Adventures in All-Inclusivity

So, as I’ve mentioned, we have just returned from our Jamaica vacation!  It was gloriously relaxing.  Vacations since starting work have been few and far between for me, so I tried to savor the time off.  This trip was my first experience with an all-inclusive resort, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  We were drawn to it for budgetary reasons (though our resort had gotten awards from Conde Nast Traveler magazine), so expectations were clearly tempered with this in mind.  I offer a few notes and tips for those similarly inexperienced in this form of travel:

1.  Apparently it is a reasonable thing to bring your own cup jug to the pool.  God forbid you get off your butt every few minutes to refill a reasonably-sized glass with your (free) frozen fruity drink.  Much easier to have a Big Gulp of blue drank.

2.  Order many a course at dinner.  Don’t count on everything being fantastic, so it’s better to sample more.  You’re not paying for it, and I assure you, the staff cares not.

3.  Follow the example of the regulars, they know how to do it right (see tip #1).  You will recognize the regulars by their ratty old t-shirts emblazoned with the name of the resort, by their super-sized drink jugs, and likely by their tattoos and old-man biker hair (ok, I’m really just referring to one fellow, but he was awesome.  Surely he had a Harley).

4.  Be prepared to be entertained as if on a cruise.  I’m not saying that the live recreation of the Newlywed game show was not entertaining (thank you, wife #1 for announcing you’re a virgin, and wife #3 that named her husband’s…. you know… Dinkie).  I’m just saying be prepared.  We did hear the world’s premier steel drum band (apparently Jamaica loves Adele), Jamaica’s premier rasta opera singer (their term, not mine), and saw some rad dancers.  We missed the talent show, however … not too sad about that.

All snarkiness aside, we had a lovely relaxing vacation.  Lots of time spent laying on the beach, floating in the pools, and sipping those aforementioned free drinks (no, we did not spring for the jugs – we decided if it was too hard to paddle our floaty up to the swim-up bar for a refill, we didn’t deserve a drink).  And really, if you like your poolside drinks as much as we do, it’s quite economical to have an open bar all the time.  While the food is not by any stretch gourmet, it gets the job done, and there were restaurants and choices available at all times.    Our resort had a private beach, which was nice in comparison to reviews of other hotels in which there were many complaints of drug peddlers lurking on the beach.  Clear blue water, smooth sand, waves, aaaaaaah.  We were like a Corona ad, except since it was Jamaica, it would be Red Stripe.

Oh, and as mentioned below, I was too much of a chicken to dunk my new waterproof camera under water.  But it did the trick on dry land!  Here are just a few fotos of the digs.  I wasn’t as great a photog as I should have been :/

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