I finally have a chance to post my review! First, I wanted to say thank you to everyone on this forum! You have been a huge help throughout this whole process! I do not know what I would have done had I not found BDW! And I am sorry that this is so long!
We left Thursday June 18th from Cincinnati.
They were great. We had no problems on the way down there or on the way back. I was able to carry my dress on and the flight attendants placed it in the first class closets. They were very nice about it! We were supposed to leave at 8:35 am but there was a delay of about 10- 15 minutes. Not too big of a deal. We had to transfer planes in Atlanta. We only had about an hour to get to our next plane. I was a bit nervous b/c I have never been to Atlanta and I have only heard bad stories about that airport since it is so big. Of course we arrived at the end of terminal B and had to run to terminal E : ) It was fun!
On the way home, we did not have any problems. It was just a long day of traveling since we left the resort at 9 am and did not get to our house until 1:30am! Blah!
Jamaica Tours- A
Our TA booked our transportation to and from the airport when she made our resort reservations. It was easy to find at the airport and the buses were air conditioned and comfortable. The bus driver was nice and funny. He started to talk about Jamaica and the history behind what we were seeing, but after 30 min he stopped talking. I knew that it was going to be a long ride to the resort. So that did not bother me. I was a bit taken back when we stopped for our â€œrest stop.â€ I am not sure what I was expecting, but I guess the little shop with the huge marijuana plant is just a little taste of the Jamaican culture!
I do not think that we could have picked a more perfect resort for us! We arrived at 4 pm and it looks just like the pictures that everyone has been posting! While checking in we were given rum punch! It was great and just what I needed after the long day! The whole resort was always clean and the staff was great! Everyone was friendly and
There were about 10 of us checking in at the same time. For some reason DH and I were in the back and were the last to check in. Everyone in our group was getting upgraded. I am not sure why, but almost all of them got upgraded to Junior Suites. I was excited but at the same time getting annoyed! We booked a junior suite and I wanted to be upgraded! Not to sound too crazy, but it was OUR wedding and honeymoon! I kept saying that there better be enough upgrades for us! Right before we go to check in DH told me that he wanted to surprise me when we got to the room, but b/c of what was going on he had to tell me. He called our TA months ago and upgraded us to the King suite. I think that is what it is called. They were trying to book the suites with the whirlpools on the balconies but the resort was completely booked for those rooms. It was an awesome surprise! But when we got to the desk, the lady said, â€œIâ€™ve got good news for you! You have been upgraded.â€ DH was excited and asked if it was the balcony whirlpool suites. The lady replied no that it was the King suite. And DH told her that he had already booked that suite and that it was not really an up grade. She looked at him like she was confused. We just signed for the room, took the keys and went off to our room.
We had room 2305. AMAZING! We had a corner room so our balcony wrapped around our room. We had three sliding glass doors to our balcony! It was great. The front of the balcony faced the ocean and the side was a view of the pool. We were on the side closest to the Jerk Hut and Scuba Caribe. I was blown away! It was such a great room and it had an amazing view. I will post pictures from the room. Oh, we had regular keys for our room. We were not blessed with the key cards, thank goodness! Some of our guests had the key cards. But only one room ever had problems with it and I think that it was because the two girls who were rooming together came in on different days.
This was not too important to me. I knew that I was not going to go hungry all week. I have also stayed at all inclusive resorts before and the food has never been anything to write home about. St. Anns is the main buffet. We ate there often. Breakfast was great. They had a large selection. The Jerk Hut on the beach is the best! We had that the first full day we were there and I think we ate there just about every day after that! I did not care too much for the gourmet places. The food was good, but I ordered fish. I cannot remember what kind it was. But as I was eating it, I kept getting small bones in my mouth. I let it go like two times, but after the third time, I just stopped eating it. We ate at Mammee Bay a couple of times. Dinner was great. It was the best that I had while I was there. Lunch was the same as the Plantation. We stayed by the Plantation and the pool on that side of the resort the whole time. The little Italian place was good too. We never got around to eating at the Japanese or the Asian places.
Chandlyn was on vacation while we were there. We had her assistant Nikki. She is wonderful and so cute. We wanted a very simple wedding so we did not add many extras. We reserved the steel drum band. The only song requests that we made was for them to play Cannon in D when I walked down the aisle and to play One Love when we walked down. We used the white tulle with the birds of paradise. I got the daisy bouquet. That was all that we had to set up and Nikki did everything that we asked.
We did have a sand ceremony picture frame that she set up for us and she gave the minister the reading for it. We also told her that we wanted DHâ€™s sister to do a reading. She relayed that to the minister and he called her up by name.
Ceremony/ Pictures- A+
It was beautiful! More than I imagined! We had great weather, not too hot and a nice breeze. The breeze made it a bit difficult for me as I kept tripping over my dress as we were walking from my room down to the beach!
Our ceremony was supposed to start at 4. I was a bit late b/c I had Michael come up to the room 15 minutes before the ceremony to take some pictures and we went a bit over the 15 minutes! Oh well! Nikki was up there on time and brought my flowers and my MOHâ€™s flowers. We walked down to the beach and by the pool to go down to the beach. I was concerned b/c the area by the pool was all wet and the bottom of my dress was getting wet, but I got over it very quickly! I was in Jamaica and getting married!
The minister was awesome! Our ceremony was the religious version. We had DHâ€™s sister do a Bible reading and then at the end we did a sand ceremony.
After the ceremony we had a toast on the beach and danced to the steel drum band. It is funny b/c I was so excited about the steel drum band and I honestly cannot remember hearing them the whole time! My uncle recorded the whole thing and said that he got them on there and they sounded great! I still have not watched the video yet!
We were lucky and had Michael for our photographer! He is awesome! If anyone has any doubts about him, do not worry! He is great to work with. Our pictures turned our amazing!
We had dinner at Mammee Bay. It was great. Our server was Steven. We had 28 people in our group and he had it all under control. The food was good and the service was awesome! Or cake was pretty. It was just the free one. It was alright. I think desserts in the States are just sweeter than they are down there. It was still a nice dinner!
We did not do any reception after. There was a beach party that night. We all changed and watched for a little bit. But we mostly sat around by the stage and had a few drinks. DH and I were pretty tired from the whole day. I was so nervous the whole day and that just drains you!
Our TA booked an excursion for our group on Monday after the wedding. We went through Leeâ€™s Tours. They are amazing to work with Norma met our group on Sunday to collect our payments and to give us the information we would need. Monday morning we went down to Scuba Caribe and got on a catamaran at 10 am. It was just our group on the boat for the whole trip. They took us right in front of the Sandalâ€™s next door. We snorkeled on the reef for about an hour. I had never experienced this. It was too cool. From there we took the catamaran to Dunnâ€™s River Falls. This was probably the coolest thing we did. The falls are so beautiful! The water is fresh from the mountains and it was cold! It was a hot day so the cold water felt great! But you do need to hold on to your bathing suits while standing by the falls. We were taking a picture and I almost lost my bottoms! After we hiked the falls we got back on the catamaran for a booze cruise! It was so much fun. The music was turned up, Red Stripe and Rum drinks were flowing and everyone was having the time of their lives! My older auntsâ€¦ late 60â€™s, were dancing with the tour guides! It was so comical! When we got past the reef, the ocean water was so blue! It was so beautiful and breath taking! The catamaran took us to Margaritaville. We took our stuff to the bus for Leeâ€™s Tours and then ate at Margaritaville. We had so much fun on the water slide. We were going down in groups. DH and his friends pushed the limits when they went down with 10 of them in a train! It was funny! The life guard said to them that they owed him $10. Our nephew said to him, â€œWhat happens in Jamaica stays in Jamaica!â€ The life guard laughed and said â€œno problem mon!â€ From there we did some shopping and then made it back to the resort about 7 pm. It was a great day!
The best place that we liked for shopping was where we called â€œacross the border.â€ It was just past the resort on the side with the beach gazebo. There are a couple of vendors who have shops over there. They had the coolest things and for great prices. They were always willing to negotiate with you. They are very trusting people too! We went down there and found some things that we wanted to buy but we had to go back to the room to get some more money. Two of the vendors just gave us the stuff that we wanted to buy and said for us to just bring down the money later! Of course we brought back the money, but we were surprised at this practice!
Over all we had a great experience! We cannot wait to go back! It was a perfect wedding and honeymoon. I promise I will have pictures posted soon! If you have any questions let me know!