Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sandals Honeymoon Test Drive

A recent comment on our blog by Amanda W. asked about Sandals Weddingmoon and the “Test Drive your honeymoon.” She’s reluctant to sign up and asks if we know anything about the “Test Drive” because it seems like a timeshare sales pitch.

The answer to the question is an honest one – we don’t know. We vaguely remember hearing something about the “test drive” some time ago, but we didn’t do it (although we did consider Sandals). The trips are one day (out in the morning, back in the evening) and are only offered from a limited number of east coast cities. Sandals adds the normal conditions (space is limited space, subject to availability, etc., etc.). Cost for the day trip is $99 and includes airfare.

So Amanda, for $99 and one day off of work, you can have a one-day trip to Jamaica, see the resort and know exactly what you’re getting into. (We did this with the Westin Our Lucaya in the Bahamas, but had to pay the full amount and made a long three-day weekend of it). If you do the test drive and then book a honeymoon, Sandals will apply your $99 to the honeymoon package. Presumably they would do the same thing for a Weddingmoon, but the website doesn’t actually say it (best to call and ask some specific questions. Actually, you should definitely call since there aren't many specifics on the website).

It’s a brilliant piece of marketing for Sandals – give your target audience a sample your resort. The cost of $99 essentially covers the airfare, so the company isn’t out anything except for lunch and a few fruity drinks. Now, if the Sandals resorts really wanted to sell their packages, they would charge couples $200 and let them stay overnight for free. Now that’s a test drive!

Fair disclosure: Despite all of our travels, we’ve never actually been to a Sandals resort (although we’ve been thinking about one of their places in St. Lucia-see picture)…so, we can’t actually recommend them (we can’t dissuade you either). So Amanda W., you’re on your own with Sandals. If you decide to do it, I hope you’ll e-mail us and tell us about your experience.


Amanda W said...

Thanks! I'm thinking about contacting them. I'll keep you posted!

Karen Byron said...

Test Drive sucks. I went last year. AWFUL. Bad weather so the flight was delayed, we only got 4 hours at the resort. 1 hour was a hevy pressure sales pitch. My husband did not go with me, so I wasn't able to make a decision. The woman was rude.

Forget it unless you are absolutely set on Sandals.