I was married in Negril in 1990, and have been to JA many times in the 80's. My wife and I love the place, although its been a long 18 years since we've been.
Yes, there are safety concerns and its best to stay on the property after hours, but I never felt threatened during the day.
You definitely must catch sunsets at Rick's Cafe (maybe Rick's is now Jake's?) and if Jenny's Cakes is still around you got to try her bannana bread.
I never took the bus to the resorts from Montego, but instead chose to travel by taxi and get the local flavor. Ask for Cadillac Charlie, and if he's retired I'm sure his 1980's Caddy is being driven by one of his offspring.
Don't buy any contraband at the airport and keep your wits about you as the airport can be a bit hairy once you've landed and are coming to grips with your new surroundings.
Have a good one mon!