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“wedding party”

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Royal Decameron Club Caribbean
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“wedding party”
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Poor check-in experience - ask for Pedro straight away if you have trouble. Esther was useless and hid in the back office, and pretended not to speak english. No rooms for wedding party of 30, stayed in courtyard first 2 nights, then beachfront room 62 for further 7 days. Room 62 can be quite loud as it's near the entertainment, but I can sleep through anything. As compensation, we got £150, free safe lock, plus upgraded room and cool runnings boat/falls trip. Our virgin rep, Jerline Johnson, was very helpful to us. It was an inconvenience, but we didn't let it spoil our 10 days. This problem should be finished now, and the french season is about to end.
Room had TV with good selection of channels, including sports. Bar/internet room had more channels, but you'll have to wrestle the control from the old man who lives there and hogs the screen (mostly through the night).

Made use of access to fun caribbean hotel on 2 days. Nice big pool with a bar you can swim to. (Try the brown cow and purple rain cocktails!) Waterslide is good fun, and buffet lunch was fantastic with carvery, salad and great cookies and desserts. Rooms seemed a bit dated, and was funny to see they had mirrored ceilings, knowing the history of the place. Regular free shuttle bus runs between resorts, takes about 5 minutes.

I made friends with the gardeners (after declining their offer of weed), and had jelly coconuts and mangoes from them most days, for a small tip or in return for some beer. You can drink the coconut water, and then get the nut cut open and eat the jelly inside.

I played with the tennis coach ($), Chris, most mornings before it got too hot. He's very funny, and helped me find a gardener for my coconut fix. He's present until 10am. Tell him Kris sent you - we played like warriors (his words). He appreciates a drink when the bar opens at 10, as he leaves the hotel. The courts are very nice. Bring your own rackets if you like to play. There is a small gym next to the courts, too.

Unfortunately the beach was red-flagged for the first few days, which meant the water was rough and there were no water sports. After having snorkelled, I can tell you to bring rubber-soled water shoes. Some of the bays are quite rocky, and you'll see many sea urchins beyond the walls. Water shoes are useful for the Dunns River Falls trip as well, otherwise you'll have to hire some. We used the pedalo boats, which were hard work, and you can get to the sea-trampoline by wading out to the walls and a short swim. It doubles up as a great sun lounger. The glass-bottom boat wasn't operational, which was a shame.

The wedding was nicely done out on a pier. We had exclusive use of the thai restaurant for the night of the wedding (as an apology for the booking experience), and reception drinks at the jetty bar.

For trips we did the blue mountain coffee tour, Dunn's River falls (via cool runnings) and tubing down the white river.
The coffee tour was the best value trip I've ever done at $100. It lasted 12 hours, and was just us plus a couple from another hotel who we collected, and the driver + tour guide. 6 in all. We saw lots of Jamaica on the trip, including banana and coffee plantations, Ian Fleming and Noel Coward's houses, Kingston, military barracks in the mountains, and a 3 course meal at beautiful Strawberry Hill. The coffee tasting at Craighton Estate is a lovely setting, and you can buy their exclusive coffee there. One of our spontaneous stops allowed us to buy fresh fruit from a roadside stall, including coconuts (our first), star apples and mangoes at a road that often floods and gets closed. Hugh and Tony (guides) were great fun, and deserve a good tip!

We got our cool runnings trip free from the hotel as an apology, but got picked up an hour late, so missed the snorkelling...make sure you get picked up no later than 11.30am! The boat trip is good fun, and the DJ/MC could have been a pirate, with a prosthetic leg with a jamaican flag on it and long dreadlocks...funny guy. When you arrive at the falls, you'll need your water shoes. You can climb in a group with a tourguide (they expect a tip at the end), and you can opt out of the riskier parts of the falls. Some of our party did the dry walk, and came into the water for photo opportunities. Take a waterproof camera, and be prepared to get totally wet. Our climb was filmed, and we bought the dvd afterwards ($20). Ignore the sellers who try to press trinkets into your hands afterwards like gypsies with lucky heather. Rum-fuelled disco on the way back to port was good fun. You can buy pictures from the staff on board. The trip lasted about 5 hours from pick up to return. Try to choose a day when no cruise ships are in. (http://www.tourochorios.com/cruise-schedule.html)

The white river tubing was good fun. http://tinyurl.com/7w3gvyc Waterproof shoes needed again.Take a waterproof camera, or you can buy a CD with the pictures they have taken of you with various price increment bundles, e.g. 100 pics for $100 was the dearest. They take nice pictures from the river banks, and you can choose which ones you want afterwards.
Water is cool and fresh, and it doesn't matter how you start the ride, you all end up mixed together along the way. You may fall out of your rubber ring along the way, it's real life, not disney. There's a jerk chicken stop near the end so you can snack (free taster, and you can buy extra if you're hungry). After the food stop is the biggest/fastest rapids. Most of us fell out then, but we dried off quickly at the end as it was such a hot day. Again, try to choose a day when not cruise ships are in (http://www.tourochorios.com/cruise-schedule.html).

Our friends did the Blue Lagoon trip at Port Antonio, and enjoyed it. 3 hour drive away from the hotel, though. It's a full day.

Food: we ate so well at the buffet restaurant, that we didn't try the others.
Breakfast, there's omelettes and pancakes/waffles + meat/eggs/spinach +fruit/cheese/yoghurt/bread/croissants
Lunch/Dinner: several main courses, lots of salad, and lots of dessert choices.
We didn't have any bad meat while we were there, all cooked nicely. The jerk chicken/pork was good.
Drinks: I don't drink a lot, but enjoyed the rum punches and some cocktails. They do a nice banana milkshake with rum cream. Our friends thought JJ was the best barman.

French Invasion: Yes there lots of french, mostly ok but a few rude ones. The entertainment got a bit annoying with the french bias, but I was often tired after dinner so had early nights anyway. They definitely were favoured when it came to check-in, entertainment and childrens activities. There was one ever-present middle-aged french woman who always sunbathed topless (which is not allowed). It's never the young pretty ones, is it?

I'd definitely stay there again if we could guarantee a room, and it was in the french off-season.
The cats are cute and friendly, but a couple of them could do with seeing a vet from time to time. Guests often leave a plate of food for them under the bushes where they often sat (the cats, not the guests).
I'd prefer more no smoking areas, but I'm a militant anti-smoker.
I also made full use of the hammocks.

I'd like to go back to Jamaica again and see much more of the island.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the stage if you want quiet. Tip the staff, they deserve it. Take mosquit...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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4 Thank kris d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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saskatoon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2012

We arrived at the Hotel at 8:00 AM.(After flying all night to get there) Upon check in we were told that check in time was 3:00 and we would not have a room until then. We were then directed to the main eating area and told to just leave our luggage and golf bags at the main entrance and they would be fine. When we returned they had been moved and my husband's neck pillow was missing. We now asked at the front desk if there was a quest room or somewhere were we could put or belongings and change from our saskatchewan clothes into some beach wear. We were pointed in the direction of the public washroom and told to help ourselves. Then we went to get some towels. Well guess what , no room number no towel.OK. Off to the beach we go. Now it's really hot and would like some water. Don't know if the water is safe to drink because no one has advised us of that yet, so we go to the front desk and ask for a couple of bottles of water. Answer: There is bottled water in your room, just go get that. No room yet, so no water. Eventually after complaining long enough we get 2- 250 mls bottle of warm water. Back to the beach, packing valuable personal belongings, sitting on hot chairs with no towels, getting very tired by now and decide that maybe if we had a map of the resort we could tour around for a bit and get familiar with the resort. Back to the front desk to ask for a map. No maps , they are in the rooms, no room!! Get my picture.
This is our 1st time to Jamaica, not getting started off too well.Down to the beach now to walk. 10 minutes into the water and I get stung(bit or something) by a water crab. Off to first aid. By now it's 3:00 and finally we can get into our room.
2nd day, I talk my husband into going out on the glass bottom boat. Off we go. Only about 10 minutes in and the boat runs out of gas. Guess what, no cel phone. Every person on land has a cell phone but not the 2 guys on the tour boat. we drop the anchor and one guy says just wait , he will just swim to shore and get some gas. We wait and expect that he will soon be brought back by some other boat from shore. No.... He now comes running back up the shore line with his gallon jug of gas and starts to swim back to us, throwing the jug ahead of him. LOL. now its been at least an hour and we are on our way again, Thinking that we would just return back to the resort, but instead still going fishing. We meet up with another boat and flag them down and syphone some of their gas to our boat so we can continue on. So now we have been out there a few hours and have been drinking beer, and my husband needs to pee. Not a good trip. He can't wait to get back to shore.
Would we go back here. Definatly not. The little cabins were cute but nothing special. The resort is over run with non-English speaking people and the service at the bars and eating areas was terrible. Food was plain and simple and we didn't starve , but nothing special.The maid was great. And some contracters at the resort were really nice and friendly. I know it's not the workers fault but RDCC needs some improvement. This was by far the most expensive holiday we have been on and the most unenjoyable.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank greatestSaskatoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2012

The Royal Decameron Caribbean Club is a great hotel with great ambiance and great service. It’s one of the reasons we booked our birthday celebration at this hotel four months in advance. So imagine our dismay when we arrived at the hotel to discover that we had been relegated to an inferior hotel called the Royal Decameron FUN Hotel. The General Managers are running a calculated and well planned “bait and switch program”, which is a deceptive business practice. Further, the Carribean Club General Managers are systematically assigning English speaking guests from America, the United Kingdom and Canada to the FUN Hotel while reserving the Club Hotel for French guests. Has anyone ever heard of this discriminatory practice of assigning guests to different hotels according to nationality? We spoke to the General Manager at Club Caribbean who was unapologetic for this ruthless business practice of overbooking the Caribbean Club Hotel and then randomly assigning English speaking guests to the FUN Hotel. This is a foolhardy practice when considering that Jamaica’s tourist market is comprised of over 70 percent of visitors from North America, with more tourist growth emerging from the Canadian market in 2011 than any other market. If all Americans, Canadians and other English speakers refrained from staying at Royal Caribbean hotels in Jamaica, this hotel survive would not survive over the next year. Royal Decameron, good luck with catering to your French guests who make up less than one half of one percent of the Jamaican tourist market. Fellow tourists, dont take a chance on being disappointed by your well earned vacation, try more well established professional hotels like the RIU Ocho Rios, Jewel Ocho Rios or Breezes in Runaway Bay. Saving $300 by staying at Royal Decameron is not worth ruining your vacation.

Room Tip: You have a selection of 50 other wonderful hotels in Jamaica. Dont bother staying at Royal Decameron...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Cher134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Braintree, Essex
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2012

Just returned from our two week holiday in Royal Decamercon. We were pleasantly surprised by the garden cottage which although dated was very clean and more than adequate with a king sized bed, sofa bed and two chairs in the main room with a bathroom (shower only) and walk - in dressing room. There was a hairdryer in the bathroom and iron and ironing board in the dressing room which was good. Safe deposit box with a lock that comes out every time you unlock was unusual! You have to pay $2 per day for the safety deposit box in your room and leave a deposit or imprint of your card. Reception was welcoming and helpful but there was no booklet in the room to remind you of meal times and local info which you normally get. Sometimes we only found things out by accident, like on saturday's the a la carte restaurants are closed but I went to book a table forgetting what day it was only to be told they were having a special lobster meal in the seafood restaurant for an extra charge of $30 each this saturday. It was very good but not advertised anywhere that I could see. They did advertise on our second week that you could book a romantic meal for two with lobster for $45 each, so the saturday special was a reduced price which we decided to try. Had a lovely meal and they did me a great birthday cake for my birthday.

On our first week we found it difficult to find anyone who spoke English as the french speaking guests appeared to be predominent. I had seen in previous reviews that this was the case so expected this but we were surprised about rudeness and arrogance from some of the french guests we observed. It felt like they were catered for to the detriment of english speaking guests with a large entertainment team and the caribbean staff appeared some what subdued compared to our last trip to Jamaica. On the days where most French guests went home we found the atmosphere to be more relaxed and the staff became friendly with the entertainment being more 'Jamaican' which is what we had come to the caribbean for! We always try to make the most of any holiday and soon made friends but alas not with any french speaking guests which is a shame.

The evening entertainment was variable and the entertainment team were very good with their shows especially the ones which had both French and Jamaican staff in the same show. They really works hard and some were amazing dancers.

We loved the snack restaurant which is the Thai restaurant at night (Jasmine). Not many guests seemed to use this lunch time restaurant but it could be they didn't know about it maybe. I think the hotel need to develop a little welcome pack for the rooms although there were site plans in the rooms and in the grounds.

We only used the buffet, thai and seafood restaurant in the evening. We did not get around to visiting the sister hotel which has an Italian and Japanese restaurant we were told. Two weeks just goes to quickly.. Thai restaurant was good and seafood restaurant was good when we had the special lobster meal.

The waiters and bar staff work very hard and I can see why people return every year as they very friendly and you only had to ask and they would get you what you needed. We found that 'please and thank you' with respect for the staff makes for a very good time!

Small things that were annoying were the transfer to the resort. It took an hour to get through security and then when we got onto the coach we waited at the airport for another hour until the driver filled the bus. It was not just for First Choice customers as is normally the case when we book our holidays with them.

We got the room type we booked but after reading issues about over booking we had emailed First Choice prior to leaving for our holiday so maybe this ensured we had no problems on arrival I don't know. The bed was very comfortable so don't understand the comments on some other reviews but I guess it depends on what you are used to? My only wish would have been to change the shower as it was fixed and I prefer to have a shower that can be detached and can be adjusted more than I could with the fixed one. Also in our room #55 we found that the plugs did not operate unless the light switch was on!!! I only found this out when trying to charge my phone which only worked if the relevant light was on to give power to the plug socket!!!

Well when you go to another country there are always differences but meeting new people and having fun is what is all about for us so we had a great time. Back home now to rain and cold so saving for the next holiday now..............!!

Room Tip: The beach front cottages look great but can be near to entertainment at night so might not be as ide...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank pln_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Tawas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

My wife and I have been members of the Club Caribbean for many years, and have always looked forward to our annual vacation. We have made friends with many of the staff and have felt like we were coming "home" as they often greet us. This year, however, we discovered that we could save a ton of money by using a travel agency($800+), and booked a suite. I was aware that the club was over booking to help fill their new resort nearby, but really didn't expect not getting a "suite" that we paid extra for. It doesn't matter how far in advance you book your vacation, you will be sent to a nearby resort. It is characterized as an "Up-grade", and in our opinion it was. It is a entirely different setting. It is the former Hedonism resort and has it's benefits. It has a whirlpool tub/shower, great beds, and interesting mirrors. We selected the upgrage and took advantage of both resorts. They have a free shuttle between the two, so we went to all the restaurants. The key for us was simply this....we decided not let their over-booking spoil our vacation. Yes, it is deceptive on their part, but it isn't the fault of the front desk staff. It is Decameron's business ethics that are just plain wrong. So, buyer beware. You may think you are buying a garden setting cottage you have enjoyed before, or a suite, but you probably be told, "sorry" we are over-booked and are sending you to our other resort. Hope this helps save your vacation. We did talk with lots of other guests, and they felt the whole package was well worth the money. FYI-we found the food was about the same in both resorts, being essentially the same menu.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Daryl B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robinson, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We just got back from Jamaica at 1:30 this morning! This is a good place to stay if you like privacy due to the resort being small. We had a great time even though it rained the first week we were there. Only bad side was the Glass Bottom Boat was Still out of Commission! Everything else was great. The people that work there are very friendly and are right there to attend to any problems that might arrise - we shut the air off and it would not come back on , they were there in 2 minutes to help....a wrong button got pushed. The beach is small but the cove we swam in was perfect. Loved it there.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank nips_45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Do not book here. You will not stay here. We booked a Garden View Cottage 5 months in advance, only to be told they were overbooked when we arrived. They offered us an "upgrade" to the Fun Carribean, a sister hotel that Royal Decameron also owns in Runaway Bay. While the Fun Carribean is actually wonderful, its prices are actually less than those of the Club Carribean, so it cannot be considered an upgrade. In their defense, after complaining loudly, and calling an Expedia representative, I was given a few things that actually turned it into an upgrade. Still, people shoulod get what they pay for and this is no9 way to run a resort. I will do a seperate review of Fun Carribean. Next time I will book there in the first place!

Room Tip: It doesn't matter, you won't get it anyway!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank David L
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

Property: 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
#4 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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