keep in mind, i write these for myself after every vacation. Sorry if it is waaaayy to long.
“No Problem Mon” was the theme of our trip to Jamaica in July this year. Sure there may have been a problem or two, but overall it was a relaxing problem free vacation. We traveled with Mom, Dad, Paul and Ginger (we have never travelled as a family before - really!). We stayed in an all inclusive Sandals resort in Montego Bay Jamaica called the Royal Caribbean from Sunday to Sunday. This type of vacation is Doc’s favorite. He Loves the no hassle, no work, no driving, just relax, swim, play, eat and drink ALL day long.
We flew out of Charlotte early Sunday morning after spending the night at the Airport Home Wood suites, which had a very comfortable bed. The flight was uneventful. USAIR was great in providing wheel chairs for Mom and Dad, something we did not think we needed, but were sooo grateful for after we saw how long the walk was to the Sandals lounge.
The highlights of the trip were diving with Doc for the first time, diving without Doc, snorkeling, the catamaran cruise, the cabana on the beach, the massage, hobie cats and ofcourse the food.
Doc took a 2 hour resort course on Monday and we went diving together for the first time that morning. Doc had taken a discover scuba class with Charlie ahead of time so was familiar with what to do and what to expect on the dive. We dove the shallow dives from 25 feet to a max depth of 45 feet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then I dove by myself on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on deeper dives from 50 feet to 65 feet. Each dive was very pleasant and fun. The water clarity was 50-70 feet. The water was warm. The marine life in Jamaica is nowhere near as abundant as Mexico, the Virgin Islands or St Lucia but we saw lots of small colorful fish, coral reefs and we saw at least one string ray each day. On Wednesday we saw the largest sting ray we have ever seen. On Thursday I saw not one but two spotted eagle rays. We were diving along a coral wall that dropped to around 100 feet and they swam up the wall and one swam right underneath us and then veered off to the left. Fantastic! On Saturday, I saw the largest crab claw I have ever seen. Yes, it was attached to a crab, but he was under a rock, he must have been at least 3 feet in diameter to have the claw we saw. Each trip had a dive time of around 35-40 minutes. There was usually only a small group on each dive boat. The shallower dives had more folks. The Morning dive on Saturday only had 3 of us. Now that Doc has tasted diving, he will get most likely get certified before our next Caribbean trip. He’ll never be able do a 2 tank dives in NC, but short one tank dives are similar to snorkeling but with no current to contend with.
I went snorkeling twice Thursday, and once on Friday and Saturday. The later trips I went with Paul and they were Pauls’ first snorkeling trip ever. Saw a medium sized stingray twice and the usual Sgt majors and other small fish. I only saw one parrot fish . The snorkel trips were never overcrowded and were enjoyable.
Wednesday afternoon we took a Catamaran cruise down to the “Hip Strip” in Montego Bay. This cruise was included in our package. Mom and Dad accompanied us. The cruise was a smooth ride going with beer and Margaritas flowing freely. We stopped at Margaritaville for an hour where Doc and Dad drank Margaritas at $9 each. I rode the waterslide 3 times. I talked Doc into it once. We sped down the slide and flew out the shoot at the bottom. It was a blast. The Catamaran ride back was lots of bumps and it was sooo much fun. Doc had taken Dramamine before we left, so I guess the mix of Dramamine and Margaritas is what it takes to not have him sea sick. Mom & Dad enjoyed it, but not as much as we did.
The cabana on the beach
Thursday afternoon Sandals had a Concierge cocktail party with a raffle for a ½ day Cabana and Doc won. So our last afternoon on Saturday we spent laying in a covered, draped bed on the beach with a butler who brought us lunch, beers, Margaritas and an afternoon fruit and cheese plate. It was a $160.00 value, it was heavenly, but I would never have spent that on my own. We played Quizcross and Ruzzle on my iPad. Ginger and Paul joined us for a little while.
Also part of our package was a $100 spa credit, so I booked a discovery massage which is a combination of Swedish, Reflex, and Deep Tissue work. It was wonderful. I loved the leg and feet massage and now know why Kimmie loves to have her feet rubbed. Yes, I did think of Kim when the Masseuse was doing her work. It was a full hour and was so relaxing. Nice soothing music, scented candles and air conditioning. AC was something we only got in our rooms at the resort. You can have the massage on the beach, but it was just too hot. The massage was on a heated table in a cool room and the contrast was really nice.
Did these twice. The first time was a very windy afternoon right before our only storm of the week. So Valentie (driver) and I flew thru the water. The waves splashed us several times but it added to the experience. These are free to guests at Sandals and I never had to wait to take one out.
The food was good to excellent to the best I ever had every night but one.
Sunday we went to the Regency Restaurant and had Caribbean lobster which was very good. We were all very tired that night and the service was way too slow.
Monday, we were going to go to the Montego Bay Resort Beach party, but the shuttles are irregular and it looked like it was going to storm so we stayed at SRC for the White party buffet. It was very good.
Tuesday was our second favorite meal. It was the Sandal’s select dinner for repeat guests. Ginger and Paul arrived on Tuesday afternoon and the 6 of us went together. The Beef Tenderloin was the best I have ever had and the dessert was to die for. We had a sandals rep at our table and she talked Doc into eating things he would normally never have put in his mouth. Ahh, the power of a pretty woman.
Wednesday after we returned from the Catamaran cruise, we went to Eleanor’s as they do not require a reservation. Doc was very drunk and I feared he would not make it to dinner. Most of us ordered Steak, and it was tough, grisly and fatty on all of our plates. Mom ordered the fish and it was very dry. Dad ordered the same fish and it was excellent. The service was horrible, it took over 2 hours from start to finish.
Thursday was our reservation at the Thai restaurant on the SRC private Island. The atmosphere was lovely, the food a little spicy, but overall good. We walked around the Island after dinner for a little bit and then hung out at Ginger and Pauls Lobby pool, drank wine etc.
Friday was Mom and Dads 62 wedding anniversary so we all dressed up and went to the French restaurant. The scallop appetizer was awesome. I had the lamb and the shrimp as an entrée. The restaurant was very warm, but the meal was excellent. After dinner we hung out at our Kensington pool and drank wine etc.
Saturday night was by far everyone’s favorite. We shuttled to the Montego Bay resort for the Italian restaurant. Everything was tres excellent, from the bread to the dessert and everything in between. I had the calamari as an appetizer, the grilled tuna (best I ever had) for an entrée with a side of lasagna and Tiramisu for dessert. The restaurant view is beyond gorgeous (of course nothing will ever beat the Mango tree in St Lucia.) and the service was the best we had on our trip. After dinner we hung out at the MB resort at their piano bar with swim up pool and I drank champagne and Ginger, Paul and Doc drank Tequila Sunrises.
We had booked a room at the Kensington Building which has Concierge service, a stocked bar, room service, an ocean view and quiet pool. I had thought Mom and Dad were in the building next to ours; apparently they were not and were upgraded to our building. I thought this was perfect as their balcony was right off the pool deck. So most afternoons were just hangin out at the Kensington pool. The room itself was nice. Disappointment were: the bathtub was too small for two, there was not a separate shower, the balcony was very small; no room for a real table, just 2 small chairs and a small side table. The website is misleading as it makes you believe that the balcony is large and claims to have panoramic views. But, overall we were happy with our room and had no trouble falling asleep any night.
The trip for me really consisted of Diving & or snorkeling every morning, eating, drinking, fooling around and relaxing the rest of the day and evening. “No Problem Mon”