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Sandals Negril | Christmas in Jamaica + Scuba Diving Certification


Sandals Negril

It’s no secret that we love Sandals Resorts. I could talk about them all day long and am planning on making a blog post comparing the different resorts soon. The layout of Sandals Negril was completely gorgeous. I was impressed that 90% of the rooms have an ocean view. The resort sits in the middle of a bay, tucked away in Negril (located on the west end of the island). The only downside to this resort was that it is an hour and a half drive from the airport. However, I’m glad we finally made it over there – because it’s probably one of my favorites (of the 7 different Sandals in Jamaica).


Spending Christmas in Jamaica

This was the first time that I have ever been out of town (especially out of the country) on Christmas day… and I’m not going to lie – I loved it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, I love seeing my family. But I live relatively close to 95% of my family, so it’s not like I never see them. Plus, I don’t care what you say… we as Americans have made the Christmas season a little bit more stressful than it should be.

Even though I travel often, I only consider 2-3 of my trips each year “vacation.” But this trip was definitely one of them. Of course, I still took photos (because I enjoy that); but I didn’t document every single detail of the resort, our room, etc. like I normally do. My Christmas present from James was a DJI Spark Drone, and let me tell you, it is literally the coolest. So as you can imagine… a lot of the photos were taken with “my new toy.”

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Getting Scuba Certified

I have always loved the ocean; I’m mesmerized by it and I’m not afraid of it (I respect it). A lot of people feel close to God when they see the ocean; I feel close to God when I am IN the ocean. And now, I am certified to be alllllllll up in the ocean (LOL).

Anyone can get become a certified scuba diver at any Sandals Resort. There is a $100 fee to get certified for the trip you’re on ONLY or $350 to get certified for life… and that’s what we did. It just seemed smarter that way. BUT, the beautiful thing about Sandals is that once you are certified, you get to dive up to 2x per day for free! So when we go on our next trip, we won’t have to pay anything at all.

The certification itself is a bit of a lengthy process, but we split it up and did a little bit each day. I promise it’s really not as scary as it seems, you just have to trust yourself and your equipment.

Day 1: We started in the pool. We learned how to set up and take down our equipment. We practiced breathing and equalizing our ears. Then, we learned how to put our mouthpiece back in if it were to fall out, and how to clear our mask if water gets in.

Day 2: We were required to go on 2 back-to-back dives. The first dive was to get ourselves comfortable with everything. On the second dive, we were required to perform all of the skills that we learned in the pool… at 40 ft. under. It was a bit intimidating at first, but the skills are not difficult (again, trust yourself).

Day 3: We had to take a quiz (not that serious). If we didn’t know an answer, our instructor simply explained the answer to us. After that, we went diving with a normal group and the rest is history!

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Private Boat Tour

Each island and resort is different in what kind of tours and excursions that you can take part in. We always like to do at least one excursion and tour of the island. This year was one of my favorites… because we did a private tour (meaning the only people on the boat was James and I). Alongside us was a driver and a tour guide, who served bottomless Champagne and Red Stripe… so we were happy as-could-be! And to make it even more special, we were able to do the tour on Christmas day.

Being on the west end of the island, Negril has a world famous sunset. Seeing it from the water was absolutely breathtaking. Our tour guide took us along the coast of Jamaica, and up to Rick’s Cafe where we watched people jump off of the cliffs. We could have gotten off and tried it, but Rick’s is a huge tourist attraction and is always crowded. We didn’t want to waste our tour time waiting in lines.

Our tour guide also took us to several caves located throughout the coastline of Negril. We were even able to jump off and swim into one of them. The water was crystal clear in the cave; and at one point, the cave actually had a working bar and water slide inside of it.

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We stayed busy on this trip (mostly with the diving certification), but it was a much-needed vacation and honestly couldn’t have come at a better time. James has had a terrible Fall with the weather and work, and I was just simply burnt out. I will continue to recommend Sandals Resorts forever and ever! So if you have any questions, please ask!

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Until next time,


Katie Church

5 thoughts on “Sandals Negril | Christmas in Jamaica + Scuba Diving Certification

  1. I think a trip to Negril should be on my travel bucket list. And I totally agree about loving Sandals Resorts, and I can’t wait for July for our next trip!

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