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Never been to Jamaica

gainesville
2 posts
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Never been to Jamaica

I will be in Jamaica from March 16th-18th. I will be staying at Paradise View Hotel in Negril, which hotwire and other websites consider a 3 star condo although Ive read horrid reviews of the condo. I just have a couple of questions:

1) How much should I expect to pay to get to Negril from Montego Bay? (Do I take a taxi or bus or what...the cheapest would be the best bet!)

2)I only really have a day and a half. What should I absolutely not miss out on! Through research it seems like ricks cafe, margaritaville, and jungle are places not to be missed!

Any general advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

suz
Derby, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
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4,683 posts
59 reviews
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1. Re: Never been to Jamaica

I would highly recommend using Clive's transportation services to get to Negril - He charges $18 0w, $36 RT - clivestransportservicejamaica.com/index.htm

A very pleasant man - Clive himself picked us up, and was waiting despite the fact that our flight was delayed by hours - He gave us a wonderful informative tour on the way to Negril. The jungle was good on Thurs, late night - I would recommend searching around when you get there for which bars have live reggae - Alfreds would be the spot to go on Friday, and I preferred Alfreds and Bourbon Beach to the Jungle. Ricks was beautiful, but I would skip Margaritaville.

South
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545 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Never been to Jamaica

Have breakfast at Selina's Coffee Bar across from the beach. Try the pancakes. You can check out her website and other great specials at www.realnegril.com. If you need a map go to www.negril.com. Since your time is limited I would go to the beach and just relax. Try a pattie from Miss Sonia (across from Roots Bamboo), buy some fruit from the fruit lady, have a couple Red Stripes at Alfreds. Not positive now, but they used to have sun bathing chairs set up. I would also skip Margaritaville (they have those here in the states).

Atlanta, Georgia
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426 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Never been to Jamaica

I woudl suggest contacting the Negril JUTA Chapter www.jutatoursnegrilltd.com - the cost of roundtrip transfers is $30 per person, this is the same tour bus company Sandals/Beaches uses. I have used them before and they are reliable!

The MUST SEE's of Negril are Rick's Cafe during the day to watch the cliff diving, the Jungle Thursday nights (ladies get in free before midnight) and Alfred's for live reggae on Friday nights. There is also Bourbon Beach and Roots Bamboo!

Bodega, California
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14,534 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Never been to Jamaica

I believe the JUTA buses are $25 per person. When you get out of customs/immigration bear left...you'll need to wait for a bus to "fill up" and then you share it with other travelers and make stops along the way in Negril (non-stop to Negril though). If you charter a private taxi you should not pay more than $60.00 for the car, no matter how many people.

Since you are there for such a short time, I suggest you skip Ricks. Very crowded, touristy, they play bad music (really, they do...watered down Calypso/Reggae Jimmy Buffet-ish carribean stuff) and their drinks and food are way, way expensive. Why not check out sunset from the Lighthouse? If you feel you need a "scene" for sunset then I would suggest Pirate's Cave (drinks and food also expensive but the vibe is GREAT, much more intimate)or SamSara where they do a 2-1 happy hour/sunset drink special. Whereever you are, don't miss a sunset...they are best viewed from the cliffs.

Other than that...make sure you swim in the sea and walk around and get your fill of Jamaican culture and people...eat Jamaican food, revel in Jamaican music. Alfreds is a good choice for Reggae music (Sunday, Tuesday and Friday nights I think)but so is Roots Bamboo (GREAT people watching, a bit of a "rougher" crowd) or Bourbon Beach (they usually have the Indika band, one of the better Reggae bands on the beach, they play lots of roots reggae) and they also have more room to roam around, people watch and dance.

Central Ohio
Destination Expert
for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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13,046 posts
74 reviews
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5. Re: Never been to Jamaica

JUTA Negril offers $15pp each way if you reserve online in advance, you need to bring your printed reservation as several folks have told me the JUTA Negril people weren't expecting them and so wouldn't give the $15 rate.

JUTA at the airport charged $20pp last time I used them, has it gone up to $25?

Hemet, California
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5,883 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Never been to Jamaica

Regardless of the reviews your own attitude will have a lot to do with the kind of vacation you will experience. Last Summer I went to the Sunset Grande when reviews were mostly bad (good package deal att he time). I thought I will go and make the best of this trip. While there were things that needed to be done,I had a wonderful time and made friends I keep in touch with currently. I will return to the Sunset Grande in July and intend to have a blast regardless of when the beds are made, whether they are enough beach towels, or if they repeat the menu at the buffet and water down the drinks. Afterall if the water is blue, the weather is fine and the staff if friendly, I'm in for a good time. This is JAMAICA MON, NO PROBLEM, ENJOY!!!!!!!

Lancaster, PA
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303 posts
12 reviews
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7. Re: Never been to Jamaica

kooljammin is pre-attitude adjusted. Your vacation is what you make it, folks.

I think we can all read between the lines of the bad reviews & learn as much about the authors as the properties they are complaining about. For example, I have only rarely encountered rude staff at any place I ever stayed, but notice how many reviewers note their rude treatment. Makes you wonder if they didn't deserve it?

uflaw, if you want to get fleeced, rick's and M-ville will be glad to accommodate you. Why not try some uncrowded places that are not on the "must go" list?

Bodega, California
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14,534 posts
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8. Re: Never been to Jamaica

paddlinunit...amen to all you have said! As far as I'm concerned, Jamaicans are never "rude". I think a lot of those folks that feel they are being treated rudely is because they feel self-entitled and if they don't get what they want, when they want it or don't feel someone is "bending over backwards" enough, then they are being "rude". So it brings me back to the real problem I have with AI's...I see so many reviews where a person has stayed at RIU in several different places around the globe and they expect the same things from different cultures. Staying at an AI, IMHO, you might as well be anywhere. They resorts tend to water down the culture and play down the middle.

Jamaicans are not rude...they just don't "snap to" as some personnel in SOME fancy hotels in the US and Europe do. It's all about expectations.

gainesville
2 posts
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9. Re: Never been to Jamaica

Thank you everyone so far for all of your comments. Im not worried about people being rude because i never had that problem before. However, if u look at some of the reviews (in fact all of the reviews) on tripadvisor for paradise view hotel, you see several complaints about there not being hot water, the toilet bowl not working, sleeping in your car because the key doesnt work and there is nobody at the front desk, etc. All I need to be happy is a working toilet bowl, a key that works, and hot water and im good! Im really excited about this vacation. Would anyone recommend that excursion where you go to an island and eat and on the way back is the boose cruise? I think that may be fun.

Cuenca, Spain
Destination Expert
for Jamaica
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9,822 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Never been to Jamaica

I think that everyone has said it so well.

Pack your suitcase with plenty of respect. A positive attitude. A smile and happy expression on your face.

Please remember that it is the Jamaican citizens that have to put up with droughts, hurricanes, power cuts and food shortages. Yet they manage to find that extra smile to greet you everytime they cross paths with you during a day.

If you have extra space in that suitcase, then add a toy to give to that little boy who just gave you a winning smile that made your heart melt. Or a little personal hygiene gift for the lady who cleans your room everyday. Dont forget a CD for the private taxi driver who has just taken you on a 10 hour tour to see and experience all that Jamaica has to offer away from the hotel resort.

Go to Jamaica with an open mind and warm heart to share your love with these happy people. You will get it back tenfold.

The white sand beaches are what bring tourists to our land.

But it is the lovely scenic mountains and warm hospitable people that bring them back again.

Jamaica can only be truely known to those

who venture beyond the sun, sand and sea.

"Once You Go, You Know"