Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2013 - Hawks View Golf Club
I’ve only been to one all-inclusive and it so happened to be Sandals (Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica – it also has an island!). It was an amazing experience and I personally can’t wait to go back. I also thought the food was AMAZING. There was not one meal I didn’t like. The hubby definitely loved it as well. I’m not sure if we just hit the jackpot with that specific Sandals resort but I would highly recommend checking http://www.tripadvisor.com for more reviews. That’s how I decided on my honeymoon at least. I think you’ll go crazy if you think about it for too long, you’ll just get more confused.
You can also talk to a travel agent as they check these places out all the time (and they are FREE to work with). I worked with Michael McHugh from http://dreammakersvaca.com/ . You can tell him how much you want to spend and what kind of vacation you are looking for (relaxing, luxe, adventurous) and he’ll easily find you an awesome spot!
Post # 17
We just came back from being married at Sandals and loved it so much we booked two more vacations while we were there. I’ve stayed at several AIs and this by far was my favorite.
Reasons why I thought they were better than other AIs:
-even though the resort was sold-out, it never seemed busy. No waits at restaurants, beaches and pools weren’t busy, bars weren’t busy, etc. Sold-out means 740 guests at where we were and with something like 7 places open for dinner a night, there is a lot of dispersion. We seriously couldn’t believe how few people there seemed to be.
-there are always multiple places to eat/there are long hours at restaurants–other AIs I’ve been to you’ve had somewhat strategically plan or else get stuck at the one place that is open between lunch and dinner. There were multiple places all of the time that were great
-food was great, service was great. I felt like I had the “linus’ plan from How I Met Your Mother–as soon as my drink was empty, another one appeared. Another example is when we went to the firepits with a bottle of champagne after it rained one night–the security guard opened the champagne and then went and got towels and dried off all of the chairs and placed towels down on all of lounges around the pits for people who would be coming later
-There doesn’t seem to be a bad room. We stayed at one of the nicest rooms (i.e., most expensive) rooms on the property. The butler service was great for a wedding, but we didn’t consider a necessity. If we go back, our favorite place on the property is actually their cheapest room. Our next two vacations we booked we booked without the “club” or butler service, though we know we could upgrade later. It just didn’t seem to worth the extra cost for a regular vacation.
We are going to the Royal Carribean in November! Montego Bay was not my first choice for Jamaica, but the private island sounded sooo cool, we couldn’t say no so I think we’ll hit Negril next November. I can’t wait!
Post # 18
- Wedding: October 2013 - Hawks View Golf Club
You’ll love Royal Caribbean! The entertainment staff is awesome, the food is amazing, and the private island is a definite plus! Although there will be planes overhead, it was not a dealbreaker for us (I hope it’s not for you either). We did go to Sandals Montego Bay for dinner and I just did not like it. It was literally, RIGHT across the runway of the airport…Have an amazing vacation!
Post # 19
I’m personally not a huge fan of the Sandals/Dreams resorts. They just seem to be a little too chainy (if thats even a word!). We are huge fans of the 2 Excellence resorts in Mexico, especially the Excellence Riviera Cancun. There are only 3 total Excellence resorts and they are all individualized. Food is always good and its just so relaxing. They have rooms with private rooftop pools that are awesome. We honeymooned at the Excellence Playa Mujeres and it was equally as awesome!
Post # 20
It is important to look at the level of service you are booking when you are looking into Sandals- basic, club level, or butler service. It is true that many all inclusive resorts automatically include most of the same amenities even in their more basic rooms, so once you have prioritized what you are really looking for you may be able to decide whether it is Sandals that you want or just the level of service that you have heard about which can be found at many of the resorts mentioned already in other comments!
Post # 21
Thank-you all for the great comments. We are looking into a few options (still including the Sandals) and hopefully we can quickly come up with a good decision that we will cherish and enjoy.
Post # 22
Sandals Resorts are very nice, but a lot of what you’re paying for is the name. Wiht Sandals you have to book club or butler level rooms just to get room service. I don’t know of any other resort chain that will only allow certain guests to enjoy this service. But, they do offer a lot of great activities, water sports, etc.
Post # 23
Thank-you all for the really great and indepth comments. our plans unfortuantely are delayed so its looking more like a 2015 wedding. BUT, that simply gives me more time to research and of course save up :). HeartsandSparkles, wow great information. I did hear that moon palace didnt have a great beach. what is your impression of the beach when you were there. I do like jamaica and its in out top 3. decisions…decisions….
Post # 24
Which Secrets were you at?
Post # 25
silversands…but I heard Maroma and the one in Jamaica are the best