Beware British customer of Thomson and Firstchoice, if you make any changes to your booking after signing, they will charge you £50 each, even if you upgrade and spend more money on the holiday.
This holiday was booked through Firstchoice, and at the time of booking both the brochure and the shop told me there would be private transfers to the hotel and when returning to the airport as this is an a la carte property. This does not happen, all the passenger going to the Riu Palace Tropical Bay where bundled in to 18 seat mini buses and told this is how we do it in Jamaica, the guy getting these mini buses is very intimidating and in your face there was no Thomson or firstchoice rep to be seen.
When you return and contact Thonsons, firstchoice customer (what a joke) service they just tell you its in the terms and conditions and as you have signed for your holiday they will not do anything about it.
We where greeted by Elaine and Andrew at reception who checked us in and both where, courteous, polite and informative, a cool welcome drink was offered as we checked in and was most welcome after a one and a half hour transfer. We where given tags with our room number on and told to put them on our luggage, Elaine and Andrew gave us directions to our room but we took a short walk to poolside, then on to our room, our luggage was in our room when we arrived.
The room was spacious, clean and tidy, the fridge and optics where stocked, the bathroom had plenty of towels and toiletries every thing worked in the room.. The room was cleaned daily by Yvonne. During our stay we never had to ask for any item in the room to be restocked, most evenings around 6. 30 pm house keeping knocked on the door asking if we wanted any towels or toiletries. There are not lifts / elevators in this resort and the rooms go up to the 3rd floor, so if you have walking difficulties ask for a room on the ground floor, getting around the resort there are ramps.
The food through out our stay was excellent and plenty full we always had lots to choose, the jerk chicken from the beach B.B.Q. hut is especially good. Booking any of the specialist restaurants was simple; at 8am until 4pm every day you went to a member of staff who was sitting at a table in the lobby and you could book 2 days in advance for 6.30pm or 9pm sittings. Tables are some times empty we found out because guest either do not turn up, forgotten or double booked an other restaurant, so please do not blame the girl at the restaurant booking table its not her fault you can not get a table. We made booking for all the restraints and the food excellent and pleased us. The only problem we had was in the Japanese (nothing to do with the food) the A.C. was not working it was very hot, they left the doors open, this meant that the noise from the entertainment was defining and you could hardly hear each other speaking, the staff where very surly and never smiled or made eye contact.
The pool was clean and kept tidy by Leon and the pool staff, sun lounges where available through the day. The beach was clean, there where lots of sun lounges and shaded areas for you to sit.
The entertainment team work tirelessly through the day and in to the evening, and are so friendly and always smiling they are always ready to have a good laugh with you.
Getting out and about is difficult as there is no public transport service, you have to rely on taxies and they can be expensive 20 U.S. one way to Negril.
The only problem we encountered, was guests smoking in the lobby and not considering no smoking guests