Jamaica - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Ikaikalani, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Ikaikalani

    Ikaikalani Tee-Eye-double Guh-err

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    I see that Jamaica is a new option for port of call on some of the newly released itineraries and was surprised to read a couple of posts where people have said they have no desire to ever return to Jamaica after having visited the first time. So for you that have been, would you return, and if not, why?:confused3
     
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  3. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

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    The street peddlers can get rather aggressive. DFIL said if he ever returned to Jamaica he'd never get off the ship because of them, but if you firmly tell them no, they'll get out of the way.

    Our kids hiked the Dunn River Falls (google it) and really had a great time.
     
  4. ZoeBell

    ZoeBell Mouseketeer

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    I wasn't there for a cruise but for an all inclusive in Negril. On the bus ride from the airport we seen some not so great parts, then suddenly these beautiful resorts pop up. We never left the resort and never had any desire too. To be honest the area we seen on the bus ride didn't make us feel safe. I'm not sure where the cruise port is. But the bus took us through Montego Bay to Negril. Montego Bay is suppose to be the more touristy area. But it looked kinda run down and scary to us. We were 4 single ladies traveling alone. No way would I take my kids to the areas we passed though.

    If Jamaica was on my cruise itinerary I'd stay on the ship.
     
  5. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    Jamaica is another island of a lot of poverty, a seriously rich upper class, and whatever middle class there is not terribly obvious to guests. You see the poverty and you see the wealth.

    There are very beautiful places on the island. There are unsafe places. I won't say that I'd never go back, but it wasn't my favorite island. I was there for a week. Our group had a driver who made it his mission to keep us out of trouble. He made it clear to us that we shouldn't go to some areas without him. Hard to interpret how much of that was for our safety and how much was for his pocket...but he was paid by the day and got a generous tip....he did a lovely job and we tended to believe what he told us.

    I think that (as many islands), the "touristy" places were fine. And, as above, the panhandlers, etc. can be aggressive, but just tell them "no" and move on--they won't follow you. (or didn't us)

    You might want to look up a bit of history of the island....Capsule summary of what we were told is that Jamaica and the Cayman Islands were both under British rule. Jamaica fought for independence, and got both their independence and the government that they then created. There is a lot of unemployment and bureaucracy and many people leave Jamaica to work on Grand Cayman, cruise ships, etc. The Caymans chose to remain under British rule and have thrived with main economic sources or banking, tourism, and medicine with almost full employment. I DO NOT claim that this info is accurate, just that it is what our guide told us.

    Edited to add that we spend the week based in Montego Bay.
     
  6. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    DCL is docking in Falmouth, which is the opposite direction from Montego Bay that Negril is. I don't know if that makes the area any better, but it addresses your concerns regarding the path you took to Negril.

    Sayhello
     
  7. canyoncam

    canyoncam original Bambi &Thumper

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    We stopped at Ocho Rios on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2003 and went to Dunn's River Falls, which was beautiful and I very much enjoyed climbing it, but we did have a man follow us onto the bus for money. He was not a panhandler-he carved personalized items in wood to sell. But he carved before he asked for money then said once they were carved you had to pay because they have your name on it. It was annoying at the time but looking back there was no real harm. The funniest part is the name is wrong so that is our new nickname:lmao:
     
  8. darwinsrule

    darwinsrule DIS Veteran

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    Based upon some of the trip reports I have read over on Cruise Critic Falmouth is not a great stop. It is far from the standard tourist stops for the Island which means extra travel time and some significant $$$ to get anywhere. By the sound of it there is a rather large fenced in compound with the standard tourist ware. Doesn't scream 'new and exciting' to me.
     
  9. ludari

    ludari DIS Veteran

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    I was thinking about this port as well but I consulted a friend who has been to Jamaica and she mentioned to me that she was not interested in that port at all. If she was on a cruise and it stopped in Jamaica she would not get off. That was enough for me.
     
  10. CT Mom of 3

    CT Mom of 3 Mouseketeer

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    I went to Jamaica once and will never return! I wouldn't get off the ship if I happened to choose a cruise where it was a port of call. Didn't care for it at all.
     
  11. Gatrcruzer

    Gatrcruzer Mouseketeer

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    Ditto. Those itineraries would definitely be at the bottom of my list.

    That said, crappy ports provide a great opportunity to enjoy the ship, ride the Aquaduck without lines, etc.
     
  12. whitfive

    whitfive Mouseketeer

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    Although, if everyone thinks it is a crappy port and stays on the ship, that line for the Aquaduck will be wrapped around the funnel! :rotfl2:

    We are planning a June 2014 cruise that has Jamaica in the itinerary and I think I will be staying on the ship as well...maybe NOT riding the Aquaduck! :lmao:

    I wish they would pick another port like St Lucia or something else that is not "over visited".:confused3
     
  13. "Cinder" Ella's Mom

    "Cinder" Ella's Mom DIS Veteran

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    We went to Falmouth on a RCCL cruise last Christmas. The gated area is very nice, super commercialized. The have men on stilts that beg you to take your picture with them and then demand a tip. Expected, but this is in the gated area. They have shops, some food, braiding, etc. we did not feel safe wandering out of the gated area and heard from many others that you had to be very firm when hassled by locals. Falmouth is far (about an hour and a half) from many good attractions including Dunns River Falls, so that doesn't leave you too much time to enjoy the day. If we went again we would not get off the ship unless we booked an excursion.
     
  14. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    The falls were beautiful and fun, but as previously mentioned, the panhandlers were very aggressive. They would wait for the tour busses to stop and stop you as you got off. A member of my tour was offered drugs--no lie. It's a very poor island. DCL adding it as a port is no incentive to return.
     
  15. Funky Chicken

    Funky Chicken misses the Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace!

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    Went to Falmouth last January on RCCL. Got off the ship for about an hour. Walked around the shiny new port area where there was absolutely nothing
    to do that's any different from any other port.
    I wouldn't go out of my way to select an itinerary that included Falmouth again.
     
  16. SnowWhite2

    SnowWhite2 DIS Veteran

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    Another in the camp of "been there, done that, won't do it again".

    Dunns River Falls was very nice. I climbed it when I was in my 20's and it was a great time. 25 years later I am not interested in going up it again :scared:

    The Falmouth port was built by Royal Caribbean. There was nothing interesting there until the RCCL came in. As others have mentioned, it is too far from the one good feature - the Falls.

    I'd stay on the ship if we went there.
     
  17. ZoneOrr

    ZoneOrr Mouseketeer

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    Been there twice. Different parts. I'll never go again. Very dirty and the venders and store owners there were very aggressive.
     
  18. tinkerone

    tinkerone DIS Veteran

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    minority here. i think jamacia is by far the most beautiful island i have ever been to. yes, lots of poverty, its a third world country. pan handlers? yup but i get that in mexico and dominican.
    we have never cruised to the island but we have stayed there 6 times, even taking our children. we have stayed in falmouth and have not found it any more dangerous than any other place. you always need to pay attention to your surroundings. we have walked along the highway alone. i worry more about the cars than the people but we are still careful. the water is the bluest green i have ever seen.
    all in all i'm excited about that stop. and really, anyone think costa maya is worth a stop? but they do that one.
     
  19. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

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    Jamaica is replacing Costa Maya on several cruises -- definitely an improvement.
     
  20. Gigi22

    Gigi22 DIS Veteran

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    I have mixed feelings about Jamaica.

    Some areas are simply dangerous. Lots of crime and drugs. The locals who are trying to sell things are very aggressive towards tourists, to the extent that cruise lines have created at least one port shopping area where locals have to register to enter, and undesirables are kept out (not sure if this is Falmouth or another area).

    That said, DH and I have been on a couple of really nice shore excursions. One to the home of relatives of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (a branch of her family were planters in Jamaica), and one to Noel Coward's Firefly estate.

    The island itself is beautiful.
     
  21. tinkerone

    tinkerone DIS Veteran

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    might i say 'YIPPY' :yay:
     

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