Post # 1
okay, so! ….
one of the only things that has been stressing me out to the max is the honeymoon spot. My first choice location was ruled out because of cold weather during the month of march (when the wedding is and Im not willing to wait a few months to have my honeymoon). My second choice location was ruled out because of both pricing (way, way over budget) and time spent having to fly there (about 23 hours yikes!). I finally settled on going to grande riviera: ochos rios in Jamaica, we decided on an awesome luxury honeymoon suite (it has a private pool IN THE ROOM!!!) and everything else with the package was great, after discussing it with the Fiance I was beginning to feel really excited and a lot less stressed out. Then I called my mom and the topic came up…
when I told her the location she became worried and told me she would NEVER go to Jamaica. It turns out that’s where my parents went for their honeymoon and she proceeded to tell me of the horrors she witnessed: guards in the airport with machine guns, drug dealers try to sell within the waters off the resort, terribly poor villages everywhere off the resort and children trying to sell anything to you…
now I just feel stressed again. My question to you ladies is: should I go with my moms guidance and find elsewhere? Or should I stick with the plans considering I am very excited about the resort, our luxury room, and all the resort has to offer.
I know that anywhere you go in terms of Jamaica, Bahamas and such will always have those situations, extremely poor areas, people constantly trying to sell you stuff…I experienced those things in the Bahamas on a vacation a few years ago. Is it worth spending 6,000 dollars and having to worry about these things my mom mentioned?
also has anyone been to this island and can give me any guidance and advice?! Thank you!!!
Post # 2
Firstly, I am going to assume you parent’s honeymoon was several years ago, and in that time I’m sure things have changed
Secondly, every single caribbean country I have been to has had drug dealers, poor villages, and airport guards with guns. All of that is unfortuantely pretty standard, so I don’t think you will avoid any of that unless you stay within the US (and even then you will likely encounter the first two).
I really wouldn’t let this ruin your plans if it’s really what you want.
Post # 3
I’m going to Ocho Rios for my honeymoon too, and I have read a million reviews about travel aspects and the resorts themselves, and none of them mentioned the scenarios your mom said. Maybe I was that way when she went, but that’s not what I’ve read now. That being said, there obviously is a high crime rate in Jamaica, but if your staying in a resort and keep a level if you venture off grounds, I don’t think you’ll have any problems.
Post # 4
I went to Montego Bay in 2012 and yeah,Jamaica is poor. If you go to a legit resort,most have security that prohibid local vendors. Or try a resort with a private beach. I went to Sandals Montego Bay and I read reviews that people in paddle boards would be footing and selling “seashells”(weed inside). I never saw a local. We also never left the resort,which we actually regret now. If you leave the resort just go on an organizied tour and it should he fine. I’m sure things have changed in the years that your parents went. Tourism is such a big part of this country that they’re not gonna risk too much shenanigans lol. Enjoy! Enjoy!
Post # 5
From what I understand there are higher crime rates in Jamaica, however, the resort areas are safer.
We avoided Jamaica because we wanted to be able to explore outside of the resort area but if you’re happy staying at your resort I think you should go to Jamaica. A private pool sounds awesome!
Another note we came across while researching trips is that there are plenty of “unsafe” areas but as long as you’re smart about keeping your wits about you, you likely won’t have a problem.
Check out Trip Advisor- we found tons of useful information there.
Post # 6
Pretty much all developing countries have wide income gaps – that’s not a reason to not visit them. It’s actually really important to visit them, IMO. Jamaica doesn’t mess with its tourists. It is literally life blood to their economy. That said, there are a lot of issues with foreign investors who set up resorts there and send the majority of profits back to Europe, the USA, etc instead of keeping the bulk of the money local where it is desperately needed. “Life and debt in Jamaica” is a great documentary on the subject. Personally, I’d honeymoon somewhere that offers locally-owned accomodation and where I can truly get local flavor.
Post # 7
sara_tiara: yes I forgot to mention that their honeymoon was 23+ years ago, which is a factor.
FutureMrsBex: that’s good to hear! I hadn’t gotten around to reading reviews yet so thank you!
Post # 8
I went to Sandals Whitehouse three years ago and LOVED it. I would definately go back to Jamaica. I say go and don’t listen to your mom.
Post # 9
My Fiance is also thinking about Jamaica, but i havent given it much though. Anytime you travel you have to travel smart and take precautions just as you would at home. If the reviews are good i say go for it.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2014 - Blue Horse Farm
I was just in Jamaica in January… your mom either was in a weird part of Jamaica or things were completely different when she went.
The airport does NOT have armed guards, it’s like any other small airport and perfectly safe. Yes, there are vendors that try to sell you drugs (and other things that are perfectly legal and not drugs) on the water line, at the airport, etc. On the beach they are not allowed to leave the water line up to where the chairs are on the beach. You can ignore them and avoid them completely if you want. Most of them are very respectful and are not pushy.
Yes, the villages are poor, but unless you leave your resort, you are not going to see them or deal with them. We stayed in Negril and if you do not leave your resort it is perfectly safe, beautiful, and peaceful.
That being said, you are also missing out. We left our resort a few times (one time to go to a nightclub frequented by locals) and another to go to Rick’s cafe – both times we felt completely safe. The Jamaican people from what I found were warm and inviting, hard working and eager to share their stories and culture. Plus the food is amazing.
I would go and have a great time. Honestly, there is nothing to wory about. It’s the same as if you are at home – you shold always be on alert and not do anything that would put you in an unsafe situation. Always be vigilant of your surroundings and don’t do anything to draw unwanted attention, just like you would at home.
Post # 11
We’ve been sending clients to Jamaica year round, for the last 10 years, and can honestly say that have yet to have anyone encounter a drug dealer.
Jamaica is no different than anywhere else-there are good neighborhoods, and bad neighborhoods. If you’re looking for trouble, you can undoubtedly find it. But we have clients in Jamaica all the time that go outside the resorts to go ziplining, climb Dunns River falls, etc. and have never had any issues.
We’re in Columbus, Ohio, close to the university campus, and could probably drive 15 minutes from the office and find a drug dealer if I really wanted to. 🙂 People tend to forget that we have the same issues at home that they have in other countries.
Safe travels to you!