Disney World and Jamaica

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leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 11, 2008 3:54 AM

Hi everyone! My fiance and I are getting married next October. We've always been big Disney people (have had Disneyland season passes for like 5 years) and so honeymooning at Disney World was a given. We're planning on staying at the Grand Floridian. Does anyone have any tips or advice about this place or know anyone who has stayed there?

After a week at Disney, we are planning to take off for like 4 or 5 days to an all-inclusive like Sandals to Jamaica. We're looking at Montego Bay but we're not dead set. We've never done an all-inclusive before and wonder if anyone has any tips on any all-inclusives in Jamaica.

Thanks!



Message was edited by: leese1218

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Bride2BeSoon Posts : 21 Registered: 4/29/08
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 13, 2008 11:03 PM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Hi leese,

My FH and I are honeymooning in Jamaica through Sandals. We are going to the Royal Caribbean --which is in Montego Bay. We booked ours through a travel agent and we are really excited about everything it entails... I can give you any information that you want to know, just let me know what you're curious about. :)

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hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 12:02 AM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Hello Leese.  I stayed at The Grande (the largest all-inclusive Sandals) in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and totally loved it.  There are other Sandals in Ocho Rios, but I really love this one.  There are so many things to do and I like the fact that everything is included (well except for outside tours and spa services). 

 


 


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leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 1:18 PM Go to message in response to: Bride2BeSoon

I would love to know more about what type of room you guys chose and if they're doing anything special because it's your honeymoon. Are you doing any excursions and did you hear anything about the safety of it all? I heard from a friend that it is really unsafe to go into the towns there or something? We don't have a preference on resorts so why did you choose that one?

Thanks!

Lisa


I will become Mrs. Martinez October 17, 2009!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

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leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 1:20 PM Go to message in response to: hellokitty4ever

What type of room did you guys stay in? Why did you choose that resort? We don't have a preference on where we stay on the island but I heard the ride from the airport to Ochos Rios is bad....is that true? Did you guys do any excursions?

Thanks!

Lisa


I will become Mrs. Martinez October 17, 2009!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Reply

hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 2:56 PM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Leese, we chose the Sandals Grande of all the Sandals resort in Ocho Rios because it was the biggest, and therefore had the most activities and restaraunts.  The cool thing about the resort is that you can transfer to another resort (for dining or for activities).  We never had to do that, however, because we never even had the chance to eat at all the restaurants that were there at the Grande (there were just a lot of them). 

We stayed at a very nice room overlooking the water; it was extremely beautiful.  At the Grande, you can have the mountain rooms or be on the Riviera side.  I like the latter.  If you're in the mountain rooms, then it's kind of a pain to get to and from places because it's such a large area, and plus I prefer the waterfront view. 

The ride to Ocho Rios isn't bad at all.  It takes an hour, but if you think about it....when you're taking an hour drive somewhere, is it really ever bad???  Plus, you get to enjoy the local scenery, which I actually appreciate.  The ride didn't seem long at all.  Some people prefer to stay at Montega Bay because they don't have to be transported into another city and some say it's a party resort.  I have to say though that I like the feel of Ocho Rios (The Grande specifically) because it has a never-ending party atmosphere, but if you want something more secluded and quiet, they have that too (it's the best of both worlds).

We went on some excursions (they cost extra) but they're well worth the money.  We went to Dunn's River.  Everyone raved about it, but we went when the cruise ships had docked, so the locale was packed...my advice is find out when the cruise ships are away and then go on that day.  Otherwise, you won't get to enjoy the waterfall.  We also did a safari, white river tubing and we went out boating.  It was so much fun!

We plan on going again soon.

 


 


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leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 8:38 PM Go to message in response to: hellokitty4ever

Well an hour ride from the airport isn't bad at all. I agree that taking in the scenery would be awesome.

I will definitely look into that resort. Did you leave the resort at all to do any kind of shopping or anything like that? Did you feel it was safe?

We're looking into swimming with dolphins and doing the canopy zip line tour. We don't necessarily need a party atmosphere but we would prefer it to be pretty upbeat with different activities throughout the day and night. How were the bars/bartenders? Did they come up with clever concoctions? I've heard some Jamaican bartenders come up with awesome "tropical" drinks.

I would definitely be more interested in an ocean room. Did they have any dining on the beach type of options? Did you guys have any special honeymoon package or did the resort do anything special because it was your honeymoon?

Thanks for your help,

Lisa


I will become Mrs. Martinez October 17, 2009!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

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hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 9:25 PM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Lisa, shopping is fun and I didn't feel in danger at all (they do have a shopping tour as well).  I wanted to do the canopy zip tour, but there was only so much we can do in the 6 days that I was there.  Sandals Grande definitely has an upbeat feel to it.  Everyone is so friendly and I absolutely love the no tipping policy.  We actually tried to tip the manager (don't know his official title) who upgraded our room and was so accomodating, but he adamantly refused.  They were all so nice and accomodating. 

There are one or two restaurants on the Riviera side itself that offers dining on the beach (tables are actually set up on the sand in front of the water) and it's really romantic and beautiful. 

Since Sandals Grande is a couples only resort, it seems as though all their packages cater to honeymooning couples.  On our first night there, my husband and I went out to dinner.  When we came back, there were lit candles, a bottle of champagne placed in an ice cold bucket, two glasses and they had made towel swans where the neck forms a heart.  They had spelled out "LOVE" with local flowers (the towel animals were formed on the bed).  It was so beautiful and the housekeeper had written us a note.  It was nice and totally unexpected. 

My hubby and I were kind of sad to go, but like I said, we'll definitely return once we do some more traveling.

If you are going to go to Sandals, check their website often because they sometimes have really good deals (like 50% off sales that can save your a whole lot of Benjamins).

Here's a picture of the champagne (in the bucket--definitely a sweet surprise):

Here are the towel swans (totally cute):

Another shot of the bed on our first night there:

 


 


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leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 10:37 PM Go to message in response to: hellokitty4ever

Oh my gosh you totally are selling me on this resort. I actually didn't know Sandals was couples only although I assumed it was. I really wanted to go to Ochos Rios but I was worried about the drive from the airport but an hour isn't bad at all. I didn't know about the no tipping policy either. I knew gratuity was included, but like you, I'm sure I would have tried tipping more. That's really impressive.

Your pictures are beautiful and now I am even more excited. I'm going to look on the web site right now!

Thanks so much!

Lisa


I will become Mrs. Martinez October 17, 2009!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

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hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 10:47 PM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Awesome.  Yeah...I had a couple of friends who had gone to the same resort and loved it.  My husband and I tried tipping multiple times, but they were very adamant that we put our money away.  The only person that we tipped was the driver.  It is customary to tip the driver and your tour guides, but that was no big deal at all. Anyone affiliated with the resort (i.e., employed by Sandals) cannot take tips from guests. 

My husband really wants to go again and it's only been four months!!!  We're actually going to go to Maho Bay in the British Virgin Islands first before we go back to Jamaica (but that's another story). 

Oh, BTW, before we decided on Ocho Rios, we actually thought about the Disneymoon, but figured it was going to cost us way too much.  I live right near mouse town in California, so Disney is a part of my blood.  I definitely want to go to the bigger kingdom one day. 

 


 


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Bride2BeSoon Posts : 21 Registered: 4/29/08
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 10:55 PM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Oh Wow, you got a ton of replies. :)

But, we are staying at the Royal Carribbean and we are staying in the Royal Grande Luxe Room. We don't have anything big planned for our honeymoon yet. We are going to wait until it gets closer or just until we get there. I have heard about the saftey issues and my travel agent said about the same thing as these ladies on here. --You just have to be smart about it. But, I have also found that the resort that we are staying at has escorted shopping trips through the town, so that is an option.

Orginally we were between the Royal Carribbean and Sandals Inn, and were leaning towards the Inn because of the smallness, but ended up going with the other because my travel agent told us about the Inn --it is in the middle of town, so regardless of the smallness, its still kinda crazy and the beach, which is across the street is a public one, so that kinda turned us off. But the Royal Carribbean is all private and it is in the middle of the Inn and the Whitehouse, so we could have the shortest ride possible to any of the three resorts for meals or whatnot --which is included. We are able to go between the three resorts for anything --pools, resturants, bars, beaches, whatever. But, we decided mostly on what we wanted in a honeymoon.

My advice would be to talk to a travel agent --they would be able to sort through all the resorts with you and your options for each. You sound a lot like me and my FH --we didn't really care, we just wanted to go to Jamaica. So, it was, in the end, up to the advice from our travel agent.

...hope this helps. :)

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Bride2BeSoon Posts : 21 Registered: 4/29/08
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 10:59 PM Go to message in response to: Bride2BeSoon

hellokitty --can you post more pictures? I know I am not at the same resort, but I am just curious... lol. :)

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hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 11:37 PM Go to message in response to: Bride2BeSoon

Bride2Be...what resort are you staying at??

I'll don't have all the pics on my computer, but I'll post the few that I have...well, the innocent ones :)

Here's me on the first day there (rise and shine):

Here's the water front area:

Water sports??? Totally fun!

More water...the picture doesn't do this place justice:

The water felt good...

Really, the pics do not do this place any justice...here's the pool area (I think this resort has over 200 pools), but this one is big; it doesn't look all that big in the photo, but it is pretty massive; the swim up bar isn't too shabby either:

:)

 


 


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hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Disney World and Jamaica
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 11:44 PM Go to message in response to: Bride2BeSoon

Bride2be, I don't know how I missed your other post.  The good thing about the Grande is that they have the longest stretch of a privately owned beach, so all we needed to do was step outside of our hotel room.  The Riviera side is located smack dab on the beach. 

 


 


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