|Posted on January 8, 2016 at 8:20 PM|
I've been back from Jamaica for a bit but with the Holidays and booking all your trips I am behind telling you about the trip. We stayed at some places we had been before and checked out more resorts in Jamaica that are new or new to me. We were very lucky to have several amazing new experiences (yes even after all these times).
As always we used Club Mobay for arrival and departure. We arrived midday on the weekend and the lines were quite long so it was great to be fast tracked past all the lines at both points and be sitting in the lounge within 10 minutes. We freshened up got a Red Stripe and were off to our included transfer. The ride was 90 minutes and always lets us see a bit more if Jamaica.
The Sandals resorts we stayed at were much like we remembered them. Sandals Whitehouse is still a secluded paradise. We found the food still to be just as good as we remembered; especially the Lamb chops. The beach is still long and you can still watch the sunrise from one area of the resort and the sunset from another. Mother nature has been a little rough on her so they are rebuilding some entry spots on the beach. The pools are still wonderful and the fire pits are great at night. We had a private candlelight dinner in the gazebo where we were married. The lobster was large and succulent and it was romantic to sit together and listen to the waves. We were also blessed to be there for a sea turtle release. We have just missed out on this experience on our trip across the Caribbean. They were so small and fragile I hope many make it to return to the beach when it is their turn to lay eggs. Meeting reggae legend Maxi Priest (who was doing a show for Sandals and a charity event) and finding him to be a very special and unpretentious soul was a priceless experience. Our day in the Cabana was relaxing as we enjoyed the beautiful water view, Our cabana butler came by often to make sure we had all we wanted. Sandals Royal Caribbean still has an old world charm and was much like we remember. They are making progress on the overwater suites off the private island and redoing the Windsor block. The new suites with the soaking tubs on the balconies turned out great so I cannot wait to see these new additions. The hubs introduced our brother in law to the snorkeling just off the island and he got to see a variety of sea creatures.
The Jamaican Tourist Board was nice enough to take me around again to several resorts. I got to check out Half Moon and Round Hill resorts. They both offer suites and the villas that will accommodate varying sizes of groups. They also offer a la carte pricing to all inclusive options. Half Moon had their own dolphinarium and horses for an ocean ride. They both have spas and children's programs. Hilton Rose Hall was a nice family option complete with a lazy river and water slides to keep kids of all ages busy. They've acquired more beach area offering plenty space to spread out and enjoy the sun and turquoise waters. Hyatt Ziva and Zilara offer a family and adults only option. The adults only side can use the family side areas as part of their vacation. The original suites have a Caribbean feel whereas the newer sections on both sides have more clean modern finishes. The grounds are beautiful. There are 2 calm coves for the younger children to swim in. Jamaica offers so many options for people and groups of all ages and interests.
We always try to do a new tour and this time it was the Luminous Lagoon. We used my friends and private drivers from Travel Around Jamaica. After a 30 minute drive we arrived at a small oceanside bar. We paid our fee for the boat ride and got a drink while the other people arrived. From the shore you could see fish near the top of the water leave traces of blue fluorescent light behind. We loaded onto a boat about the size of a glass bottom boat. As we pulled away from the shore the wake glowed blue. We made our way further out to the middle where there was less light. Our captain was entertaining on the way out and back. once we stopped he asked who wanted to swim. Many stayed on the boat but the hubs and I jumped right in. The more we splashed the brighter and more prominent the blue glow appeared. when your arm was lifted from the water it sparkled briefly like the stars in the sky. We did not swim over long but had worn ourselves down doing our best to entertain ourselves and those still in the boat with this phenomenon that only occurs in 5 places in the world. This area also has moon jellyfish that do not have stingers and you can watch the slight blue glow as they gracefully swim along. I would do this tour again in a heartbeat it was just that special.
I celebrated my birthday and Anniversary while we were there. We received several beautiful towel decorations complete with flowers and desserts. At dinner I also received a special dessert decorated with happy birthday. What more could one ask for for a special occasion than a beautiful beach vacation and the company of their love and friends.
Unfortunately, the time came to leave. I honestly used to cry at this point because these vacations feel so special. We took the included transfer to the airport the request 3 hours in advance. After checking in with our airline we went right to the Club Mobay line again and were fast tracked through customs. The lines were not as long as arrivals but that is not the real reason we get Club Mobay. We made our way through the airport to the lounge. Here we had comfortable chairs, wifi, drinks continued to flow, and there were plenty of snack options. On trips before we’ve used the shower room so we could get some extra ocean or pool time in at the resort. There are several lounges : family, adult only, quiet, and the new upper lounge with view of the planes. They do a great job of announcing flights and eventually they called out ours and we were off to board our flight home. It was another fabulous trip and I learned even more about an island I already love. Contact me to find out how we can arrange your veryown Jamaican experience.