So I’m finally home, not like its an actual weekend though. I probably need to be chugging Emergen-C.
As I said before, I had a week at home and then jumped right back into a 9 day stay back in my beautiful Jamaica. This time for the WeddingMoon specialist FAM. I was excited to learn more about what all goes into the weddings and honeymoons so I can more accurately talk about it to my agents.
I had no idea what I was in for. I was FINALLY able to get back to Ocho Rios, I haven’t seen the resort since last December and they’ve completely re-done the entire decorating theme and relaunched it as OCHI. Think South Beach in Jamaica, thats the feel they’re going for. Since we had such a big group (almost 40 people) they were able to acommodate us in the Butler village 🙂
I’ve heard it a few times, and the first time, I was the same way…”I’ll feel weird having a butler, I don’t really need one, I can do everything myself”. Yeah, until you actually have one for a few days and you become so super spoiled that you never want to go on a vacation without one again. Thats what happens. I got all checked in to my villa (it’s 4 separate rooms with living rooms and little “kitchen” space that share one pool) and asked my butler if there was any way to get a spa treatment today since it was already 4pm. He made a call and called me back on the butler cell phone I was given, and they were able to squeeze me in right then. I was in serious need of some deep tissue loving. The therapist noticed. They always suggest the dermatologica stress release oil when I come in… I can’t imagine why! 😉
That evening was the first event of many – it was an intro to what we’d be doing the next 4 days. WEDDINGS.
When they say “your wedding, your style”, boy do they mean it. What’s more my style than a movie themed wedding setup! It was a delicous dinner with live music and we all made our way to the brand new Speakeasy that has been built on the property, The Rabbit Hole. The password was Gin Giggle, or something like that.
Big Momma is the local talent, she had taken some time off to rest and this was her first night back. We were seriously trying to figure out how to get her to the US for American Idol or some show like that. She’s incredible.
This place trully transports you back into that 1920s feel. I felt very Gatsby.
By the end of it, we had 39 new WeddingMoon Specialists!! Myself included.
One quick light hors d’oeuvres (does anyone else have to google how to spell that? no? just me? cool.) lunch and on to Resort tours we went!
Ochi, Royal Plantation, and Beaches Ochi were on the docket that day.
By the time we got back, my dogs were BARKING. Luckily we had an hour or two at leisure, and on to the beach we went.
Did I tell you how much I love the butlers? Especially mine this trip? They always left me little notes with drawings, but I was not expecting THIS when I walked in after the beach.
ahhhh happiness. We packed up and shipped off to Beaches Negril the next day for resort tours of Whitehouse, Sandals Negril and Beaches Negril and then a farewell dinner with all the stops. The week was meant to be set up like so: first night – Rehearsal dinner, next – small lunch reception, last – FULL Cocktail hour and Wedding Reception. I think they nailed it.
Apparently I looked hungry because they gave me the biggest piece of steak ever. I shared with the guy next to me, his piece was sad compared to mine.
While everyone else decided to hit up Club Liquid on resort for their nightcap, I was back in the room packing up and crawling into bed. I had planned a dive back at Whitehouse the next day as I waited for my own group of 27 to arrive. That meant my bags had to be outside my room door by 5am, and my transfer was leaving at 6am. I chatted with the driver quite a bit about bringing more voluntourism to the island, and encouraging guests to get out, explore, and meet the locals.
Unfortunately Hurricane Joaquin decided to blow by bringing thunderstorms in and cancelling all watersports, so I was left to my own devices in the lobby attempting to answer e-mails. I decided I might as well try to schedule another spa service while I was waiting, everyone keeps raving about the hot stone massage, and the next available one was for 3pm. I waited till about 12pm to get into my room, faceplanted on the bed for 20 minutes, and then continued working.
They weren’t messing around about that Hot Stone Massage. It’s awesome, or ‘interesting’ as the therapist put it.
The thought of hosting 27 travel agents, most of whom you have not met, for 4 days is a little intimidating. Trying to make a good impression, while also giving each of them the attention they need to feel confident enough to sell the product. Luckily I had a veteran teammate with me to guide me along.
We basically re-did my whole last week, backwards, with a new group. We started with a workshop and a resort tour of Whitehouse.
The next day loaded a bus to Negril to tour Sandals, Beaches and the Grand Pineapple.
I was somehow Roped into getting up at 6am to workout with our Director of Operations. I will say it’s the only time I saw the Jamaican Sunrise in 9 days.
And then the group was off to OCHI. We made a pit-stop at the flagship resort in Montego Bay (my first ever) and as I told all the agents, “when I walk in there, it just feels like home”. They understood when they saw it. Most of the comments were “WHY do you make it so hard for us to choose our favorite!!?”. Not my fault, wait till you see the other islands too 🙂
Everyone was able to dine around themselves at OCHI, I of course made my way back to Soy, the sushi restaurant and stuffed my face.
The last full day was resort tours of Ochi, Royal Plantation, Beaches Ochi and the Ochi Golf Course.
I hadn’t seen the golf course before, so that was a nice addition to our trip. While I defintely made all the agents work for their trip, most were super supportive and appreciative for the opportunity. They had built their businesses mainly on Disney and now that they’ve opened their eyes to Sandals and Beaches, they are looking to shift that business. All it took was a little attention and personalization.
A long 9 days, almost 76,000 steps walked 8 resorts viewed twice, one golf course, and not much sleep. But hey, thats a FAM trip.
I was able to spend one short night at home before repacking my suitcase and jumping in the car for a 5 hour drive to Birmingham. I had a webinar Wednesday evening to do from the hotel, meetings at 10am Thursday, follow up calls to make sure agents are indeed coming to my event on the 13th, and a Caribbean Event before I could drive back on Friday.
I was also able to pick up the snack items for the staff and VIP goody bags, get links taken out of my watches, and buy some new shoes (I only needed nude pumps).
Saturday I did let myself sleep in a little before I made my list of everything else I needed at WalMart. I thought I picked up everything…. but of course as soon as I got home I realized a few things I forgot. Guess I’ll be going back after I clean out my car and visit my storage unit tomorrow.
I decided to bring a little New Orleans into my Unveiling, reach the agents on their home turf, so for the Weddings presentation I createed my own second line umbrellas. We’ll see if they go over well.
Again, I should not be unsupervised while arts and craftsing….
My apartment needed cleaning anyway… and my clothes are still in the dryer from 9 days ago. At least I got one room back to normal. I don’t even want to think about what my bedroom looks like.
Being an adult sucks sometimes! Good thing I get facetime calls like this to calm it all down 🙂
Next up is my Unveiling on Oct. 13…. did I mention my entire team, the Miami team AND our Chairman are all going to be here? #Stressful