Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jamaica Me Smile (Day 3)

Our last full day at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Jamaica started the same as the day before but definitely ended differently!  We started with a mimosa, the beach, breakfast and lunch.  I had found things I liked well enough to eat at the buffets but was happy I did not need to eat this food for an entire week. The people in charge of entertainment are called "Star Friends" and tried again to get us to do water aerobics or  play volleyball, but we again declined...there just wasn't enough time!  I needed my sun after all.  The Star Friend were all really nice and had fun names like Mr. Kool and Miss Sassy.

After lunch we changed things up a bit.  We walked back down to the snorkel hut to see if we could go snorkeling and we could!  After a very brief "safety briefing" we were given our equipment and forced to wear snorkel vests. 

Look how blue the water is!

We were told that the boat would go out to the reef and then we would get in the water and "drift".  The boat would go to the end spot where we would get back on at the end. Wait, what?  The boat was not right next to us, but probably a couple hundred yards away!  I get a little bit panicky in open water so Jenn promised to be my snorkel buddy and stay close to me.  

Our leader, Captain Jack, was a little too friendly, but did not really follow the idea of drifting and had us swimming...against the current.  I admit I cannot tell you what we saw because I was just concerned about getting back to the boat.  I much prefer snorkeling from a beach.  I also fought the vest constantly because it kept trying to choke me.  When we were done Captain Jack motioned for the boat to come get us. 

Between the salt water and wind from the boat our hair was in terrible shape and knotted messes.  Jenn cleaned up much better than me by going with braids.  I decided to just put on a hat and deal with the ratty mess of curls later.  It was time for a drink after all since we avoided alcohol before snorkeling.  I tried a new drink that one of our palapa neighbors recommended which was basically Grey Goose, lemon and ice blended together.  That packed a punch!

At some point we decided to try the swim up pool bar.  The water was coooold!  So cold that I kept walking around in the pool to try to keep warm.  I must have looked ridiculous because a woman sitting on the edge of the pool thought I was dancing.

We would be leaving the next day so we wanted to get as much beach time out of our last day as possible so we stayed until the sun started going down.  The Iberostar is an all inclusive resort and gratuities are included.  I still tip for good service though because a few dollars makes no difference to me and can make a difference to the people working at the resort.  I tend to tip $1 per drink and $5 for dinner (Jenn did the same).  I did not feel obligated to tip though for poor service.  The bartender who made fun of the way I said cafe con leche and the waiter who argued with me about the melted fried ice cream did not get any tips.  We tipped for everything else.  So when the pool bar was getting ready to close (which we did not know was happening), the waitress brought us an extra round of drinks, even though we did not order them.  Our palapa neighbors were jealous of this, but they did not tip so they did not get extra drinks. 

Getting ready for dinner was more challenging given the knotted hair and the impact of the extra drink.  The extra drink really was not a good idea because we were drunk which was not our goal. We were not going stop now though...

We managed to get ourselves to the Italian restaurant for our last dinner.  Our waiter was very friendly which was a welcome surprise after the prior night. 

We started with an amuse bouche, which I passed on since it was mostly sour cream and I do not like sour cream.  Then we had minestrone soup that was actually really good!  When I was at the Iberostar in Mexico, my favorite dish was the risotto so I ordered that for my main course.  It was sadly under cooked though.  Dessert was tiramisu and was pretty good too. 

After dinner we decided to go the show that happens each night at 10pm.  It has singers and dancers and I would say it is a little bit worse than a cruise ship show. 

Since we had plenty to drink though, it kept up entertained.  The funniest part of the show was that before it started they played a Celine Dion video!  Jenn played the part of crazy Canadian Celine fan and could not contain herself!

After the show we had to concede that the trip was coming to an end and we would be leaving the next day.  We agreed to get up early and try to get a couple more hours on the beach before going to the airport. 

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