Negril, Jamaica (August, 1997)

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Author: Scott Roberts

This was our honeymoon.  We stayed at Sandals, Negril.  It is an all-inclusive resort on the west side of the island.  We were really worn out after our wedding, so it was good to go to an all-inclusive where you didn't have to worry about anything.  I would highly recommend it for a honeymoon, but I don't think I would ever pay that much money again.  We used Changes in L'attitudes.  They gave us a great rate, but on our last trip they had horrible prices.

The flight was long.  We were picked up at the airport and loaded into a bus for the 1-2 hour ride to Negril from Montego Bay.  People say they hate this drive, but I thought it was fun.  The Jamaicans drive pretty fast, the roads are really bad, and there are animals in the road.  This all makes it more like an amusement ride than a bus ride.

The staff at Sandals couldn't have been nicer.  They could have been faster, but not nicer.  In Jamaica everything is a little slower than usual.  If something is broken, don't expect it to be fixed any time soon.

The food was pretty good.  It's not great, but it's not bad.  Stay away from the buffets, and eat at the sundowner as much as possible.

It was very very hot.  Get up early and enjoy it while it's cooler.  We took the tour to YS Falls and the Black River.  YS Falls was cool, but the Black River Safari was not worth it.  It was cool to see the alligators, but it got old real fast.  We didn't venture up to the cliffs of Negril, but we heard that was really fun.  We hooked up with one of the bartenders, and he took us out to Alfred's on the beach in Negril.  They had some good reggae bands with dancing on the beach.  It was nice to get out of the canned atmosphere of the resort every once in a while.

We dove 6 times while we were there.  The Sandals boat is very roomy, but the equipment is questionable.  We didn't have our equipment yet, so we used theirs.   Cherie's mouthpiece fell off of her regulator at 40'.  Luckily they have octopuses.  I would use the equipment again if I had to, but I prefer my own.

Try to book the advanced dives.  The shallow dives include resort course divers, and they tend to hold the group back a bit.  All the dives are guided, and you are supposed to stay close to the dive master.

The marine life was good.  There are a lot of small fish, and there are some cool hard corals and sponges on the deeper dives.  We saw some stingray, eels, triggers and various other reef fish.

The water was very warm.  We didn't wear any wet suit, and went down to 100'.   The visibility ranged from 60-120', and there was very little current. 

Our favorite dive was one of the deep ones where it was just the two of us and the dive master.  The dive started off at a small plane wreck, and wound through a bunch of canyons.  The coral was very impressive, and the fish were a lot bigger down deep.   We even saw a 7' nurse shark cruising the bottom about 20' away.

Negril, Jamaica is not a destination dive location, but it's well worth diving if you are there.  Try to hit the less popular spots.  Convince the dive shop that you are an experienced diver, and they will take you to the more advance and interesting dives.

This picture was taken from our 3rd floor Grand Luxe Beachfront room at Sandals, Negril.

YS Falls. South of Negril. The falls are really beautiful. It's not too touristy. It rained pretty hard when we were there. I think it's worth the trip.

This is us on the beach at Sandals, Negril. The sunsets were unbelievable.

A cloudy sunset from our room.

Vishon, and the other bar tenders at the beach bar on our last night at Sandals. Vishon is holding a Brass Monkey, which we taught him how to make. That became his signature drink.

This was an alligator we saw on our tour of the Black River 2 hours South of Negril. Definitely a trip to pass on. Pretty boring.

This lizard was in a tree next to our table at the place we stopped to eat on our way back from YS Falls.

White sand, 80 degree water, hammocks between the palm trees. All the Pina Coladas, Strawberry Daiquiris and Red Stripe you want. Pretty hard to beat that. It was a bit hot though. This picture was taken right after the daily afternoon downpour. It only lasts about 1 or 2 hours, and it's really kind of refreshing. It cools everything down.

I took this shot from the dive boat on our way out to the site.

This police officer is in a golf cart that was patrolling the beach at Alfred's on 7 mile beach in Negril. Our favorite Sandals bar tender/taxi driver drove us there. Alfred's is a lot of fun. Live reggae and dancing on the beach.

Mangroves from our tour of Black River.

A hut built around a huge tree at YS Falls.

Another sunset in Negril

That's Aubrey. He makes a drink he calls the Aubrey Special. It tastes like a milkshake, but it will kick you in the butt if your not careful. It was a daily request at the pool bar when the afternoon rains came.

Some of the local vegetation along the Black River.

 

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