Cruise Port Review: The VIP Treatment on the Beach in Ocho Rios Jamaica


Sometimes you know immediately that you’ve made the correct decision.

It took me about, oh I dunno, 25 steps or so to see that in choosing the Bamboo Beach Club VIP excursion during our Ocho Rios port of call stop while cruising on the Carnival Splendor this fall, we absolutely nailed it. Getting the VIP treatment on the beach in Jamaica was a highlight of the entire cruise.


            Look at how relaxed we were after 3 hours of VIP beach time!!!

The VIP Treatment on Bamboo Beach in Ocho Rios is EXACTLY what we needed, the very thing we had hoped to achieve during this cruise: honest-to-goodness R&R, something I struggle to pull off in real life. But I did it here on this very beach. I even ran and dove into the water from the beach, something I am pretty sure I never did, not even as a carefree child. There is video of said dive occurring but you’ll have to twist my arm for me to make that public.


I feel this is an appropriate transition: me not being eager to show off video of myself on the beach and me discussing food. Ahem.

The Bamboo Beach VIP package excursion in Ocho Rios offered us a parade of gourmet island cuisine including but not limited to succulent Mahi Mahi sashimi, crisp vegetable spring rolls, mouth watering grilled lobster, zesty jerk chicken, some kind of delicious starch that was sorta like polenta but also not like polenta, and all the fresh-squeezed lemonade and virgin (or ‘experienced’, if you wish) strawberry pina colada slushies you can drink in 3 hours time. Turns out, if you’re, say, 9 or 12 years of age, that equates to A LOT of fresh-squeezed lemonade and virgin strawberry pina colada slushies. Thank god I wasn’t paying for any of that — they were all inclusive of this VIP Beach thang. Phew.

Sure the staff of the Bamboo Beach Club will try to sell you the photo they quickly snapped when you got off the van (oh by the way that’s like a 15 minute ride – straight and easy), the one where you and your kids awkwardly posed with “real life” Jamaicans playing instruments and dancing, and framed in bad taste without too much thought in a stereotypical frame featuring a Rastafarian toking on a spliff — pass — but otherwise, this VIP beach excursion in Jamaica is pure relaxed luxury, a handful of steps from the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, sprawled out on padded wooden lounge chairs, beneath the hot Jamaican sun.


Remember those musicians and dancers? Yeah well they put on a real show on the beach and the amount of joy you’ll get from watching your kids watch the rhythmic, sandy-footed, water-splashing, smiley-faced performance happening directly in front of them while they chillax in the sea is priceless.


My wife was the first to say YES! to the cliffside massage. You should be like my wife.

You will also be gently offered a massage. Let me advise you on the appropriate response to this offer: DO NOT PASS ON THE MASSAGE.

I repeat, DO NOT SAY NO TO THE 30 MINUTE CLIFFSIDE MASSAGE FOR ONLY $45. Listen, I get it, my gut reaction is also to wave away the offers, the sales pitches, the trinkets and the propositions while traveling but please do yourself and/or your loved one a favor: GET THE MASSAGE.

Note: Non-cliffside massages are available on the beach for $35, but c’mon, you’re on vacation and in Jamaica for god’s sake, spend the extra $10 to be waaaaaaay far away from everyone, with nothing but the cascading sound of waves crashing against the cliffs and your muscles exhaling with glee.

Extra Note: If you are the first to say “YES!” to a massage, you get a free fancy coconut drink. So, do that too!


The Bamboo Beach VIP package excursion in Ocho Rios Jamaica is three hours of unadulterated sandy perfection.

If you have the chance, if you find yourself heading to Ocho Rios on a Carnival ship, go all in on the Bamboo Beach Club VIP excursion.

You’ll thank me later.


*Carnival kindly provided OWTK with this Bamboo Beach VIP excursion but this is one I’d gladly lay down my own money to experience again. All opinions expressed above, including in the sentence immediately proceeding this one, are honest and unbiased, as always.


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