We start day 2 of our Jamaica trip with breakfast at the Bayside buffet. Heather is excited to find they have smoked salmon and capers on the buffet. There is no question, she will have this every morning of our trip. After breakfast, Heather heads off to the spa to start working on her spa credit, and I head to the room to chill.
From our room’s window I can see the dock where the dive boat leaves from. I am pleased to see that the 9:00a trip is pulling away at 9:15a. Heather arrives a few minutes later, freshly pedicured, and we get ready to head to the pool for our check-out dive. The pool dive is a simple exercise demonstrating that we can control our buoyancy, clear our mask, and replace our regulator if we lose it. We are in the pool for about 10 minutes before getting the “all clear” to join the next dive trip.
The Great Spa Credit Saga: Heather learns at the end of her pedicure that the spa credit has still not been applied to our account. After our pool dive we swing back by the concierge desk to check on it. I re-explain the situation to the lady at the desk. She proceeds to pull a printed copy of the email I sent yesterday out of a stack of papers on the desk. She tells me that they are processing it, and it will be taken care of. At this point I decide to not mess with this any more until we checkout, hoping that it will be sorted out by then. TO BE CONTINUED…
The 11:00a dive trip is preparing to leave so Heather and I head for the boat. We load our gear and check our air tanks. 3,000 PSI!! In fact, every diver on the boat has enough air in their tank so we head out. 10 minutes later we arrive at the dive site, The Caverns. The dive leader leads us through a series of narrow passages between the reefs. There is not much in the way of sea life, but the experience of navigating between the reefs makes for an interesting dive.
Diving at Beaches Turks & Caicos: One of the things I was interested in experiencing during this trip was the dive operation. A few months earlier we had vacationed at Beaches Turks & Caico (Beaches is Sandals’ family resorts) and were a bit disappointed by the dive operation there. I am happy to say that the dive operation at Sandals Montego Bay was top notch, and they were on their A-game while we were there.
Once back at the dock we hand in our dive gear and head to the room to prepare to head to Sandals Inn for the rest of the day. We had heard that this Sandals resort is a bit smaller and quieter. Since it was late in the day we knew we would not get seats at the beach or pool at our resort. We grab the free shuttle and within a few minutes are at Sandals Inn.
Sandals Tip #3: If you stay at any of the three Sandals resorts in Montego Bay you have access to all three resorts. A shuttle runs between the resorts all day. It is sort of a BOGT (Buy One Get Three) deal since you have access to all three resorts like you are staying there.
Other than the too-loud music playing at the pool, Sandals Inn is quiet with a capital “Q”. The pool is right inside the front entrance and we have no trouble finding a couple of chairs. Even the bar is relatively empty making it easy to talk with the bartenders and even experiment a bit with drinks. Heather wastes no time getting into her relaxation groove and falls asleep.
Waiting for a table at Valentine’s Banquet
Sandals Tip #4: You cannot tip the employees at Sandals. Well, you can, but if they get caught accepting your tip they will get fired. We did learn that you can bring them gifts though. Resort guests that come back to these resorts year-after-year get to know the staff pretty well. They bring them gifts to show their appreciation for making their vacation enjoyable.
Sandals Tip #5: Sandals has a foundation that works to improve the Jamaican school system. If you bring school supplies with you, you can donate them at the front desk of your resort. If you want to distribute them yourself, you can pay $10 and Sandals will arrange for you to visit a local school.
Soon enough our shuttle arrives and we are headed back to our resort for dinner. The Bayside Restaurant has been transformed into a Valentine’s banquet. Complete with special menu and entertainment for the night. Since everyone is trying to eat here we grab a couch, a couple glasses of Champagne, and commence people watching.
Valentine’s Banquet at Sandals Montego Bay
After a great dinner of lamb and shrimp we head to the room for the evening. We are old, and the busy day has us worn out. It is time to get some sleep so we are ready for day #3.