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Old 03-14-2011   #31 (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.

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.

It sure is!
Great start to the TR Mags....

One of the girls I went to Mexico with last month loves Jamaica as much as I love Playa. She goes 2 or 3 times a year and never does AI.
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Old 03-14-2011   #32 (permalink)
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Woo hoo! Beach looks gorgeous; I'd really like to get to Jamaica one of these days.

Now, where are my Don pics?
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Old 03-14-2011   #33 (permalink)
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Woo hoo! Beach looks gorgeous; I'd really like to get to Jamaica one of these days.

Now, where are my Don pics?
Didn't you see this chest shot?

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Old 03-14-2011   #34 (permalink)
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That is a very bad pic, he didn't want me to post that, even.Boobage!

Here is a better one for you, Mel!




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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!
Not a big deal, you are far from the only one who thinks that way.

I have read posts by people on the Playa forum on Trip Advisor who say in one paragraph that "they are so sick and tired of people saying Mexico is dangerous!" and then turn around and say how "some places really are dangerous, like Jamaica"...um, but wtf? Jamaica has not had a tourist murdered in decades, apparently, yet the negative stigma remains, as Amy said. The country DOES have a high murder rate, as parts of Mexico does too, but like Mexico, it's gang related, not tourists being targeted.

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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.
He PMed me and gave me some tips when he saw me post on TA on the Negril forum....very nice of him.

I can see how it would get into your blood, just as Mexico does, for sure. It's very unique.

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Originally Posted by heater View Post
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!




And yes, he was shorter, and very handsome (as so many of them area there, though). But rude! I actually don't think we saw him again all week....weird.



I don't have time to do more tonight, but here, this is Duke from when we went fishing....Mel, you can check out my 'accent' or lack of! He was singing and I was trying to get him to do it on camera....no dice.



Negril Jamaica - March 2011 :: MVI_0061.mp4 video by Rissask - Photobucket
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Old 03-14-2011   #35 (permalink)
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Yaaaaay! A voice to your name! woot!

I heard no accent.
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Old 03-14-2011   #36 (permalink)
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crud.......cant you just start with pics....I have my work cut out for me tomorrow morning reading this from the beginning.
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Old 03-14-2011   #37 (permalink)
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Yay... I've been waiting for this!
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I say 'hair-raising' because they drive like maniacs! They make Mexican drivers seem like little old ladies, holy crap. Not to mention the wrong side of the road aspect, and narrowly missing stray dogs and GOATS at every turn....and our driver was texting the whole way, and there were no seat belts! Yikes. I was pretty happy to arrive in Negril.
On one of our first trips we had a driver who told us "Continue breathingggg...." and we have repeated that line many times since! Funny, Brian has driven all over the island, on the "other" side of the road, through the hills, but he was so intimidated the first time he drove in Mexico.
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You didnt run into Jennie's bakery, did you?
Jennie's Cakes? What about Miss Brown's?
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Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
I actually could not BELIEVE how many people said to me that they couldn't imagine going non -AI to Jamaica.
Gang violence is a problem but mostly in Kingston, I guess?
I couldn't imagine going AI. If you have a few people, renting a villa is the way to go in Jamaica, IMO. Done it many times, with groups of friends (up to 18 people, when we rented 3 villas on the Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio the year we got married there). Otherwise, there are lots of cool little hotels and guesthouses all over.

EDIT: Re: violence- there have always been parts of Kingston that were rough, but crime has come to Negril in the past 10 or 15 years, too. Crack, cocaine, theft.... signs were apparent, several years ago... but it's like everywhere, even at home- keep your wits about you and don't put yourself into any unsafe situations and you'll be fine. I have never felt unsafe in Jamaica in the 10 or so times I've been there.
Violence in Kingston has escalated in the past few years according to our good friend who lives there.
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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.
Brian likes to walk through the craft markets with his pockets turned inside out.

Last edited by caramba; 03-14-2011 at 10:36 PM..
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Old 03-14-2011   #38 (permalink)
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I couldn't imagine going AI. If you have a few people, renting a villa is the way to go in Jamaica, IMO. Done it many times, with groups of friends (up to 18 people, when we rented 3 villas on the Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio the year we got married there). Otherwise, there are lots of cool little hotels and guesthouses all over.
I went with 3 g/fs and we rented the Great House at Tensing Pen, it was one of the best trips I've ever had! (although the Great House is sadly no longer, it was redone and is now the restaurant/bar at TP, every villa and cottage at TP is beautiful...it is one of my favorite places on earth).

The Blue Lagoon looks beautiful, I've never been to that part of the island. I've had Bluefield's Villas bookmarked for years...one of these days! And maybe soon, too. Talking to Maggie before her trip and now reading this report (even though it's only just started!) has made me REALLY want to go back. Soon come!

Last edited by gingele; 03-14-2011 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 03-14-2011   #39 (permalink)
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Great start Mags!! So glad you enjoyed your new adventure. I do think you are a bit like me, we enjoy ALL our adventures, it is only later upon reflection that some may be better than others, but still enjoyable!!
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Old 03-14-2011   #40 (permalink)
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Maggie, I'm hoping to hear that you made a visit to Idle Awhile!
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Old 03-14-2011   #41 (permalink)
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I went with 3 g/fs and we rented the Great House at Tensing Pen, it was one of the best trips I've ever had! (although the Great House is sadly no longer, it was redone and is now the restaurant/bar at TP, every villa and cottage at TP is beautiful...it is one of my favorite places on earth).

The Blue Lagoon looks beautiful, I've never been to that part of the island. I've had Bluefield's Villas bookmarked for years...one of these days! And maybe soon, too. Talking to Maggie before her trip and now reading this report (even though it's only just started!) has made me REALLY want to go back. Soon come!
Tensing Pen has always been highly recommended- I've never seen their website before- it looks great...
And Bluefields Bay is nice- I'd like to spend more time along the south coast... and that villa looks fabulous!!

Looking forward to more, Maggie!
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Old 03-15-2011   #42 (permalink)
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crud.......cant you just start with pics....I have my work cut out for me tomorrow morning reading this from the beginning.

oh, boo hoo.....be patient! I will be posting a lot more pics tonight.


I am loving Amy and Anne and Heather's (Heater) contributions and tips!

We did not get to any bakeries but we bought banana bread and bread pudding from the beach vendor....very tasty.

And we did walk past Idle Awhile and had a beer at the bar (Chill Awhile?)one day....looked like a great place to stay, it has far more character than Rooms. Our hotel was fine but we would definitely stay somewhere with more of the island/plantation feel next time.

Country Country also was nice, we went for breakfast there one day, mmm, the banana pancakes were great!
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Old 03-15-2011   #43 (permalink)
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When I booked our first trip to Negril it was between Idle Awhile and Country Country. I'm glad that I chose Idle Awhile, The room that we stay in is a garden view room and it feels like you are in a tree house. I also think that the beach between coco La Palm, IA and Charela is very nice.
Jenny's bakery is known for the hash cakes I believe.(or something similar) We stopped there on our first trip for my husband and his friend, they rather enjoyed them.

We also went to Tedd's shroom boom on our first trip, again for the hubby. They are legal there, but not thank you for me. Once, and never again!

Maggie, I'm glad that you were able to find a floatie to bring with you!
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Old 03-15-2011   #44 (permalink)
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Brian likes to walk through the craft markets with his pockets turned inside out.
Ha! That's funny!!!
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Old 03-15-2011   #45 (permalink)
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When I booked our first trip to Negril it was between Idle Awhile and Country Country. I'm glad that I chose Idle Awhile, The room that we stay in is a garden view room and it feels like you are in a tree house. I also think that the beach between coco La Palm, IA and Charela is very nice.
Jenny's bakery is known for the hash cakes I believe.(or something similar) We stopped there on our first trip for my husband and his friend, they rather enjoyed them.

We also went to Tedd's shroom boom on our first trip, again for the hubby. They are legal there, but not thank you for me. Once, and never again!

Maggie, I'm glad that you were able to find a floatie to bring with you!
The hotel actually had a couple of rafts for guests to use, too.

The shroom dude came up to us with his brown paper bag full on the beach one day, crouched and dropped a mushroom on my lounger....I didn't touch it, we just laughed and said no thanks....once in my much wilder youth was more than enough for me, too.

The beach at our hotel was nice too, quite wide compared to some others. Cocolapalm is another hotel often offered in packages from here, so it would be a good choice to, looks a bit nicer than Rooms.

No hash brownies were spotted...that is funny!

I have field trip pics from a 'botany class' of sorts coming up...stay tuned!
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