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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Jamaica ??? CSA in May...

    So after MUCH deliberation, I have booked CSA for May. I have never been to Jamaica (we are frequent travelers to Mexico, Bahamas etc...). So I have several questions and would appreciate any help!!! First, how safe is Jamaica these days? Specifically, I have read on TA about peoples credit card #'s getting lifted, being robbed on the bus ride to/from the airport, and to not leave the resort. Of course I heard all of this before any trip I made to Mexico and have never had any problem, so I am hoping it will be the same. You always hear the bad, you know. Should I exchange my USD to Jamaican $$$? Also, I know a simple "no thank you" will work with the beach vendors, but last year I went to Punta Cana (NEVER again) and was down right harassed by them every time I went to the beach. And the resort I stayed at did have beach security, it just was unrelenting. They would come up to you while you were in your chair relaxing. Little children coming up to you on the beach and handing you a sea shell and then turning their palms up for money. Does this happen in Jamaica? I know CSA will be great, although it seem to be less "glam" then the resorts i have been to in the past, which I am looking forward too. Lastly, are there lots of jelly fish in the water? Got stung last time in Mexico so I am a little wary. Thanks to all who respond, I appreciate your feedback!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Honestly, I feel WAY safer in Jamaica than I did when we went to Mexico. I was on edge the whole time we were in Mexico. Jamaica has a bad rep, and I wouldn't go wandering around Montego alone at night or anything, but there are many a place in the U.S. where I wouldn't either. Never heard of being robbed on the bus. I won't say it's never happened, but bad things sometimes happen anywhere. It's by no means a common thing.

    No need to change your money to Jamaican. US dollar is widely accepted.

    LMAO, your travel history sounds like mine - Bahamas, Mexico, Punta Cana, Jamaica. We didn't have the vendor problem in PC, though we always stayed at the far back of the beach we were on. In Jamaica, I've never had an issue. "No thanks" does the trick. Now, off resort, you may need a bit stronger of a No Thanks. But I've walked down the beach alone (I'm female) and not had an issue really. On the resort, there are guards and they are GOOD and they are always watching. And the vendors have to stay by the water line. A No Thank you should be all you need.

    re: Jellyfish. I know there is a season when they are worse and I can't remember off hand when that is. I know they were kind of bad the last time we went, which was in late Aug, the week after a hurricane. I've heard they are worse after storms. I've been in May/June before and don't recall having seen any.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    338

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jennyp View Post
    So after MUCH deliberation, I have booked CSA for May. I have never been to Jamaica (we are frequent travelers to Mexico, Bahamas etc...). So I have several questions and would appreciate any help!!! First, how safe is Jamaica these days?Very Safe, just be aware of your surrounding and dont do anything stupid, common sense goes a long way but security on the resort no problems Specifically, I have read on TA about peoples credit card #'s getting lifted, being robbed on the bus ride to/from the airport, and to not leave the resort. Of course I heard all of this before any trip I made to Mexico and have never had any problem, so I am hoping it will be the same.As with any place you are not use to it happens where you are from and it is no different here or there. Dont flash money credit cards are safe and yes it is safe off resort again common sense, dont get stupid drunk and not expect something to happen You always hear the bad, you know. Should I exchange my USD to Jamaican $$$?NO they love american money just keep small bills as most if not all change will be in JA Also, I know a simple "no thank you" will work with the beach vendors, but last year I went to Punta Cana (NEVER again) and was down right harassed by them every time I went to the beach. And the resort I stayed at did have beach security, it just was unrelenting.Vendors will walk down the beach as the waters edge is public property however they are not allowed to come up to you unless you solict them ie: cigareeettttss, or musicians They would come up to you while you were in your chair relaxing. Little children coming up to you on the beach and handing you a sea shell and then turning their palms up for money. Does this happen in Jamaica? Yes if you walk down the beach but really a no thank you will suffice,a little advice if I may here Jamaicans pride themselves on respect and the respect you show towards them goes a long way so if you say no thank you with respect they will respect it. Also on the vendors if you stroll down the beach and I highly recomened it do NOT tell them maybe later if you have no intentions of buying it because every day after that you walk down the beach they will remember you so again respect if it is not what you are looking for a simple but polite no thank you know CSA will be great, although it seem to be less "glam" then the resorts i have been to in the past, which I am looking forward too. I have stayed in several 5 star resorts from us to mexico, to europe and while it does not have the marble tile and does have a tropical atmosphere the dark woods with white linens is quite as I say tropical swankyLastly, are there lots of jelly fish in the water?Never saw jelly fish did see two sting rays( dont get scared the guards were on them like nobodys business in fact most people in water never knew shows you how clear the water is because you could see it plain as day from the beach, but again the guards followed it to make sure no guests were in its path Got stung last time in Mexico so I am a little wary. Thanks to all who respond, I appreciate your feedback!!!
    hope this helps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    408

    Default

    To answer a few of your question - No do not exchange your money to Jamaican, USD works fine , and is accepted everywhere you would visit. --- Yes there are peddlers on the beach. They are allowed to walk along the beach front. No they will not approach you while you are in your chair. It is usually the same peddlers all week, so they get to know you, and once you have told them no for their product they leave you alone. They really are not that bad. They can only approach you past the " imaginary " line in the sand, if you invite them. Security is very good on the beach, watches well to be sure guests are not disturbed. Jamaican law allows free access to the ocean front, so they are allowed to be there. Again, never a problem. ( we especially enjoy watching the strolling beach musicians ). --- Credit card problem. We never had one and we did use it off the resort, in the main shopping areas. I honestly did not know that there was a problem until I returned and read about problems others had. I have 100% confidence in giving the credit card information at the resort. However, I am going to bring more cash for shopping outside the resort, just to be cautious. Also, all the stores offered you better rates on purchases if you paid with cash instead of a credit card. We just did not bring much cash do do that. ----Safety - My husband has a bad foot and I took walks daily on the beach by myself, for several miles on the 7 mile beach and I felt completely safe. Of course I used common sense and did not walk at night. Every hotel along the beach has a security guard sitting on the beach. Yes, I was approached by a few peddlers, but a polite " no thank you " always worked for me. I enjoyed walking along the beach, I stopped at some of the resorts on the beach and looked around, everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I knew if something happened and I felt uneasy, I would just walk up to the nearest security guard. I have also traveled to the Bahamas and Mexico and felt safest in Negril . The vibe in Negril is also wonderful. Many of the bad stories about Jamaica come from people visiting Montego Bay or visited Jamaica from a cruise ship. There are no cruise ships In Negril ( thank God ), and I also felt unsafe In Montego Bay. We stayed at resort in Montego Bay a few years ago and will NEVER go back. I will not stay at a place where I can not leave the resort due to feeling unsafe. Do not worry, the airport is fine, when you fly in. Have a great trip to CSA and Negril. You will love both places.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    225

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    They have answered all your questions just has I would have. We will be there May 5-10. What days are you there? You will LOVE CSA and Jamaica. We were married there in Oct 08 and fell in love with the people. Everywhere we've been since then my husband has compared it to CSA! Once you go, you'll know!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,961

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    When you going to go?

    A previous post mentioned rays... and yep, they are there, generally in the morning, but they are NOT the giant rays that have gotten a bad rep for the tragic incident on the Great Barrier Reef. These are generally smaller, less than a foot across (biggest we saw was about 2 feet wingspan). I never saw the guards flinch.

    As for credit cards, if you're concerned, ask your cc company to issue a temporary one with a preset limit.

    Vendors are very restricted at SweptAway. Any issues, let security know.

    Feel free to leave the resort! Not an issue. Just use common sense and maintain wariness; carry limited cash (you will probably want to shop); and be prepared to be firm, friendly, direct and respectful with your "no's"; that is to say, no "maybe laters", no "I'm not carrying cash right now"; just be honest... "No thanks, I'm not interested".

    Enjoy!
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10

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    Thanks everyone!!! One more I just thought of....since no employee of CSA excepts tips (right?)I am not sure how much cash to bring with me. In the past, I would always bring $500 in smaller bills for tips and small purchases, we typically do not go shopping crazy on vacation or do many excursions. Is the best "tip" to write a note to the manager and mention exceptional employees then? I want to make sure I am doing the right thing! Thanks again, enjoy all your trips!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Yes, complementing an employee on the comment card (which you will get the day before departure, from what I recall) is the best way to "tip."

    I usually take out 3-400 and I think my husband takes 300. I get some in smaller bills for tips (baggage handlers at the airport, bus driver, spa). I usually do not go through that, or even close, I just like to have it "in case." I think I spent less than 100 last time and only that much because we took an excursion and there were tips involved in that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10

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    We will be there May 12-19, really looking forward to it now!! We have been to Secrets several times and I was not too thrilled with being one of the first guests at the new ones in Jamaica, so we wanted to try something different!! Thank you everyone!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default

    From what I have been reading about the opening, you may a good decision. I KNOW you made a great decision about Couples!

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