Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor

Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 82
February, 1998

Last Update 31 Jan 98

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We  honeymooned in Jamaica from December 8-17th, 1997. We did the Lido
Sampler,  which  meant  we stayed four nights at Sans Souci Lido and 4
nights  at  Grand  Lido Negril. Much of our perspective comes from our
comparison  of the two resorts. We really liked the Sans Souci better!


We  arrived  in  Jamaica  on  time,  and  stood sweating in our winter
clothes  as  we waited to go through customs. It was our first time in
Jamaica,  so  we  weren't  sure  about  changing money (not necessary)
fending  off  unwanted  porters  (took persistence!) or how soon until
we¹d  be offered pot (unbelievably soon!!). However, it all went fine.
We  quickly  found  an  Apple Vacations Rep who checked our names off,
gave  us  a  card with an appointment time for meeting an Apple Rep at
the  resort  the  nest  day,  and  then sent us over to the Superclubs
desk.  We were the only people going to Sans Souci Lido, so we had the
van  to ourselves. As we drove along, I thought "Why does everyone say
this  is boring?"  Fascinating! But it was fascinating for 45 minutes.
Then it was boring.

We  arrived  at  the Sans Souci and I wasn't sure what to do about our
driver.  She  had  nicely pointed out some things to us and answered a
few  questions as we drove. I knew it was no tipping at the resort but
she  didn't seem to be a Superclubs employee. I asked her if she could
accept tips and she said "no problem!" <grin>

Check-in  went  very smoothly but we were too dazed to process much of
the  info  they  gave us at that time. Basically what we got out of it
was  to  pick  up the phone and call when we had questions. Our porter
was  very  friendly,  showed us how everything in the room worked, and
got  our  luggage  there  pronto. Then we collapsed for a nap. I had a
terrible cold and had gotten little sleep, so I needed it.


Our  room  was in block D, an oceanview suite. It had a small entryway
(mostly  useful  for stashing room service trays), an ample bedroom, a
large   bathroom  with  two  sinks,  a  Jacuzzi  tub  with  shower,  a
hairdryer,  shampoo/soap/lotion dispenser, and a nice long clothesline
for  wet  things.  It  also  had  a sitting room which was open to the
bedroom,  but had two French doors that slid closed and heavy curtains
that  kept out all light if you wanted to darken the bedroom but still
have  a  nice  bright  sitting  room. Off the sitting room was a small
balcony  with  a  small table and two chairs. There was a small fridge
under  the  TV, stocked with two beers, six cans of soda (three kinds)
and  two bottles of water. There was a small coffeepot and also a hot-
water  pot for coffee, with several types of tea available. There were
two  AC  units (one for bedroom, one for sitting room) and two phones.
Everything  was well-maintained. Not brand-new, but certainly nice and

We  really  liked  the room location. It was about equal distance from
everything,  and  close  to  two  nice hammocks! There were rooms much
closer  to  the  main  building and spa, and others much closer to the
beach. But we thought ours was just perfect.

After  a  nap,  we decided to explore the grounds and figure out where
everything  was.  The  resort is very nicely laid out, with some parts
of  it  stretched  out along the beach, and the rest tucked into rocky
cliffs.   There  are  a  lot  of  stairs!  Everything  is  beautifully
landscaped  and  stairs seemed tucked in among the flora and fauna. We
saw  tons  of  lizards and frogs every day. (boy do those frogs scream
all  night  though!!)  By  the beach there are a number of areas where
crabs  dig  their  holes  and  you can watch them run for cover in the
mornings.  There  is  a  lovely  hummingbird  garden, too, and lots of
butterflies.  Some  staircases  lead to interesting little areas where
they  are hammocks or spa cabanas or hottubs--it¹s really charming. We
didn¹t  appreciate it adequately at the time--we just thought that all
of  Jamaica  is  like that. Not so--Grand Lido in Negril, for example,
is on flat ground, and isn't anywhere near as beautiful.

On  the  cliffside  part  of  the  resort,  there  is a roomy exercise
pavilion,  with  an  exercise room below; a main building with a small
game  room,  open  lobby,  two restaurants, and the Baloon bar; a spa,
with  a small p are and various cabanas where the services are carried
out.  The  wedding gazebo is also on the cliffside part of the resort.
There  are  two  pools; one is mineral water, the other just standard.
One  of  the  two  hot-tubs is also there. By the main entrance, there
are  two small buildings which serve as the boutique & gift & sundries
shops.  Down  by  the beach there is a large building where the buffet
restaurant   is  housed,  a  beach  bar,  another  hot  tub,  and  the
watersports  hut. There are also bathroom facilities convenient to the

As  we  walked  around  that  first night we got a creepy feeling that
there  were  only  3  couples  staying  at the resort--we saw very few
people.  We  were  there  in  a  low season and some of the rooms were
being  renovated,  so  the resort was not at full capacity. But still,
it  really seemed deserted. We later figured out that there just seems
to  be a lull between 5-7 pm every day. I guess people are taking naps
or  dressing  for  dinner  during this time, so few people are out and
about.  At  other  times  it  is  much  livelier and there are lots of
people  about. However, the way the resort is laid out, there are many
secluded  spots and you can feel pretty alone in some areas, even when
there are lots of people around!

One  thing  we  noticed about the resort is that the service areas are
virtually  invisible.  They  did an excellent job of making everything
beautiful and attractive, wherever you were.


Breakfast  and  lunch  are served buffet-style at a restaurant down by
the  beach.  Its  name  escapes  me, unfortunately. We actually didn't
discover  it  until  a  few  days  into  our stay--we ate room service
breakfasts  on our balcony each day, and loved that. They have a hang-
tang  menu  you  can  put  out  the  night  before, and your breakfast
arrives  when  you  requested  it. It was a very pleasant way to start
the  morning.  However,  at  the buffet place, we thought the food was
good  (lots  of  variety  at  both lunch and breakfast) and so was the
service.  For  dinner  you  have  3 choices. Room service is the first
option,  which  we found to be prompt and courteous, and the dishes we
tried  were  pretty  good.  Or  there's La Terrazza restaurant, a nice
outside  terrace  restaurant  with  a menu that changes every day (one
night  French,  one  night  Italian,  one night Mexican, etc.). We ate
there  once  and  thought  it  was  excellent  too.  Then  there is La
Casanova,  the  formal  French place. We ate here twice (not bad for a
four-night  stay!)  and  it  was  also very good. I have to go with my
husband's  word, here, because I had a terrible cold. Not only could I
not  taste  anything,  I  also  had  little appetite. Our server about
choked  when  I ordered "just a salad" at Casanova that first night! I
lived  on  pineapple  and watermelon most of the time. There is also a
grill  by the beach, but we never ate there. We couldn't really figure
out its hours.

As  for the drinks, we took the advice of others who gave trip reports
and  asked  for name-brand liquors for mixed drinks. Red Stripe is the
only  beer  available,  except  the  room  fridge  features  a  Miller
product.  I  drank  very  little  due  to my aforementioned cold (man,
Superclubs  sure saved some money on ME!). There is a bar on the beach
and  another  up  near the restaurants at the main building. I believe
there was another small one by the spa.


There  are  a number of services at the SPA that you can get for free.
Body  scrubs,  massages, and reflexology are available at the spa, and
at  the nearby salon you can schedule free manicures and pedicures. My
husband  ended up canceling his massage because he ended up wanting to
do  some  scheduled watersport at the same time. However, I enjoyed my
bodyscrub.  If  you  are there for only a few days, as we were, it can
be  hard  to  schedule  these services around all the other things you
might  want to do. I found that the services are popular so it is wise
to  sign  up  early--but pay attention to the other things you want to
do at the resort when scheduling!

While  I  am  talking  about the spa, I should mention that there is a
small  grotto  nearby which houses a large sea tortoise named Charlie.
He  is  fed  conch  and raw chicken breasts by the staff every morning
around 10 a.m. That's neat to watch.

The  BEACH  is  nice,  sort  of  set back so the water is protected by
rocky  outcroppings.  There are plenty of lounge chairs and ample palm
trees  for  shade.  They  also  have a large canopy for people who are
serious  about  avoiding sun (my hubby and I are pale as ghosts--don't
worry,  there is plenty of sun room for the more golden amongst you!).
Someone  will come along and take a drink order for you, but the beach
bar  is  close  if  you  choose to fetch them yourselves. The water is
nice  and  you  can go out a long ways before the water is deep. There
were  some patches of seaweed along the ocean floor when we were there
but they were not bad.

At  the  beach  you  can  get  towels,  snorkeling equipment & floatie
things  for  goofing  around  in  the  water. You can also sign up for
snorkeling  trips, scuba classes & trips, and glass-bottom boat rides.
They  also  have  a catamaran. On your own, you can take out on of the
numerous  little  sunfish sailboats or a sea kayak. I cant snorkel (my
glasses)  and  don't know how to scuba, so I really enjoyed the glass-
bottom  boat  ride.  I  could see all the stuff I was missing! You can
see  all  the reefs that are beyond the swimming area, admire numerous
fish,  and  they  take  you  over  "the  wreck",   the  ship they sunk
recently  for diving. The catamaran ride was also tons more fun than I
thought  it  would  be.  The watersports staff is very nice. One funny
thing  that  happened was that my husband signed up for a little scuba
refresher  course  (it  had been 15 years since he last dove). When he
showed  up,  the  instructor  took  him  through  some  very  rigorous
exercises  in  the  pool  with  very little intro to the equipment. My
husband  just  did  his  best. It took several HOURS and at the end of
it,  the  instructor  told  Mark he could study the booklet that night
and  take  the  written  test  tomorrow. Mark said "What test?!?!" and
then  found  out  that the instructor mistakenly thought that Mark was
one  of  the students who signed up for the $300 certification course,
which  had  already had one day of instruction. The instructor laughed
and  apologized for the rigor and told my husband he was a natural! So
Mark got several hours of one-on-one instruction at no cost.

As  for  other  ACTIVITIES, there is a shuffleboard court, tennis, and
various  other  things,  none  of  which we took part in because of my
cold.  There  are  daily  exercise classes, so you have your choice of
step  aerobics,  aquacize,  and  yoga.  There  are nature walks in the
mornings.  Several nights they plan special things, like a big cookout
and  beach  bash  with  a  Jamaica theme. Again, I'm not the person to
write  about  this  since I spent so much time in bed sick. That's why
I'm not doing a minute-by-minute report of what we did each day.

We  elected  to  take  on  off-resort TOUR. We took a sailing yacht to
Dunn¹s  River  Falls.  It  was  about 3 hours and was a lot of fun--we
ended  up being with people who were staying at a whole bunch of other
Ocho  Rios  resorts  and it was fun to compare notes. We left from the
beach,  sailed  to  Dunn¹s  River  Falls,  climbed the falls, did some
snorkeling,  and then sailed back home. On the way back they break out
the  alcohol  and really open up, finished by a wild dance on the deck
as  we  came  to the pier. A good time, well worth the cost! We didn¹t
have  time  to  do any of the other excursions, but they had some neat
options--horseback riding along the beach, for example.


I'd  thought I'd add a little info about the people there. It was very
much  a  geographically  diverse  crowd. We met people from Canada and
England  and  all  over  the U.S., and saw couples from other European
and  Asian  countries.  There  was quite a range of ages. There were a
lot  of  honeymooners,  so  we didn't feel too special. We saw several
weddings  while  we  were there, too. Incidentally, the wedding gazebo
is  at  a  neat  location--sort of tucked into a cliff overlooking the

We  found  the  staff to be very nice and friendly. It was hard for me
to  adjust  to  being  "served"  all the time--this took longer to get
used  to  than  I  expected.  I  felt guilty asking for things all the
time,  yet  this  is  what  we  paid for. I was also unsure of what to
expect  because  I  had  heard  from  one  bitter native Jamaican that
tourists  are  secretly  hated  (this  is  clearly  not true). Once we
relaxed  and  started  talking  to the staff more, we found them to be
interesting and informative.

A  couple  of  things made a strong impression on me, and convinced me
that  Sans  Souci  really  does  try  hard  for  its guests. Our first
morning  on  the  beach,  one  of  the  managers walked along greeting
everyone,  shaking  hands,  checking  how  everything  was  going.  He
remembered  us from check-in the day before. The other thing was as we
were  leaving  the  resort  to  go to the airstrip to fly to Negril. I
happened  to  spy that the bellman was reading a long typewritten list
entitled   "Negative"   comments  from  November  -December  This  was
apparently  a  list  of  comments taken from guest evaluations, shared
with each and every staff member. That's a great policy.


We  did  not ever leave the resort except for that one tour. We didn't
do  any shopping or see much of Ocho Rios (sort of a function of being
sick  and  not  being there for long). Don't count on buying souvenirs
or  gifts  at  the resort. The shops are very small and the prices are
rather   high.  A  bottle  of  cough  syrup,  for  example,  was  $8-9
(admittedly  not a gift item but this is what I was buying while I was
there!).  If you want to do some shopping, get into town or wait until
you  get  to  the  airport.  We  found  rum and coffee there at better
prices  than  at  the  resort.  It may still be overpriced but it will
beat the resort prices.

At  the  resort  you  are very isolated and protected, as the beach is
private  and  the  only  outsiders who come in are a few crafts people
who  set  up on the beach and a person who offers braiding if you want
it.  I  know some people think this is a drawback, but we liked it. We
locked our wallets in the safe and rarely had to pull them out.

We  didn't  realize  that several other resorts in Ocho  Rios (such as
Ciboney  and  Enchanted  Gardens)  are not on the ocean. Instead, they
bus you down to a beach. We didn't know we had it so good!

There  are at least 3 cats at the resort. They hang out by the buffet-
style  restaurant  and look for people who look like they might be cat
lovers.  Then  they  park under their tables and wait for scraps. They
don't  beg, they just wait. Other times of day you'll see them sunning
themselves. I found it a charming addition to our stay.


I'll  save  our impressions of the Grand Lido for another trip report.
The  only  thing I'd add is that we really enjoyed our plane trip from
Ocho  Rios  to  Negril.  It was a five-passenger plane and we flew low
enough  to see a lot. We flew along the coast for most of it, but then
cut  over  the  mountains at the end so got to see the interior of the
country too.


Trip 1/98

Grand Lido, Sans Souci
Just west of Ocho Rios, Jamaica
P.O. Box 103, Ocho Rios, Ja. W.I.
Telephone:  876/994-1353
Fax:  876/994-1544

Located  East  of  Ocho  Rios,  right  on the St. Mary/St. Anne Parish
border,  overlooking  the  Caribbean  Sea,  lies Grand Lido Sans Souci
(formerly  Sans Souci Lido). The name, as translated by its employees,
means  "without  a  care" or "carefree."  And once we arrived, we were
without  a  care.  This all-inclusive resort is home to 147 ocean view
rooms,  36  of  which  are brand new, an assortment of verandah rooms,
one-bedroom  suites,  one-bedroom Jacuzzi suites, and penthouse suites
...  270+ employees, four pools, four whirlpools, spa amenities, water
sports,  four  bars,  two  beach  grills,  and  two  restaurants.  The
grounds  are hilly, with lots of stairs, and green terraces break into
flowering  foliage  everywhere.  There is an all-new clothing optional
beach  that  offers  a  pool with a decorative waterfall and fountain,
swim-up bar, whirlpool, and beach grill.

The decision to go to Grand Lido Sans Souci:
My  husband  thought  I  should use up some frequent flyer tickets ...
and  after  much consideration, hemming, and hawing, I asked my sister
to  go  on  a  trip  with  me.   We  knew  we  wanted a warm vacation,
preferable  to  an  all-inclusive  ...  My  husband  and  I  have  had
excellent luck at Grand Lido, Negril many times.

He  and  I  had been informed of Grand Lido Sans Souci in Ocho Rios by
casual  discussions  while  on  previous  trips.  We used two frequent
flyer  coupons  for  United,  getting us from Wisconsin to Atlanta via
Chicago.   The  next leg of our flight was on Air Jamaica, direct from
Atlanta to Montego Bay.

Getting there:
We  left  home  early  to  connect into Chicago's O'Hare International
Airport  for a 9:20 flight.  We arrived in on time, although there was
heavy  snow  in  Chicago.  El  Nino.   We had delay, delay, delay, and
cancellation  ...  and then we were given a new, later flight.  Delay,
delay,  delay.   We  arrived  Atlanta 10 minutes after our Air Jamaica
flight's  on time departure, and with our other flight options delayed
as   repercussions  to  earlier  problems  ...  we  ended  up  staying
overnight in Atlanta.

United  Airlines  was not helpful at all in getting us from Atlanta to
Jamaica.  Air  Jamaica tried diligently to help us get there that day.
To  no  avail.  Oh,  well.   We  would  make  the most of it.  We were
instructed  to  arrive  to  the  airport  the next morning, a full two
hours  before  our  8:45 Air Jamaica flight direct to Montego Bay.  We
stayed at one of the nearby airport hotels.

Morning:   Departed  hotel  at  6:20 and by 6:35 we were in a long Air
Jamaica  line.   There  was  a  large  group  that  would be traveling
together  to  MoBay,  and  the flight was completely full.  It took an
hour to get to the counter, but departure was on time.
We  arrived  to  Sangster  International  Airport  (MoBay)  early,  at
11:30.   Immigration  lines were unusually short, and the process took
all  of  three  minutes.   Our  bags were already on the baggage claim
belt.   We  picked  them  up and proceeded through customs, which took
only five minutes.

Because  of  our  delays in arriving (from the day before), my husband
had  booked us on a small charter airplane, TimAir, to take us to Ocho
Rios.   We  had  been told that it is a two-hour drive via bus or taxi
to  GLSS;  it  takes  only  30  minutes  via  air.   Garnet, who I had
recognized  from  previous  TimAir flights, was there to greet us.  He
helped  us  with  our  bags  and  took  us  to the FBO, a three-minute
drive.   I paid for the round trip TimAir, $480 US, and we were in the
air  in  no  time.   Via TimAir it took 30 minutes to get to Boscobell
Aerodrome,  a  twelve-minute drive from GLSS.  I noticed that the road
that  leads  to Ocho Rios from MoBay is much straighter and wider than
the  road  from  MoBay  to Negril.  As we flew over, our pilot pointed
out  Dunn's  River  Falls and GLSS.  The GLSS taxi driver, Arnold, was
dispatched  by  TimAir  and  got to the airport a few minutes after we
did.   When  he  loaded our bags and began the short drive to GLSS, he
thanked  us  for  coming  to  Jamaica and explained that we, tourists,
help  the Jamaican economy.  He went on to say that he hope we'd enjoy
ourselves so much we would return.
Prior  to our arrival at GLSS, each one of the bag handlers was tipped
$2, a buck a bag.  Once at GLSS, tipping is not permitted.

Arriving GLSS ... first impressions:

As  we  drove  through the gate and our taxi pulled under the carport,
we  were greeted in Euro-Jamaican-style ... "Welcome Home, my ladies!"
proclaimed  Mark  Lee,  the  doorman, who helped us to the front desk.
His  greeting  had  Jamaican  warmth  and  dialect,  but the added "my
lady", surely made me feel as though I was a princess.
Check-in  took  only  five  minutes,  perhaps  less, at the front desk
(which  really  is  a  large desk with chairs).  Mark Lee offered us a
beverage  ...  orange  juice,  champagne, mimosa.  We filled out three
forms: (1) a Master Card imprint for incidental charges, (2) a return-
flight confirmation form, and (3) a form for our room safe key.

Our  room  was  not  quite  ready,  so  we were escorted to Ristorante
Palazzina   for   lunch.   We  noticed  the  foliage  was  very  lush.
Initially,  the  buildings  appeared quite continental ... stone walks
and fieldstone motifs contributed to the old-world flavor.

We  were  seated  at  Palazzina,  which offers a luncheon buffet (more
details  in  dining  section  found  later in report).  We were seated
outside,  and  the  air  was pleasant ... the threat of rain had given
way   to   a   promise,  and  rain  trickled  lightly  on-and-off  all
afternoon.   Not  ravenous,  we  ate  lightly, but did indulge in lip-
smacking  desserts  and  Jamaican  coffee, of course!  During lunch, I
met  with  Resident  Manager Rajiv Bhatnagar (who I had known from his
tenure  at  Grand  Lido  Negril).   He  introduced  me  to Spa Manager
Maggie,  to Restaurant Manager Ms. Sharlene Hamilton, and to Chef, who
is  British.  As we previewed the terrain and beach, we agreed that we
had made a good decision to come to GLSS.

Our room:
Mark  Lee  found us in Ristorante Palazzina, and then we were shown to
our suite.
Located  in  the  "B  Block", our one-bedroom Jacuzzi suite was on the
first  floor  and  boasted  an  excellent  view of the main beach.  It
seemed  to  be  a  great  location  for  getting  to  and from all the
activities and venues.

Our  bags  had  already  been  delivered  and were in the suite foyer.
Also  in  the  foyer,  on  a  mini  buffet server to the right, were a
teapot,  an automatic drip coffee maker, a large selection of teas and
regular  and  decaffeinated  Jamaican  coffee. To the left was a full-
length  mirror.  As one proceeded forward, down the hallway, one could
either  turn  right,  through  two French-style bi-fold doors into the
bedroom,  or  one could continue forward to the sitting room.  Once in
the  sitting  room  the  private  patio  was  in  view,  to the right,
separated  from  the  sitting  room  by  sliding glass doors that were
finished  to  appear  French.  There was a painted, glass-topped metal
café  table  and two cushioned metal chairs located on the tile patio.
French  doors,  with  opaque  glass,  separated  the  bedroom from the
sitting room as well.

The  sitting  room  was  furnished  with  an  upholstered love seat, a
coffee  table,  an  upholstered  chair,  two  end  tables (each with a
lamp),  and  a television set that sat atop a TV stand/ mini-bar.  The
television  had  a remote with channels listed on the back of it.  The
mini-bar  was  stocked  with  Pepsi,  Diet Pepsi, Seven up, Champagne,
Jamaican  Blue  Mountain water, and Miller Light.  I was quite shocked
there  was  no  Red  Stripe  in  the mini-bar (although Red Stripe was
available  throughout  the  resort).  In addition to the French doors,
there was also a window in the sitting room.

The  bedroom  was  made  up  as we had requested, with two double beds
instead  of one king-sized bed.  There were glass doors in the bedroom
that  led  to  the patio, too.  Each bed had a nightstand and lamp.  A
large  four-drawer  dresser  with vanity had a mini boom box on top of
it,  complete  with  AM/FM radio, and CD and cassette players.  Across
from  the  foot  of  the  beds,  there  was  an  upholstered chair, an
ottoman,  and  a floor lamp.  Above, the air conditioner blew cool air
across  the  beds,  and  a ceiling fan kept air circulating.  The wall
safe  hung  on the wall between the dresser and the bed.  Also located
within  the  bedroom, a large closet (amply enough room for two women)
was  located  near  the bathroom door.  A heart-shaped towel sculpture
with a fresh-cut antherium graced the center of the first bed.

The  bathroom  was  finished  in  marble.   Immediately  left  of  the
entrance  was  a  large  Jacuzzi.  Across the room, to the left, was a
vanity  with  mirror  and  two sinks.  Bubble bath and facial bar soap
was  available.   The  toilet was to the right of the vanities, with a
window  directly  above  it.   The  shower was across from the toilet.
Within,  a  shower  dispenser  contained  "shampoo plus" (I think that
means  it  had  conditioner  in it, too), shower gel, and body lotion.
The  shower  itself  had  a shelf for all of those important things we
women  take  with us into the shower (nice touch).  Immediately to the
right  of  the entrance door (with the shower behind it) was a vanity,
with  a  mirror and outlets.  The hair dryer hung on the wall adjacent
to  the vanity.  Does the layout sound confusing?  That is because the
room was an odd shape ... but it was a large, well-laid-out bathroom.

The  suite  was  finished  in  light-colored  tile,  light  paint, and
champagne-colored  marble.   Upholstery was in pretty, lightly colored
percale  plaids.   Artwork,  by  a  local  artist, was not too bad for
"hotel  room  art."   Although  our TV was working, our remote control
was  not.   We  called  housekeeping  and  a  new  one was immediately
brought  to us, "no problem."  My sister asked me if she should make a
pot  of  coffee  for us ... I suggested she call room service instead.
She  called,  and  the  coffee came in about five minutes.  (Why is it
Jamaican  coffee tastes even better in Jamaica? Is it my imagination?)
We  began unpacking, and a little while later room service delivered a
"welcome"  plate of chocolates and a bottle of champagne ... very nice
touch!   We  decided  we  could  definitely  get  used to this type of

Not  to  bore  trip  report readers with day-to-day happenings, I will
give  my  (our)  impressions  of  the  grounds,  facilities,  service,
amenities, main beach, C/O beach, and restaurants.

The Grounds and Facilities:
Stunning.   Very  different  than  any resort I have seen before.  The
buildings  are European-looking, and the walkways are all either stone
or concrete made to give the illusion of stone.
Near  the  main  beach,  the  resort  is  somewhat flat ... formerly a
croquet  lawn.  On the main beach there is a beach bar, beach grill, a
large  whirlpool,  restrooms,  the water sports center, and all of the
water  sports  equipment  one  could imagine.  A large, brand new pool
had  just  been  built.   Around its perimeter there is a lot pavement
for  chaise  lounges.   And,  there were plenty of chaises there, too.
Towels  for  this  pool were available at the water sports office (and
available  via  the  water  sports employees who would carry stacks of
freshly  laundered  towels  to the beach).  Adjacent to the main beach
pool  is the beach stage, which is used on Friday evenings by the gala

Although  the plantings were not yet complete around the pool (and the
newly  constructed  "A  Block" behind the pool), we noticed incredible
progress  during  our  visit.   The  foliage should be beautiful if it
lives, and our guess is it will.

There  is  a shuffleboard near the beach grill, and there were several
people  playing  throughout  our visit. The beach's sand is very soft,
nice  on  your  feet  and  between  your toes, and it is raked several
times  each  day to keep it clean.  It was not until the last day that
we  saw the water sports guys carrying foam chaise cushions/floats ...
didn't  ask  what  the  scoop  was, but I know that GLSS has plenty of
"floats."   Cocktail  waiters  and  waitresses  made sure guests had a
beverage  at  all  times.   Also  on the beach, there was at least one
(and  were  sometimes two or three) vendors available to sell vacation
souvenirs  ...  carvings  of  alabaster  and wood, paintings, jewelry,
woven   goods,  etc.   Although  they  tried  to  sell  to  us  as  we
approached,  they were not pushy.  Tip:  haggle with them, their first
price is not their best!

To   the  Northeast,  the  beach  breaks  into  rock  as  the  terrain
elevates.   Here  is  where  the  stairs  begin. To the right (inland)
before  taking  any  stairs,  is  Ristorante  Palazzina  with open-air
seating  and  indoor  eating.   The  view  of  this restaurant is very
inviting.  Ascending ... It seemed as though we would climb 25 stairs,
and  then  take  a few down ... climb a bunch, descend a few ... As we
climbed  stairs  above  the  shore,  we  noticed the terrain around us
becoming  more  lush and green in terraces that are separated by brick
to  save  them  from erosion.  Although everything looks very natural,
it  is  manicured to appear naturally pristine.  We noticed many, many
groundskeepers  who  were  raking, clipping, and blowing leaves off of
the  walks.   Walking  above  the  cliff,  there are rooms off to your
right  (directly  East),  these are the "C", "D', and "E" room blocks.
The  wedding  gazebo  is nestled on the cliff, as are many quiet nooks
and  grottos  for sitting.  Continuing on, one finds several levels of
sitting   areas  overlooking  the  ocean.   Further  along  the  rocky
shoreline  is  the  fitness pavilion, with a complete gym on the lower
level.   The  enclosed,  air-conditioned  gym  has  weight  equipment,
treadmills,   bicycles,   a  television  ...   The  open-air  pavilion
(upstairs)  has  many  ceiling fans.  Its exercise mirrors reflect the
exercising class, with the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop.

To  the  Northeast  of  the  fitness  pavilion, further along the rock
shore,  is  the  mineral  pool.  The mineral pool is fed from a spring
that  bubbles  up through a decorative "water fall" on the East end of
the  pool.  The natural mineral water is said to have positive effects
on  one's  health.  To the right, and uphill in an Easterly direction,
the  mineral whirlpool is nestled and reachable by stairs.  Beyond the
whirlpool, uphill, is the aviary.

Continuing  Northeast from the mineral pool, along the rocky shore, is
Charlie's  grotto.   I  don't  have  the  whole  scoop  on Charlie the
turtle,  but  I  know  he lives in a pool of water that somehow is fed
naturally  with  seawater.   Sometimes  he  disappears into his rocky,
water-filled  cavern.  Other times, he'll be swimming.  I was informed
that  he  eats fresh lobster and fish at his daily feeding, 10:00 each
morning.  The  clever  old  turtle,  at  least he looks old, has a bar
named  after  him,  which  lies only a few steps beyond his home.  The
spa  (just  beyond  the  bar) is named for him as well.  Charlie's Spa
office  is  where we reported for our facial, reflexology, massage and
body  scrub.   The  "tower"  above  Charlie's Bar is actually a clever
disguise  for an elevator.  Once to the top level, the view back along
the  beach  is breathtaking.  Although at the top of the elevator, one
is  still quite a ways downhill from the "F" and "G' block of sleeping
rooms,  and  even further downhill from the lobby/entrance.  After you
exit  the  elevator on the top level, if you continue forward and then
right,  you  will  descend  a  few  steps  to Rally's Salon (named for
GLSS's  resident  talking parrot).  The salon is where we went to have
our manicure and pedicure.

All  along  the  rocky  shore,  from  the spa office and uphill to the
East,  are  spa  "huts",  used for massages, facials, and body scrubs.
Reflexolgy  took  place  in  a  pavilion  (next to an over-sized chess
set), just beyond the spa office, high above the crashing shoreline.

Uphill,  to  the Southeast and between the "E" and "F" blocks of rooms
lies  the  main  office/lobby.   Entering from this direction one will
first  happen  upon the Balloon Bar, and then a terrace with the fresh
water   pool   and   whirlpool,   as  well  as  a  stage  for  evening
performances.   Continuing up the steps, one finds a huge patio, there
only  for the sake of sitting outside in the fresh air.  This patio is
adjacent  to the lobby entrance.  The front desk is to the left, open-
air  lounging  is found under the center of the lobby roof, and to the
right is Casanova, the enclosed, air-conditioned
French restaurant.
Backtracking  down  past  the  Balloon  Bar, we found plenty of stairs
going  downhill.   They lead to Rally and a few other parrots.  Taking
the  back  walkway down, South, one walks behind the Palazzina and the
"B"  block  of  rooms, on the right.  Further down, also on the right,
is  the  all-new  "A"  block  of  rooms (with the brand new main beach
pool,  that  I  described earlier, on the ocean side of it).  While we
were  there,  they were still finishing the landscaping around the "A"
block,  as  well.  Looking to the left, there is a beautiful pond with
tropical  ducks  (ducks  like  I've  never seen before ... beautiful).
And  behind  the pond, on the resort's furthest point South, there are
four tennis courts.

Continuing  along  the  road  past  the  "A"  block,  we were led to a
totally  segregated  beach  and beach facilities.  This is the all-new
clothing  optional beach (C/O beach).  Its natural beauty is even more
impressive  than the main.  It is vast and white.  The pool here has a
decorative  water fountain and water fall, a swim-up bar, a large pool
deck  for  chaises,  a whirlpool, beach bar and beach grill.  The view
of  Ocho  Rios  and the hills above the city is breathtaking from this
vantage.   (The  beach  grill was not yet operational, and the cabanas
and  landscaping  were  being completed at the time of our visit.)  To
say the least, GLSS has a very impressive clothing optional section.
I  wish  my report could adequately describe the flowering foliage and
the  lush  greenery,  the  quaintness  of  the  many levels, the quiet
corners  nestled  in-between, and the discreet hammocks that seemed to
be  waiting  for  someone  to  swing in them ... but it doesn't do the
resort justice.

Water  Sports:   Available is most every type imaginable.  Although we
are  not  super  active  (I roll over to tan the other side every half
hour)  here  is a list of what is available: scuba diving, snorkeling,
windsurfing,  kayaking,  sunfish  sailing,  catamaran  sailboat rides,
speedboat  rides  (my  sister went and had a blast), glass-bottom boat
rides,  tube rides, water skiing.  There may be more, but this is what
we  recall.   There  are scheduled times for many of these sports, and
there  is a scuba resort course and check out each day, Monday through

Charlie's  Spa:   O.K., here we indulged ... as soon as we arrived, we
called  the  spa  to  sign  up for spa treatments.  Guests are able to
sign  up  for  one  of  each  treatment  initially.  Call the spa each
morning  to  find out whether or not there is any room in the schedule
that  day  for  any  treatments. This is how we were able to fit in an
extra  treatment.   Treatments  are  performed  near the Spa Office in
huts  that  are located above the crashing waves on the northern shore
of  the resort.  Soothing sounds.  I spoke with Maggie on the last day
of  our  visit.   She  said that all of their spa therapists have been
there  for  more  than  four  years, some as many as eight years.  She
said  there is virtually no turnover among the spa staff and that they
undergo  continuous  training so they do not become stale.  One of the
staff  told  me  that  each of the spa therapists performs each of the
treatments,  which  are  described  below,  that  way  they do not get

Charlie's  Spa  reflexology:   More  than foot massage, in reflexology
the  trained  masseuse uses corn starch and lotion to massage pressure
points  on  the soles of the feet, toes, heels and tops of feet.  They
say  that reflexology pressure points correlate to specific body parts
(For  example,  one's big toe correlates to his head).  Also, they say
that  reflexology  helps  you to "detoxify" your system.  I just think
it feels great.

Charlie's  Spa facial:  I've never had a facial before, so this was an
experience.   First, I was instructed to take my shirt off and drape a
towel  over myself.  I did so and then lay on my back on the cushioned
table.   The  person  administering  the  treatment  then cleansed and
massaged  my  face.   My face was scrubbed with a light abrasive.  She
put  a  mask  on my face and something cool (cucumbers, I think) on my
eyes.   Steam and aromatherapy was administered.  After a few minutes,
she applied moisturizer to finish the treatment.

Charlie's  Spa  massage:   Handled  quite professionally, this massage
included  the  legs, back, arms and hands, neck and head.  Actually, I
usually  enjoy  a softer massage, but the masseuse told me I had a few
knots   between  my  shoulder  blades  (perhaps  from  carrying  heavy
luggage!).   I  thought  the massage was o.k.  My sister, on the other
hand,  thought  hers  was the best.  Massages must be as varied as the
masseuses are.

Charlie's  Spa  body  scrub:  Wearing nothing but a smile, my body was
scrubbed  with  a mixture of cornmeal, Epsom salt and oils.  The woman
who  did  my  scrub  was very professional, so although the only thing
between  her  and  me was a strategically placed towel, I did not feel
uncomfortable.   After  the  scrub (about 20 minutes), I was guided to
the  shower  in  the  corner.  She rinsed my backside with warm water,
and  I  was  instructed  to  rinse  my front side.  More than a cup of
aloevera  gel was shaken out into my hand, and I was told to rub it in
all  over.   She rubbed some into my back.  Again, I was instructed to
rinse  off.   I  was  given  a  towel, and she turned her back while I
dried  myself  and dressed.  What a feeling ... my skin was as soft as
a  baby's  bum.   I thought this might be an uncomfortable experience.
But  the  professional  nature  of  the person administering the scrub
removed  any  awkwardness.   Afterward,  I  walked  up  to the mineral
whirlpool ... it was perfect 104 degrees F.  What a life!

Exercise   Classes:   I  participated  in  the  9:00  aerobic  workout
regularly.   Karen,  the  instructor,  did  a great job at keeping all
(three  or  four)  of  us  together,  and  giving  us a good work out.
Toning  at  the end was enough to keep one in shape, but no pain (then
or  later).  There was also a 6:00 p.m. class every day (no classes on
Sunday).   Karen  also  leads  an aquacise class at 11:00 each day.  I
did  not  participate,  but  watched  and  it  looked more like toning
exercise than aerobic.  She is motivating and pleasant.

Golf:   We  did  not  golf, however I know there is a bus that departs
three  times  each  day.   According  to  the  published  information,
transfers  and  green  fees  are included in you room rate, but caddy,
clubs  and  cart each have a small additional fee ($8, $11 And $25 US,
Tennis:   Did  not play. However, there was a large group that came in
together  and  they  were  having  a  tournament.   Tennis lessons are
available  daily,  with  separate  times  for  beginners, intermediate
players and advanced players.

Yoga:   Very  cool.   The  instructor,  Magi,  is  a Rasta with dreads
hanging  well  below his butt.  He has a very hypnotic voice and takes
you   through  a  one  and  a  half-hour  session  that  is  relaxing,
exhilarating  and  quite  a  workout.   Yoga  was  scheduled  for four
o'clock  p.m.  every  Monday,  Wednesday  and  Friday  at  the fitness

Jogging  Trail:   One-third  mile  trail winds around the pond, tennis
courts, beach and "A" block.

Evening  Shows  and  Entertainment:  We did not see enough shows!  The
first night we saw the

Friday  Gala  Showcase.   It  was  performed  out  on the beach stage.
Tables  were  placed on the lawn and around the new pool.  There was a
Rasta  flute  player  and a guitar/vocalist guy providing dinner music
...  tasteful  and  subtle.  The show that followed combined a band, a
trio  of  outstanding  vocalists  (two  ladies  and a man) and a dance
troupe   that   performed  modern,  reggae,  and  traditional  African
dances.   The  many  costumes  and lights made it really entertaining.
Then  everyone  was  invited to join in and they started to dance Soca
...  encouraging everyone to participate, but not being pushy.  It was
fun to watch.

On  Saturday,  we  were  entertained  by the house band and, later, by
Judy  Emmanuel  (a  renowned  Jamaican  vocalist  who  I had seen on a
previous  Jamaica  visit).  The show, set up on the lobby terrace near
the  balloon  bar,  was  good.  The GLSS house band is tight, and they
have a female vocalist who is extremely talented.

There  is a different show every night.  Also, Keraoke is on Wednesday
and  Thursday  nights.   A  resident  pianist plays in the Balloon Bar
every  night  except  Monday  and  Thursday.   On  Tuesday  there is a
bonfire party at 10:30 p.m.

Tour  Desk:  We did not go to the tour desk, although it is located in
the  lobby  and  open  from  9:00  - 5:00 each day.  There are several
tours  to  select  from:  Ocho  Rios  highlight,  Kingston  Tour, Port
Antonio  Tour,  Nine  Miles  (Bob  Marley's  birthplace), a plantation
tour,  Martha  Brae Rafting Tour and more.  I understand there is even
horseback  riding  available  ... and that these are all offered at an
additional price.

Games  Room  &  Library:   a room to the rear of the lobby houses many
games  available for use there, and some for use elsewhere on property
...  we  saw  a  pool  table, slot machines, a dart board, back gammon
tables,  all kinds of boxed board games, a chess board.  Playing cards
are  available  at  the front desk.  There is a television in the game
room.   And,  there  is  an  assortment  of  books,  in  all different

Activities  include:   Nature  walk; beach volleyball; bike tour; lawn
games  tournament,  bocce ball, croquet, horse shoes and shuffleboard;
Red  Stripe  Beer  volleyball  tournament; coconut hat making class; a
fashion  show;  exotic  fruit and spice tasting; beach bingo; tropical
mixology  class; water sports regatta; bike tour to an off-site beach,
"break  sweat, get wet, ride back"; Reggae dance class; Jamaican talk,
history,  folklore, music food and dialect; and, an evening disco tour
(in  Ocho  Rios).   The  in-room directory outlines details, times and

Main Beach:
I  have  described  the main beach and pool area in the above section,
at  great  length.  The  beach  is  secluded  and  well  kept and very
pretty.   All  of the water sports amenities are available on the main
beach.   The  beach's  facilities are either new or very well kept. It
offers  the  opportunity  to be very social.  Likewise, one can remove
himself from the main activity center and feel quite secluded.

Clothing Optional Beach:
I  have  described  it  earlier  in  the  "tour"  of  the  grounds and
facilities.   A few additional comments though ... The beach is really
beautiful.  There  is a river that empties into the Caribbean Sea just
to  the  South  of  the  beach.  Because of the river, a few fishermen
were  seen  pushing their fishing boats through the mouth of it, using
bamboo  poles.   They  keep to themselves, but it does remind you that
you  are in Jamaica.  The beach bar and beach grill on the C/O side is
even  nicer than the ones on the main beach.  The pool is large with a
lot  of  deck space around it.  I think the whirlpool may become a bit
crowded,  but  it  was  not  while  we  were  there.   Once all of the
plantings  grow  in,  something that should not take too long, it will
be  lovely.   The  beach is a little walk from the "A" block of rooms,
but  that  gives  the  beach a feel of a privacy or seclusion. The C/O
beach  offers  the  best view on property of the hills.  Once the word
gets out, this beach is sure to become popular!

Beach  Bar,  Balloon/Piano Bar, Charlie's Bar, C/O Beach Bar:  All the
bars  seemed  well  used,  although  we  did  not  spend a lot of time
hanging  at  any  of them.  Bar service seemed expedient when we would
stop  to  order a drink.  We spent some time at the beach grill, which
is  right  next  to  the  beach  bar,  and  found  the bartenders were
friendly  and  quick.   At Charlie's bar, they have a menu of tropical
drinks  ...  banana  daiquiri, hummingbird (Yum!), Pina Colada, Purple
Rain,  Yellow  Bird,  Rum Punch ... plus way more.  The drink menu had
photos  and  describes a virtual rainbow of beach drinks!  A very nice
bartender named Angel works at Charlie's bar.

Restaurants/Dining Options
Ristorante  Palazzina:   Serving breakfast and lunch, the Palazzina is
the  name  of  the  beachfront  dining restaurant during the day.  (At
night,  it  is  called Terazza).  Reservations are not required during
the day, but are recommended at night.
We  went for breakfast (available 7:30 - 10:30) a couple of times, and
a  couple  of times we went to lunch.  Breakfast is a buffet, although
there  are  also  menus available for a la carte dining - just ask the
waiter.   We never asked for a menu, because the buffet had everything
we  wanted.   On  the  days  we  went,  hot  items included: an omelet
station,  where  your  omelet  is  made to order; hot cereal; sausage;
bacon;  pancakes  and  syrup;  scrambled  eggs;  fried  potatoes;  and
Jamaican  breakfast food including bammie (shredded cassava, soaked in
cinnamon  milk, formed and fried), fried Jamaican dumplings, ackee and
salt  fish (Jamaica's national dish).  Cold items included: many types
of  breakfast  rolls  and  breads  (my favorite was the banana bread);
breads  for  toasting;  bagels;  cream  cheese  and locks; jams; fresh
fruit  galore;  cereals;  milk; yogurt; and more.  Coffee, tea, juices
and water is poured at the table.
The  lunch  buffet  (12:30  -  3:00) included many hot and cold items.
Hot  items  included:  Soup  of  the  day, chicken, fish, beef carving
station,  rice   (prepared  two ways), potatoes, market vegetables.  I
think  there was a pasta dish, too.  Cold items included: many chilled
green  salads  and  pasta salads; cheese displays; European breads and
rolls;  varied  vegetable  and  fruit displays; local fruit, including
sweet  sop,  green-skinned  star  apples  and  nesberries.   On to the
dessert  display  (my favorite place): ice cream with sundae toppings,
an  array of gorgeous creations that included tiramisu and a death-by-
chocolate,  but  also fruit and cheese torts, cakes and pies.  Coffee,
tea,  juice,  water and wine was poured at the table.  Bar service was
offered  at  the  table, too.  I'm positive I left many menu items off
the above lists, but I included everything I can remember.

Terazza  Restaurant (6:30 - 9:30 p.m. seating):  Offers indoor/outdoor
dining  on  Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings.
We  were  told  that  the menu changes every night, so for the sake of
the  trip  report,  I  asked  for some sample menus.  Terazza offers a
casually elegant ambiance.

French  night:   Appetizers  include  seafood  pate,  shrimp & scallop
cocktail,  pork  and  duck  terrene  ...  all  with special sauces and
relishes.   Soups  include cucumber/dill bisque, French onion soup and
soup  of  the  day.  Two salads are listed: vinaigrette with hearts of
palm  and  fresh garden greens.  Entrees include grilled filet mignon,
chicken  cordon bleu, ocean grill, seafood cassoulet, veal medallions,
and a daily vegetarian array.  Big dessert menu.

Oriental  nights:  Appetizers include steamed Chinese wanton and fried
spring  rolls.   Soups  include gingered crab, and beef and egg noodle
soup.    Chilled  stir-fried  greens,  and  garden  greens  are  salad
options.   Entrees  include  sesame/ginger  duck, local fish, beef and
shrimp  stir-fry,  pork  tenderloin  and Asian vegetarian entrée.  Big
dessert menu.

Italian  night:   Appetizers  include:  Lamb  carpaccio,  goat  cheese
bruchetta,  and  calamari.   Soups include minestrone, three bean, and
soup  of  the  day.   Garden  greens  and  seasonal Italian salads are
offered.   Entrees   include:   proscuitto/mozzarella   chicken,  pork
tenderloin,  peppered  tuna  steak,  pastrami and mushroom pasta, veal
picatta, and Italian vegetarian selection.  Big dessert menu.

Caribbean  night:  Appetizers include: stuffed Cho Cho, tropical fruit
cocktail,  and  antipasto.  Soups include: conch chowder, Westmoreland
chicken  soup,  and  soup of the day.  Marinated vegetables and garden
greens  are  offered  as  salads.  Entrees include curried chicken and
shrimp,  stuffed  crab  backs,  grilled  pork, beef & mushroom skewers
with  island  rice,  fish  and  bammie,  and  Island  vegetables.  Big
dessert menu.

Seafood  Treasure  night menu includes: Offered appetizers are creamed
crab  toast,  shrimp  ceviche  and fresh water fish escoveitch.  Soups
were  pumpkin/crayfish  bisque,  fish tea and soup of the day.  Salads
included  flaked shellfish with melon and garden greens.  Entrees were
seafood  thermidor,  poached local fish, grilled scallops, grilled New
York strip, and a vegetarian array.  Again, a big dessert menu.

We  dined  at Terazza Restaurant on Seafood Treasure night.  My sister
and  I  ordered  an  Italian  red  table  wine that was fine.  We both
ordered  the  creamed  crab  toast  with peppered mozzarella.  We both
ordered  the pumpkin/crayfish soup ... not like other Jamaican pumpkin
soups  I  have  had  before, but very nice and my sister liked it.  We
both  ordered  the fresh garden greens salad with house dressing.  The
house  dressing  is  a  tasty vinaigrette.    And, we ordered the same
entrée  as well, seafood thermidore.  It was awesome.  By this time, I
was  nearly full, but I ate the seafood anyway, just because it was so
good.   Each  of  us had three tiny octopuses in our entrée, tasty and
different.  We had no room left for dessert, unfortunately.

Casanova  Restaurant:  I believe the menu in Casanova remains the same
each  night  they are open ... Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Saturday  nights,  seating  from  6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  Reservations
are  required  and  must  be  made  before  5:00 p.m. on the same day.
Dress  is  formal,  meaning  a jacket is required for men, no jeans or
tennis  shoes,  no  shorts,  no  polo  shirts or t-shirts.  Our waiter
(both  times  we  went)  was Bertram.  He was very friendly and we let
him  know  that  we wouldn't mind chatting with him a bit.  So, he did
take some extra time at our table.

The  Casanova  menu  is very large, with five appetizers, three soups,
and  two  salads  offered.  As far as entrees are concerned, there are
three  vegetarian entrees, one "on the lighter side" entrée, and eight
other  entrees  to select from among.  The wine list, presented as you
are  seated,  is  not huge, but there are a few nice Chilean wines, an
Italian  table  wine  and a French table wine that we tried and liked.
(Incidentally,  there  was  also  a  white  Soave  that  was excellent
available  throughout  the resort.)  We ordered.  Rolls were presented
immediately  thereafter.   Service  here  is  impeccable,  with a wine
steward,  water  person,  bus person, and a food waiter ... seating is
staggered  to  allow  for prestigious service.  Portions are moderate,
but not small.
The items we tried on our two visits to Casanova were:

Appetizers:   Salmon  and  snapper, layered and baked in oregano fillo
leaves  and  served  on  roasted  red pepper coulis.  Better than very
good.  And,  my  sister tried this the first night, we both ordered it
the  next  visit ... a chausson of escargot, wrapped and baked in fine
pastry,  served  on a tarragon and burgundy sauce.  Out-of-this-world,
even  if  one  is  not  the  world's  greatest  fan of snails.  Soups:
Rabbit  and  white bean potage, my sister said it was good.  Fresh red
claw  lobster and calaloo (Jamaican spinach) bisque topped with a goat
cheese  crouton  ...knock-your-socks-off.   We  both  ordered that the
second time around.

Entrees:   The  first  time  around,  I ordered the tournedos of beef,
topped  with creamed crab and bernaise and mushrooms.  Sis ordered the
marinated   rack   of   lamb  in  Italian  herbs.   We  both  enjoyed.

The  second  time  around, I ordered fresh water tilapia and, although
not  bad, it was not to my taste.  My sister ordered the pork and veal
medallions  ...  the  pork  was  topped  with  pear  and  the veal was
peppered and seared.  She said it was great.

Dessert:   The  first  time, we ordered only coffee.  The second visit
we  indulged  in dessert.  I ordered a fruit something ...I don't know
what  it  was,  but  I  ate  it  all.   My  sister  ordered the Double
chocolate gateau ... she said it was great.

We both vowed to diet upon our return.

Beach  Grill:   Open  from noon until 9:00 p.m., one can wear whatever
they  wore  to  the  beach.   Menu  includes  jerk pork, jerk chicken,
steamed  fish,  hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries.  Served either
at the grill bar or out on the beach café tables and chairs.

Grand  Gala  Buffet:   Set  up on the lawn in front of room block "B",
around  the new main beach pool, around the main beach stage, and onto
the  old  croquet  lawn  on Friday night.  The trees and shrubbery are
lit  with  tiny white Christmas tree lights, and hurricane candles are
lit  along  the  pool.   Very  pretty.  The buffet opens for photos at
7:20,  and  at 7:30 dinner is served.  Buffet style ... rolls, salads,
sushi,  cheeses, fresh vegetables and fruits, scalloped potatoes, rice
dishes,  quail,  yellow-tailed  snapper, beef carving station, grilled
lobster.   (We  were told that the lobster was caught in the Caribbean
Sea  that  day,  and  that it was actually late in arriving off of the
fishing  boat...  fresh!)  Huge  dessert  display,  including anything
one's  sweet  tooth  could  crave.   Many,  many  more menu items than

Barefoot  Beach  Party  Buffet:   We did not go as we met up with some
friends and went off-site for dinner, so I cannot comment.

Room  Service  Menu:   There  is a separate menu for breakfast and the
rest of the day.

The  breakfast order may be hung on the door prior to 2:00 a.m. and it
will  arrive  at the requested time. Or, order may be called in.  Some
of  the  items  on  the  breakfast room service menu include: Jamaican
Blue  Mountain coffee, teas, coconut water, o.j., grapefruit juice and
other  juices,  fruits, a bakery basket, smoked seafood duo, breakfast
croissanwich,  and  crisp  French  baguette.   My  sister  ordered the
croissanwich  one  morning  and  said  that, although it was different
than  described on the menu, it was good because it was like something
one  might  make  at home.  I ordered the bakery basket and thought it
was fine.

The  standard  room  service  menu  includes:   appetizers  (calamari;
chicken  strips; antipasto), soup of the day, a choice of either fruit
salad  or  green  salad  with  house  dressing,  sandwiches (torn pita
stuffed  with  smoked  chicken; a quarter pound hamburger), and snacks
(nacho  chips  with  guacamole,  sour  cream,  cheese; and a basket of
fried  banana  and  Irish potato).  Entrees include island lamb chops,
grilled  local  fish,  jerked pork chops, and chicken breast. Desserts
include  Jamaican fruitcake, coconut rum cheesecake, and international
cheeses   with   English   biscuits.   Of  course,  almost  any  drink
imaginable  will  be  delivered.   Jana  and  I decided to stay in for
lunch  one  day  ...  I ordered pepperpot soup (which is nicely spicy)
and  a  salad  with  house dressing.  My sister ordered the nachos and
deep  fried  calamari.   She  said  the  nachos were great, and I even
tried some calamari ... chewy, but tasty.

Room  Service:   Coffee was consistently delivered in between 5 and 10
minutes.   We ordered lunch one day.  We were told it would take 45 or
50  minutes to deliver.  So, we went to the beach for a while and when
we  returned  35  minutes  later,  the  message light was on.  I had a
feeling  the  message  was from room service, and it was.  Much to our
embarrassment,  they  had  already  been  by with lunch.  Ooops.  They
were  very  nice  about  it  and  brought it to us immediately. What a
concept, we are in Jamaica and something arrived early...
Restaurant  Service:   We found the wait staff in the restaurant to be
friendly  and  efficient.   Right away we let our waiters know that we
were  happy  to  strike  up a conversation, and they read us perfectly
and  responded  accordingly.   We  noticed that, at those tables where
the  couple  obviously  wanted  a  romantic  evening  with  all of the
embellishments  a  waiter  could offer, the wait staff again responded
accordingly.   We had some favorites: Bertram in the Casanova; Julian,
Ms.  Hamilton, Kurt and Courtney in Ristorante Palazzina/Terazza; and,
Douglas at the main beach grill.

Bar  Service:  We  did  not  spend a lot of time near any of the bars.
However,  we  rarely waited more than a moment to be asked for a drink
order.   At  times, the bartenders would get a little backed up.  But,
they  would  let  you  know  you  had  not  been  forgotten  when that
Laundry/Dry  Cleaning  Service:  Dry cleaning and laundry is included.
All  of our clothes came back, a feat in itself for any cleaner.  And,
everything  came  back  in  good shape.  The first batch of laundry we
sent  out (called laundry and was told to set laundry bag outside door
before  10:00  a.m.).   It  came  back the same day at about 5:00 p.m.
The next batch we sent in came back the following morning.

Front  Desk:   We  found Front Desk Manager Del Fong and her employees
to  be  extremely  helpful.   Upon  our  one-day  delayed  arrival, we
decided  to  extend  our  vacation  by  a  day.  Del got on the phone,
helping  us to make all of the proper arrangements with United and Air
Jamaica ... well beyond the call of duty.

Wake  up  calls:   Don't  rely on them.  There was one day our wake up
call  never  came.   So, I requested two wakeup calls on our departure
day.   Thank  goodness we arranged for my husband to call from home to
make  sure  we  were up at 5:00 a.m., because neither of the requested
wakeup calls came.  Note:  there was no alarm clock in our room.

Final Notes:

For  couples  only?   I  think  this  place is best suited to a couple
traveling  together.   There  were  two other pairs of women traveling
together,  and  one  pair of men.  Other than that, everyone seemed to
be  with  a  "significant  other."   So,  if  one were looking for the
single's  scene, this would not be a good place.  However, if avoiding
that  hassle is up one's alley, this place is perfect.  We met several
nice  couples  that  spent time talking with us. The water sports guys
and  a  few  assorted waiters and bartenders did their part to feed my
ego for months!!!  My sister's, too.
Jamaican  pace:   The  Jamaican  life-style  is  a  bit slower than we
Americans  are  accustomed to.  Don't let it frustrate you.  Don't get
impatient.  Instead, slow down and enjoy your vacation.
Service  at  GLSS:   In  my book, it was as close to impeccable as one
gets in Jamaica.

Upkeep  of  rooms and property:  Most of the property was built in the
1950s  ... one cannot tell by looking at the place.  The bathrooms are
nice,  the  buildings  are  in  good repair, and things that should be
level  and  square  seem  to be.  I think the property is lovely.  The
new  room  block  and  Clothing  Optional  beach is beautiful.  I just
can't wait to see it once all of the plantings begin to grow in.

Lizards:   There  are the cutest little lizards all about the grounds.
Frightened,  they  hop  into  the  plants when they see you coming.  I
asked  several Jamaicans and found that there are no poisonous lizards
in  Jamaica,  so don't be afraid.  Be happy they are there to eat bugs
...  I  think  the  lizards  keep  the  mosquitoes  away from GLSS.  A
Jamaican  old  wives' tale is:  if a lizard runs across a lady's foot,
she is (or soon will be) pregnant.

The  great debate ...  tree frog or cricket?  One of the sounds I have
grown  to  love  over  my past eight trips to Jamaica is heard only at
night.   It  is  the  high-pitched  chirp  of  either  tree  frogs  or
crickets.   Jamaicans  hardly hear them, as they are accustomed to the
sound,  but  if  you  ask they will tell you it is the sound of either
tree  frogs  or  crickets.   I  want  to know which it is, really.  It
lulls me to sleep at night.

Social  Directors:  The social directors seem to maintain an extremely
low  profile  during  the  day.   We  did  see  them  conducting a few
activities  at night.  We did not go to ShowTime regularly, so I can't
comment  on  their  evening presence.  Anyhow, one does not have to be
concerned   about   being  sucked  into  any  group  events  by  over-
enthusiastic  social  directors  ...  but activities are available for
ones participation, as desired.

Shower:   The  GLSS  showers are neat.  In our suite, the copper spout
was  similar  to  an oversized garden watering can.  Although it was a
trick  to get the temperature setting correct, once under the water it
felt  almost  like  a waterfall ... there are no water savers in those
showers!   Awesome.   And,  there  was  enough  water  pressure that I
didn't feel temperature/pressure changes.

Calling  out  of the hotel:  While I was there, it was a trick to call
out.   The  access code was not working, so they gave us an 800-number
to  get  to  an  outside  operator.   That  operator  could only place
collect  calls  or  pre-paid  phone  card  calls.   I  have a standard
calling  card,  which  would  not  work.   So, I would call my husband
collect,  he  would  refuse  the charges and then return the call.  No
problem,  but  it  would  have  been had I any business calls to make.
All  telephone  dialing  information can be found in the packet in the

What  to  wear:  The always important question ... what type of attire
is  appropriate?   During  the daytime, casual clothing is fine ... so
cover-ups,  or  shorts and tank tops or t-shirts work fine, along with
tennis  shoes  or  sandals.   During  the  evening,  the dress is more
varied.   In  Casanova, jackets are required for men.  Most women wore
dresses.   No  jeans,  tennis  shoes, shorts, polo shirts, t-shirts or
tank  tops  are  allowed  in Casanova.   In the Terazza Restaurant, no
shirts  or  tank  tops are allowed at night, but belted Bermuda shorts
are  acceptable.   For  the  Grand  Gala  buffet (Friday night), dress
seemed  similar to the requirements of the Terazza.  And, I understand
that  on  the  beach party night (Tuesday), dress is more casual.  The
Beach grill is always casual.
Double  chocolate  gateau:  This dessert is worth making the trip for.
I  ordered  dessert from room service one night, and because there was
no  chocolate on the dessert menu, I asked if there were any chocolate
desserts  around.   The  room  service person said he thought he could
come  up  with  something.   And  he  delivered  the  double chocolate
gateau.   It

Casanova.  I highly recommend it; it is to die for.

Bottom  line:  Would I return?  In a heart beat.  As a matter of fact,
my  husband  and I have already made plans to return (and to check out
the former Braco Village, as well).


We  like  to  take  a  Funjet charter from Houston Intercontinental to
Sangster,  Montego  Bay  when we can.  They've always run Memorial Day
to  Labor  Day.   This  year,  they've  run  all  year,  but we didn't
anticipate  that,  so  we  booked  an American flight.  Our flight was
scheduled  to  depart Wednesday at 6:40 a.m. We went to the city long-
term  parking  and  got right on the bus.  We got there just under 1.5
hours  before  our  flight.   The bus took us to our airline last, and
when  we  got  to  the  line 65 minutes before the flight, there was a
HUGE  line  waiting  to check bags for Miami.  It took 40 minutes, and
they  were  already boarding when we got down to the gate.  We have to
check  bags  since  Todd  brings  his  golf  clubs. This was plenty of
time.   We  checked  our bags and were asked for proof of citizenship.
We  sat  on  the  runway  half  an hour.   We had been asked to take a
Bistro  bag  of  "breakfast" before we got on the plane.  It consisted
of  orange  juice,  yogurt,  a  granola  bar,  and a banana.  We ate a
little  of  that  and  chucked the rest.  We were asked to move by the
flight  attendant to accommodate a family with a baby.  We were packed
three  to a seat like sardines in seats that wouldn't go back and were
actually  rolled  forward.   We  did  arrive in Miami on time, and the
flight  into  Sangster  was  much  better  and landed about 13 minutes
early.   We were fed some sort of roast beef and cheese in a tortilla,
plantain  chips,  and  an oatmeal cookie.  I gave most to Todd.  While
not  advertised,  wine  and  beer  were  available at no charge, and I
believe  other  drinks,  though  seconds, even of soda, were not to be
expected.   As  we  entered  the  arrival  area, six singers in native
costumes  greeted  us.   Our  bags  were there when we got downstairs.
Lines  were  short  everywhere. As usual, always went to the far left.
You  must  get in the line with the green sign that reads, "Nothing to
Declare".    Sandals took good care of us.  They stuck Sandals tags on
our  bags.  The (tipped) baggage guy got our stuff on the bus.  We got
to   a   bus  within  5  minutes  after  customs.   The  bus  was  air
conditioned,  and  the driver made the ride in less than 5 minutes and
was  quite  charming  in  his  tales  about  Jamaican  customs.  After
arrival,  we  were  taken,  along  with  another  couple arriving from
Miami,  to  the  suite  concierge  center and given champagne.  It was
about  1:30.   We  used  our  pre-checkin  form provided by our travel
agent,  who is a Sandals specialist.  We checked the returnee box, but
no  one  seemed to realize at that time that we are returnees.  We had
asked  for  ground  floor  and  got  314. It has a lovely view, but we
asked  to move to ground.  They put us in 123 which we had on our last
trip.   It wasn't set up for concierge, so they took a couple of hours
for  the  refrigerator  and  bar  setup.   The resort was less than 40
percent  full,  so  they  could  have  easily  upgraded  us to a Royal
suite.   In  fact, at the airport, she said we'd be in one. Later that
night,  we  found  out at the returnee party that only those who asked
that  particular week got upgraded.  Todd didn't want to move since we
were  unpacked.   I  met one couple that moved twice.  We were given a
small  booklet  about  Royal,  and 2 postcards.  The room had a toilet
that was hard to flush, and somehow, mosquitoes got in like crazy.

The Room
We  were in room 123 in the Kensington Block.  Room 123 is on the east
end,  just  steps from the ocean to the right and the pool and jacuzzi
on  the  left.  This  room was a Grande Luxe Honeymoon Beachfront.  It
looks  very  much like the brochure.  There is a sitting area with two
chairs  and  a  table  with  a  coffee  maker and coffee and tea.  The
coffee  is  Jamaican  High  Mountain,  not  Blue  Mountain.   Tea  was
Tetley.   The  bed  is 4 -poster and very high up with a nightstand on
one  side and a desk on the other.  There was a radio/alarm.  There is
a  full-length  mirror,  a  refrigerator, which was stocked with white
and  red wine, champagne, pineapple juice, tropical punch, Red Stripe,
Lite  beer,  and  chilled  glasses.   On  top,  there  were individual
bottles  of  club  soda,  tonic  water,  ginger ale, Diet Pepsi, 7-up,
bottles  of  local  rum  and  gin,  and Russian vodka and scotch.  The
fridge  was  stocked daily, and items varied. This time, we were given
a  form  to  ask  which  items  we  would  like  restocked.  Wine  was
restocked,  but  the champagne was not.  We really enjoyed the bottled
club  soda  and Diet Pepsi.  We were always able to get extra of that.
Other  than  previously  mentioned, sometimes they brought Pepsi, even
though  we didn't indicate on the card that we wanted any.  Also, once
we  used the card, no replacement card was issued. We had no corkscrew
or  robes,  but  with  a  few  phone  calls,  these items arrived, and
someone  even  checked to see that we got them.  Of course, we did not
drink  all items brought.  The idea was to have a choice.  Once we met
Pete,  the  bar  concierge,  we  told him when needing anything.    He
generally  came  between  10:30 a.m. and noon.  The rooms were stocked
more  regularly  than  at  any  resort  we've  stayed  which  had this
There  was  a  ceiling  fan  above the bed. The bathroom was small but
adequate.   The  amenity  kit  was like other Sandals amenity kits and
not   upgraded,   as   stated  in  the  brochure.   Includes  shampoo,
conditioner,  aloe  vera  gel,  hand  lotion,  and this time, a second
shampoo,  rather than liquid soap.  The plug-in in the bathroom seldom
worked,  so  Todd had to shave without a mirror elsewhere in the room.
Outside  the  bathroom was another vanity and bench where glasses were
and  a  hair  dryer  hung on the wall.  The room shelves for us to put
Todd's  golf  bag  and our empty suitcases out of the way.  There were
quite  a  few  hangers, not enough for over-packers like us.  The safe
was  in  this  area.  The bed was turned down at night and more towels
were  brought.   The maid even straightened the room a bit each night.
Tea  didn't  get  restocked,  but coffee did.  I brought tea bags from
the  area  where  the  afternoon  tea is served. Beach towels could be
traded  in  at  the  watersports  hut.   You  must  keep track of your

Suite Concierge Benefits and Rooms

At  Royal,  the Grande Luxe Honeymoon Beachfront and Royal Suite rooms
are  in  the  suite concierge category.  The accommodations are at the
usually  more  quiet  end of the property, so it you want to be in the
main  action  and  have  oceanfront  accommodations,  book  grand luxe
beachfront.   Although  these  rooms  are  in  a  block  that is being
redone,  so  I think they have converted some of the Royal Suites into
this   category.   The  construction  was  nearly  complete  upon  our
departure.   Will  not  get  the  concierge  program in that category.
With  concierge  service,  you  get Sandals terry cloth robes to wear,
daily  New  York  Times faxes under your door, stocked bar, use of the
concierge,  invitation  to  escorted  shopping,  and the nicest rooms.
Power  kept  on  by  generators  during  6-hour outage on our previous
visit.   Royal  Suite  would  be  much  nicer.   Grand  Luxe Honeymoon
Beachfront  is  like a cheaper category with bar setups added.  On our
previous visit, there was a VIP party.

The  escorted  shopping  is  offered one day a week.  On our visit, it
was  Tuesday.   The  charge was $20 per couple.  We were taken to duty
free  shops  and the craft market in  Montego Bay.  We were able to go
through  the whole market without buying anything, but we went back in
to  make  a deal for a carved elephant.  She wanted $35.  We payed $20
and  got  a  little trinket basket with it.  There is pressure to look
everywhere,  but  a firm no works.  Everyone wanted to put a couple of
braids  in  my  hair.   I  was  able to say no there, too.  We used my
Bingo  gift certificate as a down-payment on some earrings.  They were
market  $630.   The  price was offered as $230, and we paid $180 after
the gift certificate.  They were diamond with 14 karat gold.

The Property

There  are  190  rooms  for  couples  only  in 6 categories in various
locations  of the property.  The staff to guest ratio is nearly one to
one,  assuming  the  resort  is  full.   Since it was not at all full,
there  were  many more staff people wandering around than guests.  The
resort  was  never more than 50% full during our visit but seemed more
crowded.   On  previous  visits,  there was never more than 6-8 people
around  the  east  end  area  pool, jacuzzi, and beach, but this time,
there  were usually about 30.  I think this was due to people avoiding
the noise of the construction.

The  front  entrance  is  very  elegant  whether you face the Georgian
Great  House  or  turn  around and face the gates.  Rooms located near
the  south  pool  and jacuzzi are in the Arundel and Caernarvon Block.
These  are  also near the lobby, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
Will  be near daytime activity but probably peaceful at night.   Rooms
in  the  Windsor  Block are on the beach very near the watersports and
volleyball.   This  can be a center of activity day and night, but the
view  is  right,  and  all amenities are convenient.  Rooms in the St.
James,  Clarence, Buckingham, and Glamis Blocks are all located in the
gardens.    Patios  open  out  onto  the  main  paths.   Depending  on
location,  these  can  be  quiet  or bothered by the noise of the main
pool  and  swim-up  bar, which can often be noisy.  The Edinburg Block
is  very  near  the  Health  Club  and  near the back of the property.
Rooms  appear  to  be  like cottages with patio table and chairs.  The
Sandringham  Block  is  located  directly  on the beach near the beach
jacuzzi  and  beach  bar  with  a  good view of the private island and
sunset.   I  am  not  sure when this block will reopen.  Although this
could  be  noisy  now  and  then,  I would choose this location if not
staying  in a suite. Rooms at the back of the Balmoral Block are Royal
Suite  rooms which open out onto small sections of the beach separated
by  piers  which  house gazebos or tables.  This is a nice location if
you  want  to lay on the beach a lot.  I recommend room 104 if getting
a  Royal  Suite.   That  room  opens right onto the beach. So do rooms
between  98-103.  These  were  various  room  categories  due  to  the
construction.  It is a short walk to the east end pool and jacuzzi and
the  main  beach jacuzzi and bar.  Kensington Block is at the east end
of  the  property.   All  rooms  face  the  pool,  jacuzzi, and beach.
Grande  Luxe  Honeymoon  Beachfront  Rooms at the side of the Balmoral
Block  face  the pool, jacuzzi, and have side view of ocean.  There is
also  a  jacuzzi  and swim-up bar on the island and a few paddle boats
over  there.   Gardens  have  giant chess game, hammocks, croquet, and
many  local  plants  and  trees.  You will see an peacocks.  There are
two  colorful  parrots  there.   Play  with  them,  but  don't get too
close.   A  couple  of  people  got bitten.  At the front of the path,
there are large goldfish, catfish, etc.

Two  or  three singers/instrument players walk around in the afternoon
entertaining  guests.   They always sneak in at least one drink at the


Everyone  we  met  was  very  friendly.   Staff  we  passed spoke.  In
restaurants,  they  were courteous.  If running behind, came to say it
would  be  a few minutes.   Always asking if it was our first visit or
welcoming   us   home   when  they  knew  we  were  returnees.   After
discovering  we  were returnees, they always wanted to hear our story.
Staff   was  as  nice  as  you  could  hope,  and  that  made  a  true
difference.   Sandals  is  doing  a  good job with this one. Omar, the
concierge  on  our  last  visit, is now a playmaker.  He remembered us
and  ran  to  hug  me  when  I met them.  Lots of staff remembered us.
Several  we  knew  have  moved  on,  but  most  of them moved to other
Sandals.   Most  of  the  playmakers  are in their 20s. Most were here
when  we  were  there  before. They have quite a job.  Eat, drink, and
play  with the guests.  They live on property.  They will all tell you
how  hard  they  work.   They do have long hours.  Omar was telling us
how  hard  he  had  to  work to put up a Christmas tree.  Theresa, the
former  assistant  manager,  is  about to have a baby and now works at
Sandals  Inn.  The General Manager was on-site, which has not been the
case  in  our  previous visits.  Of course Carl is the replacement for
the  GM  that  was let go a while back.  Once you meet staff a time or
two,  they  will  remember your likes and, sometimes, facts about you,
such  as  your  room number or where you are from.  Sandals is clearly
working  on  the service and personal touches to make it high quality,
and it shows.  The staff made a lasting impression.

Housekeeping  came  anytime between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The beds were
always  turned  down in the evening, but no mints this trip.  We never
ran  out  of  towels  in the room since the maid came at least twice a
day.   At breakfast, water was always brought.  We were offered coffee
or  tea.  Juices were served by a staff member at Courtyard and by the
guest  at the buffet.  Previously, staff got upset if you carried your
own  plate  from  buffet  or  selected your own table.  Now, they take
your  plate  and  seat  you  if  they are around.  Otherwise, you seat
yourself  or  when  you  almost get to a table, they pick one for you.
At  night,  Regency  offers  a smoking preference.  Sometimes, waiters
placed  napkin  in your lap.  Bar staff was quick at Royal.  We didn't
find  that  to  be  true  at  MoBay, but it is more crowded. Never was
service  at  a  meal  impeccable  at either Royal or MoBay, but it was
fairly  prompt  and  efficient.  It  was  better  than  ever at Royal,
though,  just  because  it was not full.  Service was very good at the
returnee dinner and the general manager party.

Regency Buffet
There  were  waffles,  pastries, toast, bagels, roasted potatoes (very
good),  scrambled  eggs,  grilled  patties  (sausage), and watermelon,
papaya,  and  apples  everyday.    Often pineapple and grapefruit were
served.  One  day,  they  served  plums.  Available one day on another
visit  was  unique  choices  such as leeches and star fruit and often,
mango.   Available   juices   were  orange  or  cranberry  juices  and
sometimes,  pineapple.   Omelets  and  eggs  to  order were available.
Stay  and  watch  it if you want it just so.  There were cheeses and a
few  meats,  lots  of  pastries,  always  cereal and canned fruit with
yogurt.   There  was  usually  a  hot  cereal and some cheese and deli
meat.   Every  day,  either  waffles  or  pancakes  were available. We
usually  had  things  like  fruit,  potatoes,  eggs, bacon, and toast-
American type stuff.

Room Service Breakfast
We  did  not  order  it, but it is available starting at 7:30 a.m. and
appeared to be very prompt.

A  la  Carte breakfast is available from a two-page menu.  This was my
favorite--no  line.  They had omelets and an egg to order breakfast of
eggs,  potatoes,  bacon,  sausage,  and  toast.   They  offered  hash,
fruits,  and  many  other  items.   It  is  mentioned  in the OFFICIAL
PASSPORT  booklet  given  out during check-in, and a sign is posted in
the lobby.  Service is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

No  longer served at Courtyard-a big loss.  Choices are Regency, beach
grill, or shuttle to another Sandals.

Regency--Buffet  was  different  each  day  and  was served from 12:30
until  2  p.m.   On  Wednesday,  we got there at 1:55, and they let us
eat.   Items  varied  each  day,  and generally, this was not the best
meal  of  the day.  The soup was always wonderful, however.  Some days
there  were two soups.  Some served were pumpkin, pepperpot, cucumber,
carrot,  bouillabaisse,  and  chicken  broth.   Most  were of a creamy
consistency  but not rich.  Each day, a pasta dish was made fresh, and
sometimes,  a  cold  pasta  salad was served.  There was always carved
meat.   Some  samples  were  London  broil, roast beef, turkey breast,
lamb,  and  steak.   There  were  always  one  or two types of grilled
fish.   Typically,  there  were  one  or  two entrees, such as Chinese
beef,  chicken  soft  tacos,  lasagna,  etc.  There were usually stir-
fried  vegetables,  potatoes,  rice,  salads, and sandwiches to order,
many  deserts, and fresh bread.  Fruit was usually papaya, watermelon,
cantaloupe,  honeydew,  and  pineapple.   One  day,  strawberries were
served.  You  tell  the  attendant  what  drinks you want, and someone
brings  it to the table.  We ate outside most days.  One of the chefs,
Rupert,  was  in  charge of the grill, and he was excited when we told
him  that  we  remembered  him.  He is the "maximum respect" man.  One
dish  of  note  was a creamy seafood dish.  It featured conch, shrimp,
and  giant  mussels,  among  other  seafood.   It  was not rich. Fried
chicken was excellent.  Pizza was good.

Beach  grill-opened  at 11 a.m. or usually 11:15.  Items featured were
hot  dogs,  hamburgers (or cheeseburgers), sometimes meat pies, pizza,
jerk  chicken  (VERY  GOOD),  fries, self-serve sandwiches, and fruit.
Lunch was served until 5 p.m.

Often,  Todd ate a cheeseburger and fries and I ate two chicken wings,
then  we  would  go  to the buffet for one or two items, usually 1/2 a
cup of soup, salad, and fruit for me.

Regency-menu  was  mostly  the  same  every  night except for the chef
special,  but I counted 16 entrees on the menu, including a vegetarian
special  and  a  fit  shape healthy entrée.  Dinner 6:30-9:30. This is
the  main  dining  room.   There  is a smoking preference available at
dinner,  and  you  can  dine  inside or next to the water.  Outside is
always  my  preference.   You  can  see  several  types of fish in the
water, but there are mosquitoes.

Wednesday  was  the returnee dinner, an all-evening experience.  See a
later section for that.

Thursday  was  lobster  night.   Lobster isn't on the menu, but if you
ask  when  you  book  your  dinner reservations if they have a lobster
night,  you  will get booked into Regency the right night.  Of course,
Regency  doesn't require a reservation.  In addition to the lobster, a
chicken,  pork,  beef,  fish,  and seafood mixture were other choices.
Todd  had  the  steak  and  ordered  a lobster tail for me.  I ordered
lobster.   I took his lobster in a napkin and ate it for breakfast the
next  day.   Stir-fry  vegetables  and  potatoes were served.  We were
given  a  wine  choice (about 6 choices)  and brought a bottle.  Bread
was  house  rolls.  Those  rolls  were  served  at dinner all over the
property  and seemed to be the only bread choice at night.  Appetizers
were  a  chicken mousse that Todd had and a fish thing I had which was
like  tuna  salad  on  toast.  Soup was shrimp and pumpkin.  Salad was
Caesar.   We did not eat dessert.  We were given a bottle of wine.  It
was a pretty good French wine.

Sunday-after  Bali  Hi, we stopped by for soup and entrée.  Shrimp and
pumpkin  soup was very good.  Entrée for me was fruits de mar.  It was
mostly  squid,  which  I don't eat, but had a few pieces of other very
good  seafood.   Todd had blackened mahi mahi.  It was tasty.  We were
given  a  bottle  of wine again.  This time, it was a Chilean Savignon
Blanc.  Not great, but not bad either.

If  wine was not desired, bar service was available during the meal at
Regency  and  all  other  restaurants  and  buffets.  This was true at
lunch also.

Pavilion-set  menu  with  Jamaican  cuisine.  Three appetizer choices,
soup  is pumpkin, salad course, dinner is choice of Jerk chicken, Jerk
pork,  or  shrimp  middle  quarters  or  a  fresh  fish.   Dessert  is
available.   This  is  the white-glove restaurant.  We didn't go there
because  there  is a lot of these same items elsewhere, and we, unlike
some,  do  not  come  to  Jamaica  for  the  local cuisine.  This is a
candlelight  meal.   Wines  are  on  display.   They  were closed from
Wednesday  to  Sunday  during  our  stay.  They start serving around 6

Bali  Hi-At 5:45 or 7:45, guests with reservations line up at the pier
by  the watersports area to be boated over to the island.  You will be
left  if late.  Men and women are separated into two lines, and a sash
is  tied  about  the  clothing  for  good luck.  Of course, a photo is
taken  of  each couple. The meal is Indonesian with around 16 courses.
Seating  was in groups of usually 6 people, and the dishes were served
family-style.   A welcome drink is served, and wine during the meal or
other  bar  drinks,  with jasmine tea served near the end. Guests pass
these  around  the  table  and  use a Sterno-type stove to keep things
warm.   The  dishes I remember include spring roll, green beans, stir-
fried  vegetables,  spicy  fish,  garlic  shrimp,  some  type  of pork
chunks,  beef slices, ginger chicken, crispy potatoes, shrimp, chicken
with  vegetables, and rice.  A gong is sounded at the beginning of the
meal.   For dessert, a flaming banana dessert with a light puff pastry
was  served.  The menu may vary, but it was the same during our entire
stay.   Once  dark  we  had  a  beautiful lit view of Royal across the
water  and  the  beach.   Service was OK, but jasmine tea refills were
not  offered.   The  bar  attendant  did come back around, however.  A
wish  doll was passed around for guests to wish upon.  We ate there on

Friday  night.   Todd  steak-grilled,  best at Sandals.  Me-east meets
west  seafood  of  grilled tuna, mussels, and shrimp.  Our reservation
was  at  6 p.m.  They were not ready.  Todd wanted to play pool, so he
did  that while I watched a lady play a slot machine nearby (they have
6).   We  went  back  at  6:15,  and  there was already another couple
ordering.   Appetizer-choice  of chicken mouse or smoked mackerel.  We
had  the  chicken.   Soup  was  pumpkin or broth.  We had the pumpkin.
Salad  was  greens  with  vinaigrette.   In addition to the entrees we
ate,  which  were served with grilled vegetables (and Todd's also came
with  home  potatoes), they had a chicken, pork, and a couple of other
dishes.  Todd had Kahlua pie for dessert.  I skipped it.
Monday  night--our  appetizer was chilled mussels with cocktail sauce.
We  received  3  each, and I ate Todd's.  He tried to order two soups,
one  when  I  got  my  appetizer  and one when I got my soup, but they
misunderstood   and   brought   him  the  appetizer.   He  didn't  say
anything.   Soup  was  lobster  bisque.  Salad was "exotic greens" and
was  served  with  the  house  dressing  which  is  a  sort of Italian
dressing.   We  both  had  steak.  It was served in a sauce with a few
cashews.   I  asked to have some shrimp with mine, and they brought 4.
I  could  not  eat  everything  because  I  was  too full.  We skipped
Tuesday  night--I  ordered salmon, I believe Todd had the steak again.
Soup  was  a creamy chicken.  Salad and appetizer were the same.  Todd
skipped the appetizer.  This time, I received two mussels.

The  restaurant  seemed  to rotate between two menus, but they did not
necessarily  have the same menu displayed in the lobby as you received
upon  being  seated.   Seatings were available at 6,  7:30, and 9 p.m.
The  meal  usually  took  about  an  hour.  A wine menu was available.
Choices  on  the  left  side were included.  Choices on the right were
available  at  an  additional  charge.   We  always ordered the French
white.   The  first night, they filled our glass each time.  The other
two nights, we were given a bottle.

Pirate  Buffet-this  was to be on Kokomo Island on Friday but was held
in  the  Regency  Room due to the possibility of bad weather, although
the  weather  was  fine.   We stopped by after the courtyard because I
wanted  fruit  for  dessert.  Entrees were ribs, fish, and roast beef.
No  jerk  chicken.  Perhaps this is because fixings for jerk seasoning
are  up  600%  over  last year.  They had fabulous jerk chicken at the
beach bar, though.
Caribbean  Buffet--held  on  Tuesday.   There was a beautiful blue ice
sculpture.   I only glanced at the buffet when we sat down to hear the
singer.   There  were  various salads available in a long kayak thing.
There  was  grilled  shrimp,  carved meat, many other dishes, and more
desserts  than I saw at any other meal.  A bar waiter went around, but
the piano bar was close by.

Sandals Montego Bay
Tokyo  Joe's-we  visited on Saturday.  We thoroughly enjoyed this.  It
has  changed  on  each  of  our stayhs at Sandals.  We were served one
each  of  a  little  crispy  turnover, lumpia wrapper spring roll, and
shrimp  with  the  same batter. Each appetizer was the size of a thumb
and  very  good.   Next,  we were brought miso soup.  Next, we went to
the  salad  bar.  Some items included lettuce, onions, grilled onions,
beets,  almonds,  sesame  seeds,  alfalfa  sprouts,  cucumbers, crispy
pieces  of wonton wrapper, and carrots.  One dressing, the type served
at  places  such  as Bennihana and Mikayo, was served. The main course
was  Mongolian barbecue.  About a dozen or more vegetables and noodles
were   available.    Chicken,   shrimp,  beef,  pork,  and  fish  were
available.   All  of  this  was  piled  on a plate anyway you desired.
Next,  the cooks grilled in woks 4 at a time using a variety of sauces
at  their  discretion.   I  asked  for  mine  spicy  and  a sauces not
generally  put  on.   Rice  and  a  Chinese pancake were placed on the
plate  along  with  the cooked food.  Orders for bar drinks were taken
at  the beginning of the meal.  Later, hot tea was served.   Ice cream
was  served,  but  we skipped that.  Fortune cookies were available at
the  end.   This  was  one  of  the  very  best meals during our stay.
Mosquitoes  abounded.   Guests  without  reservations  were allowed to
wait  for  a  seat.   People were not seated in groups as in the past,
unless they booked their reservation in a group.

Returnee  Dinner  at  Royal-held  on Wednesday.  Returnees received an
invitation.   Earlier in the day, we received T-shirts and a bottle of
Tia  Maria coffee liqueur.  The returnee private cocktail party was at
6:30  p.m.  at  the South pool terrace.  Guests were asked to sign in.
Some  special awards were given.  One couple had stayed a total of 256
nights,  and  I  remember them from a previous visit.  An open bar was
available  with  a  wide selection, including champagne, and Carl, the
general  manager  greeted everyone and introduced a few more managers.
Appetizers  consisted  of  things  such as boiled spiced shrimp, fried
shrimp,  smoked  salmon,  chicken wings, battered fish, fruit, cheese,
and  finger  things  on  crackers.   We  had  a  good time chatting to
various  people,  and  they took us down to dinner at Regency at 7:30.
The  dinner  lasted  two  hours.   Roses  and two pairs of sandals for
ladies  (and  a  kiss) and one pair of sandals for the guys were given
out during the dinner.

Menu:   appetizer  was  shrimps and scallops lightly marinated in jerk
seasoning,  baked  in Filo dough.  Soup was tomato and gin, but it was
easy  to  get  pumpkin  instead.   Salad  was  mixed field greens with
vegetable  salsa,  lemon  and  garlic  vinaigrette.   The  entree  was
roasted  tenderloin  dusted  with  fine  herbs,  mushroom  ragout, and
Cognac  sauce.   The  grand  finale  was a baked ice cream.  Champagne
flowed  the  entire  meal,  and  during  dessert,  coffee and tea were
served.   The  meal ended at nearly 9:30, and we went out to watch the

Kayaks,  paddle  boats,  aqua  trikes,  hobie  cats,  and sunfish were
available.   Water  skiing  was  available beginning at 9 a.m.  Glass-
bottom  boat  tours went out every day at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and noon.
On  Saturday, I went at 9:30 a.m. while Todd was at golf.  We saw many
fish  and  a  stingray.   Todd  and I went back at noon.  It was still
clear,  and  we saw some fish.  See activities section for information
on  scuba  and  snorkeling.   Snorkeling  was available at 10 a.m., 11
a.m.,  2  p.m.  and  3 p.m., but sometimes the afternoon sessions were
canceled  due  to  wind.   This  activity  requires sign-up.  A resort
scuba course is offered.
Snorkeling  on Sunday-we asked for something to feed the fish, so they
threw  large  rolls  out  to everyone.  Fish of many types swarmed us,
and  they  ate  from our hands, we could even touch them.  They let us
stay out about 30 minutes.  Ten people went.
Snorkeling  on Monday-We went to a different spot.  They said the fish
wouldn't  eat  over  there,  which meant they had nothing to feed them
and  didn't  want  bothered.   The  fish  were  similar.   We saw more
interesting  coral,  and  one guy saw a snake.  Todd saw a nice shell.
He  dove  down  for  it for me.  He kept dropping it because there was
something  in  it,  but  he got it on the fourth or fifth try.  It was
fun to watch.  About a dozen people went on that trip.

Theme nights
Olympics  day-Wednesday.   Lots  of  games  day  and night for Sandals
points.    We  saw  a  show with dancers in the water.  They were from
Cuba  and  put on a very interesting show in and out of the pool. Kept
getting  chewed  about my digital camera because they thought it was a
camcorder.   Anyway,  mosquitoes  were  bad  everywhere.  Todd went to
bed.   I  had a very bad sore throat.  I listened to the band and then
the  comedian  but  left  at  11  because  the mosquitoes were so bad.
Turns  out,  they  were  worse in the room.  Between them and our sore
throats, we were up half the night.

Casino Night
Held  on  Thursday.   After  dancing  with  the band at 7:30, a singer
performed.  The  casino  games  began in the Warp Zone disco at 10:30.
On  our  last visit, this was at 8:30 and held on Saturday.  This is a
charity  event,  so  it cost money.  For $10 U.S. or $38 Jamaican, you
get  $1000  in  funny  money chips (10 chips). They had black jack and
horse  racing (controlled by dice rolling to advance the horses).  The
games  were  run by playmakers. Some of the dealers were scammed a bit
by  a  few,  so  only  a  handful  had enough money for the high-stake
amounts  the  prizes  went  for. They auctioned Jamaican souvenirs and
Sandals  merchandise.   They  grouped prizes, so only a few people got
anything.  It was fun, though.
Island/Pirate  Night-Friday  night.   A  scavenger  hunt was held at 8
p.m.   At  9  p.m., dance lessons were held.  This was followed by the
fire-breather,  Prince  Akeem.   He  toured  around  to  each group of
guests  and  did  little private shows for all.  Limbo and other games
were held.  I did not see anyone in a costume except the staff.
Razmatazz Night
Held  on Saturday.  They call it "a little bit of dis and a little bit
of  dat".   There  was  a game called Taboo, and a magician performed.
He  was  quite  entertaining  and  involved the audience. A jazz combo
played in the piano bar at 7:30 p.m.  About 20 people attended that.
Formal Night
Held  on Sunday.  People wore anything from regular slacks and dresses
to  formal evening wear.  No shorts.  There was a contest held for the
best-dressed  couple,  but were not around for that. After the evening
entertainment,  slow dancing was held in the disco at 11 p.m a fashion
show was held featuring the playmakers.

Oldies  Night/Karoake-Monday  Bingo  at  8:30   was  $5  a  card,  for
charity,  prizes  given.   This time, no Elvis impersonator.  The band
played/sang  after  bingo.   They had a 70s and 80s dance in the disco
at  10  p.m.,  but it must have started late, if at all.  We went in a
few  minutes  after  10,  and  they were showing football.  A marching
band  played  around  the property at 6:30 p.m. during our dinner.  At
bingo,  I  tied one bingo and didn't win the tie-breaker.  I got extra
points  for  that.   We  ended  up with 50 points from bingo.  I won a
prize  bundle  which included a tiny bottle of rum cream, a Red Stripe
cookbook, and a $50 gift certificate to a duty free shop in town.
Caribbean  Night-Gone  from our previous visit was carving up coconuts
and  giving  to  guests  with  a straw for the milk, offering flavored
ice,  cutting  up  sugar  cane,  passing out Red Stripe in a cart, and
selling  Jamaican  crafts.   I  hope they do this again in the future.
We  heard  a  singer than night.  He was not our favorite.  We did not
stay up for the island dancers.

We  heard  an  excellent  singer at Sandals Montego Bay, Gene Stevens.
He  was  a  former  playmaker,  and Todd and I danced to one song.  We
attended  that  show  because we had over an hour wait after dinner to
get our bus to go back to Royal.

Lots  of  activities  held  daily  and  activity  board near main pool
showed  the  day's  schedule.   For  watersports  schedule,  check the
watersports  hut.   There  were  pool  games,  basketball  and  tennis
tournaments,  volleyball,  and  various other unique games invented by
the  playmakers.  Some activities are canceled, but there was a weekly
schedule  provided  in our room which was marked "week 2", so I assume
they  rotate  a somewhat set schedule.  Most events gained a person 10

There  was  shuffleboard,  croquet,  table  tennis,  pool, backgammon,
checkers,  slot  machines  (didn't  win anything on my $20), and board

Led  by Jude.  Workouts held at 8:30 and 5 at fitness center and 10:30
in  main  pool.   Canceled  if  only one person, but still awarded  10
points.   A power walk is held at 8 a.m.  On Saturday, I showed up for
the  power  walk, but the instructor didn't show up until 8:12.  I had
already  rode  the  bike 15 minutes, so I rode another 15 while he sat
there.   Then he did abdominals with me for 20 minutes.  Monday, I did
the  power walk (30 minutes) and more abs.  Got 20 points.  Tuesday, I
attended  the  workout  and  got  10  points.  They no longer give Fit
Shape  t-shirts  due  to the cost, but they are still mentioned in the
brochure.   Jude  is  trying  to  get  them to start giving the shirts
again.   Jude  is a great guy.  His wife lives in Germany, so they see
each  other  when  they  can.   He may not be there by the time we get
back to the resort.
Golf-bus  leaves every half hour for Ironshore. You get a voucher from
the  tour  desk or front desk if tour desk isn't open..  Pay $13 for a
caddie  for  18  holes,  tip when you're done.  Todd gave them $15 and
once  tipped  a  bus driver.  Todd played each time in 3 hours walking
the  course.   The  course  is  practically  outside  the gates of the
resort,  near  McDonald's.   Todd  went  Friday, Saturday, Monday, and
Tuesday.   He  really liked the frequency of the bus and that he could
go  as early as 7 a.m. and get back at about 10:15.  Todd got the same
caddie every day, and he really enjoyed that.
Snorkeling-Boat  goes  out 4 times per day.  Times were 10, 11, 2, and
3.  It leaves on time, if not early.
Tours-tours  can  be  arranged  at a desk in the lobby.  Possibilities
include  tours  such  as Rose Hall, Sunsplash, horseback riding on the
beach,  mountain  rafting  or  rafting on the Marthae Brae, and Dunn's
River  Falls.   The  prices  vary.  Concierge guests are asked to book
through the concierge.

Books and Board Games
Both are available for loan from the playmakers, as are books.

Points  are  awarded  for  activities  such  as  volleyball, aerobics,
aquacize,   contests  and  games,  tennis,  basketball,  talent  night
(instant  Sandals),  Olympics,  Casino night, buying bingo cards.. You
can  go to the playmakers and find out how many points you have at any
time.   Sixty  points  gets  you  Sandals.  Points are per couple.  We
ended  up with 135 but would have had many more if we hadn't been sick
our  first two days of the trip.  After getting enough points for both
people  to  get  Sandals,  you can get more things such as key  chains
and  t-shirts.   Check  with  playmakers  before  you leave about your
points.   On  all  of  our stays, they didn't have them right.  I kept
track  of  them  during  the  stay.   It  took me 20 minutes with them
before  our  departure  for them to find all the slips.  They had some
points down under the wrong room or name.

Manager's Cocktail Party
It  was  held  Monday  at  5  p.m.   Appetizers  and  an  open bar was
available.   A few managers were there. This was held by the main pool
and  open to all guests.  Most appetizers were something on a cracker.
Shrimp,  chicken wings, battered fish strips, and other hot appetizers
were  also  served. This was much more casual than before.  Last time,
there were fancier appetizers and an ice sculpture.

The  Reverend  Gordon, who performs the non-denominational weddings at
Royal  (we  were  his 3100th, and he is now over 5200, averaging 2 per
day)  holds a non-denominational prayer service on Sunday morning at 9
a.m.  in  the  Hampton  Court  convention  center.   The front desk or
concierge  can  help  find  other services on the island.  We were the
only  ones  there,  so  he  chatted  an hour with us about events, his
career and religious philosophy, and prayed with us.
VIP Concierge Cocktail Party

Didn't  have  it,  but they still invite returnees to a shopping trip,

The  resort  band  plays  for  dancing  around  7:30 p.m. every night.
Dancing  at  Royal  and  MoBay  was somewhat facilitated by playmakers
dancing  together  as  a  way  for  no  one to be the first couple out

A  photographer  takes  your  picture all over the property at various
times.   They  are  everywhere from restaurants to pools and jacuzzis.
The  pictures  are available the next day for $7.  No pressure to buy.
You don't even have to go look at them.
Scandals Gift Shop

Lots  of  Jamaica  and Sandals items.  They had various sales.  A sign
advertising  sales  was  just outside the area where afternoon tea was
served. Only t-shirts were a bargain and the 50 percent off table.

Fish and Birds
There  are  large  fish  and  a  turtle  to feed and view just off the
lobby.   There  were  two  parrots  just down the path from there.  We
were  able  to get them to say, "hi" and "hello".  There were birds at
the main entrance of Sandals Montego Bay.

Fitness Center and Fit Shape Program
The  fitness center is always open.  There are free weights in various
sizes.   There  are more machines and a new exercise floor added since
our  visit  in 1993.  There are four bikes, three treadmills, a Nordic
Trak  ski  machine, a stair stepper, and machines for various parts of
the  body.   Classes for points included power walk at 8 a.m. aerobics
(usually  he  only  did  floor  or standing exercises, not aerobics or
step),  aquacize  at  the main pool at 10:30 and stretch and tone at 5
p.m.  He  never  mentioned  5  p.m.,  so  I  assumed he didn't have it
because  the  resort  was  on  an  off week.  The instructor lived on-
site.   Fit  shape food items were noted at the Courtyard Grill and at
the  Regency.   Ten points were given for attending class. A sauna was
located between the men's  and women's bathrooms.

Jo Jo's Beauty Salon
The  beauty salon is adjacent to the Fitness Center at the back of the
property.   Massages  were  30  min  for  $28,  45 minutes for $40 (in
brochure  but  not  mentioned),  and  60  minutes  for  $55.   I was 5
minutes  late,  and  she  cut  the  time off my massage.  She was very
aggressive.   Facial  was $35 and lasted 45 minutes. She started late,
but  it  was very good. Manicure was $12.  Pedicure was $18.  Eyebrow,
arm, bikini, and leg waxing were available, braids, too.  I had a one-
hour   massage,   which   was  full-body  and  a  facial.   Both  were
wonderful.   You  can generally get an appointment on the same day you

Slot Machines
Six  by  the  pool  tables.  Attended regularly, used now and then.  I
went through $20 in 11 minutes.

Beach Bar and Grill
The  bar  opens  from 11 a.m. until 3a.m.  The grill opens from around
11  a.m.  until  5  p.m.  and again around 11 p.m.  Alcoholic and Non-
alcoholic  drink specials are posted at the main swim-up pool bar  The
grill  served  hamburgers. Cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, jerk chicken
hot  dogs,  fries,  pizzas,  meat  turnovers,  sandwiches,  and fruit.
Popcorn was available at the bar.  Service was prompt at all times.

Afternoon Tea
Tea  and  coffee  were  always  available  in  the  Jamaican tea room.
Between  4 and 5 p.m., service included pastries, fruit, or sandwiches
served  from  a cart by a strolling waiter.  Coffee and tea were self-
serve and available 24 hours a day.

Piano Bar
The  bar, itself, is open from sometime in the afternoon until as late
as  you  want.   The piano player played every night, but we never saw
anyone sing.  They had two scheduled sing-a-longs a night.

Other Sandals
The  shuttle  runs  every  1-2  hours  to  the  other  two Sandals.  A
schedule  is  posted.  The  shuttle  bus was painted the day before we
left  and   has  Sandals  and  Beaches  logos  all  over it.  The trip
between   Royal  and  MoBay  was  about  3  minutes  each  time.   The
atmosphere  at  MoBay  was  much different.  The property is large and
more  spread  out  than  Royal.  We enjoyed Tokyo Joe's, but found the
service  at  the  lobby  bar,  and restaurants to be somewhat slow and
impersonal.   We  also  hated  the  plane  noise.   They  still  do  a
wonderful job of weddings

If  you  want  to go to Sandals in Ocho Rios or Negril, transportation
is available but not free.

Departure and Return Home

Check-out  was  at  11  a.m., and at 10:55, someone came for our bags.
The  night  before  our departure, we had received a copy of our bill,
our  immigration  cards,  and  a  note from the concierge to check out
with  him.   I  didn't  read  that  part  and checked out at the front
desk.   Pernell,  the  concierge,  was  a little upset, but  he bid us
goodbye  and  put  us  in  a Toyota  Crown at 11:36 a.m. We got a cold
chicken  breast  on  our first flight and only pretzels on the second.
Both  gave  complimentary wine, I assume because it was Christmas Eve.
We  had  to  do customs in Miami.  It took 45 minutes to get our bags,
but  we  had 4.5 hours between flights.  We arrived back in Houston at
9:10  p.m.  and  got  home  at 10 p.m. to a house full of my relatives
waiting to celebrate Christmas.

Two  ladies  came  on  the property out of nowhere and pressured me to
buy  three  bracelets.   I  paid $5 each, but they shouldn't have been

Staff  is  generally  friendly at Sandals.  Go with the right frame of
mind  and  expectations  and  you  will  have an outstanding vacation.
There  was  a wide age mix from 20-something to 70-something--not that
many 20-somethings.  Much more visit in the summer.

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