Why You’ll Love Reconnecting at Sandals Royal Caribbean

A New Baby, Inflatable Pools, and Daydreaming of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort

These past few weeks, I’ve been impatiently trying to determine our newborn daughter’s sleeping pattern. All the while, I sit daydreaming about our honeymoon at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Initially, she insisted upon greeting the world a week sooner than expected. She threw a beautiful monkey wrench into my plans of getting a new post up for you. Even so, I am exceedingly happy to finally meet our little sweetheart. I’m constantly stealing all the cuddles from her. It’s been amazing!

However, tonight while I’m sitting here sleep deprived and writing in my husband’s favorite chair, I’m daydreaming about simpler times. In particular, I fantasize about when I could still get cold during the summer in the American South. Oh, how I miss those days. I seriously expected my internal temperature regulator to have returned me back to my normally cold self by now. So far, that has yet to happen.

You know what else I miss? Being able to get in and out of a ten-foot inflatable pool without much of a problem. C-sections are no joke when it comes to recovery and maneuverability. All I’m saying is inflatable pools in the backyard just can’t really compare to extra large legitimate ones with swim-up bars in them.

Amber – hold up. What does this even have to do with the topic at hand? One minute you’re announcing that you’ve finally had your baby and the next you’re confessing how much you miss day drinking in kid-free kiddie pools. Where are you even going with this?

Friend, those are great questions! Allow me to explain myself.


Why You'll Love Reconnecting at Sandals Royal Caribbean - Parents Honeymooning in Jamaica


Making Time for Yourself as a Couple

The point is, whether you’re a parent or not, you really need to take the time to be you – without the pain of “adulting.” Allow yourself luxuries like enjoying child-free kiddie pools that will save your sanity. Yes, they can be a luxury as a parent.

Personally, my favorite part of the kiddie pool events Nick and I would have, would be where we just got to joke and chat with one another without interruption. More importantly, we were making an effort for each other without having to divide our attention. We were able to reconnect as a couple in love, not just a team of parents giving each other a daily damage status report of what our kid did and what was happening at work.

I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when he proposed during the summer of 2014. I mean, obviously, we weren’t in the dreaded relationship routine rut – we had a kid-free kiddie pool! As we spent the better part of a year planning a 1920s style wedding, we were equally focused on the best honeymoon option we could afford on our salaries.

Finally, we decided what we wanted, as well as needed, was an experience that we didn’t have to worry about budgeting for food and alcoholic beverages, or just dealing with other people’s kids. Basically, we wanted to have a kid-free kiddie pool experience on a much grander scale.

Team Bride (and Groom!) votes for Sandals!

Is Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort Right for You?

Once we realized what we both wanted out of our honeymoon, the Sandals Resorts became the top contender. Having more than 16 different Sandals Resorts to choose from made our final choice difficult. Luckily for us, the Sandals website offers a Vacation Planner tool helping people determine the best experience for their desires.

For us, we wanted several pools to choose from (preferably with at least one swim-up bar built in), a beachfront walkout room, and a social yet kind of mellow atmosphere. Essentially, we didn’t want a full-blown party scene, nor did we want to be entirely surrounded by the retirement club either.

The vacation planner tool really helped us determine our best options. We whittled our choices down to two resorts, with Sandals Royal Caribbean winning us over. Seriously, can you pass over that enchanting offshore island featuring a delicious Thai restaurant?

Before we finalized our decision of choosing a Sandals resort, we did comb through many guest reviews via Yelp and several other sources. Most were happy reviews.

However, consistent echoes of bringing a physical copy of the room type you reserved were interesting. Some reviewers speculated that sometimes they didn’t get the room they wanted due to overbooking. Since I don’t know that to be the absolute truth with Sandals booking procedures, I’m just going to repeat that it’s merely speculation.

That being said, I’ve never been one to chance it with things like that. I straight up printed out our confirmation number with our room code and description, final payment confirmation, and any online chats with customer service before our arrival. I wanted to make it as smooth as possible once we arrived.

Amber & Nick Pittman are on their way to Sandals Royal Caribbean by shuttle bus

First Impressions of Sandals Royal Caribbean Start at the Airport

Our first actual impression happened before we even walked outside of the airport to our shuttle. We made our way through the normal hustle and immediately found the Sandals Lounge. The airport lounge concierges promptly welcomed and verified us. This allowed for easily boarding their company shuttle when it arrived.

The bar attendant instantly offered complimentary alcoholic beverages of our choice while we relaxed in plush chairs. Starting the relaxation process while being surrounded by beautiful wooden crown molding and friendly people was delightful. If you ask me, that’s a fantastic first impression!

Wanderlust Conqueror arrives at Sandals Royal Caribbean entryway

Resort Arrival

What felt like mere moments at the airport lounge, we were accompanied to the resort shuttle. After a quick fifteen-minute drive, we departed the bus at the second stop. We made it to Sandals Royal Caribbean!

Guests arriving at the resort quickly encounter beautiful greenery. Numerous contrasting flying flags where most guests hail from are also on full display.

Once we hopped off the shuttle, we entered the open air lobby. Warm, dark wooden furniture and crown molding created an air of comfortable but extravagant living. It was a lovely feeling of soft, mild sea breezes rustling through the lobby.

Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort boasts real wood details and crown molding

The Sandals Royal Caribbean Check In Process

Since we opted for a Club Level room, we checked in at the concierge lounge, bypassing the front desk altogether. Once there, we received refreshing flutes of bubbly. Another couple arrived at the same time as us, also club level. The four of us sat back in the air conditioned room, sipped champagne, and thumbed through the resort newsletter. While we lounged lazily, the concierges handled all the hard work.

Without a doubt, I believe we saved valuable honeymoon time by heeding the warnings of past guests. Our concierge got us in our room. Once there, she explained how to find out the daily activities. She also described what we could expect to do on the property while honeymooning, such as spa treatments.

As we made way for our room, I overheard the couple informing their concierge of a room mix up. Before I continued in my eavesdropping, our escort led us to our room without trouble. Thankfully, I had printed our room confirmation.

Nonetheless, after reading several reviews about the paperwork process, my nosiness may have perked up a tiny bit. As it turned out, the other couple did not have any of their reservations paperwork with them. Normally, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to this. I just really wanted to know more!

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Honeymoon Amenities

Honeymoon Charm at Sandals Royal Caribbean

When we initially booked our stay, we made sure Sandals knew we were there to honeymoon. When you do, you get fun little perks. Upon entering our room, we found a delicious bottle of sparkling wine chilling in ice and decorated with large tropical flowers. Rose petals adorned our bed, another luscious touch to our honeymoon experience.

We spotted a handwritten note wishing us a wonderful honeymoon experience. It was a simple gesture, creating fondness within us for the resort already. After scoping out our surroundings, I took a few quick, necessary photos of our room. Shortly thereafter, we drank our sparkling wine on our patio as we looked out towards the offshore island and nearby gazebo. What a gorgeous way to start our honeymoon!

Enjoying a beer at a beachside picnic table under a grass umbrella

Time to Explore!

After enjoying a second glass of sparkling wine, our beachfront view beckoned us to explore the resort. It really didn’t take any prodding to find out what’s in store for us over the course of a week.

Following a quick self-guided tour of the resort, we popped by the beachside bar and grill. We couldn’t resist the urge to order a beer while there. Enjoying it at a nearby picnic table as warm ocean breezes lapped through our hair seemed a worthy endeavor.

Before long, the need for a change into swimwear was in order. As we lazily walked hand in hand back to our building on the property, I spotted the other couple from earlier. They were finally being escorted to their own room. Again, please bring a copy of your reservation details! Save yourself a potential headache!

Deciding between the sea and one of the several pools was our biggest struggle of the first day. We went back and forth over which water setting! I can’t believe how fickle we were! It’s almost too many choices! But we managed it just fine. 😉

Sandals Royal Caribbean Swim Up Pool Rooms surrounded by lush, tropical greenery


As you see from the photo above, this pool is so very inviting with the palm trees and tropical flower bushes embellishing the edges. How can you not slip into it for desperately needed relaxation with your partner? This particular pool is for the Swim-up Crystal Lagoon Honeymoon One Bedroom Butler Suites but any Sandals guest can take a dip here.

Nick and I still talk about this pool because we enjoyed it so much. If we get the opportunity to return in a couple of years for an anniversary, we’re hoping to book one of these rooms. While we enjoyed our beachfront walk out, we definitely found ourselves jealous of guests with the swim up pool suites.

While we totally adore the swim up pool, we love the main pool even more! It’s fairly large, so you’re not bumping into everybody. The staff will set up a volleyball net for guests who wish to partake in a little friendly competition. Of course, I just really like having the ability to get a sweet rummy drink without leaving the pool.

I swear, I’m not a total lush! When you have a three-year-old, it’s hard to allow yourself too many beverages while your baby is around. However, when you’re at an Adults Only resort, you must seize your opportunities while you still can! Truly!

Have a Sandals Royal Caribbean Checkers Standoff near the main pool

Around the Main Pool

The main pool has a covered seating area. This is great for those of us with fair skin who are prone to quick sunburns. Here, you can sign up for your special water activities, such as snorkeling or booking a catamaran cruise.

After you sign up for your daytime water sports, grab a draft beer and compete against your travel companion with a game of checkers. Try not to end it with a standoff like we did. That’s the real challenge.

Once you relent on the standoff you tried not to have, go check out the handmade jewelry made by the locals. Their work is so beautiful! The artisans aren’t there every day, so keep an eye out during your stay. Had I made a point of bringing more cash with me, you better believe I would have a practical new souvenir.

Sandals Royal Caribbean Beachfront Walkout View of Offshore Island

Beach Time

The sandy beaches of Sandals Royal Caribbean are meticulously manicured by the gardening staff. Their perpetual clean up of anything that washes ashore keeps guests happily swimming. No tip-toeing over clumps of seaweed or fallen palm tree fronds here!

The resort has paved walkways to gazebos with decorated ironwork ceilings. Even if you are wheelchair bound, you can still enjoy getting closer to the salt waters of Montego Bay. While you can’t meander on the sand, you still have access to the sea.

Speaking of the paved walkways over the water, our beachfront walkout room afforded us a view of a wedding from our window. Luckily, the staff informed us in advance as to not unintentionally distract from their important event. For some of you reading, I’m sure that’s a relief to know if you’re deciding on a Sandals Destination Resort Wedding.


The Offshore Island

The offshore island is a cool benefit of staying at Sandals Royal Caribbean. Its shoreline is much smaller than the beach at the resort. However, tons of lounge chairs waited for guests to occupy them in the warm Jamaican waters.

They have a quick service bamboo shack themed restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn’t know about it until after we ate lunch on the mainland. It looked cute and the dining tables were shaded by bamboo roofing.

After meandering hand in hand around the area, we happened upon a clothing optional section of the island for guests. Got to say, we were both completely surprised as no reviews we came across mentioned it. However, now that they have the stunning, newly built over the water private bungalows, I don’t know if the clothing optional beach survived the update.

If you get exhausted from what the small shore offers, just go up the stairs to a pool. You have the option of a hot tub or a standard pool that boasts a swim-up bar. Can you guess which one we chose?

Later in the week, we came back for our reservation at the Thai Restaurant. It didn’t cost us anything extra, but you do have to make reservations. Believe me, you want to make the reservations! The restaurant is beautiful and colorful. Our food was plentiful and flavorful. If we hadn’t waited until our last night to try the Thai restaurant, we probably would have returned to experience more bountiful flavors.

Sandals Royal Caribbean Club Level Private Martini Event

Enhancing the Mood of Your Stay

As the sun goes down over Montego Bay, the Sandals Royal Caribbean staff are on standby to make sure you have a great time! Outdoor dining, special dress nights, and entertainment abound throughout your stay.

Special Private Events

Since we stayed in a club level room, we attended a late afternoon social reserved for Club Level guests. During our particular stay, we enjoyed the Exclusive Martini Tasting Event that took place next to our building, overlooking both the beach and lavish pool.

My absolute favorite, the Cosmopolitan, made it onto the menu. I may or may not have engaged in a small celebratory dance about it. Considering the Manhattan made it onto the menu, I decided to give it a try. I found out the Manhattans are a bit too manly for me. It’s worth noting I did appreciate their delicious Cosmopolitan and Chocolate Martinis though.

Dining Al Fresco

One night, we dined under the Caribbean stars near the main pool. Sandals Royal Caribbean dedicated multiple tables of delicious food for guests to devour. Our seating host surprised us by placing us at a 2-top table instead of the standard group tables. Little things like soft lighting, a private table, and candles decorating the tables made our al fresco experience even more romantic.

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Themed Nights

Another night, the resort decided to go with a themed clothing night for the guests. Despite my incessant research of the official website as well as reviews, the lack of information regarding the themed “White Night” left us unprepared. Granted, you can still participate in the nighttime activities without donning in themed wear.

They do have a small clothing store just past the main lobby so you can buy an all-white outfit while there… Unless you’re larger than a 1X. This is an important piece of information for plus-sized readers. Despite seeing several plus-sized guests during our stay, the store’s plus sizes were moot at Sandals Royal Caribbean, unfortunately.

Bring a white outfit from home if you want to take part of the festivities to the fullest extent and you consider yourself plus size. Here, print out this handy Sandals Checklist & Tips with notes. A white maxi or sun dress will work just fine for women. For men, a white linen shirt and khaki pants accompanied by closed-toe shoes are completely acceptable for “White Night.”

Live Entertainment

Sandals Royal Caribbean hosts several events for guest entertainment. One evening before dinner, a local school’s band performed in the open spaces near the lawn chess and croquet areas. They were clearly very talented and knew how to put on a show, complete with choreography!

Another time, we happened upon a Jamaican themed fashion show. Both staff and fellow guests showed off their beautiful outfits. I especially liked the Men’s Swimwear line! 😉

Now, what’s really fun is the night time live bands performing. We watched in awe at the festive stage filled with an all-female steel drum band. The way they all moved and danced while beating their steelpans mesmerized the audience. The music, lending to some Jamaican flare from the steel drums, were easily recognizable Top 40 hits. Nick and I relished quizzing one another as to which hit we were listening to as we laughed and tried to remember the lyrics.

Would We Do It All Over Again?

Looking back over everything we did, I know we both would fly back there tomorrow if the opportunity presented itself. With the challenges of a newborn and making time for our oldest, setting aside time to be a regular person with the person I love most is hard work.

Another Sandals vacation can definitely get us back into a seamless relationship. Finding carefree and lazy moments in a luxurious atmosphere allows us to focus on one another more. If any resort could help us regain the balance of attentiveness to one another, it’s Sandals.

74 thoughts on “Why You’ll Love Reconnecting at Sandals Royal Caribbean

  1. This looks like a beautiful resort! My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year next July and I’m on the lookout for a great place to getaway with him without the kids!

  2. This looks like an amazing place to stay! We didn’t go on the big honeymoon trip but I’d love to travel with our kiddos someday!

    1. It was wonderful place – especially since it’s purely an adults only resort. Love my 2 kids but sometimes Mama just needs a break! 😉 If you wanted to do an all inclusive with the kids in tow, Sandals has a sister company called Beaches Resort. I’ve heard good things about them too. Maybe once Baby #2 is a bit older, we’ll try out Beaches for ourselves. 🙂

    1. Haha! We didn’t really have any mosquito problems while we were there! I anticipated it. Since I live in a subtropical climate, I just knew we were going to get eaten up by them in an actual tropical climate like Jamaica. Mosquitos, in general, love me too but perhaps Sandals is a magical place? 😉 LOL

  3. Sounds like such a lovely gateway. It is so important to take time to be with your partner. Even when it’s only a date night or just a walk. A weekend or a holiday is better of course. I had never heard of the Sandals resort but they really sound like they’re a cool place to go

  4. This is something that I need to add on my bucket list and I’m sure my husband is gonna love it too! Beautiful pictures!

    Pammy – joyfulsource.com

    1. Thank you! And yes! I want to try more of their resorts! The good news is that some locations, it’s a “Stay at One, Play at 3” kind of thing. For free! Sandals Royal Caribbean (our resort) had that option but we were so busy loving our resort, we never ventured out! LOL!

  5. We stayed at the Sandal Grande St Lucia for our honeymoon and it was just as amazing as your stay. I loved the sandals lounge at the hotel and every minute of our time there. The only down side for us is that no other Caribbean all inclusive vacation has stacked up to our stay at sandals. We were definitely spoiled there!

  6. Our neighbors stayed at Sandals Barbados and couldn’t stop talking about it! They were pampered the entire time and would love to go back. If my husband and I ever travel to a place where there is a Sandals, you can bet we’ll be making a reservation!

    1. Oh, Sandals Barbados has those amazing swim up rooms AND outdoor bathtubs for two – for the same exact room! Hard to resist that! If we end up there next time, we’re going to do one of those rooms!

      I urge you to really consider Sandals. You get pampered so easily there, you’ll never want to leave! We all need a good pampering on occasion! And their spas are amazing! 😀

  7. First off, huge congrats on your new little bundle of love! This honeymoon looked amazing! I can’t wait until I can go to some island somewhere lol. I totally agree about making time for yourself as a couple! It is so important to make sure that you take that time to focus on each other!

    1. Thank you! She’s pretty amazing! Probably the best cuddler in the house these days!

      Yes, make time for your other half for sure. Even if you don’t end up in the Caribbean, little things every day can really make the relationship stand just a little stronger. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂 <3

  8. Those are such beautiful clicks Amber, and dear you are glowing..
    The resort looking so serene and gorgeous place.. I wish to travel soon with definitely keep this resort in mind.

    1. Thank you!

      After the check in process, it felt as if we were transported to a magical place. The beautiful greenery and the spa made us so relaxed. It’s truly a lovers’ paradise! I hope you do get to go one day soon, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do!

  9. WOW! Sandals really seem like they want to look after you! I’ve often heard comments and opinions about Sandals but never quite checked them out. Thank you for the insight.

    1. Absolutely! The cool thing about Sandals resorts is that you can be as active or as lazy as you want to be. Trust me, it was delightful to be super lazy without judgement! 😀

  10. Congrats on all of your recent life changes. It’s funny to think back to how different things are in such a short amount of time. Thanks for sharing your experience with Sandals. Everyone I speak to says they are really nice. But they are also expensive, no?

    1. Thank you! Life totally changed for us over the last few years! In a great way, of course!

      As far as Sandals Resorts go, they’re actually fairly affordable. I had a meager salary at the time so we were mostly relying on my husband’s income.

      We ended up booking during one of their amazing sales they do occasionally. We saved 65% plus received air credit for flights. They’re actually doing a sale now, similar to the one we had if you’re interested in looking. 🙂

      If you think about it, 2 people having ALL meals paid for, ALL alcoholic beverages paid for (no limits there!), free snorkeling, free scuba (for certified guests), free access & transportation to the other 2 Sandals resorts in Jamaica and a spa credit would cost so much normally. You know what it cost us? Around $3000 for the two of us. The meals were delicious and a massage at the spa was outstanding.

      Needless to say, we got our value’s worth by choosing Sandals. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I tried to be as thorough as I could since I want to know exactly what to anticipate on all-inclusive resorts, you know?

      If you do end up going to one of the numerous Sandals resorts, I hope you let me know how it went! 🙂

  11. This looks like a great way to spend your honeymoon (or any vacation really). Love the pictures. And it is awesome that you were able to save so much money. That’s always a bonus!

    1. Yes, catching that sale really helped to make our dream honeymoon a reality. I have a feeling that in a couple of years, we’ll be booking an anniversary trip to “reconnect” without the kids in tow lol!

  12. It looks like the perfect place to escape indeed! While I do get what you say about loving being around your baby, it is also important to have time away as a couple. It is beautiful to be able to go and experience something new. Looks like this resort has them all. I love the small details they have to welcome honeymooners or couples too!

    1. You totally get it! Kids, as much as we love them, require soooo much time and attention. Sandals made it so easy to just be a person in love again. 🙂 And I loved the honeymoon details too 🙂

  13. A very very hearty wishes on the little bundle of joy! I’m expecting to meet mine in a couple of months! 🙂
    The Sandals Royal Caribbean resort looks just perfect for a destination wedding or honeymoon.
    The beach looks so serene and pristine! Themed nights? That’s the perfect way to end each day!

  14. I’ve been having the same situation as you. I have a newborn baby at this moment and when I’m not taking care and thinking of her, I sometimes find myself daydreaming of those kids-free years when all we plan about is vacations and travels. LOL. Truly, sometimes we need to reward ourselves 🙂

  15. Congratulations on your baby girl! I don’t have any kids yet, but I totally agree that making time for you and your partner is essential whether you have kids or not! The Sandals Resort looks absolutely amazing too – great, thorough review. Adding it to my wish list!

    1. Thank you! And just so you know, you don’t have to be married to enjoy all the awesomeness of the resort! 😉 It was on my bucket list for quite a while. However, now instead of marking it off, I’ve got new locations of Sandals Resorts I want to try!

  16. Wow! This was a great review! I’m hoping to take a trip next year for my 40th birthday so this was all good information!

    1. Nicole – that is the perfect reason to go! And there’s soooo many options! One resort even offers golf as part of their deal!

      I hope you save this review so that you can come back to it later. 🙂

    1. The Caribbean is truly amazing! I loved Nassau, Bahamas and I definitely loved Montego Bay, Jamaica! Everything is so relaxed and simple – exactly what one needs to in a vacation! 🙂

  17. This looks amazing. I have always wanted to go to Jamaica. Are these resorts more for couples or could you do a girls getaway week at one? I know me and my friends would love to just hang out on the beach in Jamaica.

    1. Thanks for the great question, Evelyn! While Sandals is totally about romance, they also allow groups there. Just be aware that they only allow 2 people per room, no matter what type of room you get.

      Now, if you and your girls can deal with kids being around, Sandals’ sister company, Beaches, offers BFF group specials as well. If you end up going this route, I recommend going when school is in full swing and avoid major holidays.

      BUT! If your schedules only allow for summer and holidays, Sandals is totally the way to go. With so many weddings happening at Sandals, it’s not unusual for singles to be there, so I wouldn’t feel weird about it at all!

  18. All The Love goes out to you guys for the little bundle of joy! Congratulations! although I do not have yet a partner with me and kids as well, but yes, I will definitely do the same thing as well. I understand how you feel being away from the little girl. Sandals Resort seems a perfect place as well for you both, the beach is stunning from the photos with the color of the sea water.

  19. I’ve never been to the Caribbean so this definitely sounds like a great place to visit. I haven’t exactly reconnected with my husband after we had our daughter, so doing something like this would be amazing!

    1. The Caribbean is just so stunning and romantic, it’s hard not to reconnect! Kids definitely make it difficult, so we have to be vigilant in keeping the love alive with our other halves. 🙂

  20. Sleep deprived you may be, but definitely detailed in your work! Having a baby will definitely put a strain in relationships and the time off is definitely very much needed!

  21. First of all congratulations on the new born. Enjoy these times which are so precious. Talking about the Sandals Royal Carribean, it really seems like an idyllic getaway and especially if you are on a honeymoon. The place looks so tranquil and secluded and yet the staff discreetly take care of all your needs and every comfort.

    1. Aww! Thank you so much! She’s a great cuddler! 😀

      Yes – the Sandals Resorts team do an excellent work of handling the guests’ needs without being aggressive about it. It’s lovely.

    1. I hope you do! 😀 Even if they don’t end up at Sandals Royal Caribbean, I’m sure they’d have the most amazing time at any of the 15 resorts they have to offer currently! But, I do hope my thorough review will give them a better expectation of staying with Sandals. 🙂

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