Last year we went to Jamaica for our 10th Wedding Anniversary, but got hit by Hurricane Sandy. Luckily they gave us a free holiday, so we took it. Here's a blog about what we did. Which was very little :-)
Get up 5am for taxi. Accident on M1so lots of queues. Cab driver goes off piste and we have to use my phone as sat nav to get to Gatwick after 5 hours.
After check in priority pass gets us into lounge for coffee and breakfast. Nice.
As we board we notice staff are checking everything manually. Told on plane that power cut affected part of terminal, all systems are down. Flood in server room?
On tarmac for 3 hours, watch staff manually checking every bag. Watched a whole film before take off.
Good flight. Watched Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and Alan Partridge. After landing, straight to Sandals arrivals lounge for first Red Stripe of holiday. Yay! 100 min bus journey to resort. Arrive too late to meet butlers, (yes, we have butlers).
Up to room. Towel art on bed
Unpack. Order room service. Burgers, chips, beer. At 6 am UK time. Does wonders for resetting clock.
Up latish. Phone butler on mobile phone left in room. Collect us in golf buggy to take to breakfast. This was view from our table
Then beach, swim. Rum punch.
Jerk chicken, rice and peas, beer for lunch, in sun. Unlike last year.
Afternoon in pool bar sampling cocktails. Dirty banana, White Russian. Pink lady. To name but 3. Forget rest.
Back to room for nap! Buggy to dinner. Kelly's Dockside. On pier, in ocean, beautiful, mixed starter then Surf and turf.
Walk up to bar. Couple of drinks. I fall asleep. Narcolepsy or jet lag?
Up late, again. Buffet breakfast. To pool. Very hot. Spend morning relaxing on floats, drinking champagne.
Back to villa.
Lunch of club sandwich, salad, fries, brought by our wonderful butler Damian and Oshane together with bottle of Jack Daniels because it was about the only drink not in our room and we'd said we liked it!
Afternoon by our private pool
trying to watch my son Dans play which was being streamed from Drama Studio. Wifi not really up to it, but managed to hear the sound from most of it.
Various cocktails, all home made.
In evening went to beach club for beach party. Given a coconut filled with rum as we got there
Good food, had steak and lobster.
Entertainment began with a fire eater, then two pirates, called "One Pair" because they each had one leg, but a different one, so they only had to buy one pair of shoes.... Got more cringeworthy after that - drunk Americans in a dance competition. Lots of twerking. So, up to bar for drink. Awesome fiddle player entertained us there.
Back over road to Polo bar. Very bad piano player. Not our night for entertainment. Back to room to find towel turtle on bed. Which was nice.
Up late again. Butler took us to buffet breakfast. Here he is coming to get us
Getting used to starting day with Bucks Fizz, or Mimosa as they call it here. Back to room, read reviews of Dans play. All good. Watched a video review. Also good. Walked down through lush gardens and took bus to Rivera side. Short walk to pool. Hot. More lounging. More cocktails.
Lunch by pool of fresh cooked pizza. Very good.
Then more reading, more lounging, more cocktails. Back to room for well earned rest after a busy day.
Over to seaside for dinner in Reef Terrace. Fantastic Caribbean restaurant overlooking sea. Great moon. Lots of jerk chicken, coconut shrimp and tamarind beef.
Over to pool bar for more cocktails, including a red yellow and green Bob Marley. Looked good, but was too sweet. Think its the only one I've had that I've not liked.
Spent an hour chatting to other tourists and barmen.
Then up to amphitheatre for steel band, but had to sit though some games first, men vs women, although it was quite funny.
Steel band were amazing, not sure how they play and dance at same time. So energetic.
Even Michael Jackson turned up. Didn't get video, but he was great and moonwalked sideways. Better than MJ,
Back to our bar for nightcap and listened to some good piano playing.
Buffet again, this time had a freshly cooked omelette.
Watched 3 huge birds circling, looked like buzzards. No-one seemed to now what they were. Described to us as John Crows, but they weren't crows, and vultures. Think they were definitely buzzards.
Sat by our pool for a while, then down to main one. Decisions, decision, pool or beach. And if pool, which one? Several to choose from, and all in amazing surroundings.
Main pool for most of day. A few cocktails, lunch in buffet, and read most of new Bridget Jones book.
Cocktails and more reading in villa, then dinner in China Doll which is the Chinese restaurant, in Jamaica, with a French chef. Drinks in bar with couple from Kent. Discussed tricky subject of tipping butlers!
Breakfast, pool, lunch, reading, swimming, cocktails.
Got pictures of Johncrows which we can now definitely say are Turkey vultures
Dinner in a Kimonos for tappenyaki. Excellent food, but not as much showmanship as you'd get from a Japanese tappenyaki
Drink in pool bar, and then to auditorium to watch Jamaican drummers and dancers. Good show.
Back, nightcap, bed. So tired again. Wondering if its the anti-histamines I'm taking to calm the insect bites I picked up when we first got here. Maybe need to cut down on them.
Breakfast, beach. Sea. Rum punch.
Lunch in Kelly's looking at the ocean.
Bit of a walk along beach, looking at fish, sea urchins.
Pool for cocktails
Back for rest
Dinner in Valentines which is Italian.
Reggae night in auditorium. Excellent singer.
Pianist in Polo bar, good player but can't sing! Remember him from last year.
Breakfast, then to Riveria pool
Pizza for lunch.
Thunder, rain, lightening whilst we eat lunch under an umbrella. Soon clears up.
More cocktails. The barman tells me it "tastes like chicken" as he hands it to me. I'm glad to say it didn't.
Dinner in Neptunes which is on beach. Really good fish stew.
Back for amazing chocolate buffet - so much chocolate in one place. Even had chocolate cocktails.
Pool. Reading. Cocktails Swimming.
So many wasps (or bees) round the pool bar it was getting a bit dangerous to go too close.
Lunch in buffet
Dinner in Manor, a Caribbean restaurant. Managed to eat in a different place every night, and all excellent.
Said goodbye to Damian as he wouldn't be on duty tomorrow.
Finished packing, had breakfast and checked out by 11
Had great tour of grounds from Oshane - he used to be a gardner and knew all the plants, and took us to some places on the report we hadn't seen before. We saw mango trees, avocado trees, and amazing flowers.
Then spent some time by pool, followed by lunch in the grill.
Back to pool and Oshane brought us a cocktail and a dish of coconut shrimp which was delicious.
And that was it. Bus to airport, and hour in lounge, and we were off. And our flight was 90 minutes shorter because we had a storm behind us giving us a bit of help!
Fabulous holiday. And as you can see, it was hectic!