We decided to take a trip out of the country and finally settled on Sandals Negril in Jamaica. Our travel agent was very helpful in selecting the location but there were a few items that we learned on our own, even after doing a bunch of research on the internet. I was looking for sort of a walk through on traveling to Sandals Negril but I couldn’t find one. So that is what I am truing to do here.
Flying to Jamaica is just like flying to any US location except everyone at the airport wants to see your passport instead of your drivers license. It only changes when you are on your final flight into Jamaica, Montego Bay specifically, when the airline personnel hand out Jamaican customs forms. Unlike US customs forms, every person must fill out a form and not one per family. The biggest “gotcha” to the form is that there are two parts on the form and almost all americans missed the bottom section. After the main part of the for there is a box that something like, “For authorized personnel only” and this seems like the end of the form. There is an additional portion to the form below the perforation in the paper. This bottom section will be returned to you by customs, make sure you fill it out or you will have to wait in line for a pen to finish filling it out. Almost everyone misses this so read carefully.
After having filled out your form correctly, you enter the queue for all foreign nationals and at the end of the line you will talk to a customs agent. The agent may ask questions about what you are bringing into the country but they didn’t ask us any. Hang on because the fun isn’t over! There are a couple of more lines to get into before you get to relax. The next step is to pick up your baggage from the baggage carousels These were not clearly marked so you have to stay sharp.
After picking your bags, you take them to the final line and talk to one last customs agent that will give you final approval to enter the country.
Now you have made it through customs and out the door to the right is the Sandals lounge. Sandals employee will be waiting for you at the entrance of the lounge and they will tag your bag and you will not actually touch it again until it is in your room. Now it is time to relax and have a beer… or tea… or soda… The all inclusive part of your vacation starts now and you should definitely take advantage of it! Sandals has drinks and some snacks sat out and if you are hungry, grab some now because there really is not a chance to get anything else until you are at the resort and that is one and a half hours away. Well, there is an open air bar in the parking lot in case you need a cocktail really bad.
We were not in the lounge very long before a Sandals employee told us that it was time to go to the bus. You can take a drink or snack with you if you want to the bus. A porter will meet you outside the lounge with your bags and he will escort you to the bus. While you don’t have to tip them, you should tip them at least $1 or $2 for each bag that they handle. We kept our carry ons with us and didn’t have the porter handle them. The walk to the bus isn’t very far but the parking lot can get a little crazy so just pay attention and you will be fine.
The driver waited for several minutes to see if any other travelers showed up but we left with am open set of seats. The bus takes you around the edge of the island from Montego Bay to Sandals Negril. You do travel through a few small towns on the way to the resort and traffic can get tight there. Some of them have tight turns and the streets are very narrow with people walking in the roads. The busses seem to not hit anyone or anything so just hold on tight and enjoy the ride and in an hour and a half, you will be at the resort! The driver will unload your bags at the resort and a tip isn’t required but it is customary. Four or five dollars should be fine.
Now it is time to go into the lobby, and let the Sandals staff take care of you. They are the most friendly staff and they will make sure that your stay is pleasant.