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Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

missouri
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Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

We are staying in the beachfront room of the Sandal's Montego Bay. We have never been there before. My fiance likes to shop. Is it safe to shop? We also want to travel off the resort. Where are some good places to visit. We do not like to drink alcohol, and we are looking for a relaxing place. I grew up near an airport so the planes will not bother us. I am just concerned with the overall safety, off resort activities and things we should definitely do and not do. Please let me know. you can email me at andy.warner@cerner.com

Long Island
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1. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

For maximum safety, do not leave the resort. :-)

All kidding aside, you can leave the resort and still be safe. Just use common sense.

Take the free shuttle to Sandals Inn, about 7 minutes away. Take a walk on the "Hip Strip" and go shopping. Don't wander off the Hip Strip.

Book your tours thru the hotel.

One day a week, the shopping comes to the resort. Local vendors set up tables with their crafts.

In reality, you do not "need" to leave the resort for a relaxing honeymoon vacation.

Have fun!

missouri
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2. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

Thank you for the tips. I am looking foward to going.

Hoffman Estates...
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3. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

All the talk of safety in Jamaica is way overhyped. It's like any other city where you have to know which areas to avoid and what are the areas you can wander in the evening hours. In our experience at Mobay (12/25 - 12/31), my wife and I walked all over Mobay (including wandering off the Hip Strip). We had no issues. Initially I did feel a bit intimidated by the local crowd, but then I understood that the local crowd had women and children walking there too (Sam Sharpe Square). I later realized that you can very well wander off in all of those people and you will still be fine (I would still avoid the Sam Sharpe area after dark hours - sun sets around 5:50 pm). Local guys pass comments at women and it isn't offensive. I felt that walking out away from the Hip Strip was a great way to feel the local community (it's a decent walk - from one end of the Hip Strip to the end of St. James St - I would say 1.5 to 2 miles).

As for booking tours through your resort, you might want to compare prices from any JUTA taxi guy. Prices are also negotiable (as they say after negotiations "no problem mon!!"). All JUTA taxis are insured and reliable. The price list from the JTB (Jamaica Tourist Board) is a bit over what the JUTA taxis quote (or you can negotiate).

I found travelling in groups a bit inflexible (others in the group want to go places where you don't want to go, you have to see places and get out quickly because you are time bound). At the same time when we travelled on our own we were less timebound.

Here's the price I was quoted for taxis from Mobay (and other forms of travel):

1. MoBay to Negril for a day trip - $120 (I negotiated it down to $100). While in Negril we rented a scooter for $20/half a day. That was fun (we used helmets for both of us and riding the scooter in town was fun). We asked our taxi guy to go back to Mobay if he wanted for the day and come back and pick us up (a Digicell SIM card was very useful throughout our Jamaica trip) at night.

2. MoBay to Black River/YS Falls/Appleton Rum day trip with total 4 passengers - $50 per person. I enjoyed YS Falls the most.

3. MoBay to Port Antonio - $230 (bad roads, 5 hour drive one way). Blue Lagoon was beautiful and Rio Grande rafting was also fun. Though the Rio Grande scenery is similar to the Smokies in Tennessee.

4. We took a Mini Bus from MoBay Transportation Center to Kingston (4 hour one way trip) - One way price J$450 = US $7.5.

Last bus leaves to MoBay from Kinsgton at 6pm or 7pm (though reach a bit earlier to get a good seat). Of course, not everyone is cut out for public transportation, so it's a decision you have to make.

I would say don't get intimidated by MoBay or Jamaica. People are friendly (and poor). There are scam artists also, though even after getting scammed, I felt that I got my moneys worth ;)) When it comes to safety "Use common sense" is one thing most people say while travelling in Jamaica and I think I agree with that.

All the best.

Sebius

Hoffman Estates...
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4. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

Also I have to say one more thing. If you decide to walk through Sam Sharpe Square, you will probably be the only tourist in the crowd. You will not see any other tourist walking in that area. I can see why people get intimidated by the local crowd. Though you will see the usual local crowd going to work, vendors selling street side stuff, Juicy Patties (yum) and people walking everywhere alongside cars on the road.

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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5. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

Great post millets, we've shopped around Sam Sharpe too, during the day. Neat to be away from the all-tourist shops and where the residents of MoBay are going about their business.

Hoffman Estates...
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6. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

Thanks Ohliz. I totally agree with you. When in Jamaica, I didn't want to feel like I was in Chicago or some other US city. I wanted to feel like I was in Jamaica and the only way to do that was to get away from the main jazzy areas (like the initial strip of the Hip Strip in MoBay). It was funny to see that as soon as we passed the main area of the MoBay Hip Strip, I could no longer see tourists (except for zipping on tour buses).

Sebius

Central Ohio
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7. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

I can't remember if the main fresh market is near SS or not....but it is an incredible expereince....stall after stall after table after tarp of fresh vegetables and fruits of all types, and in back a virtual Wal mart of beauty supplies, clothing, fish, meat, canned goods, household cleaners....just a really neat place to check out.

It's another place where locals seem very surprised (and happy) to see a tourist. Most major towns have a market like this. I was introduced to them by accompanying villa cooks to shop...it's neat to watch a pro like that find "her" suppliers with the best this or that, often held just for her :)

Hoffman Estates...
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8. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

The day I walked through those streets, it was a Sunday and most stores were closed. I think it was Market St, Church st, etc. So I am not sure if that's where the market would have been. These streets begin from SS. I guess I missed that stuff.

9. Re: Sandals Montego Bay honeymoon, Is it safe,

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