Blue Suit Mom

Changing My Opinion at Beaches Negril

I’ve traveled around the world and been fortunate to enjoy some of the best vacations a mom could imagine with her children. From the top of Machu Picchu to Red Square to the safari plains of South Africa, the Bailey family has voyaged to the most exotic and famous destinations in the world. I must confess, however, that they haven’t always been the most relaxing for me as the Chief Travel Agent and family tour guide. Everyone has their own travel style and mine has always been to organize every aspect of our event and avoid any destination or service that remotely looked like a tour, package or all-inclusive deal. Perhaps it’s the control freak in me, but I always felt that if I was in charge, I could assure that my family could get the best vacation at the best price. Confession Alert: I was wrong! Yes, I said it. I was wrong. Here’s why: Last weekend I was invited to spend a weekend in Negril, Jamaica at the Beaches resort (

Beaches Negril

I invited my 18-year-old daughter to join me and we met several other moms and their families there. I looked forward to spending time with Esti (, Colleen (, Serena (, Suzanne (, Katia ( and Hollie (, just to name a few!

Beaches Negril

Me and Suzanne,

Beaches Negril

Aaaahhh…the spa!

Again, I was a bit apprehensive about staying at an all-inclusive resort. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what “all-inclusive” meant before we arrived at Beaches. I quickly learned. It means, Mom can relax and enjoy the vacation without a worry in the world, including how many sodas my children charge to the room or how many half eaten plates of chicken nuggets I paid for that they didn’t eat. It meant when they asked, “Mom, can we go water skiing?”, I didn’t have to say no in fear that we would be breaking the bank. Water skiing, paddle boarding, sailing and snorkeling were all part of the “all” in all inclusive. In 3 words, it means, This is Awesome!

Like many of you, I’ve seen the numerous Beaches and Sandals commercials on television. I can even hum the music, but I really never took the time to discover the fun and ease they offered for families. By the way, I learned that Beaches is the brand designed for families and Sandals is the destinations for adults. (Hint to hubby: They have a beautiful Sandals Resort in the Turks and Caicos!). I’m going to attempt to summarize all the highlights I discovered at Beaches Negril.

– Let’s start with the Spa. I am not a massage type of girl — but “WOW”. I had a massage under a cabana right on the beach. Between the sound of the ocean and the deep muscle massage, I felt like I was in heaven. Spa treatments are not part of the “all” in all-inclusive, but they were very reasonable and well worth it. You can even have one with your husband while your kids are having fun at Pirates Island, a water park with two slides, a lazy river and lots of fun surprises.

Our dinner…or one of our many delicious choices!

– Dining next to the ocean. We didn’t even wear shoes to dinner. Really. Beaches Negril has more than 8 food spots from fine dining to a pizzeria. And you guessed it, it’s covered in the all-inclusive package. For every meal, we chose to taste a different restaurant’s offerings. At Stewfish, we sat at a white linen-covered table right on the edge of the water. I ate tuna and seafood that tasted as if they had just pulled it from the ocean. We were so thrilled with the variety of foods that my daughter and I even decided to try another restaurant for dessert. Yes, we went restaurant hopping, but that’s what you can do at an all-inclusive. Just think how many of the “I don’t want to eat there” fights I could have avoided at a Beaches resort. I could have just told each of my four kids to go and eat wherever they wanted and everyone would have been happy. And best of all, mom would have been more relaxed!

Beaches Negril

– Sesame Street meets the Carribean. A fun element to the Beaches Negril Resort was the Sesame Street shows and characters. I know what you are thinking, “My kids are too old for Big Bird”. That’s what I thought until we sat enjoying the live broadway-like shows with the Beaches Resorts’ Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street® – we saw our faves: Big Bird, Grover and Zoe. They capped off the evening events and were fun for everyone. We were privy to the newest show.

– Up, Up and Away. My daughter talked me into doing something I’ve never done before- parasailing. I was scared and nervous but I was so caught up in the fun of Beaches that I did it. Parasailing is an extra activity, but well worth the experience of flying above the beach and viewing the amazing blue waters of Jamaica.

– A plunge into fun. It takes a lot for me to relax. Honestly, I think I’m just not comfortable relaxing. However,the older my kids have gotten the more they have told me that I’m a lot more fun when I am relaxed. There was a moment while at Beaches when I knew I had discovered the glory of true relaxation. We were on a catamaran cruise and the crew anchored off the coast near a cliff area with numerous caves but crystal clear waters. They invited us to jump in for a swim. Somewhere between the side of the boat and mid-air I realized I was truly, 100% relaxed. I think I was even the first one in the water and definitely the first to head off swimming to discover the caves. My daughter stared in amazement and later commented that she saw a glow in me that she’d rarely seen. That evening we floated together in the ocean for 4 hours until the sun went down and the cool breeze forced us out of the water.

The entire weekend exceeded my expectations. I only wish I could back in time and take my toddlers, middle schoolers or teenagers to a Beaches Resort. It literally has something for everyone – everything you could want except the constant planning, tipping, map reading and driving of our typical family vacation. Sitting on the beach, relaxed and content, I tried to decide which of my young nieces or nephews I could borrow to bring back on my next visit to Beaches because, I assure you, I’m going back.

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