LTADPodcast

Unforgettable Jamaican Journeys

August 27, 2023 LTAD Podcast Season 1 Episode 11
LTADPodcast
Unforgettable Jamaican Journeys
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers


Tune in to listen as we take you through our unforgettable journey to Jamaica and the unique attractions that left us enthralled.   We'll  share our experiences at Sandals Resorts, highlighting the importance of Club Mobay at airports, and why tipping baggage handlers and drivers can make all the difference.

As we reminisce about our adventures, we'll take you through the culinary delights we experienced at Sandals Ocho Rios such as Neptune's and Kimono's, and our hilarious encounter at the Silent Disco. We'll share our exhilarating golf cart ride experience and the joy that the right music brought us on the dance floor at the Rabbit Hole. From the relaxing escape at Sandals Royal Plantation,  to the incredibly gorgeous Sandals Dunns River, we're sure to leave you wishing for a trip to Jamaica as well. So, sit back, relax, and join us as we relive these incredible moments.

Jana:

Welcome everybody to the LTAD podcast. Again. Dana, consistency, we're doing really good. I'm proud of us. I know we were doing like once every two months and then we would do like once a month and now suddenly we've gotten like weekly yeah way more better.

Erica:

You know who's fault? This is Erica's. Erica's. See what happens when you put things on the calendar Get done.

Jana:

True, so happy Friday everybody. It is a beautiful Friday morning in Nashville, tennessee, and we have some fun things we want to talk about today. But first everybody introduce yourself. I am Jana Dana. I'm Erica and I'm Mike. So today we've got a few things we want. Well, two things specifically want to talk about. But first, last week I said, oh, we don't have any voicemails. Well, we did. It came to me in a way differently than before, so it wasn't where I was looking for it when it was time for the show or that Mike was looking for it, because the Mike the one who does all this. But we do have a voicemail regarding we were discussing weather on the last show and Mike must have said I can't remember, but Mike must have said something about putting a dome over a park. So this voicemail is in relation to that comment.

zach:

Hey, it's Zach from Circle of Parks Podcast again. I promise I will keep it short and sweet, this time in under two minutes. So, mike, you mentioned in the latest episode of HealthTag that you wished Disney was in a bubble. Well, did you know? The original plans for Progress City, which never came to fruition, had Progress City in completely glass dome, 70 acres in a glass dome. So yeah, that's pretty cool. Y'all have a good one.

Erica:

We'll talk to you later. I don't remember what we were talking about, but it would be nice if it was in a dome. I would like that.

Jana:

I think it'd be cool if Disney was under a dome.

Erica:

From the air conditioner on.

Jana:

Yeah, I think we were talking about just weather. I think people would be happier if it was completely domed with an AC.

Erica:

Oh yeah.

zach:

Climate controlled.

Erica:

Especially in Animal Kingdom, the hottest park. Zach, Don't wear denim. I doubt we'd ever be able to get in the parks. It'd be full, it'd be full.

Jana:

They'd be full all the time, but that's all Anybody would ever want. It'd be kind of like going to a mall back in the 80s and 90s. Oh the mall, oh the mall. I have such a great idea for the mall the old abandoned malls that are just sitting around. Yeah, there's a lot of them degrading. I have a great idea for it. What is it so? I think that it should become like communities, like the anchor stores, like Castaner, nauts and Dillards and Sears and JCPenney. They should put single or double apartments in those, so like a single apartment, like a studio and then like a one bedroom. So a studio would house one or two people, a bedroom, one bedroom, would house one or two people. And then within the mall itself you could have glamour shots, you could have the movie theater Orange Julius. You could have Orange. Julius, you could have the corn dog place. You could still have the food court Kind of like the old mall, yeah, and I've seen the I know and I've seen the post where people are actually talking about this. But I'm like, why not make that a reality? What a fantastic idea. It could be a semi retirement community. It can even have doctors offices, a hospital. So if you've got someone who's retired there for years and now it's time for them to they can't leave on their own anymore, they could have a hospital there. So at that point you would then move along, or maybe you have a unit in it that is for the assisted living. So I think it's a fantastic idea. And if you're a developer out there, come to Nashville. I have ideas, I have ideas and there's a mall right down the road that we could redevelop like that.

Erica:

But yeah, we just what we were walking around, it's been like almost abandoned for years.

Jana:

It's so sad.

Erica:

It's just empty stores all the way around it.

Jana:

I think the only mall that I've seen like a true mall, like from when we were kids early 90s, late 80s, early 90s that is still in existence is the one down there.

Erica:

Cool Springs.

Jana:

Cool Springs. It's still just a fantastic mall.

Erica:

Park and lots always fat Full.

Jana:

This one up here is just empty all the time. Green Hills Mall.

Erica:

I mean we're doing all this local Nashville stuff. People's like what? But Green Hills is full too.

Jana:

But going to this mall up here this is kind of where I grew up and I worked here in my teenage years and just walking through that mall and just looking at everything I used to work here it used to be called the Mary Gouram. These used to be Walgreens.

Erica:

Oh my gosh, Mary Gouram. Then Mary Gouram moved over here. Oh my gosh.

Jana:

I did. I worked in like one night. We had to move the store from one spot in the mall to another and we all had on those inline skates and we were pushing the racks.

Erica:

Oh my gosh, all in a nice skate.

Jana:

In the middle of the night, like 2, 3 am, is when we did all this. We moved the entire store in one night.

Erica:

Did you guys have 5.79 here? We did, oh, I lost 5.79.

Jana:

Oh my gosh Sure did.

Erica:

So we were getting a size zero at 5.79. Yeah, okay, double zeros at 5.79.

Jana:

What is 5.79? For teeny tiny?

Erica:

people. Yeah, it was just a clothing store. I never visited a place?

Jana:

Was it County Seat? Was that the name of that one?

zach:

store.

Erica:

I remember that store See you had I remember a barrel of fun.

Jana:

That's all I remember yeah, a barrel of fun. And there was a networks was there and there was a men's store that was owned by the mayor Gouram that I can't remember the name of. It was a man's name, it wasn't like Michael's, but it was something. I don't know. I just remember selling Zeke Averichie pants and I owe you sweatshirts. So lots of memories going in that mall and every time we go in there it's just a shame to see it's just falling apart, but it's awful Anyways, okay. So, zach, thank you so much for your voicemail. I think that is cool that they considered a dome. I wish they had gone through with it, but they didn't no way. So before we get into our Jamaica recap because we all just returned from Jamaica yeah, we had a fantastic time, so we're going to just hit our trip highlights real quick. We're not going to get into super detailed recap of it, but before I do that, erica, dana, mike, I saw on Tik Tok you may have seen it on a different platform, but on Tik Tok I saw a video where they were getting a sneak peek at Milana journey of water. Did you see it?

Erica:

No, I haven't seen it. Yes, no, don't care. I haven't seen it Invention, spring it back.

Jana:

Can I tell you? Can I tell you, I haven't had this feeling until I saw it. In the minute I watched it, I was like wait a minute, why is this in Epcot? Hmm, did he missed it? You absolutely missed the mark on this one. Why is this in Epcot? That should have been an animal kingdom, definitely. Even the concept when it first came out, I was. It looks like animal kingdom. I guess I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to the concept art when it first came out, because I didn't really hit me or bother me until I saw that video last night. What are we doing? Well, when you think about Tafiti, she's green, yeah Right, and so you would think she would be surrounded by greenery and it just that's the look of Animal Kingdom. It was 100, it's a 100% Animal Kingdom attraction and they stuck it in the middle of Epcot.

Erica:

And they had a good spot for it.

Jana:

Epcot is supposed to be Right where the stupid mouse ride was at.

Erica:

Yeah, it was a stupid ride, it was horrible.

Jana:

It was chiropractic.

Erica:

Yeah, oh well, there you go.

Jana:

Dana liked it Chiropractic care. Epcot is supposed to be the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. It is not a place to put a plant-based, green, earthy attraction. It does not belong and I'm disappointed that also, it's where you touch the water and it makes music. That does not belong in Epcot and I think it's silly and I think it's, I think it's a waste. I think it's a waste. I think it's a big load of crap. Why did you put that in there? Why could we not come up with just at least maybe a green space with some tables for people to sit and relax?

Erica:

I think that was the original plan. I would take that over?

Jana:

Yeah, how about this really cool dome that you could go in and have some air conditioning and just some time down? Like what the crap are they doing? Like that? It almost makes me mad.

Erica:

I don't think they care.

Jana:

I don't think they do either. I think you've got a bunch of people up there with zero imagination, just throwing stuff out there to try to appease the crowd, and it's not working. It makes me mad, I agree. Well, I have not seen that preview, but now I want to go look it up. I have to find it. I may have sent it to you on TikTok, because I sent it to you didn't.

zach:

I yeah, I think I sent it to you on.

Jana:

TikTok. Okay, I'll have to be anyways. Alright, let's move on to funer things and let's talk about Jim Egon.

Erica:

Yeah, I'm on. I kind of want to keep bashing up cut.

Jana:

We're done with up cut. Today we are going to talk about our trip recap. Oh my gosh, yay, okay. So first impressions, because Dana had not been to Jamaica in literal years, literal Erica's never been, and we were talking about all these things. You're going to love this, that and the other, so I want to hit on two things with you. First, erica, okay, what did you think about when we got to the resort and they handed you the cold lemon grass?

Erica:

infused towel. Amanda Funk was not joking. That towel really set the bar high and my expectations were very high. I came in with zero expectations, but then you guys talked about the towel and whatnot and then, once I got that towel, I'm like, wow, this is such great service. I loved it. It was. It definitely set the mood for the trip. It also cools you down for the trip. Yes, and it was very, very hot.

Jana:

So what we did is we toured a lot of resorts and it was like 98% humidity. This is the hottest time of year to visit Jamaica and so, as we're touring y'all, it was just hot and it's different when you're going down there to tour a resort versus getting to lay on the beach and by the pool all day long and relax. Touring resort. You have to dress professionally, you're expected to stay with the group, you move fast, you see multiple resorts in a single day. So when we were at Sandals Duns River, there was a portion where we took a break and they see break for some water, and they gave us yet another infused towel. I'm not sure what was in it. It wasn't lemon grass, it was a little different.

Erica:

It was different it was a little different. I loved it, marijuana.

zach:

Rude Mike.

Jana:

Well, they do have it in Jamaica. Well, I know. But for me and you tell me what you think, dana, that towel was such a refresher. Oh my goodness, yes, that marijuana was amazing. Mike Quit that. Yeah, no, that towel that we got at Duns River, because that was a long morning of walking, because that resort is huge. Well, it's not huge, but it's it's big, it's big. And we went all over and that towel was probably my most loved towel of the trip. I think it was my most loved towel of the trip too. But the fragrance was amazing. So let's start from the beginning. When you fly into Jamaica, first and foremost, starting September 1st, it's going to be enforced that you have to fill out the C5 Jamaican immigration form. You can do that online. It's at enterjamaicacom. It's completely free. Now, for some reason, I had done mine within about 10 hours of the flight actually leaving and I had to pay $30 to have it done the same day, but it's free. So and I was on the correct website. So just be careful, don't try to do it within 30 days, because we wound up actually not using it and you can stop it. I was on the correct website.

Erica:

Oh, I'm worried about. I'm just turning the air conditioner on because it's blazing. It feels like Jamaica in here, ma it's supposed to be 100 degrees today and we got the air conditioner off.

Jana:

So right now you can still fill out the immigration the little sheet on the plane. But we had done both because I was like I've never done this before. It's new. I wanted to see what it was like to do it online. So I can advise people who booked Jamaica with me, right, and then we get there and they didn't even use it. So that was a bit aggravating. But they're saying as of September 1st it is required. So if you book your trip with us, we're going to guide you through that. We've got screenshots, we've got directions. We'll show you how to fill out your immigration form. But if you're doing it on your own, enterjamaicacom is the only website where you can Fill out the correct form. It is free unless you do it within, I guess, 12 hours of your flight. So make sure that you're at the correct website. Any other website is a scam. Do not do it because it's a free thing. So we landed the Jamaica Airport. First impressions.

Erica:

I was just happy to be there. It was a lot to take in. I was just so excited to be there with everybody and experiences I thought. I mean I was a little worried about having to go through customs because we didn't fast track, that we didn't do Moe, we weren't able to get Moe. Bay on the way in. I thought it was fine. We clocked it. I think it was like a little over 16 minutes in line. They got us through really quick and everybody was super friendly, except we're to the wise don't take your phone out in the airport because they'll yell at you, to put it away.

Jana:

You are not supposed to have your phone out in the line of customs Dana. Any impressions from you? Yeah, of course. My most recent international trip was to Turks and Caicos and talk about almost a polar opposite experience.

Erica:

Wishing you had a club Moe Bay, yeah.

Jana:

Yeah, it was like she said, it was a breeze, and I also appreciated that it was indoor enclosed with air conditioning as opposed to Turks and Caicos. So we did move much quicker this time compared to the past, and something that we did, and I'm not sure why we did it, but when we first got into the customs area, they put us up at these little individual kiosks and you scanned your passport, it took your photo, you had this little printout, but then they never asked for the printout, they never referred to it and about me and Dana were kind of at the end of our flight and when the next flight came in, I think the first five or 10 people did it and then after that nobody did it. So I'm not sure what the point of that was. And I didn't ask and I haven't looked it up yet, so I need to do that.

Erica:

But we've been in that same airport where there was no air conditioner and that was in December, and it just you get off the airplane comfortable, go into the airport and that long hallway that you keep going, there's no air conditioner in there and it just, I'm just heat.

Jana:

So they've opened up a second pathway. You're talking about where we came down off the ramp, but they've opened up another side, coming around the opposite side of that, I'm walking 300 miles now, but other people five feet but other people were. But the deal is is we're referring to specifically Club Mobile and do you need it Used to like we have stood there for two hours and trying to get through customs. Nothing in Jamaica is fast. They're definitely on Island time. So Club Mobile what Club Mobile is is upon arrival to Montego Bay or the Kingston airport. It's a fast track service through customs. Now there is a lounge, it's all included. It's air conditioned, there's food, there's drinks, alcohol, all the things. So if you land at the airport and you want to take advantage of the of the club, you can. But for me the benefit is getting through customs super quick. So if you notice that customs lines that went through the dead center, that fast pass line that went through the dead center, boy, we would have been in and out and that's what we had last time. In two minutes, right, Um, but we didn't stand there too long whatsoever. But for me it's. I don't want to go to that club, I want to go directly to the hotel's lounge or my car so I can get to my destination quicker. So for me, I use Club Mobile specifically for that fast track service, and what they do is just a few steps after you get off the plane. You go down this little ramp and at the bottom of the ramp they're standing there holding a sign and that's where they'll pick you up, whisk you through customs, drop you off at either the hotel lounge Cassandles has a lounge, a few resorts have a lounge at that airport, um or directly to where the cars would pick you up. So Club Mobile, upon arrival, must do or not, do? I'm kind of torn, Um, I don't know that. It's a must do for me, Um yeah, um, I would say yes.

Erica:

I feel like we got lucky, and when we saw the other planes come in behind us, that was a good amount of people, so I would say yes, I know our last time we were there it was backed up all the way down the hallways and around and we had we didn't have Club Mobile, but you had something, I don't know. So you set up something and they were sitting there holding maybe it was Club.

Jana:

Mobile. It was Club Mobile.

Erica:

And they forced us right down the center. But I mean, we could have been there for an hour, hour and a half two hours.

Jana:

Yeah, because what he's talking about is what you all saw was that main customs hall. We've been backed up into the hallways outside of that. Oh okay. So for me, Club Mobile is a must do.

Erica:

I think if you buy it every time you're going to, you're not going to need it at the time you don't need it.

Jana:

Well and see that's that's me, and that's probably why I hesitated, because it seems like that always happens to me, oh, and people give you dirty looks when you come.

Erica:

Oh, I'm sure. Oh, it's kind of like Genie Plus. Yeah, it is.

Jana:

It is so okay. So then we of course went. We were staying at the Sandals Resort, so we went to the Sandals lounge there at the airport. It is fully air conditioned, there is a bathroom. You can get red stripe beer, which Erica took full advantage of. Oh yes.

Erica:

And I bring you a big 32 ounce cup. Their little cups in there are awful, they fall apart. You can fill red stripe up with 32 ounces.

Jana:

And hop on the bus with it and get on the bus. Well, now we have to go back. Oh, obviously.

Erica:

And it's cold the whole way, and if you got two 32 ounces, you can just so.

Jana:

You sit there, you get snacks They'll have Twinkies and little crackers and stuff but before you go into the lounge they take your name and they take your checked luggage and they're going to sticker it for you and then it's going to sit outside and against the wall and they kind of watch it until they call your resort. And when they call your resort, the first thing if you noticed was that someone already had taken your bag and loaded it onto a cart to move it. Do you know why they do this Crowd control? They want to be Money yeah. They're trying to help those baggage handlers and things to earn some money and be tips. So keep in mind that if you go to Jamaica and actually if you go anywhere, anybody who handles your bags you need to be prepared to tip them about two to $3 per bag. So be prepared for that. Dana, no cash, not even a dollar. I didn't even have any coins. I had zero cash and what's funny is we had talked about it in Nashville and when we got to Orlando, at our connection, we totally forgot to have. Yeah. So I kind of easily found an ATM even though I haven't been to an ATM and I don't even know how long probably a decade.

Erica:

And I don't know if I'd want to be going to an ATM in Jamaica and either yeah, so tip your the baggage handler and then the driver who takes you on the shuttle.

Jana:

be it a little two person shuttle or it be at a 30 person small bus shuttle, be prepared to tip the driver there as well, and the driver would be. $5 to $10 per person per ride is appropriate for that driver as well. So this is the first time I had been on one of the larger 30 person buses. It's by Island Roots which is also owned a sister company of Sandals and Beecher's Resorts. It's a fantastic bus, fantastic ride, and in the back seats, man, you got all kinds of leg room. It was like from here to Dana I had leg room.

Erica:

It's a drive as terrifying as it is with the little van. Oh man.

Jana:

Well, that depends on your driver. We had Ray Ray Ray, come on, he was fun. He was fun and he taught us a few Jamaican things like no problem, oh gosh, everything's. I agree, I agree and yaman. Yeah man, he even had to sing a song, so we would not sing songs we had, trivia we had. Wow.

Erica:

He definitely made it known that sitting in the front seats was not for the faint of heart.

Jana:

Oh yes.

Erica:

You will get your own call, but I got hot trivia question correct.

Jana:

It's all right I had.

Erica:

No, I was talking about the driving. It was not for, it's not for the week. Well they.

Jana:

They ride on each other's bumpers, they pass when they shouldn't be passing. Yeah, I kind of wish. I didn't really need to see that.

Erica:

And then they go. They don't, they do.

Jana:

So we arrived to the resort, we had our fresh towel arrival. They gave us signature drinks. We sat, we were club level rooms, so we sat the club lounge. They checked us in in a private area, um, got to our rooms, fantastic rooms. So let's talk about let's kind of skip all the Just the absolute trip report, detail, detail, detail. Let's go ahead and skip to the highlights. So I've been there before and I'm used to it and I know that I can go anywhere I want to and get any food any kind of day. But let's talk about Erica's itinerary. Yes, let's do so. The first night we you got her. The first night we had a hosted dinner. Um, it was a beautiful area if you were a broad and you're looking for a gorgeous reception area, private, separated sandals. Um, ochi beach club, it was fantastic. But let's go ahead, jump to number two. Night number two and we went to dinner. And then what happened? After we went to that dinner, second dinner, and then what happened?

Erica:

Was there a third dinner?

Jana:

I think there was a post-it was our first dinner, but we were all so tired.

Erica:

I think we called it a night, didn't we?

Jana:

so we started. We started at the bar over by kelly's dock side.

Erica:

You're talking about night, so keep it. Keep it playing. I love it. Peony wallies in the background.

Jana:

We started at latitudes and we met jason, jason the bartender, and jason the bartender, because I never know what I want and I really don't drink alcohol, but you know, sometimes like I'll take a little or whatnot. So I'm like, look, jason, I'm not a drinker. I like cranberry, I like pineapple, I like sprite, I like ginger, I'll make me something. So he created me the most delicious drink in the world. I had a little bit of gin in it, um, and he called it the jj, and jj stood for jason and janna great.

Erica:

He was fine. He was fine.

Jana:

We had a great time. Um erica. You had your first bob marley.

Erica:

Oh, that was so much fun. The green was definitely the highlight of that drink. That was my favorite. That drink was awesome. Yeah we all got it. I think there's a now four or five of us. All of you got it, except for me and the alcoholic version of that too, that the kids just wear out.

Jana:

Oh, I'm sure. Yeah, it's super good and super fun, and it's the colors of jamaica. Um, it's a great drink, and then we had we had two of our newer agents with us, jenny beerstrom and sarah busher. We refer to sarah as our little moomoo.

Erica:

We'll explain why.

Jana:

Oh yeah, so we just had a fantastic time. Then we went to dinner at kimono's. So kimono's is the type of dinner where they cook in front of you Hibachi, hibachi and they flip all the food in Jamaica.

Erica:

Yeah, yeah.

Jana:

So what do y'all think about?

Erica:

kimono's. Um, it was very nostalgic for me because back home we have a place called benihana's and that's what it was and even like his, his whole demeanor was very much benihana. So that was. That was really fun for me. I enjoyed it.

Jana:

Yeah, the food was amazing. Oh yeah, the food was always fun to watch them do that flip the spatula.

Erica:

Your junk is stuff thrown in your mouth.

Jana:

No, I was a little underwhelmed with this particular cook.

Erica:

He must be a new one. I think it was. I know it was hot show, no, but yeah, it was fine.

Jana:

We had a couple agents also with us rena and marcos and rena has a seafood and shellfish allergy, so he, they cater to that y'all. So if you're down there and you have any kind allergies, just tell them. They absolutely cater to it. He cooked everything on the grill, served rena and then did the seafood last, the shrimp and things last, so that was really nice. Then after kimono's we went to second dinner, second dinner, and they had sushi. Wow.

Erica:

Oh yeah, we we loaded up, because why not? Because, why not? It's all included, why not? Yeah, well, I was.

Jana:

I could not eat, and this is where we came up with the name little moo moo for sarah. But um, I was so full from kimono's.

Erica:

You. I think you have to have a plan going that you're only gonna eat. It's kind of like eating it relative sales. You only eat so much here and then you eat so much. Right, did you fill up at the very first place?

Jana:

No, I didn't. I tried not to. I didn't eat a whole lot. But the secret is not a little here, a little here.

Erica:

What?

Jana:

it's a lot secret is what sarah brought to the table, and that's called five stomachs. She said I have five stomachs like a cow. That's why we called her our little moo moo. Yeah well, and because she's young, so she's my little baby. Yeah, she's like 23, did she say 25, 25, 25, 25? Okay, yeah, so yeah, but apparently she has five stomachs. Wow yeah, and she absolutely filled every one of them up. Yes, so, sweet girl, yeah, no joke. So soy was really good. Now dana ordered a bottle of wine off of the manager's list, a raspberry wine that I wound up drinking too, because it was good, so sweet.

Erica:

I made her take it back to the room.

Jana:

She's trying to leave it like no, we're taking that back to the room. It was delicious, it was really good. So that was our. And then the second night, what again? We had neptunes, and then we had I think we're gonna do two or three that night, but we wound up going to okay, y'all. Okay, let's talk about the earphone party.

Erica:

The earphone party Silent disco the silent disco all right so I.

Jana:

Didn't really know what it was that they explained and I was like, okay, I kind of can imagine the concept. And I was like, whatever, this is kind of silly. Okay, fine, you put those headphones on and I'm sorry immediately. I'm sorry, I had the same thing. I walked in and I saw these people. First of all, it was a white night and a chocolate party with a silent disco, all infused into one amazing party. It was up on the great house on the mountain side, so from neptunes, which was dinner with your feet in the sand. By the way, jason was the bartender at neptunes at night. I do go, jason, he was my favorite but so you're sitting with dinner with your toes in the sand. You're on the beach, um. And then we went to up on the hillside Thanks tosh, um, up on the hillside, and we did this thing, this, this, this Silent disco, earphone party thing, whatever it is. I walked up, like Dana did, and the first thing I thought is you've seen videos online of people with these headphones on and all you can hear is their feet squeaking on the floor like a basketball game, right, and I'm like, oh gosh, I'll seriously, I'm not doing this. And before we could even really halfway get off the steps down to the poolside area, the man walked up and handed me the headphones and you put them on. And then suddenly you're like, oh yeah. Oh man, it's so fun dancing and moving and everybody is doing it, so you don't care. Oh no, it doesn't matter anymore. And they had, like there was three djs up on the um, the upper level above the pool, which is where we wound up going. There was nobody up there, so we went up. There was three djs red, blue and green and you could change your channel on your headphones, so if you didn't like the song or the music on this channel, you could flip to the next channel and we flipped through several channels. Me and Dana did a great pee. We Herman dance. Oh, we killed it.

Erica:

We killed it. Oh, I got that on video oh yeah, yeah, I'm sure that'll surface it will love it's fine.

Jana:

It's fine so, but I cannot begin, of course, that you have the Um chocolate buffet and all kinds of chocolates which I was so full I did not partake in that as well.

Erica:

One little thing, and I don't think I had anything the dancing.

Jana:

And I was so excited because I was on the itinerary, and I didn't even have any.

Erica:

But just see, christy, oh gosh, oh my gosh.

Jana:

Christie Kapanaki is a BDM, a business development manager at sandals, and that's who we were down there with. We didn't get to go down with our BDM, amanda, but we went down with christy. Now what I did not know until like an hour after that was over is that christy is a festival girl. She goes to festivals, she, she dances, she parties, she has a great time and, for anybody who's interested, she actually rents a festival costumes out. So we'll have to find her Instagram link and link it in the show notes so people can see if you like festivals and you're a festival person or girl, she rents out these super cute festival costumes. But that girl, I mean, she was dancing, so much fun.

Erica:

She was, so I enjoyed her. And marcos, oh yeah, I loved just watching them like I don't even want to dance anymore. I literally just want to stay here and watch them because they were so good and so fun. Yep, they, they were so fun.

Jana:

I got the cutest video of marcos and I thought when he saw me he would change. Oh no, oh no. Fingerpoint and I was like you go man. Yeah, I'm on.

Erica:

Yeah, I want to explain who marcos is marcos is one of our mainstream travel agents.

Jana:

Marcos and rena, or a husband wife couple out of North, south, south carolina always mix that up, sorry, south carolina and they do a fantastic job. Marcos is real into Sports travel so he loves sports. If you have a game, a race, a match, anything that you want to do, marcos is your man there. So and rena does fantastic with luxury travel. Rena is a bougie luxury traveler and if that is your speed, rena is your girl For sure bougie is the word. She is not ashamed so um so anyways, the, the, the earphone party, silent disco, whatever y'all want to call. It was Fantastic and I was so surprised that I liked it. But it was all immediate. When I was young we did. We went to clubs and danced all the time. So I don't know why I was so surprised, but I guess just the fact that without the headphones you look pretty dumb, but when you put a bomb man, it's a blast. Yeah, you don't care, yeah, you just start and moving and grooving so fun.

Erica:

It was so fun, yep.

Jana:

So so we got to see sandals oh chi. What was your overall impression of sandals oh chi?

Erica:

I really like the food. Okay, I like the food. Um, I like the rooms for the price point. Um, if I had to go back and stay there, I would Probably not choose hillside. I would not be up there. I would want to be closer to the beach, but that's just me.

Jana:

Well, when I plan a trip for clients, I do not choose the hillside, and I explain to them why, and we can talk about that now. So, at sandals, oh chi, it is a two-sided resort. There is a beach side and there is a mountain side, and in order to get across to one or the other you have to take the hop. Now this is where taj comes in, because we love taj. He was our absolute, our favorite, taj, the man Like who's your daddy, taj? Okay, right, so, um, when you're staying on the hillside, the hop is at the great house. But in order to get from the hop, the hop bus stop, I guess you could call it, for lack of a better term In order to get up to your room, it's even further up the hillside, unless you're at the great house itself. But those are going to be your lead-in category. Least expensive rooms are going to be in that great house. So, if that is your speed, fantastic, that would make it much easier. That's true, the hop wasn't so bad. It was those little jitties jiminy crickets. Jiminy crickets that dana called them. So if your room which our room was even further up the hill, you had to wait for these little golf carts to come around and pick you up and take you and y'all they were few and far between. Yeah, we walked one night. We were like, uh, we're done, it's hot, we're tired. We walked up the side of a mountain, y'all.

Erica:

That was a terrible idea, no, come on.

Jana:

I walked. I personally walked down that hill twice because you just they don't come and there's a little phone. When you're up at your room there's a little phone that you can call it's island time. It takes them a while, but getting back to the room was the worst part. Getting down wasn't so bad, it was getting back to the room. It is where we just absolutely did not like or appreciate that hill, that hill of weight. So for us, if you're on the beach side, it's easy to get back and forth to the great house on the mountain side. That's not the problem. But your room would be much nicer on the beach side and that's when I book a trip, that I'm always pushing that beach top. I don't even price the mountain side or the great house. I'm pushing that beach side because there's amazing rooms over there too. You're at the beach, you have the pools. I think the only reason you would go up to the mountain side is for a couple of those restaurants. Or the Silent Disco night, or that main pool that main pool's gorgeous. Or the rabbit hole the rabbit hole was fantastic.

Erica:

Oh my gosh, that was so much fun.

Jana:

Well, I didn't think it was going to be fun. We walked in and what funky music they were playing. I have no idea. It was way too whatever, I don't even know how to describe it not Dana music. And then we said, well, jana, and I said we'll stay for 10 or 15 minutes to say we went we joke to each other, man, if they'd only play some 80s music, I swear. And we're like, well, we're gonna go because we don't like this music. There's no 80s, so let's just go. And as we're literally walking out the door, it changes over to 80s.

zach:

And guess what we turn right into the dance floor and we hit that dance floor.

Jana:

Then it was super fun. We shut the place down.

zach:

We did we literally.

Jana:

Well, we were singing and they shut the music off. So we continued to sing so we could finish the song.

Erica:

Yeah, that was rude. It was rude, I thought you were working.

Jana:

Well, we are, we're experiencing it. So we can come back and tell people about it. Correct, mike, somebody has to do it I even got new agent Jenny on the dance floor.

zach:

You did.

Jana:

Yeah, jenny, she was not feeling it at first she wasn't. But when you turn that 80s music on, you can't help but feel it it's the best music. Some are like come on, come on, so we boogie a little bit. Fantastic time there. Love the rabbit hole. For me it's gonna be about the music that's being played. Oh yeah, so if you play 80s or 90s, you're gonna get me on the dance floor period every time, no doubt. So that was fantastic. So stay on the beach side. We would love for you to book with us, but if you book on your own, we're gonna tell you stay on the beach side, you're gonna like it so much better. Okay, then we went over and we toured Sandals, royal Plantation, overall thoughts there. I loved it.

Erica:

You're gonna get one or the other on this Right?

Jana:

oh yeah, there's no it's okay, but watch this answer. What Erica I didn't like it.

Erica:

Yeah, I did. It's not that I didn't like it, it's just not. It wouldn't be like in my top five Sandals Resorts that I personally would wanna stay at, because I know how I travel and it's just too quiet for me.

Jana:

And what I thought when we got there was my husband would love it here. If I'm gonna take him to an all-inclusive, which that's obviously on the bucket list, that's more his vibe. Like she said, it was quiet, it wasn't a huge property, so I think we would both appreciate that, because when we're on vacation we need that downtime because he goes and goes and goes at home, so hitting all the parties and stuff like that is not really what he would enjoy. I love the whole vibe of Royal Plantation for that reason.

Erica:

Me and Janet toured it. Last time me and her were there, it was just me and her, and it was almost like you had to whisper. Yeah, that's how we felt. Yeah, I've been too loud, I need to go like this and that's where the value of a travel planner comes in.

Jana:

For anybody listening who is like why would I use a travel planner? I can book it on my own. Because of this, right here, our first-hand experience, our first-hand knowledge.

Erica:

And they're right down the road from each other, right.

Jana:

At Sandals Ochi we were in rooms that were. It was a small villa with four one-bedroom units in it and it shared one private pool. So at Sandals Ochi you could have that quietness, that to yourself, the ease, the layback, whenever you wanted it, if you choose the correct room, or you could go down and to the Great House or to the beach side and you could have the liveliness. So Sandals Ochi is a great mix of both. Sandals Ochi is also what they call an introductory resort to Sandals. It is your lowest price point. It is a resort that is currently under refurbishment and it is really, really needed the refurbishment of the rooms themselves. So keep that in mind and you can request a newly refurbished room if you book in the category. But you're not guaranteed that newly refurbished room. But for the price point Sandals Ochi is phenomenal. It's a fantastic property. But then you move into Sandals Royal Plantation and you get something completely different. And again, this is where the value of a travel planner comes in, because if you're working with me, I'm not gonna send Erica to Sandals Royal Plantation, because I'm gonna ask you the correct questions to make sure that I'm putting you at the right place, or I'm gonna describe each resort that I'm quoting to you. Hey, Erica, Sandals, Royal Plantation, it's an all. First of all, every single room at Sandals Royal Plantation comes with a butler, which is fantastic. See, that's another perk.

Erica:

Yes, but.

Jana:

But there are steps down to the beach at Sandals Royal Plantation. So if you have mobility issues, this is not the resort for you. But when a butler comes in and you're down at the beach and you're looking, you're like, oh my gosh, I left my sunglasses in my room. You can get to worry about it. Your butler will go get it for you, bring you a drink, bring you a meal, whatnot. But it is a quiet, relaxed, laid back you talk about. You want to unplug and get away from it all. Sandals Royal Plantation is your choice. I loved it. So then we moved over to beaches Ocho Rios, which you will hear me refer to as beaches Ochi. Overall impression.

zach:

Fun.

Erica:

I would definitely take my kids there. Yes, I would absolutely go back there.

Jana:

So I love beaches Ochi. It's probably my favorite and I've been to all three beaches Negril Ochi and Turks and Caicos. I love beaches Ochi and when we got there, I asked y'all, as we're touring around, tell me why this is my favorite property and what did you all discover?

Erica:

The people the staff Friendliness. It's definitely different.

Jana:

It was very different than the other resorts. Every single staff member we passed smiled hello, welcome to us. They even tried to get us to dance with them, but we were on a tour and we couldn't do it Cause I would have been like, woohoo, it's a small resort, it is probably. If you're going to refer to something in bad condition, this is the resort it is. This is the only resort that sandals and beaches does not own. They lease this property, so they can't necessarily do refurbs to it too often.

Erica:

I don't know if you want to call it bad, maybe weathered.

Jana:

It's weathered. Yeah, it's worn a little bit and the rooms were the least decorated, like the Fru Fru stuff, like the vases, the flowers, the bed runners. There was none of that, but the staff makes up for it. Y'all it was. It's fantastic, it's so fun. It's small footprint, so you're close to literally everything. I would choose that over and over.

Erica:

I like it cause it's small. The bars you go to the bars, every bar we went to after we were there, like once or twice, they knew the whole time we were there what we were drinking.

Jana:

What's your name was?

Erica:

What's your name was. You literally set your cup up there and they'd fill it up.

Jana:

That's amazing.

Erica:

To what you've been using. They were drinking the whole time. Matter of fact, I got in trouble. Janet got yelled at one of the bartenders for cause he kept giving me beer.

Jana:

How many is that man 32.

Erica:

To present on that Red stripe, so.

Jana:

but then we had lunch at Beach's Ochi and we got to have lunch with Sesame Street. Oh my goodness, that was so fun.

Erica:

How did they eat?

Jana:

They didn't eat with us. They just came in and danced with us.

Erica:

I wanna know how they were eating. I texted my husband I said I just did cotton eye Joe with Bert Nerney. He said who can say that that's right?

Jana:

So we have Bert Nerney, we had Cookie Monster. Oh, we even saw the Count. Oh no, I really love that. I have to post a picture of that. Oh, oh, oh, I love that. How many travel agents in your group, dana? How many did we have? I don't know, but you're the one that was one travel agent in my picture. One travel agent, oh I love that. So we saw him. First we were looking at the kids clubs and we saw the count first. But then at lunch, Cookie Monster and Bert and Ernie came in and it was a dance party. Everybody got up, everybody was having a fun time, the food was delicious. The food was really good. In fact, yeah, that meal is pretty high on my list of favorites while we were there the food at beaches and I didn't like. When I stayed there in December I didn't like the buffet necessarily, but the overall food at all the restaurants at Beaches Ochi, is fantastic. It's really good, oh well you brought up the buffet.

Erica:

Can we just talk about how great that French toast was?

Jana:

Oh, the French toast at breakfast At which resort. Well, we were at.

Erica:

Ochi. We were at Ochi and we went to oh was it Sky Terrace?

Jana:

Well, you were there and I went to Southern.

Erica:

Southern. Yeah, oh my gosh, that was the best French toast I have ever had so good. I would eat it anywhere, I would. If they would serve that all day long, that's probably all I would eat.

Jana:

Well, I ate it every morning, yeah, cause it's funny, cause me and Dana would have breakfast on the mountain side at the Southern, and that's just what we chose daily, and Erica and then we're dining around. They were trying to hit everything, so they would go across to the beach side and have breakfast over there. The food is fantastic. The food at Ochi, across the board, everywhere we ate, was phenomenal. It was so good. Now we didn't get to eat at Sandals Royal Plantation, but I do know the food there is very good as well. Beach is Ochi, the food is good. So y'all, when they're talking about the dining being so good, five star, what's the word for it? It's behind you on the book Gourmet. There you go, gourmet. It really, it's really good food. I know at one point me and Jenny at Sandals Ochi went to lunch at Skye and it was a seafood salad and it was, it was so good, it was just really good. They also had the Italian buffet set up up there as well, but I got a seafood salad. It was just. It was good food across the board.

Erica:

So we're eating after this right.

Jana:

Yeah, obviously. So we eat a Friday, obviously, woohoo. So then we got to go to the Sandals Ocherios Golf Club.

Erica:

That's cool up in there.

Jana:

All right. So I was like all right, whatever, so we're gonna end the day with a golf course. Woohoo man.

Erica:

I don't golf.

Jana:

I don't care about golf, golf is like a nap time show. But oh Lord, wow, they really knew how to make a golf course fun for a bunch of gals. It was my phenomenal driving skills, I know it was so fun they let us, so they did the same when we toured it. They want us to see the golf and the property?

Erica:

Did they have the upstairs open in the clubhouse yet?

Jana:

It was closed for the day. But yes, it's all open. But they had closed because we got there so late, Like it was shut down for the day because golf there shuts down around two or three o'clock in the morning when me and you went. Yeah, I think they say their last tea time is like two o'clock or something.

Erica:

Oh, three o'clock, because I think Marcos tried to end at three o'clock. It was too late for them, gotcha.

Jana:

So they let us drive golf carts around. So let's talk about this for a moment. Me and Dana get on this golf course and the Sandals Rep that was with us at that time. His name is Tony and Tony. I apologize, but I do know he's over travel trade, but I don't know his actual title. But Tony was so fun and so fantastic. But Tony is the one going around task with telling all these people who's never driven a golf cart before how to drive the golf cart. I have driven a golf cart. He comes up to ours. He says this is the gas, this is the break. You push this, it pops out Great. And I'm sitting there thinking I'm not sure if I got that or not. So I was kind of fooling with the break and we figured it out, but then suddenly we got rammed from behind by another golf cart, Erica and we were like what? I don't know what happened.

Erica:

We hadn't even taken off, he said a little baby, moo Moo little Sarah was riding with me and yes, I have driven a golf cart before. It's been a while, I guess it's like it's been a while and he came over and said, ok, press on the gas to release the break. Well, I did. I've never been this golf cart, I don't know how sensitive it is, and I'm tapping, tapping, nothing's happening, the brakes not letting go. So finally I put my big size 11 women's shoe foot on it and it just goes right into the back of Jenna and Dana Whiplash.

Jana:

Dana was like oh no, oh my back, my back.

Erica:

Work was comp. You should have fell off and started flopping like a baby. I fell and I can't get up.

Jana:

So, anyways, after we were rudely rammed from behind You're welcome we got out on the golf course, and then I turn into Jeff Gordon out there, I want to race everybody. So we're flying around this golf cart and passing people, and what line at 10 miles and they were so governed down like you couldn't go anywhere. But the people who were in front of us I guess their battery was low Because we passed them like they were sitting still. But yeah, that was me and Dana. That was me and Dana.

Erica:

Well, more little Sarah. She's like. I'm so sweaty I feel like I'm falling up in a slide out of this golf.

Jana:

And she don't weigh two pounds, she's bounce right out, but the golf course is absolutely gorgeous. Oh, it's beautiful in Jamaica. I would recommend an early tee time, but golf is included, of course. We talked about that on the last episode. So if you want to hear about all the inclusions, all the details, go back to the last episode, but it that's the second time I've been on that golf course. I'm not a golfer, I'm like Dana, I know what put put is, but I don't know. Oh, something else they let us do. Is they stopped at the driving range area? Oh, yeah, and arena and Marcos got to hit our medium. Christie got to hit a ball, tony hit a ball like Tony and Marcos were sending them like they obviously golfers yeah. So it's fantastic, children are allowed to come golf as well. They have golf lessons. So fantastic. Golf course, if you're in the area, just know it's included when you stay at Sandals or beaches. So then we went back and that's the night we ate at Kimonos and had the earphone party, and then we did actually have a second dinner that night. We went to that. No, after, not after, kimonos. The second night we did Neptune's, we did the disco Silent.

Erica:

Disco. We tried to do second dinner and then they didn't have ice cream or hot dogs. That's all that anybody wanted. So we just kind of hung out and chit-chatted and rested Hot dogs and they were out of hot. My precious ice cream.

Jana:

Yeah, so anyways. So that was the end of that night. We all went to bed and then the next day we got up and we went to Sandals Duns River brand new, spanking property. You can still smell the paint and the drywall and it's just. I love when I know it's fresh and new and now is the time to go. If you want to visit this property, y'all reach out. We've got some incentives for you if you book it with us. But, oh my gosh, stunning, like hands down. And now. I've been to Sandals Duns River years ago and then they switched over to a different resort chain and now it's back and they've just, it's completely different. It is so, so, so beautiful. The rooms are fantastic. I actually posted the first room video on TikTok last night. Maine ST travel CEO is my TikTok and it was that very first room we saw. Y'all, that's the lead in category room I couldn't believe that we walked in.

Erica:

I said this is the lead in Unbelievable.

Jana:

Unbelievable.

Erica:

The shower is so big.

Jana:

I love a good shower. You could put a double size bed in that shower. Yeah, it was so big. Balcony looked over the Rondeval Village. So fantastic, beautiful. The new Sandals, royal Duns River, is that what they call it, I think. It's being built next door, so there is construction, but we didn't hear a thing. Right now there's no actual buildings go up. They're clearing the land but it's going to be double the fun over there. It's going to be fantastic. But I don't even know how to describe this resort other than, oh my gosh, super modern it was, but not in that sleek, stark way Right, not in that contemporary white square.

zach:

Nothing like that. It was gorgeous.

Jana:

Yeah, it was beautifully done. Every aspect of it was just gorgeous.

Erica:

The furniture design, the colors, the color palette Throughout all the rooms that we saw was pretty consistent. Man, though that view from that one that had the tub out on the balcony oh my gosh, yeah, the tranquility soaking tub sit on the balcony on.

Jana:

That was the second room type we saw. I can post that video later, but that had a notion view, with that tranquility, soaking tub out on that balcony, overlooking that gorgeous blue water. And they do have privacy curtains on those balconies is where, if anybody's like, why is our bathtub on the balcony? That's not the only bathtub, it's just a beautiful relaxing feature to have to sit and soak in your tub and overlook the ocean. But there are curtains you can pull for privacy on those balconies. But that room was a duplicate of the room we saw before, but with the addition of the tub on the balcony with the view Again, gorgeous, gorgeous room. And then we saw a one bedroom butler suite, gorgeous, gorgeous room. Then we saw a different kind of room type across the hall that kind of had a garden view and you kind of see the resort next door. You could see the pool of the resort next door, that was my favorite room. But this room had a glass shower that kind of separated the bedroom from the bathroom. I just liked everything about that room.

Erica:

A glass shower.

Jana:

Now I had a little bit of frosting around it, but we're talking about adult couples only resort, so that would not be out of the box for anyone to go in with their spouse like that, but it's it's. That was my favorite room, my absolute favorite. Everything about it I liked, and I liked how private the balcony felt, although it wasn't necessarily. It was a little bit of an ocean view, but you more saw also that pool next door. But that was probably my favorite room. The restaurants there, just the design and the decor of the restaurants. Can you imagine eating that?

Erica:

Wow, and they're right next to each other. True.

Jana:

You talk about dinner one, dinner two, dinner three. Oh, yes, yeah.

Erica:

That that was such a smart design, but just the, the, they.

Jana:

they did not miss a single detail. No, everything was covered across this resort. You look nowhere and see a blank space or something that's not finished or ugly or just everywhere you look just beauty and details. And it's a great beach too. It's a nice little long stretch of beach right there. I like that part too so you don't necessarily get that at Sandals Ochi or Duns River I'm sorry, royal Plantation or beaches Ochi. You get a decent beach, but this was a really good beach. It's not anything you can necessarily walk in the morning. You could walk back and forth but it's not super long. But it was the biggest of the ones we saw but it was a fantastic beach. So we loved everything about Sandals, Duns River, brand new resort. I'm sure that we are not telling y'all half the stuff that we should tell you to convince you that you need to go here, yeah, but I can tell you the. The cool towel on the back of my neck alone, oh man, even the gym there.

Erica:

You go in the gym. Oh my gosh, the gym.

Jana:

And you're. It's kind of like a cruise ship where they put all the treadmills at the front of this thorough head Florida roof glass wall and you're overlooking. That makes you want to go there and exercise.

Erica:

I wanted to get on the treadmill. So bad that beautiful.

Jana:

Caribbean. Save you like yeah, I feel like you could walk for days, just like we could just walk and talk for days. But, y'all, we're gonna pull it at that point. Yeah, we got to stop somewhere. I know it's hard to listen to people Recap a trip. We just really wanted to hit the highlights and give you the small things that we loved, that we think you're gonna love, that are Gonna be the reasons why you want to go. So, again, you guys know that we are travel planners. We would love to help you. Our services are completely free. You do not pay us a dime to help you and you also don't pay extra because you use us. We know these rooms, we know the resources, these resorts. We can help you choose the right property, the right room type for you. So be sure to reach out and give us a call. If you want to do that. The Main Street number is 1-800-593-1262. Yes, for me, dana, erica, if you're into sports, call Marcos and if you're into luxury, call Rena. So Okay, mike, next week we are going to do something a little fun and we're gonna talk about fall foilage, road trips, okay. So what we're gonna do is I have got five locations and I'm not gonna say them today, but I've got five locations on this map. Actually, we will say them today. It's not a big deal. I want you to pick one and then what we're gonna do is I'm gonna tell you guys how. I want you to Kind of talk about these on next week's episode. So you can choose from Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia, north Carolina, rhode Island, finger Lakes, region of New York, the coverage covered bridge loop in Connecticut or New England's historic Trail. So pick one, wow.

Erica:

Oh East do we have to pick one right now? Yeah, oh, oh. New York, okay.

Jana:

I want to do Blue Ridge Parkway, okay, and then I will take the covered bridge loop in Connecticut, Okay.

Erica:

I gotta edit this man, so I'm not doing that.

Jana:

So that's what we'll talk to you guys about next week, and we hope that you enjoyed today's episode and learned a little bit about the sandals resorts that we visited. If you would like to call us and leave a voicemail, may even please do. Maybe you've been to a sandals or beaches resort that we talked About today. Maybe you have a favorite call and leave a voicemail. If you have an opinion on the Moana journey of water, as to whether or not it should be an upcott or animal kingdom, we'd love to hear your opinion too. Whether you agree with me, whether you don't agree with me, we don't care. We just want to hear what you think. Let's get this conversation going. 615, 246, 5823 and y'all. That's it for this week. We'll talk to y'all soon. Bye.

Discussion on Dome Plans
Discussion on Epcot and Trip Recap
Reviewing Club Mobile and Travel Highlights
Nightly Dinners, Bartenders, Silent Disco
Review of Sandals Ochi and Royal Plantation
Pleasant Staff, Delicious Food at Beaches Ochi
Golf Cart Mishaps and Resort Review