honeymoon in jamaica

Happy 2017, friends! I can’t believe it’s in full swing already.

I’m beyond excited for more travels to come this year, but first things first. I want to finish recapping one of my 2016 favorites – the honeymoon in Jamaica!

If you haven’t read Part I, you can do so here. I rave about the ah-mazing resort we stayed at, Couples Swept Away (CSA) in Negril, Jamaica. I share details on the food, our accommodations, and the first of our activities, including snorkeling! I also share some killer snaps we took with our new favorite travel toy, the GoPro HERO5 Black.

honeymoon in jamaica

Maybe you’re new around here (Welcome!), and didn’t know this girl was a wife. You can catch up with E & I’s “story” here and my first post after the wedding here.

Ok, but back to JAMAICA. In addition to all the good stuff in Part I, sharing a bit more below.

{Water Sports}

A huge reason we loved CSA so much is because everyone on the staff was so incredible. From the talented chefs, to the water sports crew, to our scuba instructors, we honestly couldn’t have met kinder, life loving souls.

Another huge perk?? A whole bunch of water sports and lessons were included.

honeymoon in jamaica

I never thought I’d be able to windsurf. While we were by no means experts, we totally did it. Eric better than me I should mention.

We got a lesson in hobbie cat sailing, Eric kayaked, and we got to stand-up paddle board too. You know you’re in paradise when you’re paddle boarding and see giant starfish below.

honeymoon in jamaica

honeymoon in jamaica

{Glass Bottom Boat Tour}

This was such a fun way to learn more about the coral reefs and see more of the coast. One guide asked us to name a couple big starfish we saw side by side below and no one else piped up. So I gladly said Beyonce and Jay-Z. He dived in, gently grabbed Bey, and let me hold her before returning her home.

honeymoon in jamaica

{Nighttime Entertainment}

So many options! From live steel drums, dances into the night, to beach bonfires – they had so much to offer in the evening. Our favorite by far was the Aura Lounge, where famous piano player Ultimate Chocolate, and singer Miguel, had the whole crowd up in roars of laughter and sing-a-longs!

We chatted with so many awesome couples around this piano, and seeing Ulti and Miguel all up in their element was a pure honor.

honeymoon in jamaica

{Cliff Jumping at Rick’s Cafe}

Rick’s Cafe is apparently one of the top 10 most famous bars in the world, and is known to have the second most beautiful sunset! You can also cliff jump, get drinks, and listen to live music – how could we not go? CSA had a shuttle to take us.

honeymoon in jamaica

honeymoon in jamaica

honeymoon in jamaica

As soon as we arrived, we grabbed some rum cocktails and were glued to the people jumping off the 30 foot cliff.  E decided to give it a go and totally rocked it!*

honeymoon in jamaica

*Confession: I didn’t catch it on camera the first time, so he actually really did rock it because he went twice. And it’s unfortunately a low quality photo. Love you, E. 🙂

{Scuba Diving}

Probably our favorite – getting scuba certified! A beginner’s class and swimming around shore is free at CSA. You can then choose to go with the crew on a real dive for $50. It’s a perfect way to test it out.

E and I thankfully learned we were pretty natural underwater! We fell in love with it, choosing to count the first dive and cost towards our certification. It just took one additional hour of class and a dive the next morning…then we had unlimited dives for the rest of the trip!

honeymoon in jamaica

honeymoon in jamaica

People had mentioned not to do our certification while we were on our trip, but I disagree! Doing your training dives is waayyy better in the sea vs. a pool/lake, let me tell ya. It’s also tons of fun, especially when you’re working with a killer crew like CSA’s.

Need more of a reason? In Jamaica, the cost to get certified was about $450 cheaper than in Chicago. If a scuba certification is something you’re interested in, my advice would be to scope out options at home and your destination! My other advice is to go visit the incredible people of Jamaica and do it at CSA. 🙂

honeymoon in jamaica

honeymoon in jamaica

WHEW. Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends! We were able to check so many adventures off our bucket list, I hope this inspires you to take a tropical vacay in 2017, or just go tackle something you’ve been dying to do!

Days By Day

the honeymoon

It is quite chilly up here in Chicago! Did you know that on Monday Chicago was colder than Mars?? Not okay.

That being said, I’m daydreaming of the Honeymoon we went on back in November to Jamaica, where everything was sunny and warm and perfect. It’s going to take a couple posts to share all these adventures and photos!

{Getting There}

Eric and I took off for our honeymoon bright and early the next morning after the wedding. Well, actually it was still dark it was so early, so nix the bright. We rocked these awesome (and original) Married AF shirts and koozies by The Daily Tay, and got lots of compliments.

the honeymoon

We had booked our trip through Southwest Vacations. Loveee Southwest Vacations, you guys! They make it so easy to have everything taken care all in one place.

{The Resort}

On the plane we could hardly contain ourselves. We knew we wanted to find an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, one where we could relax and soak up the sun, but one where we could still be adventurous! After lots of research, we landed on Couples Swept Away (CSA) for seven days in Negril, Jamaica.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

Let me say this place is a real life dream, in case my pure joy above does not convey that enough.

Not only are the facilities gorgeous, but the entire staff is beyond kind. I can definitely say that we left with new friends. CSA is not too big, not too small, and it’s impossible to not feel the romantic vacation vibes.

This resort is located along a gorgeous strip of Seven Mile Beach and has two big pools, six restaurants, bars throughout, and a variety of nighttime entertainment. In addition to food and drink being included, your stay also includes a whole bunch of other water recreation and island activities – glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, windsurfing, catamaran cruises, etc.

the honeymoon

I said it was a real life dream, right??

{The Room}

So beautiful and literally located steps away from the beach. At night you could hear the waves gently crash. There was also a balcony that had us feeling so adult and fancy when we’d sit out there.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

{The Eats}

Oh my goodness, so yummy! I know people hate on resort food sometimes, that is not the case at CSA. Eric’s favorite was probably the jerk chicken, while I fell in love with a fresh fish sandwich on the softest bread ever.

A light breakfast could be delivered to our room, or we could go to a couple restaurants for a sit down menu or buffet. Everyone knows breakfast is my fave, I was not disappointed.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

At one spot for dinner, there’s a pasta bar that served as an appetizer for a three course menu. Basically, like four dinners in one. It’s a miracle we didn’t come back twice our sizes.

We particularly liked one cafe for the afternoon munchies, Seagrapes. It was technically the vegetarian restaurant, but I guarantee a majority of the clientele was not just vegetarian. There was all sort of healthy eats to enjoy.

{Catamaran Cruise}

This was the first big activity we signed up for. The crew had Jamaican music going and Red Stripe flowing, the Jamaican beer everyone drank. They took us along the island for sightseeing and even stopped at a giant cave for us to go swimming.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

We caught all these pictures with the GoPro we bought just before our wedding weekend! Eric and I had talked about getting one, and then knew we couldn’t leave for all these water adventures without it. Highly recommend –  we were able to get some awesome shots and were totally carefree about any concerns of it getting wet!

the honeymoon

{Snorkeling}

I had never been before! This was one of the biggest things on my to-do list. We signed up for a daytime snorkel and loved it. We got to see a giant barracuda, feed fish, hold starfish, see a sunken cannon and anchor…it was all so beautiful. I kept telling E it was like opening my old science text books and seeing the coral reefs from the pages come to life.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

GoPro was clearly also a star for this outing.

We had such a fun time, we signed up to go again at night. Jumping off the boat that time around was definitely a little freakier, but very awesome. The reefs seem totally different, and we saw more creatures, like an octopus and sea turtle.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

We loved snorkeling so much, we thought we’d take it one step further and get scuba certified. More on that in Part II, along with other adventures!

That’s all for today, friends! I hope no matter where you are – beach, mountains, or in between – you’re having a great Thursday, with holiday spirit in full swing!

Days By Day