Unfortunately I have also heard "horror" stories about Jamaica. Because I will be travelling with my wife, parents, and daughters (7 and 10 yrs old) I was thinking that we would just stay on the ship that day.
I have recently been reading a lot about a cruiser special at an all-inclusive resort called Sunset beach at Montego Bay. I am thinking that sounds safe enough to take the family. They say for $20 per person you get entry to the resort, all food, drinks (even alcohol), 3 beaches, swimming pools, use of non-motorized beach toys, snorkel equipment, etc.
They say to take a gov't owned taxi (red license plate), a few minutes from port to the resort.
Almost sounds too good to be true! Anyone have any experience there?
Sorry you had a bad time in Jamaica!
It could have happened anywhere. It could have also been around the time of elections.
I won't try to change your mind.
However, for other people with the likelihood of visiting Jamaica. Don't be afraid.
Be pleasant and be POLITE. Just say "no thank you" and continue walking. Greet the people with an "excuse me", "a good afternoon"..and then ask your question(s).
Enjoy the atmosphere, the people, the pastry shop, the people watching on the main stree or visit Margueritavlle (located in Island Village).
Life is too short. Have a BLAST!
We came back from the Western Caribbean cruise a week ago, and stopped @ Ochos Rios. As in Haiti, the people do insistently offer for you to see their goods for sale, however if you go with an open attitude and understand this is their culture as Tom and Nancy said, you can go and still have a great time. One thing I noticed is they use "Please", "Maam", and "Sir" when they ask you to see their booth or goods. They could be worse, like some sales people in our own country who use no manners whatsoever?! All you have to tell them is "you're not interested", but thanks anyway, or "I'm still looking and want to check others", or "no-thank you", and they leave you alone.
Close to the shopping area, we found an restaurant with outside seating, had a tasty Jamaica Jerk Chicken lunch, and took advantage of the services from a person who offered DSL computer rentals @ 30 minutes/$4.00 which allowed us to e-mail and check on our kids. This was a lot faster than the computer services on the ship. She was very nice, as were the servers at the restaurant.
I went to jamaica and felt totally safe there. Never once during my week there did anybody make me feel unsafe nor did i hear anything about anything getting stolen. I wouldn't worry about Jamaica too much.