My husband and I stayed at Sandals Negril for our honeymoon, and had the time of our lives. We had very few complaints & would definitely recommend this resort. I will break down my post to make things easy for everyone!
The airport - We did not do club mobay on arrival, but did do it for our departure. I definitely recommend club mobay for arrival and departure from what I saw. The lines to get through customs are long, but they also offer machines that you can check in yourself. We lucked out and ended up arriving right as they were opening up the machines, so we were through fast. If we would have waited in line, it probably would have taken 30 minutes to an hour without club mobay. I will definitely get it for arrival next time I travel to Jamaica. After we got through customs, we went to get our bags from baggage claim. It was extremely disorganized, and the people running the show there were kind of rude. We didn't worry about it too much and made our way to the sandals arrival area. They checked us in by our last name and had our private transfer meet us a few minutes later. We grabbed a beer, went to the bathroom & made our way to Sandals!
Our experience leaving Jamaica at the airport was extremely easy! We did club mobay and got through all of the lines in no time. We loved all of the drinks and snacks that they had in their area. Definitely worth the extra cost!
Our private transfers - We used the private transfer through island routes. On our way there, our driver was extremely friendly, had wine, beer, and snacks for us, BUT he tried to get us to purchase weed. He kept bringing it up in the conversation, and even stopped to try to "make a deal" for us. He finally stopped after we said no for probably the tenth time. Other than that, it was a fine ride, but extremely slow. Our transfer back to the hotel was a lot faster. Our driver didn't talk much, but that was fine with us. Having the snacks and drinks on the way to the resort was really nice after a long plane ride.
Check in at the hotel - Check in was extremely easy. After getting out of the car, they took our bags and brought us upstairs where we gave them our credit card info, and met our butler. Our butler, Basil brought us to our room after showing us around, and checked us in there. We got rum punch in the check in room, and champagne and snacks in our room waiting for us. It was great!
Our room - I am not sure what the exact name our room is, but it was the level above the swim up rooms. Penthouse honeymoon suite, maybe? Those rooms are amazing! We absolutely loved the location of the room. The beach was a lot less crowded on that side of the resort, and we felt it was also nicer than the other side. I heard that those rooms have not been updated yet, but we were absolutely fine. The furniture did not seem old, or dirty to us at all. We were really comfortable the entire time! The balcony was perfect for watching the sunset. We definitely recommend these rooms! You won't be disappointed.
The beach - The beach was amazing! Our butlers reserved chairs for us by barefoot by the sea and it was an amazing location. Yes, the ocean does have seaweed in it which I did not like to touch, but I don't understand why people are complaining about it so much... Just swim over it, or lay in a raft. It's really not a big deal at all and should not be complained about as much as it is. We did see a few stingrays, but we didn't see any cover themselves with sand - they just swam back and forth and didn't bother us at all. We loved seeing them! There are also starfish that hide in the seaweed. Awesome!
Our butlers - Our butlers Basil J and Theda were amazing. These two people went out of their way to make our vacation amazing and we are so thankful. They did so much for us - made all of our dinner reservation, reserved our beach chairs everyday with floats, and a cooler full of water and beer, brought us drinks, snacks, and lunch on the beach, put rose petals on our bed, had a romantic bath ready for us after we got back from our excursions, etc. I cannot imagine going back to a sandals resort without having a butler. It made our vacation. Basil J and Theda are amazing people and should be given a major raise. Please make sure to tip your butlers! They work really hard for their money.
The food - This is one of our complaints, but it's nothing major. You will definitely not starve, and will not get food poisoning like some are saying. Breakfast is great! Everything we had for breakfast exceeded our expectations. We loved barefoot by the sea for breakfast, but the buffet is also a good option. Lunch is also pretty good! They had pizza, and the beach grill. We loved both! Some of our favorites were the shrimp pizza(I can't remember the name), JJ Wings, GB&C (AMAZING), and the jerk chicken quesadillas. I wasn't a fan of the cheeseburgers there at all - I felt like they were really dry, and the beef patties didn't have much filling (we went to a local restaurant while in Jamaica and they were MUCH better there compared to the resort). They also have a jerk cart by barefoot that is amazing. Definitely try this. You will definitely find something that you like to eat. Dinner and room service is where more of my complaints come in, but there are still good places and things to eat, so once again, do not think you'll starve! The sundowner was probably our favorite place to go. We loved the lamb, the soup & the bread is awesome. We did not have an issue with the sundowner. Barefoot by the sea was okay for dinner. Nothing amazing. My meals were always fine here, but my husband had dry fish both times we were there. Another disappointment for my husband was Bayside for dinner. He got the lamb there, and the breading was almost like mush, and it was extremely mustardy. I really enjoyed the duck the first night we ate there, but the second night I ate it again, and it was very, very fatty. Our appetizers were still good, and dessert was okay, but nothing spectacular. Room service was a little less than average in my opinion. The tuna sandwich was really gross - we put it down after one bite. Not our cup of tea! The cheeseburgers were really dry through room service, as well. One thing I would recommend is the Ox tail! It's not on the menu for some reason, but it was AMAZING! Definitely try it!
The drinks - The drinks are EXTREMELY STRONG. They definitely do not short you on alcohol. Keep in mind that you can get your drinks made to your liking - I told them to put less alcohol in my drinks, and my husband told them to put more alcohol in his. Try the dirty banana and the lemon drop martini! Also, Basil J makes an awesome drink. We named it Basil's pink paradise. So good!
Our excursions - We did not want to go through Island Routes because we wanted to get a real Jamaican experience. We ended up going through Juju tours, and did not regret our decision at all. we fished with locals, visited a rastafarian garden (she even cooked us an AWESOME meal), visited two schools and played with the kids and donated supplies, went horseback riding, and went to the pelican bar and blue hole. We 100% recommend The Pelican Bar, Blue Hole Mineral Springs, and their Countryside tour. We definitely recommend booking your excursions through them. We learned so much that we wouldn't have if going through island routes, and loved that some of our money went straight towards their charity work - "Good Juju Charity Project".
Activities - We have mixed feelings on this area. All of the water sports were great! If you've been to Hawaii, the snorkeling they take you to won't compare, but it was still fun. We loved Smiley taking pictures. He is awesome! They print out a newspaper everyday telling you about the activities going on. Our issue with this is that a lot of the activities were cancelled without us knowing. We tried to play beach volleyball six out of eight days we were at the resort, and it was cancelled every day because of a wedding, or rain. Obviously we understand if the rain prevents it, but if it is because of a wedding, shouldn't it already be known that there is going to be a wedding preventing volleyball? I feel like it shouldn't have been put in the newspaper, but once again, not a huge deal. It was just a little pet peeve of ours. A lot of other activities also got cancelled like beer pong, pool volleyball, etc.Everything that we did participate in was great, though! Willie helped us out a lot by setting up some activities we wanted to do when nobody was doing anything else. He was great at his job!
Although we have a few small complaints, we loved our stay at Sandals Negril and would recommend it to anyone! We will definitely be back. Thank you so much to everyone that made our trip amazing - especially Basil J, Theda, Smiley, and Willie.