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“Tips for you about the Royal Caribbean!!”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Herts, UK
Reviewed April 18, 2004

Me and my husband chose this year Sandals Royal Carribean to celebrate our birthday on 28th of March 2004 and spent 14 days there. First of all I would like to comment on our dissapointments and then our satisfactions. When we arrived after 10 hours flying our only dream was to go to our "luxurious"!! room and have some rest. Unfortunately rooms are the biggest dissapointments about The Royal Caribbean. They need completely refurbishments which the management is working on it now. They are too old and far away from being luxury. After spending 3 days in our room we decided we cant put up with it anymore especially when the showers didnt work one afternoon. Talking to the reception was not helpful but finally we managed to talk to the Front Desk Manager and thanks to her we transferred to a newly built block of rooms which was really very nice. So here are the tips :* If you are going there try to book it after all the refurbishments done or if you have already booked it try not to dissapoint like us! *The beach is very small so go to Montego Bay`s beach by the shuttle which is really great. *Dont expect too much about the Royal Thai Rest. but the others are really very good but their menu never changes!! If you insist on Far East meal try definitely Tokyo Joe`s. * If you are in love with dolphins like us definitely try Ocho Rios to swim with them. But you should bear in mind 2 hours trip is really very rough because of the roads. * The people are very nice and friendly. * If you have any comments or criticisms about the Sandals go and talk to the management. They are open minded people. * And if I were you I wouldnt have expected too much after looking at the brochures and definitely never ever have chosen Sandals Inn which has NO beach at all!!

  • Stayed: March 2004
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5,403 - 5,409 of 5,547 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2004

This was our fourth trip to a Sandal's resort. Negril was our favorite, Royal Plantation had the best food and service, but this resort was nice in its own way. We stayed in a concierge suite in the Kensing ton Block, and loved the ocean view from the room. (our room was on the third , top floor). Plusses of the resort were as follows: very friendly staff, concierge staff especially friendly, offshore island very private and quiet(no nudity as stated in some other reviews), Thai dinner on the island was a pleasant surprise, lunch buffets in the Regency were the best meals of the week(and we don't do buffets at home). Now for the minuses: in general food fair at best, room service selection very limited, not nearly enough bars to accomodate the number of guests, nightly entertainment was very poor, amateurish, and ended very early, very small pools throughout the resort. One major drawback to the concierge rooms was the plastic entry room card, which had to be inserted in a slot inside the room, next to the door, in order to turn on the air conditioner. Upon leaving the room, the card (your only room key) had to be removed from the slot, thereby shutting off the air conditioning while you were gone. Just a comment or two on some of the other reviews: cats, the three or four we saw, were not a problem; no nudity anywhere that we saw; surfboard natives were there but never were a nuisance; resort was very clean(my husband was told that rennovations had just been completed). Just for a price comparison, for those who are interested- we paid $4600 for two for seven nights, including airfare on Northwest Nonstop flight from Detroit to Montego Bay.

  • Stayed: March 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank donsheppard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2004

We have always loved cruising but wanted to try an all inclusive resort and Sandals had a good reputation. We were at Sandals Royal Caribbean from April 3-11, 2004. We were disappointed overall. From other reviews, it appears that things are different depending on the time a person goes. The crowd appeared to all be in their early 20s and on their honeymoon. There was very little information given out about activities or anything. The orientation we attended consisted of the girl asking us if we had any questions which of course we didn't since we didn't have a clue what to ask. We usually didn't find out about things going on until they were over with. However, there usually wasn't anything going on. Many of the couples were sitting around playing cards or checkers. A few tried passing the time away shooting pool. We usually had to wait about 15 minutes at the bar for a drink.
The bartenders appeared like they did not want to serve anyone. The nightly entertainment consisted of a rock singer from 10-11pm. The night before leaving, I asked the desk what time we should catch the bus to the airport and she said not to worry - we would have all the information in our room that evening. The information was there and we trusted that they knew what they were doing. Unfortunately, the bus they scheduled for us got us to the airport an hour and a half before our flight left which meant we almost missed our flight. The airline staff were too rushed to properly book our flight so we had to rebook everything once we got to Atlanta. The watersports staff did provide good friendly service and were always able to answer our questions. It was easier to schedule watersports activities at Royal Caribbean than at Montego Bay since there were not so many people.

3  Thank Tunie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Atlanta, GA
Reviewed April 6, 2004

This was my husband and my first trip out of the country and after reading the reviews I was really worried, but the trip turned out be fantastic. We originally was booked at Sandals Montego Bay,for the dates of 02/27/04/-03/02/04, but when I arrived in Jamaica I was informed that we were upgraded to Sandals Royal Carribean, I was a little nervouse, because I didn't read up on Royal Carribean and didn't know what to expect. The ride from the airport to the resort was 10 minutes long, which was great. When we arrived at Royal Carribean the staff was really nice and upbeat. We were told that out room wouldn't be ready until 3:00 p.m., and we arrived there at 10:00 a.m., and someone from the staff would locate us on the property to tell us when the room would be ready, I'm assuming that they saw the frustrated look come on my face, because we were upgraded again to an oceanfront room.
We were happy..After walking around for an hour the Bellhop found us, our room was ready. Contrary to popular belief our room was very spacious and beautiful..That Friday night we had a beach party , the food and the music was great. The bars on the property are awesome, especcially at the beachfront bar, Ansley, the bartender is GREAT!!
During my entire trip, I did not receive 1 water down drink. We had a chance to visit Rick's..Not impressed at all..Overall we a had memorable time and will be taking the kids to Beaches Negril at the end of the summer!!

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Reviewed March 27, 2004

I was a bit nervous after reading the mix of reviews here, but we were still anxious to go (as this was our first trip to Jamaica). The check-in process was very quick and painless. Be prepared to tip the guys in the red hats since it's pretty much mandatory that they handle your bags. They will demand $1 per bag. After that, it's a very quick 5 or 10 minute ride to the resort. We were treated extremely well and the check-in process was very easy. Within 10 minutes we were in our room.
We had a great room, on the end of one of the sections so we had windows looking onto the beach and onto the ocean. The room was slightly above average, but wasn't much to rave about. It was smaller than expected. When you go to the new guest "orientation" be prepared to be there a while. They do a good job telling you about the resort and the amenities, but then they hit you up with a hour long presentation trying to get you to go on tours, trips, rides..etc (that are not included in your package and are very expensive). The resort is very nice, but is much smaller than what you expect by looking at the pictures. It's quaint and everything is in easy walking distance so it's good, but it doesn't make for much walking/exploring space. The surfboard vendors are a pain and might as well be working for the resort. They constantly were yelling for you and on more than one occasion I saw the hotel staff taking them drinks and food. This was a big disapointment as they are obviously not discouraging them from being there. The beach is nice (again though, much smaller than you expect) and fills up quick. The island is great and you can sunbathe nude. We went there almost every day. A word of note: There is not a lot of room on the nude beach and there are only a dozen or so loungechairs. You need to be there by 9/10 am to get a spot because they stay full all day. We had tons of people come out but then have to leave after there were more chairs available. Several of the chairs that are there are all broken as well. There is a pool and bar on the nude island. There is a jacuzzi too but it has been broken (according to the bartender) for over 3 years. There are restrooms too, so you can stay all day. We were nude all over the island, but be prepared for lots of "gawkers" as lots of people wanted to come out and see the nude people, but not participate. Still, it is a nice time. Our biggest problem the entire week was the food. Not one night did we actually have a hot meal. We went to all of the restaurants at Royal Caribbean and to several at Montego Bay. They are all about the same. The presentation of the food is excellent. The quality of the food is "lunch-room" quality at best. Don't expect much and you'll be fine. We were expecting very high quality, gourmet meals and were very disappointed. The alcohol is flowing non-stop from the second you get on the resort until you leave. I had no problems with too little alcohol in my drinks. Also, know that the airport is only 10 minutes away so you will hear the planes flying overhead throughout the day.
It's not terribly distracting. At Sandals Montego Bay however, it's rediculous. The resort is litterally right next to the resort and the entire resort shakes when the planes take off. Now, the big question: would I recommend Royal Caribbean? Yes, I would. Just know what to expect and you'll be fine; the resort is smaller than you think, the food is not that good. The people are very friendly and will do anything that you ask. One note: If you can afford the difference, definately go to Negril instead of Montego Bay. It's MUCH MUCH nicer.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to shoot me an email and I'll help you out! Enjoy!

  • Stayed: February 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Freehike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
wilmington, de
Reviewed February 25, 2004

when we got to the resort,it was smaller than it looked in the literature we recieved from the travel agent. we were not happy about stray cats roaming around the grounds. the cats even wondered around the dining area. one evening the dining room was short on ashtrays,so the waiter brought me a saucer with sand on it. the resort advertises side day trips at one rate,then when you sign up,the rate increases for some excuse.i will say,the food and service was very good.if you go,watch for the annoying vendors that are sitting on surfboards in the water.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 23, 2004

I too was a little nervous going on this trip after reading all the negative reviews for the Royal Carribean Montego Bay Sandals resort. There were 15 couples in our group that stayed there from 2/10/04 - 2/17/04. This was suppose to be a very busy week for Jamaica because it was a holiday-long weekend with President's day being that Monday and also was Valentines weekend. We had a GREAT time. The airport was a little confusing, but there were plenty of representatives telling you where to go next. Once we arrrived at the RC, we were home. They were very nice and processed us very quickly (and yes, the rooms were ready). The ones in our group who did not have upgraded rooms (they had reserved the standard rooms), were automatically upgraded to a grand lux room. Mgmt did this as a surprise for us because they were happy to have such a large group. The Grand lux rooms were average to nice. We stayed in the bldgs that faced the main pool. I did not expect fancy and therefor was not disappointed. My room was very clean and the maid kept it that way (even giving me flowers everyday!). We had a big king size poster bed, iron, coffee pot, safe and the cable tv had 99 chanels. (even though one of our friend's complained that their TV only had 9 working channels). These rooms do not have refrigerators, but the beach bar has a self-serve soda/water dispenser open 24 hours. The resort was smaller than we thought, but we discovered that only made it more comfortable and service more personal. We had spent an afternoon over at Montego Bay and realized how much more we liked our smaller resort. MB was so much more bigger and ALOT more people and lines were ALOT longer and we all agreed that we were very happy to get back to RC. The food was average. I never got lucky with the beef or pork, mine was always tuff, but there was plenty of other stuff to eat. Breakfast was the best! They had a buffett where you could get anything you wanted and they even made eggs to your liking while you waited. You need a big breakfast before you hit one of the beach/pool bars. Thia Island was really romantic and good food. It is spicy (even their salads), but they will put less/more if you ask. Everyone loved what they got except for the beef dish. I'm not sure what they put on it but it comes out green and they said it did not have a good taste. The beach bar food was ok especially when you needed some good old american junk food. As far as the drinks - all great and they will add more if you do not think there is enough alcohol. But if you are a beer drinker, you probably will be disappointed. Red stripe draft light or regular is all you will get and it is never really cold. Guess they use it faster than it can get cold. The gift shop did have other beer or Smirnoff Ice for like $3/btl !!! Bottled water was the same price - you could not get it for free unless you had a room with conc svc. We had a great time and stayed very busy. I had heard NOT to go into town, but the hotel gave us a cab/minivan driver that they recommended and he took us on a personal tour/shopping trip that was great. He stays right along beside you the whole time, so you don't get into trouble..... If you are looking for "party time" and dancing the night away, you DO need to stay at Montego Bay. Even though RC has 1 or 2 bands a nights, the place is very empty by 11pm. When you are up by 6:30a every day partying in the sun by 9am, most of us were ready for bed by 10pm. It just depends on what you are looking for. We had a great time at RC!

6  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 Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island

Address: Mahoe Bay, Montego Bay 167, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $440 - $1,144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island 5*
Number of rooms: 197
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•7 exquisite dining options, with world-class culinary cuisines.•Only Jamaican resort with a private offshore island, housing an authentic Thai restaurant.•Magnificent, swim-up crystal lagoon suites.•24 hour room service as a part of our concierge service.•English pub offering an authentic pub dining experience.•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row.•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort Jamaica
Sandal Royal Caribbean

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