Jamaica --Is it safe?

vthornberrry21March 20, 2006

I recently booked a trip to Sandals Dunns River in Jamaica. I've read wonderful reviews on the hotel, but I am a little worried about leaving the resort. I've heard they try to sell you drugs and that all of the people that work in the shops are extremely pushy and rude if you don't buy stuff from them. Is it safe to leave the resort? Anyone been there lately? I am hoping this will be a great trip, but I am SO worried it won't live up to my expectations.

Thanks for any advice you have.


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i was in jamaica earlier this month off the carnival conquest. i understand your concern. yes, you may be approached to buy drugs, say no. yes, many of the vendors are pushy, the exchange rate american to jamaican dollar is 62/1, they really want your business. be considerate and cautious. a word of warning, if you are very conservative some of the tourist wares may shock you. i never saw more pot leaves, boobs and penises in all my life. carved, printed on shirts and bags, on key chains and magnets, you name it. i wouldnt run around jamaica alone, travel with at least one other person. dont take private taxis, stick with the ones that say JUTA, they are government regulated. hope this helps, have a great time.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 3:01PM
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DH and I went to Jamaica in 2004 for our anniversary and we had a great experience. We also stayed at Sandals Dunn's River. We climbed the Falls, but this was booked through the hotel, so everything was safe. We did hear that some people had booked their own bus to the falls and the driver of the bus parked, got off the bus for a few minutes and then a robber came on and robbed them all. So the few bucks extra you spend through the hotel I personally think is worth it. The economy outside the resort areas is very depressed and yes, there are a lot of drugs, but if you stay in the confines of the resort, you should be just fine. We were not offered drugs, but some of our friends were. Just say no and you should be fine. They also sell a lot of other things outside of the resort such as belly chains, hair braiding etc,, just say no to everything and you'll be fine. All that stuff you can get at the hotel anyway. The hotel was great, food, entertainment etc was all great, we're glad we went.

PS. It is also a good idea that when you travel outside the resort DO NOT carry ALL your cash, passport etc... The hotels have individual safes and only bring what you need. When you are through climbing the falls they walk you back toward the bus through a little flea market type of area, if you see something you like, by all means buy it and remember always bargain with them. But also be safe in this area (stay in groups etc) We made friends with about 5 couples and so we felt safe being together.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 10:33AM
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I went to Sandals in Negril a few years ago - it was fabulous. We never left the resort though. In spite of that we got approached to buy drugs - while we were out in the water - people came up by boat....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 1:35PM
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We stayed in a villa in the little fishing village of Treasure Beach last year, pretty much off the beaten tourist path. We were cautious in town and locked our doors at night, but basically felt perfectly safe.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:12AM
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When staying at an all inclusive resort like sandals you really don't want to leave anyways. If you stay all your drinks/food are free.

If you must take in some off resort attractions (the first trip we did a lot, the next 3 we left the resort 1 time total, see a pattern?) follow the advice people posted here. Go with groups, and book it through the hotel.

As for drugs. Practically every jamaican is a drug dealer. Seriously. You might not notice it because they don't come right out and say it. You'll run into numerous people asking if you party, if you're looking to have fun, if you're feeling good, if you need anything, how are you doing tonight, etc etc. These are all euphemisms for selling drugs.

I don't mind, I like to smoke when I'm there, so I think its convenient that I do not have to go looking for it.

The truth is though, that every bus driver, bellman, and groundskeeper I've encountered while in Jamaica was selling. Also if your resort sells day or night passes to locals then you'll find them on property as well (as well as pimps & prostitutes).

Also, never let a girl wander alone, even on resort property.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 1:54PM
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Jamaica is like any other island in the Caribbean. You must be careful anywere you go, It just makes sense, whether you are in Jamaica, or going to your local store. Yes, you will be offered marijuana, just say no thanks, they will not bother you again. Remember, they are like a third world country, they are poor, they are hoping that you will spend some money. Just use your head. You can get some great souvenirs for cheap. Be sure and try some Jamaican rum cream while your there! Play safe & have fun!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 1:56PM
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