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Sandals Resorts?

SloppyJ

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Get Shredded!
Anyone ever been? Thinking of going to Antigua in the spring for a honeymoon. Just trying to see how other people liked it? I don't really drink that much so that's not appealing to me. However the free food is highly appealing. I'm more interested in wind surfing, diving and things like that. So how was your stay?
 

Big Pimpin

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The now wife and I did a 10 day 'weddingmoon' at Sandals Grande in St Lucia back in 2008. Our families stayed at the another Sandals property on St Lucia so they could be there for the wedding. Everyone enjoyed their stay and even my dad, who hates vacations, claims the only way to vacation in the Caribbean is Sandals.

Diving:
The wife and I are divers and the Grande property did a 2 tank dive in the am, and a 2 tank in the pm. Small group diving in the Caribbean, which is hard to screw up. My only gripe with diving was the BCs and regulators were tired and weathered as was the boat. The nice part was the boat left at something like 9 or 9:30am which is late in the real diving world and just right on your honeymoon.

Drinking:
While they advertise free premium booze they make it difficult to get and tend to hide the best stuff from view. The big thing in St Lucia was an Extra Dirty Banana. The best goddamn rum drunk you'll ever have in your life IMO (google it). Extra means a double shot which is appropriate when they use a 10oz cup out in the pool. They wife and I drank mimosas for breakfast every morning around 8:30 and I was hitting the Dirty Bananas from the time the in-pool bar opened at 10 until I went to bed. I got my money's worth even if it was off rum drinks. ;) We went to a Japanese steak house on another Sandals property and they conveniently were out of Crown when I ordered it. :rolleyes:
Back to the rum, it's cheap and it's local so everyone of there bars had 30 different rum drinks on a big board to order from to take your mind of the premium stuff.

Jet Ski:
N/A
Rented one a few times against Sandal's wishes right off of their beach from a local who probably would have killed me if I had wrecked it. Had a blast. They had a fence near the water and the locals couldn't come across that fence, they could walk the beach across that 5' wide swath of sand. The locals sell everything right there at the beach and I mean everything.

Para-sailing:
N/A
Some local yos offered it off the beach but we didn't do it. I'm crazy not stupid.

Ski boat:
N/A on that property

Food:
There will be several ways to get food, most without dinner reservations but the portions are smaller than in the US. You can order all you want, when you want. My guess is they are being cheap, though a benefit of small portions is not being bloated out by the pool after lunch.

Room:
We got a much better than average oceanfront room and somewhat regret it only because we were in the room so little to enjoy it during waking hours. If this were a cruise, I'd say splurge on a nice sized balcony room but knowing what I know now, I'd actually cheap out a good bit on the room next time. No regrets though. Our maid was awesome and even though you aren't supposed to tip anyone, I tipped her a few times all while asking for excess amounts of beer/booze/towels/juice/etc. She was great and even came by the morning of our sunset wedding to ask if she could do anything special for us.

Pool:
Awesome. In-pool bar with great bartenders who got to know you by first name within the first day or two. Around the pool for a few hours each day, a couple of flamers put on pool games and other crazy shit with PA and music. Pretty funny stuff and had a good time.

Bartenders and Bellhops:
Great guys who like to emphasize anything you want, I can get. I'd guess at least half of the male staff there was in the game selling weed and coke. Sandal's states in the room that drugs are illegal and if you drop the dime, we'll give you a free night. What fun is that? As a matter of fact, we paid for Sandals Range Rover service for the 45 minute ride from the airport to the resort and after about 30 minutes of us drinking about a 6 pack (which he/they supplied), out of nowhere the driver says drugs are legal in St Lucia. WTF? lol
I tipped him $10 before we got to the resort because he pulled over several times at places, which made for great pictures, and he took several pics of us. The first thing the manager asked us when we got to the resort was did he ask for a tip? I said no because he didn't. ;0

Yes, I'd go pack, but I'd pay less for a room because you are getting the same benefits (minus a view) for a lot less money.
 
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charley

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Big Pimpin = Honeymoon authority [will wonders ever cease]
 

maniclion

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Next bender I'm going to Sandals and tripping balls for a week straight...
 

SloppyJ

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Now we're talking manic! I hope to see you there. We were going to go with a butler room then decided against it for the reasons that you stated. It sounds like it will be a nice time. There are just so many stupid reviews about people who didn't like it. My friends that had their honeymoon there seemed to enjoy it a lot.
 
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