One Day at Bamboo Beach Club
With our Caribbean cruise, we got the opportunity to spend the day in Ocho Rios, a port town on the north cost of Jamaica.
After having a look at the excursions, we had decided to skip any planned activities. They sounded great, but they seemed to be really overpriced, and I’m nothing if not frugal (read cheap). But as soon as we stepped off the boat we were advised that the beaches were pretty far away. There was a small little patch of sand nearby, but not the kind of place you wanted to spend the day.
We were bombarded with tour operators selling tours and taxi drivers offering to drive us to the best beach in town. We decided to stick with what was on offer from Holland America Line (our cruise company). Despite the cost – which was $60/person – we opted for a day at the Bamboo Beach Club which included all-you-can-eat food and bottomless cocktails/beers.
Great right? Hmmm… not so much!
Our Experience At Bamboo Beach Club
We had two hostesses that came along and really tried to inject some fun into the excursion. They were great, offering tidbits of information and jokes along the drive. Once we arrived we were welcomed by Jamaican dancers and reggae drummers and we posed for photos which could be bought as we left the beach.
I would say the atmosphere was good but for a “tropical beach paradise”, I was pretty underwhelmed. Each group was herded towards a specific area with plastic beach chairs waiting. While I love a plastic beach chair, I’m not too fond of crowds… This beach was certainly crowed!
It seems to be a destination for most cruise lines, so it’s filled with tourists. The sea was murky and visibility wasn’t great, so snorkeling wasn’t an option. Really, the only thing you could do was bob in the ocean or sit in your chair.
The food was fine, but the portions were small. Think more along the lines of tapas – one chicken leg here and three small sausages there. The cocktail was really just a rum punch that came in small plastic cups, so hardly anything to write home about. We tried to down a few regardless, in the hopes of improving our experience. But alas, it didn’t work.
All in all, I would consider the day pleasant but certainly not worth the money. In fact, my advice would be to avoid the Bamboo Beach Club and consider alternative options… ANY alternative option!