Thursday, February 16, 2012

Taking a Backseat in Honeymoon Planning

I pulled out my passport the other night to send it off for renewal and realized something a little sad.  The last stamp in my book is from 2003.  I studied two languages and went abroad three times in college. It's a little startling to realize that I haven't left the country in almost a decade. The sad fact is that despite telling myself that I wouldn't let it happen, I've become a workaholic. I get to use technology and social media, which make my job pretty enjoyable.  It's not that I don't travel. I do quite a bit of business travel (enough that I could trade in hotel points for the $200 Pottery Barn gift card I mentioned yesterday). I just haven't done much leisure travel in recent years.  Clearly, I'm really looking forward to our honeymoon.

Marc, on the other hand, has been to every sunny vacation destination you can think of. Name a tropical island and he's probably been there.  As a result, I told Marc that he could decide where we'd go on our honeymoon, but I had three requests.  First, there must be a beach.  Second, I did not want to be on a six hour flight. I fly enough for work and I don't want to spend an entire day traveling.  Third, I want to see dolphins.  My response to the idea of swimming with dolphins is a lot like Kristen Bell's reaction to the idea of meeting a sloth, which you may have seen on the Ellen show recently.





For what it's worth, as an animal lover, I also feel this way about the prospect of meeting a panda, elephant, sloth, sea otter, or seal pup.

Shortly after articulating my requirements, I thought the dolphin request might be too limiting, so I retracted it, but Marc said that if I want dolphins, we'll find dolphins. After evaluating all the options, he decided that we are going to Jamaica. Apparently, there is a cove where visitors can interact with trained dolphins.  When Marc read the description out loud, I almost lost it.  I read reviews of the experience on TripAdvisor.com and they are mostly positive.  I told Marc not to make a reservation at the dolphin place just yet because I want to do more research about it (I want to make sure those dolphins are treated well), but I'm thrilled that we have a destination chosen.

Of course, now we have to figure out exactly where on Jamaica we'll go and where we'll stay.  For a relatively small island, there sure are a huge number of options for resorts there!  Marc wants to go to either Negril or Ocho Rios and each have the all-inclusive reports that are popular with honeymooners.  There are also some lesser known resorts in both locations.  To say the options are overwhelming would be an understatement.  We could spend weeks reading reviews online.

We need to book soon, so I'd love some direction.  What websites did you use to settle on your honeymoon destination?
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5 comments:

  1. Please dont go to one of those dirty sad swim with dolphin places.  You will regret it.  Dolphins are just not meant to be caged up for our amusement.  Many of the dolphins have skin viruses, such as HPV, from their contact with humans.  Please dont support these.  I would recommend taking a boat out for the day and asking the captain to go where the dolphins are.  They love to follow and race the boats, and you can see them in their natural settings.

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  2. I generally find that there are all kinds of forums out there for just about every vacation spot.  For example, we just got back from Playa del Carmen, and I found a lot of good information on a forum at a site called playainfo.com.   (BTW, I would highly recommend for you to go to Tulum, which is a bit south of Cancun.  Gorgeous beaches, romantic boutique eco-hotels, great food, amazing ruins nearby, underground rivers and caverns in which to snorkel, great prices, and they have a place with dolphins too.  And did I mention that it is all very reasonably priced?  And that you can be there after a 3 hour direct flight from IAD and another hour transfer from the airport?  Leave first thing in the morning and be on the beach by mid-afternoon.  Check it out!)  I also like the forums at Fodors and Frummers in addition to Trip Advisor.  

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  3. I would recommend The Rockhouse in Negril.  It's affordable and awesome!  http://www.rockhousehotel.com/escape.php

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  4. My husband and I stayed at Couples Swept Away in Negril for our honeymoon.  They have these amazing open air cottages. It was wonderful...and all inclusive is DEFINITELY the way to go.  If we hadn't gone with all inclusive, I'm sure we would have tried to save money my eating pop tarts in our room for breakfast.  It was so much more relaxing to know that everything was already paid for.   

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  5. I spent hours researching locations on Trip Advisor before deciding on The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia.  I would have loved to go back to Jamaica but on the other hand, we both wanted to go somewhere new.  We loved Negril.  Even though Sandals gets a bad rap on other islands, the one in Negril was very nice and we had no complaints.  I've also heard great things about Couples Swept Away and have a friend staying there next month.  I can let you know how she liked it when she's back mid-March.  

    The one thing I'll say about Negril is to keep in mind that Hedonism II is right next door to Sandals.  You can't see anything unless you go out on boat, though.  From a distance, we could see guests in the buff from our snorkel boat, and when we went to Rick's Cafe on the catamaran, we could see them a little more...ummm...closely.  Hedonism II has their own boat too, complete with water slides.  I can't even make this stuff up.  Guests on their boat also did some things when they passed by ours, and all I'll say about that is that they were "showing off," so to speak.  It didn't bother us...we just kind of laughed at the whole ordeal.  Just don't want you to be surprised!!!

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