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Hedonism II Trip Report January 17-24
01/29/2016 03:09 PM
01/29/2016 03:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Welland, Ontario, Canada
Joined: Aug 2000
Welland, Ontario, Canada
January 17-24, 2016 Hedo Trip Report
I promised myself that I would take daily notes this trip, but alas, the best laid plans of mice and men. Therefore, this is probably the best my alcohol infused brain can remember. This is long so I will try to categorize things in case anyone wants to skip any boring bits…
This was our 6th January trip to Hedo in as many years and our third consecutive time booked with Tom's Trips. Flew out of Toronto on WestJet Flight 2702 at 10:15 a.m. but because of the weather the plane had to de-ice and we were 45 minutes late leaving. I booked exit aisle seats thinking that this may give us some extra comfort on the way down. Alas, that was not to be, when we landed Herladyship said there were kids in the seats behind her and were up and down and kicked the back of her seat all the way.
Arrival at Mobay
We of course arrived in Montego Bay 45 minutes late, de-planed and began the arduous walk to the Arrivals Hall. We didn't think it would be crowded…the reason we fly on Sunday…but this was a real bonus. The Arrivals Hall was empty! We were directed to the first available booth (there are now 36 of them) and we were on our way to the baggage carousel. When we got there my bag was off the carousel and Herladyship's soon came around and we were off to customs (again, no one in line ahead of us) and then to the Sun Holidays Desk where they had our bus reservation waiting for us. We were then taken to Margaritaville by the Sun Holiday rep. and told to wait there and he would be back to get us when the bus was ready…this was good as we both had a thirst you could photograph! As our tongues were soaking up the first Red Stripe I mentioned to Herladyship that the lady sitting at the next table looked familiar (and I suspected she was a Hedo girl). Herladyship went over and spoke to her and it turns our her and her husband were our neighbours at Hedo last year! Ok, more beers and conversation and the rep. finally came and got us as our bus was ready. Whoops…better get some "roadies" for the trip. Initially there were only the four of us on the bus but we had to go around to the Departures area and pick up 4 more people. In total about 45 minutes before the bus left. The trip went very fast as the four of us talked all the way and I don't remember seeing much…or could it be because of multiple Red Stripes. Just one stop at Riu hotel to drop off the unfortunate couple who were not going to Hedo…oh yeah, it also provided a brief pit stop for one person who had to dispose of recycled Red Stripe.
Arrival at Hedo
We arrived at Hedo shortly after Riu. The remodelled front lobby was very striking, very modern indeed and a wonderful improvement indeed. As we were late our Tom's Trips rep.was not at the desk but our package was ready for us at the main check and Charlie was dispatched to escort us to our Ocean View Regular room. However, a short stop at the dining room bar was in order to refresh ourselves with yet another Red Stripe. Because we were late arriving, it was almost dinner time and Herladyship insisted on unpacking and storing things…I dutifully made it look as if I was unpacking and actually took out a pair of shorts to wear to dinner…after all, it was School Girl night and I didn't want to miss anything. Once in the dining room we met up with our friends C&S and what I will refer to as the "Baltimore Crew", many of whom we knew from previous trips. Amazing how the first couple of hours is spent greeting old friends and making some new ones!
Upon arrival of course the first thing that is noticeable is the lobby, for the most part the layout is different. The dining room is modernized with basically the same layout (others have posted pictures). The upper pool was renovated (a few months ago) and looks much more upscale than previous. A great addition and upgrade is the Prude Grill or Chop House, which is open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks (limited menu)….a much better use of that resource!
While we were there a DJ booth was erected by the nude pool.
The Spa is still under construction but I did peek through the window at the construction work and seems it will fit the same decor as the other renovations.
Because the courtyard is used so much in the evening now (dare I say by the people who were driven out of the Piano Bar?), the boutique is open much later in the evening (1 a.m. ?) due to the increased traffic around there.
Sunday - School Girl Night, one of my favourites, however, we did not participate as we had just arrived. Lots of repressed Catholic girls though, which was a great way to start the week!
Monday - Bare As You Dare Glow Party, large participation for this one. It must have been fun on the pool deck as I don't remember much, except for Herladyship calling Hugh on the big white telephone at 1 a.m!
Tuesday - Jamaican Colours, very high participation for this night as it is very easy. Peter Lloyd entertained after dinner with a short history of reggae (3rd time we've seen this but still enjoy it).
Wednesday - Fetish Night, this is one of my new favourites, not because we are into anything, but the costumes were amazing. There was a costume contest, but only 3 ladies were brave enough to get on stage. The ECs also put on a great stage show.
Thursday- Toga, Foam Party. A larger selection of togas this year than our previous year. We really looked forward to this as last year the foam party was a bit of a bust due to the foam machine not working properly. This year the foam was head high. We went in for about 10 minutes and it was a lot of fun, however there was a disproportionate number of single guys and one was particularly grabby, he was told a couple of times to stop by different ladies but he carried on so we left. Took a dip in the pool outside the Disco to try to get the foam off, that stuff is really slippery! In 6 trips, this was our first time actually in the Disco.
Friday - Rock Star, some participation but a great stage show!
Saturday - Hats and Heels- this had moderate participation but was kind of overshadowed by a group that had just arrived with a different theme.
N.B. There were costumes competitions for every theme but as we all know, the person with the most friends there wins, regardless of the elaborateness of the costume. This year the participants were not asked to do anything outrageous as they have been in the past. New to us this year was the "EC's Choice"…The ECs go around the dining room and choose what they deem to be the best costume, which seems a lot more fair.
The Piano Bar is loud to the point of sensory depravation (as discussed on another board). I would go in to get drinks before the din actually started and then we would hang out in the courtyard with our friends and get drinks from the dining room bar.
Sunday Goat Races
This was something new for us. We had a late flight on Sunday so we were able to see the goat races held that afternoon. They compete for the "Winston Cup" much the same as a horse race, however, each goat has a human handler who escorts the goat, the rule is that the goat must cross the finish line before the handler. Bets are taken and odds are posted. I kind of felt sorry for the goats at first, but then one of them took a crap in the sand and shortly after one of the human spectators stepped in it. I suppose the goats do get some measure of retribution! LOL
We always enjoy the food in the buffet as it has improved greatly in the past 2 years, lobster night is a favourite of mine. We usually have lunch from the nude pool grill which is always good but the wait time can be long, depending who is cooking. Went to Pastafari one night for a quiet dinner, food and service was excellent and our waitress was a hoot! The most striking improvement is the prude grill or chop house which is open for lunch,dinner and late night snacks. We had dinner one night, the menu was somewhat limited but very good. We also had lunch one day, great spot to get out of the sun for a while. We also stopped in for a grill cheese sandwich late one night as the munchies had set in. The prude grill/chop house is a much better use of resources and brings more people to the prude side (such as it is LOL). Unfortunately we did not make it to Harry San. No reservations are required anywhere which to us is a real bonus. We did go to the Nude Grill for pizza one night, they no longer use frozen pizzas and are now made from scratch, takes a little longer but they are good…especially after a night of drinking!
Seemed to be almost nonexistent, we didn't see any PDAs on the beach, however, the pool and hot tub area was a different story! There was one "well known" couple who were told by security as they were about to get started but that was about it.
The only person we saw busted by the Nude Police was at the Nude Bar after midnight while waiting for pizza. During the day there were a few bottoms and later on in the week a much younger group came in and more bottoms were worn. Just can't understand why there is a rule for some and not for others.
The Pub Crawl
This year again our friend "C" organized a private pub crawl for 14 of us. The group was divided into two van taxis for a set price and off we went. Our first stop was Collette's where Collette recognized some of us from the year before and of course had to take photos for her Facebook page. Each couple or pair of couples would take turns paying for rounds on this trip. Our second stop was the Red Dragon, just around the corner from Collette's. I was not even out of the van when a local took my hand and offered any drugs that I wanted…he had them all! After politely declining his most considerate offer and explaining we had enough trouble with the booze, we went into the bar and asked the barman how many beer we could get for 20 bucks. Amazing how many you get, I think there were about 10! Next stop was the Swordfish which had a rooftop bar with amazing views…this place was really nice and would definitely stop again. After we finished our "20 bucks for how many beers" we carried on to a bar on the cliffs just past Rick's called Sir D's (Firewater Love Nest). A great eclectic bar with a wonderful view. Some were getting "beered out" and started ordering other types of drinks. I looked at the drink list and saw the usual array of specialty drinks but one in particular caught my eye. It was called "High Punch". I had to ask and the barman explained it was a ganja based drink. OK, I have smoked the stuff, eaten it and I just had to try drinking it (for experiment sake only of course). It wasn't bad but the aftertaste was definitely ganja. I didn't think it had much effect, or was it the 5 or 6 beers I had already consumed. Some of us wanted to stay there for the sunset but two couples had never been to Rick's so it was off to Rick's for sunset (everyone has to do this at least once but I refuse to buy the t-shirt). After Rick's we headed back to Hedo. Some of those eclectic little places that you see along the road in the day time sure look much better at night with all the coloured lights on. Once at Hedo we freshened up and met with the pub group for dinner. Damn I was hungry…Herladyship looked on incredulously as I ate what amounted to two dinners. Don't know for sure, but I suspect I had the infamous "munchies"!
Drink the Water…Please!
One lady from our particular group became very ill and was bedridden for a couple of days and could not keep anything down. Apparently she had been drinking straight liquor and despite continuous warnings to drink water, she did not. Her condition was so bad that a doctor had to be called to the resort. Because she could not keep anything down they had to give her two IVs to hydrate her. The doctor's itemized bill came to $1800 US…and they wanted cash! This is not a rumour as her husband told us this directly. Unfortunately, this was the day we had to leave so we trust that she did recover.
These people are always full of energy, and some of them have only been at Hedo a few weeks. This year we noticed their shows were more risqué than previous years with some topless or near topless performances on stage. One of my favourites is the EC who does the MC work at the nude pool in the afternoon, the guy (can't remember his name) is hilarious and very quick witted. Another EC who we had not seen before is Miguel who performs in the shows at night, a great singer and we really enjoyed his performances.
Of course there is Winston…the self described "stage slut"…who put on performances right up to his usual standard. He even dressed in drag one night, which he does not do very often…he says it's too much work being a girl!
Although not an EC, we always enjoy Mark Maze of Tom's Trips who is not only a great DJ but also put on some great performances singing Motor City music and also sang a duet with Winston on guest talent night.
The weather over all was very good the first 5 days with only a few sun showers and some showers in the middle of the night. By Friday the wind had picked up and the ocean rough, so much so that the boats were pulled up on the beach. Saturday was overcast and windy with 3 foot waves coming in…it is the first time I have seen the nude pool empty in the middle of the afternoon…but the hot tub was doing a booming business!
During our stay a massive storm hit the east coast of the US and virtually thousands of flights were cancelled. Most of our US friends were scrabbling at the end of the week to rebook flights and had to stay at Hedo for a couple of extra days…I dream of this! We did feel bad for those coming in whose vacations were delayed or even cancelled.
As we all know it is the open minded people who help make Hedo what it is. I will refrain from mentioning any names to protect the guilty, but we had a great time with C&S, the "Baltimore Crew" and all the fellow Canucks and new friends we met. Also met up with old friends foxxyandhound and got to meet 2naughty and naughtycamcpl (from another forum). The circle of Hedo friends just keeps getting bigger!
The Limping Loonie
We talked to many Canadians there about the falling Canadian Dollar and almost all said their plans were on hold for the next year, either a reduced trip or none at all. In our experience, there are about 25-30% Canadians at the resort. Don't know what effect this will have on Hedo but the travel industry in general is down from Canada. We do have the option of going to Cuba for an inexpensive warm vacation, but quite frankly, it can be boring compared to Hedo.
Return to Montego Bay Airport
The day before we left I checked in with Westjet. Because Herladyship was "not amused" with her situation on the way down, I decided to upgrade our seats to WestJet Plus…lots of leg room and a few other perks. We had a later flight and did not have to leave the resort until 4 p.m. Consequently we were the only ones on the bus so we took in the scenery we missed on the way there. When we arrived at the airport the driver said to us "it is OK if you want to leave a tip". We always tip anyway but thought this was funny…hey, if you don't ask, you don't get! Checked in with Westjet and got our boarding passes…and yes, we had Plus seats. Jimmy Buffetts for our traditional dinner and the 8:20 flight left right on time.
We have been home for 4 days and are still trying to get our eyeballs straightened and dealing with "The Liar"…also known as the bathroom scale! We can't really say if this was our best trip as they are all a bit different (except for the first one of course…no comparison) but we are definitely scheming to find our way back again.
CapnMorgan and Herladyship (on ATF)
'John' on TTOL
a.k.a. John and Toddy
[color:"red"]May you always have sand in your shoes...and a dollar in your pocket! [/color]