Jamaican Me Craazy ‘Mon!

the view of Ocho Rios from my balcony

After 3 days of coming home to Toronto, I jet off to Ocho Rios, Jamaica with 5 girlfriends for a week of all-inclusive fun. The 4 star hotel-allucaneatanddrink/party all night type vacay is not my style but when in Toronto, you gotta go with what’s the cheapest deal.

Ocho Rios is a 2 hour drive from Montego Bay, the big city where the resort tourist flights all land. It’s known as a quieter strip of beach, ideal for couples and families. My attraction to Ocho Rios was due to it’s close proximity to Dunn’s River Falls and from personal recommendations.

We stayed at the Jamaica Sunset Grande which served buffet style meals 3 times a day, had 2 grills open where they served Jerk chicken and burgers, 3 ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Caribbean and Italian) plus a night club. From the outside it was well kept but once inside the rooms, it was no pretty party.

My biggest gripe with all inclusive vacations is the uneasy feeling of being ‘stuck’ on the resort. All the trips are organized through various travel agencies and of course, you are constantly being ripped off.
You just have to suck it up and go with the flow, and try to drink your money’s worth. Luckily in Jamaica, they aren’t stingy on their liquor.

snorkeling on the beach

We were blessed with endless sunshine although weather networks seem to consistently predict thunderstorms for this island. Our first 2 days has consisted of lazing in the sun and hanging out in the pool. The hotel also has a waterslide, 3 pools, a private beach (which is really a bay and a Carnival cruise boat docks here every few days blocking the view) and a swim up bar.
It’s definitely relaxing to be by water in this heat but the laziness is taking a toll on me.

Our first night out was out in the town of Ochie (as the locals call it). A few locals we met offered to take us to a local joint where there was a mix of tourists and Jamaicans. The air stank of marijuana the second we stepped off hotel property and people were offering us the green like it was going out of style! Jamaica loves to party, that’s for sure! The only type of music you are going to hear here is homegrown – reggae, dancehall, calypso and soca.

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