In Jamaica, when anyone provides a service to you like loading your bags, driving you to your destination, or whatever, it is customary to tip. Usually about 2-3 US Dollars will suffice, so be sure you bring many US1 dollar bills. Try not to give someone a 5 and expect 2 or 3 dollars back. For some reason, they do not understand the process of giving you 2 dollars back in exchange for a 5. It is just easier and less frustrating that way.
Another note: Try not to be too intimidated, but they expect a tip for everything. Be forewarned, they have a tendency to demand tips. I asked a baggage handler there where the line was for American Airlines. He showed me then asked for a tip. I gave him a dollar and he got angry.
You just have to remeber one rule - respect the people there no matter what they are - this is the only way to be treated good in return too. If you go there you will see for yourself what I have in mind by saying this.....
We've noticed many partially finished houses as we've traveled through Jamaica. Various guides have explained that the interest rates are very high in Jamaica (as much as 70%) so people save up and then add onto their houses when they can afford to.
Our guide pointed out that dogs in Jamaica are all brown, some small, some large but I don't think I saw a non brown dog the entire trip.
This fella was hanging around Alligator Hole, I would have slipped him in my bag if I thought I could smuggle him through customs
We were struck by the kids going to school in immaculate school uniforms...Catholic schools. Wish I had better pics of them in larger groups. Couldn't understand how the mothers were managing so well...when they often had to be at work early in the AM .. working very long hours. Yet those uniforms were starched and pressed! You can see two of the kids in this pic if you enlarge photo.
This looks like brains but it's a part of the national Jamaican cuisine. This Ackee fruit is pear shaped, bright red to yellow-orange, and when ripe, splits open to reveal large black seeds, surrounded by soft, yellow flesh. The fruit of the Ackee is not edible. It is only the fleshy parts around the seeds that are edible. The remainder of the fruit is poisonous The taste and look is a bit similar to scrambled eggs. Ackee together with salt cod fish is the national dish of Jamaica.
Our favorite time (and everyone else's) is November-April -- Jamaica can be very crowded then. The temperature is fairly stable year-round, so it's possible to visit in other months as well. Winter coastal-area day temperatures are in the 70s-80s F/23-32 C. June-September is usually in the 80s-90s F/30-35 C. Nights tend to be 5-10 F/3-5 C degrees cooler everywhere. Temperatures in the hills and mountains are usually cooler than on the coasts by 5-10 F/3-5 C degrees -- bring a sweater for cool nights in the mountains. Kingston, on the leeward (southern) side of the island, is drier, hotter and generally more uncomfortable than the windward (northern) shore. Always be prepared for rain showers in the Blue Mountains. The hottest time is July-October, when the humidity, heat and hurricane possibilities are the highest. Most rain falls between May and October, but even then, it generally comes in brief showers and seldom ruins anyone's vacation
Jamaicans are imported themselves, so they say you only have to be in Jamaica for 5 minutes to be a 'real Jamaican'.
The friends we met liked to hear stories about traveling all over, as it is very hard and costly for a VISA (travel permission) for Jamaican residents.
Christmas is a magical time on the island. At midnight on Christmas Eve, the community gathers in the square, sings Christmas carols, and hands out presents to the children. It's a time for love and sharing.
In Jamaica people are friendly, but just little detached at first sight. Maybe they have their troubles, maybe I am Italian and can't speak English well. But this is just my first impression, because if you are nice to everyone, you can meet a lot of friends.
Jamaica is Rasta. Here people are proud of their African roots. Rasta religion believes Ethiopia is the land of origin. Rastamen call it Zion and the rest of the world is Babylon. The beard is a symbol of their agreement with Jah, the dreadlocks are the symbol of lion's mane and the Holy Bible is their source of knowledge. Their moral principles go by fraternity and universal love. They live in close contact with the nature, eat only natural food, don't aspire to have material goods except what is necessary.
Some people may try to befriend you to get money off you,but some people are genuine and friendly.Restaurants add service charge to the bill mostly,but if you are unsure if they have,ask them.Tipping of tour guides is appreciated.Do ask to take a picture of someone beforehand.
Here i am trying to fly the plane
Don't write on forms with a red pen! The customs official told us it was rude to do so in Jamaica and made us rewrite our entrance forms.
Generally when a tip is expected they'll make it clear that they're expecting one. There was no tipping on our resort but we tipped baggage handlers, drivers and tour guides. I never found out whether or not these service-industry folks make a living wage or really need tips but I still tipped small (refused the porters help with the bags at the airport, etc.) since I'm a cheapskate. One baggage handler (who didn't actually do that much) went around the bus extorting money out of each passenger, at least $1 per person. I hope he shared it with the other guys who were working as hard as he.
I couldn't decide whether to put these 'wildlife' pictures in as 'cultural' or 'off the beaten path' - I decided cultural. We spotted this large white water bird - probably some kind of stork or heron - in Falmouth.
On the way back to MoBay from Ocho Rios, we stopped in St. Ann's Bay - the birthplace of Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), one of Jamaica's heroes. Marcus Garvey was a Black Nationalist, a Pan-Africanist and the father of contemporary Black Nationalism. I knew his name from a reggae song so we stopped to have a look.
went on the 15-21st of may. Today i find out im overdrafting and i got a call from fraud alert....more
We got married on the beach at the all inclusive Couples Tower Island on 10/2/10. I cannot say...more
I got to stay one night (only one night boo!). We arrived at night and left after breakfast. I did...more
More Regions in Jamaica