Honeymoon Discussions

Is Jamaica too dangerous?

It's a destination wedding.

I have a guest who says that he doesn't want to come because he's afraid of making the 20 minute taxi ride from the airport to the resort.

Is it really that dangerous?

Re: Is Jamaica too dangerous?

  • No, its not that bad. We found the locals to be very friendly. A bit pushy but friendly none the least. Like here, certain areas are bad of course but as a whole it's fine. The only thing that turned us off was their pushiness to buy their goods. Jamaica is a very depressed island though so really, aside from working at the resorts the only decent way to make a living is to get the tourist to buy their goods. The one thing we've learned in our Caribbean trips, don't act like a rich stuck up american tourist. Show the locals respect and they will return in kind. Actually, my boss, his wife and kids go every year and have not had any problems and they go off on their own not with tour groups.
  • Absolutely not. Ive been going to Jamaica since I was a teenager and have never had any problems. The people for the most part are very friendly and could really care less about tourists, aside from the economic benefits. There are parts of Jamaica that are dangerous, but unless your guest is an avid drug user and plans to venture to these parts, then I highly doubt he'll have any issues.  I always venture off the resorts and I never have any issues. Jamaicans are very proud and even though many people are poor, they have an entreprenurial spirit. Yes, on some of the beaches, and in the craft market, you will be approached by vendors, selling everything from the catch of the day to jewelry to ganja. If you don't want it, just be polite and say "No thanks."  It's part of their culture to haggle and bargain. So the first time, they may try to lower the price or convince you. Don't touch anything if you aren't planning to buy because then they'll really try to convince you to buy it.  Always be polite and don't act like you expect every scruffy guy with dreds is going to rob you. Don't buy or do drugs and don't flash lots of cash. Keep your valuables in the safe. In other words, the same things you'd do at home in the US.

    Your guest who is afraid of a 20 minute shuttle ride is being ridiculous. The shuttle system is very safe in Jamaica. Does he really think that the resort is going to send a serial killer to pick him up?  He needs to expand his horizons a bit.
  • I really haven't heard of any major problems in Jamaica. There's no more risk there than at in any other poor Caribbean nation, and the key thing to remember is that they rely on tourists for their livelihood. 
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  • I'm so glad this question was asked because I am going to Jamaica for my honeymoon, and I've heard only great things about it.  Hope you have a great time!
  • RYLZRYLZ member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited April 2012
    <div align="left">In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_is-jamaica-too-dangerous?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:11Discussion:46fcd803-6426-441a-a06b-f22b5fb6bd6cPost:60c2d422-669e-464e-848c-1d7b96410fac">Re: Is Jamaica too dangerous?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Personally, I didn't like Jamaica.  You should be fine there if you stick with licensed taxis.  There are some unlicensed drivers who have been known to take advantage of tourists.  Do be careful of your personal possessions, as in any unfamiliar place.  Make a xerox copy of your passports and put it in your suitcase.  <strong>Most of the crime in Jamaica is theft and scams</strong>.  People will try to give you a religious carving as a "gift" and then demand money.  They can be very persistant.  Don't fall for it.  Watch your camera and wallet!
    Posted by CMGr[/QUOTE]

    Actually, the sad fact is, most of the crime in Jamaica is local-on-local.

    Please watch your camera and wallet in <em>whichever</em> country you are in.  They are attractive to thieves the world over.

    Locals are acutely aware they rely on tourism for a large part of their income.  As pps have said, street vendors are definitely pushy but rarely dangerous.  I've lived there and visit several times a year-- the idea that a taxi or shuttle ride from the airport is more dangerous than anywhere other Developing Nation is ridiculous to me.  OP, your friend is misinformed or has some personal reason for being scared.

    ETA: better formatting, and also, I would also advise avoiding Kingston, for safety reasons, unless you are there during business hours and have business to conduct.  It's on the complete opposite side of the island from the major resorts and tourists have little reason to go there anyhow.</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_is-jamaica-too-dangerous?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:11Discussion:46fcd803-6426-441a-a06b-f22b5fb6bd6cPost:d97db6a0-78ea-4def-9810-222f19e7fcc9">Re: Is Jamaica too dangerous?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Depends where. When we went the State Department had Kingston on the travel warning list, but the rest of Jamaica was fine. We stayed out of Kingston and didn't have any problems.
    Posted by Liatris2010[/QUOTE]

    <div>the state department puts EVERYONE on the warning list these days... LOL <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-cool.gif" border="0" alt="Cool" title="Cool" /></div>
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  • We LOVE Jamaica!!  Our travel agent always recommends Jamaica when we debate between wanting something "lavish" or stretching to go elsewhere- your money goes a lot further there. 
    I'd just use your head and not enter any situation that made you uncomfortable.  Good luck--- Negril and Ocho Rios are both great!!
  • Jamaica is not dangerous...Probably one of the best vacations i have ever had...Shuttle picked us up at the airport and we got to the Iberostar Grand Rosehall in about 20 mins...Best place we have stayed so far and amazing people
  • I also loved Jamaica - we went off the resort several times and didn't have any problems. If that's a concern see if you can have a taxi arranged through the hotel. 

    We actually set up some random guy we found on tripadvisor to be our taxi driver - his name was Morgan - and we used him throughout the trip.  He was a hoot, and 5 years later we still talk about our cab driver.

    The only island I've ever felt unsafe was St. Lucia... who would have thought?
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