Jamaica was never a place I had at the top of my list, nor are any of the islands. If you didn't know by now, I'm a city traveller. I enjoy the Architecture, Public Transportation etc. However, a little sun never hurt anybody (especially when you don't want to use all your vacations days just for a tan) So Jamaica was the chosen place and I do not regret it one bit.
I tagged along with my college friend and her boyfriend plus my sister-in-law's best friend who I also went to Morocco with. I had a few things planned in my mind that I wanted to see but waited to book until we got to the hotel.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, CHEAPCARIBBEAN.COM I live by this website (others may call me lazy) but that's exactly what I am. For quick trips like this I use Cheapcaribbean.com because most likely I will want to stay at an all inclusive hotel. This is my second time using their service (first time was a few years ago when I went to Tulum, Mexico)
We stayed at the Grand Palladium Hotel which was very beautiful, clean, busy and comfortable, I would recommend it and the price was decent. The Hotel is split up into Villas which is all about a 10 minute walk from the main Entrance to the end of it where we were staying (Villa 18); then it wraps back around. There are many restaurants and being that I don't eat meat I still had options. Granted the food wasn't THE best but I could work with it. I wish I was able to eat the jerk chicken... Maybe that would have changed my perception. I learned early on that Jamaica isn't big on seafood. (PS I heard the best KFC chicken is In Jamaica... try that for me please).
Theres a club at the hotel which we went to and it was fun (we made it fun). The only thing I would change about choosing our hotel is the location. It isn't close by the downtown Montego Bay Area and about an hour from Negril were some of the excursions took place.
-Taylor Tyler dress
I booked everything through them, be sure to add the shared pick up and drop off bus options so you don't have to worry about taking a sketchy taxi. (This goes for any other country as well)
On to the good stuff I booked our excursions through the hotel I believe the company name was "Chukka" for the bamboo rafting and waterfalls trip. We decided on doing the Bamboo raft located an 1 hr from our hotel at Martha Brae River. (Shuttle picks you up). Our guide Charlie was super sweet. The guide on the bus was a cuban lady who as amazing and very knowledgeable.
It even included a foot massage, boy did I love that.
This includes lunch. You can request a special meal in advance if you are a vegetarian or pescatarian like me.
Next stop... a trip to the Waterfalls at Mayfield Falls which was a 30 min drive from the Rafting River.
It ended up pouring but we sucked it up and climbed those waterfalls like there was no tomorrow. I was kind of upset that I didn't have anything to waterproof my camera or phone so I left it all on the bus. However, the family with us was from Brazil offered to take a few photos of us at the end of the climb. Of course the rain would stop toward the end. I guess its one of those memories you store in your mind and enjoy it in the moment. Turns out he's a huge comedian in Brazil.
We also did the reggae boat party which could have been better. It was a bit overcrowded but I actually enjoyed it (plus there's open bar). The tour bus picked us up from our hotel we drove about 45mins to a gift shop where you can purchase gifts, liquor etc. Then we were dropped off at Margaritaville which seems like a lot of fun. Once we docked the boat went out into the ocean where we had the opportunity to snorkel, then to Rick's Cafe for about an 1.5 hrs and then we went back to Margaritaville.
Keep in mind that the currency conversion is not as cheap as you think. Think of it as $1 USD is equal to $100 Jamaican Dollars. However purchasing a gallon of milk will cost them $300 JD... They gladly accept USD a form of payment so there is no need to exchange your dollars. I would recommend taking about $200 cash. It is definitely a place that employees rely on tips.