I hope everyone gets to Calica, which Celebrity visits in place of Jamaica. There's a huge Eco-park there with ruins, huge pools (some with turtles), five restaurants, snorkeling and you can even swim with dolphins. Jamaica is the pits, and I hope that eventually all ships skip this hostile island.
I've never really had too much of a problem with Jamaica. Guess being 6"3" and 230 lbs has some advantages <G> When we've stopped there previously we've always pre arranged our own guide, and they've kept the aggressive locals pretty much at bay.
However, we loved the Calica stop when we sailed the Mercury. Tulum is not too far away for Mayan ruins, and we LOVED XCaret. I was taken aback at just how well done this echo park is. Underground snorkeling to the sea, dolphin encounters, and acres of exotic animals to stroll around.
Just because you haven't had trouble doesn't mean others haven't. In case you didn't know, the NY Times has been running a series of articles about a travel journalist who disappeared down there in June. They haven't found her yet.
PAUL, I TOTALLY AGREE. HORRIBLE PLACE & I WILL NEVER GO THERE AGAIN. WE (4 COUPLES) WERE SCARED TO DEATH WALKING IN OCHO RIOS. THEY TRIED SELLING US DOPE & THEIR SISTERS, & THEN FOLLOWED US BACK TO THE SHIP! YUCK PLACE.
We are going on the Century 9/30 and stopping in Ocho Rios. After hearing all these stories about being hasseled in Jamaica, my husband and I are thinking about going to either Sandals Dunns River or Sandals Ocho Rios for the day. I believe the Renaissance Jamaica Grande also sells day passes. Has anyone done this? Would this be a better alternative to staying on the ship? Thanks
I must be doing something wrong, or maybe right. We have been to Jamacia five times including with our youngest son when he was only 13yrs old. Each time we have had a wonderful time! The first time we hired a taxi driven by a man named 'Cappy' and he took us all over, helped us get some great bargains, and even held on to our shopping bags while we went off for a couple hours on our own before he came back to pick us up at the appointed time! My wife and I walk to town now and have a great time talking and joking with the locals and looking at their handycrafts. We have never felt threatened, (I can pick up on that pretty good), and have never been offered drugs. We love to go to the strawmarket and 'haggle' with the locals and always are satisfied with the deals we get. The main thing is that we display friendliness and respect towards the local people and enjoy joking with them. They have always returned this friendliness tenfold towards us. I'm not saying that Jamacia is totally safe, but that I really think much of it depends on your expectations and attitude, and that includes your unconcious fears/expectations as displayed by your body language that you may not be aware of. Just be aware of your surroundings and look people in the eye when you talk to them and SMILE! The photo is the StrawMarket right downtown.
My advice would be to go to a nice hotel. That is what we did in Ocho Rios, because Montego Bay was more trouble than it was worth. You can use all of the hotels pools as well as a GUARDED beach ( so you won't be hassled). Well worth the $10 or so per person they charge. They have people bringing you food and drink if you wish to order. And there are clean rest rooms and showers. Highly recommend seeing Jamacia from a lounge at a hotel. Or a guided tour off the ship is safe, we did a three hour tour up into the mountains with a group. Jamacia is very beautiful. The poverty causes the problems people talk about.