Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 1/9/2006 8:29:51 PM EDT
We'll be going late spring when the weather's starting to heat up again. We've got beachfront villa's and plan on getting pampered to the extreme. We'll be staying at the Sandals Dunn's River Falls and don't plan on doing much other than sitting on the beach/pool drinking and eating. We'll get some SCUBA diving and other misc short rec trips in, but we mostly want to relax.

Anyone been there that would like to provide any input?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:30:46 PM EDT
Lucky Fucker.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:30:55 PM EDT
What is this vacation thing people talk about?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:32:48 PM EDT
My cruise stopped there. I feared for my life getting off of the ship. What a dump. I guess there are some nice places but I sure as hell didn't see any. I would be afraid to sleep on that island.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:37:45 PM EDT
My buddy and his GF just got back from there a few weeks ago. Absolutely awesome was what they told me. Pretty much everything on campus, including booze, was in teh package.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:39:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr: Anyone been there that would like to provide any input?
Just stay away from the resorts close to the main port areas, they are too crowded. The one you picked should be very good. Stay on resort grounds and don't buy any tapes from guys claiming, "Ya mon. My bro's be the next Bob Marley, mon. I sell you tape, very good, mon". Single guys should see if they can score with hot and horny foreign babes on vacation.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:47:17 PM EDT
You cannot stay anywhere near Dunn's River Falls and NOT CLIMB THE FALLS!!!!!

Climbing the falls is just way too fun. If you don't, you'll regret it. It's only a few bucks and a couple of hours.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 10:45:29 PM EDT
My wife and I just booked a 5-dayer to the Sandals "Royal Bahamian". We'll be leaving the weekend after easter.
We were looking at Jamaica as well, but the Somalian Pirate episode scared my wife out of it.
Unless you're a member, AAA travel agencies are more expensive than booking yourself. We saved almost $1k by going thru another agency.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 10:53:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
We'll be going late spring when the weather's starting to heat up again. We've got beachfront villa's and plan on getting pampered to the extreme. We'll be staying at the Sandals Dunn's River Falls and don't plan on doing much other than sitting on the beach/pool drinking and eating. We'll get some SCUBA diving and other misc short rec trips in, but we mostly want to relax.

Anyone been there that would like to provide any input?



Dude. It's Jamaica.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:13:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 1:57:02 AM EDT by SST7Alumni]
Sorry - no good reviews here - I went to Jamaica last January on Royal Caribbean and was not impressed with my experience. In fact no one from my group (45 people) had anything good to say about it. And I do not plan on returning

Here is the short list:
1) I was offered drugs on the street 12x in less than 45 min.
2) was incessantly harassed by a guy who wanted me to follow him (I didn't of course) so he and another guy could rob me (the guy pestering me and the tail both took off running when some cops recognized one and chased after them -BIG THUMBS UP to the local PD though-)
3) went on the falls climbing tour (OK) and the "dolphin tour" (a thorough disappointment) my friends and I were badgered and cursed at by local vendors because we did not buy their souvenirs.
4) I got a headache from "contact high" just from going in the local grocery market.
5) Some idiots brought that crap back on the ship and had a pot bonfire in their room 3 nights in a row just down the hall from me. The offending individuals were arrested as soon as we got back to port.

FWIW - I have heard that the all inclusive resorts are the only way to do Jamaica. I have enjoyed everywhere else I have been in the Caribbean. YMMV

sst7
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:37:03 AM EDT
We will be needing a "Range Report" when you get back.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:43:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SST7Alumni:
Sorry - no good reviews here - I went to Jamaica last January on Royal Caribbean and was not impressed with my experience. In fact no one from my group (45 people) had anything good to say about it. And I do not plan on returning

Here is the short list:
1) I was offered drugs on the street 12x in less than 45 min.
2) was incessantly harassed by a guy who wanted me to follow him (I didn't of course) so he and another guy could rob me (the guy pestering me and the tail both took off running when some cops recognized one and chased after them -BIG THUMBS UP to the local PD though-)
3) went on the falls climbing tour (OK) and the "dolphin tour" (a thorough disappointment) my friends and I were badgered and cursed at by local vendors because we did not buy their souvenirs.
4) I got a headache from "contact high" just from going in the local grocery market.
5) Some idiots brought that crap back on the ship and had a pot bonfire in their room 3 nights in a row just down the hall from me. The offending individuals were arrested as soon as we got back to port.

FWIW - I have heard that the all inclusive resorts are the only way to do Jamaica. I have enjoyed everywhere else I have been in the Carribean. YMMV

sst7



I've found that in many places in the caribbean, the people just have a massive chip on their shoulder. Jamaica is supposed to be the worst.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:54:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
We'll be going late spring when the weather's starting to heat up again. We've got beachfront villa's and plan on getting pampered to the extreme. We'll be staying at the Sandals Dunn's River Falls and don't plan on doing much other than sitting on the beach/pool drinking and eating. We'll get some SCUBA diving and other misc short rec trips in, but we mostly want to relax.

Anyone been there that would like to provide any input?




I've been to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Aside from what you have mentioed, there's not much to do. Dunn's River Falls sucked. Nothing but a crowded tourist trap with the cheesey T-shirt venders to prove it. Stay out of town when the cruise ships are in.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:59:50 AM EDT
How much it cost ya?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:01:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:04:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DukeSnookems:
I've found that in many places in the caribbean, the people just have a massive chip on their shoulder. Jamaica is supposed to be the worst.



My impression from my limited exposure/experience: Jamaica = YOU OWE ME because I don't live in America and/or Jamaica isn't just like San Diego.

away

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:04:55 AM EDT
Aruba is nice though.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:07:25 AM EDT
My experience in the carribean is that most ports/cities are dumps. Either stay at a enclosed resort like Sandals and don't bother with the rest. Or go on a cruise and enjoy the voyage because the destinations leave a great deal to be desired. The resorts will cost you quite a bit more than teh cruises will also. I'm still going back though! I was supposed to be down there for the holidays but you know what happens, now I have to wait until later in the year I guess.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:08:58 AM EDT
I did Sandals Royal Caribbean 10 years ago. Having the all-inclusive deal is nice because you don't worry about tipping. Expect your drinks to be watered down, though.

If you go off the resort, take plenty of singles to tip folks with.

If you go to the market, be prepared to haggle. I found I could get a better price if I paid in Jamaican $$ than American $$.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:12:00 AM EDT
I would just sit at the resort and get hammered. The rest of Jamaica is a third world hell hole. The resorts are nice though. Have a good trip. I am trying to schedule a getaway to the Keys in February. Vacations to warm places in the winter time is the way to do it.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:12:05 AM EDT
Not sure which resort it was, but while on vacation in Jamaica, my son and daughter in law ran into O.J. Simpson on an elevator.

My son told me that OJ had the biggest hands he'd ever seen on a person!

Be VERY careful on elevators.................
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:21:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SST7Alumni:

Originally Posted By DukeSnookems:
I've found that in many places in the caribbean, the people just have a massive chip on their shoulder. Jamaica is supposed to be the worst.



My impression from my limited exposure/experience: Jamaica = YOU OWE ME because I don't live in America and/or Jamaica isn't just like San Diego.




That is EXACTLY the impression I get. Bahamas, St Lucia, Belize, etc... They expect me to let them rob (literally) me, let them insult me, and I'm obligated to buy them drinks, etc.. etc.. because of slavery (huh?), because they are poorer than I am (I got poor relatives that I'd give money to before these scumbags), because I'm an American and as we all know all Americans have more money than they know what to do with. In short, women owe them sex, men owe them money, and the only thing that makes them happier than sex and money is seeing a miserable tourist.

What's interesting is that for the most part, I've only noticed this attitude in former colonies that have had mostly an English influence. The people from former colonies with mostly Spanish influence are wonderful.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:18:38 AM EDT
major taggage
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:39:51 AM EDT
Don't be discouraged by the negative reports about Jamaica. The Sandals Resorts are designed so you do not even need to leave the gated resort to enjoy yourself (although a trip to the falls is highly recommended). Ocho Rios is where all the cruise ships dock and this town is notorious for having undesirables preying on tourists. Remember on a cruise you have less than a day on the island so they are easy targets as they NEED to get back on the ship and usually succumb to the bribes, etc. They also don’t have someone looking out for their best interests like you do at the resort.

The non resort areas of Jamaica are very poor, so you get the same third world beggars and peddlers you do anywhere.

That being said the Sandals resorts are great. EVERYTHING is included, and the employees can get fired if they accept a tip, so there are no additional expenses except merchandise purchases and excursions. I usually tipped the guys I liked with a beer (still against the rules, but the guy will just chug the thing behind a tree or something).

Book your meals at the specialty restaurant the first day, or if you have concierge service (most villa packages do) they will do this for you. The main restaurant is fine but the specialty ones are smaller and have unique menus. They book fast. Even if booking direct with the restaurant is not possible your concierge can get you in if you have one.

Also if you have a villa you can arrange for dinner on your patio as opposed to in a dining room. A very nice touch that you can surprise the misses with.

The Pina Colada machines do not have alcohol in them; you have to ask for it to be added. Not a big deal, but I downed two before I knew this.

If you do venture outside of the resort, make sure the bellhop gets your taxi or your concierge arranges everything for you. We had a private tour guide when we did this and he helped tremendously with ensuring we were going where we wanted and that no undesirables messed with us.

Some “taxi” drivers aren’t taxis drivers at all and are looking to basically take you out of the main area and mug you. Common sense is all you need to differentiate between the two, and this is more of an issue in Ocho Rios where Cruise ship people are unleashed in mass on the island.

I have also gone to Jamaica on a cruise ship and ventured out on my own. Yes, you will be offered things on the street, yes there are people you normally don’t associate with walking around. You are traveling abroad and this is not out of the ordinary. Just be aware of your surroundings and don’t be overly trusting and there will be no issue.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:43:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 4:46:36 AM EDT by dvr9]
You will not be disappointed. Drink up and enjoy everything they have to offer.

Do not confuse Sandals with the rest of Jamaica. Do yourself a favor and stay on the resort and you will not run into any of the trash that the others have experienced. There is enough to do that you won't have to do the same thing twice. Dunns River falls is the bomb diggity though.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:03:10 AM EDT
Jamiaca is a shit hole. I won't ever spend another day there.

TXL
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:07:59 AM EDT
My wife was born and raised in jamaica and has relatives in Ocho Rios. The all-inculsives should be great but you have to be carefull on the "economy." Everyone in JA knows when the cruise ships arrive and it is a major free for all and circus. if you go into the local markets, go on a day where there are no cruise ship arrivals. The economy in JA is not good so be careful where you go. However, the all inclusives are nice and they own the beaches, so they will keep the bad news bears out of the resort areas. Also, if you go to Dunns River Falls and fall in, DO NOT swallow any of the water. I did (by accident) and was sick as hell for the next two days.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:13:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
We'll be going late spring when the weather's starting to heat up again. We've got beachfront villa's and plan on getting pampered to the extreme. We'll be staying at the Sandals Dunn's River Falls and don't plan on doing much other than sitting on the beach/pool drinking and eating. We'll get some SCUBA diving and other misc short rec trips in, but we mostly want to relax.

Anyone been there that would like to provide any input?




I'm envious -- have fun.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:15:57 AM EDT
Sandals kick ass....you'll have fun
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:27:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FieroLoki:
How much it cost ya?



+1
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:31:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
We'll be going late spring when the weather's starting to heat up again. We've got beachfront villa's and plan on getting pampered to the extreme. We'll be staying at the Sandals Dunn's River Falls and don't plan on doing much other than sitting on the beach/pool drinking and eating. We'll get some SCUBA diving and other misc short rec trips in, but we mostly want to relax.

Anyone been there that would like to provide any input?


Just got back from Ocho Rios with the wife, if the weather is nice you will have fun. We went in November and the ocean was closed so we couldn't do any of the water activities but the partying was cool. Get used to red stripe.......
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:59:53 AM EDT
screw the caribbean, the only island i'll fly to is Hawaii.
at least it is American.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:49:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSouthCarolina:
Aruba is nice though.



Cant say enough about the difference between the two. Aruba calm, safe feeling but in Jamaica outside the resort third worldy feeling.

I like both
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:57:40 AM EDT
I'm not knocking you... I hope you have a great time.

I see everyone saying Jamaica sucks, etc... Then some say that you're going to an all inclusive resort, not leaving the resort, it'll be fine. WTF is the point of going to another country then ! I go to other countries (when on non-biz) to experience the country, not to sit on my ass in some all inclusive resort.
Been to Jamaica, I ain't going back. Love the Cayman Islands though and there are some islands that are nice. Jamaica seems to have problems.

Like I said, not directed at you niceguymr...
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:06:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SST7Alumni:
Sorry - no good reviews here - I went to Jamaica last January on Royal Caribbean and was not impressed with my experience. In fact no one from my group (45 people) had anything good to say about it. And I do not plan on returning

Here is the short list:
1) I was offered drugs on the street 12x in less than 45 min.
2) was incessantly harassed by a guy who wanted me to follow him (I didn't of course) so he and another guy could rob me (the guy pestering me and the tail both took off running when some cops recognized one and chased after them -BIG THUMBS UP to the local PD though-)
3) went on the falls climbing tour (OK) and the "dolphin tour" (a thorough disappointment) my friends and I were badgered and cursed at by local vendors because we did not buy their souvenirs.
4) I got a headache from "contact high" just from going in the local grocery market.
5) Some idiots brought that crap back on the ship and had a pot bonfire in their room 3 nights in a row just down the hall from me. The offending individuals were arrested as soon as we got back to port.

FWIW - I have heard that the all inclusive resorts are the only way to do Jamaica. I have enjoyed everywhere else I have been in the Caribbean. YMMV

sst7



sounds like afriends report- some real a-holes in the market/etc. but he was on a cruise too. heard the resorts are real nice- but try to stay on them. I was there a LONG time ago. and I think it was much different- but still had constant harrasment.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:36:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SUPERSPORT:
My cruise stopped there. I feared for my life getting off of the ship. What a dump. I guess there are some nice places but I sure as hell didn't see any. I would be afraid to sleep on that island.



There's a big difference in where the cruise port is, that dumps 10,000+ people per day off packed ships, with people looking to do some guided sightseeing and shopping tours than staying in a luxury beachfront resort. As far as being scared, the only part of Jamaica that you really need to worry about is Kingston. There you really have to look over your shoulders. But then again, there's a 'Kingston' in every major city in the U.S. People just don't frequent those areas when they go on vacation. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience though. I've been there a handfull of times and always had a great experience. I guess it helps when you know 'where' to go. The locals that hang out around the cruise ship ports are there because they know that's where the money comes in. They're usually pretty agressive, but generally considered safe b/c they are under close eye of the local police trying to ensure visitors enjoy themselves.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:41:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FieroLoki:
How much it cost ya?



About 2K, airfare include, for a waterfront villa. I'm contemplating getting a butler (for another few hundred bucks), but my GF is entirely against it. She doesn't want someone so 'closely' involved in our day to day activities. I can kind of understand her point.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:43:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSouthCarolina:
Aruba is nice though.



That was our next choice. I've been there too and LOVED it. I'm an avid windsurfer and it's one of the best places (tropical) in the world to do it.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:44:01 PM EDT
I would not leave the resort unarmed.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:50:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
I am trying to schedule a getaway to the Keys in February. Vacations to warm places in the winter time is the way to do it.



I live in Miami, so it's always warm.

For KW, be sure to stay at a bed & breakfast or geasthouse located on (or slightly off of) Duval Street. It's the best and most enjoyable way to do KW. As a several-time-a-year visitor, I would highly recommed 'Andrews Inn' (look them up on the web). Great staff, great location, great everything. It's all of KW built into your little cottage. It can be a romatic stay, a peacefull stay, or a wild & crazy stay. They've got a tiny little pool to cool off in that's just perfect. Oh, and be sure to rent a scooter to get around the island. It's much better than driving a car and trying to find parking. Just be sure not to scoot drunk. They will bust you.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:58:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Carribean is teh Sux....

Visit someplace civilised next time.... Switzerland, natives speak english, everyone shoots, lots of scenery for the wife, lots of ranges with SIG's for you...


ANdy



Listen Andy, not everyone is lucky enough to have a land route to the rest of Europe for sight seeing.

Btw, when are you going to flood that damn tube and blow it up. You're letting all the French get in.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:02:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Taxman:
What is this vacation thing people talk about?



+1000
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:04:25 PM EDT
I would like to add a little something here....

It's hard being a tourist in a country like Jamaica that thrives on tourism. They hustle and bustle you around and try to take advantage of you in ways you don't realize, by the same time showing you a slice of their life. For some people, that's fine, for others, it's disgusting.

The best way to do it is to be/appear to be an 'experienced' tourist so the locals dont' try their usual techniques with you. If you act like you know where you're going, they'll pick up on that and acommodate you. If you look like a dear caught in the headlights, they'll take advantage of that. The best way to avoid that type of situation is to learn as much as you can about where you'll be going, BEFORE you go. Talk to people who've had GOOD experiences, not BAD ones (although you can learn from the bad experiences too). Also, don't try to cut too many deals. You get what you pay for. You'd be surprised at how well you'll get treated if you imply that good service will be rewarded accordingly.

I get here the same type of bashing from many people who come to visit South Beach here in Miami. I hear all the typical horror stories about being surrounded by gays and filth and whatnot, but then I hear them tell me about where they stayed and what areas they visited. It's no wonder they had a bad time. They never really knew where the 'right' places to go were from the beginning. Chances are they got their advice from a travel agent, rather than a local person with similar interests or even a past traveler with similar interests. You'd be surprised at the wealth of information available on the internet in travel discussion forums just like ARFCOM.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:10:56 PM EDT
The wife and I went to Sandals Antiqua. It was an excellent trip! We would do it over again without hesitation. I would not venture into the countryside, especially Jamacia. Stay in the resort, there is plenty of activities to do. We jet skied, sailed, scuba dived, parasailed, fished. Some things are extra, like the cruises on catermarans. We wanted to do a few things like that, but we did not bring enough cash. So we made a trip into "town". It was a third world county, incredibly destitute, I was expecting the same. I asked the cabby to take us to an ATM and to wait for us while we went in. When we entered the ATM, there was an older white lady at the machine with a young black guy right behind her, looking at what she was doing. At one point, the lady told the black kid "this is it, no more", as she handed him cash. I could tell from her voice that she lived on the island and that she was crying. I looked out the window and can see two cops across the street. The women and man walked out of the ATM together, then the wife and I followed. I walked over to the cops and told them what we saw and they both looked at me like I was a white cracker, they did NOTHING.


Link Posted: 1/11/2006 1:37:19 AM EDT
The best part of Jamica is the "Sleeping Policeman" signs .
Top Top