, especially like a Superclubs provide everything you need on property so you do not have to leave if you do not want to. Some are in areas far from any other place anyway. I personally do not like to wander around without a group or take tours with locals not associated with the hotels, but that is just me. I go there to relax on the beach, soak up the sun, local "flavor", music, art, etc. Be open minded, aware, polite, but firm in dealings and I think it will be a great time !
Wednesday is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 02:28 PM
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We've been 10+ times now....after a couple of other islands we visited Jamaica and now that's where we always go.

It's not for everyone, the poster above is right about the gov't and the people.

We do travel around, by car, foot, taxi and have had no problems...in tourist areas you will need to learn how to say "no thanks" a lot as people will try to sell you things, but away from the tourist towns people are much mellower and we were not asked to buy things.

If you go to an AI, you can just stay there - you won't have really been to Jamaica as they are nothing like what is "outside the gate" but you'll get a good dose of beach, sand, drinks, reggae.

Lately we rent a car to visit places but in the past we've used one of several very good driver/tour guides - let me know if you decide to go and I'll give you contact info for them. I prefer my own driver as we can go where i want, stay as long as I want and be a little more incognito than we can in a tour bus.

I have some trip reports and photos if you'd like to get a feel for what I think JA is like: www.alink.com/personal/liz/negril/

liza is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 04:10 PM
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I have been to Jamaica several times and always felt safe - the vendors, or higglers, as they are called in Jamaica, do not bother me. I guess I have the "no thank you" look down so they don't bother. I am also wise to the "I remember you" line. I have stayed at both AI and non and enjoyed both - although I would not go back to an AI now because I discovered how good and cheap the food is so I think the AIs are not good values. I stayed at Swept Away a couple of times and highly recommend it because while the beach is huge in front of the resort and is only used by SA guests, you can walk toward town and get a sense of what else in out there.
cartera45 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 02:01 AM
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Jamaica is a challenging, mesmerizing, vivid and searingly-real country. It has an in-your-face yet genuinely warm culture of total contradictions.
You'll either love it or hate it -- it's not an in-between place. But if you love it, be prepared to be addicted for life. If you stay just at a resort, you could be anywhere. It'll be 'safe', if but a pasteurized and homogenized taste of Jamaica. For a first-timer, AI
like Super Clubs may be for you a good starting point if you're not an intrepid, adventuresome traveller. But it will also be isolated from Jamaica.
For a week, go, de-stress, decompress --which is what resorts are good for. Then, take a look over the walls. Hire
a good guide/see barrett adventures reference elsewhere on this forum for
more. Most everything in Jamaica is hidden away -- like the emotions of Jamaicans themselves. And there are vastly different parts of Jamaica as well, hidden off the main. Unlike many islands, it'll take more than one visit
to get a grasp of where you are, let alone exactly what you're seeing and experiencing. Which is exactly the point of travel, no?
tivertonhouse is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 05:05 AM
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I loved Jamaica and travelled all around (first time there, and honeymoon!). I posted a detailed trip report if you do a search for "back from all over jamaica".
_holly_25_ is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 06:11 AM
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Tivertonhouse , always love reading your remarks about Jamaica , articulate and honest . From a formerly anxious traveller to one who is counting down the days (21)!!! To Looking yet again at Lizas photos , and being positively reassured by Hollys report . Happy with my decision , Faith
willem is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 09:15 AM
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The first time that I travelled to Jamaica, a Jamaican man at the airport asked me if I had ever been to Jamaica before. I said "no" and he welcomed me and told me that it would be my first time in Jamaica, but not my last. I have been going back ever since. I have found the people of Jamaica to be a wonderful people. They are friendly, welcoming, and provide excellent service and information. Many times over, they go out of their way to assist you. You do need to be careful, but the same can be said about many places here in the United States.
sap115 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 10:14 AM
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I have been to Jamaica several time also. I couldn't agree more with the previous posters. What a wonderful, wonderful place.

Go for the AI on your first visit. Then get out on some tours! So much to see, you could spend 50 trips there and still not see it all.

Should you visit Negril, make sure you visit the cliffs and not just the beach.

TonyHarris is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 12:55 PM
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We have been to JA. 3 times so obviously we enjoyed it. I especially like the food-spicy and hot, and the lushness of the place. The people are really the best attraction however. There is a unique type of vibrancy and friendliness to them that is so attractive. But also do realize they are not pushovers. And its that spirit I love about them. If you treat them well you get it back with interest. So be a bit outgoing, talk to them, be the initiator and I am sure you will not be disappointed.
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 7th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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My husband and I have been there and did stay in an AI. We believe it to be a beautiful country. Our personal feelings are that we felt very safe in going out during the day, but we did opt to stay in during the evening and this worked well for us. We would have a wonderful dinner followed by a few rum drinks or a few glasses of wine and enjoy the night air and all the scents. Go and enjoy!
Knowing is offline  
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