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Old 07-08-2010, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Georgia
1,260 posts, read 1,442,549 times
Reputation: 653

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Looks like my wife and I will be taking our first trip alone together w/o the kids for the first time since our honeymoon....

We are trying to decide between Jamaica or the Bahamas? We will be flying out of Orlando on Spirirt Airlines. They have flights to Nassau, Montego Bay, and Kingston. Any opinions, etc. from anyone that's been to either or even better BOTH of these places? We know absolutely nothing about them.

I'm the type that would love being thrown into the 'real culture' of the area...'Roughing it' with the locals, my wife is more the type who wants everything safe and orderly. I hear all about these all-inclusive resorts but have no idea what they are like. So not even sure where we will stay, maybe an all-inclusive place? A regular big-name resort/hotel? Also looking on homeaway.com and are open to maybe even renting a villa or house that is more in a local area and not in the safe confines of the big tourist compounds.

Important:
1. Beach
2. Food
3. Nightlife to do

We will only be able to stay 3 or 4 nights.

Should we go Bahamas or Jamaica?

Also passport...neither of us has one...Can we get one on this short of notice?
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:14 AM
 
4,129 posts, read 5,466,785 times
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Jamaica seems to me much more dangerous than the Bahamas, so that would make the deal (for me).
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Georgia
897 posts, read 869,550 times
Reputation: 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by GAisGreat View Post
Looks like my wife and I will be taking our first trip alone together w/o the kids for the first time since our honeymoon....

We are trying to decide between Jamaica or the Bahamas? We will be flying out of Orlando on Spirirt Airlines. They have flights to Nassau, Montego Bay, and Kingston. Any opinions, etc. from anyone that's been to either or even better BOTH of these places? We know absolutely nothing about them.

I'm the type that would love being thrown into the 'real culture' of the area...'Roughing it' with the locals, my wife is more the type who wants everything safe and orderly. I hear all about these all-inclusive resorts but have no idea what they are like. So not even sure where we will stay, maybe an all-inclusive place? A regular big-name resort/hotel? Also looking on homeaway.com and are open to maybe even renting a villa or house that is more in a local area and not in the safe confines of the big tourist compounds.

Important:
1. Beach
2. Food
3. Nightlife to do

We will only be able to stay 3 or 4 nights.

Should we go Bahamas or Jamaica?

Also passport...neither of us has one...Can we get one on this short of notice?
Trinidad and Tobago might be an interesting change for You.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:20 AM
 
4,730 posts, read 6,143,345 times
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Jamaica all the way.

Check out Montego Bay..nice place, friendly ppl and excellent food. Negril has awesome beaches.

You will need that passport and the cost of getting one are rising. You can pay extra to get one quicker. Check out the State Dept website for more info.

No matter what country you go to, you have to be careful about kicking it with the locals. It's not always the best thing to do, you can rent a villa that is owned by locals but it runs about $7K a week. You can find resorts for much less..you wont' get the culture you want but you can venture out on your own.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
14,450 posts, read 12,810,361 times
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My friend has a good friend who is Jamaican so they flew down to Kingston for their spring break. He told me about it and said there's no way in hell he'd feel comfortable if he wasn't with the entire family. I can't speak from first hand experience in Jamaica , but I was in Nassau and it didn't seem like much to do outside of the beaches. I felt a lot more comfortable in South American cities than I did in the Bahamas. I'm not trying to put a damper on your plans, because they can both be extremely beautiful... but I don't think the bahamas are too much of a place to go to explore for a new culture. Can't speak for Jamaica.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:36 AM
 
4,730 posts, read 6,143,345 times
Reputation: 4585
Well, I can speak for Jamaica.

Montego Bay is no where near Kingston and most tourists do not venture to Kingston in the first place. The only time I go to Kingston is to pick up goods, or do my immigration stuff. In the last 24 yrs of going back and forth and living there more than I do here, I've been to Kingston about 10 times.

During this past Dudus thing, no one was going to Kingston and I dont' blame them. But, the rest of the island was fine and dandy and enjoying life.

But, as I said before, every place has it's risks. You can 't just trust the first person you meet and head off into the sunset....that would be stupid beyond stupid..and if your "roughing it" includes ganja, dont' bother, it's illegal and Jamaican jails are the pits.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,712 posts, read 5,315,232 times
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Well if you dont have time to get a passport you can go to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

I never been to Jamaica but know many people who have gone. Jamiaca is a very dangerous place. The tourist areas/resorts are very safe but you cant really leave those area.

Nassau is a very safe area, the city is not bad and Paridise Island Atlantis resort is very nice! But can be very expensive but its IMO one of the nicest resorts out there. GREAT FOOD, nice casino and a decent night life area. They have a very nice "Las Vegas: style club in the hotel. The waters of the Bahamas are fantastic! Jamiaca has a bit more topography compared to the Bahamas that is flat. Both are very nice destinations, so just see what fits your budget best and read reviews.

Kingston is not a tourist destination btw.
Also dont limit yourself to one airline of course unless you have free tickets or something. Jet Blue, Bahamasair, American Airlines all are other airlines that can fly you to those places.

(you DO need a passport for the Bahamas and Jamaica, I think you can get one in 4-6 weeks)
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Grove City/Columbus
211 posts, read 395,187 times
Reputation: 87
I've been to both and I prefer Jamaica. Bahamas was ok, but I was only 18. so I don't really remember it all. But I have friends that have been to Atlantis and they loved it. International Bazaar was fun.
When we went to Ocho Rios, we stayed at a Sandals, all inclusive. For your first time and since you will only have a couple days, I suggest one of these resorts. All your food and tips and drinks are included. Great way to see the place for your first time and not have to worry about anything. We flew into Montego Bay and the bus ride was a little shocking. Talk about a downer, then you arrive to the resort, paradise! but we went on a couple trips outside the resort and the people were great and we had no problems.
and yes, you can expedite a passport, costs more but it can be done.
have a fun trip!
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,461 posts, read 5,466,774 times
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I haven't been to Jamaica, but am planning a trip to Negril soon. You can find both AIs in Negril and more quant beach resorts like Jake's and Country Country. Just depends on your style. It looks like a fantastic place. As previous posters have said, steer clear of Kingston.

I did go to the Bahamas and stayed on Paradise Island, but not at the big mega-resort there. Honestly, I hated the Bahamas. I did feel safe and went out to a "pre-Junkanoo" party with almost all locals, which was fun and a neat cultural experience. However, Nassau was an overpriced port town clearly focused on draining $$$ out of the cruise ship passengers. The beaches were pretty and water nice and blue, but I've seen prettier beaches on most every other tropical island I've visited. We also went to the big resort on Paradise one day and were not impressed. I understand the rooms and pools are nice, but it was WAY too crowded for us, and the dinner we had was incredibly overpriced and the food sucked.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
2,528 posts, read 6,946,471 times
Reputation: 2153
Neither! Check out St. Thomas! Lovely!
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