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#21
2,025 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
We were booked on this exact cruise, until we had to cancel!!!

Anyhow, our plan for Jamaica has always been to stay on the ship.
I had wanted to see Negril and Rick's again, but it is just too far.
Nothing else on Jamaica is worth the hassle that is being mentioned.
#22
793 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We did a river tube float, Dunn’s River Falls climb and visit to Bamboo Beach Club through an independent company and loved it. The guide on the tour set us up with 2 guides at the falls and then led us out of the area back to the bus. We did tip the guides and were not bothered by the vendors when we were leaving.


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#23
14,589 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Thrak
I don't normally have an issue with a tip but the text I have highlighted above would really p|$$ me off. Nobody is "owed" a tip. If I was told I "had" to tip I likely would tell them to stick it.

Big deal.....if it means that much to someone why not just give it to them..
#24
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
7,615 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by land lover
Big deal.....if it means that much to someone why not just give it to them..
In my case it's the principle of giving someone what amounts to extortion. They do nothing for me what so ever- just hold out their hand & expect to be paid.
For what I still haven't figured out.
Maybe it's just a Jamaican tax?
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#25
14,589 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Thrak
I don't normally have an issue with a tip but the text I have highlighted above would really p|$$ me off. Nobody is "owed" a tip. If I was told I "had" to tip I likely would tell them to stick it.
Big deal...give them a tip.....we are on their turf, are you really going to miss a few dollars.....? Yes, other cultures can be abrupt and rude...and so can we, when we complain about paying for a bathroom or tipping. No we are not being a push over we are just being polite.


We are traveling spending thousands of dollars and we let our experience be spoiled by the little things.....Just sayin'

BTW...I have been to the Falls, have done the tubing and have stayed with my family at Beaches in Negril for a week. I certainly don't recall any tipping, where I felt like it was forced.

I remember the wonderful times I have had when visiting...just tip and move on...
#26
14,589 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by floridalover5623
In my case it's the principle of giving someone what amounts to extortion. They do nothing for me what so ever- just hold out their hand & expect to be paid.
For what I still haven't figured out.
Maybe it's just a Jamaican tax?


TO funny, my post just disappeared, and now it has reappeared and you answered....but I started a new one.......so I guess you can read more.....and now I have a third post....

Holding out their hand? give them a high 5, that might surprise them....

You and I have traveled enough to know, there is "extortion" everywhere.....from the kid in Russian who comes and looks in your pocket,to the street vendors in Greece who won't leave you alone, to the lady in India who puts the guilt trip on you while holding her baby, the indigenous people in Peru who charge you to take their photo, ....what does it really cost us to show an interest, maybe, give a little money and treat these people like human beings. Even if they treat us like a cash cow.
#27
Portland, OR
113 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We did the falls climb with our 3 teenage daughters (on the ship excursion). It was the highlight of our trip. We didn't feel pressured at all by the guides. We brought our camera(s) and the guide offered to take photos for us, which between my camera and the girls cameras we got about 30-40 photos - which were great. We felt our guides deserved tips. I agree about the vendors being aggressive. Our guides suggested we ignore them and just walk straight ahead and that is what we did with no problems. This excursion goes down as one of the best we have done as a family.
I wore swim shorts and tank top along with water shoes. It was so hot that we dried off very quickly. My husband had a zip pocket that he kept our money and sign and sail cards in. You WILL get wet!
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#28
jacksonville fl usa
4,280 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Our first trip up the falls were were barefoot, not knowing any better. It was like walking on razor blades, marbles, Legos and golf balls. Second time we wore tennis shoes. That time a guy from the ship was guiding us up and a local started yelling at him he was taking the locals’ business. Partway up they started fighting and we were in our own. You absolutely need a guide, but we made it!
Never a dull moment on the Dunn’s River Falls, but it was worth it, both times.


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#29
West coast of Florida
799 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We went on the ship's tour which is unusual for us. We didn't have the same level of aggressiveness that others describe ~ not sure if it was our group size which in this case may have been a blessing. The vendors didn't hassle us at all. We stopped, looked and politely declined with no issue. Wear footwear although the locals still go barefoot....
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#30
California Beach Town
291 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by floridalover5623
You should have inserted the key into the locker & broken it off so they would have to call a locksmith and pay to have it removed.
My husband just calmly told them that they should have made it clear that the receipt was required. If we had the key that should have been proof enough. He told them that they obviously needed the $5 more than we did. Great excursion though. Our tour guide said it happens every day. Well she should have warned us. Lesson learned.
#31
League City, TX
41,595 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by land lover
Big deal...give them a tip.....we are on their turf, are you really going to miss a few dollars.....? Yes, other cultures can be abrupt and rude...and so can we, when we complain about paying for a bathroom or tipping. No we are not being a push over we are just being polite.
Sorry, I do not agree. A culture of ripping you off one way or another is not a culture to be encouraged.


One time at Dunn's River Falls we bought some ice cream at a shack there. It cost $1.50 (American). I held out $2 and they said they could not make change. So I brought out two quarters and gave them that with $1. They were quite upset that I did not fall for their attempt to charge 33% more than the posted price.
#32
League City, TX
41,595 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by land lover
You and I have traveled enough to know, there is "extortion" everywhere.....from the kid in Russian who comes and looks in your pocket,to the street vendors in Greece who won't leave you alone, to the lady in India who puts the guilt trip on you while holding her baby, the indigenous people in Peru who charge you to take their photo, ....what does it really cost us to show an interest, maybe, give a little money and treat these people like human beings. Even if they treat us like a cash cow.
And the drug dealers in Haiti that try to get you to purchase their wares which can get you arrested when you go back to the ship? I guess you feel we should treat them nicely and give them some money. After all, they are just people trying to make a living.
#33
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
7,615 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by caribill
And the drug dealers in Haiti that try to get you to purchase their wares which can get you arrested when you go back to the ship? I guess you feel we should treat them nicely and give them some money. After all, they are just people trying to make a living.
They're learned the sneaky techniques quite well that seem to work on most American tourists.
Intimidation is the biggest factor in Jamaica.
It's no wonder that most of Princess's ships are now avoiding the island.
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#34
160 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Dunns River Falls is one of my favorite sites in the Caribbean. My first time there, it was part of a tour. Since that first visit, I take a taxi, so that I am under no time pressure -- no tour group waiting for me! I can spend a couple of hours there, mostly sitting under a waterfall, getting a shoulder massage from the river.

I join up with one of the groups being corralled together by a guide. I walk up river a bit, and then give the guide a few dollars and sit down under a waterfall. I'll slowly climb the falls, and find other waterfalls to enjoy. When I am ready to go, I attach myself to another group and give that guide a few bucks.

The guide thing, I am told, is that we are required to be with a guide. So I pay the one at the bottom and another at the top, and I am free to lounge in the falls unmolested. I do not feel extorted, any more than I would feel extorted when I tip the tour guides in Rome or London. What's the difference? That these guides are black? That they speak funny? I enjoy them.

Every time I have been there, the vendors are pretty aggressive. I have bought a few t-shirts and towels, but for the most part, I decline to stop and browse or talk. They want to engage you in conversation, but I mostly say nothing except "no thanks, man" and "not interested."

I always immediately walk away from anyone offering drugs and anyone blatantly smoking them. I am not being judgmental, I am just protecting myself. I won't even say "no thanks," I am silent.

Carry small bills -- $5s and $1s, a few $10s. So you can tip the guide and pay for a t-shirt without flashing any $$$.
#35
14,589 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Mike45LC
Dunns River Falls is one of my favorite sites in the Caribbean. My first time there, it was part of a tour. Since that first visit, I take a taxi, so that I am under no time pressure -- no tour group waiting for me! I can spend a couple of hours there, mostly sitting under a waterfall, getting a shoulder massage from the river.

I join up with one of the groups being corralled together by a guide. I walk up river a bit, and then give the guide a few dollars and sit down under a waterfall. I'll slowly climb the falls, and find other waterfalls to enjoy. When I am ready to go, I attach myself to another group and give that guide a few bucks.

The guide thing, I am told, is that we are required to be with a guide. So I pay the one at the bottom and another at the top, and I am free to lounge in the falls unmolested. I do not feel extorted, any more than I would feel extorted when I tip the tour guides in Rome or London. What's the difference? That these guides are black? That they speak funny? I enjoy them.

Every time I have been there, the vendors are pretty aggressive. I have bought a few t-shirts and towels, but for the most part, I decline to stop and browse or talk. They want to engage you in conversation, but I mostly say nothing except "no thanks, man" and "not interested."

I always immediately walk away from anyone offering drugs and anyone blatantly smoking them. I am not being judgmental, I am just protecting myself. I won't even say "no thanks," I am silent.

Carry small bills -- $5s and $1s, a few $10s. So you can tip the guide and pay for a t-shirt without flashing any $$$.
Still love Jamaica with all its flaws and after many visits.

However, when we did a land trip in Negril our teen sons were offered pot numerous times when we were not in "guarded areas", obviously, they must be successful selling to tourists. It was decriminalized in 2015 in Jamacia. Our sons had great pleasure in getting to know the locals especially the Rastafarians that worked at the Beaches resort and learn about their beliefs....also the creole spoken in Jamaica can only make one smile.

I think the best lesson learned by our kids when staying in Jamacia.. was don't steal Farmer Williams turnips, we were watching the local news, which in itself, in more depressed countries can be a learning experience. When they showed a car trunk full of turnips...the owner of the vehicle, once confronted with the stolen goods was macheted to death, by a mob. Not pleasant, but reality for many throughout the world.

OP, Dunns Falls is a fun experience.....enjoy the beauty and culture of Jamaica, overlook the negatives. If you are gng on a ship excursion....all your questions can be answered by your guide or at the excursion desk on board. But, the experience you have, will be what you make it...sometimes going in with your eyes closed yields a true experience.....afterall....what did we do before Cruise Critic,trip advisor...etc???
#36
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
7,615 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by land lover
S
OP, Dunns Falls is a fun experience.....enjoy the beauty and culture of Jamaica, overlook the negatives.
I do agree but it becomes harder each time I return.
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