I never thought I would be one to go to an all-inclusive resort. We usually do a million things on our vacation (take Nashville as an example where we walked 12 miles in an afternoon), so the thought of simply sitting on a beach was just so out of the ordinary. However, after a long weekend of family, planning, socializing, and other wedding festivities, we were so ready to just sit on a beach and relax.
It was perfect. The all-inclusive resort was exactly what was needed. We were able to not have to worry about activities, where we were eating, how we were getting to the hotel, anything. Everything was well planned because that’s simply how they do it, and the best part of those plans was that I didn’t have to organize it. Usually I’m on google sheets and Trip Advisor planning as much as possible, but with so much wedding planning, I didn’t have that luxury this trip. Having everything from the transportation to the tennis schedule planned meant that I didn’t need to stress about any of it.
We stayed at Couples Negril, a great resort with four restaurants, 5 bars, and lots of activities including snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, kayaking, sailing, and a million more. They have several different resorts on the island and from all our research and talking to other people, they’re just a beautiful, unique, and friendly.
Everything is planned // The best thing about this trip was that it was so easy to plan. I don’t know if I could do that sort of vacation all the time, but for our honeymoon when we were so stressed about planning for the wedding, it was easy and amazing. Although usually I love checking out amazing historical sites, parks, and local culture, but all I really wanted to do after a hectic weekend was just sit and relax.
Great activities set // There were so many things already planned. Social activities, games, sports, adventures, everything. you could do everything and nothing each day. It was great to simply have a list fun things to do, but have no obligation to do so. We usually started our mornings off with tennis, but there were a million different options of things to do.
Easy food/drink options // The food at our resort was amazing, everything was delicious and creative. There were several different restaurants, and they had cycling menus, so you could go to the same restaurant and have different things each time.
Good night life // There was always bands, drum shows, bonfires on the beach, something entertaining going on each night. We enjoyed cocktail hour by the pool, the great drum show, and wine and cheese hour. Usually we were so exhausted from doing so much during the day and being in the sun that we just crashed in the room and listened to it from the balcony!
Didn’t feel like we were in Jamaica // One of my biggest issues with the resort was that it sometimes didn’t even feel like we were in Jamaica. Almost all of the people at the resort were Americans, the restrooms and hotel rooms were typical to what you would see in America, and I even ate pizza and burgers on our trip. Although the familiarity was an easy transition, it was definitely not an authentic trip. I would love to get a better picture of what Jamaica truly is on our next trip, I think if we would have done more excursions it would have been a better depiction of the country.
Costly // Although it was definitely cheaper than many other options for our honeymoon, it was still a lot if you don’t eat or drink like a crazy person (although we were pretty close). The flight and transportation was included which was nice, but it was not the cheapest vacation we’ve ever taken.
Excursions are extra and can be costly // There are a lot of fun things offered for free, but for the most part if you want to leave the resort it’s going to cost you. Be prepared ahead of time by doing your research and knowing what extra you will need to spend.
Bring a water bottle // We did not and I totally wish we did, it would’ve made the whole 90 degree heat and humidity thing way easier. Of course we were able to get water whenever needed, but it would’ve been probably a bit healthier to have water at the ready.
Look at the excursion list ahead of time and plan // We looked at them quickly, but because of all of the hectic craziness we didn’t seriously look at any of them. I would definitely be recommend looking at any of the out-of-resort excursions before you get there. When you get there, I would recommend planning out what you want to do ahead of time each morning and spending some time to figure out what your plans are for the day. We really wanted to do the sunset catamaran cruise offered, but didn’t realize it until it was too late and there wasn’t any spots left. Take the time to plan in order to get everything that you want do.
Bring pants // Wish I knew that ahead of time! One of the nicer restaurants had a dress code that required pants for men! Didn’t even think of that and so I didn’t even plan for it. We were unable to go to because of such a simple issue. Remember pants. Also, look up any dress code issues at restaurants or events you are interested in while there.
Be social // We didn’t follow this tip, which I’m okay with because we had used up all of our socializing abilities at the wedding, but stay active and go to at least one of the scheduled activities each day, from movie trivia to beach volleyball, there has to be something that you will enjoy. That was you can meet some different people and make great connections.
Bring a large hat // I’m pretty sure the large hat saved me. I do not have the complexion for Jamaica. I bought a big floppy hat from JCP at a great deal since it was off season, and I loved it. It was a great way to deal with the sun and look fashionable. Plus there are so few times where wearing such a floppy hat is acceptable, you need to embrace it whenever possible.
Talk with other couples for more tips // Some of our best insights or things that we did came from other people at the hotel who had been there before. They were able to give us all the details of what to do and how to do it best. Some of these people come every year to these resorts for years on end, so they can be very helpful!
Don’t forget your tennis shoes // You should definitely play tennis if you go to an all-inclusive that offers it, no matter the skill level, but no matter what you need to be ready to be active. Sitting on the beach is great, but you will go insane without exercise for a long period of time. There’s so many fun sports to do and you don’t want to be unprepared. Bring your tennis shoes, sports bras, socks, running shorts, everything that you would need to go to the gym for each day! You will get 100x sweatier than normal because of the humidity, so bring well over what you think you would need.
Take a great book // I love a great book, College Prep has a great list of good beach books if you need a great recommendation. I read the Fortune Hunter while there and really enjoyed it! I wanted a fun love story to read and it was a perfect option.
Know what card to pay for the room with // Almost had an issue when we found out they didn’t take Discover! Thank god for American Express!
Resort Swap // Our hotel had a free shuttle a couple of days a week that would take you to one of the sister resorts on the island where you could spend the day checking out what they offered. We didn’t know this ahead of time, but thought it was a cool program that allowed you to see something a little different.
Overall our honeymoon was an absolutely perfect and relaxing getaway from the stress of the wedding. I couldn’t have been happier with our resort and our vacation. I’m incredibly thrilled we went with Couples Resort and we will be going back!