This past Christmas of 2016, my boyfriend and I went to Montego Bay and Texas. First we utilized our Companion Pass with South West, if you want to know how we got ours, here’s some tips from the Points Guy. He might have an updated blog entry about it or you might find some other ways to get the Companion Pass, but we found out originally about this through Brian’s cousin’s boyfriend, Jason (giving you credit).
Another tip Jason gave us, was to open the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Which gave us a priority pass to go to all these different lounges at the airport. Once you do lounges, you’ll never want to go back to waiting at the airport again. There are some refreshments and snacks you can enjoy when waiting for your flight. Which I’ll go into detail in another post.
For now, this is about our trip to Jamaica.
We were relaxing at the Maple Leaf lounge at LAX and found out that Amy and Noly (Brian’s sister and brother-in-law) were at LAX too, but they were flying off to Korea and Japan. So we decided to meet up! We all had priority passes, although if one of you guys have it from the Chase credit card I referred to earlier, you can bring in as many guests as you like.
Tip: Make sure you provide proof that Chase allows you to bring in guests free of charge, my friend said she had some trouble when she used it but made it through just fine.
We went to Tom Bradley afterward, my boyfriend and I went ahead of his family trying to get into the Korean Air Lounge (KAL) but was denied after 8pm… we were sad. Amy and Noly then already had gone past the security check point, so we didn’t get to say our goodbyes. But we all knew where we were going.
Then Brian and I went to the Virgin Lounge until our flight. Mind you, this was the time of the great delay of many flights at LAX. The day before Christmas eve. So we were stuck at the airport for a very long time!
We traveled from LAX –> HOU + 5 hr layover –> MBJ
Customs took forever! But we finally made it through to Jamaica borders. We rested for a bit at the Club Mobay Arrival Lounge.
They had things like Jerk Chicken sliders, plantain chips, pineapple cake, rum punch, and more. We ate a little because we were going to head to dinner. Brian had yet to tell me where we were staying at. I assumed we were going to stay at a motel. But he ended up taking me to the Secret St James ALL INCLUSIVE resort! Which thanks to Chase Sapphire Reserve card, we were able to book it with our earned points.
When you arrive, they take your bags, give you your choice of refreshments such as rum punch or Red Stripe beer and a cold towel to wipe yourself from the heat. You wait to check in on the couches and they will call you to check in. Once checked in, the bell boy will take you to your room.
Tip #2: Don’t exchange your USD money to Jamaican money. It is a waste of money, especially since they take about 20% away from the actual exchange rate. For us, at the time it was 1 USD was equivalent to 128 Jamaican dollars. But they gave us 103 Jamaican dollars for every dollar. Didn’t realized we were getting ripped off. Besides, the Jamaican people prefer the American dollars, especially in tips.
We decided we weren’t going to convert our money back, so we tipped everyone with Jamaican money and bought souvenirs that way. Whatever, money is money.
Afterwards, we got to our room, if you check out my YouTube video of Day 1, you will see how it looks like. It was spacious and it felt relaxing. We instantly changed because one of the restaurants on the resort, required closed toe shoes and collared shirt. We were like, oh, this is fancy. Brian didn’t tell me we were at a resort, so I didn’t bring anything fancy. Only one dress and no heels or flats. Just flip flops and sneakers. Well I had to wear my sneakers, what can you do.
Bordeaux restaurant, it was interesting. Definitely not my favorite restaurant. But the Duck Confit, seafood bouillabaisse, and crème brûlée were delicious! The escargot appetizer… whomp whomp and I asked for a citrus tart but they gave me the apple tart by accident. It was underwhelming.
Then we went to their Seafood Buffet that only occurs on Saturdays — where they offer all you can eat (AYCE) lobsters as well. Yum, Brian ate 7 and I ate 1. I was too full from our first dinner. I have to say, the seafood here is delicious. Their shrimp and lobster taste amazing here.
Then after our dinner, we decided to walk around the resort and go back to our room. We were exhausted after our layovers, delayed flight times, two airplane rides, and waiting at customs. It was an exhausting day. I took a bubble bath while Brian went to sleep lol.
Well that’s it. Day 2 coming shortly! In the mean time, watch our video of Day 1!