MSC Seaside Family Cruise: Day 3 – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

This morning we watched from our balcony as we sailed into Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I love being able to sit out on a balcony and watch the ship navigate its way into our port of call for the day. Ocho Rios (Spanish for  “Eight Rivers”) is a town on the north coast of Jamaica. This area was once a fishing village but, now caters tour tourists and cruise passengers. You may wonder why “Ocho Rios” since there are not eight rivers in the area. Some say this may be a British corruption of the original Spanish name “Las Chorreras” (“the waterfalls”), a name given to the village because of the nearby Dunn’s River Falls.

We soon got ready for breakfast and made our way up to the Marketplace Buffet. To my surprise, this buffet never seems busy and I have not had to wait in any real lines. I have wondered if the ship was sailing less than full? It’s been that noticeable in everything. Once again, the food selection and quality have been impressive. They even have a Southern favorite, Grits!  My wife loves grits for breakfast. A nice surprise for such an international mix of passengers and choices of food onboard.

Ocho Rios Resort Day Pass

I always advise people here to book an organized tour if possible. You may recall I used back in July 2017 during my families Carnival Liberty Family Cruise. During that cruise, we visited Nassau, and I purchased a day pass for the British Colonial Hilton resort. Before this cruise, I worked with to share our experience at a new resort for today’s visit to Ocho Rios.

After breakfast, we exited the ship and walked to the end of the pier. It was here we met the Resort For A Day representative. He looked over our reservations and before long they escorted us to our waiting bus.

You’re probably asking where are they going?

Jewel Runaway Bay Resort

We ended up making a reservation at the Jewel Runaway Bay Resort. This family-friendly resort is only a short ride from the cruise terminal in Ocho Rios. Transportation with this day pass purchase is included, so it made things even easier. My whole family was excited to visit this resort. Some all-inclusive resorts only allow adults. This one is family friendly and has its very own water park. This is not just a slide a two, here is a full list of features:

  • Private cabanas for rent
  • 5,000-square-foot oceanfront sundeck
  • Dining area with full-service bar and grill
  • Zero-entry beach lagoon with geysers
  • Pirates Ice snow cone hut
  • Two splash-down pools
  • Kids gang slide
  • Lazy river with rock grottos and waterfalls
  • Speed slide and a family raft ride
  • Stage featuring music daily
  • Multi-level kids slides and splash zone
  • Private lockers

Jewel Runaway Bay – Water Park Highlights

As our bus made its way to the resort, we learned about the surrounding area and enjoyed the sights. Before long our bus pulled up to the front door, and we were all welcomed.

Our group was very impressed as we drove up to this resort and walked into the lobby, It is beautiful. We did a quick check-in and they gave us our wristbands. Before long we were exploring this the resort and having a cool drink on the beach. We found ourselves on a beautiful beach along the North Coast of Jamaica with a nice breeze and a cool drink in our hand. Does it get any better than this?

Take a look at some of the photos from our visit:

We especially enjoyed how this resort had shaded areas right on the beach. So we could enjoy the view but, not worry about getting sunburned. My wife and daughter have fair skin so we always try to find a nice shaded area. This made us both happy. I then went to scout out the food areas and the checkout the Jewel Lagoon Water Park.

The Jerk Hut & Food

Before our trip, I was excited to learn the resort featured an authentic Jerk Hut on the beach. The Jerk Hut offers guests Jerk chicken and pork along with corn on the cob, peas and rice and festival bread as side dishes. As you might imagine, this was my first stop for food after getting settled in on the beach with a drink. To my delight, my whole family loved the food. We even went back for seconds! It was so good and full of flavor.

My wife and daughters explored the rest of the resort and we got some food at the buffet area. The food offering at this resort is very impressive. Everything looked so good. I took a drink of some fresh fruit infused water at the buffet. It was a nice treat before we had to leave after a wonderful day. 

We made our way back to the resort’s lobby to meet our bus and head back to the cruise terminal. On our way back our bus driver offered to stop at some shops before returning to the pier for those looking to do some last-minute shopping. Today was a great day, and my whole family really enjoyed the all-inclusive experience. You can watch this video to learn more about our experience before booking your own visit:

Tonight, Tonight

After a busy day in port, we would have our first dinner in the main dining room. We really enjoyed the service and ambiance. The food, service, and selection were all very good. A nice surprise was a guitarist strolling around the dining room playing music. This was a nice touch, making our dinner extra special.

What Tomorrow Brings

Tomorrow we will dock in Grand Cayman. We are planning to stay onboard the ship and enjoy our floating resort. I also have plans to interview MSC Seaside’s Captain. Tomorrow night will be the White Night Party! So everyone is excited to take part in the festivities.

Stay tuned as we share each day of our cruise with you. Follow the links below to our previous coverage:

Read our previous family cruise reports below:

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John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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