Friday, June 20, 2014


So I finally put the Jamaica vacation photos together. There are quite a few and recall for any of them, if you click on it, you will get the bigger version.

I didn't walk out to the street to take this one, but rather, scammed it from the resort's website. The resort is really two resorts in one, The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and the Grand Palladium Jamaica. We stayed in the Lady Hamilton.

Here is a map of the resort, if you're like me and like to have a spatial understanding of the remaining pictures, you can right click this one and open it in a new tab so it is easier to refer to.
When you come into the front of the Lady Hamilton you are at the top of a stair case that gives you this view. This is roughly where the 'M' and 'Q' is on the map.
Facing the ocean, to the left of the stair well is what you see below. There were a bunch of desks of different tour companies. Air Transat was one of them and they were the company we used to get here.
Again facing the ocean, and now to the right are the check and reception area. Check in was a little slow but this is what happens when a bus load of people come in at the same time.
If we come down the stairs and look underneath on one side we see this area. At the back, behind all of those pillars, is the sports bar. As a sports bar it wasn't too good as we were not able to watch the Canadiens play their playoff games - they had no station that would carry it.
Looking towards the other side of the stair case was this; a few tables for more tour operators.
From the photo above, if we turn left, we see this passage way. It was one we commonly used as it led to where we ate.
From the photo above, if we turn left yet again, walk towards the ocean, and then look back, we see what is shown below. Enormous pillars with the major stair case behind it leading up to where we first arrived.
From the map you can see that there are roads/paths that lead between all of the villas. Here is one of them where you can see villas 33 up front and 32 in the distance.
All of the villas were the same, here is the front of one of them, which happened to be the one we stayed in, number 32.
When you walk through the front opening there is a central courtyard open to the sky that has some plants and a fountain.
Once in the room, one or two times during the week, the housekeeping staff would create some towel creatures for us.
Here's our room. There isn't anything too special about it. One thing that was good was that the resort allowed us to be five in the room; even though sleeping space couldn't quite accommodate us.
The room had a closet with shelving and a safe. The kids had lots of fun opening and close the safe; we had set the safe code to be the first six digits of my in-law's phone number, so the kids could remember it easily. I took the very top shelf to store my clothes, my wife took the second to top shelf and the kids shared the remaining shelves. There was no other piece of furniture in the room to allow for the placement of clothes.
To get from our building (32) to anywhere else, we had these passages to walk under, in case it rained. Almost every day we were there there was a thunder storm at around 2PM with torrential down pouring of rain. It only lasted an hour or two and the rain slowly tapered off for another hour after that. It came to be predictable so we could plan around it.
The next four photos are of the immense pool that can be found at this resort. It is purported to be the largest pool in all of Jamaica.
Adjacent to the pool are these palm tree areas where you can find a spot of shade.
All of the rows of chairs look more or less the same, but this one is the actual one that we tended to go to most of the days we went to the pool. Looking at the map I showed above, it was near the 'X' that we spent the most amount of time.
The whole reason we went was for a wedding. Below are two photos of the place where the wedding took place. The wedding itself was short and sweet, it was hot that day and so we were glad it didn't last too long. The bride looked lovely but had a pretty bad sunburn on the upper part of her back and her shoulders. The part of the resort we had the wedding was pretty much where number 30 is on the map.
After the wedding we putzed about the wedding area, and I captured this sweet image of my children.
In this post I mentioned how I hadn't, up until this trip, worn flip-flop sandals, and here is a photo that is the evidence I wore them. In the end it was okay, my toes were sufficiently safe.
Another thing we noticed soon after the wedding was the clouds were starting to come in for that day's weather.
One of the days we decided to walk all the way to 'The Point' (past villa #30-8) and from there I took this photo of the resort.
Each night at 20:30 there was a kids show on this stage where my children participated. At 21:00 there was a pre-show where adults from the audience would be on the stage participating. At 21:30 there was a show every night of professional dancers dancing a variety of routines, each night for a different theme.
There was a kids club (next to the 'P' on the map) at this resort that we brought our kids to a few times. Mostly they preferred to play in the pool so they didn't spend a lot of time here. The dogs on the top are the kids club mascots that show up at various events throughout the week and also have one of the nights to perform on the big stage.
On the second floor of the main resort they had four a la carte restaurants and this is the front of the Mexican one. Upstairs there was also a Steak house, a Creole and an Asian Restaurant. Downstairs were two other a la carte restaurants, an Italian and an Indian. In addition to these six, there is a Poseidon restaurant at 'U' on the map, and two buffets, one of which we went to for breakfast and lunch pretty much every day, the Negril at letter 'Z'.
There were various sculptures of art all over the resort, here is one of them.
There was also a sports center ('L' on the map) that equipped you for tennis, basketball, mini-golf, archery and others. G-bot was keen on doing archery, so we went two or three times.
Throughout the site in various places they had signs to help direct you to where you needed to go. On this day we were heading left, towards Sunset Cove.
Yet another covered passage way gets us there, this one goes through a thick part of rain forest for a short distance.
At the end of the passage is the sign below.
Walk just past the sign and you can see into the restaurant.
There is a path that allows you to walk around the restaurant to gain access to the beach, if you follow that you come to some stairs which I show here from the bottom.
From the top of the stairs you can look at the activity center where every day they hold various events. On one of the days I participated in a ping-pong tournament and made it to the semi-final.
Here is Sunset Cove looking north-east.
Here is Sunset Cove looking south-west. Where the boat and the dock are, that is where you can take kayak and sailboards and pedalos out on to the water, and where there are some guys offering for a fee sailing lessons and other boat trips.
When you go back up the stairs you come to the opposite end of the Poseidon restaurant, and here at this end there is a bar that services both the restaurant and the beach.
Once you get into the Poseidon restaurant you can see that it is really just a long single row of tables, for the most part.
The next three pictures are from the Negril Buffet Restaurant. The food was reasonably good here and there was an enormous variety to choose from. Every day I tried something a little bit different, and sometimes I was really pleased while other times I didn't end up eating all of what I took. In here, like all over the resort, can be found various art pieces.
On our last night we ate the Italian restaurant ('X' on the map) and were seated in the right place to watch the sun set, though there were many clouds and the pillars of the resort blocked the way somewhat. Here is one photo that came out okay, the others didn't come out as good.
So that's the end of this post, we really enjoyed the vacation and would likely want to do something similar again to a different resort. Probably not again in the next few years as now we have to figure out how to pay for all the travel we're doing this year.

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