Hello out there in travel land!!! Greetings and nuff respect.
Being a Jamaican, I can understand how some people really have a bad trip and others a good one. One recommendation, before you travel to an island, check out the economy!!! Don't expect to go somewhere and not have people try to solicit things from you or to you. In regards to the taxi cab drivers being outrageous; COME ON!! NEW YORKERS!!! aren't all cabbies like that. If you expect the Ritz, you'll be disappointed. Jamaica is an island with people trying to survive like every other island. Besides that, did you really go all out on the travel package??? Sounds like you looked for a cheap vacation and guess what, you got one.
Next time, go for broke and really check out the place with a guide. Someone that is trustworthy. It may be expensive, but at least you'll have a good time and see the rich heritage and the beautiful island. Go to Dunns River Falls, visit Port Antonio, there are many, many options.
Jamaican in charge!!!
My wife and I booked a trip to Jamaica for our upcoming 20th anniversary this fall. We are very excited but also a little concerned. I keep hearing it is not safe outside the Resorts. We've traveled to Puerto Rico and Mexico, and found the cultures quite interesting. I really want to go ahead with our plans, but am concerned about our safety. Deep down I believe all this safety stuff is just a bunch of paranoid people complaining. But can anyone shed a little light on this?
My friend and I recently visited Jamaica for the first time. As we connected our last flight to Montego Bay we learned about the riots the previous day (April 21, 1999) in which all flights to Jamaica from the US had been canceled. Fortunately we were able to fly in and begin our vacation. We found that the people were wonderful. Even amid the difficulties being experienced we were treated so warmly. It was such a pleasurable experience that we look forward to going back again as soon as possible. I know the most recent comments shown above are quite old but I just couldn't leave the site without telling people how much we enjoyed Jamaica.
Don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge Jamaica by the comments of others. If you decide to travel (anywhere) - go with an open mind and you will not be disappointed. Also if you expected to be treated with respect - don't forget to treat people with respect first.
I visited Ocho Rios, Jamaica in 1998 for the first time. I planned to go back in July 1999. I love Jamaica and the people there are very friendly. If I could afford it I would visit the island more often. I've traveled many islands but Jamaica is my favorite. When I retire I plan to live there doing our winter months.
I read your comments in response to someone criticizing Jamaica based on a
visit there. I had to write and say I loved your response, especially, "I
know you live in a world of marvelous American technology, but is it really
so hard to get up off your but and turn the air conditioning off manually?
You tell them bro!
And I live in America! :o)
This email is in response to the gentleman and his wife who I think are presently living in England and took a trip to Jamaica "ISLAND IN THE SUN" and had no problems using ONE visit OR BAD EXPERIENCE to prejudge a proud nation of people because of their misfortune. Your basic generalization of your entire story regarding you disappointing visit to Jamaica clearly shows how ignorant you are.
I never leave any questions unanswered or stones unturned, here is my point; how dare you come to Jamaica and misrepresent an entire island based on one visit. He also mentioned that Jamaica has race problems, but let me tell you about racism I have been living in Canada for fourteen years, even though it might be a beautiful place for anyone to visit, I have been called a NIGGER by whites living here on a few occasions but I will never stoop to that persons level by generalizing and stereotyping all whites who live in canada as being racist, which is clearly not true. This is something that the MAN needs to learn.
my next point is that there is a severe race war going on in England at the present time, let me fill you in, they are bombing the neighborhoods of ethnics / minorities living in england, but the gentleman and his wife are so proud to return to that country; proud to accept that country as his home. While you were on your vacation in Jamaica I'm sure you did not hear of any bomb threats, the bottom line is I'm am going to put it really simple for you, you are a SELL OUT UNCLE-TOM who is willing to accept living in places that don't even accept you for the color of your skin, and will bash their own because of a few. I am very sorry for you and it's time you change you ways.
There is good and bad everywhere. One more thing before I go, noticed the bold face on my words, I did this to let you see and feel how disgusted my fellow Jamaicans and I are with your comments. There was also another person who responded to this man and his wife's email by literally BEGGING THEM TO COME BACK and give the island another chance.
I want to lay it on you very bluntly, we don need you on our island, we couldn't care less if you never come back and believe me we are much better off without you Mr. and Mrs. SELL-OUT UNCLE TOM. Jamaica is not a place for confused fools, who misrepresent us wherever they go. Your attitude stinks...
Dan, the next time you go to visit any destination, be sure to do some research, any travel agent could have prepared you for what you encountered, REAL travel agent. If it was a travel agent who booked this trip for you.....find another agent. You will have people trying to sell you "things" in several "exotic" and popular destinations. I guess there are several places you won't go. The problem you encountered at the hotel, well, that could have taken place at the Ritz Carlton.....things happen, life is not perfect.
Retired Travel Consultant
No harm intended
I live in CA, what will I not give to be at least an hour away from Jamaica. I was there in May/97 and just recently Jul/98. I am already planning a trip back this summer of 99. I can't wait.... Please to all of those planning on visiting this island, disregard all these stupid comments people are making. Go to the closest video store and rent the new release " How Stella got her groove back", it takes place in Jamaica. Its about a 40yr old woman falls in love w/ this 20 yr. old.... anyway, check out the scenes.
I do agree w/ our veterans that know about the island. There is a lot of poverty. It is a third world country for sakes. You can't expect the roads to be nice and smooth either and the island to be spotless...Places to visit: Montego Bay( MoBay): the Great House,Rosehall., for a piece of history. Want a taste of true homemade Jamaican food? Try " Smokey Joe's", in Downtown MoBay. Love to Boggie? Go to " Margaritaville", 2 for 1 drink specials on the weekends. Try taking a submarine tour to explore the undersea in MoBay go snorkeling too. Go to the craft markets . Bargain they're flexible. Ride the "Island Dreamer" its like a yacht , they take you out to sea to snorkel then they take you to Margaritaville to ride down the water slide. While you are at it taste their delicious menu. Get hungry ? Half a block from Margaritaville is the "Pork Pit" for some fast Jamaican jerk pork n' jerk chicken. There's more to do in MoBay but, I need to advertise..
Ocho Rios: I went there for a day. Main attraction there is "Dunn's River Falls". You get to make a chain w/ a group of people hand in hand, climbing up the falls. Beautiful scenery of the crystal blue beach. There's plenty of craft markets. Remember "Bargain". Don't forget to buy a pair of water socks, they also rent some there so you can climb the falls.
I give Jamaica thumbs up. I love the people. They make everything a "No Problem". Don't forget to drink a "Redstripe beer". My hubby and I are headed to the " No Problem" land. Jamaica here we come.
Your Jamerican friends,
Ruben n' Priscilla
One Love, Mon!
i wish i had read your comments about Jamaica before i holidayed there in October of this year. My wife and i found it to possibly be the most unfriendly places we have had the misfortune to visit. We are from England and have quite a few Jamaican born friends who gave us some info on their homeland that persuaded us to give it a try. I understand that there are bad eggs in every country but we didn't manage to find any good ones, We also understand that you should not judge a country on one visit but I'm sorry to say that's the way of the world, we will not return and will tell our friends who might think of going away on holiday to Jamaica of our experiences and they can make their own choices. As a final comment can I say that if a black person was racially abused as much as we were there would have been uproar, and if the attitude is that you don't want people to come tell us up front and we will go somewhere else and help their economy.
Dan must know that not all of Jamaica is as he put it. If he didn't enjoy himself that his fault. He probably is too stuck up and don't know how to live He thinks that Jamaica is so bad. People like that are not welcome in Jamaica. We don't need people like you to come to our country. We want people who understand and knows to enjoy.
I have been to Jamaica three times. Had a wonderful time each visit. Stayed in Superclubs in Negril and Ocho Rios. Totally enjoyed each property, but could have an equally good time at a cheaper hotel or camping on the beach. As long as you know what to expect. Friends stayed in MoBay and really enjoyed it. If you try to get to know the people, they are very warm and friendly. The island is beautiful. Service anywhere outside the U.S. is hit and miss. In the U.S. I find a "customers suck" attitude taking over, which is more frustrating than "Island Time". I will return as soon as possible.
I really find the flames and insults of people that had a bad experience worse that reading that someone's trip did not live up to expectations. So what if someone says they had a bad trip, for every one bad you can read 50 or 100 good and make the judgement. Consider their experience and plan on something different. But If I am to believe some of these flames, then I should not return as I am a fat American. I am unwelcome. Not one person on the Island acted that way as they were very proud of their country and people. They wanted to share their pride with us.
The flames just add another negative impression for someone else to get on top of the already posted disappointments. I can't believe that all Jamaicans are just as prejudice against overweight people as some Americans are prejudice about others. I guess prejudice works both ways. Since I doubt the flamers really have any knowledge of the people that expressed their negative views, it could only be their prejudice and negativity coming out in the flames.
i took my two teens to negril, one year ago today. single mother and two kids. we did not want to leave. you need to realize that the culture is different there and it is _NOT the usa. thank god for that. the usa is too political and over-ruled. you must be real young. i am 43 and am wise and have accepted the fact that you can fit in and enjoy everyone and every place and their way of life. not everyone wants to be like you and love and peace.
write me back
Hi, As a Jamaican, it really saddened me to read your account of your trip here. Yes, there are problems here for tourists, (as in all countries of the world), but it is not always as bad as you have made out. After all, you had been here before, and opted to return. Hopefully, you will give us another chance, and if you would like any tips as to where to go and stay, etc., please feel free to email for information.
To: Who ever the f... you think you are? Dan, or should I just call you Dick.
O.K. a..h..e, let's rock! Look here s.... head if you did you f....ing homework you would have known that the hotel was improving their appearance and was presently under construction, there for you should have expected construction activity. Also for your information, if annoying f... such as you selves would stop stealing the remotes you might have received one for yourself. The less than cooperative service was probable due to your a...... attitude and you continuos drooling problem.
If you think security is bad here in Jamaica, why don't you dress you take you silly a.. wife and your stupid tourist shorts and go hang out in New York for a while, and lets see if you can get yourself raped and you wife mugged. I'm glad to hear that the beach was so heavily secured unfortunately the beach was not guarded enough, because some stupid guard let you and your probable fat a.. wife on our beach. If you didn't like what the sign said .. well too f....in' bad for you, don't read our signs. By the way, jack-a.., your f...ing cheap camera is a peach of s..., or you just don't know how to set up a web page, in short form your picture suck, it can't be read. Well if you didn't look like a f....ing drug addict and your wife looked f....able, the people would not be offering you all these services, that, I might add you are probable subscribing to back home.
Yes I believe that the drivers were all crooks " to you ", this can probable be based on the stupid know it all look on your face and fact that, you dressed cheap, you looked cheap, and you most likely tried to Jew them down on the price.... so hey guess what .. F... you ! Last time I went to New York all your taxi drives tried to either robe me or rape me looser. And your complaining about our drivers trying to make an extra $2.00 off you , you cheap f....
As for the you closed minded, pee brained comments about the Negril area, it would seem only to obvious that you believe everything that you hear. The owners don't have to develop everything to keep it. The f...ing moron you were taking to that has the unsightly bars and hair-braiding "boutiques" are the ones that stole the land to provide you with a service, so if you don't like it get the f... off the beach. The majority of people must like some of the bars or they would all be closed down, s... for brains.
Further more if you didn't like Jamaica that much, why the f... did you stay another day longer. Why didn't you just go home stupid.
Please feel free to send me your comments on my reply to you, at the E-mail address below:
PS Next time you decide to effect the economy of a whole country because you had a bad experience "the second time" you were in a country why don't you leave you last name or a return address so some of "your local Jamaicans" in New York can consult you personally on you problem!
This past August, my boyfriend and I took the trip of a lifetime to Jamaica. We stayed at Sandals Ocho Rios - which I would highly recommend. I have travelled to many top notch resorts with my family when I was younger, but staying at an all inclusive really made it feel like a vacation. While the price was high, it certainly was worth every penny.
One side trip that we loved was horseback riding through the St. Anns Mountains into the ocean where we swam with the horses. We had a local Jamaican tour guide who was gracious and well versed on the history of Jamaica which added a special touch to the tour.
While we did see a lot of poverty and dirt, we also saw beauty and character. To anyone who considers Jamaicans lazy needs to visit Sandals and watch how hard the staff (who were all very friendly and helpful) works morning noon and night every week for a fraction of what the average American makes in one day. I feel sorry for the people above who had such horrible times in Jamaica because there is so much more to Jamaica than meets the eye- it is a really enriching experience. We are counting the months until our next visit this August.
My wife and I just returned from Montego Bay Jamaica, it was truly a nightmare. We were booked at the Comfort Suites in Montego Bay for an all inclusive seven day package. We ended up being able to tolerate the conditions for only three.
The food at the hotel was inedible, the service was only decent if you were tipping at least five American dollars for every little thing, and there were stray cats everywhere on the grounds.
The hotel staff seemed to ignore us after the first day because I refused to purchase anything from a local vendor.
The beach was a tremendous disappointment because of how small it was, and the fact that it was filthy.
I would advise anyone else who may be considering Jamaica as a vacation destination to take the time to really examine where they are staying and check into the satisfaction policy. I was thoroughly disappointed, and received no refund or compensation of any kind.
My husband and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon in October of 1997 I dream every day of going back to the happiest days of our lives. While we were there we had nothing but happiness, happiness, happiness! We stayed in Montego Bay we were treated like we were a King and Queen the entire time we were there.
We also went to the sights in Jamaica from the markets to the gorgeous scenery in the country. We would love to go back again some day maybe sooner than we had ever imagined as our marriage already is having some major problems and I know if we went back we would capture our love again.
If there is anyone out there who would like to talk about Jamaica, compare vacation stories, have any new hot tips about Jamaica please e-mail me. Or better yet if there is anyone from Jamaica that wants to chat please, please e-mail me.
Just a little tip for all of you planning a trip to Jamaica:
1. Don't eat in your hotel restaurants. Go to the places the Jamaicans are going. That way you know its good and cheap. Hotel food is overpriced and usually not well prepared.
2. Don't just mingle with other tourists. Get out there and have some fun with the locals. Nobody knows how to party better than a Jamaican! Go to the local clubs and I'm sure there will be tons of Locals willing and ready to talk to you.
3. If you have a chance, go to a vegetable market. It's the most interesting thing I have ever seen and you can sample any fruit or vegetable you want no charge. They want to make sure you're gonna like what you buy.
4. Don't be gullible. Bargain for deals. If you don't want the product, give them a firm NO! They won't find you offensive. That's the way they do it there.
5. Be sure and go to a reggae show. It's so much fun (watch out for the ganga...unless of course you don't mind lighting one up with a local)
Follow these little tips and you'll have a blast in Jamaica.
I have been going to Jamaica regularly since 1960 and have written a cover story about it for Town & Country and another coming up in Travel & Leisure Golf.
Never has a country gotten such an unfair rap, but it should be understood that this goes back to a propaganda war waged by H.Kissinger against Michael Manley, Js prime minister in the 1970s, on account of Manley's rapprochement - meaningless in economic, political and military terms - with Castro.
The island has had tough sledding ever since, as has much of the Caribbean, which we ignore while bailing out speculators in Mexican securities. Jamaicans are a complex people. Jamaica is a place - not a three-dimensional brochure.
But in 37 years, I have never encountered anything in the way of violence or theft, and if they hustle, so would you - except when Wall Street does it, we call it capitalism.
Here's my 0.02 after reading everyone's flames...
My wife and I recently spent a few days in Jamaica - Couples in Ocho Rios. While we found the water to be beautiful, the landscape to be stunning and the weather fantastic (much better than Atlanta in Feb.) we also did not have a very good time.
We are very experienced travelers, been almost everywhere in the Carribean, a few spots in Canada and Mexico and two extended stays in Europe. I have spent the last two weeks trying to put my finger on what we did not like about Jamaica and why we both swore never to return. The answer is very simple - the people.
The people in Jamaica give the attitude of "No problem, mon" or "Whatever you say, mon", etc, etc. The only "problem" occurs when you want them to do something for you. Unless there's some $$$ involved their attitude turns to "No way, mon". From the time we arrived in Montego Bay to the time we departed it seemed that everyone had the attitude (1) you're white (2) you must have money, and of course (3) I'm not even gonna give you the time of day unless you cough up some cash.
Don't give me excuses about "we're a third world country, you should stay in New York....". I understand now why Jamaica is still a third world country - the people are lazy! I absolutely hate making generalizations like that, and I am also aware that every Jamaican in the world will now e-mail me to tell me how wrong I am. But folks, that's the perception given to me, my wife, and six others that were traveling with us and for this American that's the truth.
(Don't bother lifting those heavy fingers to flame me and tell me not to come back - we shan't return.)
There are a lot of places in the Carribean with just as much natural beauty, charm and culture (Caymans, Aruba, Barbados, British V.I., St. Lucia). If the only advice someone can give to me is "stay in Atlanta" or "you're just an AMERICAN", well as much as I hate to break it to you - that's two down. What's the Jamaican economy going to do when you run out of gullible Americans to tell "stay at home"? We just might, and I doubt there would be enough $$$ left to continue running e-mail.
See you next year in Grand Cayman!
My husband and I honeymooned in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and stayed at Jamaica Grande. We had a wonderful time and it was beautiful too. The resort was just near the big waterfall that we climbed, took a beautiful tour of the hillside, and gardens. We can not wait to be able to return there some day. We also experienced the culture outside the resort. I'll admit, the first day we were overwhelmed, but the next day we had a great time shopping, and knew what to expect. For anyone interested, I would certainly recommend Jamaica and Jamaica Grande!! Also, the trip from the airport to the resort was not that bad. It gave us a chance to see the land and other cities.
SIR, I HAVE BEEN TO JAMAICA ON VACATION ALSO AND DO NOT AGREE WITH MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE SAID. YOUR FIRST MISTAKE WAS TO GO TO BREEZES INSTEAD OF SANDALS BEACH RESORTS.
EVERY NATION HAS ITS PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH AND YOU PUBLICLY BROADCASTING NEGATIVE IMAGES ABOUT JAMAICA IS JUST SO ATROCIOUS AND ATTACKING.
THE NATION IS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY THAT RELIES ON TOURIST DOLLARS TO FINANCE ITS DEVELOPMENT. IF YOU AND YOUR FRIEND DID NOT ENJOY THE ISLAND THAT IS PERFECTLY O.K. BUT WHEN YOU DECIDED TO SPREAD THIS NEGATIVITY ABOUT JAMAICA THEN IT AFFECTS OTHERS.
IT IS NO WONDER YOU DID NOT ENJOY YOUR STAY. NEXT TIME PLEASE TRY AND FIND PARADISE ON EARTH, WHERE EVER THAT IS.
My wife an I have been to Jamaica four times and are planning a fifth trip this August. I sympathize with anyone who has had a bad experience in Jamaica. I would strongly suggest to anyone that is looking for five star accommodations by pass the island and look into Phoenix, AZ or San Diego. If on the other hand you willing to experience something different you must do your homework.
The primary point to remember is that you get what you pay for. If you want to go on the cheap you must research your accommodations prior to putting your money down. While your travel agent can be very helpful don't rely solely on his/her information.
If you have the means and are looking for an all inclusive try the Grand Lido in Negril. It's outstanding.
You visit one stupid spot and you're ready to junk the whole country? I've been to New York, it stinks, but people live there, and many other's keep visiting. I've been to Washington the capital of the most powerful nation on earth and it stinks. Oh, yes they have museums, monuments, the white house, Georgetown etc., but the biggest part of Washington is one big sprawling slum. Still in spite of my experiences I haven't written off your country.
I know you live in a world of marvelous American technology, but is it really so hard to get up off your but and turn the air conditioning off manually?
Jamaica can be a wonderful experience. Sorry you did not know that JA is NOT the U.S. In NY how far can 4 people get in a taxi for $100? 100 miles round trip with an all day guide? NOT! Obviously vendors would not solicit so vigorously if there was no demand. Unfortunately minimum wage is $15 US$ per week and unemployment in JA is about 35%. A pleasant smile and a firm NO thank you ends their pursuit and some vendors actually have some pretty neat stuff. What would a tourist get in Times Square? Mugged????? We have been to JA 42 times and support ourselves with profits from craft item imports. Each trip is different; an education in CULTURE - OURS and THEIRS. By the way, Breezes MoBay was dirt cheap at opening, you should have expected their newness.
I THINK YOUR STUPID LETTER ON HOW YOU WOULDN'T GO BACK TO JAMAICA HAD TO BE THE MOST BIASED EVER . YOU ARE PROBABLY SOME OLD DORK , WHO HAS NO IDEA WHAT PARADISE WOULD BE IF IT HIT YOU IN THE HEAD .
SO I GUESS TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION , I HATE THIS PAGE IT IS STUPID AND IT IS JUST A BUNCH OF IDIOTS DISSING SOMEONE ELSES HOME .
I MEAN ....HOW THE HELL CAN YOU COMPARE NEW YORK WITH JAMAICA.
I just wanted to say i think jamaica was the best place in the world . I went there with a church group and stayed in a small town called Ensom City . we went to Ocho Rios and had a great time.
the only problem was those dealers every time i turned a corner i had a offer for drugs which didn't really like. besides that i had a great time. i found the people to be really nice. i only had one bad interaction with them as we were walking to church sunday morning; but i will not get into that because i tend not to dwell on the bad things because there was an abundance of good things.
although i'm only 16 i intend to go back to jamaica when i'am older i still keep in touch with every one i met there. if you want to talk to any one from jamaica e-mail me.
Obviously Jamaica doesn't want any more asshole tourists like you anyway - if you want normal living then you should stay away from the tourist areas - the only reason drug dealers and prostitutes thrive there is because of the tourists - if you happened to open your eyes and look you would see that they aren't selling to normal Jamaicans, they are simply supplying a demand that tourists have created - if you even knew one little piece of Jamaican history you would realize that Jamaica was founded by white criminals and derelicts of European society and today the situation is no different - white people go to Jamaica to do whatever they want i.e. sex and drugs whereas little do they know that those things rarely go on outside of the tourist areas - in fact sex and drug offenses are punishable by laws that are far more severe than in North America.
Next time you want to go on vacation, go to Port Antonio, stay in a villa or bed and breakfast place and try to experience everyday Jamaican living - you just might like it - oh by the way I'm white too so you can put that doubt to rest.
Been There/Done That
I read all your comments and feedback about the horrible time that this person had at Breezes, and actually I'm so very surprised to see that so many of you have not heard of Breezes or knew of their reputable reputation. I too was considering them, because they are 'Super Clubs' and they also are well known for a great resort all over the Caribbean. One person had mentioned that they were a cheap stay. How come? I'm curious to know what that was supposed to mean? Do I have to pay $1,700.00 to 2,000.00 per person in order to receive the service that I expect? I certainly hope not, especially when I'm bringing my daugter along, who is a college student. That could really run into quite a bit of money.
Anyway, I was looking at Renaissance Jamaica Grande, and thought it looked terrific. The only thing that worries me is that we're only planning seven nights and supposedly it takes approximately 3 1/2 hours by plane to Jamaica from Newark Airport/New Jersey, and I read that it's a 90 minute bus ride from the Jamaican airport to the resort. Oh dear, that seems like my entire first day would be gone. And we'd all be cranky. LOL!
We've never been to Jamaica because we were told by some uninformed travel agent that it's dangerous and you can't leave the resort. Well, I can see that that's not true and that if you're not looking for trouble you won't find it. I think by what I've read here, it must be a beautiful place. But now we're back at square one. Where can we stay, get an all inclusive, disco for our daughter, great atmosphere, beach, maybe even a balcony, and still a decent price. Any ideas or advice?
Also, the person who took great offense and called the original writer about Breezes a fat American pig, made me laugh!!!! I'm American too, but I suppose I would have gotten insulted if someone had said horrible things about my country as well, although there ARE some horrible things to say about the US, as there are horrible things everywhere.
I hope you people have some great advice for me. We're planning to travel
next May of 1998 and really need help.
I too am sorry about your bad vacation. We have visited Jamaica since 1982 sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. We are not rich so we do not stay at such places as Breezes, Sandals, Couples etc. and would not do so if we could. We owned our own small house in Ocho Rios which we have since sold and prefer to stay in smaller cheaper hotels where all are friendly and leave you alone if that is what you wish.
Yes, we have had some bad experiences in Jamaica, but so have we in any other place we have visited as well as our own home. The good experiences far outweigh the bad. Everyone's tastes in vacations are different and no-one can advise others on where they should stay.
We enjoy going out into the country and meeting the Jamaican people, not staying in the resort areas where the hustlers and drug pushers collect. We have wonderful friends in Jamaica and will keep returning until we are too old.
Sorry you did not enjoy your trip. It seems apparent that you did not surf the web for information before you went. If you did you would have found a great resource on what to expect at http://www.jamaican.com where there are real (not sugar coated) tips for tourists.
We are going to return to Hedonism II on January 22, 1998 for our second trip to Jamaica. We will be there for ten days and want to know if any of you are going during that time. We would like to plan ahead to create some fun things to do that would start the good times rolling and get the party started right off.
If you are going to be there during that time and want to party write !!
I am an Australian Woman who has been a tourist in Jamaica for over 15 years. During this time I've been in all sorts of locations from All Inclusives to Villas to private homes to attending Independence Day in Maroon Country. I now work as a Journalist who has been lucky enough to explore the Island even further.
I love the country dearly despite all that you speak of. Yes in certain areas all you will get is pure hustling with whatever they have to sell... But please remember that this person probably earns per month what you earn in 3 months.. Be firm and clear in your transactions don't lead people on, you can't change their situation, but respect the urgency of their need to do business.
Imagine if most of the most beautiful parts of the American Coastline were "Off-Limits" to you and only available to foreign tourists staying at All Inclusives where you had to pass through security guards to even get to. I think you would be a little pissed off too.
All of this is not to make you feel guilty, but to make you aware of your environs. With careful research there are plenty of resorts all over Jamaica which will shield you from this, and they will probably be All Inclusives, some of these locations are really fantastic in every respect.
There are alternatives, call the Jamaican Tourist Board in your city for options to the 'run of the mill' resort, they do have literature on alternatives and be open about what you want.
Jamaica is one of the richest, most complicated, rewarding destinations, why do you think the Ralph Lauren's and the Paul McCartneys of this world keep coming back year after year? The culture is rich and worth investigating, the people can be some of the most friendly and fascinating you'll ever meet, as for service.....
If you're looking for a quick, mindless vacation in the sun, go else where. If you want to be enriched by some pretty incredible people and relax at the same time, go to Jamaica, but do some research or make your travel agent earn their commission, it's worth it!
Glad to see much of the feedback chides the complainers for their own poor judgment, not Jamaica's vices! Whilst I have only visited the blessed isle only twice, I have friends who go back every year, and others who have moved there.
The trick is, stay away from the 'tourist traps' (many of which can also be wonderful, but they are specifically designed to pry money from tourists, in a mild sort of way), get into the hinterlands where the kindest, most hospitable peoples you can imagine will treat you with dignity and consideration (you have to do the same of course!).
The climate ('cept hurricane season) is perfect, the markets and cuisines are wonderful, most beaches are good, the mountains and cockpit areas are majestic and mysterious, the numerous river gorges beautiful and refreshing. Jamaica may not quite be Cuba, but who needs more than all that anyway?
Better luck next time!
To whom it may concern:
My name is Jennifer and I am from Nebraska (USA). I enjoyed the remarks and letters I just read.
I have been to Jamaica a couple of times. My boyfriend and I love it!!!!!!
We stay at the same place, The Negril Beach Club (Negril) and we also stay on the cliffs @ Home Sweet Home. Jamica, to me, is the most wonderful, relaxing place in the world.
I would enjoy having a pen pal from Jamaica (Negril). Please find me one!
Keep up the good work!
I'm surprised you found it so HORRIBLE to be in Jamaica because I have been there twice with my husband and three young children and apart from being offered clothing or necklaces made out of beads I found my stay there real nice. I guess I am a have sympathy for these people just trying to make a living, but a piece of advice would be, avoid eye contact and just simply say "NO" to the offers. Perhaps you should have done a bit of research before you decided to stay at the breezes. I'm not sure if you did or not but really and truly, you must give things a chance. Perhaps your nightmare vacation would be the vacation of a lifetime next time around. And if you are not happy then perhaps you might try complaining to where you found the problem. Maybe, others having similar experience to yours might not feel the way you do. As for the driver, well, you should have rented your own car! If you should decide to go again, try getting a last minute flight which is way cheaper! Contact Toby Inn which is very close to Doctor's cave beach and Cornwell beach and that place there is very nice and not too expensive. If you want their number, I have it. Also, rent a car, it's cheaper and you can go where you like without getting ripped off!
Sorry to hear that you had such a HORRIBLE STAY. Better luck in your future adventures.
Gloria from Toronto.
With my wife we visited Jamaica in 1993. We stayed there for one month and just loved it! We stayed in private rooms which are cheap (15-25 US) and avoided the most tourist filled places like Negril & Montego Bay. It is very nice especially around Black River (long lonely beaches, nice people...) The best of all are reggae concerts which are held almost every week all around the island... Traveling with local buses is cheap, but sometimes they get crowded. But the locals are friendly.
Subject: Holiday Inn - MoBay; my disappointment 1990
Only Holiday Inn I would not recommend. Music in courtyard filters into rooms TOO easily late into the night. Transport to the airport required a taxi which is not easily obtained unless one is willing to fork over the money requested.
I thought it was wrong to pay for two meals (ordered) when the check only showed one meal; still think it was wrong but when you realize the employees earn about $25 per week (typically), a $5 mistake means a lot to them.
The small shopping center across the street has its concentration of street people wanting (strongly!) to do some business with you. At least in Negril, more tourists means less hassles.
The town of Negril has some negatives to be careful of, but also a lot of positives which would take several pages (as long as you guard your money and watches, esp at the all-inclusive clubs).
It's unfortunate that one can so quickly judge a whole island of people based on a few days' experience. I have been to Jamaica 10 times, and will hope to go 10 more.
You cannot go to a third world country and expect it to be like the US. If you do, you will be disappointed and will not enjoy your stay.
It is the people that make Jamaica such a wonderful, warm place. I have friends there who would take me into their homes to stay when I come back and I would gladly do that.
You have to make an effort to meet the real people, not just the vendors and the drug pushers. Would you go to NYC to hang around with that type? Then don't do it in Jamaica. Go AWAY from the tourist areas, not to them. Find the real Jamaica and its people. They are as beautiful as their Island.
Price you pay for a cheap vacation. That is like me going to Harlem on vacation. Jamaica Like America have its good area and its bad. Their are some part of this country I would never go to. Don't believe the hype. There is good and bad in everything. Breezes Hotel I never heard of it and would never stay their. Try Cibony or Grand Lido or Enchanted Gardens.
I am not a big fan of tourism, it have created situations that you have described, people would not sell drugs to tourist if tourist did not buy drugs. The place you visit is tourist country, I don't like tourist country because it is full of tourist and the native loose their heads when they see tourist. No body goes to school anymore or work the farm, everybody wants easy money. Tourism have changed by society, for the worst. And tourist expects you to behave like poor small Island people. Smiling all the time, bidding them welcome. I don't get welcome in New York, why should you be welcome in tourist country. People are people, Londoners rip you off, New Yorkers rip you off and guest what some Jamaicans will rip you off.
Next time take a real vacation at a real resort or don't go to the commercial side of the Island (North Coast) try the south coast instead. You have labeled an entire country because of your experience. you saw some Jamaicans selling drugs, so in your mind all Jamaicans sell drugs. This is like me going to Harlem and go back home and describe America in terms of Harlem or Flat Bush, or Jamaica Ave in Queens or W4 Park. There are Good Americans, there are bad Americans, their are Good area in American and Bad areas.
We have young Americans visiting Jamaica, Buying Drugs and sex and we have Jamaicans selling drugs and sex. Where buyers come together with sellers is called a Market. Visitors don't buy, Jamaicans wont sell.
Try Florida, I hear it good this time of the year. (OOPS! they shoot tourist their)
only a small percentage of Jamaican/Jamaican resorts fit that description. I truly understand the circumstances you faced. Jamaica/Ministry of Tourism are working hard to take away these problems. I would advise you to make a written complaint to The ministry of Tourism, the hotel management etc.
Jamaica has problems (a big one is poverty) like any other places. Inspite of this, I LOVE MY COUNTRY DEARLY. I look forward to returning 12/19
Jamaican student in the US
I can't agree with you more about Jamaica. We were told to avoid Montego Bay entirely. I stayed in Negril for two entire weeks (big mistake) and wrote about it in The Adventure Exchange http://home.earthlink.net/~bsugano/traveling.html. I need to add the part about our dive boat captain running us aground twice on the reef at night.
My wife and I along with another couple just spent 5 days in Montego Bay. We Loved It! .... Oh and that weather! Ooh La La, was that fantastic. The food was a close second too.
Next to Cancun....
I read your piece on Jamaica, and while I can understand how you had the experience that you did, I would like to point out that based on the type of vacation you planned, you could have had no other. You would have had the exact same experience in any third world country or over- touristed spot (Mexico, the Bahamas . . . ).
With a little careful planning, however, you could have avoided the hassles and had a great time. There are many fantastic resorts, guest houses and hotels in Jamaica at which you can stay. Unfortunately Breezes isn't one of them. Had you wanted to rent a car, you should have done so ahead of time rather than trying to strike a deal with a local privateer. What you experienced was no more unusual than a New York or Washington D.C. cabbie driving you several blocks out of your way to run the meter up.
Without going on, US tourists must remember that third world nations are not the US. As a result you must plan accordingly. If you are not going to travel at the jet set level, which is certainly possible in Jamaica and many other Caribbean/third world countries, then you must be willing to accept certain inconveniences, and to roll with the "punches" thrown at you by the locals and your decision.
Anyway, that's my long winded way of saying that I thought your piece on Jamaica was unfortunate and inaccurate.
Try the all-inclusive Hedonism II in Negril!
If you have any kind of a problem, big or small, they go out of their way to help make it right. But, then, at Hedonism II, the existence of a problem is very remote.
Editor's Note: Prior to receiving the following, I thought that HEDO4TAN was affiliated with Hedonism:
Date sent: Tue, 7 May 1996
Subject: Re: please try Jamaica once more
I have no commercial affiliation with Hedonism II or with any of the other Superclubs. I call myself HEDO4TAN since I go to Hedonism II every year. I leave May 16th for my eleventh visit. (I have met people at Hedonism II that have gone there over thirty times). Hedo's repeat business exceeds 60%. That says a lot! Come November 1st, Hedonism will celebrate their 20th anniversary. They've got to be doing something right.
.........now if only Superclubs would initiate a "Hedonism at Sea" cruise ship. What a combination!
Michael Garret played several gigs at the Cape and one of his songs "Take me back to Jamica all I want is a Holiday...This dude that took this trip should settle down --it appears he's a playboy on the run with "Run around Sue....
p.s. Sue, check out 10 Stupid things that Women do to Mess up their Lives" by Dr. Laura
Hi, I read your article about your little stay in Jamaica. While I must admit that it is unfortunate that you met with these inconveniences there, I must tell you that Jamaica is not as terrible as you make it sound. Every country has its share of bad eggs, and it seems like you went to the wrong part of jamiaca for your vacation. I've been to Jamaica also and enjoyed being there immensely so I know that the people there are in fact nice and warm, and not everyone is out to get something from you.
The best places to go for peace and and quiet and /or relaxation is on the East Coast, in places like Port Antonio in Portland Santa Cruz in St. Mary, Mandeville, or Upper St. Andrew.
Upper St. Andrew is especially nice for relaxing because it is on the outskirts of the city, and the Resorts are nestled at the foot of gorgeous mountains, which are made even more beautiful by the lush vegetation nearby.
New Kingston which is nearby, is one of the best places to shop while in St. Andrew because again it is on the outskirts of the city and very near the Resorts. It is the "posh" area-- not too expensive, but with good value items, and most importanlty, that area is relatively crime-free.
If you or anyone else need any more information, feel free to E-mail me. I have spent some time there and concider myself an authority in that area.
While I can appreciate your misfortune at the "Sea Breeze" hotel I think your statement about not going back to Jamaica is unfare and does a disservice for Jamaica as a whole.
Many people who travel to exocit place like Jamaica may search out remote beautiful sights in non tourist sights such as you would find in the parish of Portland and St. Thomas.
If you would like to see the more tranquil sights that Jamaica has to offer, and you are willing to experience another side of Jamaica send me an e-mail and I would be glad to make some recommendation.
New York has horrible things happening all the time, but we all still remain.
It is very interesting that your trip to jamaica was not your first but rather it was your second. As you stated you liked your first visit. It was however not suprising that you feel the way you do after having a bad experience at BREEZES. After all you are only an AMERICAN.
I know it is quite difficult to deviate from your sick ways of generalizing about everyone and everything. Did you meet all the taxi drivers in Jamaica? It is always interesting to see the way that low class Americans expect to be treated once they are in a foreign country.
So you didn't have a remote. I'm sure you were surprised to see an airconditioner with a remote. And who cares what the sign says. Regarding the people whom you so eloquently stated would try to sell their grand-mother at least they are not on welfare like you assholes. It is no wonder you did not complain about the food you fat wench. Yes you were trying to get away from NY I too live in New York but I can acknowledge the fact that there are all kinds of people in NY-- good and Bad.
It takes an ignorant person like yourself to generalize about an entire nation of people after spending a few days in a small fragment of the island. You must be an expert on Jamaica. After 4 days in Negril you seem to know everything about the Real Estate.
PLEASE DO NOT COME BACK. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME. Stay in NY and continue to make use of your athletic ability. It is obvious that you are not an intelectual. A class in "logic and rhetoric" and one in Statistics would not hurt. It will only help you to understand sample size and significant data. --If you can't afford it I'm sure there is a social program here for your type. Good luck in the future.
PS. Jamaica is not a place for overweight people. Sorry the pool wasn't big enough to hide your blubber. Shamu.
Editor's Note: The authors of this travel diary are both slim, marathon runners.
I found your site to be upfront and honest in your visit to Jamaica. Its good to see what problems people have had and what to avoid. My wife and I are thinking of visiting one of the Caribbean Islands this fall. Jamaica was on our list. We have never been there before and so we are looking for information as to where and where not to stay. This information you have given has been very valuable and I hope others will post similar information for the places they visit. I know that I will.
Wow! Sounds like you had quite a time. My wife and I honeymooned in Mo Bay in Aug. 1995 and had a wonderful time. We rented our own jeep and drove ourselves to Negril one day while we were there. (jeep rental was only $75 for two days.) I particularly got a kick out of driving on the left! (although their roads are awful and they all drive like maniacs!)
Next time you do an all-inclusive Caribean vacation, stay at a Sandals! They were always friendly, never blew us off, and check in took only 15 minutes. (and their policy is NO TIPPING ALLOWED)
Send us your Feedback
or Join our Mailing List for Trip Updates via E-mail
Back to home page
All contents Copyright © 1995-6 Cyber Adventures except as noted.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
For questions about Cyber Adventures and other inquiries, click here to send us a note
Web page development by GO/J2M Inter@ctive and Logical Business Systems