I've been to Jamaica 3 times (once to CSA) and never once did I feel one bit unsafe. Prior to going to Jamaica the first time, I never had a desire to go there - it just wasn't on my radar as a "must see". I went there on business and fell in love with it! The island is beautiful and the people are as well. My most recent visit to Jamaica (in Dec 2010), I had the opportunity to choose where we would go for vacation - Mexico, Hawaii, Bahamas, etc. I chose CSA and am so glad I did. In fact, we're going back in November! We're going for my birthday and we originally booked a resort in Puerto Rico, but my heart kept calling me back home to Jamaica. Book CSA...you won't regret it.
We've been to Jamaica 15 times now, and never had a bit of trouble. When you hear or read about crime in Jamaica it is generally concentrated on the eastern side of the country, in Kingston. Negril is as far from that as can be, and the locals are generally protective of tourists, as they understand that tourism drives the economy.
I'm sure you can find a crime story someone posted online, but who wants to live in fear because of some anonymous posting? Jamaica is a wonderful place, and I'm sure you will love Swept Away if you find your way there.
Been there 3 times now in both Ochi and Negril and stayed at 3 of the 4 Couples resorts. The people are great! Treat them with respect and they do the same. You have no more to worry there than you do in the town/city in which you live. the resorts are safe with their own security monitoring 24/7. Just follow the same common-sense practices you would in any new/different place (i.e. don't go off alone, if it doesn't look safe don't go there, etc.) and you'll be just fine. Go to CSA and prepare to be pampered and enjoy meeting some of the nicest, most humble people you'll find anywhere.
I'm probably the most paranoid person you'll meet. As I type this I have both a gun and a knife on me and they go everywhere that they legally can with me. At no point in time did I ever feel like I needed them in Jamaica. Go, have fun, relax and be secure in the knowledge that you'll be safe.
To be fair, I was the same as your husband before we went but now i know better
The security at CSA is FABULOUS. They get to know the guests and you have to sign in and out whenever you leave the resort (via the beach).
As you walk 7 Mile Beach you'll be approached to buy everything from juice to drugs - just a no thanks and a smile and you should be good to go. I'm a woman and I have walked the beach during the day by myself with no problem.
That being said, I wouldn't walk the beach alone at night, and if I were to go to any of the clubs I'd definitely not wear my jewelry or anything that would call attention to me. Neither would I get inebriated while "off campus," but those are just common sense words of advice for travelers anywhere.
I've been to JA 10 times without a problem and love the island. Just be smart, and I'm sure you'll have a great time.
We made our 15th trip to Jamaica in October, our first to a Couples resort. As Vybz pointed out the Jamaican economy is dependent on tourism. If you use your head you are just as safe as you are anywhere at home. If you go to Chicago or New York there are places that are safe at any time, places that are safe during the day and places you should not go at all. The same applies to Jamaica. How do you know where these places are? It's just something in your gut right...you'll know. And if you use the resort transfers and take only arranged tours you won't ever be put in a situation to have to think about it. Walk the beach at CSA, it's safe too. You'll get asked if you want to buy stuff but no one is going to harm you, give them a polite "no" if you aren't interested and they'll leave you alone.
One thing I would just warn you about is that if you've never been out of the country arriving in the airport might be a little...over-stimulating. It's busy, people are shouting in a language you can't understand at times and when they do speak english it's with a heavy accent, they are offering to help you from every angle, it can just get a little overwhelming if it's your first time. Now I find it part of the fun but the first time I'm sure my eyes were huge. Just know that you are safe it's just different from home. Keep reading the message board and ask questions and you'll be plenty prepared.
Any "problems" a person encounters in Jamaica are those of their own making. It's a very friendly country. Go and see for yourself.
We have been to Couples 7 times and have only felt trouble one time.
We took the trip to Margaritaville Party Night 11:00PM from CSS. We had to wait for a couple of people and our driver left us in the parking lot waiting. As soon as he left we had all type of drug dealers tryng to push into our ride and sell us anything we wanted. As soon as the driver returned they backed off.
If you want to go to M'ville go on the shopping trip and stop in.
The trip from CN is at 5:00PM and they have a good show and no pushers. It is safe if you use common sense like you would in any city in the US.
Have fun, we will be back home at CN in 123 days. Can't wait
We are making our 10th trip this summer and two were with the kids when they were little to a family resort. The only thing we have had happen is that our cell phone was stolen--not at a Couples Resort. But this could happen anywhere we don't take care of things including here at home.
My family has lived in different parts of Jamaica for over 50 years. Outside of Kingston, the island isn't much different than your home town as far as crime goes. Poverty leads to small crimes in any nation. Negril is very safe, as is Ocho Rios. But there are places you shouldn't go alone or at night. I live in New Orleans and it's the same way. I feel safer in JA then I do here. You will see cops with automatic weapons on the roads and maybe even on the beach. This is a standard in mist poverty stricken nations. The resorts are very safe and the areas around them typically are as well. This isn't Mexico we are talking about. Relax and enjoy. The most dangerous part is usually the bus ride. They tend to speed and drive worse than we do.