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JennN

Jamaica - Warning for GLBT Cruisers

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I posted an original review here when my wife and I went to Jamaica: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=36340299&postcount=4

 

But I thought I'd call attention to it here as well. My wife and I cruised Carnival in December and it wasn't until November that we heard that Jamaica is one of the most unfriendly places for GLBT couples in the Caribbean (TIME Magazine). Since we couldn't cancel, we decided at the advice of other GLBT friends that we'd leave our wedding bands in the safe onboard and play it like we were friends (people also ask if we are sisters so we would have gone with that). However, for the next 4 hours, we were asked my we weren't married, why we didn't have kids, what was wrong with us that we were so old and didn't have men, etc. I wish Carnival has vetted their excursions better. While most times, people don't mean any harm by it, these were the same 3 people leading our tour asking us. And we already felt unsafe as it was. We vowed never to go to Jamaica again.

 

Did anyone else have a similar experience? Are there other ports you won't visit because you, as a member of the GLBT community, don't feel safe?

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I suggest that you inform Carnival of the harassment. If it occurred during an excursion that you bought from Carnival, you certainly have a right to complain to Carnival. The more the cruise companies know about it, the less likely they will continue to include Jamaica in their itinerary.

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I suggest that you inform Carnival of the harassment. If it occurred during an excursion that you bought from Carnival, you certainly have a right to complain to Carnival. The more the cruise companies know about it, the less likely they will continue to include Jamaica in their itinerary.

 

I've let them know! I couldn't agree more.

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So sorry for your experience. Partner and I were recently on an Atlantis charter (Auckland to Sydney), and Rich Campbell of Atlantis was asked whether he's looking at any itineraries that include Jamaica. He was very clear that he was NOT, due to how unfriendly and unwelcoming Jamaica is to LGBT travelers. He's even talked with tourism officials in Jamaica about it and explained why he won't bring thousands of toursits (and their $$) to Jamaica. Until/unless things get better there, we all should stay away.

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Hi JennN

 

Sorry that you had such a bad experience.

 

We were on a Western Caribbean this January and decided not to leave the ship in Jamaica even though we had never been there. We did not wish to give one cent to such a rotten régime. (Some people will say that the cruise line pays a fee per passenger on board whether they disembark or not).

 

At the table beside us in the MDR there was a lovely straight black couple. The gentleman was from Jamaica and was disappointed that we would not be discovering his homeland. His wife asked us if "we were making a statement" and I said 'yes' which she understood fully.

 

Having the ship to ourselves was another good reason to stay on board !!!:)

 

I feel sorry for small local businesses but we shall purposely avoid another itinerary that features Jamaica.

Edited by bandt

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JAMAICA AND THE OFFICIALLY SPONSORED GOVERNMENT PROMOTION OF LGBT HATE AND BIGOTRY

Perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to simply not book any cruise that calls in any Jamaican Port. It is not the Regime that needs an attitude adjustment, it is the whole rotten country. Remember that Jamaica does have something that passes for Democracy. No Government, whatever its idealogical stripe has ever, even taken a single step to attempt to adjust their nations evil, hateful,homophobic, ideas.

 

Years ago, I was unfortunate enough to have to make a business trip to that wretched island, I was appalled at the daily diet of homophobic vitriol that was dished up by the Daily Gleaner, the local newspaper. Jamaica is a beautiful place, but completey spoiled by a bigotted, homophobic local population. True, I did meet some folks that were charming and hospitable, but these were the exception to the rule. The endless litany of LGBT harrassment stories on Cruise Critic would certainly suggest that these charming folks are not representative of the population as a whole. We as a community, should take a stand and avoid any commercial organization with any contact with that island and spend our dollars elsewhere. Remember, it took the courage of Mayor Ken Livingston in London to threaten the Sandals Jamaican Hotel Chain with the removal of every single piece of advertising from the London Subways and Busses if they did not change their loathesome, homophobic policies of deliberately excluding all LGBT guests. HATE is a TERRIBLE thing, you would think that Jamaica with its hughly discriminatory colonial past would not paticipate so actively in such a reprehensable activity. Remember, since independance, the Jamaica has been free to make its own way in the world and choose how it wished to interact with the rest of the world, this means that we, belonging to the LGBT community are free to do the same, do not buy any of their products from Rum, to After Shave to anything marked made in Jamaica to show our dissaproval of the place.

 

Given the extreme levels of violence on the island where golfers have to have an armed guard on the golf courses, beaches are patrolled with armed guards , the exceptio to these are the All Inclusive Hotels which have discreet "Berlin Walls" specially constructed to keep such commonplace activity away. Remember that everytime there is an election, Kingston, the Capital becomes a mortuary of bodies, we should all stay safe and stay away from this Island

 

Peter

Edited by Petert102

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I'm surprise you didn't hear Jamaica (aka the armpit of the hemisphere) was a hate filled country.

 

I refuse to book a cruise there due to their hate. They don't get a lot in port fee's per person, but 1 cent is too much of my money. There is a thread floating around this board about their hate. It's disturbing to say the least.

 

At least you two are safe, and that is really the main thing.

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The first time I was in Jamiaca was 1975....the harrassment was so blatant...and I was a boy walking down the main street w/ my Aunt...the problem was the color of our skin(unless of course we wanted to buy drugs) - after a short period we went straight back to the ship.

 

Many years later I did get off the ship on a stop there - 15 minutes was all it took to say I would never go there again...when I have been on a cruise that stopped there I simply stayed on the ship.

 

Unfortunately in some of the carib islands there is a strong right wing religious zealousness that encourages crazy hateful behavior....The Bahamas, Barbados, St Croix are just a couple of places where there have been problems. And it seems that Puerto Rico is also starting to have problems.

 

Always be aware of whats going on around you...

 

 

 

I'm surprise you didn't hear Jamaica (aka the armpit of the hemisphere) was a hate filled country.

 

I refuse to book a cruise there due to their hate. They don't get a lot in port fee's per person, but 1 cent is too much of my money. There is a thread floating around this board about their hate. It's disturbing to say the least.

 

At least you two are safe, and that is really the main thing.

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I posted an original review here when my wife and I went to Jamaica: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=36340299&postcount=4

 

But I thought I'd call attention to it here as well. My wife and I cruised Carnival in December and it wasn't until November that we heard that Jamaica is one of the most unfriendly places for GLBT couples in the Caribbean (TIME Magazine). Since we couldn't cancel, we decided at the advice of other GLBT friends that we'd leave our wedding bands in the safe onboard and play it like we were friends (people also ask if we are sisters so we would have gone with that). However, for the next 4 hours, we were asked my we weren't married, why we didn't have kids, what was wrong with us that we were so old and didn't have men, etc. I wish Carnival has vetted their excursions better. While most times, people don't mean any harm by it, these were the same 3 people leading our tour asking us. And we already felt unsafe as it was. We vowed never to go to Jamaica again.

 

Did anyone else have a similar experience? Are there other ports you won't visit because you, as a member of the GLBT community, don't feel safe?

We did a Cunard trip in late '06. One of the stops was Jamaica. We did an excursion to what could best be described as a blue collar water park. The tourists were mostly Brits. Covered with tats & few teeth. Not prett at all. We then left & were taken to Montego Bay. Along the way some of the populace seemed to best be described as "Zombie" like.Definately a lot on drugs. At the tourist stop we were questioned by several.."Is he your adopted son?" My partner's Chinese & 8 years younger than me. Certainly made me feel old! We certainly did not feel safe. Any cruise that goes there, we'll opt to do a spa day on board ship!

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The first time I was in Jamiaca was 1975....the harrassment was so blatant...and I was a boy walking down the main street w/ my Aunt...the problem was the color of our skin(unless of course we wanted to buy drugs) - after a short period we went straight back to the ship.

 

Many years later I did get off the ship on a stop there - 15 minutes was all it took to say I would never go there again...when I have been on a cruise that stopped there I simply stayed on the ship.

 

Unfortunately in some of the carib islands there is a strong right wing religious zealousness that encourages crazy hateful behavior....The Bahamas, Barbados, St Croix are just a couple of places where there have been problems. And it seems that Puerto Rico is also starting to have problems.

 

Always be aware of whats going on around you...

Totally agree. We've never had issues, but we do avoid any PDA'S. We'll always do ship based excursions. At least they are responsible to the cruiseline for returning you to the ship(hopefully in one piece!)

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JAMAICA AND THE OFFICIALLY SPONSORED GOVERNMENT PROMOTION OF LGBT HATE AND BIGOTRY

Perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to simply not book any cruise that calls in any Jamaican Port. It is not the Regime that needs an attitude adjustment, it is the whole rotten country. Remember that Jamaica does have something that passes for Democracy. No Government, whatever its idealogical stripe has ever, even taken a single step to attempt to adjust their nations evil, hateful,homophobic, ideas.

 

Years ago, I was unfortunate enough to have to make a business trip to that wretched island, I was appalled at the daily diet of homophobic vitriol that was dished up by the Daily Gleaner, the local newspaper. Jamaica is a beautiful place, but completey spoiled by a bigotted, homophobic local population. True, I did meet some folks that were charming and hospitable, but these were the exception to the rule. The endless litany of LGBT harrassment stories on Cruise Critic would certainly suggest that these charming folks are not representative of the population as a whole. We as a community, should take a stand and avoid any commercial organization with any contact with that island and spend our dollars elsewhere. Remember, it took the courage of Mayor Ken Livingston in London to threaten the Sandals Jamaican Hotel Chain with the removal of every single piece of advertising from the London Subways and Busses if they did not change their loathesome, homophobic policies of deliberately excluding all LGBT guests. HATE is a TERRIBLE thing, you would think that Jamaica with its hughly discriminatory colonial past would not paticipate so actively in such a reprehensable activity. Remember, since independance, the Jamaica has been free to make its own way in the world and choose how it wished to interact with the rest of the world, this means that we, belonging to the LGBT community are free to do the same, do not buy any of their products from Rum, to After Shave to anything marked made in Jamaica to show our dissaproval of the place.

 

Given the extreme levels of violence on the island where golfers have to have an armed guard on the golf courses, beaches are patrolled with armed guards , the exceptio to these are the All Inclusive Hotels which have discreet "Berlin Walls" specially constructed to keep such commonplace activity away. Remember that everytime there is an election, Kingston, the Capital becomes a mortuary of bodies, we should all stay safe and stay away from this Island

 

Peter

Too bad so much of it is in the "Name of God".

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I'd been to Jamaica one time, earlier last decade and at the time I was not aware of all the hate...I simply just had never heard about it. After I found out about all the hate against the GLBT community I vowed never to return. I refuse to give them one cent, in port fees or otherwise. For me, staying on the ship during a port stop there is not good enough...it's about not being there at all. There is nothing in Jamaica that necessitates a return trip for me. There are plenty of palm trees, beaches and sun elsewhere!

Edited by NC Mtn Boys

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It's always an argument that some say "What good does it do if you avoid such and such a place but everyone else continues to spend their money there"?

 

To me the argument was decided years ago. I simply do it for myself. I did an Eastern Caribbean cruise instead of the Western Caribbean just to avoid Jamaica - a place so bad that a co-worker from there spoke badly of the vigilante justice there. As far as I am concern I hate the idea of missing out the jewels of St. Petersburg but why risk spending money in Russia when the anti-gay sentiments are virulent.

 

I figure if I spend my money in GBLT friendly places then the better they are off.

 

What really rules the world is money!

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I refuse to be pushed around in what I want to do....my partner & I were on a Panama Canal cruise & Jamiaca was one stop on a 16 day cruise - we did stay on the ship & simply relayed our past experiences to anyone that inquired about our visits there....I was not going to give up our cruise because of some Jamaicans ignorance.

 

Life is not always so black & white.....if it was I am sure there wouldn't be any GLBT living in Right Wing Republican anti gay states. We all have to find our comfort zone and be somewhat realistic & tolerant.

 

I'd been to Jamaica one time, earlier last decade and at the time I was not aware of all the hate...I simply just had never heard about it. After I found out about all the hate against the GLBT community I vowed never to return. I refuse to give them one cent, in port fees or otherwise. For me, staying on the ship during a port stop there is not good enough...it's about not being there at all. There is nothing in Jamaica that necessitates a return trip for me. There are plenty of palm trees, beaches and sun elsewhere!

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I went with my Aunt on vacation to Jamica, and have found them to be the most rude arrangant people I have ever come across just walking down to the beach was a nightmare, the things they were saying about to my aunt was unbelievable and would I like to try a 12 !!! every day this would happen till I never went outside the hotel, I would never go back to any caribean Island again as it was the same in Grenada.

Be aware also dont sit under the trees on the beaches in grenada as the leaves are poisoness, and will cause you to have untold blisters

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My mother and I will be on a 5 day cruise and one of the stops is Jamaica. We will not be getting off the ship thanks to your posts! We will look at the beauty of the island (and the not the ugliness of much of the population) from the deck!

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I disliked Jamaica but us and another couple never felt threatened in that way.

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Too bad so much of it is in the "Name of God".

 

It's no coincidence that many of Jamaica's people are consumed with such hatred and bigotry, while at the same time, are so extremely proud of the strong Christian influence. Far too often, hatred and Christianity go hand-in-hand.

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Would be pretty cool to have an all-gay cruise call in port, and have NO ONE get of the ship. SUre the govt would get the port fees etc., but then everyone else would just be standing there in amazement waiting for no one to get off and support them. Then watch the party on board...!

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Every gay person whose ship docks in Jamaica and stays on the ship should write a letter to their Minister of Tourism stating what they are doing and the exact amount of money they are NOT spending there. I'm sure over the course of a year that would add up to quite a lot.

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I Knew all about this. and I have to say that SUCKS!!!!!!! Im sorry it happen to you.. That didnt happen to us, and I did a group pf 10 including me and my Wife.. The old thing they WORRIED us about that got on my nerves was all the asking if we wanted WEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats what everyone better watch out for.. They are the Worse.. We are going back for the Wedding and I dont think Im getting off.. I have been there 3 times now..

 

Just Be careful everyone....Hot mess Even kids sell it.. SMH

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We went there in 2006 and again last December. Both times we did not get off the ship expecting to have an empty ship to relax on. We were surprised by the number of pax who did not get off there. It almost was like a sea day. We have stayed on the ship in other ports like Belize because we had been there many times and did not really feel the need to go ashore again. In those cases the ship was like a ghost ship with only a few aboard mostly elderly. No lines at the buffet, plenty of chairs available around the pool, lot of exercise equipment available in the gym, etc. It looked like both times that even the heteros were avoiding this god forsaken island. They are the poorest island economic wise in the Caribbean and look to stay that way for the rest of the century.

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I would get in touch with the RCI Corporation in Miami and explain your case. I know that depending on who you spoke to, RCI is gay friendly. On that ship, they have women gay managers who are out.

Let me know because I agree with you.

If you don't get results, I would contact Change.org

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Thank you all for the replies. I am so sorry I didn't reply earlier!

 

It is a shame - having been an advocate all my life, it makes me want to change things but there is no changing Jamaica. At least, not from the outside, in.

 

We won't ever book another cruise with Jamaica as a port of call, if we can help it. Staying on the ship will be just fine.

 

Thanks again for sharing all your experiences!

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