Updated: Jun 6, 2019
It has been three years since we had a trip together as a couple with no kids. For our vacation this year we were blessed to go to Sandals Resort in Jamaica. I say blessed because I know that not everyone gets vacation time especially parents that may not have the support of a family to help them make a trip possible.
We read a lot of reviews on this resort which has also several locations including Bahamas and Africa. This particular resort is all inclusive so the price tag may scare some people a little bit. I think it all comes down to the experience that you’re trying to have. We really liked that we didn’t have to worry about paying for food or selecting a restaurant based on a specific budget. Also the tip was included in the cost so the only people that we could tip if we wanted to were the shuttle bus drivers.
There were water sports, entertainment and complimentary drinks that were available pretty much all day. So even if you’re going some place where the price tag seems more reasonable, food and entertainment may have a big price tag on that as well, you’ll just pay as you go. Although we don’t drink we had them make us a few non-alcoholic drinks for us and of course we took advantage of the specialty coffee machine.
This particular resort was called Royal Caribbean. They actually had several other resort that were not too far from ours where we could actually catch a shuttle and visit or eat at a specific restaurant.
One or the things that may sound a bit deceiving through their website is the fact that they say that they have over 20 restaurants for you to choose from which is true however you will have about 6-8 restaurants that are located on your specific resort and the rest are located at the other resorts which you had to schedule a reservation in advance and follow their shuttle bus schedule which ran every hour. Another thing that I noticed is that some of the restaurants only stayed open from morning to afternoon or afternoon to evening so you technically had about 4 places to choose from for either of those times at this particular resort. We ended up being more of vegetarians on this vacation because that was the only option unless we just wanted to eat fruit the whole time. I did appreciate a buffet style option that we had in the morning and afternoon to get a quick bite to eat. They definitely had a lot of options at the buffet. I tried to eat a lot of the local fruit which was really good. I’ve never been on a cruise but Ryan said it was very similar to cruise food. It wasn’t out of this world but it wasn’t bad either.
We were picked up in a BMW and were taken from the airport to the resort. Our driver sang us a song to welcome us. The staff were very sweet and said a lot of ‘Ya Man’ which is an island statement. Most of them had a really positive attitude with an exception of a few that didn’t seem too enthusiastic to be there. One of the things that we found interesting was that there were some island people that would ride their peddle boat not too far from our beach and whistle to get your attention in order to ask you if you want to buy weed. The staff told us that there was nothing that they can do about them because it’s water and not private property. Throughout the day you get several of them that would do that. We asked the staff if weed was legal and they said that it’s in a bit of a gray area because if you use it yourself you probably will not get arrested but if you get caught distributing then you might. It was interesting and a bit uncomfortable but it was just a part of the experience.
One of the nights, we had a steel drum concert which was awesome but the audience wasn’t really enthusiastic which I think made one of the mediators get a bit upset because after it was over and we clapped he got up and told us that we should go up on stage and try at least one of the things that they did if we thought that it wasn’t impressive. I understand sarcasm but that went a little too far. It was very uncomfortable to hear that. I think he was expecting a standing ovation which is interesting because the audience paid good money to be entertained and to be there. At the end of the day it’s a job and sometimes you may not get a standing ovation. That was just a minor thing that we noticed.
The beach was beautiful and the water was clear and very peaceful. We went canoeing, peddle-boarding and snorkeling. They also had swings in the water which was probably my favorite. When we woke up in the morning, it looked like someone raked the beach and I was right because I saw a man doing the same thing in the evening which I thought was pretty nice. The place was kept really clean and even during the day they were trimming the greenery or doing touch up paint. We were there during the week so it was a little quieter than being there during the weekend, from what we heard. We didn’t mind that. This resort was for adults only so there were no children around. I really wanted that because I didn’t want to have to think about our kids every-time I saw a child plus we were trying to get away from that ourselves.
For one of the days we booked a couples’ massage which was a separate cost but that’s something that we wanted to do for ourselves. The spa was very peaceful and the massage therapists were awesome. We picked a candle and when it melted it was used as a massage oil. I must’ve been super tight in my shoulders because she kept working on that area. You know a good massage therapist when they really feel the tension and work to get that out.
They had a professional photographer on site that would walk around and take pictures. They even had a photographer come to our group’s snorkeling session, which was pretty awesome. I didn’t know this, but a part of our package actually included a photoshoot. (We never did one) We went to the photo shop the day before we left to review the pictures and see the prices. Let me just say it was pretty ridiculous. They were charging $190 for 10 digital images and 1 framed photo. Out of 45 photos we kind of liked 10 but we did’t like them that much after we saw the pricing sheet. I guess for a person that normally doesn’t do professional photoshoots like we do, it may not seem that ridiculous but we’ve been spoiled by really awesome photographers that we worked with in the US so maybe we just have a different taste. :)
Overall, we had a good time just being on the beach and by the pool relaxing and people watching. I’m sure that’s what everyone was doing too. So everyone was just staring at everyone. LoL
Here are just a few pictures from our trip.
If you’re interested to see more of the place and get a quick tour, watch our latest travel vlog.
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