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“A little bit of Paradise (drinks included)”

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Royal Decameron Club Caribbean
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2005

We stayed from 2/26/05 to 3/5/05. Day 1 – Yes it is almost 2 hours from the Montego Bay Airport, but worth the trip. When we arrived at the RD I was ready to do battle after reading all the reviews of overbooking but was surprised to find that all was not as I had heard. We quickly checked into our Garden View Cabana, the air conditioner did not work but it was quickly remedied. Beautiful accommodations in a quiet Garden setting with a Banana tree directly in front of our Cabana. We went to checkout the property and quickly arrived at the beach, a bit pebbly but overall a beautiful stretch of beach (we did not go to walk the beach but to enjoy the sun). Afterwards we discovered the bar by the pool, the center of most of the action here. A great list of specialty drinks is on the menu over the center of the bar (try one or all or ask for anything in between). If you plan to stay near the bar all day long a tip to the bartender when you receive your first drink will make sure that when your drink is almost empty a new one will be available without asking.
Day 2 to 7 – Arose at 7 and wandered over to the buffet and was surprised to find that all the breakfast trimmings were ready, along with good coffee, teas and breads. From there we went directly to the pool and staked out our lounges, it wasn’t long before the entertainment committee was actively hunting for guests to join them in the pool for aerobics. Then it was pool volleyball and then the games began. There was always a contest of some sort going on and the entertainment committee was looking for volunteers (don’t be afraid it was always harmless fun). Lunch is from noon to 2 and by this time I was well past my first drink. Although the food was not the Best I had ever had, there was always something tasty to try. By 4:30 I was ready for a shower and a change of clothes by 6:30 we were back at the bar (the bartender remembered us and our drinks were ready when we arrived, this went on all week). Dinner was served from 7 to 9, followed by either music or the entertainment committee looking for more victims. (they got us twice and both times we had a blast).
Day 8 – We sadly said our goodbyes to the staff that took so good care of us for the past week. We had to leave but the week was better than I had anticipated and we promised to return.
One warning, when going shopping in Ocho Rios beware of the flea market, they will follow you until you buy something, then they all have something different to sell you. If you can avoid the Flea Market do so, unless you like that sort of experience. Do not forget to haggle over prices.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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11  Thank itoledo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,342 - 3,348 of 3,869 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
romeoville,illinois
118
Reviewed 25 April 2005

We stayed 4/1-4/5 and it was absolutely perfect! From the time we got there till the time we left. When we first checked in I admit I was a little worried, especially when they told me my cabana wasn't ready. The other couple we were traveling with got there room right away. They told us it would be ready in a little bit, and to just go wait in our friends room. So after that we were approached by one of the workers that gave us drinks. COOL!!!
We went to our friends room and as soon as we walked in the room there phone rang and it was the desk telling us that our room was ready. (What a relief!) we stayed right next door to our friends. We had a gardenview cabana (#129) It was so nice! Very clean and roomy!!!!!!!! A/c worked great!!!!!!!
The first place we went to after dropping our stuff off was the bar!!!!!The bar tenders are great!!!! The cup size is small though that they give you. Your best bet is to order 4 drinks at a time. Trust me you take care of your bar tenders they do take care of you. They do have cigarettes that they will give you at the bar. But they only give you a cigarette or two, and they are not regular brands. They have the gift shop that sells cigarettes but they are expensive. Best bet is to stop off at those duty free shops in the airport and by your smokes there. I think there like 18.00 a carton.
The entertainment was good especially the guys at night that would sit right by the bar and play. We got a cd off of them and it's great. It was really nice that during the day they would try and get people to participate in what ever they were doing. The one day they were doing a beer drinking contest. i WON BEER QUEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yEA!
The restaurants were good. It was nice that you could try a variety of food. Every day the food was diffrent.but good.
The beach was good. Alot of diffrent activities to do. We did the paddle boats which was nice because when we were out we got to take some good pictures of the resort. Also we were able to do some snorkeling. That was my first time. I do recommend that you do get water shoes because there are some spots in the water that the coral is a little rough. Other than that it was great.
We did do some excursions. We went to dunns water falls. All I have to say is it a must do. It's beautiful, as well as refreshing. But go as early as possible because it does get busy. I think we took the 8:30 am bus, and after we were done climbing the falls as we were leaving that's when everyone started to arrive. The next excursion we took was to ocho rios for shopping. We only stayed two hours but it was not a pleasent shopping experience. Every time you turn around people are trying to sell you something or if your a girl like me they want to braid your hair. Just tell them your all right. Also don't make eye contact, because if you look the slight bit interested they'll keep pestering you. I had my sun glasses on so they couldn't see my eyes.
These are just some of the things that we did. Of course theres alot more.But bottom line we had a really good time. Your vacation is what you make of it. Reviews are helpful but don't let the negative ones rain on your parade.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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18  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2005

My Husband and I became "Jamaicans" from April 18 - April 22.

After tons of research and becoming a frequent reader of these reviews, I booked our stay with our travel agent for Royal Decameron Club Caribbean (RDCC). We requested an Oceanview room with our travel agent and specifically requested one on the West side of the resort (further away from the front of the resort and the roadway).

I asked our travel agent a few weeks before we left why it seemed that so many people seem to not get the rooms they request and/or have to wait. She said that the reason is because they don't book their trip with a travel agent. Also, getting to their room late - well, considering check-in time isn't until 3 pm. They have a late check-in so that the rooms can be ready. This might not be right 100% of the time, but I'll accept that explination. Especially since I didn't personally meet anyone down there who had this problem.

We arrived on Monday, April 18 at about 3 pm, Jamaican time. Our luggage was unloaded and we were shown up to the reservation desk and handed 2 rum punch drinks (very tasty and refreshing!). The desk clerk went over all the details of the resort with us (like where to eat, when to eat, etc.) and sent us to our room (Oceanview 76 - BEAUTIFUL!!!).

The room is VERY simple - why waste money on a luxurious room? You sleep and change there... that's it! There was a HUGE bed, a TV, two chairs, a vanity and a lamp. All you really need! It would have been nice to have a clock - we brought an alarm clock and spent most of the week wondering what time it was because we couldn't seem to decide if we lost an hour or not... my suggestion... take a watch and change it while you are checking in. There is a clock on the wall behind the desk... a perfect chance to get on "Jamaican Time". But, on vacation -- does time really matter!?

Monday evening, after relaxing in the room for an hour or so, we went to the Jetty/Swing Bar after dinner where we met George, the best bartender in the world. He's funny, makes killer drinks (ask for the George of the Jungle special - to die for!!!) and willing to answer questions about Jamaican ways. After two drinks each, my husband and I were bombed and needed to head back to the room - it was 8 pm. (Lame for some twenty-somethings!!!!)

Tuesday morning was overcast, so we decided to hang out in front of our cottage after breakfast at the Pick a Pepper. The Scrambled eggs were a little runny, but I've seen the same thing happen to eggs at buffets elsewhere - if you want good eggs - visit the omlete station and have them whip you up the best omlete you'll ever eat! I ate fruit, cereal and bread for breakfast, my husband tried a little of everything and really had nothing negative to say.

The beach was nice. The more East you were on the coastline at RDCC the less waves you had. Being as far West as we were, we had some decent waves roll in. We enjoyed laying out and had no problem finding two chairs throughout the day to pull over and lay out in. People pretty much keep quiet and stay out of your way which was really nice.

Tuesday night we went to the Pick a Pepper restaurant (buffet) for dinner. The food was really good. We loved the pasta with cream sauce and the fresh fruit and veggies. After becoming sick on our honeymoon to the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) we were hesitant in chowing down. Take caution the first big meal you eat... After the first meal, you are usually good to go! The food is imported from the US and from Europe...not Antigua like in the Dominican, so it is food you are familiar with (if you are from the US or Europe). Better to be cautious then taking Immodium AD!

Wednesday, we decided to head off RDCC grounds and did the "Dunn's River Special" with TourWise (about $40/pp). They pick you up in the lobby around 8 am and you take off through Ocho Rios in a nice air conditioned bus with really big windows (for the best views...hang out on the right side of the bus). Our first stop was the Botanical Gardens at Coyba (meaning -Heaven). {SIDENOTE: Barbara Striesand and Mick Jaggar have houses along the road leading up to the Gardens.} Happy was our tour guide and was so funny and very smart. Listen up! You'll learn a TON of really neat things about the horiculture/agriculture/culture around Jamaica. After the gardens we headed to Fern Gully. A brief stop - really cool though because it seems like the trees are never ending as they reach up to the sky. We then went to the Wassi Art Factory. Having a great appreciation for this genre of art, it was amazing to see how they make the pots and vases etc. Lincoln, our Wassi Art Factory tour guide, was extremly articulate and knowledgable. He answered all my questions. These people are very talented. Make sure you buy at the factory. Otherwise you'll be spending double, maybe triple, at the gift shops. The next stop was to Gem Palace, downtown Ocho Rios, for some gift shopping. Word of advice ... buy your t-shirts here...and that's it. The Rum is over priced by about $15 and the coffee is overpriced by about $10. Instead of going into the Gem Palace (right where the bus drops you off) head across the street (carefully!!) and visit the stores there. I'll get to where to buy your coffee and rum in a bit. After shopping - we headed to Dunn's River Falls. Make sure you stop by Walmart, Target, K-mart (etc) and pick up a pair of water shoes...they are so helpful when climbing. The first two tiers of the falls are steep and a little trying. My husband and I are physically fit and completely capable of climbing rocks, and it was still very trying. After that, it gets much easier. Had we known we could have done the climb ourselves, we would have since we felt like the people beind us were hinderances and spent more of our time hauling them up the falls than actually getting up their ourselves! It was a lot of fun and absolutely beautiful. I recommend it to those who are not overweight and not young (under 6) or too old (you determine that on your own!). Take a water camera with you, when they are taking your pictures, which they sell at the end, they will also grab your camera and snap a picture with your camera as well.

After getting back to RDCC we headed out to the Jetty Bar where we were stranded for 2 hours because of an afternoon downpour... not a bad place to be - especially if George is working!!! It all paid off in the end since the rain gave way to an absolutely beautiful rainbow that streched across the ocean! Moral to this story - if it looks like the skies are going to open up...head to the Jetty Bar (also known as the Swing Bar) with a good book and your beach towels (to sit on - the swings around the bar get uncomfortable after an hour!).

Wednesday night we ate dinner at the Jasmine Delta (Thai Food). My job allows me to eat at upscale restaurants frequently - and I can honestly say that this was honestly the best food I have ever had in my entire life. They do an amazing job with the details. We started with sushi and then had a bowl of the calamari soup. My husband had the Calamari and Rice and I had the Chickenstuffed with mushrooms and sweet white onions with a sweet Peach sauce (I really wish I could remember the actual dish names). Again, after a long day in the sun, drinking - we were in bed at 8 pm. The sound of waves puts you right to sleep - very nice!

It stormed like mad on Wednesday night - we had a little leak in our roof - nothing too bad. It was a drip,drop every so many minutes...in the morning, the puddle amounted to nothing! Again, what can you expect...It's Jamaica...not anytown USA where we have asphalt/slate-shingled roofs. These roofs are wooden shingles on beams... We chalked it up as ambiance and laughed about it in the morning. Good Times!

Thursday was the most beautiful day I have ever seen. When we woke up the ocean was a piece of glass...completely smooth. We headed out to Pick A Pepper for breakfast and then made our dinner reseravations for Nyamings (spelling?!) the Jamaican restaurant on the resort. The have two reservation times, 6:30 and 8:30. Both nights we opted for the earlier time.

We decided to hang out for awhile on our part of the beach and then headed over to the Adult pool, which was nice and quiet. They don't have a full bar there, just some beer or soda.

The resort finally lifted the Red Flag Warning (meaning the sea was rough and the water toys were unavailable) I booked a trip on the complimentary snorkling tour. Henry was our captain and he was great! I snorkled and my husband stayed back on the boat to videotape my attempts. They take you about 3 miles West to better reefs, the reefs around RDCC were destroyed by the last Hurricane. Once I got in the water it was amazing! I saw so many different types of coral (typical brain, finger, cucumbers etc.) anenames, trumpet fish with baby trumpet fish, the "dorrie" fish from Finding Nemo... The list goes on and on. It's definately something everyone should try!

Once we got back to shore, we decided to purchase our coffee and rum, since it was our last day there (our bus was picking us up at 7:30 am Friday morning). We walked outside the resort to the little groccery store at the enterance gates. It's a little questionable...but we felt safe enough. We purchased our rum and coffee for a savings of over $30 what we would have spent in Ochos Rios the day before! Buy your edibles (Rum, Rum cakes, Coffee...) there. It's so much more cost effective.

Dinner Thursday night was great, and our server - who was also our server at Jasmine Delta the night before, was so nice and sweet. (I never got his name - He's tall, soft spoken and had a shell necklace on, and super nice!).
We had Cream of Callou soup (yum!) I ordered the "Yard Fowl" {chicken with jerk sauce and mashed root vegtables} and my husband ordered the Jerk Pork. For dessert we enjoyed the cheesecake and some Blue Mountain Coffee! Delicious, once again! Throughout dinner the servers offer you white or red wine...opt for the White. It's a dry Italian wine that compliments the Spicy flavor in the jerk sauces perfectly. Delish!

We ate next to a nice couple we met from the Twin Cities. And ended up hanging out with them the rest of the night, poolside watching the Best Couple of the Week competition...which was hilarious.

Friday morning - we checked out, ate breakfast and left... only to come back to Cleveland - where it was 42 degrees with a winter storm watch. You've gotta love reality!

I would go back to RDCC a million times over, I would recommend RDCC to friends, family - random folks on the street... and I am already planning our next trip back. It was a piece of heaven for a great price. Don't let people fool you with their negativity. Some times you've gotta question their overall attitudes. You get what you put out... I loved my time there and enjoyed learning about Jamaica from the proud people of Jamaica. I never felt harassed, hustled or unsafe. Thus, I had a great trip and have very little if anything in regards to negative comments.

Don't do Sandals, Breezes or any of the other overpriced, stuffy, cookie cutter resorts on the island... do something different... Try RDCC!!!!

Please feel free to email me - once I get my pictures back - I can send them out as well. I would love to answer questions and help plan your stay!

Thanks!

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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42  Thank Megan_Seth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2005

we had a great time we were ther for 10 days from the 4 to the 13. everyone was friendly the staff was nice. the entertainment was good. the resort the very clean we made friend there. the beach could of been bigger.the bartenders were good the drinks was good. the food was great they had a good variety. it was a good vacation

  • Stayed: March 2005
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2  Thank coccomuffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2005

We suposed to get a Cabin, but when we arrived we had to wait 3 hours to get our room. Which was NOT one of the cabin we were promised. We just made to best of it and we did enjoy ourselves

2  Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
LaCrosse, WI
18
Reviewed 19 April 2005

I would recommend this place for anyone who is looking for a nice/cheap/relaxing vacation. It was enjoyable listening to live music every afternoon and being able to participate in daily/nightly activities. This is a wonderful honeymoon vacation place or for a family vacation. Not a good place for spring-breakers. I found it very enjoyable and it was nice that the people remember your name night after night.

  • Stayed: May 2004
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Republic, Mo
19
Reviewed 18 April 2005

We just got back Sunday. Stayed 4-10 thru 4-16. When we arrived we had read many reviews about getting a room on time but, there was a big group from Wis. and they had about half not get their rooms. So when we finally got up to check in they handed our keys and sent us on our way to the room. It was beautiful there. Everyone was so friendly (staff and guest), the food was great although the eggs at the buffet were a little to runny for my liking, and the drinks were wonderful. Every bartender had their own special drink which was great. I would go back next year if I could, even next month. I read a review about snorkeling and it said that it was no good. I have to say that when we went out we saw a bus that had been sunk and the fish that swam around it were beautiful. The price that we paid for this trip was well worth our money.

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Club Caribbean

Address: Main Street Runaway Bay, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: £123 - £169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Club Caribbean 3*
Number of rooms: 231
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Runaway Bay about an hour from Montego Bay International Airport, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is located in one of the most beautiful and picturesque place of the island, populated by friendly and happy people. This hotel's architecture offers incredible paths through the gardens and terraces until you reach the 2 swimming pools, one exclusively for adults and another with all the facilities for children. This hotel also has a long dock for sunbathing. The cottage-style rooms bring a tropical environment and let you enjoy the peace of the beach where you can partake in a large variety of water sports. Its restaurants offer many different types of cuisine which range from typical Jamaican flavors to the exquisite tastes of Asian food. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Hotel Caribbean
Royal Decameron Jamaica
Royal Decameron Caribbean
Royal De Cameron
Club Caribbean Jamaica
Decameron Jamaica Royal
Caribbean Club Decameron Royal
Club Decameron Jamaica Royal
Royal Decameron Club Caribbean Jamaica
Royal Decameron Club Jamaica

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