Jamaica trip tips?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by sbpebbles, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. sbpebbles

    sbpebbles DIS Veteran

    Jul 7, 2009
    My friend and I are planning an adults only Jamaica trip anywhere between January and March...I was wondering if anyone with experience would be able to point us in the right direction as far as booking goes..we won't be going to the tourist areas since we have friends who live in Manchester and will spend the majority of our time with them..I know we'll have to fly into Kingston but was wondering roughly how much we can expect to pay for airfare and transportation and anything else we'll need to buy....I already have my passport but will my friend need an actual passport or will a passport card be enough? how much time should we plan on being gone? we wanna see SOME tourist stuff but we don't have to worry about a place to stay..any tips and advice would be helpful...thanks!
  2. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

    Aug 12, 2006
    I think you should ask your friends about the costs since they probably know better then anyone. They also will know about any safety issues and give you a heads up.
    Weve been there twice, its not a place we would ever return. Too many other places that are just as lovely, offer more amenities, things ot see/do and safer overall.
    Have a good trip but be prepared for your trip ;)
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  4. Disneyact82

    Disneyact82 Earning My Ears

    Jul 19, 2011
    In a nut shell, unless you are staying in an all inclusive...Don't Go!!! Been there once, won't ever go back.
  5. sherry7

    sherry7 DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2001
    I would check out the Jamaica forums at trip advisor.

    I've been to Jamaica a couple of times, and I too would only stick to the tourist areas, unless your friends are accompanying you.
  6. scbelleatheart

    scbelleatheart DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2010
    I would disagree. Although I have never flown in to Kingston, just MBJ, we found it a great place to go especially if you have friends there. You can catch a few of the tourist things but then you will be able to enjoy some of the off places too because of your friends.
    I've been 18 times since 1998 and every trip was different. We took our kids a few times because they knew we went and wanted to see it. They loved it. Went several times just to lay back and do nothing and several times to do some tourist things. Both ways were great. We've stayed all over the island but we liked Negril (7), Run Away Bay (9), Ocho Rios (1) and Trelawny (1).
    We also take school supplies to the local schools each trip.

    Sorry no Rasta smilie available!
  7. Sinderelly

    Sinderelly Princess

    Jan 27, 2009
    We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. Oh how I wish we'd gone someplace else. It would be romantic to return to our honeymoon destination for an anniversary but neither one of us wishes to return. We stayed in a Sandals resort and there were so many problems with the AC and hot water. The police drove armored type vehicles and carried machine guns.:scared1: We saw the police do a traffic stop while on one of the Sandals buses. I think we paid around $1600 each for airfare. My advice would be to go to WDW or on a Disney cruise instead. :idea:
  8. andycat

    andycat 2009 - 3034 miles to WDW. 2010 - 162 miles to WDW

    Mar 17, 2003
    If the earlier responses come as a surprise to you, you should really think about what you want to do in Jamaica and talk to your friends about how realistic your expectations are. Kingston and Ocho Rios are large, busy, and largely poor cities. Manchester is probably similar.

    I would expect cultural and culinary opportunities to be limited, and as others have mentioned, there may be personal safety issues. A "free" place to stay could become very expensive, and your trip one to forget rather than one to remember.
  9. roliepolieoliefan

    roliepolieoliefan DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2000
    My husband and I love Jamaica. We visit every year and we are going back this November for my birthday. I even cancelled our adults only disney trip to do so.

    The people are very friendly. More friendly than any Carribean island we've been to. You have to see past what most people see from first impressions. So many people I know who hate Jamaica have been there once for 5 hours on a cruise or went to an all-inclusive and never left the resort and say, "I hate Jamaica" I say how do you know you've never been there.

    If you're lucky depending where you fly from , you can sometimes get airfare as low as $400 a person . I 'm looking for our November trip and from Pittsburgh its about $600. A little higher than I want, so we're waiting to book the airfare.

    I've never flown into Kingston so I can't help you with that airport. Jamaica is considered a third world country. There is alot of poverty there so people are begging for money alot or always asking for you to buy something. Some locals can get pushy , some are very cordial. Just like anywhere..

    We have been to Jamaica many many times just like one of the PP. We have chatted with many locals and been to local hangouts. Jamaica has its bad areas just like the United States. You should talk to your friend in detail about places to visit and map out where you want to go. Even with all the times DH and I have been there , we would never get in a car and wonder around aimlessly. Though I wouldn't do that in most big cities in the US.

    Jamaica and its beaches are beautiful. They make rum drinks like no other place I've been to. Also try the jerk chicken. Love that stuff! Have someone recommend a place that makes it. Its made all over the island but some is better than others.

    You'll have fun , talk to your friend, plan your days and be smart about where and when you visit places..
  10. Tinkerbelle32

    Tinkerbelle32 DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2005
    We have been twice also and it is not on our "favorite places" list for sure. I also would suggest sticking to the tourist areas. Good luck with your planning.
  11. cvjw

    cvjw DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2005
    We've been to Jamaica several times, and loved it each time. We do stay all-inclusive, so we have never worried about our safety. Yes, there are armed guards protecting the resorts, but they are there for a reason. There is lots and lots of crime in the regular part of Jamaica. If you are going with someone who lives there and knows what to expect, you should be fine.

    The poverty there is almost unbelievable. It is like nothing I have ever seen in the states - although we did see the same thing in parts of Mexico. The people are lovely, the beaches at 7 mile beach are breathtaking. If you feel comfortable with your trip, go for it, but just be prepared.
  12. Tammi67

    Tammi67 <font color=green>1st to out the Tag Fairy as the

    Oct 29, 2004
    We stopped in Jamaica for a day on our cruise last summer. Instead of doing the touristy things through the cruiseship, I spent a lot of time researching private tours, reading up on reviews via cruisecritic. I ended up booking 3 tours through http://www.ochoriosjamaicatours.com/ We climbed the falls, swam in the Blue Hole and tubed down the White River. We really got off the beaten path, so to speak. That day was the highlight of our cruise. The price was excellent! If you want any further info, feel free to PM me.
  13. JLKennedy

    JLKennedy DIS Veteran

    Jul 19, 2007
    I totally agree! My husband and I went for the 1st time without kids in 2009. We stayed at an all-inclusive and did several tours offered. After talking to their entertainment staff, we said how much we loved Jamaica and they said to us, you don't know that, you've been in this resort for your entire stay. So with that, we called a couple family members to let them know we would be leaving property and when to expect to hear back from us, and we WALKED off property and went into the local's Parrish's and really enjoyed talking with the locals. We are going back Jan-Feb 2012 and got really great airfare out of PHL to MBJ for about $700 total r/t with US Air - non-stop. Air Jamaica (now Caribbean air?) was about $2k for 2 people.
  14. luckyfin

    luckyfin Coming out of hiding

    Jan 20, 2004
    Another Jamaica fan here. We've been twice in the last few years. The second time we brought our 6 month old daughter and would never even consider bringing her if I ever thought for a second that she would be in danger. We preferred Negril over Ocho Rios. Jamaicans are generally wonderful people with great spirits. My boss goes to Jamaica every 3-4 months she loves it so much.
  15. Sam's_Mom

    Sam's_Mom Mouseketeer

    Feb 1, 2008
    We returned from Negril recently and had a great time. We took our children and stayed at an all inclusive but did several tours and never felt in danger. The beaches were beautiful and the people so friendly.

    I would just be aware as if you were traveling in a bigger city anywhere.

    We would love to go back.

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