Never again are we going to Jamaica!
These were the words my wife and I said to ourselves after taking a Montego Bay tour. My wife and I enjoy to travel and see new things but if you looked are our house you would rarely see any trinkets that we bought from our travels (we feel we would rather spend our money on experiences than stuff).
Many of the residents of Jamaica make their money from selling merchandise (usually handmade) and offering services to tourists, such as massage or hair braiding.
While it may seem like a great way to take a little piece of your trip back with you, unfortunately many of these street vendors can get aggressive in their sales pitches.
I have never felt more harassed to buy something from a vendor. The vendors in Montego bay (even the retailers) are so pushy! They make a used car salesman look like Gil from the Simpsons.
I recommend never leaving the cruise ship terminal in Falmouth – the vendors sell the same things as the vendors in town do and are less pushy!
We started at the Shoppes at Rose Hall where you will have an opportunity to purchase that special souvenir to remind you of your visit to Jamaica. The tour continues to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville by the sea, in the heart of Montego Bay’s Hip Strip where we didn’t find it too hip!
We stopped near this beach that looked great but it was too hot for us so we decided to check out the “fabulous Montego Bay” and were disappointed to see how dirty it was. It has tourism cops that are supposed to be helpful but a simple request to a coffee shop to cool off turns into a fight with people just to drink a coffee – I didn’t want any Bob Marley shirts or any tobacco or stuff to buy!
We decided to stay on the shuttle bus to return to the ship for a better time than being pulled into a shop to buy junk. Another couple from Montreal were soaked for $40 buying junk according to them and also stayed on the bus.
So in summary, High murder rate, tourist traps, everyone with their hand out – reasons why we will never return there. So many other beautiful places in the world to visit.