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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    263

    Default Difference in shopping areas in CTI.....

    What's the difference in shopping tours at Ocho Rios,Island Village,and Soni's Plaza? Will be at CTI with "newbie" friends real soon(sept.17) and was wondering if one was better than the other. Thanks

    Ralph & Roberta
    Syracuse, NY
    COR 9/1982, CTI 9/2007, CTI 9/2009, CTI 9/2011

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512

    Default

    Don't forget the Taj Mahal.

    We prefer Sonni's of the two listed, but view Taj Mahal and Soni's about the same.

  3. #3

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    Be sure to go across the street from Soni's and check out the craft market. Lots of "interesting" things to see there (if you've been there, you know what I mean). ;-O

  4. #4

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    We did the trip to the Taj Mahal. We went for the Hard Rock, as DH collects t-shirts, but the restaurant/bar wasn't even open. It's your typical tourist trap shopping with most of the shops carrying the sames typical souvenirs - Jamaica t-shirts, shot glasses, towels, etc. No pressure though. We were done pretty quick and bored, so we thought we'd walk, but we were getting hassled more than we liked, so we went back and sat and had a beer waiting for the driver to come back to get us (wishing we were on the beach). One couple grabbed a cab back - smart. We wouldn't do it again. We got better things at the Couples shops (with resort credit too) and vendors on the resort (who we found to be very friendly and not pushy). We've done the markets in MoBay and enjoyed that more, but be prepared for Jamaica market shopping. I'm pretty sure it's similar no matter what market. Some vendors are a biit pushy, and some ladies give you the doe eyes and story about needing to feed their family (which I don't doubt). We usually bought a little something so they were happy with us. But once we'd bought what we wanted we weren't comfortable just browsing and left. If you go, bring a lot of small bills, as most of them won't have change (they'll even borrow from their neighbour to give you change. lol) It's an experience. Oh, and don't go shopping when the cruise ships are in town. It will be a zoo then.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    269

    Default

    We shop at many places to get different things. They are all within walking distance of one another or you can just browse around & shop in one place as I have seen many tourist do. If you take the free shopping excursion shuttle, you have about 4 hours.

    Island Village is more expensive but to me has better quality items (clothes: t-shirts, hats, things you wear). It is also very clean, never over crowded, has Margaritaville at the far end of the complex, & is touristy because it is where the cruise ships dock. No one will hound you there & you cannot barter your prices. Whatever the price says is what they sell it for. I also like the quality of the stores overall there, they have a large variety of everything.

    Taj Mahal is directly across the street but to me is a completely different vibe. You can barter your prices there at any store & you see more local jamaicans (Arabs, Asians, etc.) as owners of the shops. Here, they sometimes hound you to come into their stores. most of these stores all have the same items. There are some high end jewelry stores there.

    A few feet up the street from both is the craft market. This is a trip! They hound you to come and see their shop. Most of them sell the same things. Lots of arts & crafts. Everything is negotiable. Alot is made by them. These are small shops with all Jamaican sellers...they can be pushy here but not scary. If you want to bring back alot of inexpensive trinkets, go here.

    You can also just walk down the strip. It is highly built up in the past couple of years, there are restaurants and stores everywhere. We venture all around without worries. In the midst of all the Jamaicans, you will see lots of tourists.

    One Love

  6. #6

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    We usually just take a taxi to Island Village and then walk down the street to the Taj Mahal shopping center. We enjoy a few hours out. Island Village has some really nice shops and I like the variety of stores at the Taj Mahal. We always find what we need between the two. Island Village has Margaritaville which my husband loves because he is a Buffet fan and has to get his t-shirts. We have been to Soni's once but would not go back. We have done the craft market and would not do that again either. You should go at least once and form your own opinion. Because, as you can see from the responses, everyone has different likes and dislikes. What we enjoy, you may not. Experience everything once.

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