Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean Reviews

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“I got married 11-14-2009. My husband and i went to the...”


written by on 06/11/2010

I got married 11-14-2009. My husband and i went to the Royal Carribean Resort for our Honeymoon. We hand a beachfront suite with a balcomy and it was amazing. Every morning we'd wake up, go out onto the balcony and just enjoy the magnificent view. all we saw was the thai resteraunt and the ocean. WE plan ojn going again real soon but this time we r staying longer. Not a day goes by we dont think about it.

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“This is a "Thank you" letter we wrote to Sandals Royal...”


written by wilsoli1 on 26/01/2010

This is a "Thank you" letter we wrote to Sandals Royal Caribbean. It says it all!
December 19-30 my husband and I made our first trip to Jamaica and our first stay at a Sandals Resort. We stayed in a Royal Beachfront suite with butler service. It was our first vacation in about 9 years. From beginning to the end there is only one word to describe our vacation - awesome!

We arrived at the airport, went through customs and immigration and then are greeted by the wonderful smiles of the Sandals welcome staff and our driver Ray. Ray drives us to the resort in a beautiful Mercedes. We had a wonderful chat with him and a delicious rum drink! He was a very nice young man.

After checking in at the Concierge office we met our first butler, Travis McIntosh, who took us to our room. Just walking through the resort to our room was breath taking. The landscaping and resort were beautiful. When the door opened to our room, we knew we had entered the beginning of our paradise vacation. Travis got us settled in and sat and talked with us for a while. We had never had butler service so we all had a few laughs at learning what he was going to do for us. We were extremely tired that night so we just had a few drinks and ordered room service. We loved Travis instantly. What a great guy!

The room was gorgeous. Very comfortable bed and a nice large sitting room. But, when you open the patio door it looked right out to the ocean. What more could someone ask!

The next day we met our other butler, Rayon Phillips. Once again, what a great young man! We loved him instantly as well.

We explained to both of our butlers that we just wanted a nice low-key relaxing vacation. We checked in with each other a couple times a day so they knew what our plans were for each day. We were so spoiled! They had our lounge chairs at the pool or over on the island laid out with towels, a flower and our reserved sign. Each afternoon we got surprised with our strawberry daiquiri. Then when we went to our room to relax, we received a great afternoon snack of shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers and/or a plate of fruit. The refrigerator and bar was stocked with all the items we requested. They made all our reservations at the restaurants and spa. They escorted us to several of our dinners and we also got together at several of the special beach dinners. And what a surprise when we would come back from dinner and find our bed decorated with towels made into swans and flowers and messages written in palm petals. Most importantly, Travis and Phillips won our heart. We had so much fun talking and joking around with them. They were such great young men! Both were very professional, but also a lot of fun. We looked forward to seeing them every day and it was really hard to say goodbye at the end of our trip.

The Sandals Royal Caribbean resort had everything and anything a person would want for a wonderful island vacation. The buffets and meals at the Regency were unbelievably great. The French and Thai restaurants were also excellent. The little beach grill was a great casual place to stop anytime. The entire staff were friendly and so helpful. The roaming photographers did an excellent job and we bought several special pictures to take home. All the great sport activities. Loved the little island to escape to whenever we wished. You also did an excellent job at Christmas. Loved Santa and how the staff was all dressed up.

And check out was flawless; received a nice little check out package the night before. Our butlers came to help us check out and then the shuttle took us back to the airport.

Everything about our trip was just awesome. There is not one single thing we could complain about. You run a wonderful resort, it is beautiful, the staff are just great, and we couldn't ask for more. We loved it so much that we put a deposit down to come back again in December 2010. But, I must say one of the best highlights were our butlers, Travis McIntosh and Travis Phillips. We even specifically requested the same butlers when we return.

Please officially thank Travis and Phillips for making our vacation so special and putting a smile on our face every day. They are such exemplary members of your staff and I hope they are rewarded accordingly.

Thank you so much and we will see again this December 2010.

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“After my husband and my recent stay at the Sandals...”


written by on 29/12/2009

After my husband and my recent stay at the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica (Nov 5-Nov 12), we felt we needed to share our experience with others, so that they can be better prepared than we were. Our trip was not what we expected. Some of our expectations were derived from reading reviews and some were based on email conversations with our travel agent. Regardless of who the expectations came from, they were not met. It is hard at times to determine if our frustrations are a result of our Sandals experience or from our experience with our travel agent.
We had a problem before our vacation even started. It was a Sunday morning when my husband received a call on his cell phone from Air Jamaica saying that our departing flight out of Philadelphia was canceled. Our options were to fly out of Baltimore or leave the next day. We returned the call and stated that we would fly out of Baltimore. We immediately emailed our travel agent, Amy McHugh with Dream Makers Vacation Services. We were confused as to how the airline got my husband's cell phone and why they called us instead of her. She looked into it and found out that they had only changed our departing flight out of Baltimore. They still had us returning into Philly. To fix this we ended up having to switch to US Air. Because we were going with a different airline we had to pay for another set of tickets and wait for Air Jamaica to refund our money. We were told that this would take four to six weeks. Six weeks came and went and still no refund. When we asked Amy to look into it she said that Air Jamaica did not have our tickets indicated as cancelled, but exchanged. Air Jamaica told her that they would take up to another two weeks. This came and went and still no refund. Air Jamaica still did not have it shown as cancelled. It was another week until our refund arrived.
When we arrived at the Sandals lounge in the Airport (Montego Bay) it was overwhelming. We had three different people trying to get their hands on our bags. We were in the lounge relaxing when a nice gentleman approached us to get our drink order. While we were waiting a woman came in and said that the Royal Caribbean shuttle was leaving. We went and got on the bus. When we arrived at the resort we found out that we were not to be on the shuttle, rather we were supposed to be driven privately in a luxury car. We had no idea. This is a small thing, but there were so many small things like that, that it was very frustrating.
When we arrived at the resort we were escorted to the concierge office. Check in was very easy, but we were under the impression that the butler checked you in. When the butlers showed up, we were told their names were Calvin and Orlando. I instantly got excited because in a lot of the reviews we read, they were spoken very highly of. They took us on a tour of the resort (we were traveling with my sister-in-law and her fianc for their wedding). At the end of the tour they split us up and took us to our rooms, or so we thought.
We were shown to this beautiful room. It was exactly what we had expected. As the butler was showing us around the room he opened the door giving us access to the lazy river. At this point we were excited because that meant we got an upgrade. We half expected an upgrade because in most of the reviews we read, people received free upgrades. As he was continuing to explain things to us his cell phone rang. He hung up the phone and said we were in the wrong room. At this point we still thought we were getting an upgrade. Instead we were taken to a room that was anything but our expectations.
The room was in some desperate need of upgrading. A lot of the other rooms on the resort utilized key cards, which when removed from the room turned off lights and air conditioning to conserve energy. This way true of my in-laws room, which was a few room levels below ours. This was not the case with our room. Our room had a regular key to a warped door that when shut, shown light through and appeared to be open. The bathroom oh the bathroom. At one point during our trip planning we were considering downgrading rooms. We were advised to stay away from certain rooms that if we chose those rooms we would lose our spacious bathroom. If this bathroom was spacious I don't want to see a small bathroom. This door was warped as well, only much worse. You would actually have to lean into the door to get enough force for it to close. There was a one inch gap from the top to the bottom of the door. The marble countertop had a wide crack in it that was filled with caulk. The shower would be real hot or real cold, but it was difficult to maintain a constant temperature. There was no room at all between the toilet and the door or the toilet and the shower. The remainder of the room needed painted, as the knots in the wood were showing through and years of wear were visible. I guess I should add that instead of downgrading rooms we ended up UPGRADING, due to a special that was being run, we saved money by doing so. I would be afraid to know what we upgraded from
Being that we were told that one of the things the butler would do would be to draw you a romantic bath with flower petals and candles, and the fact that we were told that the bathroom was spacious we were expecting a whirlpool tub. Obviously we didn't have that. My husband commented to the butler that this was not what we were expecting. His comment was we go by what's on the paper. He made no effort to correct the situation.
Originally the room we were scheduled for did not have butlers. When we switched, my husband and I were apprehensive about it. We would have no idea of what to ask them to do. The more we read the more we got excited about the prospect. One thing I was excited about was ironing. I was planning on having our butlers iron for us. On the second day we found out that ironing is only free on the first day, after that you have to pay for it. We found this out from my sister-in-law, who heard it from the travel agent. Something she forgot to tell us. Our second day we asked the butler to reserve chairs on the beach for us and to bring us a cooler of beer and soda (something the travel agent said they would do). We asked this at 7:30 in the morning. We were told that he would if any were available. At this point in the morning, I would hope that some would be available. We never did get a cooler.
That same day we had another issue. That evening it was raining. We called the butler and requested an umbrella. We were told absolutely he would bring it. It was 10 minutes before our dinner reservation and we still hadn't seen the umbrella. When we called again we were told that there should be one in the room. There wasn't, but I would have expected to have been told that the first time we called. The umbrella finally showed up at the time of our reservation.
At one point the butlers commented that there were many different nights that we had reservations. We asked if they could write down where they were at and what time so we would know for planning other things into our day (excursions and so forth). We were told not to worry that he would keep us updated. Sunday we found out that the one restaurant we really wanted to eat at was scheduled for Tuesday night. This didn't work for us because my sister-in-laws's wedding was that day and we all were to eat dinner together. We were able to get them changed to Wednesday, but Wednesday afternoon we still did not know if they were successful or not. When we got there our reservations were under my sister-in-laws room number, not ours. That day we were told that a different butler would be bringing our reservation card to us. As we were walking to the shuttle he told us that when we wanted to come back to give him a call. When we were done eating we tried to call him, but his name was not in our phone. We called the hotel and asked them to put us through to him, but they couldn't. Apparently he was not carrying his phone with him.
Other things they did not do Sunday afternoon I asked the one butler how I knew which one to call. He commented that every morning around 10am we would be told which one was on for the day. There was not one day that we were told which one to call. Because of this there one morning that I woke the one up at his house because I assumed he was the one I was to call. Obviously he wasn't. A special thing that the butlers were supposed to do was to bring you snacks in the afternoon. Ours only showed up of the time. There was one day when the butler for the couple below us had shown up at their door with a snack. They weren't there and we happened to know where they were so we told her. She took it to them. Ours couldn't manage to even get it to our room every day let alone bring it to us somewhere else. In reviews and comments made by others we were told that typically there would be one night where you would come back to your room and find it decorated with rose petals and Champaign. This did not happen for us at all, although it did happen for every other party we were with that had butlers. We were given a free catamaran cruise as part of our room. At one point we had decided not to go and requested that the butler cancel it. The day of the cruise the butler called 10 minutes after the bus left for the boat to make sure that we weren't going. I don't even think I need to say any more about that.
The thing that infuriated us the most revolved around my sister-in-law's wedding. Upon arriving out the resort my sister-in-law and her fianc were to be given a book for them to review prior to their meeting with the wedding coordinator. They only received the book a hour before their meeting (five days after arrival) and only after asking for it twice. The package that the travel agent described to them was not the package that they paid for. They ended up paying for a smaller package, so many of the items that she thought was included were at an extra cost to her. While meeting with the wedding coordinator she contacted the travel agent to try to straighten it out. She asked the travel agent if she would talk to my sister-in-law. She said that she couldn't because she was with a client. She wouldn't take the time to talk to an existing client; in a foreign country who was looking for help.
Believe it or not there were other small things that occurred. It is just too much to write. The service we were given before and during our vacation was horrible. I went away expecting to be pampered for once in my life. I certainly wasn't. I was so disappointed. To say that my expectations weren't met is an understatement. Would I ever attend a sandals resort again, probably, they all can't be that bad can they? Would I use this travel agent again? Absolutely not. Oh and if I were a travel agent and someone approached me about going to Jamaica in November, I would have the courtesy to let them know that November is their rainiest month of the year. I would also contact my client's after their trip to see how things went.

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“Hard to put into words how dissapointed my wife and I...”


written by on 19/07/2009

Hard to put into words how dissapointed my wife and I were with this Sandals Royal Caribbean holiday and resort.We paid £3000 for 7 days of luxury and would have a better holiday for £500 in Spain.(We have, frequently)In fact this was the worse holiday we have ever had, £ for £. The resort and room where acceptable but nothing special and the room was very tired. All 'fine dining'restaurents were fully booked before we arrived but after complaining we managed to secure tables at two restaurents, at 6.00pm and 9.00pm. Food was OK but barely warm and no better than at a cheap UK bar. Service was slow, food at the 'open' restaurents was like a cheap Spanish buffet. Whilst promoted in UK as the best of luxury we found that in the USA it is seen more of a 'Butlins'limitless booze, food and pool games. The noise and behaviour of drunk americans really shatterd any illusions of a romantic holiday.They couldn't understand why anyone would fly all the way from UK to stay there, we agree now. The large mattress/curtained sunbeds in brochure are available, at $150 a day!The rest of the TINY beach is crammed with plastic sunbeds around a filthy scruffy beachbar serving rubbish food.

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“The whole holiday was brilliant. Everybody was...”


written by jenny and keith on 29/06/2008

The whole holiday was brilliant. Everybody was friendly. Well organised activities included water sports. Overall we`d give it 10/10 are we are looking forward for are next trip we stayed for 14 nights and could of stayed longer. June 08.

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“I have included a lot of information below, and know...”


written by DJM on 26/03/2008

I have included a lot of information below, and know that some people just want a recommendation so I have put this first. If you want Butlins in the Caribbean and you get this at a discount, or can afford the Sandals inflated prices, then this is worth it. If you really want 4 or 5 star luxury and seclusion then choose somewhere else. This is not a bad place and we had a great holiday, but Sandals is vastly overpriced and with an inflated view of its quality rating.
Sandals sell their holidays as Sandals Luxury Included Vacation represents an unprecedented new level of supreme perfection. Revel in some of the world's most breathtakingly romantic beachfront settings. Choose from an unparalleled array............etc
Well that's the sales pitch so what's the reality? Sandals Royal Caribbean is not a 5* or even a 4* luxury resort. It would sit comfortably at 3* with hot spots of 4* and cooling waters at 2*. This is an aging and run down resort which appears to be undergoing major renovation (significant building works on site which were not mentioned on booking and dismissed on arrival). Even when complete I doubt this will truly reach 4*. Most of the larger things are done adequately, but there are so many smaller things done badly and hidden costs. Don't misunderstand, this is a nice place for a holiday and it's easy to have a good one, but based on Sandals hype to justify the significant over-pricing, you could easily be much poorer and disappointed as we were. We still had a great time, but were expecting more based on the Sandals promises and were left thinking it was poor value for money.
ACCOMMODATION, Well the room types are at best confusing 9 different grades - but I suspect that's intentional. From what we saw the rooms were all functional but not especially luxurious more Holiday Inn than Hilton. We booked a Grande Luxe Beachfront Room and we think we got a Honeymoon Concierge Beachfront Walk-out Room but without the Concierge component. If we had paid the extra for this and had been on honeymoon we would have been back to reception ASAP. The room was adequate, but very run down obviously one of the older rooms yet to be updated. Drawers didn't shut, doors were broken the shower curtain and grouting had mould growing. The back of the bathroom door had obviously had mould and had been badly painted over so it could never look clean even when it was. The taps leaked and the marble countertops were faded and pitted. Housekeeping was sporadic and the aircon noisy. We were heading straight back to Reception to get moved, until we did a tour of the rest of the complex. One group of sea view rooms was right by the major building works (noisy and dusty). Another was at the very far end of the property toward the storm drain and looking more at the pool than the beach. These rooms were done up to a better standard but still nothing special. So we got the worst bits in our room fixed and stayed put, and we chose right. Location was great and the room served the purpose, but obviously Luxury was an overstatement so not value for money. Still, better than the new exclusive River Suites though. The Sandals photos are brilliantly taken so that they hide the fact that these suites are in the worst spot on the resort. There are currently only 4 or 5 of them and are sandwiched between: the boutique; the building site; the main walkway to the beach/pool bar; and the gift shop. The lazy river is in fact a small pool running in front of the suites between the boutique and the building site about 25 yards max. To add insult to injury, the suites themselves act as a parasol and leave the suites extended patio in shade for most of the day.

BEACHES - In the Sandals photos the beaches are shown as a number of long near deserted sweeps of sand into a clear blue sea. Whilst not exactly a lie: the beach is sandy and very well kept, and the sea is definitely blue and clear; it is misleading as they are certainly not deserted. The reality is tiny strips of sand with regimented row upon row of sun loungers set cheek by jowl marching into the sea. If you have been to Benidorm in the high season, then you have some idea of how close these sun beds are. You will get friendly with your neighbours. The main beach is further disrupted by the volleyball pitch. This means if you are on a bed near that when the regular daily games are on, expect to get hit with the ball at some point. The same pitch does have an upside though. The beach on the side by the water sports is therefore less crowded and if you get a lounger there, it does feel more secluded. As this was directly outside of our room we used this all the time and would recommend it. Of the 3 usable strips of beach, the main beach (closest to the island) is the busiest, but least windswept and closest to the bars and food. Drinks are served in sturdy plastic glasses so you can take them on the beach with reasonable safety. Empties are regularly collected by the Sandals staff and the beach is constantly being raked and cleaned. Also worthy of note is the Sandals website pictures are old and out of date. On one of the smallest beach strips, there are some cabanas (for use at an expensive additional cost) and the gazebos on the jettys are in disrepair or missing completely. You will also have to suffer the men if you venture onto the beach or particularly the jetties. Whilst they are not technically allowed on the Sandals property, they use small boats or canoes to patrol the edge of the beach and hold onto the jetties. If you pass then they will constantly call and talk to you until you buy or get fed up and go somewhere else. In itself not a major issue, but a pain if you go for a romantic stroll to look at the ocean and end up with a number of these guys jostling to sell expensively priced cheap tat to you.
PRIVATE OFFSHORE ISLAND Sandals Cay is a small natural island expanded by dumping tonnes of sand and planting vegetation. Boat transfers are every hour approximately on the hour. Although the Thai restaurant is on the cay, no food is available during the day, so you either: starve, take food with you, or come back to the mainland to eat. However, there is a bar there and well maintained toilets so no need to sit cross-legged all day. Clothing is optional on the rear beach, but it's not exactly inviting - a few sun beds hidden behind a wall on scrubland. The island looks as if it was a popular key part of the resort at one time. A party area with a jerk chicken stall is in the middle, but obviously not used for some time. Pictures on the website show seating with cushions and torches etc, but although the seats are still there, it looked pretty unused. On a busy day the sun beds would be filled quickly and without other comfortable seating and food, I can see the island losing its charm quickly. We were lucky to be there when it was near deserted and had the small beach to ourselves (and a diminishing supply of cakes and cookies gathered from the beach grill before we left mainland). A real shame this is underutilised, but if you get over on a quiet day, it really feels special.
POOLS - Royal Caribbean is listed as having 4 pools, 2 swim-up pool bars plus 5 whirlpools (though we only found 4). All pools are 1.2m (4ft) deep and are: the main pool (with swim up bar and whirlpool), the off-shore island pool (with swim up bar and whirlpool), far beach pool (with whirlpool), and pool next to the reception driveway. The other whirlpool is near the beach grill. All were clean and well maintained, but fairly small. The main pool is the centre for entertainment (water volleyball, aquarobics etc) and so is not fully available. The surround is choc full of sunbeds, but they will be reserved (though often not used) early in the morning. The music played here is very loud and constant, though it rarely drowns out the loud guests playing drinking games by the bar or having shouted conversations across the pool. This is not an area for those looking for quiet or romance. The far end beach pool or even better the somewhat forgotten pool by reception are much better for that. Both of these pools are a little further from all the bars and beach grill so the heavy drinkers are less interested in frequenting them. The downside is that there are few available sunbeds, as those in the rooms close to these pools know how good the locations are and have often got the beds reserved early. The pool on the island is also clean, but as it's raised is a bit windswept and even on a hot day is pretty chilly. Although we used the swim up bar, we soon moved to the hot tub to enjoy our drinks.
RESTURANTS Having experienced a range of gastronomic eateries ranging from the Greasy spoon on the A3031 to London only Michelin 3* restaurant I can safely say that Sandals claim of 4 world-class restaurants on property is unlikely. No half decent restaurant would serve cold food and warm white wine as Sandals managed consistently the worst being the Regency. You also need to take the photos on the website with a pinch of salt. They show flamboyant table layouts and fancy runners when you actually get a white table cloth and a small flower in a vase. The pianos in the Regency and piano bars appear to be for show as the lid was not raised once during our stay.
BREAKFAST is a buffet in the Regency which is OK. Service was pretty good and the food a little boring but good quality and a reasonable selection.
LUNCH can be taken in the Regency again or the anytime Beach Grill. Lunch at the Regency is another buffet (Themed on a daily basis) which was a little disappointing. None of the food was poor, but just limited in choice, uninspiring and certainly not world-class. Other all-inclusives we have staying in the Caribbean are far better. We were disappointed to find so little fish (local or otherwise) on an island menu. The Beach grill is very American centric with burgers and fries with everything, but the Jerk Chicken was pretty good. This also had the advantage that you could take it away to the beach or your room to eat on the patio if you wanted. The Beach Grill is open most evenings as well. The cookies are brilliant and we put on pounds from these alone.
TEA Afternoon tea was (badly) served in the Coffee room between 16:00 and 17:00. Service was so poor it was better to get it yourself as you have to for the rest of the day. Coffee from the machine was however pretty good and the coffee room comfortable and relaxing. Coffee and teas are available all day and night from here- as were cookies, assuming we hadn't already eaten them all.
DINNER - Evening meals were a little different, with 2 restaurants needing advanced booking (suggest you book at least a day in advance) and the other 2 you simply wait for a table to be free. All start and finish serving very early, so don't linger in the shower. Not all restaurants are open every day so you need to check the room info pack to ensure you don't find yourself left hungry. Although there is variety, it is obvious the majority of guests are American and the menus appear to have an American influence. Not a bad thing, just an observation.
Be aware that although the resort is all inclusive, they will hard sell the additional cost "Managers Special" wine list at all of the restaurants. If you use this I suggest sticking with red as the white was never cooled, let alone chilled. Complaints brought little response other than a little more ice into the ice bucket. By the end of the meal, the dregs of the wine were at a reasonable temperature but why should you have to wait. This would be unacceptable in a cheap cafe, but in a supposed luxury resort in a "world-class" restaurant with the cheapest wine at $30 this is unforgivable. The inclusive white wine by the glass was no better chilled.
THAI PAGODA start with the best. The Thai restaurant on the island has 2 sittings at 18:00 and 21:00. Food was fabulous and well worth booking. This was really the only restaurant that lived up to the billed quality. Food was hot (temperature and in the case of the shrimp soup spicy) and really tasty. It is a well rehearsed and presented experience with a set menu giving a flavour of a number of Thai dishes. The downside is that with 2 sittings, and a boat ride, the whole thing felt a little rushed. The wine as usual was not chilled either by the glass or the very expensive bottles.
LE JARDINER This has recently been converted to a French menu (though the only thing particularly French on the menu is snails) and Sandals info still shows it as the Courtyard Mediterranean. The setting is very romantic and service was good. The food used quality ingredients, was of a good standard but was not outstanding. The two French restaurants in our little High street are better and have a more interesting menu. That said you will have a enjoyable meal in very pleasant surroundings. We must be suckers for punishment as we tried more white wine here and it was Jamaican beach temperature.
PAVILION We were really looking forward to this as it claims to be a Jamaican speciality. Well we were disappointed again as this is sanitised Jamaican food. It's the sort of thing you get in the Disney Epcot world village. Well presented good quality cuts given Jamaican sounding names served to an American audience as the real thing. Nice enough meal, but!
REGENCY Oh dear what can I say. The food (Thai excepted) at all the restaurants was not very hot, but the Regency was simply cold. The first time we sent it back it took an age to return with one dish marginally warmer and the other colder. This was a shame as the food itself was quite good and it had the widest menu of the site.
A point worth noting is that on Saturday night is the Beach Party. Sounds good and it wasn't bad the bits we saw. The noteworthy fact is that this is the ONLY place to eat on Saturday as all the other restaurants shut. Be prepared or book to go to MoBay or the Inn.
You certainly wont go hungry and the food is generally good, just not as good as Sandals make it out to be.
We also ate at the Italian at Sandals Montego Bay. This requires booking and a shuttle service which is free. The food was pretty average and it was as if they had a challenge to see how quick a 3 course meal with coffee could be served. Our table was booked at 21:30 and we were hustled through the meal so quickly that we were able to have a look round the resort before catching the 22:45 shuttle back to Royal Caribbean.
ENTERTAINMENT Billy Butlin what have you started. It would appear Sandals have used your 1960s camp entertainment guide and followed the formula religiously. The only changes they seem to have made is to wear fawn shirts and shorts, and ditch the censorship. So with the Mr & Mrs competition the questions are not how many sugars does she have in her tea, but how many toys!! she has in the bedside drawer. No longer the time to eat 3 cream crackers, but the time to chugalug 3 rum punches. Not a knobbly knee competition but well you get the idea. Daytime activities (volleyball, waterobics, canoe races etc) are rigorously imposed with the supposed incentive of earning participation points.. And what do points make? Well in this case really pathetic cheap and tacky Sandals leather necklace or bookmark or t-shirt.
It's not all bad, some of the acts brought in especially the Jamaican drummers, dancers and some of the singers were really good. The trouble is these were rare gems in a sea of discarded plastic bags, and were allowed to sparkle for such a short time. Thankfully the worst acts and audience participation quizzes were on in the 19:00 to 22:00 time slot and we were able to miss most of them by being at dinner or going to another bar. The later slots were usually filled by the better acts, but even then they finished by 23:00. After that it was the piano bar or the Cricketers pub till 01:00 and onto the Beach bar till 03:00 if you were still standing or desperate.
The tennis courts and basketball court looked well maintained and did not seem very busy. The free non-motorised water sports were reasonably busy but the winds were either too high or too low for most of our stay to really determine their availability. However the boats are well looked after and the staff were very helpful.
BARS All of the bars were well stocked and well run by staff that knew what they were doing. Thankfully brand name wines, spirits and beer were used throughout meaning it was an enjoyable drinking experience. Considering the amount of alcohol available and included I was pleased that there seemed to be little really bad drunken behaviour or late night noise. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves without the need for hassle and aggravation.
I did despair at the theme makers idea of a British pub, complete with shelves of old Cadburys coco and Birds custard tins mixed with empty Guinness bottles and the odd stone mead jar. The differences to a British pub continued with attentive staff serving drinks quickly and with a smile I certainly wasn't going to complain.
MISC Sandals have on site photographers who will photograph you whenever you let them. This is free, and they do get some good shots but the prints are expensive. A 5x7 print is $15 so you can see how they quickly add up. Whilst expensive, it might be worth considering one of the packages as on average these work out much more reasonable. If you go for that, then you need to get that sorted early on to make sure you get the shots you want.
The gardens are well maintained, but reasonably small as the site is fairly small.
With the exception of the reception desk staff who were curt and mostly disinterested, in general the staff were polite, friendly and very helpful. This is a reasonably well run operation, mainly let down by its age, attention to detail and underinvestment. Although it may not seem it from my descriptions above, I liked the place, but felt the Ultra luxury claims are vastly over-rated and the price Sandals are charging beggars belief. On the whole you could go to a Greek island have as good a beach, clear water, all the luxury accompaniments, more varied and better day and night time entertainment all for a quarter the price. With Sandals Royal Caribbean you are paying for the brand name and Caribbean dream, which unfortunately Sandals fail to deliver. This is a nice place to stay if you can get it at the right price and forego all the additional cost extras or cope with the hidden extra costs.

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“The Montego Bay Sandals Royal Caribbean is a brilliant...”


written by rileygoal3 on 30/11/2006

The Montego Bay Sandals Royal Caribbean is a brilliant resort, even building work going on could not stop us from relaxing, in fact didn't really notice it, was very hard having to go home!

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“Jamaica, Sandals Royal Caribbean - Hardly a day goes...”


written by Darbie on 28/06/2005

Jamaica, Sandals Royal Caribbean - Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about Sandals RC, so I definitely plan to return! The staff was amazing - so friendly and helpful. The resort is on the ocean with plenty of beach for all. The private island was very cool, but not as "open" as the "clothes-optional" title would have you believe. The Thai food was VERY spicy, so beware. The daily buffets had much to offer and the beach grill was very convenient - delicious fresh fruit and Jerk chicken! The drinks were plentiful but not quite as tasty as here in America (but perhaps I didn't know what to order). I think people that claimed to have horrible experiences are either VERY picky, VERY spoiled, or just TOO uptight! Even with the weather being mostly cloudy until our last day, my boyfriend and I were happy and satisfied our entire vacation! The option to visit the other Sandals in Mo Bay was very convenient with timely shuttles. We ate dinner one night at Mo Bay Sandals (Italian). It was delicious, but the resort was not a place to relax - about every 10 min an extremely loud plane would fly over-head - stay clear of this Sandals! Royal Caribbean is the place to be in Mo Bay! The only downside was the night life on the resort. I expected a lively nightclub to dance and party, but this resort tends to call it a night early. Go off resort to party late. I hope those out there who are debating a trip to Jamaica go for it - Ya Mon!

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252776_Anonymous101's Response to Darbie's Review

Written on: 22/01/2007

I've been to Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica. It's brilliant, thought some of the other guests were a bit snooty. The food was good, loads of drink consumed and staff were brilliant. This was my first visit to the Caribbean where I wasn't robbed, so I enjoyed that aspect a lot. A little disappointed with my room, but on the whole, I would like to echo your sentiments in recommending this resort to holiday-makers. I have since been to Sandals in St Lucia too - brilliant again!!!

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Darbie's Response to Darbie's Review

Written on: 22/01/2007

I'm so happy you enjoyed your vacation.
<br/>Since my review, we returned to Sandals Royal. In December 2005 I got married on the resort. It was beautiful. Again, the staff were so helpful and friendly. The wedding planners in Miami had promised a few things I guess they shouldn't have, such as tropical flowers and dinner on the beach not being upgrades - but the SRC staff made sure all of my wedding dreams came true without any extra cost. The photographs they took were beautiful - and very reasonably priced. If I had to do the wedding over again - I wouldn't have changed anything. It even clouded up and sprinkled a bit just before our ceremony - but it didn't change my mood. Our only struggles the entire trip had to do with the airport and luggage. But Sandals even helped with that. On our honeymoon we explored a bit more - went to Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios and to Nine Mile - to see Bob Marley's resting place. Such fun!
<br/>Can't wait to go back! Missing the people, the food, and the beach!

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