Negril, Jamaica – September 2015

This trip didn’t start out as a trip to Jamaica. We had booked at all inclusive in Tulum, Mexico. I had been wanting to go back to Mexico since it had been over 20 years since my last visit. We got an unbelievable deal on an AI there. There had been a sargassum invasion all along the coast of Mexico on the Caribbean side so trips were going pretty cheap. Sargassum is a type of seaweed for those who don’t know and around that time it was washing up along several Caribbean beaches to the point you could barely get in the water. We watched the webcam at the place we were staying hoping it would be cleared out by the time we visited but when our trip was 3 weeks out and the sargassum was still piling up on the beaches and in the water, we decided to cancel and rebook somewhere else.

So back to Jamaica, we decided to go! We got a great deal last minute on Groupon to the all inclusive Sunset at the Palms for $1050 for 2 for a seven night stay.

As I mentioned before, Jamaica’s airport customs lines are long. I thought being September, that they may not be as long since that is not high season. I was wrong. If we ever go back to Jamaica, we will invest in Club Mobay. For around $80 per person, it will get you through customs quickly. Worth it in my opinion.

Sunset at the Palms did not offer free transfers from the airport so we took a taxi to the resort. We booked the same taxi back. I don’t remember what round trip transfer was but I believe it was around $100 plus we tipped the driver. On the way there, the driver let us stop for jerk chicken so we could get the real stuff before going to the resort. It was not nearly as good as the jerk we had on our way to Ocho Rios, but it was decent. Our driver also taught us about other food that was on the menu and we tried it.

Sunset at the Palms was great for what we paid. I would have been disappointed though if we had paid more. The food was just okay but nothing to be excited over. We ended up eating off the resort a couple of times because it just wasn’t great. One night we waited over 3 hours for dinner. Yes, 3 hours and then it was so tough I could not chew it. The food was frozen at the beach grill for sure. We know because we saw it being thawed everyday. The drinks were just okay too. There wasn’t a large selection of liquors. The coffee bar however, was incredible. I enjoyed a cappuccino every morning. I do not know if things have changed since we visited so just telling our experience at that time. The accommodations were beautiful but our room was near a busy road (as most were) so you did hear alot of loud traffic all night. The resort is also across the road from the beach so you do have to cross the road to get to the beach. That did not bother us but it may some. We quite enjoyed the walk everyday. A downside is you can’t watch the beautiful Negril sunsets because they advise you not to be over there after dark because there is no security. I don’t want to sound like Sunset at the Palms was just awful, it was not. We had an awesome time there. The staff was beyond wonderful. And for the price we paid, the rest was on par. However, like I said above, if I had paid more, I would have probably been disappointed in the food and drink quality. We talked to several couples who had paid double what we paid and they were somewhat disappointed.

On this trip, we visited Xtabi on the cliffs in West End and Appleton Rum Estates. We loved the cliffs and will probably stay on the cliffs if we ever return for Jamaica. Appleton Rum Estates was a must do and if you love Appleton Rum (#wearerumpeople) or rum in general, do it!! Plus you get pretty much unlimited rum tasting at the end. So that’s worth it, right? It was a far drive from Negril so plan accordingly.

Now to talk about the best lobster I have had in my life. If you ever visit Negril, stop in at Office of Nature on Bloody Bay. They catch fresh lobster pretty much hourly or any other creature that comes in their trap. Sometimes they have crab or other things. Then you take your pick from their catches and they put it on the grill right in front of you. It was SO delicious. You can also find other things at Office of Nature (Nature = other things in nature including the green) but since we don’t partake in those type of things we didn’t take advantage of that. However, if you do, this is your place. So you can do that and eat some fresher than fresh seafood. Hey 2 birds with 1 stone? Haha.

This was also our last all inclusive. I do not think we will ever do another all inclusive unless we just get an absolute great deal at great place but for the most part, we have learned that cost wise it just isn’t beneficial to us. I feel like when you put that much money into your cost of stay, you feel confined to the resort and their food since that is what you paid for. We like to explore too much and eat where the locals do and that is not at resorts.

In conclusion though, we absolutely love Jamaica so much we both got irie tattoos! We would love to go back but since I have been 3 times, I want to visit a few other places before we do. 😉

Photos of our trip on YouTube:

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