Montego Bay, Jamaica – 6:30 p.m. DAY ONE ~ As I sit in the quiet bar at the Wexford Hotel overlooking beautiful Montego Bay, I reflect on my first day on this rugged island. Rugged in its steep green hills, rugged in its swampy air thick with humidity. It’s a cool 90 degrees this October day. I struggle to focus after my red-eye flight from Phoenix has had me awake for nearly 36 hours. Why didn’t I nap before I boarded that 1:15 a.m. Arizona time flight? My hair is not cooperating as the humidity sinks into every frizzy curl.
My arrival was easy and welcoming. Simone was there to greet me at the Groovy Grouper as I exited the airport with my bag. (Here’s your first chance for an ice cold Red Stripe Lager brewed locally.) A quick drive to the hotel and we get to meet our smiling, friendly island staff. I love how happy they are to have us here.
We head over to the bar for our Rum Punch greeting after a simple check-in process (You will need your passport for this) Our bags our whisked up to our room and the key goes in the door. Crisp, chilled air hits my face as I open my room door…. And the view of the bay from my balcony—WOW. I see our ship, The Celestyal Crystal, filling the bay as I step out for a few photos. A storm is brewing over in the distance.
A late lunch at the hotel restaurant, Rosella, proves to be delicious. Lobster, shrimp and BBQ chicken with the familiar Jamaican kick. While Tammy heads to a meeting with hotel staff to discuss the special needs of our group arriving in December, I make the short walk over to Margaritaville to make sure the margaritas are up to the Singles Travel International standards for group ingestion.
The view from the roof is incredible as I watch ships moving in and out of the bay with the breeze cooling my skin and the watermelon margarita brings my temperature down a few more degrees. I head back to the hotel for a cool shower and a magnificent sunset on my first night in Jamaica.
I’m starting to chill…
Ready for tomorrow’s catamaran “Cool Runnings” – a full day of snorkeling, climbing Dunns River Falls and enjoying the view of land and sea.
Contributed by Robin Zell ~ Director of Marketing for Singles Travel International