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Caribbean journeys are costly, so I went to Seacrets, Jamaica USA


Might a day at Seacrets, Jamaica USA change a tropical getaway? Just one solution to discover out.

Visitors at Seacrets, a Jamaican-style waterfront bar and restaurant, in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 27, 2022.
Guests at Seacrets, a Jamaican-style waterfront bar and restaurant, in Ocean Metropolis, Md., on Aug. 27, 2022. (Shuran Huang for The Washington Put up)


It’s a blistering and humid Saturday morning on the seashore. To my proper, black skull-and-crossbones flags flicker on their masts within the sizzling wind. To my left, palm bushes jut out of sand in entrance of a distillery that churns out rum and extra. In just a few hours, I’ll be surrounded by a mass of partyers who got here right here to drink a number of that rum.

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However I’m not on a tropical island. I’m at Seacrets, Jamaica USA in Maryland.

On the lengthy sandy stretch of Ocean Metropolis, Seacrets is a Jamaica-themed mega leisure advanced with 19 bars, an evening membership, distillery and 5 live performance levels.

They import the island vibes — actually. Each spring, Seacrets vans in new palm bushes, 1000’s of tropical crops and tons of sand. The behemoth can maintain about 5,000 folks at a time, and pulls in tens of 1000’s of visitors on busy weekends.

However above all, Seacrets is a spot to get together day and evening. It’s well-known for having tables and chairs half-submerged within the bay the place tropical drinks are delivered by servers in swimwear (a.okay.a. Seacrets Bay Women). It’s Vegas pool get together meets Pirates of the Caribbean on a fraction of the price.

In case you missed it, journey was costly this summer season. A tropical trip was out of the playing cards for most individuals. Might a day right here actually really feel like being on trip in Jamaica? Just one solution to discover out.

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9:15 a.m.: Gown for the Caribbean you need

A couple of days in the past, I purchased a giant mesh tank high for this journey. Now I’m only a lady, standing in entrance of a motel lavatory mirror, asking why she purchased this mesh tank high.

I’m not a mesh tank high individual, and I’m not a seashore get together individual, both. Ibiza, South Padre, the idea of MTV Spring Break — these items scare me. So does going exterior with out SPF 50.

However I used to be going to Seacrets, and I needed to mix in. I scoped out the Seacrets Instagram location tag and noticed what folks put on: bikinis, crop tops and neon.

10:01 a.m.: ‘Discover Us and Get Misplaced!’

A faint “woo!” echoes throughout the near-empty Seacrets car parking zone; the primary visitors — a bachelorette get together in all black — have arrived. There’s a $10 cowl cost that enables for all-day entry; you might have your enjoyable within the solar, break for a disco nap again on the lodge, then rally for an evening out later.

I’m prepared for no matter immediately brings with a brand new fanny pack filled with some caffeinated aspirin, mints and Rolaids from an Ocean Metropolis fuel station, plus an influence financial institution and telephone charger, a pack of Honey Stinger Efficiency Chews that marathon runners eat for the caffeinated electrolytes, sunscreen and a pair of underwear in case I need to change out of a moist swimsuit sooner or later.

I ended up ditching the mesh and went with a males’s long-sleeve button down and white shorts to cowl up my one-piece swimsuit. I already appear like a narc, so to finish the look, I throw on a baseball cap. No sunburn immediately, people.

Seacrets’s catchphrase is “Discover us and get misplaced!” and that appears extremely doable from the second I get inside.

It’s a lush, six-acre playground with walkways shrouded with palms, a constellation of bars, the bay, a present store, the levels, and wood-paneled indoor-outdoor areas with nautical touches resembling porthole home windows and life-size pirate statues watching your each transfer. At a kiosk referred to as “De Photograph Boat Mon” guests can immortalize their go to with photographs, key chains and magnets.

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10:30 a.m.: Consuming on island time

After my first lap, I sit down at a bar with the very best view of the Seacrets bay. Persons are already slurping vivid frozen drinks out of cups that show each the Jamaican and American flags. I clock a man in a captain’s hat and no fewer than three future brides — evidenced by their white ensembles, sashes and/or veils. One’s sporting a crown fabricated from inflatable male genitalia.

The menu is full of gadgets that talk to the place we are actually — and the place we’re theoretically. A few of it’s distinctly Jamaican (there’s Pink Stripe on faucet), and a few of it’s distinctly America (there’s Twisted Tea on faucet).

The bartender recommends the Baja Hen Wrap ($17.99) and the Massive Bamboo ($10) — a cocktail with Seacrets Coconut Rum, Seacrets Gold Rum, Seacrets Spiced Rum and a “Seacret” mix of fruit juices. Seacrets makes its personal rum, in addition to gin, vodka and whiskey, on the distillery throughout the car parking zone. They find yourself in each Seacrets effectively drink.

I take my first sip of paradise at 10:36 a.m., as a result of I’m on “trip” in “the Caribbean.”

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12 p.m.: Ripping pictures in Twenties Chicago

I’m just a few sips into my second cocktail of the day — a Soiled Banana ($9.50) — once I notice I’m going to be late for my tour of Seacrets Distilling Firm. I abandon my blended deal with.

In case you assumed the distillery at Seacrets, Jamaica USA would really feel like a Caribbean rum distillery, you’d be useless improper. It’s a departure out of your tropical escape right into a pseudo prohibition-era Chicago scenario.

My tour group features a couple from D.C., two associates celebrating a twenty first birthday and a bachelorette get together from Pennsylvania in matching turquoise tank tops.

It’s not the bride-to-be’s first rodeo. Taylor Morgis tells me she and her betrothed come to Ocean Metropolis practically each summer season and are obsessive about Seacrets. And utterly on model, they’re going to Jamaica for his or her honeymoon.

The tour ends with a flight of three spirits of our selection. In different phrases, persons are ripping pictures. I knock again a coconut rum, and sip a bit of my spiced rum and passion-fruit vodka samples.

1:30 p.m.: Outfit hang-ups at safety

There’s a line to get into Seacrets now. In case you actually need to do your go to proper, you get right here by boat to skip the strains and the quilt.

“My boss picked me up on his boat from Montego Bay,” Carlee Prepare dinner, a neighborhood and Seacrets VIP Gold Card member would inform me later immediately.

“That’s so humorous, as a result of there’s Montego Bay, Jamaica,” I say to her.

“Actually?” Prepare dinner says, confused. “It’s like a group; they pay an HOA.”

My sun-safe outfit is allowed, however I really feel misplaced. I undo certainly one of my shirt buttons and lose my hat to stay a bit.

A couple of guys in jerseys are off to the facet of the road, freshly denied entry for violating the prolonged Seacrets costume code. Except Seacrets is having a soccer occasion, athletic jerseys should not allowed.

My sun-safe outfit is allowed, however I really feel misplaced. I undo certainly one of my shirt buttons and lose my hat to stay a bit.

In the meantime, the group of associates in entrance of me has accomplished an ideal job capturing the Caribbean aesthetic in sarongs. This was not an accident; they inform me they’ve been planning this journey — and their outfits — for months.

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2:15 p.m.: Knee-deep within the motion

The group has elevated exponentially since I left. Completely different bars are taking part in totally different music catering to totally different tastes. I hear reggae at one, the band’s taking part in “I Need You to Need Me” on the primary stage, and there’s ’80s dance-pop within the bay.

There’s additionally a storm brewing. Our once-bright sky has turned grey, and I don’t know if we’re in for a tropical downpour or a lightweight drizzle. It’s now or by no means to get within the water.

This isn’t the piercing blue water of Jamaica. It’s not even Dodger Blue. It’s “a bit bit dirtier,” says Jeffrey McInnis, who’s right here with outdated associates from his highschool. “However you come right here, and it’s all good vibes.”

“Sadly, the water in North America isn’t as clear as it’s within the Caribbean,” Nicholas Nowotarski tells me. Even so, he says he’s having enjoyable right here for his future brother-in-law’s bachelor get together. It’s an excellent place to bond, and “it’s prefer it’s personal little resort,” he says.

I kick my sandals off close to a naval cannon replica and slosh by means of the murky water into the ocean of dancing, consuming, lounging our bodies filling the tables, chairs and floating rafts.

“The vibes are immaculate. We’re simply having a good time,” Vince Cerreta says after exhibiting me a clam he picked up out of the water.

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The waves are rolling greater, and my shorts get soaked. It takes some core energy to remain upright.

“Take two showers tonight,” Owen Breininger tells me. He’s right here together with his fantasy soccer buddies. It’s their custom to fulfill at Seacrets each summer season; two of them even labored right here as youngsters.

“The vibes are immaculate. We’re simply having a good time”

“We had fun. You see a number of issues, I can inform you that,” Breininger’s pal Shaun Strickland says of his time as a Seacrets worker. Having been to Jamaica, Strickland says Seacrets does an excellent job of capturing a minimum of a few of the essence of the island.

Then once more, “I didn’t hear Spice Women as soon as in six days in Jamaica,” Strickland yells over “Wannabe” taking part in within the background.

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4:19 p.m.: A Jamaica USA feast

It’s a battle to get a desk the place I can eat; persons are taking shelter from the rain, and all of the jungle seating is occupied. I hand over and stand on the identical bar the place I began this lengthy, beachy journey.

I get the seven-piece Jerk Hen ($10.99) that’s marinated for 48 hours in a Seacrets Jerk Marinade (which is accessible for buy), served with a facet of Seacrets Honey Mustard (additionally out there for buy). As a result of that is Maryland, I additionally order the Crab Cake Sandwich ($24.99) and a Ache in De Ass ($9.50), Seacrets’s signature cocktail.

Really it’s two cocktails layered collectively like a slushy parfait: half piña colada, half rum runner (blackberry brandy, banana liqueur and a few gold rum). There’s nothing painful about it; it’s a candy and tart delight.

5:03 p.m.: Giving up at golden hour

After seven hours, I lengthy to put down on the beige sand and name it a day. Even with my Efficiency Chews, I can’t sustain with the bachelorettes, the off-duty tax associates, the birthday boys, retirees or the man with a again tattoo that simply says “HORNY.”

I believe anybody might have a bizarre time on this imitation Jamaica. The drinks are half the value of those in close by vacationer locations and twice as scrumptious. The water is questionable, however so are public swimming pools.

I hate to overlook the nightclub model of Seacrets, the place they drop balloons from the ceiling at midnight, however I’m chucking up the sponge. It’s time to go.


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