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Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Rosedale, Canada
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Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Hi everyone:

Hubby and I recently vacationed in Akumal Bay (Mexico) with what we thought was some of the best off beach snorkeling we have done.

Now,I'm starting to research for our next trip which probably won't be until late in the year, or even early 2010. As a bit of background, we love to try different countries but every few years feel the need to go back to Jamaica. I first went there over thirty years ago(ouch, really showing my age LOL) and at that time, Negril was so undeveloped , and even MoBay wasn't super touristy.I have even stayed in the country with a Jamaican family of modest means and seen bugs the size of which I've never seen since, and had the BEST time and the BEST homecooked Jamaican food.

So here we are in 2009 and of course the priorities shift with age and now some slight mobility problems(ie hip replacements for me, knee for hubby). But here's the rub - we are both still reasonably decent swimmers once we can get in the water of course ha ha and still love to snorkel. We tried Club Ambiance at Runaway Bay in 2006, and the snorkeling wasn't bad, but the water was way too shallow for a good ways out, and if there was a current, getting back to shore without cutting oneself was a challenge.

I would really appreciate some suggestions that at least tick some our boxes regarding the following.

- An AI resort (otherwise we spend too much on wine and rum LOL) that isn't a mega resort and not too expensive so that we can have some meals off resort.

- On or near a beach with some snorkeling - I realize this is a tall order. Would Point village be one to consider?

- Some Jamaican food on the menu.Obviously they have to cater to different nationalities, but the odd meal of ackee and saltfish, rice and peas and curried goat would be awesome!

- A pool would be a must. As much as we love the ocean, we also love to take a dip in the pool wherever we stay.

Years ago we stayed at Negril Gardens which I believe is now Grand Pineapple Beach. I would discount this. Nothing really wrong with the hotel, but Norman Manley Blvd is way busy, and the pool is on the Garden side.

Sooo sorry. Please forgive my long windedness.

Thank you so much.

Judy

P.S. In case anyone out there recommends the Catarmaran tours for snorkeling, it would really depend on whether they have the roll down type steps that are very easy to get on/off (you just swim level with the steps and sit down on them) or the set of steps that you need good leverage and upper body strength to hoist yourself up ( which I don't have)

Deadwood, South...
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1. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Yes, I think you would like Point Village or Sunset at the Palms.

I will let someone else answer about the catamarans. I've only been on ones where you have to hoist yourself up a little ways out of the water, but have always been helped on and off by the gentlemen driving the catamarans.

Spokane, WA
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2. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

SATP is across the street from the beach. That being said SATP's beach is on Bloody Bay, which is real calm. We stayed there in October of 2007 and absolutely loved it.

We are taking the kids in August and have decided to spend a week on the cliffs and then we are headed down to Point Village, if you choose Point Village watch for a sale on Expedia or something, we booked for 150.00 a night for 4, granted kids are free and we have 2 but that is one heck of a steal for an all inclusive. They have 3 rock pools and at least one fresh water pool. There are some cool caves that we kayaked from SATP to Rutland Point (Point Village) last time. Also the snorkeling in the area is great.

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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3. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Due to the time frame you're considering, I'd like to Suggest one of the Grand Lido properties. Both Grand Lidos are becoming Breezes properties as of Nov. 1 and they're having some amazing deals during the month of Nov. Breezes Rio Bueno (Grand Lido Braco) is like $1500/week and Breezes Grand Negril is like $1,700-1,800. I'm fairly sure both of these properties offer snorkeling excursions included in the rate. Both have nice pools (Rio Bueno is better) and good beaches (Negril is much better). Both have superior food and beverages for all-inclusives. These resorts are bigger than some of what's been mentioned, but nice sized for the facilities...nothing like some of the mega ai's that've been cropping up all along the North Coast.

Myrtle Beach,SC
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4. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Hubby and I stayed at Grand Lido Braco a few years ago and were severely dissapointed in the snorkeling as we barely saw any fish at all from the beach and even on the boat trip still really didn't see very many, so I would not go there if that is one of your main things you like to do, we usually go at least once a day while in Jamaica. We will be staying at Grand Lido Negril this year in August and have heard that the snorkeling here will be just fine and that bloody bay is usually pretty calm so their should be plenty to see just off of the beach.

Rosedale, Canada
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5. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Thanks to all who replied with suggestions.

I am going to have great fun checking all these places out. Merrill's II looks interesting, as it is inexpensive and seems fairly central for bars and other restaurants (I think) but if I am wrong would someone please correct me. I realize there is no snorkeling right at that beach, but would it be feasible to take a cab to Bloody Bay or...?

Many thanks again for all the help.

Judy

Deadwood, South...
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6. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

Would have suggested Merril's, because you really cannot beat the price, but Merril's is located by Grand Pineapple, which is on Long Bay. Check out negrilonestop.com. They have a special at Merril's for $128 a couple, oceanview rooms. Also check out the website negriinfo.com where there is a very informative map(Negril May 2008). That will give you a better understanding of where Bloody Bay is in relationship to Long Bay. Also a section about the different resorts and hotels in Negril.

Yes, you can take a take a taxi anywhere in Negril. Have never taken a taxi to Bloody Bay from Long Bay (only walked it), so can't answer that, but somebody else will surely know what the price would be.

7. Re: Maybe I'm getting ready for a Jamaica fix . Advice please!

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