Jamaican food is rich with spices and
generally quite good. Rick particularly liked the 'jerk' flavors used in
many of the chicken and pork dishes.
More important than the quality of the food, however, was the ambiance. We enjoyed eating to music, to dancing, to the surf
and moonlight, and even in a torrential downpour (less recommended than
The three real restaurants on the premises are L'Allegro Italian
ristorante (Darragh's favorite), Cool Runnings on the beach and
Dragons Chinese restaurants. Dragons had the best sweet
& sour chicken that we've had in a long time.
One of our favorite
foods was the mango/corn/crab meat 'salad' you can see here. Can't get
fresh fruit like this at home.
Here we are eating at the Cool Runnings
outdoor restaurant. It's on the beach basically which lends itself to
great ambiance, but also the risk of rain showers at night. Well, we
were fortunate as it began pouring during dessert.
During dinner the
following week, we were serenaded by a roving quartet singing popular
songs of every stripe using a variety of native instruments. Lots of
Three times per week there was a big theme
party on the beach, involving entertainment and a lot of food.
The food was good though it wouldn't seem
from our experience that Jamaicans understand the concept of American
desserts. Whether cheesecake, chocolate cake, or whatever, everything
seemed to taste the same; whipped and kind of bland. Of course this is a good
thing as it helps keep the waist line more trim (really appreciated by
some of us :-).
One definite advantage to this resort over other Marriott properties
we considered is the inexpensive meal plan; actually the $30 per day per
person cost includes entertainment, boat rentals and most everything
else you'll need for your stay.
The staff is always very friendly and quite quick to wait on you and
keep your water glass full, or provide whichever choice of drink from
the bar that you may fancy (water, coke and coffee were our staples on
Cool islands sounds 'mon.
Which is the prettier flower at the Cafe Jamaique?
Darragh at Mallards Court.
Mallards Court: buffet central.
At L'Allegro Italian ristorante.
One of at least four bars at the resort.
The Fishing Trip
Dunn's River Falls
Here we go!
A nice grouping.
My 'big' catch.
Close up of big 'Jack'.
Blue sky, hills and water.
What's a Jamaican vacation without a little
time with the 'locals'? One such local took Rick on a 90-minute fishing
expedition. It was fun and there were plenty of hungry fish to catch!
The pictures don't do the fish's colors justice; bright blues, purples,
oranges. They were very colorful fish, the kind you see on a snorkeling
expedition, except Rick was catching them.
On the way back to the
resort, Rick caught a big 'Jack' fish with a trolling lure. It put up
quite a fight, but the 18" fish lost in the end. The local was
pleased. And so was Rick.
This little excursion was a reminder of how much we think we need
over and above of what would really be sufficient. This fellow was using
a spark plug as a sinker and threaded bolts for my line. With so
little, one can be very resourceful.
The Dunn's River Falls is the primary
attraction in all of Jamaica. It consists of a series of cascading water
falls, with a whole bunch of slipper-clad tourists holding hands while
working their way up the river.
The adventure begins at the beach, the kind of natural beach that has
made the Caribbean the vacation destination that it is. From there, it's
all up hill for probably a quarter mile, culminating at the largest and
last series of water falls.
As Darragh and I didn't have time to take the full tour, we hired our
own personal 'tour guide', a local cabbie, Peter, that for $30 took good
care of us and showed us the sites.
The end of each adventure ends in another adventure of its own - a shopping
experience like no other. Dozens of Jamaicans selling their wares for
hyper-inflated prices ($160 for a carved fish? What, is he kidding!?)
See the Marketplace further down the page for details on how this works.
Currency exchange right now is about 1:40 where $1 U.S. buys $40
Jamaican. However, everything is priced in U.S. funds so there is no
great savings to be had from the exchange rate.