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Julia&Richard

How are the locals?

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I was wondering about the Riu Ocho Rios resort. I've heard that the locals are pushy and everything you do someone has their hand out. Did anyone find this and/or did you find the "all inclusive" expensive once you got there and found out there is more money to be spent?

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Well, if you stay in the resort and don't go on any outings I think you'll be fine. I never felt like I had to tip and neither did any of my guests. Now if you feel like someone deserved one you are welcome to tip. But they aren't rude, pushy and they do NOT ask for one. If you don't tip they aren't suddenly rude with you, they still give you GREAT service.

 

Now if you leave the resort you are not in an all-inclusive atmosphere anymore. You are in Jamaica with people who aren't being paid. When we went to Dunn's River it was worse. We got off the bus and were suddenly hounded. Someone put beads on our neck and the demanded 5 dollars. Then we walked a step and someone said we NEEDED water. So we bough water. Then we had a guy try to follow us into the park with a wooden turtle!! Once we got in we found out it'd be hard to carry water up a waterfall. Stupid lady. Then there is a tour guide shack. You do NOT need a tour guide. We did fine on our own. But they just want you to pay them. Then leaving some guy yelled that he recognized us and that the bus was this way. And it wasn't. They just wanted us to buy stuff from them.

So yes if you leave the resort the locals are going to try to get you to buy stuff from them. Just like other third world countries who have tourism as their major flow of income. But if you stay in the resort you will be fine. Noone will hound you. But I would say do bring extra money if you want souvenirs and such. In the afternoon/evening they let some vendors set up in front of one of the restaurants. But they don't call out to shop their. They only speak to you if you want to purchase something. So you don't even have to leave the resort to get locally made crafts.

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Like in most places the locals (and I am Jamaican) can be a little pushy, but it is not by any means any different than anywhere else. I can't imagine going to any country and just staying in the resort because that doesn't give me the "local flavor" I need.

 

If someone offers to sell you something say no thanks firmly, if they push you to buy something or say you NEED it, tell them you dont. If you falter they will take advantage of that.

 

No means no, and what are they going to do, scream that you were cheap? Who cares?

 

And remember if you say yes to one you have to say yes to all.

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Sounds like any touristy place. We ran into people putting bracelets on us in Paris & trying to make us buy them. We found a firm "no" worked.

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They won't bug you for tips at the resort in fact most resorts do not allow tipping.

Once you go off the resort they will expect tips, in fact even the lady who was selling the pictures are Dunns River asked us for a tip. Its not a big deal as long as you expect it, we had fun anyway and didn't let it bother us.

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We stayed at ROR and tipped just because our service was great, but people who didn't tip seemed to get the same service.

 

There were a few vendors on the beach, but the ones who didn't work for the hotel didn't hound you. If you crossed their path they offered what they were selling, but wouldn't you if you made money by selling things to people who can afford to go on vacation? The only vendors we found who would disturb us while laying on the beach worked for the hotel, and were trying to get you to buy photos they take of you.

 

We were "warned" not to go outside of the resort by some Americans, but of course we did..lol. Like Shenmaat said, we seek the local flavor wherever we are. The best day of our trip was spent with a man we met who took us to St. Ann's Bay where he lives. We had a blast - mostly on foot - in places where there were NO tourists, at all. People welcomed us into their homes, we went to a healing spring, so many awesome things happened that day. The most genuine, positive, and kindhearted people I've met so far in my life, I met in Jamaica.

 

Just keep in mind that people with their hands out aren't out to get you, they are out to eat.

 

No means no, they speak English :o)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by starchild View Post

No means no, they speak English :o)
Jamy you're too funny! lol smile120.gif

But I defitenly agree (once again) with what you said and Shenmaat. When I went to Jamaica, I found the locals are very friendly, we even sat and talked to quite a few people to learn more about the culture and their daily lives. You'd be amazed how the economy differs so much from the US even though it is a major tourist country, the workers still don't get paid very much.

And yes, the vendors are a little pushy, but hey, aren't all salespeople?

As long as you follow the 'firm no thank you' (even if they put something in your hands), you will be fine. The people in Jamaica are nothing to be afraid of, they're just trying to get by one day at a time. They don't bite girl_werewolf.gif lol

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i will put my 2 cents in :)

I found the street vendors to be tyring thier best to sell, and some find it pushy- but it was much less of a mob scene than when we went to indonesia - there you couldnt walk - it was kinda like being britney spears for a day!

the hotel staff dont ask for tips and the service is fine, i did give the bands, reception servers officiant, champane guy and chandlyn tips.

I did not leave housekeeping a tip as i was ticked off at asking for 4 days straight for a blanket, and them not decorating our suite as promised.

I found peole in cuba to be WAY more demanding of tips - it really ruined my trip there, jamacians may ask but everything they do is in a jovial mannor so keep it light, and be direct when you say no thanks :)

You will be fine- just remember they are trying to make a livin :)

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