This past week Kacey and I took a little vacation, sans Nolan, to the Iberostar Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We almost went to Jamaica, with Nolan, over spring break this year but didn't ever get it worked out. Also, we have never been to an all-inclusive resort as we normally don't like to sit in one place for a long period of time on vacation, and we really enjoy eating at different restaurants in new places. But, we decided to pull the trigger to go relax for a few days somewhere warm before work.
And let me just say, it is great flying on your status airline for vacation... US Airways is my favorite airline to be status on. First class both ways! (And their upgrade process is better than United and American in my opinion) I think flying to a vacation spot helps as there are less business people getting upgrades on these flights.
So on Sunday night, we drove up to Detroit to stay at an airport hotel (and to leave the car there) as our flight left at 6:30am. I was quite pleased with the Quality Inn there and they have a cheap stay and park rate with 24 hour shuttle.
Monday morning at DTW we had to get there early due to our shuttle, so we checked out the Lufthansa Business Lounge. We had enough time to eat a little food and head back across the terminal to our flight. We had a short flight to Charlotte so we just relaxed and ate a few snacks. Once in Charlotte, we thought we would hand out in the lounge. To our surprise (and a little embarrassment), our first-class ticket to Montego Bay did not quality for the lounge. Oh well, we went to the gate and used the free internet for a few minutes before boarding.
Once we arrived in Montego Bay, we had to look for Desk #21 to coordinate our hotel transfer. We had pre-booked a bus ride and in the back of my mind I knew we would have to wait some. Unfortunately, we were the first on a big bus and we had to wait almost an hour for ~15 more people to join us. Then, we were the last drop-off hotel so we spent another 30 minutes on the bus. AND at one stop, some other guy tried to take our bag! So if you can afford to get a private ride or dare a taxi, DO IT!
Once we arrived, we were just happy to be there, but missing our boy. We weren't quite able to get in our room yet, but we put our wristbands on and went down for lunch at the buffet. We were pleasantly surprised! The selection was pretty good and while a few of the items weren't great, many were pretty good and creative. After lunch we got in our room and then headed to the pool for some relaxing.
View from our balcony
During the rest of the week, we did some snorkeling, ocean kayaking, sailing, sand volleyball, beach aerobics, lots of lounging, archery, and a couple fancy dinners.
We went to the cajun place called Jambalaya one night (not great) and the Japanese place another night (not great). We enjoyed the consistency and variety of the buffet. We also rented a car and ventured to Ocho Rios to see Dunn's River Falls. It was WAY more touristy than I ever imagined and there was no hiking.
We had a good time at this resort. Our expectations weren't super high, but the folks that worked there were nice and inviting. The only people that ever asked for a tip were at the snorkeling/scuba area (they had a tip jar). I felt our service was never really based on tips. It was nice not carrying money or wallets around the resort. We also got to enjoy lots of local fruits at the buffet; naseberry being my favorite local fruit (it was like a mix of cinnamon, pear, and fig). They also made a fried plantain salad that I thought was delicious! And of course, they had jerk chicken twice a day.
We took our new Sony Cyber-shot WX9, not the Nikon, so these pictures were took with it. It has a neat panoramic photo setting that we liked playing with. Check out all our pictures here!