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jamaica   hotel, resort & villa reviews

Royal Decameron Club Caribbean 01/22/2004
Reviewers Rating: Good
My wife, 2 year old daughter and I spent a week (1-13 to 1-20) at Royal Decameron Club Caribbean and had very good time.
Lets start from the beginning. We arrived to sunshine and 85 degree weather in Mojo Bay and we quickly went through customs and to our prearranged transportation for the 1.5 HR ride to Runaway Bay. The trip from the airport to the resort is as bumping as going off-road 4 wheeling. The projected completion date of the road is 2 years but to me and to the laugh of our driver, 5 years is more like it. On the way you stop at a 1/2 point at a bar and gift area. By the bathrooms is a 5ft marijuana plant. A photo op if you have never seen one. Beer is s $4 a bottle up considerably from 13 years ago when it was $1.
Once at the resort you pass on your right the tennis courts and on your left the resorts stores and gift shops. We made our way into the resort to the front desk. Not a very cheerful group with a bit of an attitude. Nothing to worry about. We hadn't planned to deal with them much. The check-in was quick and easy. They just handed us the room key, safe key ($2 a day fee), TV controller and towel cards and we were on our way.
Off we went to go to our cabana, 120. We passed a medium sized pool, Pick A Pepper restaurant, and the main bar. The cabana is basically simple. King sized bed, bathroom, closet space, desk, table and a couple of chairs. The AC worked OK. Not that it was important because your never in room. The hot water in the shower lasted 10 minutes at the most, so quick showers are a must. There is only about 7 channels on the TV and none are major networks. There are only two disappointments about the room. One that there was no literature about the hotel and tours. So exploring was the way you figured things out. The second was there was no room to put your clothes. The is some hanging space but no drawers.
On to exploring the resort. The beaches were nice. Combed sand, mostly enough lawn chairs to layout and straw umbrellas scattered along the way. The water comes up to your belly, its warm but there is a few rocky areas, so be careful. The water while we were there was very calm, so know worries about letting kids play in the water. The resort offers glass bottom boat rides, banana rides, and a snorkeling trip. All included in your package. Snorkeling equipment can be obtain at the same place were you receive your towels by the Pick-A-Pepper restaurant.
The gathering area has the main pool, bar, restaurant and stage for shows and activities. The pool is medium sized. The depth ranges from 4 to 8 feet. The water in the pool is very cold. I'm talking nippily cold. It takes a good 5 agonizing minutes to good use to. Entertainment activities go on all week in this pool. Such as, water volleyball and aerobics.
The main bar has a list of 25 drinks to help you order. I recommend the Chi Chi, Jamaican Lawyer and the banshee. The bar also provides cigarettes. The staff was always friendly and accommodating to your requests.
The Pick-A-Pepper restaurant is buffet. There are theme nights. The food doesn't really change, just the way they prepare it. Its mostly chicken, pasta, beef, snapper and veggies. They do have a grill set off to the side where they would cook the main meat or fish of the night. Ham, roast beef, lamb and snapper. The desserts were always plenty and good. The salad area was nice but rarely changed.
Note: Dinner is not served until 7:00pm. Not very good if your child is used to eating at 5 or 5:30.
The Club Med was a reservation restaurant serving Italian food. It was nice but nothing exceptional. Reservations are at 6:30 and 8:30 and are made at the front desk. Get there earlier in the morning because it fills up quickly.
The stage was used mostly to blare loud music during the day but at night it was used for entertainment. The entertainment was a highlight of our stay. From 8:30-9:30 you usually had the house band play. The house band was very good and always had a different singer. One night they had someone who moved around like Joe Cocker. Way too funny! From 9:30-11 was the main show. It ranged from games, fire show and Jamaican dancers. Very entertaining. The entertainment staff is exceptional. They make it a point to know your name, involve you in the activities and have a positive attitude at all times.
Down at the far end of the beach is the Delta restaurant. Its a grill that is open from 12-5 and at night its an oriental restaurant. We never ate there as the oriental restaurant but the menu looked very good.
Note: At all times you must wear shirts and shoes in the restaurants.
There is also shuffle board, billiards and ping pong for your entertainment.
The grounds were clean and neat. There was constant work going on to improve the place. The beach as I was told was to expand by 30 some yards out to the rock barrier. The machine they are using to build the beach when it begins is VERY LOUD and obtrusive. They had test started it at least twice when I was there and you could hear it anywhere on the resort. This is something you might want to check on before you booked your vacation. If this machine is actually used I would go somewhere else. At 6:30am every other day the resort would spray for bugs. The machine they used sounded like a lawn mower with no muffler. Needless to say on these days you didn't need a wake up call to get moving. But the machine worked, we never got bit by anything except for the drinks. Expansion on the round deck bar should be completed within a couple weeks. This could very well be a good meeting place for drinks and socializing among the guest. It would also be a great place for before and after dinner for drinks. Right now, it closes too ealry for that.
Overall I would give the place of 6.5-7 out of 10. I would consider going back in 5 years. After the completion of the road and improvements to the resorts. But first there are other islands to visit.
Jamaica itself is a beautiful country. Like any island you have problems with the overzealous vendors but maybe more so in Jamaica. Badgering tourists seems like second nature to them. All prices go up considerably when they know your a tourist. A good example was when someone tried selling me a camcorder tape for $30. Something I could buy in the US for $2.
There is a lot more a could say about the resort and the tour we took but I think you get gist of everything. If you have any questions about the resort please feel free to e-mail me at smacksjjd@aol.com.

John

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jamaica guide books

The Rough Guide to Jamaica (Rough Guides)
The Rough Guide to Jamaica (Rough Guides)
by Rough Guides
(Paperback)
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Moon Jamaica (Moon Handbooks)
Moon Jamaica (Moon Handbooks)
by Oliver Hill
(Paperback)
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Jamaica & Cayman Islands Map by ITMB $10.95

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