Honeymoon Week: My Honeymoon

I doubt you’ll trust me to give you advice on honeymoon travel without me letting you know some details about my honeymoon. Back in September 2007, I got married one nice Saturday. September 24th my husband and I flew out of St. Louis, had a layover in Miami, then flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica. We spent 6 nights there before flying home.

Flights and Customs

We flew American Airlines because they had the best schedule and timing. Our flight to Miami was fine. At Miami, they switched our terminal twice and it was very chaotic. We made it alright, though most of our flight had to run across the airport with 20 minutes to go before takeoff. On the plane to Jamaica we had to fill out customs forms. (Tip: Print a copy of all your hotel details, like address and phone number and keep it in the same place as your passport. It makes filling out these forms so much faster) Customs in Jamaica was a little tedious but the lines moved at a regular pace. (Tip: Treat customs lines like you would a supermarket line and try to guess which people will be faster. Someone with kids might slow your line down) When we got through Customs, Sandals had a booth set up right as we entered the room. They offered us a seat while our transportation arrived and offered water, juices and red stripe. We took a bus to the hotel and the roads were bumpy but tolerable. While you aren’t required to tip your driver, it is expected.

Our return flight was not as good. The resort got us right to the airport and checking in was easy. When we landed in Miami, the trouble began. Customs was as slow as I have ever seen it, the airport staff was slow and yelled a lot. When we finally made it through customs, we ran into an area without anymore signs directing us where to go. We finally discovered an elevator that led us right to the metal detectors. We had to wait nearly an hour to get through them and that was pre-scanners. Halfway through the line, one agent looked at our tickets, saw our flight was due to leave in half an hour and opted not to let us go in a line deemed for close flights. It was all very chaotic and naturally when we finally got to the metal detectors, the person in front of us had $10,000 in cash he had forgotten to declare. I had to run ahead to the flight in my flip flops with 8 minutes to spare while my new husband put on his belt. Overall, Miami International was the worst part of the trip. Now, onto the best part:


Jamaica was an easy choice for us. I wanted an island and the husband had said on one of our first dates that he had always wanted to go to Jamaica. I liked the idea of being able to drink all I wanted (I was recently of age) and he liked the idea of never carrying his wallet around. We looked at the all-inclusive resorts and chose Sandals. From there, we decided we wanted to be within an hour’s drive of the airport and we liked the quiet calmness of Sandals Royal Caribbean. We decided to stay 5 nights but as a special treat, my husband bumped it up to 6. I think he was just sick of work or maybe he liked the book 5 nights, stay 1 free deal. It’s hard to say. The weather here was nice despite being in the middle of hurricane season. It often rained for an hour in the heat of the day but we used that time to nap or eat so it rarely bothered us. One night it rained for 3 hours so we ordered in room service and watched American TV shows until it cleared up. Then we went outside and relaxed in the hot tub. There may have been someone in our room who was so desperate to swim he climbed in the bathtub but that may have been influenced by the mini-bar.

We opted for a Concierge room, not necessarily for the service, but mostly for the location. We booked the Royal Honeymoon Luxury Beachfront Concierge Room in the Kensington building. Our room ended up being on the inside corner of the first floor. We could walk right out of our room and straight to the pool. If we walked a little further we could hit the ocean. The room was AMAZING. The bed was huge, we had plenty of space to spread out. There was a table inside or out for us to eat breakfast on and we did that daily. The bathroom was open with a small closed room for the toilet. The shower was open, glass, and beautiful. The tub had powerful jets and was so relaxing. I really can’t say one bad thing about our room.

Our maid service was a little inconsistent, we didn’t have a set time of day and often had to avoid the room an extra hour or so to miss service, but they were always exemplary in their work. The best part of our room had to be the mini-bar. Someone restocked it daily, it didn’t cost against an account and we could drink in the privacy of our room. The concierge service also meant someone checked us in while we sat and drank champagne, they booked all the dinners we requested and a massage (a special gift from my husband), we had access to 24-hour room service, and they had private lounges and parties for everyone receiving concierge services. It wasn’t necessary but it was nice.

Overall the resort was nice. We chose it for the seclusion and the distance from the airport, close but not too close. We wish there had been more restaurants on-site but the ones they had we enjoyed. We spent a lot of time in seclusion, either in our room or at our building’s pool. Our building’s pool was only used by 2 other couples our entire stay and they stuck mainly to the hot tub. We had a lot of time to swim and relax at night in the pool and by the jets of the hot tub. Most resort guests stuck to the main pool and its swim-up pool bar.

In fact, most never touched the ocean. We spent every day in the ocean. The area by our room was rocky but closer to the main building it was nicer, though murky. The downside was that locals in their boats attempted to sell you stuff. They’d leave if a staffer approached but within the hour they’d return. They’d hawk at you until you shot them down and then they’d leave you alone till the next day. The oceanside service was nice, with staff members bringing us drinks and making the beach seaweed free. The small island at our resort was mostly closed during our stay. Hurricane Dean had come through a month before and devastated the southern part of the island and the rough seas had damaged the pool and beach areas so they were undergoing improvements during our stay. We did grab a drink there and sit in the beds by the sea before returning to mainland. We also returned for a meal later in our trip.

Tips: Take advantage of the cameramen on-site. The services are a little overpriced but the photos were gorgeous and you can get digital rights to your prints. They’re a perfect souvenir.

Find a hammock and move in. Best place on earth.

Stay at 1, Play at 3
We loved the Stay at 1, Play at 3 benefit of the Sandals resorts. With 6 days on our trip and no interest in excursions, this gave us a chance to avoid boredom. The Sandals Inn (now Sandals Carlyle Inn) was closed for renovations post-hurricane, which was fine with us since our main interest was in Sandals Montego Bay. The resort had more restaurants and a better beach. It was clear, blue and wide open. Even though this beach surpassed ours, people at this resort still flocked to the pool and the pool bar. The water was so relaxing here and we wish we had visited earlier. The bus ride over was short and easy and very simple.

The husband and I discussed it and even with the better beach and restaurants, we still preferred our resort for our stay. Our grounds were nicer, the hotel buildings and room types were nicer (though renovations have occurred since 2007) and the airplane noise at Montego Bay was distracting. If you do stay in Jamaica, take advantage of the stay and play deal.

We ate so well while we were here. Every morning we took advantage of the room service breakfast and ordered off the menu. We would often get random additions to what we requested or something nonsensical but it always tasted good and we saved bits for later. For lunch we either had lunch at the buffet or just grabbed bites to eat at the beachside grill. The Royal Caribbean has updated some restaurants but I remember the jerk chicken at the beachside grill fondly. I also had my fair share of nachos, frozen daquiris and piña coladas. (Tip: Mix the two frozen options together for a Miami Vice. So delicious!) We also did lunch at a casual place at the Royal Caribbean.

For dinner we mixed it up. I really loved the resort evening attire. My husband would wear khakis and a loose button-up shirt and I wore sundresses. It was casual yet elegant. We ate once at the Royal Thai, taking a boat ride over and having photos taken before the meal. It had many courses, a drink that got me so tipsy I couldn’t wait for the meal, and a mild enough flavor that my anti-spice husband enjoyed it. We spent many nights over at Sandals Montego Bay eating dinner and having drinks. We ate Italian at Cucina Romana, seafood at the Oleander Room, and Japanese at Tokyo Joe’s. Tokyo Joe’s was a fun experience and was our last dinner at the resort. It had to be a tie between it and the Royal Thai for the best meal. After dinner we often grabbed a drink at one of the many bars and just relaxed as the sky turned black.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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