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matymil

Most and Least pushiest ports you've been to

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Most: Progreso... every 2-3 steps someone was asking us about a massage, a beach chair, a souvenir, etc. My 6 yo was saying “No gracias” over and over. 

      Montego Bay was also pretty bad with the drug offers. A guy even swam out to us at Doc Cave beach with a conch of “stuff”. 

 

Least: Grand Cayman, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico

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1 hour ago, mdsgu said:

Exactly.  Pushiness increases as poverty increases.

.

Simply put, it's economic desperation!

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10 hours ago, Drose716 said:

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.

 

 

 

 

Really? The shop owners in puerta maya don't hassle you at all? I've totally stopped wearing saints stuff because they all want you to buy that saints backpack.  They still hassle me to buy other things. I plan my walk through puerta maya to try to avoid them. Then on the way out they want you to buy a tour. They want you to rent a car. Cross the street from the port and  they want you to rent a scooter...walk that street and every little store or stand wants you to look at their stuff. I've been nine times. It's almost impossible to get a cruise that doesn't go to Cozumel without traveling to the east or west coast.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg

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Nassau has been the worst for me. We were walking down street when a  woman ran out of her store and grabbed me by the arm and started pulling me into store. When my husband pulled me away from her and man came out of store and started cussing my husband. When my husband who is 6ft 5in and well built did not back down they left us alone. But that is only one of many of the same.  I love Key West, but when we do the Eastern cruise we do not get off at Nassau.

Least is always Grand Cayman for us.

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For me:

 

Most Pushy -

St Lucia - left my mom alone for 2 minutes to find out what was taking my dad so long in the store, only to find a tour guide trying to push her wheelchair to the tour booth to get her to book a tour.

 

Antigua - Witnessed 2 tour guides (orange shirts) fighting over customers; had a hair braider follow me for 3 blocks despite me saying no repeatedly; had a woman try to put a necklace on my mother where I literally had to block her hand from doing so.

 

St Kitts - decided just to return to the ship because this one guy with a monkey just would not leave my mother alone (and she's a bit of a captive audience as she's in a wheelchair and can only use 1 hand so it's not like she can push people away); he followed us around and was there every time we came out of any shop or paused to take pictures of the buildings.

 

Least Pushy -

 

Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Jamaica (Falmouth - the people were so nice and really not pushy to us at all), Grenada, Tortola....we really haven't had a lot of issues at most ports. 

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Nassau would probably be it for me although I really don't have much trouble with vendors.  They approach me and I say "no thanks" and that is the end of it.  I am a pretty big guy so not sure if that has anything to do with it or not.  Never had anyone grab me or put stuff in my hands, etc.  It wouldn't go well if they did.

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Most pushy

Acapulco!

In the cab area adjacent to the pier all these little indigenous kids were trying to sell me chicklets. They surrounded me and started constantly touching me. Fearing pick pockets, I told them in no uncertain terms, NO TOUCHING! The cab driver intervened and all was calm again. I guess Acapulco has worse problems now. 

The least...Montego Bay, Jamaica. Took a catamaran snorkeling excursion and all was mellow. 

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I'm blessed with a max-level RBF, so I'm almost never hassled beyond a polite "no thank you" and continuing to walk down the sidewalk. An exception was the roughly ten minutes I spent in the Straw Market in Nassau, which was BANANAS. (Maybe it was too dim in there for them to see my face? Lol.) But the rest of Nassau was fine.

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1 hour ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

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. 

 

We didn't leave the port area the one time we were there, it was kind of a mixed bag as far as pushy salespeople, but it was by far the most pushy in the long, narrow Duty-free store you have to walk through where there were at least a dozen salespeople overly eager to help us buy something, you couldn't even stop for a second to glance at something without one of them being all over you.

 

Out in the shopping area, a few of the shops were kinda laid back with no pressure salespeople, like Los Cinco Sols and another shop that I can't remember it's name now that we bought several hot sauces from to bring back as gifts.

 

But then you had some of the shops that had guys standing outside of them trying way too hard to get your attention with inappropriate behavior and comments and making even more very rude comments when you didn't want to go in their shop.

 

1 hour ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

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

 

I've experienced a few things mentioned by others in Nassau, but really wasn't bad, but then again I haven't gotten off the ship there since our cruise in 2010, so could be worse now.

 

We didn't see the "Walking Dead" in Belize but people were eager to sell us stuff at the marketplace at Altun Ha.

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Jamaica was the worst I've experienced personally. A shop owner took my hand and gently pulled on my arm to try to get me into the shop. I was able to easily pull away and politely say no thanks. A lady walked behind me for several feet on the street trying to get me to agree to hair braiding. I politely said no and then she grabbed my hair and started to comb through it with her fingers. This was all while walking, mind you. I pulled my hair to the front and she gave up. Also while walking down the street a car pulled up, rolled down the window, and offered weed. Followed us until we got into Margaritaville. While eating at a jerk grill, there was someone walking between tables pedaling wares. He took several no's from each table before going to the next. When walking back to the port, I dropped my sunglasses on the ground. Before I could even bend down, a lady picked them up and held them while showing me her earrings for sale. I bought some just to get my sunglasses back. I figured it wasn't worth fighting over. I didn't like the overall pushiness at all. I could barely have a conversation with my husband because of all the interruptions. However, we had zero hassle during our actual excursion. All of these interactions occurred when we were walking in the shopping district.

 

Cozumel does have some pushy people but my experience hasn't been bad. A politely no thank you and they all left us alone and were nice about it.

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3 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

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. 

It might help that we went in late August and were the only ship in port at the time, so maybe the vendors were more laid back, but I loved Cozumel!

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The Most - Belize! It's crazy how pushy these folks are. It's just like someone else said, The Walking Dead. That was a very good analogy. 

 

The Least - ST, Thomas, Grand Caymen Island, Cozumel, Grand Turk. I have not experienced any hard core pushiness in any of those ports.

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23 minutes ago, Jamericannn said:

Wow. I am embarrassed by the land of my birth (Jamaica).

 

You know, everyone says how bad Jamaica is for this stuff, and at the ports that is largely true. But we have gone a few times to AIs down there, and never had any issues. In fact everyone was super laid back and not pushy at all....about anything hahaha

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4 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

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. 

I've been to Cozumel many times within the past few years and I don't find the people there to be pushy as in 'we will follow you around and never leave you alone until you buy something' pushy. They back off when you say no thanks which is all that matters to me. 

 

Most pushy/uncomfortable for me have been Nassau and Belize. Although there was an incident in St. Lucia when we were on an excursion in a speed boat. There were teenagers jumping off a natural bridge and some person on our tour started waving at them. The teens immediately all jumped into the water, swam at impressive speeds to the boat and started climbing up the side. The boat driver began tossing bottles of soda into the water which they then chased after and we went on our way. 

 

Least pushy: Aruba, Curacao, Grand Cayman

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OP...I completely agree with you about Antigue!!!! We've been to many of the Caribbean islands. Pushy was the least of their problems. We encountered more rude locals and vendors than any other place we've been. 

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11 minutes ago, packedandready said:

OP...I completely agree with you about Antigue!!!! We've been to many of the Caribbean islands. Pushy was the least of their problems. We encountered more rude locals and vendors than any other place we've been. 

We stopped in antiqua on our RCI southern cruise 2 years ago, and were so off put, we only stayed in the port area for about 30 minutes, then headed back to the boat.  It was the worst we have seen in our limited experience. 

 

For us, Cozumel last year was great, we were prepared to not like it, but we would go back in a heart beat.  

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Maybe I look too old or not rich or adventurous enough but have been to all the Caribbean Islands a number of times and never had anyone who persisted after I politely declined. I will say that in Jamaica we always use a private guide,  and whenever I mentioned his name, folks went out of their way to be accommodating to us. In Antigua we planned to take a van to the beach anyway and actually welcomed the first guy who approached us. In St Kitts I just told a few monkey guys that I was bitten by one as a child (a true story) and they left me alone. In Nassau, I like to visit the palm gardens retreat and when taking a public bus, i have never been hassled.

Edited by lynncarol
spelling

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For me, I actually found Labadee to be the pushiest even though it's a private area. When we went, there were many private stalls that were set up along the beach. The shopkeepers would shout and invite you to come into their shop as you were passing by. They even did it when we took the tram along the beach even though we wouldn't be able to get off the tram and run into their shop! The marketing was very aggressive. We read a review that said that there was a craft market where all the prices were fixed, meaning little to no bargaining. I'm sure the prices in here were more expensive than outside, but none of the shopkeepers were aggressive. We found some nice souvenirs, many of which were different than the ones sold at the vendors outside. I would highly recommend going to the market for all your souvenir shopping instead of going to the vendors.

 

The nicest experience I had with a shopkeeper was in Cozumel. At every port, I had tried to collect a bit of the local currency but since we had paid with exact change for everything that day and many vendors gave back change in USD, I had nothing. I was able to buy some coins in Labadee and other ports and I eventually got so desperate that I asked the shopkeeper if I could exchange 1 USD for some Pesos. She kindly informed me that the exchange rate was very different and that she wasn't sure if she had exact change. The fact that she hadn't tried to cheat me out of my money, even if it was only one dollar was such a thoughtful gesture that we did the rest of our shopping at her place, thanks to her reasonable prices.

 

I'd say that parts of Paris and Rome can rival the aggressiveness of the vendors I have read about on this thread or even beat them! The worst part is that many of the vendors can be quite deceptive, particularly with trying to convince you to buy tickets for a tour. Vatican City was by far the worst experience I've had with vendors despite it being such a holy place for Christianity. Unfortunately, such aggressive practises are everywhere 😞 

Edited by simplyrubies

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9 hours ago, chocolate melting cake said:

Most - Jamaica

 

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

I would say:

Most - Jamaica and Nassau.

 

Least - Aruba, One Happy Island 😉

St Thomas

St Maarten

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Most: Jamaica and Cozumel

Least: Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao

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