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“Wedding at RDCC, most amazing trip of my life!”

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Royal Decameron Club Caribbean
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 August 2010

I had the trip of a lifetime at RDCC! The following is a fair and complete review of the good and bad of this fantastic resort, including the wedding possibilities for those of you thinking about a wedding here. It isn't all perfect, but the flaws make it authentic, and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it! So, where to begin.

You are greeted at the check-in counter with a glass of fruit punch, non-alcoholic. Many people have problems getting the room they reserved, but I and my travel agent took extra precautions to make sure that wouldn't happen to us. It still did for one of my 14 reservations (we had a big party). We were showed to our ocean front cottage after about an hour and a half delay due to housekeeping. The unfortunate thing is we had to wait at the bar and by the beach for that time, so that was pretty bad :) . The room was simple, colorful bedspread, but simple, right on par for a 3-star resort. The bed was rather ruff! Outside our room, about 10 feet was the ocean, so amazing! The view was incredible! For the group of our party that was bumped from the cottage to the hotel style room, worse things could have happened. Let me tell you, the location is behind the employee area, but the gardens in that area were nothing short of breathtaking. Look at my pics. The property is huge, and very spread out. Anywhere you get put is a long walk to anywhere else. So, whether you choose the garden view or ocean view cottage, or single/double room, you will not be disappointed as long as you don't expect perfection! I mean come on, you are in a third-world country, and you still get 3-star luxury. If that isn't good enough for you, go somewhere else. You won't be happy here. The hotel style room was the same inside as the cottages were, and they were so happy with the room and the view and the gardens there that they opted not to even bother trying to change rooms. Spread out all over the property are random surprises, as the gigantic property is like a huge maze, and you can easily get lost in the garden areas. You will be walking along, and suddenly come across a soccer field, or a tree hammock, or a life-sized chess board, or even, an adult pool complete with a bar. It feels like a safari going around the property, although it is well maintained and the gardens everywhere were beautiful... look at the pics. It was so awesome finding something new each time you go exploring the property. The suites next to the adult pool were stunning rooms! They were 5-star style, complete with floor to ceiling windows, balconies, incredible views! Perfect for picky travelers! Only one of my party got one, but it was the mafia room, the high roller room! So awesome!

Ok, now lets talk about the beach and ocean! The beaches are all man made. And these man-made beaches are so beautiful, see pics. They have taken an area with no beach space, made jetty's and back-filled sand to create 4 individual coves. Everyday the beaches are combed, and the debris (seaweed) removed. It is flawless each time you wake up.... unless it is the day following a huge rainstorm, which may very well happen. The ocean is turquoise blue, and the sand is barefoot friendly. The water does get murky or cloudy after rain or heavy surf. Each cove has a mass of lounge chairs, and in addition to the jetty bar, there is 3 other jetty's and a brand new ocean-front bar on one end of the property and an ocean-front grill on the other (in jasmine delta restaurant). Each cove offers different swimming, lounging, beach game, or private time opportunities. Pick your cove based on your mood! Great great great ocean beaches!

So, lets discuss the food! Breakfast.... great! They have daily an omelet bar, pancake/waffle bar, abundant fresh fruit, and a section of local specialties for the Andrew Zimmern in you. It runs from early to about 11 ish. Lunch is where you would find your food disappointment if you let little things bother you. There is a sandwich bar with resentful, disingenuous staff running it. Your sandwich will resemble a muddled mess, topped off with hate and maybe onions and tomatoes. But it was tasty! The same fruit, and a salad bar are still offered and the local specialties still test your bravery if you choose. Dinners shine, sparkle, and absolutely rock! You have a choice of eating the buffet, or reserving space at the open restaurant (only one of the two are open, they alternate nights). The buffet is ok. It is buffet food, right on par with what you would expect for buffet food. The restaurants are so amazing though, we made reservations almost every night we were there. The lamb rack at Nyamings was the best I have ever ate, and the menu has too many great options to choose easily. The chicken dishes at Jasmine Delta were so awesome! Jasmine offered beach-side outdoor dining, while Nyamings was a dark, candle-lit intimate atmosphere where you feel under-dressed each time, although there is no dress code. Both were great! There is even a grill serving burgers, dogs, and pizza until 1am. We called it second dinner.... or third dinner.... Food at this resort.... not a problem! It is great, and you always have an option!

So, the entertainment! Each night is a massive 3-hour show put on by the fun crew and the RDCC Dancers. You will not be on property long enough to see the different things they do, and they are great entertainers! AND TALENTED! Holy crap! At times, they do tend to be overbearing and pushy. They like to put you on stage and humiliate you, but it's all in good fun. Each night, they give a champagne toast to everybody going home the next morning. If you have nothing better to do come nightfall, the show they put on is great, and so much fun to watch! They also run activities and shows, and music all day long. The fun crew never sleeps, I mean it. Those guys are up later than you, and before you, every day, with a smile. They make the resort come alive. You guys were awesome. Frisky can do a great Micheal Jackson too!

So, I was married at RDCC. It was a painless venture! Dianne is who you will be dealing with. You don't need to worry about a thing until you show up and plan your wedding with her. Your package comes with the Priest, cake reception, and a message. The beaches are not ideal for a beach wedding, but we still made it work. Otherwise, you have the option of anywhere on the property to hold the wedding, and they really bend over backward to meet your wishes and make the experience memorable. Dianne is great and weddings here are perfect! She makes it so easy and painless!

And now the important part, the booze! There are 5 bars on the property, running from 10am to 2am. The drinks are nothing to take lightly either. They use real, freshly opened bottles or name-brand alcohol, and they use a-lot of it! If you want to be drunk, you will be. Only one beer choice though, I'm sure you can figure out which one that is. So, drinks 6 stars on a 5 star scale!

Now the staff! Hit or miss. Some resent tourists, and it shows. Others instantly become your best friends and remember you by name. It depends, but don't lets the crappy staff detour you, because the good staff are awesome people. Make friends with George at the Jetty bar, and he will treat you right! Of coarse tips sway opinions, just like back home. Tip those who do good by you, and don't the rest. No big deal.

There are downsides to this property, and you will learn them over the course of your stay. But I personally would not change one bit of my trip to the RDCC and I intend to get back there as soon as I can. If you expect 5-star American style over the top luxery, do not come here. If you love simple, authentic, easy atmosphere resorts where you feel welcome and have an open-enough mind to love your stay, you will not find a better place. I promise! This is my second trip to the island, but this is by far the best possible property I could imagine staying at! I hate pretentious resorts. This one is beautiful, low key, 3-star, and so so perfect for my tastes! Thanks for the trip of my life RDCC!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank jscar022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,323 - 2,329 of 3,885 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2010

We have just come back from a 2 week stay at this resort and I would have no problem in recommending this place to anybody
All the staff were helpful and friendly and the fun crew got you to join in with the fun and games IF you wanted to. All the water sports were included and the facility's kept in good order. Our daughter celebrated her 9th birthday whilst we were there and it was on there independence day which of course was a big celebration for all the locals and staff but they still found time to do her a cake and get her up on the stage to sing her happy birthday.
We did several trips whilst there including Port Antonio, Dunn's falls, Blue Mountain cycle tour, tubing river trip, horse riding and Dolphin bay, out of all these trips the only one that I would not recommend is Dolphin bay which was very expensive for little return, poorly run and every thing was an add on with pictures THEY have to take costing up to $50 in a frame.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank Mowly_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

There is always a "but", isn't there?

We stayed at the Royal Decameron for a week and overall had a great time. We had booked and paid for an ocean front cabana. When we got there they stuck us back near the main road that overlooked the "ghetto". They told us this was an upgrade from an ocean front cabana - yeah right! We heard dogs barking all night and cars driving by. Every time my husband and I would go complain the first two nights they would say, "no problem" but didn't do anything about it. We had to get down right mean with them to get the room we paid for. So that started off our vacation on a sour note. Then we took free snorkeling tour at the resort. I don't know if it was the time of year or just bad luck, but the snorkeling off of the resort wasn't very good. And their boat broke down so we had to swim back in to the beach - not fun! But other than that we had an uneventful stay.

The service was just ok. We are used to going to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico which have amazing service. The workers at the Royal Decameron were courteous, but didn't go out of their way to help us. The rooms were always cleaned well and there were plenty of chairs and beach available. The food was always good. They had a wide selection of food and lots of good coffee to drink in the morning. Entertainment was good, love the Jamaican music!

We did a tour of the black river, YS falls, rum plant and lunch at a plantation. It was an all-day bus ride but you really get to see Jamaica and I highly recommend it. The luminous lagoon was also fun to see! Don't pay for the shopping tour, they take you on a bus and drop you off in a shopping mall that is just for tourists... like cattle in a fence. They chased us around each store trying to get us to buy jewelry and handbags.

Anyway, all-in-all it was a good trip with our family, but I am not so sure we'd go back to the same resort again.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank KevinandKelin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

We have just got back from two weeks at the Decameron. We were a little worried both about the reviews here on the hotel and generally the foreign office advice re Jamaica. We loved it, who says that the Jamaicans aren't friendly theys IRIE MON!!! That means great for those who haven't had the pleasure of Jamaica yet. The hotel has its faults the food can be a little repetitve at times but you can have unlimited access to the restauratns were you are served, would recommend both the steak and pork at the Jasmine. The rooms are a little weird with an upstairs if more than 2 of you you may need to think about this if travelling with children. I am sure that the hotel has a solution , we had a few problems with air con but this was fixed immediately .
If you want to experience Jamaica without 5 star luxury the Decameron is friendly and fun with good service, especially try the Jetty Bar and meet George and ask him to play the Big Bamboo song. Dunns river a must! IRIE MON, NO PROBLEM JAMAICA AND DECAMERON , would recommend +++

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank cath1911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

It is a long, hot bus ride from the airport, but when you arrive at the resort you are met by big friendly smiles, helpful staff and a cold glass of fruit punch. It is worth mentioning that at this point you get cards to get beach towels and it is worth getting a safe key for your room, something like $2 a day.
My first impression after driving past all of the plush resorts (and having read the negative reviews on here) was, Oh no they were right. But boy was I wrong! We were taken to our ocean front cottage rooms, we had number 24, right down by the Jasmine Delta (the asian fusion restaurant, which by the way doubles as the snack grill in the afternoon) on the way all of the staff were smiling and welcoming us.
The rooms were basic and clean, if you are looking for clinical, pristine rooms then you are in the wrong place. These rooms are well worn, but serviceable. No there are no fridges or tea/coffee making facilities in the room, but you get a 2 litre bottle of water each day and there are plenty of places to get drinks throughout the day. You won't need to take towels, there are plenty in your room and housekeeping will gladly bring more, just ask. There is a hairdryer in the bathroom. The beds are huge and comfortable, despite them being what appears to be a concrete plinth with a mattress on. You want more pillows? just ask.
The food - buffet style, plenty of choice, for breakfast their is the choice of, cooked breakfast, pancakes waffles, egss, omelettes, bacon etc.... their is toast, a selection of chesse and cooked meats, a huge selection of fresh fruit, cereals, porridge, 5 different fruit juices. Lunch and evening meal had as big a selection, with hot meals, salad bars and desserts. The A'la carte restaurants are open on alternate evenings, you have to book, but is still all inclusive, Jasmine Delta - Asian fusion, food is very nice and they give you different things to try, sushi etc. Nyamings - The Jamican fusion, is good too, but some of the food is very similar to the Asian with a different sauce, still worth a visit. The snack grill is open 12-5 and serves basic burgers, pizzas, fries etc....
There is entertainment on by the main pool every night, Friday night is Jamaican night with a beach party, if you don't want to be dragged up, sit up at the jetty bar and watch from a safe distance. The bar tenders make some wicked cocktails, especially George on the Jetty. There are slushy type machines on the bars, try the Pina Colada with rum.
The adult pool is just that, no children, very quiet and a good bar.
The beaches are clean and the beach attendants keep them that way, there are several manmade coves, good for snorkelling and there are areas when you can swim out into the open sea, safely within the watchful eye of the lifeguard.
Plenty of watersports, all included, pedaloes, catamaran, banana boat, glass bottom boat, water skiing and more.
We travelled with Thomson/First choice and our rep Amaril was brilliant and super helpful. We went on 2 trips, shopping in Ocho Rios, which was a bit daunting to start with, the bus dropped us in the middle of town and came to pick us back up later, if you are feeling very brave, go to the craft market, it looked brilliant, we weren't brave enough and went across the road to the tourist shopping area. Our other trip was the reggae and culture, which is highly recommended, the bus takes you on a tour of the villages up in the hills and then to nine miles, to the Bob Marley museum (one thing to take note of.... when you drive into the complex at nine mile, there is a 'weed window' they sell bags and joints, apparently it is legal to buy and smoke within the walls, our guide said if you see a policeman you can just blow smoke in their faces, worth knowing if this sort of thing offends) try and get Captain Crazy for your tour guide, he is amazing, from there we went to a revialist church (make sure you have some money for the collection plate), then to the best jerk joint in town :) Our tour guide Namaste was excellent, her and the driver were trying to teach us Patois :)
We had an amazing holiday, we just went for the week with our grown up children 18 and 21, as we were leaving everyone said goodbye, they ask when you are coming home :) we got back today and we are already planning our trip back there next year.....for 2 weeks this time!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank Weatherwax70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

On arrival we were greeted with a very nice fruit cocktail. We were shown to our rooms, which were 2 garden chalets which were interconnecting - one for us and one for the children. They are very basic but very clean and have everything you need except tea making facilities. I wake before everyone else and like to have a quiet cuppa before they all get up !.
The beach is stunning and cleaned early every morning. The food is great and plentiful with a good variety of dishes. The entertainment team work very hard to keep everyone happy and were great fun. The staff couldnt do enough for you and are on hand to help you with anything. My son had something in his ear while we were there (some small part of a toy he had put in it ages ago we think). He was in tremendous pain and the staff were amazing. We had to go to a doctor outside of the hotel in the end, but he couldnt get it out. So the hotel arranged a taxi for my husband to take him all the way to Montego Bay where they sorted it out. While they were gone (about 4 hours) the staff made sure me and my other 2 children were well looked after.
The grounds are well tended with some beautiful flowers and wildlife - we even saw a humming bird.
We did a lot of trips including Dunns River Falls, swimming with dolphins, Ocho Rios and Nine Mile. I would reccommend Nine Mile (the birth place of Bob Marley and try to get Captain Crazy as your guide. What a guy), but the best trip we did was the horse riding through a sugar plantation. We had 2 guides - 1 solely for my daughter as she was only 7 years old and they were great fun and had the children in stitches. We got to a beach and changed the saddles, put on life jackets and the horses took us swimming. It was one of the best things I have ever done.
In all we would definitely return to this hotel, the children said the holiday was as good as the one we had in Florida.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
3  Thank teanutSouthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

The reviews that we read prior to our visit were mostly favourable. The three star plus rating grade must only be for the fact that the little cosy cottage accommodation was basic compared to what you may find in a hotel block accommodation. However, do not let this put you off. The cottages are cleaned on a daily basis by extremely friendly maids who in our experience were helpful and tried to meet our needs/requests. So much so, upon requesting some fresh flannels our maid waited for the laundry to wash and dry some and came back with them before she left work for the evening. If I had to be critical the only thing I could say would be that there appeared to be several people suffering from ear infections from the hotel pool - but this happens everywhere you go. It's one of those things.
Plus points. Good service, helpful and friendly staff. Great kids club. Daily activities good. Fun Crew excellent if you want to get involved. Food good. Not one of us got an upset stomach the whole time we were there which is rare for us. Lots of good sights to visit which mostly are fairly nearby to Runaway Bay if you wish to do them.
Dunns River Falls is a must visit place and we really enjoyed the Port Antonio visit although it was a long day.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank moodsLondon_England
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 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: £121 - £189 (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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