I just arrived back from a visit to Jamaica, and we had a great time!!!
We were only on the resort 2 of the 6 days I was there. One of my friends arranged to have a guy drive us around so we could see the
real Jamaica and not what the resort just presents as Jamaica. In my opinion, it was safe. We went all the way up the mountains of Nine Mile and Negril. We also stopped to get some REAL Jamaican food. What they serve at the resort is nothing compared to what we ate. We went to the music festival Sumfest and had AN AMAZING TIME!!!! Overall, I really enjoyed my stay. I've been to Jamaica before and stayed at the resort the entire time. This recent visit was much better because I got to see most of Jamaica.
I will warn you that Jamaica is a very poor island, so expect to get asked for money in certain places by certain people. I can compare it to beggars in the streets here in the States, but we all know that America is a much more wealthy country than Jamaica.
I would suggest arranging for transportation with one of the companies there so the driver can expose you to whatever you want to see.
Personally, I wouldn't care if people wanted to leave the resort or not. More power to them for their views. Why even visit a place like Jamaica if you're not even going to step foot outside the resort? For me, that viewpoint just encourages that idea that the people of the island are not really important. Jamaican people are different sort, and it would be great if you, your fi and guests could see that when you visit.
I'm not really the type to arrange my life to suit others, so I guess I can easily say that and forget about those people. I'm not planning our wedding to suit other people's needs, but OUR needs. It's our wedding. I honestly can't figure out where the notion to please the people on your day came from. Okay, food and drinks are a must, but the other stuff? Semantics. With the arranged transportation, we didn't have to worry about paying for cabs or getting ripped off because we had someone with us the entire time.
I felt very safe and secure while I was out and about seeing the island. I would highly recommend it. You won't regret it.
Good luck with your search and happy planning!!!