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matymil

Most and Least pushiest ports you've been to

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Seeing that Carnival will stop sailing to Antigua got me thinking about how much I did not enjoy that port on our trip and it was mostly because of how pushy the people were at the port. It was even worse than Nassau, which i did not think was possible. My question is; what is the most and least pushiest ports you have visited in the Caribbean? Obviously the private islands don't count :) For me its Antigua for the most and Curacao for the least.  

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Of the ports I’ve visited: 

Most - Jamaica. They were downright aggressive at times.

- Costa Maya. We were lied to buy a taxi driver who dropped us off at the wrong beach club. He tried passing us off to his friend that owned another beach club. 

-Progreso. Average. A “no thanks” and they’d leave 

-Cozumel. 

Least -Grand Cayman. The only one to approach us was a taxi driver which we needed. 

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I would have to say Jamaica, BUT, I wouldn't say all of it is pushy... we found that Montego Bay is the worst.. but Ocho Rios was pretty good. I am one of those people who don't like others up in their faces, else I tend to get indignant and even after telling people in MB that I was not interested they continued to invade personal space and try to pull you into their shops... I just gave up and walked back to the van that had been taking us around the city because I just didn't want to either fight, or lose my mind.

 

The least I've ever seen was Grand Cayman, they would ask you to come into their shop... you said nah, they would smile and look for others to come in. Loved that approach!

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Posted (edited)

Most - Cozumel and Belize

Least - Key West and Grand Cayman

 

 

I see a lot of Jamaica listed...I was on an all day excursion there so I may not have had a chance to meet the pushy people. The two stores we stopped at nobody was pushy. But on the way out of Dunn’s River Falls a guy was trying to give people wood carvings...tricking them into buying them.

 

Edited by Saint Greg

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I would say Belize. It's like an episode of The walking dead with tourists behind the gate and the swarm of walkers on the other side 😁

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2 minutes ago, webzila said:

I would say Belize. It's like an episode of The walking dead with tourists behind the gate and the swarm of walkers on the other side 😁

 

So true 

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Most: Jamaica! Coming out of Dunn's River Falls I had a vendor literally push wooden necklaces in my hand then demand $5!!! Port at Ocho Rios wasn't as bad, but they were calling for us to come to their booth.

 

Least: Grand Caymen, Progreso and Cozumel. All ports were clean, they waited for us to come to them instead of calling out to us. Much more pleasant experience than Jamaica. 

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Most

Nassau- Around 2012 I had a guy block my way to the taxi area to offer me a necklace which I declined. He proceeded to get close enough to toss a necklace on me & ask for $5. I handed him his necklace back & pushed past.

 

Jamaica- to be fair to the port, the worst of the experience was leaving Dunn's River when I declined to enter a shop with my kids. I was followed down the path while being called rude after repeated firm "no thank yous". My inner NYer came out pretty fast.

 

Least

Grand Cayman

Key West

Puerto Rico

Cozumel- I'm surprised to see this port known as aggressive! I've been 3 times & I honestly don't recall even being approached once in any visit.

 

 

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Most - definitely ocho rios and nassau

Least - St. Maarten and Grand Cayman. St. Kitts wasn't bad either except for the people trying to scam you for pictures with a monkey. 

 

I don't think it's really fair to count American ports like Key West and Puerto Rico 

 

 

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Roatan was the worst experience we've had (not the Mahogany Bay area).  People lined up at our bus windows holding up seashells and decorative trinkets.  It was one of our first cruises so I don't think I'd be as freaked out

now as I was then.

Nassau is always bad right at the port area.

All in all, I prefer pushy locals to telemarketers I would be dealing with at home :classic_wacko:

 

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Most -- Jamaica, although years ago we went to the Blue Grotto from the Isle of Capri and climbed into rowboats from our shuttle to row into the cave (where we had to lie down in the rowboat to clear the wall at the entrance). As we got into the rowboat we were surrounded by small boats try to sell us souvenirs!

 

Least--Aruba, living up to its nickname, The Friendly Island.

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Posted (edited)

Most: Antiqua. We always do an excursion there after learning our lesson the hard way. My husband actually had to be rude. They were literally blocking our way so we couldn't get around them, even after politely telling them, "No, thank you." 

 

Least: Cozumel and St. Marteen

Edited by Kristi Williamson

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People are too nice to the pushers. I look hard and tell the first couple to pound sand and no one else talks to me.

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Most: Jamaica

Least: Aruba, Grand Cayman

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15 minutes ago, mdsgu said:

Most: Jamaica

Least: Aruba, Grand Cayman

 

In general: 

Most: poorest countries

Least: Wealthiest Countries 

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Just now, elcuchio24 said:

 

In general: 

Most: poorest countries

Least: Wealthiest Countries 

 

Exactly.  Pushiness increases as poverty increases.

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22 minutes ago, mdsgu said:

 

Exactly.  Pushiness increases as poverty increases.

 

Right on. And I certainly dont blame people. You do what you have to do. But, I have just developed my approach so I dont have to constantly deal with it. 

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I wonder how many of the people here are the types that will proclaim atop their high horse that we should do more to help those in poverty. Then when the locals are trying their hardest to find work, these same people are beyond annoyed that 5 minutes of THEIR VACATION involves saying no thank you.

 

I've been to ports like Nassau and Cozumel where it's been beyond crazy, and to where there was virtually nothing. I guess it might depend on the order of ships unloading. I've generally found that you can save big money on taxis right outside the port rather than the government-designated tourist traps right in the prots.

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10 hours ago, webzila said:

I would say Belize. It's like an episode of The walking dead with tourists behind the gate and the swarm of walkers on the other side 😁

That was so creepy and off putting. I wonder if that works for them. I would  imagine that would scare people away, but there they are very time. 

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Jamaica was bad back in 2003 when we went.  Now we stay on the ship if it's part of our itinerary.  Nassau, we don't even book a cruise with this port.  Aruba yes, Grand Cayman yes.  Tortola was very nice.

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Least pushiest is definitely Grand Cayman (they have more money than most of the US. lol) and most pushiest is

Nassau...in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, mdsgu said:

 

Exactly.  Pushiness increases as poverty increases.

I tend to agree with this statement, but when we sailed to Havana last year (where poverty is prevalent), nobody approached us, except for one guy who wanted to show us the menu for his restaurant. 

 

I dont know if it’s because cruising is in its infancy in Cuba and they haven’t quite discovered the pushy ways of other destinations, or if it’s for other political or societal reasons, but it was a welcome change to simply walk around without having pushy vendors on our faces.

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Most:

St. Kitts - they would not stop asking us to take pictures with the monkeys and then got rude when we said no thanks. One guy at the beach would walk up and down the beach hounding beachgoers to buy his shells (which we had already found out would not be allowed back on the ship - we saw someone arguing that they had bought it and had a receipt to prove it, but was still made to throw it out). We politely said no thanks, then about 3 min later another no thanks, repeat another 2 or 3 times.  The last time, the guy cussed at my husband for not buying it.  

 

Least:

St. Maarten 

Grenada 

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I am surprised people say Cozumel is the least, because I would consider them one of the pushiest ports I have visited.  I have visited there roughly a half-dozen times and my experience has always been the same. 

 

From my experiences the least would be Grand Cayman, Aruba and Curaçao. 

 

I have also been to Nassau and Belize several times and my experiences have been a lot better than other posters in this thread. 

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