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Jamaica was two weeks of constant harassment, lieing, cheating, stealing, and threats of violence.
Although Jamaica is a beautiful country, we would NEVER go back. NEVER. The constant, in-your-face harassment by locals was too much to take. They NEVER, NEVER stop. They lie, cheat, and steal from the tourists with impunity. And when the tourist ignores or protests against their lieing, cheating, and stealing, the locals cry that we are not "respecting" them. They have no idea that respect is a two-way street. The Jamaican concept of "respect" is: "I want your money and I don't care how I get it and don't disrespect me if you force me to lie, cheat, and steal it from you." We spent time in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Kingston, Saint Ann, Port Antonio, as well as several other small towns and it was the same everywhere we went: constant harassment. One Taxi driver/tour operator got $50 (US) from us then failed to pick us up for the trip. One local pulled a knife on us when we politely said we didn't want to talk to him. (Luckily, the police hauled him away before he could make good his threats.) Taxi drivers were always offering us $20 - $50 (US) trips to the beach or downtown or wherever - trips that turned out to be one or two minute walks. We walked miles and miles and almost never escaped the constant barrage of hassle after hassle. Compared to Mexico, Cuba, the D.R., and Belize, Jamaica is a MUST TO AVOID. We were not in an all inclusive resort as we chose to stay in a hotel in Ocho Rios to connect with the people of Jamaica. If you stay in an all inclusive and dont mingle with the people you can enjoy the beauty of the island.
Gran Bahai Principe Runaway Bay was a good spot.
We stayed at the Gran Bahai Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica was a very nice resort. The Resort is huge and there is lots of walking and stairs. They do have elevators. The staff is very friendly and helpful. They have lots of entertainment here too, lots of music, a show every night and they do a show for kids also, It is a kids friendly resort. Lots of stores to shop and check out the prices some will sell cheaper than others. When looking at merchandise watch they will be in your face asking you to buy, that turned us off from shopping. They do have tons of trinkets and shorts and sun dresses. The prices are up there so stuff is not so cheap. Everyone wants a tip too and will ask for one. So have lots of 1,5, 10,20 US funds. The pool was very relaxing and the beach was good to hang out at. Only saw a few bees and flies so we didn't need our Off or Deet.as I have read on other posts. We had 30 above days very humid. It would rain everyday for a few minutes and stop. Also had 1day where it rained all day. They offer lots of things to see off the Resort as well. You will get those in your package when you check in. They do have a WiFi place at the Resort They have a bus that goes to Ocho Rios twice a day. Its a hours drive from Montego Bay and a nice drive to see the country and coastline. The food was good a nice variety to choose from and they do have a section for Vegetarians. I can't say to much about the Al La Carte restaurants all the ones were closed the nights we wanted to go. We did get to one the Italian and it was ok. So book those on the day you arrive to get in to them. We did not get to see to much of Ocho Rios only the mall so when going into the town let your tourist guide know that you want to shop at the mall and the straw markets. Ask your tourist guide what all there is to see in Ocho Rios. They are all very informative about their Country. I would go back to this Resort but there are other places to explore in Jamaica first.
Jamaica is the best place to relax and feel welcome.
It is our second visit to Runaway Bay in Jamaica. We stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Resort both times and absolutely love it! The service is excellent and the staff are so friendly and helpful. There is so much to see and do in Jamaica. We visited many places like Duns River Falls, Mystic Mountain and Bob Marley's birth place where he is now laid to rest. We also visited Scotchies, the best place to enjoy authentic Jamaican jerk chicken. On the days we choose to stay at the resort, we relaxed by the pool or on the beach. It wasn't too busy which was nice. It rained quite a bit during the first few days of our 10 day stay, but the weather improved signifigantly after that. We will definitely go back as we feel very at home in Jamaica.
Beach? What Beach?
We go south every year for one reason - to lay out in the sun on a great beach for 14 days. That being said, I select our resort based on their description of the beach area available for their guests. This year our resort of choice claimed to be "located on the BEST beach in Ocho Rios". Wow! Then I would hate to see the worst. This beach was short, narrow, crowded, and the roped -off swimming area was too shallow for adult swimming. The adjacent public beach was marginally wider and longer, but was usually crowded with day-trippers from the many cruise ships which docked here nearly every day. All-in-all, from our perspective, Ocho Rios was a disappointment.
We only go south to lay out in the sun on a beach for 14 days. That being said, I always check each resort for beach quality. This year, I chose a resort in Ocho Rios which stated that it is "located on the best beach in Ocho Rios". Wow - that reviewer doesn't get out much. If this is the best beach, don't bother taking me to the worst. This beach was small, narrow, short, crowded, and the roped-off swimming area was too shallow to swim! The adjacent public beach was marginally wider and longer, but was usually crowded with day-trippers from the cruise ships which docked here nearly every day. All-in-all, not a great resort, beach-wise.
It was great weather ,nice romantic sunsets and the hospitality at our resort was amazing! Our Bob Marley tour was one to remember and the guide was excellant. The jerk chicken through out the island was fabulous with the fresh coconut as an accent. Horseback riding in the ocean was a nice refreshing excursion on a hot day. We would definitely suggest Jamaica as a holiday spot for those that love the beaches and sun.
I visited an animal shelter
I did my research before heading on my vacation and I made a point to visit an animal rescue shelter near Ocho Rios. This was the most memorable part of this trip for me because I did something meaningful. There were about 175 dogs at this shelter and they all jumped all over me and were happy to have a visitor! Much respect to the Canadian lady who runs the place. She's doing a fabulous job and it was such a worthwhile cause to go visit!
A Great Getaway Mon!
The Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay area is an absolute blast. There are all kinds of attractions, including the can't miss Dunn's River Falls. The diving in Runaway Bay was a pleasant surprise with a couple of downed planes and some lively reefs. Add in the great Jerk food and wonderfully friendly Jamaicans and it can't be beat!
everyting is arie is jamaica
very relaxed country and the people were friendly. had 2 great private tours and got to knock a couple things off my bucket list!
A family visit
I met my husband in Jamaica 4 years ago. He has since immigrated to Canada and we try to get back a couple times a year to visit his family near ocho rios.
Runaway Bay - beautiful part of Jamaica
Runaway Bay is a beautiful part of Jamaica, with a quaint, rustic countryside. The local people are very friendly. Beaches are fantastic but a bit rocky in spots so bring your water shoes!
Beach? What Beach?
Our resort advertised itself as being "on the best beach in Ocho Rios". These people need to get out more! This is one of the worst beaches we have visited in 14 years of trips to the Caribbean. It is short, narrow and generally too small for the number of guests they can accommodate. It is attached to the "public" beach of Ocho Rios which is also short, although a bit wider. However, it is crowded with the day-trippers from the cruise ships which stop here several times a week. A very disappointing beach.
Bahia Principe - Runaway Bay
Beautiful Resort, great snorkelling, right off the beach. 2 different beaches - one is quite pebbly (man made), the other is nice sand. Beaches are not as beautiful as the Dominican, but are still fabulous! Great time was had!! Will definately return!
Yeah Man - Jamaica
The beaches were beautiful, the people were friendly, the hotel Bhai Principe was very nice. The food was fabulous. GREAT VACATION SPOT.
Watching the sun rise over the turquiose waters of the caribbean was breathtaking. Being able to spend te week in paradise with the women I love was amazing..
It was our first trip to Jamaica. The people in Jamaica are very kind. They go out of their way to greet you, provide information and basically make you welcome in their country. Such hospitality has made us look forward to returning.
Runaway bay Jamaica is a perfect getaway for couples or families, We stayed at the Gran bahia which is rated 5 star, the resort is gorgeous and the food was great , lots of choices! They served jerk chicken at the beach bar which was our favorite. At night there was great entertainment then after it was done the karaoke and disco would open. The beaches were blue and the water was warm,we would snorkel in the front of the resort and bring bananas to feed the fish, there were a swarm of beautiful colored fish. There are so many exercusion to do around Runaway bay, we chose to see an illuminated lagoon,we took a boat into lagoon, then we got out to swim when you move around the water glows a vibrant green, it was so cool! We also booked a tour with cool runnings, this was a catamaran that would take you into the coral reef to snorkel then takes you to the amazing Dunn river Falls which you climb up over 1300ft into the falls, this was fantastic! We then road back on the catameran and drank rum punch and danced, everyone on the tour had so much fun! it was well worth the 90us we paid. Our last excursion took us in to Ochos Rios to shop, it was a great experience to see Jamaican culture and buy souveneirs which you could almost always barder for, we also had lunch at a Jamaican fast food place where they served the famous Jucci patties which were delish! My husband and I had a wonderful time the only complaint that we had is we had troubles taking money out with credit cards or debit as all the machines in the resort as well as the airport were all out of order, so I would recommend brining cash for spending and a credit card for excursions. We will be back soon to this gorgeous, cultured country and would recommend travelling there to anyone looking for fun and relaxation!
Eion our tour guide and my chocolate diamond ring
Can't say enough about the wonderful trip five great women friends had for our friends 50th birthday!!! Eion our tour guide took us out on his One Love tour and we had a fatastic time. Our last stop was jewellry shopping where I treated myself to a beautiful chocolate diamond ring as a momento of a terrific time in Jamaica. The weather was beautiful, the ocean like a bathtub and the food and laughter between friends was gorgeous. We will return. Westjet vacations took excellent care of all of our needs when booking and travelling.
first time to jamaica won't be the last. amazing people, and things in this vacation destination.
When I was in Ocho Rios I went completely beyond the beaten path and discovered a million things people don't know about it! One of the coolest spots is Firewater in the hills of St Ann's Bay near Ocho Rios. It's not a tourist attraction at all and you can only get there with someone who knows where it is. It's a natural spring of mineral water that's actually on fire! The rastas who greet you there tell you all about the history of the place and the assumed healing properties of the warm water, they will give you hot towel massages and you can either sit on the side of the spring or immerse yourself and have a nice hot bath. When the water is on fire the flames sit on top of the surface and you can walk through it without being burned and have a completely relaxing experience. There's no fee to go in but they do ask for a donation which goes towards the community kids.