Tag Archives: snorkeling

WE’RE ON A BOAT! (The Catamaran Adventure)

Our next Jamaican off-resort adventure was the catamaran trip!

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And I am pretty sure this day was the highlight of my entire trip. It was soo much fun.

We all piled onto the bus from our resort and headed to Montego Bay, about a 45 minute drive. Our bus driver was hilarious. Jussssst hilaaarious. His name was Richard, so of course we called him Big Dick.

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And we just loved him. He gave us a little tour on the way there, and told us stories, and pointed out landmarks to us. Big Dick was a fun time, and he told us about his two daughters and his house, and finally we were all “Big Dick, can we go to your house?!” But we had strangers on our bus from another resort and they did not think this was a good idea and said we should probably put that idea to a vote… (and they would have voted that idea down)

Obviously Big Dick was not allowed to take us to his house, but he thought this was very funny so it made him laugh hard, and that was our goal.

Anyway, eventually we ended up at the beach, where our boat the Sea Dreamer awaited us. Dawn was all ready with her captain’s hat.

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And so was Mark.

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They are a dream team.

When the crew was making announcements about boat safety and stuff, they mentioned that the bar was going to be closed until we were done snorkeling. We were outraged. Dawn immediately stormed over to the bar to complain, it was the first time I had seen her even remotely anxious about anything the entire trip. But the bartenders were all “We be jokin’, mon! The bar is always open here!” and poured us all a round of drinks. Yes Yes. We were all appeased (by the way, “Yeah mon” is not a stereotype. Everyone I met who lived in Jamaica said it at least three times a sentence. It replaced “Yes.”)

The crew of the Sea Dreamer was awesome, and of course we made friends…

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That guy kept bringing us drinks so we liked him a lot.

At one point the crew had a little acrobatics competition, so that was pretty entertaining to watch.

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We were on the boat sailing around for about an hour or so, drinking, talking, having a good time befriending our crew, and then we reached the reef where we would be snorkeling. So we put on our all gear and jumped into the turquoise water. Check out the pretty fishies!

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And this is where we noticed the man who would become our very favourite crew member. Of all time. I cannot for the life of me remember his name (it could be Simon? I wanna say Simon), but he was amazing. He stayed with us the entire time, and he brought fun things up to the surface for us.

Like sea cucumbers!

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I looooved the sea cucumber.

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And he also brought us Emily’s nemesis, dun dun dunnnnnn…

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The big bad sea urchin (though this one was not quite as scary as the ones on our resort…)

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Actually I thought it was kind of cute… But yes, it was prickly. And it was suctioning itself to my hand! Such a weird sensation.

After our snorkel adventure with our new best friend whose name is possibly Simon, we docked at Margaritaville Part 2!

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I like to include random people in my photos. They like it.

I thought Margaritaville was a one time deal, but apparently it is a chain. This is the Montego Bay Margaritaville. And it didn’t really have a beach, but it sure did have a slide!

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QUITE the slide. We all took a turn on that thing.

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I think that is Leanne making an appearance. That thing was crazy.

There were other water activities, like another crazy slippery water slide, and a water trampoline, so we hung out there for about an hour or so and did the water thangs until it was time to head back to the Sea Dreamer.

Upon our arrival back on the boat, Dawn convinced some man to let her wear his shirt.

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We were dying. I want that shirt. I love that song!

And Simon (I’m just gonna call him Simon), decided that he wanted to give Emily a leg massage, because her legs must have been tired from our excursion.

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Emily was all “Nooo, you don’t have to massage my legs!” but he was a persistent little minx, and he convinced her for about 10 minutes. So she caved.

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I think he LIKED it! Look how happy he is!

And then he was just offering us all leg massages. Jenny was up next.

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And while that was happening we chatted with him about his life and asked him what his favourite thing is about his job and how old he is, and how long he has been working on the boat. It was 20 questions for sure.

Then he offered me a leg massage, and I politely declined, but again, persistent. So I finally gave in and ohhhhh sweet baby Jesus and all things holy, it was the best leg massage I have ever had (I don’t think I have had very many though…) That man knew what he was doing. Probably massages all the ladies, all the time.

I thought Simon was just super nice and really liked giving leg massages, but when I walked back to the bar to get a drink I saw this:

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And I died laughing. Leg massages for everyone!

And then I looked over to where the captain was, and Julie was driving the boat.

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With the help of Captain Beardo!

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And I died laughing again.

And then I broke out the glasses my parents got me for Christmas, for exactly this purpose.

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They were a big hit. And I don’t know who that man is, but he also snuck in our group picture.

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He is a surprise behind Jenny and Joanna.

Oh man how I loved the catamaran. When we got back to the beach it was dark, so we all made our way over to our bus yelling “Big Dick!” (so our bus diver could find us). And we all safely got on.

And then our friend Simon showed up!

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We thought he was coming to say goodbye, but he was just bringing Dawn back to us because we had accidentally left her in the beach bathroom.

And Big Dick drove us back to our resort, and we sang the ENTIRE. TIME. We sang “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places”, and “Don’t Stop Believing”, and we sang the Canadian national anthem, and then because there were Americans on our bus and we didn’t want to leave them out we sang the American national anthem. And then we sang Ludicris “What’s Your Fantasy.” Basically every song we knew the words to, country songs, hip hop songs, rock songs, we sang them. At the top of our lungs. The entire drive. I will never, ever forget this. I don’t think Big Dick will either. He told us we were his favourite group that he had ever had. But maybe he says that to everyone, who knows. I’m going to pretend he doesn’t.

But I will just say…Best day!!!!! Best day ever!

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Jamaica: Our Amazing Resort

Hello friends! Hopefully you are not sick of hearing about Jamaica just yet, because I am not quite done talking about it. I still have a few things I would like to recap. Selfishly, I really want a record of our entire vacation.

So I already mentioned this, but we stayed at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Lucea, Jamaica (about 45 minutes from Montego Bay) our resort was beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Everyone did really say that it was the most beautiful resort they had been to. It was HUGE (almost too big, it took us about three days to figure out where everything was) and there were so many things to do.

When we pulled up on Thursday afternoon I’m pretty sure all of our mouths dropped open in shock because of our lobby.

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This was pretty much our view as soon as we got off the bus (and the staff immediately greeted us with rum punch, yes yes). The reception is to the right of this photo, and there is a seating area to the left. The entire lobby is open concept, which definitely gave it the awe-factor, because you could look straight out to the ocean. I was in absolute AWE. Sherrie told me she wanted to videotape my reaction as I got off the bus because I was agog as two gogs.

The lobby served as the perfect meeting place for all of us throughout the trip.

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Since you got to most of the a la carte restaurants, the buffets, the sports bar, and the disco from it.

And it had interesting things in it, such as a fake fancy dinner table…

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There were no actual rooms in the lobby or main resort area, our rooms were all in separate villas, which had about 20 rooms each.

When you walked inside the villa, this is the sight that greeted you:

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Beauty beauty, right?

I shared a room with Sherrie and Joanna, and here is what it looked like:

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And we also had a pullout couch, since there was three of us.

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I was the only one who slept on it though (It was extreeeeemely uncomfortable, so I only did it for one night and we rotated beds the rest of the time). And every room had its own balcony.

But we spent so little time in our room, so let’s talk beaches! Our resort had three beaches, and all of them had unique things that made them fun.

Here is beach number one:

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We didn’t swim a lot here because we preferred the other beaches for swimming-purposes (or I did at least, because they had my very fave deep-water swimming), but this was the beach where Dawn and Mark were married. And it did have some good amenities. Like tree forts…

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And palm trees!

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I love a good palm tree.

It also had the most comfortable hammocks of all time.

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I liked to wrap myself up in the hammock like a burrito.

Beach number two, the adult beach or Coral Beach, was probably my favourite, because it had the BEST swimming.

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It was a bit tricky to get in and out of the water because there was a bit of a drop off, but once you were in there it was worth it.

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We hung out in there for hours and hours. And it was close to the bar, so that was a plus.

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(If you can spot Dawn and Emily in this photo, they are trying to get closer to the villa because there was a HUGE domestic happening on the balcony and it was pretty entertaining.)

Coral Beach was good for building inappropriate sand castles also.

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And we saw some dynamite sunsets from there…

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AND there was a coral reef to the side also, so the snorkeling was pretty good.

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Beach number three, called Sunset Cove, was my second favourite, it was a good leisurely time over there.

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And we made little crabby friends over on this beach.

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This beach was where you could rent all the water stuff, like snorkel equipment, mini catamarans, paddle boats, and kayaks (for free!).

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We made friends with some of the Jamaicans who hung out around the boat. They were funny.

The snorkeling was pretty good here also!

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Lots o’ pretty fishies…

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And scary sea urchins (Emily was screaming when she saw them, because she had a bad experience with one…)

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Those are not a fun time if you happen to fall upon one.

The beaches weren’t miles long like Cuba beaches, but they were perfect for swimming and snorkeling, which I think is the most important, so I will take it.

We rented kayaks from this beach and went on a little adventure…

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Which was extremely fun, except my kayak partner Blake was not the most sober during our excursion and tipped us over about four times. One time we landed on a patch of coral and I got a little bit cut up… But in his defense, we were in a one-person kayak, so it may have had something to do with that.

While we were out on the kayaks we stumbled across a little private rock beach, so we did some exploring…

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I really loved that there were so many things to do and discover right at our resort! I still feel like we didn’t have enough time there.

Alright, pool time. I didn’t spend as much time in the pools as I did on the beach, because you can’t swim in the ocean just anywhere. But the main pool definitely lured me in with its gorgeousness…

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The main pool was HUGE!

It was an infinity pool, so you had to kind of jump over a ledge to get to the main area…

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And there was no graceful way to get over that thing, let me tell you. Especially not in your bathing suit. You had to kinda launch yourself onto it, and then just fall over to the other side. It was funny to watch people trying to navigate this.

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This pool also lured me in with its swim-up bar…

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The main pool also had a pretty happening bar off to the side of it that played upbeat music all day long. And a beach volleyball court! We definitely had a few games.

In addition to the main pool, there was the adult pool, right by the adult beach.

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But I didn’t really go in that one at all, though it looked very nice.

And then the spa pool. 

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(The ladies with Uncle Steve)

There were a ton of restaurants around the resort, including Mexican, Italian, Indian, a steakhouse, seafood, Carribbean, Asian, and several buffets. But I will save those for the food post.

And as for the night life, we had the sports bar, which was right off the lobby and where we would all usually meet after dinner until something else opened.

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They had foosball tables, pool, and ping pong in there so it was a fun time. They also had unlimited nachos and popcorn all night long and the most amazing chicken quesadillas. Sometimes I would order them late at night and have a double dinner (so about those pants being snug…)

For dancing, the disco was definitely best.

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And it was open until 7am, so pretty much a constant party in there.

Then there was the Infinity Bar, which turned into a club the night of Dawn’s wedding, but was usually more loungey.

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With live music!

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That pretty much covers the amenities, or at least our hangouts.

I highly recommend this resort! It is the only resort I’ve been to, true, so I can’t recommend any others, but I really loved ours! I will leave you with some other random pics from around there.

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Go there!

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