Lately I have been taking a ton of trips. There have been trips to New Orleans, Boston, Savannah, and Vail. And there have been short day trips to nearby cities in Florida. But the most exciting trip I’ve taken this year was my honeymoon to Ocho Rios in April. I plan to blog about the other trips intermittently while keeping up with my upcoming trips in real-time, as well as dreaming about future planned trips and places I am hoping to visit. But first, Jamaica.
Background: Alex and I knew we wanted to do a Caribbean honeymoon. It just made the most sense to fit what we wanted. Although generally we are quite adventurous travelers, we wanted the honeymoon to be about complete relaxation and no pressure. We found a perfect all-inclusive resort that had several restaurants, access to fun excursions, and great ratings from previous guests. We chose The Jewel Dunns River Falls.
Day 1: Wake up, look outside at our beautiful ocean view. We crashed for almost 12 hours after a whirlwind weekend of our wedding festivities. For anyone who travels further than we did for your honeymoon, bless your heart; I really don’t know how you deal with the jet lag and post-wedding exhaustion.
We laid at the pool the entire day, drinking beachy cocktails, getting spritzed with eucalyptus water, and snacking on fresh fruit brought by the pool concierge
. It was absolute lazy perfection. After a day of relaxation, we went to the Moonstone by Dominic
, the Italian restaurant at the Jewel for our first dinner. The ceviche and salad bar were light and perfect and we enjoyed a quiet dinner out on the water. One of the nicest things about the resort is that every night there were optional themed dinner parties. Lucky for us, most of the guests enjoyed these, while we preferred to enjoy each others’ newlywed company in the nearly empty restaurants.
After dinner we grabbed a cocktail at the Emerald Tree Lounge, one of my favorite places at the resort. Why can’t all bars have a tree in the middle?
Day 2: We were ready for some action today after a day of sun, sleep, and pool drinks the day before. We hopped on a catamaran from the resort.
Our guide took us to a private waterfall nearby. We were the only ones at the falls, so our guide thought it would be fun to direct us in a beachy photoshoot. I’m not sure about the silly pictures but we did have a blast climbing up the rocks and swimming in our own waterfall!
After we got back, we decided to get on a shuttle to Dunns River Falls
, the famous falls just outside of Ocho Rios. Has anyone seen the famous scene from Cocktail where Tom Cruise hooks up with a girl in the falls?
Dunns River Falls were beautiful and we had a blast climbing up them together. The whole process is a bit confusing however, as you have to hold hands with other visitors while following your guide up the falls. There were a lot of international tourists when we were there and I think due to all the different languages, we somehow had about three tours chained together. At one point, Alex and I just decided to sneak out of the chain and climb the rest of the falls by ourselves. Here is a picture of Alex and I at the top of the falls, as well as a gorgeous professional shot that our wedding photographer took when he was there. Check out his work here
and visit his facebook page here
; he is incredibly talented.
After getting back to the resort, we got ready for dinner, where Alex had another fantastic surprise waiting! He had pre-arranged a private five-course dinner
on the pier for us. I highly recommend this to anyone staying at one of these resorts. It was a really amazing and different thing to do, and I felt like I was on The Bachelor (but with my husband).
The food was pretty fabulous too! We both had the steak and shrimp for our main courses. The chefs at the Jewel are very talented!
After our dinner, we caught the end of the movie by the pool
. It was The Jewel of the Nile, which I cannot believe I have never seen! It was very apropos to our visit.
Day 3: We woke up and prepared for another day of sun, fun, and cocktails. We had breakfast at Platinum
. The Jamaican eggs benedict was absolutely divine. I don’t even particularly like eggs benedict, but they infused the sauce with mango and it tasted so much lighter. This time, we decided to participate in some of the pool and beach games the resort hosts put on. Alex participated in a beer chugging contest, we bet on crab racing, and I played in the Beach Olympics. We had such a fun day. It reminded me of the Fun Day at Sea on Carnival cruises, which is always my favorite!
Unfortunately, we didn’t win any money at crab racing. It was completely rigged because we very clearly should have won a couple of races, but we still had a great time!
That night, we took a boat out to swim in the Luminous Lagoon
. The lagoon is where salt and fresh water meet and is full of dinoflagellates. When you move, the lagoon glows and sparkles as the microscopic organisms reflecting the outlines of your body. Apparently, it’s the largest of these types of pools in the world. I’m not sure that it was necessary worth how much it cost, but it was something we’d never done before and will probably never do again, so overall, I am glad we did it! We also had fun swimming around in the beautiful pool, although we couldn’t capture any pictures of it!
|The lagoon right before our boat left
After we got back, we grabbed a quick dinner at Platinum
, the contemporary cuisine restaurant at the Jewel. Later, we went out to the bonfire beach party for some s’mores and dancing.
Day 4: On our last full day in Jamaica, we had a leisurely breakfast at the Coral Cafe
before having a few more hours of pool time. We also tried to play tennis, but Alex forgot his shoes and the pro was pretty intense about the rules. We also worked out at the gym every day. I wish I would have taken a photo of the gym
. It was open-air and just exactly where I would love to work out of every vacation.
|The mountain view at the Jewel. Jamaica is such a beautiful country!
|The beach at the Jewel. It was small, but relaxing and beautiful!
|playing in the pool on our last day!
It got a bit cloudy in the afternoon, so we decided to take the bus into Ocho Rios for some shopping. We were absolutely unprepared for what the shopping actually was. It was essentially a strip mall with about 50 gift shops selling the same thing. We picked up a few souvies and then walked around to the Margaritaville and tasted some rum at one of the shops. It was a fun way to kill a couple of hours!
When we got back to the resort, we got ready for the famous Jewel Dinner Under the Stars. They actually have a step and repeat for all the guests to take photos in before going into the dinner! Unfortunately, since it had briefly rained earlier, they didn’t have the dinner on the boat, but rather inside one of the big clubs. It was a several course meal, with a lemon martini as one of the courses (I guess it was a palate cleanser?) and was very enjoyable. The menu is below. There was live music during the dinner, so we really enjoyed it.
After dinner, we walked around the resort and talked about how much we enjoyed our honeymoon and how sad we were to go back to real life! Here is a parting shot of us at the Jewel!
Jewel Dunns River Resort
: Call 800-605-2512 for reservations or visit the website here
Thanks so much for reading my blog! Hope you come back to read about all our other trips!