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  1. #1

    Default is jamaica that bad?

    We booked csa for our honeymoon in May and when I tell people we are going to jamica I get alot of negative feedback. One person said she did it on her honeymoon and it was horrible, lots of poverty, violence outside their resort and the food made her sick for 3 days. But everyone on here says this place is great. I don't get it can someone make me feel better about our choice?

  2. #2


    We met late in life, and have been together for 6 years. We live by the philosophy that life is very short, so we try to enjoy every day as much as we can, and since we both love to travel south, we get away from the cold Canadian winters as much as we can afford. I am a retired teacher, so we try to get to adults only resorts, makes for a quieter, more relaxing holiday. In those 6 years, we have been to some very nice resorts in Hawaii, Antigua, Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican, but have been to Jamaica 14 times, and to Couples 6 of those 14 times. The country is beautiful, and has become our favourite. Yes, there is poverty, but there is poverty in most of the Caribbean. The Jamaican people is one of the main reasons we keep coming back. They are almost always smiling and happy, and that is very infectious - their smiles and laughter just makes you feel good! At Couples, you will find the best of the best when it comes to staff.

    Now, about the food! We find the food at Couples as good as we get back home. In our 14 trips we have never had any sickness at all due to the food. The variety, presentation and quality of the meals are excellent.

    DO NOT listen to what some people say!!! GO, EXPERIENCE JAMAICA, especially at Couples. One you go, you know!!

  3. #3


    Yes. Jamaica is really, really bad. Just stay home. This leaves more room for us. The ones who “really know”.

    Just kidding.

    I’m sure others on this thread will set you straight.

    Life is good

  4. #4


    We love Jamaica! I've been 10 times (8 to CSA). I've stayed in the Ocho Rios and Negril areas, and really like Negril the best.

    Yes, there is poverty. The trip from the airport to the resort can be a real eye-opener. And when traveling off-resort, it is important to keep your wits about you - just like you would anywhere....but I've never seen any violence up front in my travels.

    Having gotten violently ill when traveling in Mexico, I'm TOTALLY attuned to eating in a foreign country. As far as the food goes, at CSA you really have no worries. But if you don't ordinarily eat a lot of fruit/veggies and you partake more than usual (because the fruit and veggies are soooo fabulous)...or if you partake too much in the "all included" top shelf alcohol, you may find a bit of stomach upset. I generally bring Immodium whenever I travel, and haven't ever had to use it in Jamaica (and the water is potable right from the tap)!

    I'd say relax and read the reviews on TripAdvisor as well as here on the Message Board....I'm sorry your friend had a bad experience, but there are lots of people who have really fallen in love with this beautiful country and it's wonderful people, so go with an open mind and see what you come away with...."Once you go, you know!!"

  5. #5


    I don't understand why some people have such a negative idea of Jamaica... well, I have some guesses, but anyway. When we decided to go to Jamaica for our honeymoon, we too were cautioned to "never leave the resort" and were told stories about "cops walking around carrying AK-47s". In 5 trips (our 6th coming up tomorrow) we have NEVER felt unsafe or even slightly uncomfortable. We use common sense, just as we do at home, as far as protecting our valuables and being aware of our surroundings. I'm sure there are parts of Jamaica where it would be wise to avoid, just as there are in the U.S. As far as poverty... well, there is some. Jamaica is a developing nation, and the way some Jamaicans live isn't what we're used to in North America. The food has always been delicious - the tap water is perfectly safe, and we have never in 5 trips been even midly ill (the same cannot be said for the DR or Mexico). I'm not sure when, or where, your friend honeymooned, but it's unfortunate that she had a bad experience. But one bad experience by one person cannot speak for all of Jamaica. Go with an open mind experience Jamaica for yourself. You will most likely have an awesome time! Congrats on your marriage!

  6. #6


    You will have a wonderful time at CSA it is both safe and beautiful. Why would someone tell you such negative things about the place knowing that you have already booked your honeymoon? Jealousy is the only thing I can think of. My wife and I loved the food at CSA. Don't listen to the negative comments and have a great honeymoon.

  7. #7


    NO. We have been to Jamaica 3 times (4th is scheduled for this June), Like most people will tell you, If it was bad, we wouldn't be repeaters. Poverty? yes. But your resort (CSA) is beautiful and the employees are great! Violence? I (personaly) wouldn't go to Kingston or be away from the resort alone after dark. Like any place , just be aware of your surroundings when outside of the resort. Get sick? yes I did (LOL) but it was my own fault. Over did it on the mixed drinks. In my oppinion, you made a GREAT choice. Our anniversary is in May also. We will be returning for our 37th anniversary countdown 130 days. Best wishes to you!!!!

  8. #8


    I have to said, it can be sad to see the life outside of the resort. We went for the second time in 2010 when there was an uprising in Kingston. Everyone thought we should have canceled the trip. We went anyway and never had any issues. If you are worried about your safety, don't. There is risk in traveling anywhere. There is poverty there, but there is in the US too. You have to drive for a couple hours to get to the resort, so you will see some of that, but it isn't worth cancelling a trip over. CSA is absolutely amazing and you must go

  9. #9


    We have never had a problem in Jamaica and we haven't only stayed at Couples. One time we stayed at a more...what's the word....dinky maybe...resort in the cliffs where we had to walk into town every day to eat (no inclusions at all). Never have gotten sick on the food. Everyone was amazing. If someone wanted to sell us something we'd just say, "no thanks" and everything was fine. Nobody bothered us in a bad or scary way. It's always been just the opposite.

    Friends of ours did have some problems a few years back. They stayed in Ochos Rios and had everything stolen out of their rental car...even their wedding video and dress, but I haven't heard of it happening in Negril.

    Maybe your friend was in Kingston?

  10. #10


    Jamaica is the #1 destination for honeymooners ! If it were " that bad", I think the word would get out !
    I have found MOST people who tell me they hated Jamaica arrived on a cruise ship. These individuals really never experience Jamaica, and discard ANY negative comments made by cruisers.
    The second type of person, I have found who states they hate Jamaica, visited Montego Bay. My first trip to Jamaica was also to Montego Bay, although at a decent resort, I was less then impressed. It is a city, I did not like it's atmosphere, and the beaches are just OK.
    Then I found Negril, complete different atmosphere with beaches to die for....
    Then I found Couples resorts, and I have found my place.
    In regards to food, Jamaica is one of the few caribbean destinations that has a filtered water supply in the tourist areas. You will hear less comments about illness due to food for this reason. The food in Jamaica is great and safe. Your friend could have become sick anyplace, however it is not the norm.
    Violence and poverty. Kingston is the area of Jamaica known for violence- which is on the other side of the island. Jamaica's #1 industry is tourism. For this reason, Jamaica works very hard at keeping the violence away from the tourists. I personally have always felt safe in Jamaica.
    Jamaica is a 3rd world country. It is not the USA or Canada. Yes there is poverty. There is poverty everywhere !
    Good luck finding ANY destination that does not have poverty !
    You will love Jamaica and Couples. Negative people are just more vocal then positive people. Once you go you will Know !

  11. #11


    Heading out on Jan 29 th for our 27th visit to Jamaica since 1999. We go off resort for dinners, shopping, excursions, dolphin swims, plantation tours etc; etc.

    To date....we have only experienced good times...

    In my opinion....Jamaica is the perfect place for your honeymoon. Congrats on you upcoming wedding.

  12. #12


    Hi jdy,

    I think the saying "Once you go... you know" fits very well in your case. My husband and I went to Jamaica (cn) for the first time 3 years ago for our honeymoon and have never looked back. He was a bit concerned, for the reasons you mentioned, but in talking to the travel agent (who has been to all 4 couples, and Jamaica a few times) we were convinced that once we got to couples there would be no issues. The island does have poverty, and you do see it, but for us it was the experience of seeing a different culture and the great spirit of the people of Jamaica. One morning for breakfast we even were graced by one of the resort staff joining us and it was a blast getting to know him and a bit more about the island.

    We have wanted to go back since the day we left and are finally going "home" in March of this year to CSS.

    I can say that we never felt threatened outside the resort, you could tell there were areas that you didn't want to go into (I can say that about most any town, anywhere), but the people that couples has driving for the shopping trips and other trips out of the resort were well aware of what was going on and they were very good about security. We plan to do several of the trips this time around.

    The food is great BTY - I have "issues" on vacation with eating things and I didn't have a single problem the week we were there, other than over-eating that is.


  13. #13


    Dont worry one bit. You will have a grand time.

  14. #14


    I'll put it to you this way as far as your selection with Jamaica and especially Swept Away.Baseball. It's the top of the ninth, the score is 4 to 1 and your team is down. You're up with 2 outs and the bases are loaded. Now, someone asks you, Jamaica, Mexico, Virgin Islands, you pick Jamaica. There's the pitch! You swing, taking your best shot, good contact, the ball takes off, it looks like it might be good. That ball is going, going, gone!!!! That's a Grand Slam!!!! You not only won the game, you're also in for a Honeymoon that you will never forget. Congrats.

  15. #15


    Oh, quite the contrary. I've been to many many places in the Caribbean and Jamaica is in my opinion the BEST. And what makes it the best is the people. They are unlike any people you will ever come across in your life. They are happy, humble, relaxed and so genuinely nice. I've never witnessed violence, although I've heard of it in Kingston. No different than any other capital here in the states if you ask me.

    Please don't pass up an opportunity to experience Jamaica based on others opinions. Go and make your own. I promise you will not be disappointed! As for the poverty, I didn't think it was a whole lot different than what I saw in Cozumel. It is sad, but this is all the more reason to go there and spend your tourism dollars in this wonderful heavenly place!

  16. #16


    Do you think that all the posts here on the MB are false? Of course you don't. I don't know when or where the people you spoke with were in Jamaica, but it certainly not at a Couples resort. We have been to Jamaica 35 times. Once to Sans Souci and 32 times to CTI. We don't keep going back because it's terrible.

    There is poverty in Jamaica, that's true. But at all four Couples resorts, you will not see any of it. There can be violence in Jamaica. But at all four Couples resorts, you will not see any of it. Most of the violence is in a small section of Kingston, the capital. But you will not be anywhere near that city. There is absolutely nothing to fear in Jamaica. There are shopping trips scheduled from all four resorts, as well as trips to great sites in the country. Thousands of people come every year to many different resorts, especially the four Couples resorts. They have an incredible time and keep coming back.

    As far as the food goes, again, at all four Couples resorts the food is outstanding. Prepared by top chefs. There may be food that someone does not like, no one can help that. Some people are just really fussy eaters. Also, the water in Jamaica is some of the best in the Caribbean. Perhaps some of the people you spoke with had food from some of the local places around Jamaica. But again, it is delicious. Who knows what made that person sick.

    About 35 per cent of Couples overall business, are repeaters. We can't get enough of it. I wouldn't put to much faith in what you may have heard from any of your friends or anyone else.

    I can promise you that your trip will be one of the most memorable vacations you have ever experienced. I am not a part of Couples nor do I represent them in any way, other than an extremely satisfied customer. The commercial for Jamaica says, "Once you go, you will know". You can trust what you are reading here on the message board.

    Welcome to the family. I know that you will enjoy your trip.


  17. #17


    There are parts of every country that aren't great. When we leave the resort, we go as part of a group. Not to say you should only go offsite as part of a group. Just do your reasearch and you'll be fine.

  18. #18


    First of all, it IS a third world country; however, my husband and I have been traveling to Jamaica for vacations for the past 16 years and have had absolutely no problems. No sickness, no violence, nothing stolen. I wonder where those people stayed?

  19. #19


    After 10 magical vacations at 2 out of the 4 resorts, I promise you will LOVE it!! Go, enjoy and relax!

  20. #20


    My husband and I have been to Jamaica twice...1st in 2010 when we got married at CN, and then last summer we went to Sans Souci. We have discussed possibly going to Dominican Republic or the Bahamas on vacation some day, but can't imagine anyplace else could be as great as Couples.

    I promise you will NOT be disappointed! You've made a wonderful choice and you are going to LOVE CSA! Although there is poverty in Jamaica, the people are so kind and friendly. Can't say enough good things about it!

  21. #21


    Yes its true that Jamaica in mostly impoverished. They dont necessarily do things the same way we do. There is reportedly some violence in certain areas. They have drugs for sale (just like we do). In all honesty, it is probably not a place that I would like to try to make a living in as a common person.

    With that being said.......I am a sceptic, just ask my wife. We tried and tried to make a decision on where we wanted to go for our first REAL vacation. I did most of the research with some of her input. I asked people that I know if they had ever been to Jamaica. I found a few, and got mixed reviews. I read review after review after review. I too had mixed feelings, but took into account the amount of good reviews to the number of bad reviews. We also were fighting with our decision because at the time 0f our trip the Jamaican government was fighting with a well renowned drug lord in Kingston. The word in the US was that the entire country was in upheaval. That could not have been farther from the truth. While in Negril, we didnt even hear a single word about it. If we would have asked our friends back in the US, we would have been expecting to get mugged as soon as we stepped off the plane and dragged to a slum, where we would have either been put into slavery or killed.

    We arrived, and did not really know entirely what to expect. We took the shuttle bus to the resort. On the way, we saw some "interesting" scenery. There are shacks, broke down vehicles, and goats, LOTS of goats! The whole time, we are trying to be optimistic (remember im a sceptic). Actually by this point, Im thinking "what the heck did I get us into?" But at the same time, I had spent enough time on the computer to know a little of what to expect. And then we arrived at Couples Negril!

    We chose to stay in the confines of the resort the entire time, except for our walk down the beach, where we met some of the locals that were selling their goods off of resort property. This is where we learned a little bit about the Jamaican people. They are just folks that are trying to make a living. You may get the impression that they are a little pushy. Just be open, tell them No Thank You, and they will move on. After you tell them No, strike up a conversation, they are neat people. On one of these walks, we met one of the most sincere, sweet, humble man Ive ever had the opprotuntity to shake hands with. We hope he is still there upon our return, and will go see him early in the trip with a special request. He carved the most beautiful wood figures Ive ever seen. We did not get off the resort any more than these walks on the beach, but talked to plenty of others that went into town. They ALL returned safely, and did not have any stories of near homicide or robbery. I guess we will venture off site upon our return. I am in law enforcement, and safety is one of my highest priorties. Im always in a heightened state of awareness, and wouldnt have any reservations of going into town to mingle with the locals.

    The resorts are absolutely perfect! There are no worries about the "outside" world. The people that work in the resort appear to be happy to be there. Sure, its a job, just like the ones we work day in and day out. These people are hard workers and do more than what you see on the surface. Our Couples Negril stay was the most PERFECT thing we have ever done. There are folks that will go out of their way to make you happy, and they have absolutely no reason or obligation to do so. A little hint, Get to know the landscapers.....You will have beautiful flowers, coconuts, etc, the entire time. We absolutely loved these guys. No names involved, because we want to keep them our little secrect.

    You WILL LOVE your time in Jamaica. Please dont let a few of your friends ruin your opinion. Form your own. You will be thankful that you did. Couples is perfect!


  22. #22


    We've been to Jamaica 7 times and love it, I but I get the same response from people, usually if they have been there on a cruse. Yes the country is poor but the people are very friendly, and it's like any other place you have your bad area's and bad people, but at Couples its all good. And as fare as the food goes, well some our just more sensitive than others, we've never been sick and always eaten more than our share.

  23. #23


    With all i said earlier, you couldnt freakin pay me to go to Mexico! Jamaica is much safer! No worldwide stories of buses getting hi-jacked by drug cartels and everyone killed for a dollar or ring. Spend the extra peso and go to Jamaica. Y0u wont regret it.

  24. #24


    Jamaica is terrible, going there was the worst thing we have ever done. I strongly caustion you from going or you may end up like like me. Jamaica has become an addiction, all I can think of is returning to one of the most beautiful place my eyes have seen, where the scenery is surpassed only by the beauty of the people. I long for white sandy beaches of Negril and the people who live and work there. Where time slows and people are friendlier and respect is the way of things. Please take my warning seriously, as of yet there is no know cure other then to book again and this MB only holds the withdraws at bay for long.

    LOL!!! but for real I have encourted a few people for some reason think Jamaica is dangerous and nothing but drugs, and I am sure like any counrty/city there are places you shouldn't go but we have never felt like we might be in danger. You need to use the same caution you would use anywhere. Yes there is poverty, there is poverty all over the world. Would you not go to Disneyland because of the not so savory neighborhood in California. Same thing in Jamaica. Plus by going you are helping to support people who work there.

    I have some tummy issues for a few day when we get there. I am not sick though, I blame the extra fruit and alcohol. 190 days until we return.

  25. #25


    We've been going to Jamaica every year since 2003. Adding up the days, we spent a total of 77 wonderful days in Jamaica and plan on many more in the future.
    I can honestly say that we have never heard a negative comment from anyone we know that has actually been to Jamaica. However, we have heard negative comments from people over the years who have never been to Jamaica. There is poverty and there has been violence mostly around the Kingston area which is nowhere near the resort areas of Jamaica, especially in Negril which is on the other side of the island.
    We have some violent areas here in Chicago but we still go downtown. People like to paint this ugly picture of Jamaica as being this violent, nasty place to visit which I find very sad. The people of Jamaica are the most respectful, happy and considerate people we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Half the reason we return to Jamaica is for the people we will meet and become friends with. I honestly feel that many of us here in the US could learn a lot from them.
    It's possible to get sick at any restaurant anywhere in the world so who's to say why your friend got sick. Since I usually gain at least 5 pounds in a week at Couples, I figure we've had over 231 meals in Jamaica and the only thing we felt afterwards was very full and very satisfied.
    You will love CSA and you will love Jamaica. When they first started using the "once you go, you know" slogan promoting tourism in Jamaica a couple years back I thought, "wow, that's perfect, that really says it all about Jamaica".

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