Alicia Kontowski & Jakob Schmidt will say “I do” in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica on June 11, 2019 @ 5:00 PM.
The Destination – Jamaica
Jamaica, the third largest island of the Great Antilles island is 4243 square miles in size (about the size of Connecticut) and lies 90.1 miles south of Cuba. Jamaica is the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean Sea.
The island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus and remained in Spain’s possession until 1655. During that time is was known as Hispaniola. In 1655 England conquered the island and renamed it Jamaica. Until 1838, Jamaica was the leading sugar exporter in the world largely due to large plantations with African slaves and Chinese and Indian indentured laborers. All slaves were emancipated in 1838 and Jamaica became fully independent from Britain in 1962.
Jamaican people are culturally unique due to mixed marriages from many backgrounds. Their motto, “Out of Many, One People” underscores their friendly nature and lively spirit. You will find no other island as welcoming as that of Jamaica.
Jamaica is known as a tropical paradise with lush greenery, mountains and beautiful white sand beaches. Prehistoric Jamaica was volcanic, and the mountains that soar to 7402 feet are higher than any in the eastern half of North America. These mountains run all through the island’s center. Some 150 rivers, numerous waterfalls and an abundance of trees and flowering plants are found on the island, earning Jamaica the title “land of wood and water”.
Montego Bay is the capital of the St. James parish and second largest city in Jamaica. It is also the location of the international airport you will fly into when arriving for the wedding. Surrounding Montego Bay one can find many first class resorts. Here you can bask in the sun on your soft white sand beach while looking at the sparkling turquoise blue Caribbean Sea. In the distance pine trees in the mountains, overhead palm trees swaying in the breeze. What a marvelously beautiful island.
Doesn’t it sound like a wonderful place for a wedding!
The Iberostar Rose Hall Suites is a 5-star All Inclusive luxury hotel. All guestrooms have been carefully appointed to meet the needs of every traveler. The beachfront hotel boasts spacious rooms with breathtaking sea views. With proximity to the urban area of Rose Hall, guests can experience traditional Jamaican lifestyle and enjoy all the island has to offer.
- Luxurious Guestrooms. The Iberostar Rose Hall Suites strives to offer guests the ultimate in rest and relaxation during their stay. To accommodate a variety of visitors, this Jamaican hotel features 317 Junior Suites and 2 Presidential Suites. All of the fully furnished rooms are spacious and inviting with magnificent views. Your dream luxury vacation comes true!
- The Ultimate in Fun. The Iberostar Rose Hall features extensive recreation offerings for all guests, young and old alike. The youngest of travelers will be in heaven at the hotel’s exclusive kids’ clubs while adults can choose from the many exciting sports options or relax at the spa with an indulgent body treatment.
- Delectable Dining. The best international cuisines to please any palate are served in the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites’ buffet and à la carte restaurants. Appetizing Italian and Mediterranean specialties, as well as meat, fish and seafood dishes are available.
The couple has reserved a block of rooms in various room categories for guests to choose from.
Standard Junior Suite
Superior Standard Junior Suite
Superior Oceanview Junior Suite
All rooms have one king or 2 double beds, private balcony or patio. Rooms include flat screen tv, DVD player, alarm clock, air conditioning and ceiling fan, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, and a mini bar stocked daily with beer, soft drinks and bottled water. Complimentary WiFi is available.
To learn more, or make your reservation, please give Sue or Paul Adams @ GetAway Travel LLC a call, they will assist you with every detail. 262-538-2140
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I drink the water?
All major hotels have their own system to re-purify the water. Many hotels and restaurants use an additional method of sterilizing the water by adding a solution called Microdin. However, due to the salts and chemicals used, many tourists and locals prefer to drink bottled water. Bottled water will be available at the hotel and is stocked in your mini fridge in your room.
- What foods should I avoid so I don’t get sick?
Fruits and vegetables may come direct to a store from local farms and are not washed well. Avoid eating fruits or raw vegetables from market stands or direct from a grocery store without washing first. Hotels and restaurants catering to tourists will purify their fruits and vegetables before serving. While it is not necessary to avoid coconuts, keep in mind that large amounts (like drinking pina-colada’s all day) may cause intestinal upset.
- What else can I do to avoid illness?
Always wash your hands before eating. If you decide to eat from an open air food stand, use discretion. Drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids and do not become dehydrated. Drink bottled water.
- What documents will I need to enter Jamaica and return to the US?
The US passport is the only acceptable proof of citizenship for travel via airplane to Jamaica. If you do not have a passport, please visit http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html Currently passports are taking approximately 6 – 8 weeks to obtain so do not put off applying until the last-minute. Be sure the name you list on your passport is the one you give Alicia & Jake’s destination wedding specialist (Sue or Paul Adams) when making your reservation?
– If you already have a passport, make sure it will be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, if not renew it now.
-Make sure there is at least 1 empty page available for stamping (not including the very last page).
– And finally make sure the passport is in good repair (i.e. the page with your photo is not soiled, wrinkled, been through the wash or otherwise damaged – there is a chip in there that must scan).
- Are any other documents required?
No, there are no other documents required, however, if you have any special concerns, please feel free to discuss them with Sue or Paul when making your reservations.
- What do I wear to a destination wedding?
Alicia & Jake are planning a casually elegant ceremony. Men will want to wear, nice shorts or lightweight slacks and collared shirts. No ties or jackets are necessary. Ladies might want to choose a sun dress or dressy Capri pant outfit. For footwear, we recommend sandals. The couple requests no tank tops or beachwear please.
- Will my cell phone work in Jamaica?
Many cell providers have plans which cover Jamaica. Contact your cell provider to get your options. Remember, if you have a smart phone, you’ll need to ask about their international data and texting options as well. Or just leave the cell phone at home and relax!
- What if I have other questions?
If you have questions that are not answered here, do not hesitate to contact Sue or Paul. They will be glad to answer any question you might have; they are here to help make your trip a great experience. Remember the only dumb question is the one you decide not to ask!
Just the Facts
Electricity: Most Jamaican resorts use 110 volts (like the US), however some may also have 220 volts so taking an adaptor for hair dryers and/or curling irons is wise. Of note, all rooms have hair dryers so you do not need to bring your own.
Language: The official language is English but Jamaican patois, a combination of several languages, is spoken throughout the island. At the resort, you will have English speaking staff so no communication barriers should exist.
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time , Jamaica does not observe daylight savings time.
Money: The official currency is the Jamaican Dollar. You can exchange money at the airport using an ATM. Remember you are traveling to an all-inclusive resort where tipping is not necessary. The only thing you’ll need cash for is if you plan to go shopping or do an off resort excursion. Any charges at the resort may be placed on your room and paid by credit card upon departure such as spa treatments.
The exchange rate varies daily but typically $1 US is equal to about 124.95 Jamaican dollars. When staying at an all-inclusive resort it is not necessary to exchange money as you have prepaid for almost everything. For expenses at the resort like spa treatments, your credit or debit card is fine. For shopping outside the resort, major credit cards are widely accepted. If you need to obtain cash while there, we recommend going to the nearest ATM and withdrawing only the amount you think you’ll need, otherwise you’ll have to pay to exchange again when you leave the country.
Safety: No matter where you travel, you should always exercise safe travel behaviors.
• Always utilize your room safe to protect your valuables (passports, watches/jewelry, wallets, cameras) while you are out of the room.
• Always lock doors and patios when leaving the room.
• We recommend making a photo copy of your passport and carrying it in a place separate within your luggage in the event yours is lost or stolen. We also suggest you give a copy of your passport to someone back home as this will expedite replacement if needed.
• Do not participate in risky behaviors i.e. do not attempt to buy drugs
• Avoid taking or wearing expensive jewelry
• Do not take large amounts of cash, take what you need from an ATM
• Register your trip with the embassy before you travel. That way your country is aware of your whereabouts in case of an emergency.
Taxis: For off property excursions, we recommend participating in an organized tour.
Telephones/Internet: To dial Jamaica from the US, dial 1, 876 and then the 7-digit phone number. Check with your cellular provider to determine if your cell phone will work in Jamaica.
Tipping: At most all-inclusive resorts tips are not expected or required. However, if there is someone who has shown you extra special service a small token of your appreciation is always welcome. We suggest taking a small supply of singles to give a special thanks to the person who cleans your room or that friendly bartender who has been making your drinks just the way you like them!
Optional but Strongly Recommended
Travel insurance is strongly recommended and multiple options exist. Please be sure to discuss this with Destination Wedding Specialists Sue or Paul Adams at GetAway Travel LLC.