Tag Archives: travel

Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica

We LOVE Jamaica!!! Ok, it has been awhile since our trip…. July but I have taken forever in uploading my photos to the computer. Since my phone has taken over so much of my photo taking, my camera photos rarely get uploaded!

The hubby surprised me with the idea of going on a short getaway for our anniversary. Asked me a few days before, “where would I like to go??”

My answer is always the same…….”a Sandals resort” these resorts are my happy place!! So we hopped online and headed to the Sandals site. Then we assessed which made the most sense travel wise, since we only had 4 days to spend there and then budget. We decided on Sandals Montego Bay because it is literally next to the airport. So I figured that would save on travel time for sure!
Sandals Resort – Vacation Deal Of The Day

Sandals Montego Bay Review

Sandals Montego Bay- arrival at airport

Travel day came and we were psyched. Flight was great, thank you American and off we went. When you arrive there is a Sandals lounge at the Montego Bay airport. You head into the lounge where they give you cold drinks and you wait a few minutes for the shuttle to arrive. We grabbed some red stripe and hopped on the shuttle. We were there in a matter of minutes and the lobby was so gorgeous it did not disappoint.  We had booked a Club Level room so we ushered to the Concierge where our check in took a couple of minutes and we were given champagne.

Taken immediately to our room and it was freaking breathtaking. The view of the ocean was amazing. If you are looking for a great room at Sandals Montego Bay, I suggest the Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level Junior Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub (GBT on the site). Our room was gorgeous, newly renovated, spacious and a great big soaking tub on the balcony. No complaints here!

Sandals Montego Bay Review

Our room view at Sandals Montego Bay.

The thing we always do first is change into our bathing suits and hit the beach. One thing we were worried about was the proximity to the airport. The planes take off not too frequently and it is actually pretty awesome to watch them take off over head. Kind of a game while you are sitting in the ocean. We would laugh and wave at the planes with a cold drink in our hands!

Sandals Montego Bay Review

Beach at Sandals Montego Bay

They were renovating some of the buildings while we were there but this did not disturb us at all and should not deter people from booking. They blocked off the areas and we had no issue with it. I can not wait to see the improvements next time we visit!

Food wise, this resort is so much better than your typical all-inclusive resort. So much to choose from and delicious. Our favorite restaurant is Stewfish, it located right on the beach, kick off your shoes and put your toes in the sand while you eat!! There is even food late at night, who wouldn’t want jerk chicken wings at midnight?? We loved eating breakfast daily at Cucina Romana, with a view looking out on the ocean. Oh and we also did a special candlelight dinner on the beach. I suggest doing this if you are visiting Sandals Montego Bay for an anniversary or birthday!

Sandals Resorts Vacation Planner Helps You Find The Perfect Caribbean Vacation Destination

Sandals Montego Bay Review

Breakfast at Sandals Montego Bay

We only had 3 nights there but it was incredible. I can not recommend Sandals Montego Bay enough. We will return and most likely get the same room category next time or maybe upgrade to the swim up butler suite!

Sandals Montego Bay Review

Candlelight dinner on the beach- Sandals Montego Bay

I would love to hear from you! Do not hesitate to ask me questions about Sandals Montego Bay or tell me about your favorite Sandals Resort 🙂


Our Family Vacation at the Royalton Punta Cana

Review of Royalton Punta Cana

Morning donut at the Cafe.

I had intended to write this post earlier but life got in the way! We took a family vacation in April to Royalton Punta Cana Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We have traveled with our toddler before but never out of the country for a full week. We were not sure what to expect and if she would be able to handle being so off of her routine. Two year olds are a lot of work and I was sure that being on vacation did not mean that was going to change.

We flew out in the morning and decided to upgrade our seats so that we would have more room. We have flown with Em many times and know that this is the way to go. For her and for our sanity, there is more room, snacks, food and drinks for the adults. The snacks and food come in handy because it is something to distract her.

Unfortunately in the middle of the flight she had a full melt down. I could only describe this as an almost panic attack. She was really upset that she could not get off the plane and was sobbing for a full 30 minutes until she passed out in my husbands arms. We were afraid that this was just a preview of our week.

We arrived at the airport and she was excited to be there. There was a band in the baggage area that she was content dancing with until we got our bags. We had hired a car service and that was also no problem. Our drivers were awesome and even shared some candy with Em. The ride to the airport is approximately 30 minutes.

The moment that we stepped out of the car at the Royalton Punta Cana, I was so impressed with how beautiful everything was. The view of the beach when we stepped into the lobby was incredible and we could not wait to get started. We had booked a luxury diamond club swim up room and were escorted to the diamond club lounge to check in. This process was smooth and painless, our room was not ready yet so our butler escorted us to the buffet for a quick-lunch. The buffet at Royalton Punta Cana is the best buffet I have had at any all-inclusive resort and I have been to a lot of them. We normally skip the buffet at all costs but we ate here several times. They also make the best cappuccino I have ever had in my life.

Review Royalton Punta Cana

Walking the grounds on day 1.

After lunch we were shown to our room and it was exactly what I was hoping for except for the fact that there was not an option for a suite. Since Em was in the room with us that meant at nap time in order for her to sleep, we had to sneak out on the patio and stay there till she woke up (2-2.5 hours). This was fine because we had a swim out room and Jon was able to swim to the bar while I lounged in the pool on our patio. The only time this was not good was at night. At night we would put her down, sneak on the patio with a few drinks but we could only go back in if we were planning on going to bed. Which meant some nights we were in bed at 9pm!

Normally when we travel we like to book a suite so that we are able to have separate sleeping areas and we do not disturb her sleeping. It also helps so that we have our own adult space. This was our only flaw in the room situation.The next obstacle was trying to figure out her vacation schedule. The first day we decided not to put her down to nap because she was having too much fun. BIG MISTAKE. By dinner time she was hysterical and we ended up forcing her to nap by letting her cry it out on the bed with us. This is when we decided the next day that she would have her regular nap like at home and we would go and swim out back. My biggest tip is keep your toddler on their routine!

Royalton Punta Cana Review

Nap time for toddler was adult swim time for us. Thankful for swim out rooms!

I am not going to give you a day by day re-cap. We would be here forever hahahaha. The food was hit or miss but the buffet had anything you could ask for. I loved the steak house and Mediterranean restaurants. Jon liked the buffet most of all because you could have them grill steak for you there and had many to choose from. They also had an unbelievable seafood bar. Lunch we would eat at the Italian buffet by the beach. They had yummy pizza and amazing chicken.

Our only complaint about our trip was the actual Diamond Service. They advertised it as being full luxury with your own butler to help you out with anything you need. We tipped him when we arrived and never saw him again. Every time we called him with the number he gave us, he said he was not available at the moment.

On the day of check out they told us to have our bags ready and they would be picked up. We waited 15 minutes no one came. We called and they said someone was on their way. Still no one came to pick them up, we called again and they said “We told you, someone is coming soon”. We told them that we were going to miss our car to the airport and had been waiting 30 minutes. Jon ended up carrying all the bags in the heat (2 suitcases, a travel crib and back pack) all the way across the resort.

The best part was when we got to the lobby our butler appeared and was asked us why we never called to tell them to pick them up!! We would go back and use Diamond service again but only because we liked having the swim up room for nap time. Also the Diamond Club staff was constantly trying to get you to sign up in a time share.

The ride back to the airport was fine and so was the flight. The funny thing is that every time we travel, she cries either on the way there or back but then is a perfect angel on other flight. If you have any questions about our trip to Royalton Punta Cana, leave a comment below. Have you ever done an all-inclusive trip with a toddler?

*We booked out trip online with hotels and it I would suggest that site for booking your hotel anywhere. We have gotten so many free nights by racking up stays on their site and will continue to use them. So easy and so many great deals. This post does contain an affiliate link.


Traveling with your Baby on an Airplane

 

Our baby mid flight

Our baby mid flight

This week we returned from our amazing trip to Puerto Rico. Traveling with your baby on an airplane is not always easy. We have done it before to visit family but this was the first time we had taken Emma on a vacation. Since we had flown before I knew what to expect for the plane ride. I find the most important tip for flying with a baby is to try to get a flight that takes off around your baby’s nap time. We tried to do this but the plane was delayed a little, we had to keep her up and entertained in the airport for an extra hour.

I am sure everyone has been in an airplane bathroom before. They are very tight, with not much room for changing diapers. I try to change her in the airport minutes before boarding. If you are lucky a lot of airports have family change rooms these days.  We were fortunate to have family bathrooms in JFK for this trip. If you do have to change your baby on the plane, it is possible. We find Emma gets a little scared in the airplane bathroom. I am sure it is because it is tight and the changing table that is over the toilet did not have any straps. With no straps you have to be quick, especially when you have an active baby trying to roll off the table. I prefer to try to avoid changing diapers as much as possible with traveling with a baby on an airplane.

Once we had been boarded on the plane, we got ready. As soon as you get on the plane, start to get prepared with all the things that you will need for take off. The most important thing being, have a bottle ready. The best way to deal with your baby’s ears (air pressure) is to have them swallowing during take off. As soon as the plane is off the ground we always make sure Emma is drinking. She usually will fall asleep with a few minutes of take off, as long as she has her bottle. If you are nursing, be ready to nurse when taking off.

When traveling with your baby, you really want to keep them asleep as long as possible. We were lucky on the way there and Emma slept for 2 hours of the 3.5 hour flight. When she did finally wake, we pulled out all of our supplies to keep her busy. In your carry on make sure you have:

  • extra bottles and formula (if needed)
  • soothers (if you use them)
  • any favorite little toys or books
  • snacks (puffs, yogurt melts etc)

As we learned on the flight home, sometimes there is not much you can do to entertain them. Flying back we did everything the way we normally did but Emma only napped for 40 minutes of the flight. Being exhausted and in a small space did not help the situation. If your baby is freaking out, try walking around if you can but sometimes there is nothing that you can do. Order a cocktail or two for yourself and your partner. This is not a must but it definitely helped calm our nerves a little!

Traveling with your baby on an airplane is not always easy but it can be done. I am no expert but since we have taken a handful of flights, I thought I would share my experience with you guys. It is doable and I know we will be doing it again. Maybe next time we will get Emma her own seat! Do you have any travel tips that you would like to share? Please comment below.