Are you ready for summer? Do you have the urge to book a vacation that doesn’t require you to think once your flight is booked? Well, that is the beauty of all-inclusives!
Cameron had never been to one of these glorious properties, so for his birthday, we booked the Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica! It is an adults-only property with 2 pools, 2 swim up bars, several land bars, a beach, sand volleyball, ping pong, chip & putt course, shuffle board, gym, and so much food! https://www.jewelresorts.com/resorts/dunnsriver
When you book the resort, transportation to and from the airport is included. As soon as you land, grab your bag, get through Customs, grab a drink, and head for your large air-conditioned bus! *Only let men help you with your bags if you are willing to pay them.* It may be a short wait until the bus is full so have a book ready, turn on music, or enjoy a nap.
We flew in on a Monday in July from Tampa to Montego Bay on American Airlines. When we arrived at the resort, all of our rooms weren’t quite ready (there were 8 of us) but we were being served drinks so all was well! We changed into our bathing suits and made our way to the pool for lunch while we waited. After we ate, lounged, explored, and eventually checked-in, we got ready for our first dinner! We chose the hibachi restaurant to start. *certain restaurants on all-inclusive properties will require reservations.* It was delicious and the cook made our experience so much fun!
Tuesday is the one day that we chose to leave the property for a little adventure. We booked a tour through Peat Taylor Tours to visit Dunn’s River Falls, White River, and Blue Hole – http://www.ochoriosjamaicatours.com/ – A driver picked us up in the morning and was with us all day. This was great because we were able to leave belongings in the van. He first took us to Dunn’s River Falls since it gets crowded very early. After Dunn’s River, we went tubing down White River. After that, our driver took us to a jerk restaurant where we could sit and eat lunch (cost not included in the tour price). One of our friends really wanted a few tanks for his dad so our driver took us after lunch to a more local spot where prices wouldn’t be high like the tourist shops. Then he took us to a shop to sample rum! Once we were done eating and shopping, we made our way to Blue Hole. If nothing else, you MUST visit Blue Hole. It was AMAZING and we could have spent all day there. Don’t be afraid to jump off of all the cliffs and climb down the waterfalls. The local guides there will make sure you’re jumping into safe depths!
At each of the locations, it is customary to have cash to tip the local guides assigned to you. We tipped the most at Blue Hole because of how wonderful they were! Two guides were assigned to our group (our driver picked them when we arrived) and they made the experience so great! They immediately took my GoPro from me and made sure that we had tons of great pictures and video! They also had an amazing energy and were so much fun to be around.
That night, the resort hosted their weekly party. Pig roast, huge buffet, music, dancers, comedians, and games that involved embarrassing chosen guests (we volunteers the guys). I had ordered a cake earlier in the day to be brought out to Cam at dinner. In addition to bringing the cake, our server told the band and the entire resort sang Happy Birthday to him!
The next few days were all about relaxing! We had breakfast each morning and secured our bar seats in the pool by the time the swim-up bars opened. Mimosas allllllll morning! In the afternoon we would switch to Jamaican Smiles… a strawberry daiquiri and piña colada with Sangster’s Rum Cream. *Definitely buy some Sangster’s at the airport before you leave! If you want to bring extra for me, I won’t be upset.* Each day we would lay by the pool and play different games that were on the property… volleyball, shuffleboard, ping pong. There are also activities hosted by the resort throughout the day! Don’t be embarrassed to volunteer.. they’re so much fun! Jerk chicken lunches by the pool were the best. Ask for fries topped with jerk chicken, then add the nacho cheese sauce. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Each night we rotated to a different restaurant so that we could try them all. They were all great! Definitely take advantage of the brick oven pizza stand and the all-day coffee bar nearby. There were also different activities that took place each night, in addition to the weekly party. One was movie night in the pool, so we all claimed spots in the hot tub, ate popcorn, and watched American Pie on a giant blow-up screen.
Lots of naps were also had. There was a gym on property but none of us are the type to be seen in a gym while on a relaxing vacation! We definitely ate and drank our money’s worth on this trip and Saturday came way too soon. It was pretty depressing flying home and planning to return to work on Monday. But there is always next time!
*When you are planning and packing for this trip, don’t be alarmed when you see 90% chance of rain all day everyday in the forecast. It’s a small island so the forecast always looks that way. We only had rain one night for about 30 minutes and we were already heading for bed. The rest of the week was perfect blue skies!
Message me if you have any questions!