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Dunn's River Falls Question


sapper1
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i am sure many of you are familiar with the market from He** that visitors to Dunn's River Falls are directed to walk through as they attempt to exit the park.

To say the least, it is not a pleasant experience.

 

On our last visit we tried to leave by the gate through which we entered but were stopped by a uniformed person who said it was necessary to go through the market. Not knowing how much authority was behind the uniform and not wanting to be arrested for failure to shop, we complied.

 

My question is----has anyone ignored the order to walk through the market and lived to tell the tale? Does the uniformed gentleman have the authority to insist or is he just hired by the vendors?

 

We will be stopping in Ocho Rios on our upcoming cruise and we really love the falls but we are considering just staying on the ship if we can't avoid the market. Those guys just get so nasty and scary if you don't buy something.

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It's so unfortunate that they intimidate you into "running the gauntlet" and then intimidate you while you're doing it as well :(

 

Not sure if there's any way around it.

Edited by maxout
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Just my two_cents_normal.jpg worth here for anyone that has not been to Jamaica.

 

I've visited Jamaica numerous times on cruise ship stops and over 30 times on a week (or longer) stay at all inclusive resorts; and have enjoyed my experiences there. Also, I have been to Dunns River Falls on at least 3 different visits.

 

I don't think it is quite as bad as previous posters have indicated. I wouldn't consider the Dunns River Falls market the "market from he!!" and I've never had vendors actually grab (or pull at) me. If you aren't interested in buying anything just stay in the middle of the path and keep walking; and you'll be alright. If they do approach you, just say "no thank you" and keep walking. The vendors aren't any worse than ones encountered in other impoverished countries, in fact (in my opinion) they were worse in many other countries, like Mexico, Haiti, Morocco, Egypt, etc. to name a few.

Edited by ScriptOhio
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It happened to me, and I'm about as mellow as they come. A lady threw a shawl over my shoulders and when I took it off to give it back she accused me of stealing from her. I walked away, shaking, but ignoring her protests. It wasn't easy.

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I'm not sure why posters discount the experiences of others. I find it very dismissive when people say "that didn't happen to me". That doesn't mean it hasn't happened to someone else.

 

I do agree. I've never been there, but I must say I've heard lots about this particular market - none of it good.

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My dh and I went through the shopping area and I will never do that again. My dh is a big guy and can be quite intimidating but this did not help. The vendors were in our faces and blocking our way. To say that I was uncomfortable is minimizing my experience.

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Just my two_cents_normal.jpg worth here for anyone that has not been to Jamaica.

 

I've visited Jamaica numerous times on cruise ship stops and over 30 times on a week (or longer) stay at all inclusive resorts; and have enjoyed my experiences there. Also, I have been to Dunns River Falls on at least 3 different visits.

 

I don't think it is quite as bad as previous posters have indicated. I wouldn't consider the Dunns River Falls market the "market from he!!" and I've never had vendors actually grab (or pull at) me. If you aren't interested in buying anything just stay in the middle of the path and keep walking; and you'll be alright. If they do approach you, just say "no thank you" and keep walking. The vendors aren't any worse than ones encountered in other impoverished countries, in fact (in my opinion) they were worse in many other countries, like Mexico, Haiti, Morocco, Egypt, etc. to name a few.

 

It happened to me, and I'm about as mellow as they come. A lady threw a shawl over my shoulders and when I took it off to give it back she accused me of stealing from her. I walked away, shaking, but ignoring her protests. It wasn't easy.

 

 

Having been there, we won't go back. After the falls, my friend and I went to stroll from the ship, we were so harassed that we headed back after less than 1/2 a km. Neither of us are shy nor afraid to say no, but they just wouldn't stop.

 

Jamaica is off my list for me.

 

That's my experience.

 

BTW for ScriptOhio - If you stay in a resort with the barriers around, it's a whole different experience than being in the real Jamaica. You don't have to deal with this. JMO and my experience.

 

Two cruises, two experiences, both the same. This is one stop I'm not interested in. All inclusive? no thanks. There's a lot of other places I'd rather be.

Edited by kazu
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i am sure many of you are familiar with the market from He** that visitors to Dunn's River Falls are directed to walk through as they attempt to exit the park.

To say the least, it is not a pleasant experience.

 

On our last visit we tried to leave by the gate through which we entered but were stopped by a uniformed person who said it was necessary to go through the market. Not knowing how much authority was behind the uniform and not wanting to be arrested for failure to shop, we complied.

 

My question is----has anyone ignored the order to walk through the market and lived to tell the tale? Does the uniformed gentleman have the authority to insist or is he just hired by the vendors?

 

We will be stopping in Ocho Rios on our upcoming cruise and we really love the falls but we are considering just staying on the ship if we can't avoid the market. Those guys just get so nasty and scary if you don't buy something.

 

Just my two cents. We went with Peat Taylor he was a true gentleman and has been running tours for years. We went to Irie Blue Hole instead of Dunns River.

 

Not that you should go to Irie but Peat will probably keep the vendors at bay at the falls. He does various tours

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This is a terrible impression that these vendors are giving to such a beautiful island, and for the most part, wonderful Jamaican people.

 

I certainly would never want to return to a place that I had been harassed like the CC's who have posted.

 

I do spend a lot of time in other places on the island and while I am familiar with an occasional over-zealous "higgler" (even then a firm no has worked), I too would feel the same about Jamaica had it happened to this extreme to me.

 

I have not been to Dunn's River Falls (and never had much desire, certainly not after hearing this) but have been to other Falls, Blue Holes, Kingston, MO Bay, Negril and have not had this happen. Again, shame on those vendor's at Dunn's.

 

At most places I do have to decline invitations(??) and sales of everything from bracelets to sugar cane.

 

I have many friends that work in tourism in Jamaica who will be distressed to hear this. I am sure (like myself) they will trust that this is an accurate account of the Poster's recent experiences and it will probably dissuade them to send people over to Dunn's on tours.

 

FYI - I travel solo (and female) to the island and do not stay in All Inclusives. I'm always mindful of where I am and who I am with - I appreciate reports, both positive and negative, so that I can make informed decisions on my travel there. Thanks for posting your experiences.

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This is a terrible impression that these vendors are giving to such a beautiful island, and for the most part, wonderful Jamaican people.

 

I certainly would never want to return to a place that I had been harassed like the CC's who have posted.

 

I do spend a lot of time in other places on the island and while I am familiar with an occasional over-zealous "higgler" (even then a firm no has worked), I too would feel the same about Jamaica had it happened to this extreme to me.

 

I have not been to Dunn's River Falls (and never had much desire, certainly not after hearing this) but have been to other Falls, Blue Holes, Kingston, MO Bay, Negril and have not had this happen. Again, shame on those vendor's at Dunn's.

 

At most places I do have to decline invitations(??) and sales of everything from bracelets to sugar cane.

 

I have many friends that work in tourism in Jamaica who will be distressed to hear this. I am sure (like myself) they will trust that this is an accurate account of the Poster's recent experiences and it will probably dissuade them to send people over to Dunn's on tours.

 

FYI - I travel solo (and female) to the island and do not stay in All Inclusives. I'm always mindful of where I am and who I am with - I appreciate reports, both positive and negative, so that I can make informed decisions on my travel there. Thanks for posting your experiences.

Thank you for your post. I am sorry I neglected to mention the date of our last visit. It was November of 2012.

 

You are correct about Jamaica being a beautiful place. It would be so wonderful to feel safe there as it is hard to enjoy yourself when you are scared.

 

Our first visit to Dunn's River Falls was in 2002 and we had the scary vendor experience then as well. Our return visit in 2012 was in the hope that we had just previously visited on a bad day and we wanted to enjoy the falls again. We were so disappointed at being forced into the market.

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I have a (not so) great story to tell about this venue.

while it is true the shop owner will literaly drag you by the arm I found another thing very shocking.

I know Jamaica is a different world and many problems we see as disturbing are very common. I do not care if people smoke pot, but there's a limit to that.

When we were at the bottom of the falls, a group of 3 to 5 men came racing down the beach on their jetski's. At that exact moment, the 'security' staff all disappeared and nobody from the Dunn's staff was to be seen. The guys came out from the water and started approaching a lot of people to sell some charm necklaces as a cover-up for selling you pot. I know you can expect things like this when you wander off or in bars, but I'd never tought staff at Dunn's would allow this to happen right at the spot. I think they got bribed as well, as they all showed up again when they guys left on their jets again.

And then we even hadn't walked past the shops... Needless to say this was a bizare experience for adults, let alone for the many kids that were there.

I won't come off in Jamaica no more. If this even happens on ship-arranged tours, you'd expect it to be more safe.

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Just my two cents. We went with Peat Taylor he was a true gentleman and has been running tours for years. We went to Irie Blue Hole instead of Dunns River.

 

Not that you should go to Irie but Peat will probably keep the vendors at bay at the falls. He does various tours

 

We went with Peat Taylor tours when we went to Ocho Rios. He drove us to the falls, the river rafting and then to a beach - sorry can't remember the name. He was a true gentleman and took care of us and gave us tips on how to avoid being "harrassed". When he took us to the beach, he spoke to a gentleman when we were dropped off and told him to make sure that we were taken care of. Would definitely use Peat Taylor.

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I will not get off the ship if it docks in Jamaica. We were warned to take certain taxis that had special license plates. When we returned to the ship, staff at the front desk and in the spa told how they had been robbed on a beach, and how a ship's tour bus was boarded by men with guns and they robbed everyone on it. This was in Montego Bay several years ago.It's a shame that this type of action causes bad press for such a beautiful island.

 

I was there on a land trip 42 years ago, and it was a much safer island then.

Edited by mamaofami
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