In all of my stays in Jamaica, Mexico, etc., I have never had anything stolen from my room or the beach. But it does happen, we ran into a lady that had her purse stolen (which begs the question, why would you be carrying a purse with money and credit cards at an all inclusive resort?) while she was dining at the resort. So exercise the same precaution you do at home, use your room safe to lock up your valuables including your camera, don't bring money to the beach and for heaven's sake, leave the credit cards behind!
If you need to bring money with you and you are doing something water related, Speedo has swim trunks that have waterproof ziplock pockets that will keep your money perfectly dry.
Driving to/from Ocho Rios
If you are driving to/from Ocho Rios, the main road is under construction and there are several areas where you need to slow down, detour or go into one lane traffic. Try not to drive at night, Jamaican drivers have the very bad habit of leaving their brights on at night.
PAY YOUR CAB FEE AFTER YOUR...
PAY YOUR CAB FEE AFTER YOUR JOURNEY!!!! (we were told you can, but maybe half up front and half later is more tolerable).
We decided not to go with any tours, even though we had just a few hours to experience as much of Jamaica as possible. We had our own agenda, so decided to hail our own taxi driver for the day.
BE CAREFUL of your payment offer. We were, uh, coincidentally? told by 'a Jamaican' that we would be getting a deal for $100 per day. Come to find out much later, other tourists paid much less.
THEN, we were offered, um, mind alterers SOOO many times. Our taxi driver insisted we 'give in' and tell him 'EXACTLY what we wanted'. You have to be very specific if you're not interested in any drugs.
Anyway, because we paid him in advance, he so took advantage of it. After returning from Dunns River Falls only 4 minutes late of our meeting time with the driver (Luciano), we went to beautiful (but crowded Mahogany Beach), asked our driver to pick us up 45 minutes before our cruise departure so that we had time to drive back into town and scooter on the pier, and he showed up 40 MINUTES LATE.
Larry said “Luciano, what happened? We have a ship to catch and asked you to be here at 2:15? It's 2:50?!?!?! We don't have time to even get to the ship!!!”
His response......“You be late, I be late. What goes around comes around, mon....”
SO, pay AFTER services.....(and don't catch a ride with Luciano (aka Lucifer).
(p.s....nope, this picture isn't reversed. It's really hard getting used to drivers on the left side of the road rather than the right...I screamed under my breath many times...
If you plan on going to Ocho Rios to score some weed...Don't! We heard many stories of tourists coming to the town to get pot and ironically they were approached with offers. If someone comes to you offering you weed, pass it up. These guys will bust you in a heartbeat. They wait around a corner with a car and lock you up. Not sure how that whole thing works because I had thought weed was legal there...I guess not. Anyhow, better safe than sorry. If that is the route you are hoping to take I suggest getting a guided tour on horseback at the beach...some of our group chose to do that instead and they managed to "make new friends." I personally don't care, but I figured I would try to help those out that do.
Danger under the water
When you go swimming take care where put your feet. Some pieces of an ancient coral reef emerge among the sand and they are very sharp. So you could hurt your feet. In some places they are so many that it's better if you wear a pair of rubber shoes.
Remember you are in place where many people are poor. In Jamaica there are many hustlers, so you'll can often be bothered. Take the usual precautions, so don't wear gold jewels (to a friend of mine they snatched her little chain), take care of your wallet and your camera, don't loose sight of your backpack when you are on a free beach. Be kind but firm with them and try to understand if they can be dangerous. I am fatalist and think that if something must happen, it can happen everywhere.
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