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Beaches Ocho Rios, Jamaica Review

I recently had a lovely time at Beaches Ocho Rios, Jamaica with my family.  Having a child that uses a wheelchair for distance I thought that this resort would have been an impossible one for us to enjoy, but I am happy to say it is possible to use a chair here! There is an elevator to get from the main resort area down to the beach area. While there are steps throughout the resort (like most Caribbean resorts) there is always a way to get around, you just have to look for it. This resort was very quiet when we were there in October.

Greek Beachfront Concierge Terrace Suite (OTK/OTD) Room #2202 
While these rooms are basic, I am in love with the walk out directly from a balcony and then down a few steps to the beach. There is only the patio entrance to these rooms which means it is easy to see into the room if you don't have the curtains drawn. To get to the main resort area there is a flight of stairs or an elevator. All of the rooms have privacy curtains for the patios as well as inside the doors. 
 They consider these rooms to be suites. I think the best part about them is the location and access to the lounge. Suite Concierge Services - in suite bar with alcohol and soft drinks,
invitation to a weekly cocktail reception, his and her robes, and access to a suite concierge lounge that is open daily.
Great view from the deck! Just remember that off your balcony is a boardwalk where everyone can walk. If you love to be outside but need shade, this could be a great option for you.
Caribbean Honeymoon Ocean view Concierge Veranda Suite (HOVD/HOVK) Room #1205 
While this is labeled as a "honeymoon" room, it is perfect for families due to the sunken living room with the sofa bed that pulls out! The patio was very large too. This is set farther back from the beach.
The sunken living room gives you a little privacy from the sleeping area, this is great if you've got a little one that goes to bed earlier than you, or naps mid day.
The grounds are so beautiful here. In Ocho Rios you really feel like you are in a tropical paradise built into the hillside of Jamaica. There are paths in different areas to take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of the resort.
All Beaches Resorts have a waterpark! Ocho Rios has some great water slides, a toddler pool, and a fun area with a variety of things to climb, and crawl around, as well as a large hot tub.
Zero entry pool area!
Plenty of water slides to choose from. The only lifeguards we saw were for the water slides on this visit.
Near the activity pool they have this little toddler/baby pool with kid size lounge chairs. 
The main pool by most of the dining options always had a few people swimming.
Watersports are included at Beaches Resorts! Glass bottom boat rides, snorkeling at select sites by boat or directly off the beach, kayaking, banana boat rides.... Keep that in mind when you get a quote from us. There is so much included that you need to know about!
Traveling with family and friends is great, and Beaches makes sure that there are plenty of common areas for everyone to meet up and relax. It's easy to meet new people too. My family enjoys bringing a card game with when we travel and these areas are perfect for some fun family time outside of the sun! There are also some games that you can borrow from the resort to play.
They are located on a beautiful stretch of beach in Ocho Rios. Watersports that take off right from the beach are included! It is a more private beach than other resorts in Jamaica due to the location.
There are a variety of activities offered for kids of all ages, even events that include the opportunity to hang out with Sesame Street Characters. 
There are character meet and greets daily, in addition to the nightly shows and scheduled parade and activities. The shows were great with little kids that want to get up and dance. They also offer themed nights with a cookout, and shows that will interest everyone.
I love when they bring locals to the resort with their hand made goods. It's great to directly support locals without having to drive off the resort to find them somewhere.
Tweens and Teens (even some adults) love hanging out in the X-Box lounge. They have a variety of games available to make everyone happy. My children like hanging out here after enjoying the water all day while the adults get ready for dinner. There are also X-Boxes in all of the rooms. 
Beaches Resorts offer supervised childcare from infant to 18 years old. Once they are 12 years old though they can come and go as they please into any sponsored events going on throughout the resort. There are not as many planned activities when the school year is in session for the older kids. We were there over Mothers Day and our teen was the only 1 at the resort for the first half of the week. We knew this was possible, so it wasn't a surprise. We just had a plan in advance of what he would do. The staff reached out to him and found things that interested him so my husband and I could go off one afternoon and not have to worry about the kids staying at the resort.
It is possible to make healthy choices while on vacation! Actually doing that is another issue... They will also customize anything you want, ALL INCLUDED! They offer a variety of restaurants to meet everyone's wants and needs. 

Ready to chat with a Certified Beaches Specialist! I would love to plan your next amazing vacation.
~Jennifer Hennequant
Travel Depot

What first time cruisers REALLY need to know!

We have cruised many times on various cruise lines now and I hear so many stories about how you HAVE to take this or that. Many times these things are silly and take up too much space in your suitcase. 

Boarding - The itinerary says 4pm, but that is the time the ship actually sails away! 
Boarding times vary with each cruise line, ship, and departure port so it is important to confirm this with your travel agent in advance to plan accordingly. If your ship departs around 4pm, plan to be at the port around 11am to maximize your first day on board. Many cruise lines are going to a staggered check in plan, so you may have an arrival time already set for you. Lunch will be served at the buffet and most of the quick service locations on the lido deck are open, like pizza and burgers. Many cruise lines have a dining room open for lunch the day you board. Cabins are generally open for you by 1:30pm.
Our daughter was waiting for the rest of the family to finish lunch so we could go explore. 
There was no line to get into the buffet when we arrived around 11:30. This was the line by 1pm! So if you want to enjoy lunch on the ship, try to get to the port earlier.

Carry on - Check in is similar to the airport. There are porters outside of the building that will take all of your baggage to go through security that will be delivered to your cabin later. In your carry on bag make sure you pack anything that you will need the rest of the day. Medications, a change of clothes, any electronics, etc. Also, remember that you can carry on wine! Each line has a different policy, so be sure to check before sailing. Don't forget the corkscrew!

Organizers- You don't need to pack your house to go on a cruise.. So many blogger websites say to pack an over the door organizer, but after being on multiple ships and cruise lines this is not ideal. Yes, there is limited counter space, but there are drawers, cabinets, and extra shelves. They try to take advantage of all the counter space available in the cabin. Not to mention, you are there for a week or less usually. Don't over pack! The only thing we always make sure to pack though is medications, including simple things like Tylenol. We usually just leave them in our bathroom bag, but it is better to have medications when needed rather then have to go search for it! I've seen a nightlight suggested many times too, but most times there is not an outlet that works in the bathroom. I suggest a battery operated votive that you can get at the dollar store. That way you can put it where ever you want. Remember that you are on a moving ship and if you leave the bathroom door unlatched, it will open and close on its own. If you have a toddler with you, a foam door stopper might be a need for your family!
The tiered rack is great for things that you need in the bathroom. The shower usually has body wash and a shampoo/conditioner combo to use. There is rarely a shelf/storage in the shower for your own items. 

Cruise Line Apps - Many cruise lines now have their own app where you connect to the ship and are able to view menus, hours, activities and more for free. For a few dollars many cruise lines have a texting program that allows you to talk to other cruisers. This is perfect for families that want to do different things on board but know where there teen is, or reach other members in their party. Download the app before you leave home! It also has times for dining, and activities that are offered on the cruise. Princess even has it set up so you can order your breakfast for the next morning to be delivered to your cabin. 

Debarkation - This is a mystery to many first time cruisers. The last night of the cruise you pack up all of your bags and place them outside of your cabin. They will be collected and taken off the ship for you. Don't forget to lay out a full outfit and anything you need in the morning. The most common things that people pack by accident are shoes, belts, and bras! Once you exit the ship you will find your bags in the number/color that your tag is that was given to you to place on your bags. Our daughter has some medical issues so we take her booster seat with since she enjoys sitting through dinner with us. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help!

Please contact me for your next Cruise!
~ Jennifer 
412-716-5065 / 770-924-7116