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Old 03-14-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Too funny to see all of those familiar vendors. Wasn't that pork fabulous and the fruit lady was so sweet. She always gave the kids a free piece of fruit.

Those werent the vendors I saw. From my colege days, one guy chased us 50 feet in teh water with a joint in a dixie cup and a lighter for a buck...... i wont say anything more except that something tasted just like fresh pineapple.

You didnt run into Jennie's bakery, did you?
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Old 03-14-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Wait until you see the water and views at the cliffs!

The sand and water clarity was very similar to Playa....the main difference was that Negril was very calm. Even though March is the windiest month in the Caribbean, it never seemed to get too windy there- in Playa when we were there in March the wind was really strong every single day- and got tiring and annoying. There was just a nice light breeze that would come up later in the day in Negril, but the water was always calm.

Diving and snorkeling was better in Playa because of the Palancar reef of course, and there was more variety and number of fish. Jamaica is obviously severely overfished,at least this West coast is. More on that later.


We couldn't help but compare it to Playa and other places in Mexico....it was a very different vibe and culture in Negril. Much less developed and commercialized than Playa, I was not really prepared for just how rustic and casual it was- most restaurants were like being in someone's front porch- you'd sit down at one of just a few tables, no menus, the cook would come and say 'Welcome, we have chicken in brown stew, jerk goat, or curry chicken tonight', and you would order and get a big heaping plate of whatever you picked with boiled cabbage and vegetable and 'rice and peas' (which was rice with black eyed peas I think? I would call it 'rice and beans', they looked like mini kidney beans?).

And then you wouldn't always get a bill, they'd just say "it's 1500 JA" and you would pay....now that is laid back!

Of course they had some restaurants that were more upscale and we went to a few of those....but most near our hotel were the casual type. Or, even more casual, just a jerk stand with a 'grill' made out of a metal barrel. 400 JA got you a little handful of jerk chicken with a couple pieces of bread. Yummy.

Overall the food was VERY good. Neither of us felt the slightest bit off the entire week. We drank tap water too, not exclusively, but quite a bit. That was a bit strange- that they live in huts, yet have drinkable tap water- and not once did the electricity go out, nor did we ever have low water pressure or run out of hot water.
So you and Don were able to wander around off of the resort without difficulties?
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Old 03-14-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Sounds like a another great vacation Maggie. Looking forward to reading all about it. Today's Winnipeg Deals was a flight to Montego Bay for only $149.00 (rtn/taxes in).......wish I had someone to go there with. That's an incredable price! The catch is it's for the 16th to the 31st.
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Old 03-14-2011   #19 (permalink)
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That's funny about Niah's because we heard from a couple staying at our hotel that had witnessed a little family fight while they were waiting for their patties. Must be a regular thing there. I love the italian patty and the bbq sauce.
I think the bickering is a regular thing, yes! Don joked with them the day we went and he was not there, about how nice and quiet it was since Niah was missing....they both laughed.

I loved her Irish patties best...potato, cheese and pureed pumpkin. Yummy!

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Those werent the vendors I saw. From my colege days, one guy chased us 50 feet in teh water with a joint in a dixie cup and a lighter for a buck...... i wont say anything more except that something tasted just like fresh pineapple.

You didnt run into Jennie's bakery, did you?

Mmm, pineapple.

No to Jennie's bakery....didn't see that one?

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So you and Don were able to wander around off of the resort without difficulties?

Yes. It felt quite safe....well, people wise, that is.

We did not walk on the beach after dark, there were too many unlit areas, that did not feel safe. So we stuck to the road.

What is unsafe is the roads, it is VERY busy and everyone speeds...a LOT. There are no sidewalks or even shoulders, really, so you walk in the ditch or the soft shoulder, and you have to be very wary.

Plus many of them seem to talk on their cells and text and drink and smoke weed while driving. At least the route taxi drivers seemed to, we started taking the more expensive taxis, they just felt safer.

We had heard and read SO much about how aggressive the vendors are- that turned out to be a non-issue. Smile and say no thank you, firmly, while being friendly and chatting a bit, that is all you have to do. 'Respeck'.

The only minor 'incident' we had was the first day, when I was exhausted. A fruit vendor came up and asked me if I wanted to buy fruit....I got four of those tiny bananas for 400 JA (what?? WAY too much ) and then he shoved a bag of coconut pieces toward me, saying here, have it....I thought it was like a bonus, dumb me....then he said "That is 400 JA, I will come back and get it later from you." (I was out of money.)Stupid of me! NEVER take anything they are trying to hand to you, that is lesson #1!

Anyway, he came back an hour later, demanding the money- I gave him the money, and said sweetly that was the last I would buy from him all week. Left a bad taste in my mouth but that was the only negative thing that happened. Most of them are just trying to make a living and are very friendly and laid back.





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Sounds like a another great vacation Maggie. Looking forward to reading all about it. Today's Winnipeg Deals was a flight to Montego Bay for only $149.00 (rtn/taxes in).......wish I had someone to go there with. That's an incredable price! The catch is it's for the 16th to the 31st.

Having to go for two week is no 'catch'! it's a bonus! I will go! Oh damn, I can't.

That is what we would do next time- get air only, and then book half the time at the cliffs, and half the time on the beach.
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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!
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Old 03-14-2011   #20 (permalink)
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So you and Don were able to wander around off of the resort without difficulties?
Sounds like someone's fallen prey to the A/I brainwashing
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Old 03-14-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Beautiful sea/beach!
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Old 03-14-2011   #22 (permalink)
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Sounds like someone's fallen prey to the A/I brainwashing

I actually could not BELIEVE how many people said to me that they couldn't imagine going non -AI to Jamaica.

Of course, we hear that about everywhere we go in Mexico, too.

It is probably a lot more 'dangerous' to walk about in Zihuatanejo than in Negril.

I didn't see a single gun all week in Negril, actually. The tourist police there don't carry guns, unlike in Mexico. Gang violence is a problem but mostly in Kingston, I guess?

And Jamaicans are punished VERY severely for interfering in any negative ways with tourists, we heard.

It was full-force spring break last week, the place was clogged with 19-22 year olds......I am not sure if I had a 19 year old daughter I would want her going to Negril, I have to admit.



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Beautiful sea/beach!

It sure is!
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Old 03-14-2011   #23 (permalink)
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Sounds like someone's fallen prey to the A/I brainwashing
FTR, I never stay at AI's in Mexico. I have heard that in Jamaica it's not safe to wander off the resort. I have not been to Jamaica so don't have personal experience. Just saying!
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Old 03-14-2011   #24 (permalink)
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I actually could not BELIEVE how many people said to me that they couldn't imagine going non -AI to Jamaica.

Of course, we hear that about everywhere we go in Mexico, too.
Exactly. Whenever I hear that fear - whether it is regarding Mexico or Jamaica - it makes me sad for those who buy it hook, line and sinker and never see anything more of a country - it's people, food, music, culture - than the inside of some compound. It almost smacks of xenophobia. I mean what's the point in even having a passport if anywhere you go you are (unjustifiably) terrified of the "locals"?

Mostly I think their loss, not mine. But then I get a little indignant, too, as I know how hard the locals work in areas frequented by tourists, and I know that each time such fear-mongering gets passed along, that is money literally out-of-pocket for them.

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It is probably a lot more 'dangerous' to walk about in Zihuatanejo than in Negril.

I didn't see a single gun all week in Negril, actually. The tourist police there don't carry guns, unlike in Mexico. Gang violence is a problem but mostly in Kingston, I guess?

And Jamaicans are punished VERY severely for interfering in any negative ways with tourists, we heard.

It was full-force spring break last week, the place was clogged with 19-22 year olds......I am not sure if I had a 19 year old daughter I would want her going to Negril, I have to admit.
Hon, if I had a 19 year old daughter I wouldn't let her go ANYWHERE on spring break without me. Poor, deprived hypothetical girl would just have to miss out.

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FTR, I never stay at AI's in Mexico. I have heard that in Jamaica it's not safe to wander off the resort. I have not been to Jamaica so don't have personal experience. Just saying!
Well now you know differently, and hopefully won't perpetuate the myth!
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Old 03-14-2011   #25 (permalink)
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Exactly. Whenever I hear that fear - whether it is regarding Mexico or Jamaica - it makes me sad for those who buy it hook, line and sinker and never see anything more of a country - it's people, food, music, culture - than the inside of some compound. It almost smacks of xenophobia. I mean what's the point in even having a passport if anywhere you go you are (unjustifiably) terrified of the "locals"?

Mostly I think their loss, not mine. But then I get a little indignant, too, as I know how hard the locals work in areas frequented by tourists, and I know that each time such fear-mongering gets passed along, that is money literally out-of-pocket for them.



Hon, if I had a 19 year old daughter I wouldn't let her go ANYWHERE on spring break without me. Poor, deprived hypothetical girl would just have to miss out.



Well now you know differently, and hopefully won't perpetuate the myth!
Now Chicago is a different story!
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Old 03-14-2011   #26 (permalink)
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Now Chicago is a different story!
Exactly! Oh, wait....




MAGGIE! Bring on the pics! I want some jerk chicken, some Red Stripe, and some cliffs!
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Old 03-14-2011   #27 (permalink)
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Whoo hooooo - loving this report already.
Keep the pics a coming......
And yes, we want cliff pictures !
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Old 03-14-2011   #28 (permalink)
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People seem amazed that we do non all-inclusive when we go to Jamaica as well.

There are some pushy vendors, but most of them are wonderful and you get to know them more each year that you go. There are days when I buy something from them and my hubby has the money. They say no problem, you pay me tomorrow or later. I can probably guess who the fruit guys was that gave you a problem. (shorter, young guy)

We never had a problem walking on the beach at night, although we usually walked in well lit areas and there are guards on the beach at each hotel. Walking the roads with our 3 year old seemed like it would have been more dangerous.

The one thing that I did notice was a lot of women walking the beach with their Jamaican "boyfriends". Apparently it's very common there. I walked the beach twice during the day by myself and was approached by one each time. They were very polite and as soon as I said that I had a husband and daughter they apologized and left me alone.

Jamaica is definitely different than Playa although we love both places for different reasons. We love Negril and have fallen in love with the hotel that we stay at each year. The people are wonderful and it's very laid back and peaceful and the calm water and sunsets are to die for. Jamaica definitely isn't for everyone, some may be put off by the smell of ganja on occasion but it doesn't bother us. (When in Rome!)

Maggie, i'm loving your report and it's making me miss Negril, but Playa in 2 weeks, woo hoo!
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Old 03-14-2011   #29 (permalink)
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People seem amazed that we do non all-inclusive when we go to Jamaica as well.

There are some pushy vendors, but most of them are wonderful and you get to know them more each year that you go. There are days when I buy something from them and my hubby has the money. They say no problem, you pay me tomorrow or later. I can probably guess who the fruit guys was that gave you a problem. (shorter, young guy)

We never had a problem walking on the beach at night, although we usually walked in well lit areas and there are guards on the beach at each hotel. Walking the roads with our 3 year old seemed like it would have been more dangerous.

The one thing that I did notice was a lot of women walking the beach with their Jamaican "boyfriends". Apparently it's very common there. I walked the beach twice during the day by myself and was approached by one each time. They were very polite and as soon as I said that I had a husband and daughter they apologized and left me alone.

Jamaica is definitely different than Playa although we love both places for different reasons. We love Negril and have fallen in love with the hotel that we stay at each year. The people are wonderful and it's very laid back and peaceful and the calm water and sunsets are to die for. Jamaica definitely isn't for everyone, some may be put off by the smell of ganja on occasion but it doesn't bother us. (When in Rome!)

Maggie, i'm loving your report and it's making me miss Negril, but Playa in 2 weeks, woo hoo!
Heater, you stay at Nirvana, don't you? Or was it Idle Awhile?
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Old 03-14-2011   #30 (permalink)
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jx2 and jsotherj, who used to go to Playa and Tulum now go to Jamaica about every year. The split their time between AI and a non-AI accommodations and really love it.
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