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1st time to Jamaica

Chino, California
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122 posts
42 reviews
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1st time to Jamaica

Hey guys! I am travelling to Jamaica for the 1st time later this summer.

My boyfriend and I are going with another couple who is very familiar with the lay of the land, and another newbie couple too. The ones who are more familiar planned our stays, which is different for me, since I didn't get to research them 1st. Also, I am used to saving money and staying at bigger resorts - so I just wanted to get some opinions on the following hotels and also ask what to pack? Without a big resort do I need dressy dinner clothes? Do I leave nice purses and valuables at home? Or is it just like any other tropical vacation where its a little bit casual and a little bit dressy for dinner? I just don't want to feel out place and also don't want to set myself up for theft. I appreciate any and all comments!

We are staying at: Chrisanns Beach Resort in Ochos Rios for half the trip and Bar-B-Barn in Negril, for the other half.


roxbury, ma
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1. Re: 1st time to Jamaica

casaual! very!

I've stayed at the Bar-b-barn for many years!! It older and a bit run down but great location and nice beach! It's a small Jamaican owned hotel, the staff is really nice and you will meet regulars! If you can ask for room 112/115-newer rooms.

I assume the resort in Ochi is similar is relaxed vibe but wait to see others responce.

In Negril you will not need anything fancy and leave valuables at home. Use the money you will be saving from fancy resorts on excursions and private drivers! From Ochi do the White River bamboo rafting/one night they have a fire water (not sure the night); and a drive to Bob Marley Nine Mile. I'd save the falls for Negril to do an excursion to YS or Mayfirled. YS has a zip line and is beautiful to chill at for a while/Mayfield is an amazing hike up the falls (not much else). I strongly reccomend an afternoon at the Blue Hole in Belmont (real close to Negril). Most people come for the jump in the hole and leave but it is a nice vibe to chill for a while, swim in the spring pool there is a bar and hammocks! There are many places to stop along the way from Ochi to Negril so enjoy that as well!

I'm sure your friends have things in mind as well! Go with the flow...any flow in Jamaica is nice :)


Chino, California
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122 posts
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2. Re: 1st time to Jamaica

Thank you so much!!

My boyfriend says he is renting a car and is going to drive us around?

Is that crazy?

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168 posts
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3. Re: 1st time to Jamaica

Very casual. I would also leave expensive jewelry and such at home. Have fun, Jamaica is an awesome place with a cool laid back vibe.

Driving will be different for him. It is opposite of the U.S. road rules. The steering compartment is on the right side of the car instead of the left and the road directions are opposite the U.S. as well.

Edited: 06 June 2013, 18:48
Norwalk, Connecticut
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4. Re: 1st time to Jamaica

Though people do it ..if your boyfriend is not experienced in Jamaica--I

d leave the driving to others the first time I visit the island.

Parking is not available everywhere without charge.

Roads are not always marked.

Road condition can be challenging with pot holes and animals in the middle of roads very common in places.

Road maps are expensive and can be hard to come by.....don't assume you get handed a road map--or pick one up at the local CVS.

Other drivers can also be aggressive.

If you were my friend or daughter or sister---I would suggest you visit Jamaica the first time and get private transportation. On the second visit---rent that car.

5. Re: 1st time to Jamaica

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