“I Vacayed Like Bachelorette Canada’s Jasmine Lorimer, Minus the Dramz”
On Tuesday night, Canada watched while Bachelorette Jasmine Lorimer said yes to Kevin Wendt on a gorgeous slice of sand in Varadero, Cuba. Are they still together? Who knows—FLARE’s post-finale interview with the couple was abruptly cancelled, and Jasmine’s Twitter account is mum. What I do know for sure is that Cuba, the backdrop for the final two episodes of the show, is freaking beautiful. And I found this out firsthand thanks to Sunwing, the exclusive travel partner of The Bachelorette Canada.
Sunwing invited me to relive Jasmine’s final dates with Ottawa-bred aviation engineer Mikhel Sickand and Toronto-based fireman Wendt—minus the makeouts but also minus the feelings. And so I was whisked away with two other writers to the beautiful Royalton Hicacos Varadero Hotel & Spa, champagne glass in hand. (Sunwing flights kick off with complimentary bubbly.)
After a restful solo sleep in my own Fantasy Suite, it was time to relive Jasmine’s one-on-one with Mikhel, a.k.a. the man she should have picked, whom I discover was also a favourite among Royalton Hicacos staffers. While Jasmine, Mikhel and the production crew sailed to Cayo Blanco on a massive catamaran, our party traveled to the small island in a chartered yacht, Bey and Jay styles. And while Jasmine had to deal with Mikhel’s insecurities surrounding the Fantasy Suite dates during their catamaran ride—boring!—I sipped Cristal (the Cuban beer, not the champagne), went snorkelling and generally tried to forget about the fact that Donald Trump was now America’s president-elect. (This trip occurred two days after the U.S. election.)
The snorkelling was sublime, with fish of every size, hue and stripe, bringing to mind a very Bachelor Nation-appropriate adage. Cayo Blanco was also teeming, with fellow tourists. (It was closed to the public during Mikhel and Jasmine’s visit; hence the reason why they appeared to be on their very own private island.) After an open-air lunch of grilled lobster, we sailed to a more remote part of Cayo Blanco, swam to shore and took in the endless turquoise sea from an empty expanse of sand. Less than 24 hours in Cuba, and I was ready to give my final rose to Daniel, the PR who invited me on this “journey.”
Day 2 was Kevin’s one-on-one date, which took place in Havana, a two-hour drive from Varadero (including a mandatory pitstop for roadside pina coladas). After touring the patchwork pastel glory of Old Havana with our genius guide—sincere props to Jorge from Nexus Tours, who is both very kind and very knowledgeable—we came across the true star of Episode 9, Juana the cigar-smoking fortune teller. She told me that I would come into a lot of money in the future, and also have a beautiful baby girl. Like Kevin W, I was most enthusiastic about the cash.
Both of Jasmine’s one-on-ones ended in overnight stays in the Presidential Suite at the Royalton Hicacos; mine culminated in visits to the resort’s all-you-can-eat ice cream parlour (the dulce de leche was divine). And while I may have missed out on a makeout sesh with the divine Mikhel, I also avoided whatever irksome relationship dramz caused Kevin to temporarily flee his overnight date with Jasmine. So I consider myself the true winner here.
My final day in Cuba was spent contemplating the biggest decision of my life drinking nonstop pina coladas and thinking about just how easy it must be to fall in love with two great-looking guys on a gorgeous, all-expenses-paid, every-detail-arranged vacation. At this point, I didn’t know who Jasmine would end up with (although I had been told that the rejected party asked for a glass of lemonade and a wifi card following his final scene). Regardless, the true test of this as-seen-on-TV relationship will be whatever happens in the post-Fantasy Suite world. And while I truly hope Jasmine and Kevin are still together, grocery shopping to their hearts’ content, at the very least they’ll always have Cuba.