For anyone who has not taken a mid-year break to a warm, sunny destination-I highly recommend it. It’s the perfect thing to chase those winter blues away (at least for a few days before its back to reality) and recharge. Last month I accomplished two traveling firsts; visited Jamaica and stayed at my first all-inclusive resort. My fiancé and I had just got engaged and although we planned this trip eight months ago, long before we knew we would have something to celebrate, it ended up being the perfect little “engagement moon” to revel in our big relationship milestone.
We landed on traveling to Jamaica because it was a destination we both had not traveled to and also offered great specials for the time of year we wanted to spend there. One thing we learned while planning was that December is the beginning of busy season in Jamaica so the weather is great. The highlight about this is that if you travel mid-December you skip the high season pricing. We originally planned to go later in the month but prices more than doubled. We found the vacation sweet spot for timing and monopolized on it.
I would also highly recommend AllInclusiveOutlet.com to book any Caribbean vacation. I discovered them while internet browsing and in all honesty, thought it sounded kind of scammy because of their name. Their prices were hundreds of dollars cheaper for the same exact trip, with the same exact dates then other big name sites. After verifying they were a legitimate company I booked. And I’m SO happy I did. We received a personalized planner, were sent backpacks, and luggage tags within the first week. We proceeded to receive first class service with flight upgrades to get us there earlier and continual follow-up from our planner. It made it a seamless travel experience and it was a great deal!
As for our All-Inclusive resort, we stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay. I don’t have anything to compare to in terms of all-inclusive resorts however; as a traveler in general I will share my thoughts. The Wild Orchid was a pleasure to stay at. The rooms were clean and luxurious and you had a housekeeper come twice a day to do turndown service. The service staff was all friendly and many had some fun showmanship! Singing wait staff is fairly regular at all the restaurants so if you’re looking for dinner and a show you’ll most likely be in luck. The food was good. I can’t give it 5 stars…and maybe it’s just because I’m slightly a food snob. However; the overall the dishes were leaps and bounds above Cruise food I have had in the past. It was good for even free standing restaurant standards. It just wasn’t “blow me out of the water” spectacular. There were 7 restaurants to choose from for dinner and a wide range of cuisine themes.
The resort had many relaxation amenities. There were multiple pools with a fun little swim up bars. Games like ping pong, cornhole, and shuffle board are set up throughout the resort for people to take advantage of. And then there is the beach. If you are looking for expansive beaches with rideable waves…you’ll need to look further. But, this resort’s comfortable lounge chairs provided an unforgettable view with calm sea foam colored waters. There is also a huge spa that I did not take advantage of.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was our evenings spent after dinner near the Piano Bar that overlooked the bay. It had the beautiful lit up mountains in the background. There was outdoor nightly entertainment at this spot and it was always awesome. (I’ve decided that there is not one bad singer or performer in this country!)
Another amenity that this resort presented was showcasing Jamaican cultural and sharing it with the guests. On the walkways of the resort there would be daily food and art offerings. There was the Jamaican Jerk Chicken cart (That was to die for!…hands down the best food at the resort), the coconut and fruit carts, arts and craft dealers that provided handcrafted and local products, and more. This allowed me to not leave the resort, stay safe, and still get to enjoy some of what Jamaica really has to offer outside the resort walls.
Overall the trip was a memorable one. We don’t like to visit the same place twice but we both agreed we would not be opposed to returning to Secrets Wild Orchid. We know the service and experience will be hard to beat. We had five perfect weather days, we turned off all technology, and got to just enjoy one other’s company in paradise…what could beat that?!
There’s my travel feedback until my next trip to Puerto Rico in March 🙂
…all for the love of the dish