In October, we went to Jamaica to celebrate our friend's birthday - and it just so happened that we left the day after our anniversary - so we could say we were celebrating that too.
We stayed at the Riu Negril in Jamaica, and it was incredible! We only made it out diving one day, because of the recent hurricane action down there - and it happened to be the last possible day we could dive, and the first day the dive boat had gone out in over a week. I consider us lucky there.
On our first dive, I did something completely stupid. As we were descending, I let go of the anchor line, figuring I'd just sink as normal - not accounting for the current, and the extra neoprene and the weight I'd gained - long story short, I didn't have enough weights on to get down, and the current pushed me right away from the anchor line. At this point, I fought the current to get back to the boat and grab more weights, my buddy (my boyfriend, pretty ticked by this point) waiting for me the whole time. When we finally did descend, no more than 5 minutes since my first attempt at sinking - the divemaster had left! He and the group were nowhere to be seen! Visibility was not great, maybe only about 30 feet or less, so we could not see them anywhere once we made it to the anchor! He just took off without us, and at this point, I was wondering if he realized where he had lost two people from his group. Don and I just swam around the anchor line, seeing what we could see, but we were only 30feet down, so that wasn't much. He was really disappointed in me, and rightly so, like I said, it was stupid, but we were both really pissed with this divemaster, especially when he said (afterwards, back on the boat) "What happened to you? I saw you float away from the line?!" I thought, holy crap, buddy, isn't it your job to make sure everybody gets down and back up safely?
I've been diving for a while now, and I've never done anything this stupid before, but I've also seen divemaster after divemaster, counting heads, and keeping the group in line.
We went on a second dive with the same divemaster, and another guy had trouble descending this time. You should have seen how quickly this guy swam up to help him - he knew he had messed up with me on the first dive. But later on that dive, the divemaster just swam ahead of the group, expecting everyone to follow, and sure enough, two of the newbie divers decided to swim after something that caught their eye, and the divemaster didn't even notice! It was my boyfriend who called them back, and by this time, they were so far away that all I could see were goggles when they turned when being called back. This guy was just plain irresponsible.
In spite of all that, I did get to see a turtle, my first one on a dive! So, that was incredibly exciting in itself.
As for the resort, I didn't really care for it, it wasn't awful, but it didn't really set itself apart in any way - well, except for the food. I have to say that of all the resorts I've stayed at in Cuba, Dominican and Jamaica, the food here ranked the lowest. Not much selection, poor availability (most resorts at least have a grill going for the late night and in-between snacks...)
But I really loved Negril, it seemed more laid back, less congested than Montego Bay, and I would return to the area, I'd just stay at a different resort.