I think the main thing that stands out for me about Jamaica, is the agressive natives, selling you cab rides, drugs, etc. They sometimes just will not take "no" for an answer. The actual island is beautiful though.
You'll be fine in Jamaica if you go on a tour; just don't go on a shopping tour unless you want to be hounded by aggressive sellers (just look at something and you'll have a hard time moving on----that was my experience 20 years ago and it seems it hasn't changed). This summer, we went on the canopy tour (zipline) in the rain forest and had a blast.
We used Costa Maya as a "private island" experience; that is, we just hung out right at the port. In the morning, we lounged at the beach. Around noon, we went back to the ship to eat lunch and change and then spent the afternoon in the shopping area---there were dancers and musicians there too. There are a few tours that go out of Costa Maya; you might want to check the cruiselines tours to get an idea of what else is available to do.
Jamaica is a beautiful, lush, green tropical island - look into taking a tour of the banana plantations or a tour into the rainforest. Jamaica is a extremely poor island and they have a drug problem, but as long as you book a tour and stay with the tour you will be fine.
We went on a Princess cruise that went to both Costa Maya and Mo Bay. There were some tours in Costa Maya but we decided to walk around the shops and market and then took a bus to a nearby beach. It was very pretty at the beach. We rented a chair and ordered some drinks and nachos. Mo Bay was a surprise, we were supposed to goto Ochos Rios, so we didnt have anything really planned there and trying to get a tour at the last minute would have been crazy because everyone was scrambling. We took a bus into the town... BIG MISTAKE! We were hounded and followed by people to take their taxi. We ended up taking a tour with a guy and he showed us around a little bit of the island. I was not impressed because everywhere we looked we saw poor villages, kind of depressing, and we saw a gun raid .. not a drug raid a gun raid! with armed soldiers! The beaches are beautiful but the overall island experience was just ok.
Honeymooned on the Star Princess Nov 2004
1st Anniversary on the Carribean Princess Oct 2005
I h ave been here trying to remember the web site that gives you updates on over seas areas, and found something simular.
WHat brought this on was because on my cruise our first port is Mo. Bay, Jamaica. Now, reading several forums inregards to Cruiseing, I have found this Island to be, well, tourist friendly comes to mind.
So...Here is the web site I found, as updated as today. What everone has been saying is true, and although you get a handful of evil doings upsets the many good doings, I just can't go to shore. I have no idea how far Kingston is from Mo-bay, but I do know that even with the slightest chance, I don't want to get stuck in the riots. MHO. I'll just sit on deck, snapping pictures and hoping everyone gets back safe.
on our last cruise we went to ocho rios jamaica we enjoyed the excursion we went to the coyaba river garden and dunn's rivier falls the only problem in jamica we had to go throw straw market to get of the park
and some one grab my arm because i won't strp at there shop they told me i was rud i real in enjoy costa maya are travel agent remdy the
chacchoben mayan ruins it was woth it
Oh my goodness we loved Jamaica! We were very leery however, and didn't even considor bringing our girls (5 and 7) on shore. We went, and got a taxi right there at the port, Mr Bunny's Taxi Service. And he took us to see the "reeeeel Jamaica Mahn". It was awesome. Yes, there is tremendous poverty, and 10 feet beyond a cardboard hovel is a multi-million dollar home. but it was really something to see, and we did indeed see the real Jamaica. He pointed out things (stopped and picked some nutmeg growing wild for us) that I don't imagine you would see with a ship tour. He also took us to a resort to hang out for a while. It was a neat day. After our 2 hour tour with Mr Bunny, hubby went back to the ship and I went out shopping - by myself - and had absolutely zero problems. We own a party store and I stumbled across this teeny little party store - what a hoot.
It was a great day, and I'm not a big fan of Mexico. I found the people there to be pushy (I got my hair corn rowed just so they'd leave me a lone for crying out loud) I'd go with Carnival!
Been to Negril JA 6 times with just wife and 2 times with our daughter. We love the country and the people. Just use common sense when traveling just like you would anywhere...Including large U.S. cities.
If you take a tour in Jamaica, you will be fine. We actually also took a tour that had us stop downtown in the shopping area to shop the good stores. We were fine -- and all you have to do is just 'keep walking' and 'ignore' and they will leave you alone. They did ask my dad if he wanted pot mon. We were fine and enjoyed ourselves, but I would NOT go out alone! I have been there often and now, do not care to even go on tours tho. I will get off the ship and go through the little stores right there outside the doc - thats about it. You will be fine tho.