Here are some answers to Negril's Frequently Asked Questions. 

 

What Language is spoken by Jamaican's? 

The official language of Jamaica is English, although many residents speak Jamaican Patios which is a mix of English, African, Indian, Spanish and slang. 

What Time Zone is Jamaica? 

Jamaica is Eastern Standard time, although they do not participate in day light savings time. So during day light savings time they are an hour behind. 

Can I rent a car in Negril? 

Jamaican's drive on the left-hand side of the road. There are many things to consider before renting a car. Potholes, animals, and quick passing cars are common place. You may want to go to Negril a few times before deciding to rent a vehicle. You can rent vehicles by the day or week around most resorts. Mopeds, scooters, bikes, and motorcycles as well as cars and jeeps can all be rented.


Can I drink the water?

Yes you can drink the water straight from the tap in Jamaica. The water is from the mountain springs and is chlorinated. I drink the water from the tap every time there and have never had any problems. Although when traveling outside the larger cities be a little more cautious as flooding has caused contamination in more rural area's, and many outside of the cities still use well water, boreholes, or water direct from rivers and springs. *See link on Negril Links page.


 

What type current do they use? 

Electricity is the similar to the US; they use 110 volts, 50 cycles, using the same receptacles as us. Although you may notice that your appliances may run a little cooler and slower than at home, due to the US having 120volts, 60 cycles. *see link on Negril link page.

 


Are there ATM's In Negril?

Yes. There are a few in Hotels, but the ones everyone goes to are at Scotia bank at the round about. It dispenses money in JMD.


Should I change my money before I go down?

It used to be that you could get a good exchange rate using USD at many stores and restaurants. Not so anymore. There are many Cambio's along the beach road. Also stores like Hi-Lo will dispense all change in JMD. ATM's at the round about dispense JMD as stated above. Many places will be more than happy to take USD. Take many small bills with you as many places will not be able to make change. It is also great to use as tip money. 


What is the attitude towards homosexuals in Jamaica?

 

Jamaica is an adamantly homophobic nation. Homosexual intercourse between men is illegal, and anti-gay hysteria is a staple of musical lyrics. Homosexuality is a subject that evokes extreme reactions among Jamaicans, and it is difficult to hold a serious discussion on the topic. 
Most Jamaican gays are still in the closet. Nonetheless, many hoteliers are gay or gay-tolerant, and you should not be put off from visiting the island. Just don't expect to be able to display your sexuality openly without an adverse reaction. 

Can I sunbathe topless or nude in Negril?

 

Topless sunbathing is allowable all along Seven Mile beach. Nude sunbathing is usually kept to private coves on the West End cliffs, sections of Booby Cay and a very small section of Bloody Beach. Hedonism II, Couples Negril, Grand Lido Negril, Point Village Resort, Firefly, Carib Beach Apartments and some resorts on the West End have either clothing optional or nude beaches.


Will the vendors always bother me?

Well the vendors along the beach are trying to earn a living, like most of us. They will try to sell you everything, literally. A simple "no thanks" is usually all that is needed. Sometimes they will persist. Don't try to be kind with a "maybe later" or "I don't have my money on me" because they will persist even harder if you give them an inch. Show them respect and "no thank you. I don't want anything." Period.


Are there grocery stores?

At long last, Negril has a shopping mall to equal the ones found in Mo Bay or Ocho Rios. It's the Time Square Mall, lying on Norman Manley Boulevard across from the much-frequented nightclub Bourbon Beach (formerly De Buss). More than a dozen duty-free shops and souvenir stores await you, including a courtyard cafe. 

This mall offers Negril's best selection of watches (from Chaumet to Patek Philippe), jewelry (including some from the collections of Chopard and Miki-moto), and gifts and accessories such as a wide assortment of pens and writing instruments. Crafts are sold here, along with perfumes, books, cigarettes, cigars, film, liquor, dresses, and Blue Mountain coffee. The first and only cigar store in Negril is also here, with a walk-in humidor, selling genuine Habanos or Cuban cigars. Jamaican cigars are also sold. A new shopping plaza is being built as I write this. Opening soon come. 

If you have a housekeeping or self-catering apartment, you can pick up groceries at Value Master or the Hi-Lo Grocery Store in the Hi-Lo Shopping Centre on West End Road. If you need to buy in bulk, say cases of beer, soda, water go to Negril Cash and Carry in White Swan Plaza. They are a wholesale distributor. If you are staying on the west end road along the cliffs then you have two choices in larger markets. M&L market near Sam Sara, and Wise Choice Market near Tensing Pen. There are also many small grocery stores along both the beach and west end road.  Here's your chance to enjoy Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaican spices, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. 

Just off Norman Manley Boulevard, as you head south into Negril Village, you come upon the Negril Crafts Market. A collection of shacks, this is the largest center for crafts in the area, though they're sold virtually everywhere, including along the Beach. Woodcarvings, beds, jewelry, and other items fill the market. Haggling is expected; begin by offering half the price you're quoted. 

The worst shopping is at the overpriced boutiques found at first-class hotels, especially the all-inclusives. But they come in handy when you're seeking postcards, souvenirs, suntan lotion, or swimwear in a pinch. 

Other vendors can be found at Fi Wi Plaza on West End Road, between a traffic circle and "Sunshine Village." The most expensive (but not always best) crafts are sold at Rutland Point Market in the north of Negril. 


Is there prostitution in Negril?

 

Yes. Although it is not legal. You will see many men and women looking to show you love. Many beautiful women will surround single men at the clubs, and single women will receive the same treatment from the local men. If you're single, it will be assumed that you're on the island seeking a 'likkle love beneat' de palms.' Any remonstration to the contrary will likely be met with wearying attempts to get you to change your mind. Black women can expect to hear a 'roots' trip. 

If you go along with the flirting, don't expect a Jamaican man to understand if you've no intent of going all the way. Your innocent acceptance will be taken as a sign of acquiescence. The Jamaican male has a fragile ego and is likely to react strongly to feeling like a fool. Don't beat about the bush for fear of hurting the man's feelings. 

Many foreign women welcome these advances, as evidenced by the proliferation of 'rent-a-Rasta's' - semiprofessional good-time guys, or gigolos - on the arms of North American and European women. Most often, the man is excited more by your economic clout than your looks - a foreign catch brings status and the possibility for wheedling some cash. You'll be the moneybags in any romantic encounter. 


 Are women treated as equals there?

 

'Political correctness' hasn't yet filtered down from the educated Jamaican middle class to the male masses. Many Jamaican men display behavior and attitudes that might shock visiting women, often expressing disdain for the notion of female equality or women's rights. Rape is possible in Jamaica, and occasionally involves female. Many times people traveling as a couple will find that most transactions and conversations will be directed at the male. It's not out of disrespect for the female; it's just what they are accustomed to.


Is there anything for kids to do in Negril?

 

If you have kids in tow, there are plenty of activities to keep them occupied. From waterfalls to water sports, Negril has much to offer. Parasailing, jet skis, banana boat rides, glass bottom boats, snorkeling, rhino tours, and natural lazy rivers can all be found in or near Negril. Kool Runnings Water Park is across from the Beaches Negril Resort. 

 

 Are there poisonous snakes? 

Oddly enough no. Jamaica shipped in mongoose to kill off rats long ago. Jamaica does have the Jamaican yellow boa, which are rare.

 

 Are there crocodiles?

Jamaica is home to the American Crocodile. They used to inhabit the morass in Negril, but I cannot find one recent sighting. Typically they can be found in Black River of the St. Elizabeth, but they have been found all along the south coast from Westmoreland to Portland point. With a small population of crocodiles found on the north coast from Hanover to Trelawney. *See link on Negril Links page

 

 

  Is there anything in the ocean I should be careful of? 


Always shuffle your feet while wading in so as to not step on Stingrays. Also be careful of Sea Urchins. As their spines can break off and stick into your feet. While snorkeling be careful of fire coral. Although there are many different varieties of this coral, all are edged in white. Always stay away from Scorpion fish. With feathery spines around it's back and side this fish looks dangerous. Also dangerous is the Barracuda. This silver fish with sharp teeth can be found in deeper water snorkeling and scuba diving.  Sea Lice or Sea Bathers Eruption caused by the larvae of the Thimble Jellyfish is also a concern. * For more information see the link on Negril Link's page.

 

 

  Are there sand fleas? 


Yes. As the sand cools at night the sand fleas come out. Wear deet, or whatever you feel works, for both mosquitoes and sand flees. Many larger resorts spray the sand for sand fleas.