If you are looking for the ultimate Spring Break experience, you are probably already booked and ready to go to Jamaica. We’ve put together a guide to get you through the best week of your life while knowing the ins-and-outs, where the parties are, a Spring Break playlist for the hottest music and how to survive Spring Break in this amazing Caribbean hot spot, STS style.
Picture this: you are lounging on the beach, rum punch in hand, Bob Marley playing in the distance, clear blue water speckled with small fishing boats ahead of you, relaxing with friends after the most amazing week of your life… How did you get here? What will you look back on? What was your favorite part of the trip? Let’s start from the very beginning so that you can get the full experience.
So, your flight from the states wasn’t really that long, but you knew that, right? Just 580 miles off the coast of Florida, the flight was only about three hours; just enough time to rest up for the long days ahead of you. As you step off the plane, you note that the weather is amazing. Because the average temperature in Jamaica is around 85 degrees, you are sure to enjoy a tropical climate without overheating.
As you present your passport to customs in Montego Bay, you are offered your first Red Stripe beer, the national beer of Jamaica. Savor this moment, Red Stripe does NOT taste the same back in the states. If you enjoy it back at college, you will fall in love in Jamaica. This lager is brewed within spitting distance of the Sangster International Airport. The beer doesn’t get any fresher than this. Get used to it; Red Stripe will probably be your drink of choice for the next week.
Once you collect your luggage, your STS rep will be available to answer any questions, offer assistance to purchase your meal plan, VIP party packages, or add any additional side trips. You will then get on a bus which will transport you to your hotel. At this point, your reps will discuss all Dos-and-Don’ts for your trip. This is a personal service offered by STS and is unmatched with any other company in the industry. Take it from these Spring Break pros, they are seasoned veterans of this non-stop party who will be there the whole time and if you follow their suggestions, you will be in great hands.
During the Day
Pretend you just woke up. Okay, maybe you don’t even remember the night before, but who’s counting? The first thing you want to do is grab a cup of the amazing Blue Mountain Coffee. Take it from the Spring Break pros at STS; there is NOTHING that compares to waking up to a cup of this stuff to snap you back in action. (Spring Break Tip #1: Coffee can cure a pounding headache. The caffeine inside that delicious cup is what’s used in Excedrin.) Back to the coffee, it is a major export of Jamaica’s that travels all the way to Japan! So, soak it up while you are here because that college budget back home cannot afford it. Better yet, bring some home for your folks.
After that morning cup of joe, you are welcome to join the STS crew at one of the restaurants that is featured in your meal plan. Breakfast is generally American fare at either Kuyaba, Shields or Margaritaville. Here, you will be able to meet up with other Spring Breakers from 9 am to 12 pm to relive the previous night’s endeavors. Eat up! You are going to need lots of energy for the activities ahead of you.
STS also offers the Hangover Helper at Jamaica Tamboo from 10 to 11 am for all STS travelers. Free rum punch will certainly snap you back into action. Hair of the dog, anyone?
Now, what will you do for the rest of your day? Well, the possibilities are endless. One of the most simple, yet satisfying things to do in Jamaica is to lay on the beach and soak up the sun. (Spring Break Tip #2: Before you take on your day, remember the sunblock! The sun’s rays are very strong in the Caribbean and you will regret it if you do not slather this stuff on. Listen to your mother! ) There is a white sand beach in Negril that stretches seven-miles. Stare out into the clear blue water and enjoy a cocktail or take a walk down the beach. This is an experience all in its own. Take a look at the culture that surrounds you. The open-air bars, shops and the smiles on the locals’ faces will certainly make you feel irie (Jamaican slang for worry free).
The vendors who walk around on the beach add to your experience. They may sell you some local fruit or offer to braid your hair, but don’t feel threatened; they will generally be just as happy to hang out and chat. This fun atmosphere is what makes the people so care free.
One great thing about Jamaica’s less intense law system is that there is no “open container” law. Partiers can walk around and sip their beers or rum punches without harassment from law enforcement. However, contradictory to popular belief, certain other substances are NOT legal. Yes, marijuana is plentiful here and somewhat accepted, but trust me, you do not want to end up in the prison system. If you plan to partake, be discreet and you will not have any problems.
When walking along the beach, stop in some of the local bars and shops. You will be surprised at how far the US dollar goes here. The exchange rate will get you a nice Red Stripe for about a buck if you find a good spot. The shopping in Jamaica tends to come with less inflation than other Spring Break destinations. The majority of items are not overpriced just for the week. Take full advantage to bring back memorabilia.
Very Happy Hour
STS knows and offers the best spots for partying. We will be rounding up your fellow Spring Breakers for many different occasions throughout the week, whether they are trips to Dunn River Falls or the Booz Cruise. We are here to ensure you have the best trip of your life!
Your afternoons will be filled with free flowing alcohol if you sign up for the VIP Party Package that STS offers. Each afternoon, the crew will meet up at Jamaica Tamboo in Negril or the Groovy Grouper in Montego Bay to pour plentiful drinks from noon to 4 pm. During this extreme happy hour, experience “College in Jamaica” with beer pong, cornhole, flip cup, chugging contests, DJs spinning hot tracks, wet T-shirt contests, and more.
Happy hour is held at Jamaica Tamboo each day at from 5 to 6 pm and 2 hours of free drinks will be served at Margaritaville for all STS travelers. If you truly want the hook up and VIP treatment, come party with us.
With this exclusive pass, you will be invited to join our Booze Cruise, the hottest catamaran ride in Jamaica. Party goers can sip a rum punch made from Appleton Rum, the Jamaican brewed rum, while they cruise up the coast of Negril before stopping to party atRick’s Café. With a little liquid courage, you can take the jump off a 50 foot cliff and jump straight into the Caribbean. The locals tend to get in on the action, performing stunts jumping off of trees reaching almost 80 feet and landing in the crystal blue water. Live reggae bands play soothing sounds while you network with college kids from all over the country. This is a great time to meet others and make connections. You will be living it up with this group all week.
At Your Resort
There are tons of cool things to do, right from the comfort of your temporary home base. Most resorts feature a pool, a beach and daily activities to entertain you. Non-motorized water sports are pretty much a given and are standard across the board. Kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling near the reefs are great. To kick it up a little, most resorts offer jet skiing, parasailing and scuba diving for just a little bit more. Other activities you can find around the island include horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, ATV riding, and zip line tours. Ask your activity director or STS rep how you can get in on the action.
STS offers great trips to add to your spring break vacation so that you can get the full experience. In Negril, guests can venture out on a snorkeling cruise where we will sail to Bloody Bay and party on a private beach. The price includes unlimited beverages and a snack to picnic on the white sand beach.
Also in Negril, The Sunset Party Cruise, is a great way to enjoy the sea and watch a beautiful sunset; a must in Jamaica. When the sun goes down, the view is incredible. The highlight of each day is watching the day turn to night as the sun sets over the Caribbean Sea. It is truly remarkable. The Sunset Party Cruise kicks off with unlimited beverages, where we will cruise to Negril’s scenic cliffs. Jump right off with a little liquid courage!
For those who want to see an untouched side of Jamaica, the Y’s Falls trip that leaves from Negril is a site to behold. This spot offers swimming and scenery with the best rope swing in Jamaica! Bring your camera because you will want to show pictures of the falls to everyone back home.
If you will be visiting Montego Bay, the Dunn’s River Falls trip is a great way to see this side of the island’s beautiful landscape. Climb all the way to the top and remember to take photos! Afterwards, we will go to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and the legendary Bob Marley Museum.
If you are worried about missing out on Negril while in Montego Bay, we have got you covered. We plan a day trip to Negril for a beach party so that you are not left out. Party on the beach once you get there with reggae bands, free flowing drinks and many contests to be won. We then endeavor to Rick’s Café for some grub, music and cliff diving.
The snorkeling cruise in Montego Bay takes you on a three hour cruise aboard the Tropical Dreamer to see beautiful reefs, tropical fish and soak up the sun. Again, drinks will be flowing and reggae music blaring. Don’t miss out!
For a full list of activities, be sure to get with your STS rep. They know what they are talking about and will give you the full scoop.
Don’t forget to eat dinner at some point! Because you have the free meal plan, you will be hooked up with the most authentic cuisine around, if you choose, or enjoy American favorites like french fries and macaroni and cheese. (Spring Break Tip #3- Drink the water! The water in Jamaica will not make you sick as assumed in other vacation spots. Hangovers are caused by dehydration, so drink water in between those Mai Tai’s to avoid wasting the day in your hotel room with your head in the toilet.) The spot to eat will vary each night, so be sure to check the roster and join your fellow party animals to break bread.
Each evening, STS hosts VIP theme parties within walking (stumbling) distance of your sleeping quarters. Enjoy open bar with music and contests and people who are there for the same reason you are; to party. With the VIP pass, STS will also get you free VIP in the nightclubs where the party happens each night. Party until 3 am at Risky Business, the Jungle and Margaritaville without paying a dime (except for tips, of course.) The best part? No dress code. Dress up or down, Jamaica’s attitude towards how you look is as laid back as the island. Show up to the club in a swim suit if you want! No shirt? No shoes? No problem… or dress to impress!
If you are looking for a more relaxed alternative to the bump and grind, join us at the bonfire on the beach. It is certainly an experience you will not soon forget. The cool breeze of the beach and crackling of the fire will renew your soul.
STS hosts a concert series each Spring Break called Jam Fest. If you are signed up for the VIP package, you will be ready to rock with the reggae bands of Jamaica. Previous guests include Shaggy and Sean Paul. If you want a taste of the real sounds of Jamaica, you need to be here.
Ready to dance? Each night club offers its own unique atmosphere. If you are a part of our VIP package, it’s pretty much open bar.Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is a great place to start. The large flat screen TVs will help you catch up on the NCAA tournament you have been missing out on. Enjoy a margarita with your fellow partiers in Montego Bay and slide down the massive two-story slide straight into the Caribbean. In Negril, the Margaritaville provides trampolines in the water. This is a college kid’s Disneyland. On Tuesday of your Spring Break, the VIP Mardi Gras party kicks off. Mardi Gras in Jamaica for Spring Break- need I say more? Other Montego Bay Margaritaville parties include Naughty Nighty Night (bring your hottest PJs), Midnight Madness and Jamaica Night. In Negril, the VIP Foam Hook-up Night will surely be a night to remember.
The Jungle in Negril is a popular after hours bar where you can party til 6 am. As a general rule, the bars in Jamaica close when the last person leaves. If you can see over the bar, you can order a drink. Here, you will experience two floors of dancing to the hottest Jamaican dancehall and reggae sounds. With VIP access, you can party like a rock star.
Risky Business, also in Negril, is an open air large bar/ club where you can party and dance all night while soaking up the cool breeze. Located on the 7 mile beach, you are in the center of the nightlife and still close to the surf and sand. With VIP parties throughout the week, you will definitely be stopping through this joint.
Before stumbling back to your room to get some shut eye, STS highly recommends soaking up that alcohol with some of the local favorites. Unlike other spring break destinations, Jamaica keeps it real. You will not find Americanized food here, unless you are on the resort. The stands that are open late out in the streets are the best spot to find authentic jerk and vibe with the locals.
Are you ready for your crash course on the food? Here we go. Jerk is the most famous of all Jamaican dishes and you may have had some knock off jerk in the states. Jerk refers to the seasoning used on chicken, pork, fish, etc. It is pretty much allspice (which they call pimento) and scotch bonnet peppers (spicy!) with cloves, scallions, cinnamon, thyme, nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper. Delicious.
Curry is another popular dish here. You have probably had it in the states. Try the goat! These dishes are generally served with rice and peas (not real peas, they are beans). Anything “festival” style is deep fried and for something quick, grab a patty. Nope, it isn’t a burger, it’s a sort of turnover filled with beef, usually. They are quick, easy to carry and eat, and taste great with a Red Stripe.
So, now that you have a clear view of what to expect, what will you look back on at the end of your trip? We suggest blogging about your travels and taking lots of pictures to document your experience. You can look back on years to come, show your friends and family (the edited version, of course) and stay connected with fellow STS travelers. Remember, what happens in Jamaica stays in Jamaica.
To get you in the mood, we have posted a playlist to get you pumped. So book your trip and get ready for the time of your life. One love.
STS’s Official Spring Break Playlist:
Love Dem by Vybez Kartel
So Special by Movado
I Feel Free by Ricky Blaze
Call On Me by Jah Cure
Blind To You Haters by Collie Buddz
All Night by Damien Marley
Stir It Up by Bob Marley
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
Night Shift by Busy Signal
Life Is A Journey by Buju Banton