compliments of hedoRick@aol.com
Getting Off The Airplane
First, fill out the customs and immigration forms on the plane. Take a pen with you. Each form needs your signature. The customs declaration is signed on the back (it's easy to forget). You'll need either a passport or both an original birth certificate (with seal imprint) and a driver's license with photo. (Couples, you will need to fill out forms for each different last name.)
There aren't any jetways in Montego Bay. Thus, you'll deplane the old-fashion way—walk down stairs into the tropical atmosphere. You've arrived!! You're in Jamaica!!!
The walk to immigration takes about five minutes and you'll go up a couple of flights of stairs. As you enter immigration (on your left) there are bathrooms that hardly anybody notices--they are typically the cleanest you can find until Hedo, so if you're slightly in need.... Then be prepared for long lines. They often open up more stations, so if you're alert you can skip to the head of the line. But it really doesn't matter because (if you're riding the bus to Hedo), the bus won't go until everyone has had time to assemble. Present your ID and immigration form.
Once you clear immigration, then you'll reclaim your luggage from a carousel and go through customs. They have carts that you can use. Present your ID and customs form.
Go straight out of customs, take a left at the first aisle, and go to the far wall. Big sign saying "SuperClubs". Tell them where you're going (Hedo) and they'll make you fill out some hotel forms to pre-register.
Then you'll wait. Just until everyone gets there. About 10-20 minutes unless you're the last. Then a couple baggage handlers will take everyone's luggage out to the bus. You'll be amazed at how much stuff they can handle. They'll want a tip--at least a buck a bag (not included, it used to be).
Then you're off to Hedo. To look at the coast/ocean, sit on the right side of the bus, inland on the left. And, they drive on the left...wait until you get on the first traffic circle! It won't be long.
It takes about an hour and a half. Two hours if they stop for a drink at a bar about a half hour from the resort. Someone always wants to stop and they will because they get a kickback. Three bucks for a Red Stripe. (They accept American dollars anywhere, so don't convert. The conversion rate was $1 US = $40 JA.) in Nov. 1999.
When you get to the resort, take your papers to the front desk. They just computerized the check-in. On my last trip, they had the keys ready in 5-10 minutes (fast by Hedo standards). In the old days, they always told you to go to the bar (or lunch) and come back in an hour for your room key. So, bring some sunscreen/beach stuff (suit?) in your carryon if your coming early in the day so you can just head on down to the beach. Or, go have a drink
Things To Bring
BIG insulated mug (for drinks, they warm up so quickly. The staff will completely fill it with ice, so there is really not all that much to drink in one. BIG is up to you--I take a 32 oz that I buy at QT gas station for $2.29--they'll even fill it with coffee in the morning).
Bring sunscreen. Pack it inside into two grocery store bags in your luggage. I always take three strengths. One for parts that don't normally see the sun and a weaker one for the rest of me. Towards the end of the week, I reduce the strength of both.
Plastic Bags: Quart zip-lock (snacks, paperbacks), grocery store bags (hardbacks) , and large (40 gallon) trash bags (great to put everything in (towels, books, etc.) if caught in the rain). Also, can be used as a poncho if rain never lets up.
A nightlight for the bathroom. The light switch is on the outside of the room and it's awfully bright at 3 a.m. And you don't know the room layout…. Also, put in a new bulb (old filaments may break bouncing around in your luggage). [Some of the bathrooms are wired so there is no electricity if the light is off.]
Bring toys (you're on vacation)-temporary tattoos, "love" dice, glitter, flavored lotions, shaving cream (butt-crack tours or shaving previously unshaved areas), ….
Pre-paid phone calling card from AT&T. Sam's has the best price ($17 for 200 minutes). Call home from the lobby. Conversion rate is 8 minutes (U.S.) = 1 minute (Jamaica).
Lysol spray--I always spray the air conditioning units (they are supposed to be new this year, but ...). A lot of times I would get a cough/sore throat there. Someone told me about the Lysol, not one since!
Treats--I have a big sweet tooth. Jamaicans think fruit is desert. Even when they have chocolate, it's bitter. So, a couple of Hershey nuggets.... (By the way, Robert's french fries are to die for...just tell him you want them well done and they'll be really crispy. No problem getting fat grams here! Also, at sunset, jerk chicken and red snapper escoveitch--the best! Do you get the idea that I live to eat?)
Whistle lanyard--best way to keep track of your room key. Just throw the whistle away. Available in sporting goods (Target).
Woolite- put a little in a small bottle to wash out something. If you wear it once, it needs washing.
Binder clips: holds towels on the chairs if you don't get a float cushion and to hang things to dry on the room curtains once they've drip dried in the bathroom.
Take your sexiest/funniest/leather-iest/virginal-est outfit for PJ nite (Tues). No matter how outrageous you think you're being, you won't be. Plus, you'll have it. If you leave it at home, you won't have the option. Prizes are given out for various categories. If they take your name at the door—you're a winner!
A belt and some safety pins for use in creating your toga for Toga night (Thursday). Accessories—anything to jazz up your toga.
Sexy clothing. Women this is your place to strut your stuff. See-through to peek-a-boo are always seen. Remember, a hard body is nice; but attitude is everything.
CD's and/or cassettes, there is a player in the room.
Bring a supply of $1 & 5 bills for tipping porters/etc. Don't accept your change in Jamaican money (they'll try).
Water shoes. A must if you're going in the ocean due to the rough bottom (coral) and sea urchins (spiny!).
Sandals. You can go barefoot if you've got tough feet. The asphalt paths have sharp stones embedded in them and get HOT.
There are two schools of thought at Hedo when it comes to packing. The minimalists think that you shouldn't take anything that you don't use (and how much stuff do you need on a nude beach?). The other school thinks that if I don't have it, I'm not going to be able to get it. Personally, I started in the second group and I'm working my way to the minimalist. You really should only need one bag and a carry-on. See below about the carry-on.
Although there is not a lot of storage space in drawers, there is a lot of room to hang stuff in the armoire (French for free standing closet). For each person there are three small drawers in the dresser, two in the nightstand, and about two feet of hanging space. The armoire has a high shelf and a low shelf (with the safe(s)) and room underneath for shoes. For some reason, it also has an iron and ironing board.
When you are finished packing for your trip, go through your suitcase and remove half of the clothing that you have packed........(then remove half again as much....) One T-shirt a day and a pair of shorts per day is more than enough. You do not need to dress up for any meals and can wear beachwear anyplace, except Pastafari.
Pastafari, the Italian sit-down restaurant, does require shoes to be worn and you must wear clothing there (they also do not allow tank tops...). For men, the preferred dress is a shirt with a collar, shorts, and shoes (tennis). For women, this is where you wear your dress up outfits (or shorts/blouse).
Carry-on. When going to Hedo, the carry-on can be your most important piece of luggage. If you're coming from a cold climate, you'll need a carry-on that can carry an immediate change of clothing or you'll burn up! Air conditioning is not an option on the bus or airport. It will be hot and humid. I choose to change before boarding the plane.
Carry-on. If you arrive at Hedo early (before dinnertime), your room might not be ready. (In the past, might not translated to wouldn't.) At this point, you need to change to your beach togs (suit, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen). Do you want to dig through your bags? If you know someone there, you can leave your carry-on stuff in their room and valuables in their safe.
Every day at Hedo has some differences. Check the activities board in the main dining room and at the Dive shop. This lists all the scheduled activities for the day in English and Spanish... There are a lot of local places to visit in Negril, and they can be reached by hiring a cab or bus at the hotel for a fee. The roads in Jamaica are not the best. Distant travel to other parts of the island can be all day or longer excursions. There are regular scheduled tours daily listed on the boards or ask at the front desk. There is almost always a bus to Rick's Cafe in the late afternoon and returning after sunset.
Reservations for Pastafari are made at the Tour Desk (opposite registration). It is closed on Thursdays (Toga).
Veronica's is a great place—one of my favorites at Hedo. Before and after dinner, it is a nice place for a quiet drink. And you can talk to Veronica—one of the nicest people they have. But as it approaches 10:30, the whole atmosphere changes when David (the piano player/singer) walks in.
David does a sing-a-long starting at 10:30, Weds-Sunday. Do NOT picture singing songs around a campfire. This is Hedo, after all. David's specialties are "the big bamboo and "piece-by-piece. If it gets dull, he'll start the crowd singing a warped "summer love (Grease). If you have a great voice, you'll find an appreciative crowd. I generally wait until everyone is completely drunk (especially me) before I try to sing.
Plan on spending sunset to (sunset + 1 hour) at the nude hot tub. We call it Happy Hour. Die hards make that (sunset - hour) to 7:30 (when they treat the hot tub). The hot tub also gets crowds around 10, midnight, and 2 a.m. (but it's not that exact). Lots of people end their day with 15 minutes in the hot tub; but, being Hedo, sometimes that stretches to an hour or two depending upon the company there and the quality of shows. (;>}}
These activities are highly biased; i.e., things I've been known to do or thought I might do…. Prude beach activities probably occur, but how would I know?
||Coffee and light snacks
||Robert McMahon's Grill|
|8:00 - 10:30
||Main dinning hall|
|11:30 - 10:00
||Robert McMahon's Grill|
|12:30 - 2:30
||Main dinning hall|
|6:30 - ~Midnight
||Pastafar,, reservation required|
||Jerk Chicken/Escoveitch Snapper
(tastiest treats in all Hedo)
|Robert McMahon's Grill|
|7:30 - 9:00
||Main dinning hall|
||Main dinning hall|
|Midnight - ?
||(upon request) front desk|
|Everyday (To Many to List All)
|7:30 - noon
||Individual tennis and squash lessons
||Scuba dive (deep, ~90 ft.) (reservations needed)
||Scuba dive (shallow, ~60 ft)
||Lunch time spin
||main dinning hall|
||Nude Hot Tub|
||Jerk Chicken/Escoveitch Snapper
|11 - ???
In addition, you can go sailing, water skiing, snorkeling, sailboarding, etc whenever you choose. Just talk to the staff to arrange. Also, guests arrange activities (butt crack tours, etc.). Just talk to ringleaders to join.
|Lunch Time Spin|
|Everyday has a different activity after lunch to entertain those wanting to stay out of the mid-day sun|
||The one to make all week|
||Please buy, buy, buy|
||Mr. Body Motion
||For the women|
Theme Nights. There are only two I pay attention to: PJ and Toga, although each night has a theme.
The PJ party starts at 11 (normally in the disco) on Tuesdays so after dinner put on your outfit. It doesn't matter how much thought and planning I put into my outfit, the best I've ever done is win second or third prize. There are many categories: virginal, sexiest, S/M, funkiest, most original, most desperate, … Many guests spend a lot of time planning and cruising the net trying to find/make that perfect costume. Others show up at the resort, find out about it, and just wing it. (Guys: you can do better than boxer shorts, especially if you're trying to score. You certainly won't "stand out in the crowd.)
Toga. Everyone is expected to wear a toga to dinner. If you have absolutely no idea how to tie one, there is a class earlier in the day. Hedo will provide sheets, just bring some safety pins and accessories. Many of the guests have discovered that a properly tied toga need not cover much and can really accentuate their assets. After dinner they have an amateur night with guests and staff performing. Then the finale—a giant conga line and dancing. I'm normally so hot that it's off to the pool or hot tub to cool off.
*If you can sing, please come join us, and SING. This is can be one of Hedo's most entertaining events. Really depends on the crowd
||Sing Along with David*|
||Sing Along with David|
||Battle of the Sexes
||Art Auction (Boo!)
||Sing Along with David|
||Toga & Amateur***
||Sing Along with David|
||Sing Along with David|
** If you can't sing, come to this (cause I'm not normally there.) I'm kidding!
*** If you have a talent and want to perform, here's your chance. You can borrow an instrument from the band (normally).
Nude Cruise. As always, a lot of fun. The price has been raised to $45. The cruise lasts about three hours and goes to a reef for snorkeling (coral and small fish). Then it goes to the Caves and Pickled Parrot. A lot of the people use the rope to swing off the cliffs or the water slide. The cruise begins 50-50 clothed and was 90-10 nude by the end. Steve still gives foot massages. No food. Red Stripe, Rum Punch, Pepsi, and Ting to drink. Also Sunset Cruise, second cruise in a stay gets a big discount.
I don't have a cell phone, but from what I've heard is that they can be used. First, one is required to go somewhere in Negril and post a (large) cash deposit to activate the phone. Then, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
What I have done is take a pre-paid phone card. It almost has to be an AT&T pre-paid phone card (although I've heard that Sprint will work, but remember where you'll be). I bought a card from Wal-Mart ($42 for 250 minutes and then one from Sam's $17 for 200 minutes). AT&T converts your US minutes into Jamaica minutes at a rate of 8 US to 1 from Jamaica.
Call from the lobby phones which are in a little room opposite the registration desk. Dial 872 to access an AT&T operator, wait about 15 seconds to hear "thanks for using AT&T, then follow the directions on the back of the pre-paid phone card. Works like a charm! We had the other people call us back in our room (five minutes later), so it only cost us "1 pre-paid minute to call the U.S. We heard from people who had called from their rooms that a 1 minute call cost them $35 last year.
First Aid Items
People are always amazed that I carry so much stuff to Jamaica, but then I normally have what I need to take care of small ills and injuries. There is a nursing station (it's hard to find…take the path up from the beach that goes between the dining hall and Veronica's to the very front).
Should something serious happen to you, my advice is: get emergency care in Jamaica and then get to the States as fast as you can.
We had a fried fall and break her arm. First, a cab ride to Montego Bay (only two cities with X-ray machines on the island, the other is Kingston). They set her arm in a cast. Three days of constant pain, finally she goes back to the States and sees her doctor. More than four hours of surgery and three pins later, they thought she might get full use of her arm back after physical therapy. In Jamaica, a cast was the only therapy they recommended.
I caught pneumonia once. And, I thought a Jamaican doctor (who told me he was trained in the U.K.) properly treated me. He had several large bottles of pills in his bag from which he gave me some antibiotics to take. I felt horrible (what I expected from pneumonia), but saw my doctor when I got back who extended the prescription of antibiotics for another 10 days. I felt much better within a day of switching to the new pills…. I think the Jamaican pills were too old, so my advice is get your doctor to prescribe new pills and throw the Jamaican pills away as soon as you can.
Items I take:
Triple antibiotic cream
Immodium A-D (and Lomotil (prescription A-D))
Athlete's foot cream
Antihistamine (pills and Benadryl cream for sun poisoning)
Birth control pills (I threw this one in to save some ruined trips!)
Mole skin (for blisters)
Ear plugs (you might get a "disco room)
Aspirin, Tylenol, and/or Advil.
Sex & Nudity
Got your attention now!
Hedonism is a place that is as wild or mild as you want it to be.
Nudity. You will see nudity if you're on or near the nude side. You'll see brief nudity in the dining hall and/or Veronica's during some of the shows (by the GUESTS). I've never seen any member of the staff naked (I wish! They are all sooo cute). Thursday (Toga Party) is the night that you'll see the most flesh at dinner as people's togas vary from virginal to vestigial.
On any given night you might see some revealing outfits since Hedonism is one of a few places that women can flaunt their bodies. Often repeat groups will pick a night and declare it "slut night, a night where the whole group will wear their most revealing and flattering outfits. Sometimes it has a theme, sometimes not. Generally the word will get out so all can join in (but you had to bring something).
If you want to escape without seeing nudity, then avoid the some of the lunch time spins (especially wet T-shirt contests they don't seem to stay on long).
Where is nudity acceptable? Obviously the nude beach/hot tub area. Many guests will go back and forth to their rooms sans clothes. Some militant guests will go to their rooms on the prude side, nude if that's what they paid for and have been "bumped for a night or two. Women go topless on either beach. ("It's my period. Sorry, guys, it won't work for you.)
The nude beach officially starts at a sign posted on a tree ("Nude Beach No Photography). Next to this area is a strip of beach that buffers the nude from the prude beach and is used by all the guests. Also, this brings up photography on the nude beach: Never take photos without the permission of everyone! Many people have careers at stake should a photo of them show up on the internet. Make sure that there is no one in the background or next to your subjects.
Although it isn't really acceptable for nudity anywhere else on the property, sometimes it is seen. Remember that over half the guests have been nude all day (and most, drinking). Exceptions: nude volleyball in the main pool after midnight, PJ nite (well, they really aren't nude; but they sure aren't hiding anything—more like accenting), and briefly in some of the shows or acts (briefly by guests).
Where is Clothing Unacceptable? At the nude hot tub, nude pools, and nude bar (24 hrs/day) and on the nude beach from sunrise to 7:30 p.m. After dinner many people will stroll on the nude beach. Just be considerate and don't bother anyone.
Should you decide to cruise the nude beach during the day (while wearing a swim suit), don't be surprised if either a security guard asks you to leave or if guests take it into their own hands (literally). Normally, a woman guest will try to get you out of your suit—with or without your cooperation. I'm addressing this to guys as women normally aren't a problem about this.
Sex. The management at Hedonism condemns public sex. However, sex at Hedonism is the rule rather than the exception. Most of it takes place in the rooms, but some seems to spill out into public venues. Flirting is a sport played nearly 24 hours a day at Hedo. Sometimes it progresses (publicly) if the parties involved are willing. Some weeks are wilder than others. This doesn't mean that you'll see it:; it seems that someone is always telling me "you should have been here a half hour ago (or last night). And I don't mean to imply that it's an constant activity, just that it happens spontaneously.
Public sex seems to happen in the mid to late afternoon, mostly in the cool jacuzzi, fountain pool, or behind the waterfall (called the fornicatorium or the grotto). Later in the evening and late night, the hot tub and beach are added as active sites. Where else can one fulfill the fantasy of making love on a moonlit beach? Some people appreciate an audience, but it's rare that they want others to join in. (So, guys give these people some space. Also, it's not polite to stare.)
It is not too unusual for small groups to enjoy each other from time to time. Normally, it's two or three couples coupling. It's also not unusual to see two women together or with one guy. It would be quite unusual to see two guys together. These activities may not happen every day (or week), but often enough not to be atypical.
For couples and groups giving public performances, it is not unusual to applaud and cheer after the climatic moment. I've often thought of taking "point cards, but never have gotten around to it. I guess I could just take a bunch of "10's and one "9 for the soviet judge.
Lifestylers (Swingers). There are certain weeks (2nd-4th week of January, 4th of July, and 2nd week of October) which are sponsored by Lifestyle travel. These weeks tend to have more people interested in well, you know.
Several times I've been to Hedo the week before the lifestylers have arrived (see my trip report on Denny's site). All the people we met were quite nice, ordinary people. I don't know why I thought they'd all be young, hard bodies (By the way, we weren't harassed in any way --if you're worried about this group. But, they were very open and friendly…what I expect of Hedo people on the nude side.)
Over the years, I have been approached and found that a simple "No, thank you. I'm flattered, but not interested. works quite well. If you're interested, well, you know how to proceed.
Security and Sex Police. One of the many pluses of Hedo is the abundance of security. They are there to protect the guests and keep interlopers off the property. They also deal with the drunken (or stoned) guest who's being obnoxious at 2 in the morning. They make it possible for a naked lady to walk to her room from the hot tub at 1 a.m. and feel somewhat secure. (However, bad things can still happen. Don't leave your common sense at home.)
Sex Police is the name the guests have given to the security guards that are supposed to enforce the rules concerning public sex at the resort. The enforcement is typically quite inconsistent (one necking couple told to knock it off and other couples doing far more, ignored). Generally, the sex police don't really inhibit the spirit and action too much, especially later at night. During daylight hours they seem to try to hold the line, at least on the beach (rafts are another story, see below). They also try to keep clothed guests from lingering on the nude beach.
One of the funnier sights I've seen was a couple on a raft who got rather, ahem, involved and, without their notice, the raft drifted nearly on the beach. A Hedonism manager walking the beach noticed this couple (as had everyone else) and informed security to "break it up. The security guard (in his long pants and leather shoes) unsuccessfully tried to get the attention of the guests (they were rather busy at the moment). With the manager insisting, the guard tried to walk over to the couple by walking on rafts. So sad, there were only losers. The couple was embarrassed to discover where they had floated, the guard's shoes and pants were thoroughly soaked, and the afternoon's entertainment was prematurely (we so hate that word) terminated.
Drinking & Liquor
Hedonism is all-inclusive, but doesn't stock all liquors. Beer is easy—it's Red Stripe. Wine is easy—it's white or red. Pastafari has a greater selection of Italian wines and one champagne (and cappucino). Soft drinks are easy—Pepsi, diet Pepsi, 7-up, and TING, a Jamaican grapefruit soda. Also, cranberry, orange soda, and Jamaican ginger ale (which packs a real wallop!—it's got ginger).