Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sandals: Arriving in Montego Bay airport

Hints and Tips when coming to Jamaica through Montego Bay airport for a Sandals or Beaches Resort vacation.

While it might seem obvious, you are entering foreign territory so you will need to clear customs after exiting the plane.  This takes awhile when several planes can land about the same time each day.
Tips:

  • When choosing seats you will want to be up front on the plane so that you can quickly exit and go directly to customs counters. MOVE like you mean it to avoid the 200 people exiting the plane with you!
  • Along the same lines, if you can wait to go to a bathroom this will be good for two reasons!
    • Bathrooms available immediately exiting the plane...not so great...
    • This will allow many people exiting your plane to get in front of you in line at the customs counter!
  • Once you have shown your passport and handed in the customs form (you will fill out on the plane) you will be told to exit behind the customs desk to the baggage claim area.  
  • You will retrieve your luggage and go through a final customs location that moves much quicker than the first line.
  • As you are guided the next area of the airport (you really cannot mess this up, there is nowhere else to go) you will be asked where you are visiting while in Jamaica. Let them know the resort you are booked at and they will direct you to the Sandals Lounge....may the relaxing begin!
  • Guess what, when I told you to wait to use the restroom...this is a lesson from experience.  I stopped right outside the plane, yikes! However, now that you are in the Sandals lounge, there is a beautiful waiting area, beer, soda, and treats as well as a CLEAN bathroom, worth the wait!
  • You check in as you enter this lounge and the Sandals employees look your reservation up on their roster and mark all of your bags and carry-ons and purses with tags to ensure all of your belongings come with you to your chosen resort.  
  • We waited less than five minutes to be called out to go to our resort.
  • Employees of the airport, NOT Sandals, have likely taken your bags and loaded them on a cart to transport them to your bus.  They are friendly and take you to your bus helping your driver load them...this is NOT a Sandals employee they will gently request a tip. Be prepared with $1's. $1-2/bag they carry is fine.  If you do not want to have them take your things for you just let them know.
  • Your driver also works for tips as he is not a Sandals employee, same tipping applies.
  • The drive is quite interesting.  If you are staying in Montego Bay you will be on the bus less than ten minutes. However, if you have chosen a resort further out into the island you will get to take an interesting bus ride.
    • They drive on the other side of the road.
    • You will see how Jamaican's live which was interesting.
    • It is beautiful.
    • You will see their goats, horses and cows near the road!
    • You  might experience some life threatening driving! LOL
    • However, I did feel safe and secure at no point did I think Jamaica itself was unsafe like others had mentioned to me. We were never away from the beaten path.
  • Upon arrival at Sandals you should tip this driver, again $1-2/bag is sufficient.
  • NOW, you have arrived, relax, get a drink and get on Island time....there is no schedule!

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