My wife and I went to Moon Palace Jamaica once Jamaica and US resumed travel at the end of August. We were almost hung up by the changes in the entry requirements, but we got there and found a nice oasis of relaxation. There were a couple really bright spots and a couple downers, but the downers were primarily related to traveling during the pandemic and being restricted to the hotel, so that is understandable.
Getting to Jamaica was an adventure. We were fine to travel and the about a week out from our travel, the rules changed and we had to get tests and approval from Jamaica to travel. We were able to get our tests in time and got authorization from Jamaica to enter while waiting at Newark for the flight to Jamaica. Like others who have commented, we found we needed to call the Jamaican health ministry several times to try to get approval the night before our flight. If you haven't heard from Jamaica Health after 2 days, start calling the public numbers - even calling and getting no answer seems to get a response.
The resort was almost the Palace experience we were use to in Mexico and there were some key people that really helped make it great. However, there were more "no - we can't do that" at our 10 days in Jamaica then we heard at our 6 years in Mexico travel. The pool team wasn't very fun and they seemed more concerned about getting a work out in than entertaining guests. However, the resort had maybe 10-15% occupancy when we travelled, so all of that has to be in perspective.
Other than some of the staff not truly feeling like Palace, the GM from Moon Palace Cancun made us a deal we couldn't pass up and upgraded our membership on site. That led us to the VIP section of the beach (although the beach was empty so you really had most of it to yourself). The resort is on a beautiful cove and so the beach and water is really calm and perfect for relaxing in the sun and cooling off in the water. And we cooled off a lot as it was blazing hot (hotter than same temps in Mexico). We enjoyed the activities that were running, but missed being able to go off resort, except for two special trips by ourselves that the resort arranged for us. Our biggest disappointment was that the buffets were shut down (I know - who would think that would be the concern), but otherwise, we were satisfied.
A couple things that stood out.
1) first and foremost - I had jerk chicken EVERY DAY! I didn't get the names of everyone at the Jerk Chicken shack, but if you don't get Jerk Chicken every day, you are missing out. It was simply amazing and the best part of the resort!!!! Hands down!
2) Our beach servers were amazing and one server really nailed the Palace experience. I can't say enough about Rowan who waited on us nearly every day and not only brought us drinks and jerk chicken, but talked with us, told us about Jamaica, and explained the elections going on while we were at the resort. He was the best service we had while we were there. Helping Rowan was Caeda and Scotisha, that were also great service and we enjoyed talking with them since the beach was so empty.
3) The restaurants were limited so we went to the Gondola three times while there, including our last night for an anniversary dinner. Can't say enough about Delroy our waiter that also knew how to accommodate every special request and was able to chat with us and introduce us to the others that were helping out. We love that part about Palace. And a big shout out to Chef Oral, who made a special dinner for our anniversary and made special dishes that weren't on the menu, just to help us celebrate! It was amazing.
We also went to Momo several times - but only did Hibachi once. Chef Ibris at the hibachi was great and did a service just for us. However, the real gem was probably the second best server we had at the resort and that was Oneish at the regular Momo dinner side. He was also so accommodating and made every attempt to make sure we had an amazing experience with him. He is very Palace!
We ate at the main restaurant for breakfast and lunch a couple times as it was easy - the food off the menu was limited and was mostly just okay, but we found a couple people that helped make it the best possible. As noted, we actually missed the buffet. Big shoutout to Rodian, who was the 3rd best server there - he was amazing and helped us and everyone around when not all the staff was being attentive. Also, can't say enough about Dalton and Jahvon who were there and would help make me an Arnold Palmer and find some avocados for my wife.
3) We enjoyed a couple activities at the resort. There were two tours that the resort offered where my wife and I essentially got private tours. We were able to go to Dunns River Falls and Konoko Falls. We had so much fun on both of the excursions and actually enjoyed that part of having so few people at the resort. We had private guides for both trips that made it amazing for us and took pictures.
We enjoyed the beach activities and used the paddleboards in the second lagoon area although wished we could have gone around to the other beach area to make the time longer and more eventful.
Best part of the activities was the WaveRider and learning to surf on it for the first time. Even learned how to jump in from the top on my feet. I got to give a huge shout out to Devar and Diego for their patience and willingness to let me try new things and play on the boards for hours.
The other activity we really enjoyed was the sunset cruise. I would highly recommend it and had a ton of fun; the crew even helped us relax and gave us time to get in the water and that was a blast. I recommend Captain Anthony, Sheldon and Christovan on our evening cruise.
3) Spa - so, with restrictions on getting out, we utilized the spa alot. I mean, every day a lot. it was good and while the staff wasn't quite as friendly as the spa staff in Mexico resorts, it was still amazing. There were a couple staff that stood out as well - Shari was simply the best masseuse. Closely behind, Simone and Rannella were awesome as well.
Overall, not sure what all we expected traveling during pandemic. We felt safe at the resort and enjoyed the couple opportunities to get off property. I did run off resort up in the hills, which was the most unexpected part of the resort - seeing the beautiful beach running up into tree lined hills. Loved running up to what I was told was Keith Richards mansion and then up to a small town in the pouring rain.
I am not sure this trip really tells all about the resort given the limitations with the pandemic, but it was an amazing trip and overall, we enjoyed our stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC