RIU DAY TRIPS

Jan 12th, 2003, 08:47 AM
  #1  
SHANA
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RIU DAY TRIPS

We are going to Riu in Feb. What are some good day trips and how best to arrange them? We're a family with 10 & 14 year olds. Is Rick's Cafe or Margaritaville appropriate for the teens?
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 06:31 AM
  #2  
Liz
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Just returned from the Riu on Sunday. We had a great time but did not really venture outside the resort. We went to margaritaville one night and it's normally a fun place but it was raining the night we were there. it is right on the beach and there are swings, basketball courts, volleyball?, pingpong, etc. I did not see any teens there but i'm sure they would have a good time pending the weather
feel free to email me with questions about the riu.
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 07:27 AM
  #3  
Curious
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Liz, how was the Resort. I have seen some reviews. Some good some bad. What was your experience as far as food, drinks, staff, accomodations, etc.

Thanks
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 09:05 AM
  #4  
Liz
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Ok, let me try to cover as much as possible, here goes:

FOOD: OK to good for an AI. We really enjoyed the breakfast buffet and the jerk chicken shack on the beach for lunch. The pizza/pasta place was suprisingly very good for either lunch, dinner, or a late night snack (before 12 midnight). I did not care much for the dinner buffet after the first night and to be honest, did not find their high end "Sir Anthony's" much better. Dinners were mediocre at best as the selection varied little from night to night, restaurant to restaurant.

DRINKS: hope you like red stripe b/c that is the only beer that they serve and their liqours are by no means top shelf. i think i saw a bottle of smirnoff vodka once but other than that all hard alcohol was below bottom shelf if that's possible.

STAFF: Jamaican hospitality at its best! From the bellman to the towel guys and to the front desk staff, one was nicer than the next. They truly went out of their way to make the vacation enjoyable.

ACCOMODATIONS: Great. Our room was spacious and fairly well decorated. the mini bar is great for sodas, beers and water. It was always full and the room immaculate after the maids came in each day. The shower was a bit tricky, one of those handheld heads...needless to say the bathroom got a tad wet each night.

NIGHTLIFE: Well, on the nights that they had jamaican entertainment (ie, local muscians)were great but on some nights the hotel staff would put on skits that we did not particularly enjoy but many at the resort did-just a personal preference i guess. after the nightly show ended (about 11pm) the disco opened. we went in a few nights but it was very loud with cheesy american music, again other people seemed to enjoy it very much.

OVERALL: my boyfriend and I had a great time. we found the resort to be a great deal for the price. I do not expect that much in the food department when traveling to an AI. I was very content with the food selection at Riu and I could have stayed for a month. I just like to present an honest picture for the more discerning traveler. I love jamaica and to me just sitting on the beach and hearing the reggae rythmn and the local patois is enough for me. I found the Riu to be a great vacation and a great deal and would definitely return.

hope this helps, please email or post with specific questions and i'll try to answer them.
Liz
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 09:29 AM
  #5  
xxx
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We were at the Riu over Christmas, 2001. I whole-heartedly agree with Liz's assessment. Bottom line was that we felt it was a good value for what we paid.
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 11:55 AM
  #6  
Curious
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Liz, Thanks for the honest assesment. I have heard similar reviews from other websites. Thanks for not raving or ranting. Couple of quick questions/

Are there any night spots to go to off the property?

Did you go to Ricks cafe?

Did you do any day trips or excursions?

What types of activities are available in the Negril area?

Thanks so much for your valuable time.
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 02:47 PM
  #7  
McD
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How far is Margaritaville from the resort?
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 03:05 PM
  #8  
liza
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Margaritaville is maybe a mile or so south. You'd want to take a cab as you cannot walk the beach from Riu.
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 06:58 PM
  #9  
Liz
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We did not really venture much outside the resort. WE did not go to Rick's as my boyfriend had already been there but we did hit up Margaritaville to catch the Eagles game on Saturday night. it seemed like a fun place when the weather is good but the night we were there it was down pouring. no locals mostly tourists and the night I was there mostly eagle fans It is right on the beach with tiki torches & swings. A few of the staff members suggested two night spots: roots bamboo and the jungle, we did not go to either despite being offered an escort from some of the bartenders and entertainment guys. we really wanted to hang low on this trip...i must sound like a bore. I know the hotel has typical island excursions like horseback riding, waterfalls (not Dunn's River), rafting, and downtown shopping. once again, we did not participateWe did take a kyak(sp?) out one day and paddled over to seven mile beach, that was a lot of fun & a lot of work
hope this helps, keep "em coming if you have more.
Liz
 
Jan 16th, 2003, 07:08 AM
  #10  
Teri
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Liz, Any recomendations on asking for a room upgrade or maybe you know which rooms were better.

Thanks
 
Jan 16th, 2003, 12:28 PM
  #11  
tom
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Liz, How large is the resort?
 
Jan 19th, 2003, 06:30 AM
  #12  
Camlec
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We stayed at the Riu last July for our honeymoon. We went on the Rick's cafe trip that was offered through our booking agency (each booking agent has a desk in the lobby to book trips through). I think it was $25 U.S.

We started off shopping at a couple duty-free strip malls. That took about 90 minutes. Then we went to Rick's. We were disappointed in it. The famous cliff-divers are impressive, but I expected them to be jumping from a higher point. It's entertaining though. They also had a reggae band that was pretty good. It was cloudy so we had no sunset. Our big beef was the coin system. Rick's doesn't use money - you have to buy coins to use and they are non-refundable back to cash. I think a beer cost the equivalent of about $6 U.S. and a diaquiri was about $8. There are signs all over the bar saying the coins are not acceptable as tips. We wouldn't go back, but if you are looking for something to do, it might be worth it. Just a warning though - we had several people approach us to buy an assortment of drugs, so you may want to keep an eye on your kids.

The other reviews of the hotel are pretty accurate. We got an upgrade from a beachfront room to a beachfront suite, but that was due to the honeymoon.
 
Jan 19th, 2003, 09:20 AM
  #13  
liza
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Rick's the the only one of DOZENS of cliffside bars that have that dumb token system. Drinks cost about 4x more than anywhere else too.

It's a tourist trap. I don't know what kind of kickback the resorts get for taking people there but it must be good.
 
Jan 19th, 2003, 02:54 PM
  #14  
liz
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Teri-
Our travel agent requested a room upgrade for us by fax and also by letter but we did not receive one due to the fact that the resort was at full capacity the week we were there, it was very crowded. Apparently, they will honor upgrade requests when they can

Tom-
The resort itself felt large to us. I think there are about 6 or 700 rooms which are spread out across a big piece of property, however, the restaurants, shops, disco, and entertainment are centrally located from the room buildings. Very convenient
Liz
 
Jan 20th, 2003, 06:54 AM
  #15  
Tom
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Is there an additional charge for the room upgrade?

Also, what are some better cliff bars that are fun to go to?

Thanks
 
Jan 20th, 2003, 08:50 AM
  #16  
liza
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Cliff bars:

laid back, not expensive and may have tourists and locals both: 3 Dives (my favorite)

We also like Just Natural (across from cliffs actually, tables are in a garden such that you can barely see the other tables)...but not for sunset viewing.

Pirates Cave is a good one too, next to what was the Pickled Parrot (which is closed).

More $, a little more refined atmosphere - Xtabi, Rockhouse, Lighthouse Cafe, LTU Pub (just up from Rick's).

Rick's does have the cliff divers and the crowds...the other places I mentioned you can dive from but there won't be as many people.

It's a question of style and budget I guess...if you want to be in a crowded atmosphere with lots of tourists and the divers, go to Rick's...they ahve live music too.

If you want a nice sunset, good food, a chance to swim/snorkel/jump and not have the overpriced drinks and token thing, head to one of the others.
 
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