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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAMA X 2 View Post
    I am not sure this conern is irrational, Wanda. Every other time I have been to Jamaica I have not hesitated to do excursions off property. We are going on Saturday and
    and plan to stay very close to "home".
    I'm glad to hear that.... but have you ever visited West Kingston? Most tourists don't and most Jamaicans don't even go near there.

    It's hard to even get some drivers to take you to New Kingston.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamieblambert76 View Post
    My soon to be husband and i have a trip planned to CTI in June & I just read below headline on msnbc...

    Jamaicans battle over alleged drug lord
    State of emergency after attacks by supporters of man sought by U.S.
    A police station in West Kingston


    IF you do decide to venture out of the resort, be very careful. This type of headline makes me very nervous about my up coming trip.
    This happens everywhere in large cities. Don't let it keep you from experiencing your vacation. Use the same precautions you would use in any place you might visit.
    Vicky

  3. #28
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    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by WandA View Post
    I'm glad to hear that.... but have you ever visited West Kingston? Most tourists don't and most Jamaicans don't even go near there.

    It's hard to even get some drivers to take you to New Kingston.


    Never been to Kingston. I might be overthinking this but....if Coke gets killed or captured how will Jamaicans react? He s connected all over the Island if the reports I have read are true. There might be no negative reaction at all but I will have my eye on the small catamarans on property with thoughts of Cuba if the crap hits the fan!

  4. #29
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    Jul 2009
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    "Never been to Kingston. I might be overthinking this but....if Coke gets killed or captured how will Jamaicans react?"

    ...Most of them won't react at all- those in Kingston are really the ones who are involved in this. Not ALL Jamaicans support Coke.

    He may be long gone from Jamaica by now - but most Jamaicans are hoping that some good may eventually come out of this - the people in these areas of Kingston are fed up with the Politicians and Law Enforcement. Coke is viewed as HELPING them, like Robin Hood, and treating them better to them than their Leaders who they've lost faith in. The 30-40 young men who were killed this week had vowed to put their lives on the line for Dudas - they were NOT innnocent bystanders.

    And certainly not tourists.

  5. #30

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    If you are in the Ocho Rios area one of the best tours (and I have done them all...been to Jamaica 8 times already and I am in the travel business so I have to see it all lol) was the Zion Lion Bob Marley Tour.

    This was an amazing experience. We drove from Ocho Rios up to St Anne's Parish which is where Bob was from. You get to meet people that actually knew him, see the house he was born in, his grave is there etc.

    All the way up they play music, give you rum punch, and you watch a documentary on him. I thought I knew alot about him...it turned out I really knew nothing at all about what an amazing person he was and what he meant and still means to the people of Jamaica. I definitely recommend this tour...now if you are the type that will be insulted by others smoking marijuana then don't go on this tour as St Anne's is the only place it is actually "legal" to smoke it so many of the tourists were smoknig it on the tour...I myself do not but it didn't bother me at all.

    I also rented a driver another time I was there and that was great just make sure you tell him what you want to see...or they may just take you where they want to go or just to their friends stores and restaurants to make some money. We had a great driver and he took us to his families farm and it was so much fun...tried all the fruit, had lunch etc and then we did some of the touristy things as well.

    Dunn's River is fun but it is so touristy it is kind of crazy so if you like the more laid back I wouldn't go there to be honest.

    The zipline tour with Chukka Tours is also one of the better ones on the island and the drive up to it is very pretty and you pass through many typical villages along the way so definitely worth going on that one as well.

    I am sure you will have fun no matter what...and don't get worried about people talking about Kingston it is no where near the resort area and as a tourist we have no business going there to begin with so as long as you stay away from Kingston or the slums of Montego Bay I am sure you will be totally safe.

    Have fun and enjoy!!

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by WandA View Post
    I'm glad to hear that.... but have you ever visited West Kingston? Most tourists don't and most Jamaicans don't even go near there.

    It's hard to even get some drivers to take you to New Kingston.
    I'm not sure why you would say that some drivers will not take you to New Kingston. This is where "Embassy Row" with all the diplomatic consultates are located ,also upscale nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls etc. and there is nothing vaguely intimidating about this area! Maybe those drivers knew very little about the area?

  7. #32
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    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmo View Post
    I've been to the bad parts of Detroit, Michigan. I got lost there actually. If I can handle that, I can handle Jamaica and the resort-organized tours.

    I'm not worried at all.

    C.
    Hahaha! I've lived in Detroit all most my entire life. And yes you can handle and organized tour now! I've also lived in NYC. My sister-in-law has been a medical examiner in both cities as well as Miami so she has really seen it all. There are certain areas of just about every major city that I can think of, that you have to be extra careful going to or maybe you don't go to at all. Most of Detroit looks like a war zone with so many abandoned buildings and what not. But there are awesome parts to the city as well. That is the attitude we took when we went to Kingston in February. Again the driver was provided by the resort and he knew his way around. We actually saw quite a bit of the city and I can tell you that some parts of Detroit are a lot worse looking. Yes shanty town was just heart breaking, but I go downtown and see the homeless living outside in a sort of park area by the old train station in Detroit and that breaks my heart too. My husband I discussed it last night actually, if there is something in Kingston that we still want to visit then we will go and do it.

  8. #33
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    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deesweptaway View Post
    I'm not sure why you would say that some drivers will not take you to New Kingston. This is where "Embassy Row" with all the diplomatic consultates are located ,also upscale nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls etc. and there is nothing vaguely intimidating about this area! Maybe those drivers knew very little about the area?
    I'm saying it because some drivers stay away from Kingston altogether, especially right now. Some drivers stay away from a particular Falls area too -as there have been some problems there over the last few months.

    There is Jamaican driver with a very well known tour company in Negril that never goes to Kingston. He grew up there so he knows the area very well- and prefers not to take tourists there.
    Last edited by WandA; May 28th, 2010 at 10:42 AM.

  9. #34

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    I can totally understand drivers staying away right now. However, we go to Kingston every year, and stay at hotels in New Kingston and never feel unsafe in that area. There are many wonderful areas in Kingston. I am guessing that the driver you are talking about grew up in an unsafe area which has coloured his opinion. Like most places, Kingston has some VERY unsafe areas, but also some lovely suburbs, great museums and historical sights, good restaurants and lots of cultural activities.

  10. #35
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    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by WandA View Post
    This type of comment makes me very nervous about people spreading irrational fear without any knowledge of the area or circumstances...If you think it's that dangerous throughout the country, then don't go at all.

    Kingston is HOURS away from Ochi, Mo Bay and Negril, the resort areas. Even within Kingston, there are areas that most Jamaicans won't venture into. You can leave the resort and feel safe - NO tour driver is going to take American tourists into a dangerous area.

    Besides,this is nothing new...Kingston has had a very high crime rate for years..and there is always a concern when going to a country like Jamaica that suffers from Poverty and Political conflict- this current series of incidents doesn't change that. Try Hawaii if you're scared

    Quote Originally Posted by Allans_Angel View Post
    I will preface my comment by saying, my intent is to be delicate and polite as I can be with my comment here so as to not be the object of any anger for speaking my mind. But, I feel you should know your comments on many occasions throughout these message boards come across as very abraisive.

    If I happened to be a first time visitor to these boards or a prospective new client for Couples, I would have second thoughts about visiting, based solely on these "don't go at all" and "Try Hawaii if you're scared" type comments for fear I might meet with that kind of attitude at the resort.

    ONE LOVE

    ~Peace, Love, Respect~
    I'm with you Angel. In fact, WandA is the sole reason I quit posting here. She attacked me on several occasions, but when she didn’t agree with my advice about tipping, she implied that everyone living in my home state was bad and everyone living in her state was good, and I had had enough. I would have hoped the moderators would sensor her rude, caustic comments, but they don’t. I imagine she has chased away many newcomers, which is sad. I love the Couples Resorts, but have come to hate this message board due to people like her. Moderators, please Take note.

    Respect!

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    We miss you on the board Wally. Glad to know what precipitated your departure. We're looking forward to taking the "Wally transfer" between CN and CSS this July 14th.

    Bilkat

  12. #37

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    Go to the Blue Hole Mineral Springs...it is beautiful...look it up on the internet...it is in Negril

  13. #38

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    Not all drivers know all the areas of their own island equally. Drivers who are not familiar or comfortable with Kingston streets...or cannot get the money they feel is worth their time (and gas expense) for the day to get there, tour around, and return home....many times just resort to saying they "won't go there" or "it's not a good idea to be there" rather than give their true reasons...or....pass the request along to a driver who IS familiar with and comfortable with the city.

    Any drivers who were asked to go to Kingston this past week would have been 100% correct in refusing to go to even New Kingston. Drivers who have any sense at all would not EVER put themselves or their vehicles in an area of uncertainty or unsafety - so then would never wind up having passengers in places where they were unsafe...no amount of money is worth one's life or the risk of damaging one's vehicle, which is most often one's only source of income.

    Currently, and until word in our local papers and on the radio and phone calls to friends and relatives in Kingston brought at least two to three weeks of consecutive reports of "all is quiet, calm and restored" - I would recommend leaving Kingston off the travel / tour list..or if nothing else...respect those drivers who do not want to go there yet.

    If the refusal to go to "a particular Falls area" is coming from Negril drivers, "as there have been some problems there over the last few months"...I'm sorry if this comes across as insulting to them, but they're fools. They are using this as an excuse for a one time situation that was a set up and long since over. They are repeating old news, they've not followed up with phone calls to people in the area, have not talked it over with other drivers who DO make the trip, nor checked the area themselves when in fact they would know that there has been no problem for at least six months now if not more. It was a post on a message board bringing up the old insinuation of a problem long since over that started this rumour all over again. More than likely, if drivers in Negril are still using this excuse of "there was a problem there" (and will not even tell you what it was nor the end result) then again, they are not being honest...the road is quite bad due to erosion of the asphalt in certain areas if coming from Negril, though this simply means that the driver must go slow and navigate his vehicle over bumps and dips that will not make for a smooth as silk ride. However, it is certainly not bad enough to damage a vehicle nor the passengers. The road there from MoBay is better...though would make no sense to travel from Negril as it would add too much extra time to the day's trip, and would cause the outing to be more expensive.

    Again, not enough drivers I've found give honest answers...or know alternative roadways to a destination...or a willing to put effort into a day when the "Rick's Cafe/Shopping" Combo is more lucrative, less time consuming and less involved for them.

    The Blue Hole Mineral Spring is not in Negril...it is outside of the town in the community of Brighton, very close to the little community of Little Bay. You can jump down into the water of the cave (height is said to be 25-35 feet down) or you can climb down the ladder and swim if more comfortable with that way of experiencing the mineral water. There are brand new life jackets on the tree right there. The pool is filled with the same mineral water...is clean and refreshing. The food from the kitchen is simple country cooking but good. The bar is well stocked, plenty of seating on the property in chairs, at tables with benches and their are lounge chairs by the cave spring/pool. Unless you go with a group, chances are that you will have the property to yourself by day..for those wishing to experience a safe and truly authentic country-style music session, DO go on a Sunday night (sunset to the wee hours of the morning). The music is via soundsytem not live - but the selector knows his music, trust me The community residents are welcoming, the vibes 100% nice all the way around. A side of Jamaica many will never see nor experience because they either don't know it exists, have listened to too many rumours of unsafety or have not found drivers who know these areas nor have been themselves. It is not a "mass tourist/mass marketed" destination spot as the other major tourist attraction sites are on the island, so you will, at this time, not find glossy brochures at resort tour rep desks. However, if you're lucky, you might find someone FROM the Brighton community who is a resort employee and will be able to share their stories of this sweet countryside Sunday evening community get together.

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