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Thread: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

  1. #1
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    Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    Hi all. My husband and I, and our two friends are scheduled to be at Cocolapalm Feb. 4-15, and now we're starting to think that maybe we should cancel AGAIN... We are getting worried about the possibility of having to stay in quarantine if we test positive, but most of all, we're worried that it just "won't be the same" as it always has been.

    We want to be in Negril when we can HAVE FUN - with no limitations. Negril is our get-away haven, and we dream about being on the beach, with venders bringing us the most wonderful food, walking the beach, stopping for a drink and listening to music wherever we feel like. We don't want to be having to put our masks on every time we stop for a drink, or to have some of the establishments closed, or out of stock, etc. Can anyone let me know what the experience is like being there now? Is everything open, are the vendors walking the beach, is there plenty of live music? What type of sacrifices will be need to make to be in our special place during the time of Covid? Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. #2
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    I know you understand what is happening in the world, thus your question. A smart but very eccentric man once said that the only guaranteed things in life are death and taxes. Both those kinda suck, so let's not worry about guarantees.

    You want "Negril is our get-away haven, and we dream about being on the beach, with venders bringing us the most wonderful food, walking the beach, stopping for a drink and listening to music wherever we feel like."

    All of this is available today! I see Norman the Patty Man on the beach beach everyday, along with walk-a-by fruit, juice, hats, woven ware vendors. They need to earn a living and are more than happy to provide you with what you need.

    Live music is a bit harder to find at the moment. Drifters is still jamming and Roots Bamboo starts earlier. But every bar will have music playing. Please respect the curfew hours, currently 10pm. By February I expect it to be much later.

    Any beach establishment is an outdoor place of business which makes the wearing of masks not very effective in any form of prevention of Covid, or a cold for that matter.

    But, if you go shopping in HiLo or any indoor business, not wearing a mask is disrespectful, unhealthy and simply not a smart thing to do.

    There are less than a handful of indoor air conditioned bars and restaurants in Negril, so avoiding them is incredibly easy should the masking thing be that important to you.

    I am so used to it that I chin mask virtually everywhere while eating or drinking, and I have caught myself wearing a mask in my car, with me the only one in it. Talk about a waste of effort....

    Since even Pfizer is now recommending 4 shots (money grab?), it would seem masks in tight, sealed, indoor, air conditioned places seem to be our best protection.

    Because of the pandemic, Negril nor any place on the planet cannot be exactly the same as pre-pandemic times.

    But if you would be satisfied with a 90%+ experience of your expectations, you will be more than satisfied.

    And remember that on a good day Negril has about 40% of pre pandemic level of tourism, you will experience a Negril that only people who visited in the pre-90's time ever saw.

    You have the chance to experience Negril the way that can only be read in history books.

    No matter your decision, we all hope to see you in future, whenever that may be.
    Negril.com - For the vacation that never ends!

  3. #3
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    Everyone must make the choice they are comfortable with but I totally agree with Rob. For us waiting 2 or 3 years to return was not an option. We recently completed our 4th visit since the start of the pandemic and return again in a few weeks. Things are not as they were anywhere in the world. We personally feel the few restrictions we must put up with are actually a positive. They are what make us feel so safe while there. There is entertainment, bars and restaurants are open and restrictions are minimal. Some restaurants will take your temperature when you arrive and request you were a mask when not seated at your table. But honestly there are less and less that are actually doing that.
    If you feel safe traveling I say go! There is enough “normal” there that you will find enough of what you are looking for.

  4. #4
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    Great comments. We are booked for the end of January and well into February. It is hard to know what to do. Seems like news reports change everyday on the virus. Sounds like a slow time in Negril right now. We have been in Negril in December around the Reggae marathon time, and it was always busy. Plus, the Christmas lights at Coco La Palm were always a bonus. We are relatively newbies {2006} 21 trips, but like Rob said, it's a way to experience Negril pre-90's. I'm all in! As far as tourism goes, there must be something going in the country as a whole, because I know a guy*, who is really smart, and he's been monitoring the amount of flights arriving in Montego Bay daily. He said there were 50 flights today. Club-Mobay is sold out alot etc. So, there are folks going to Jamaica right now, which is good news. Spreading out all over the country mon'. I guess we need to be positive {not the co-vid test!}, stay calm, have an open mind. roll with the flow. Smile often. Be respectful. One love. Irie. Thanks to *Fargoman. 20 below zero predicted for Fargo . 84 in Negril? Happy New Year!

  5. #5
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    We are heading down at end of January -- and really hope we will be able to make it.

    Omicron is most certainly in Jamaica. It's just too prevalent now where the majority of tourists come from.

    There are too many leaks in the system:

    • no mandatory vaccinations for tourists.
    • tests up to 72 hours before arrival mean more opportunity for virus to be contracted post test.
    • the fact that rapid antigen tests are allowed, and the higher number of false negatives from those tests -- especially in the early stages of infection when the viral loads are increasing.



    But as Rob says (using different words), I still expect being in Negril to be more pleasant than not being in Negril. Will it be the same as previous trips for us? No, but I expect it to be great, especially after not going last year!

    I'm not going to Jamaica to pretend the pandemic doesn't exist. It's a reality. I will still know it exists and try to stay safe, and (more importantly) do my part in helping others stay safe.

    I'm hoping to see the required protocols, where required!

  6. #6
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    Together with two other couples, my husband and I are also planning to be in Negril from February 5-26.
    We know the experience will be different from past years, but it will still be a lot warmer than where we're from which is Winnipeg. We will still be able to be outdoors most of the time, enjoying the ocean and cliffs. We will still have many of the experiences we've had in the past: Long walks on the beach, relaxing with a book before happy hour and a sunset, enjoying delicious Jamaican food.
    We may not stop at Henry's souvenir hut due to unsureness of his vaccination status. We will definitely mask when we buy fruit from Precious (aka Cortis) or get a patty from whoever is selling these days... Norman? We will mask up for our own protection and out of respect for others. It will be different, but worth it, as we have not been to this beloved place for four years, and we really miss it. The alternative is to stay indoors in Winnipeg until the winter is over, and we are not keen for that.
    Having said all that, one of the couples to join us has decided to bail out. He has a heart problem and is unsure if he could ever get the insurance needed. So they won't be joining us. We will be watching the state of the world for the next few weeks. If we feel it's unsafe, we will cancel our plans. But at this time we are fully on board to travel. In fact, I hope I get omicron now and get it over with. Omicron is Russian roulette… Most survive but not everyone. Will I be the one?
    I can't live in fear, and I have to have a certain trust in the universe, God, or whatever higher power you choose to associate with.
    These are just my four cents worth.
    Maybe we'll see you on the beach!
    Hedo Negril '07 Hedo Ochi '08 Couples Negril & Riu Ochi '10 Firefly & iberostar Rose Hall Beach '12 Firefly & Samsara '14 Samsara & CocolaPalm '16 CocolaPalm & Couples Negril '17 Treehouse & Catcha & Couples Negril '22


    Coming in from the cold...

  7. #7
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    I am not so sure going there now and expecting it quiet is going to happen... which being busy is a good thing for the Jamaican economy. Cocolapalm is sold out for several periods of time including right now. I was looking at their livestream yesterday and it looked packed and I know other places are sold out too. Negril is coming back and I can't wait for next week to experience the "old Negril" once again...right around 50 flights a day is amazing.

  8. #8
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    I want to thank everyone who has piped in on this thread. It is really helpful, and absolutely true! There is nowhere "like" Negril anywhere in the world, even now in the time of Covid. I'll be encouraging my husband to make the jump so we can enjoy our special oasis, even now!

  9. #9
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    Canadacan - I am Canadian and am booked for Feb 24th to April 23rd. Two years is LONG enough to wait.
    Irie Sue


  10. #10
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    Re: Should We Go, or Should We Stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePachenas View Post
    We are heading down at end of January -- and really hope we will be able to make it.

    Omicron is most certainly in Jamaica. It's just too prevalent now where the majority of tourists come from.

    There are too many leaks in the system:

    • no mandatory vaccinations for tourists.
    • tests up to 72 hours before arrival mean more opportunity for virus to be contracted post test.
    • the fact that rapid antigen tests are allowed, and the higher number of false negatives from those tests -- especially in the early stages of infection when the viral loads are increasing.
    We were planning to be there January 9 to 28 but..... I have to agree. There are too many leaks in the system. I would hate to arrive in Negril to find out I have been infected on our way in. The fact that our flight was modified from a non-stop from Ottawa to MoBay to include a stop-over in Toronto made me feel even more uncomfortable. Also the latest advice from the Gov't of Canada is to "Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice."
    In November we had the impression we were getting near the end of this pandemic but now I feel we have gone back to December 2020.
    So, it was a VERY hard decision but we canceled yesterday. Not that our heart didn't want to go but our head won that debate. That's me but everyone decides what's good for them.

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