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Just back from Jamaica

Old Dec 2nd, 2001, 11:11 AM
  #1  
paul
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Just back from Jamaica

We just arrived back from Jamaica and had a wonderfull time. The weather was beautiful and the people were great. I can help with questions concerning Air Jamaica, the airport and the Ritz Carlton.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2001, 10:35 AM
  #2  
ohliz
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...only one question: did you meet Lee Weinstock at the Ritz? He's their group tour guy and a friend.
Liz
 
Old Dec 5th, 2001, 11:32 AM
  #3  
xxx
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How long did it take for you to clear customs when you arrived?

How many hours prior to departure (leaving Jamaica) is it suggested to arrive at the airport?
 
Old Dec 7th, 2001, 10:10 AM
  #4  
ohliz
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I can answer those, we came back last week.

We were told to arrive at the airport here 3 hours early. We did. That was PLENTY of time, at least when we were there which was pretty early in the AM. ZThe only thing i noticed that was different were soldiers with machine guns at the x-ray machines, looking over the shoulder of the x-ray guys, and the metal detector is much more sensitive. We weren't searched but some people were.

Clearing immigration and customs in JA took about 15 minutes.

Returning to the US, security in JA was much tighter. Our checked bags were searched once and our carry-ons 3 times. There's a Margaritaville Express in the MoBay airport now to hang out at so getting there early isn't so bad.
Liz
 
Old Dec 7th, 2001, 11:37 AM
  #5  
paul
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Ohliz: We met the GM, Doug Brooks, and the retail manager, Laura. But we did not take tours or meet your friend.

xxx: Waiting for baggage took about 20 minutes; going through customs took about 5 minutes. Upon leaving, I was told that your arrival at the airport should strictly depend upon the time of day you are leaving i.e. how many flights will be leaving about that time. Our flight was at 10AM and we arrive the airport at 8AM and cleared security in 5 minutes. We had a rather long wait. Relatives who left the day before in the afternoon experienced much longer security and check in times.
 
Old Dec 8th, 2001, 07:07 AM
  #6  
TLW
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I have read that a US birth certificate and a US driver’s license is acceptable ID but a passport is recommended. What do you all think is advisable?
 
Old Dec 8th, 2001, 08:19 AM
  #7  
paul
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I travel international with a passport and do not have any knowlegde about how other ids work. I can tell you that the easier it is to clear security and customs, the better you will like it and a passport makes it easy. You might want to consider posting your question on this message board and get some other opinions.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2001, 04:12 AM
  #8  
Sandy
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To TLW,
I traveled to the caribbean for years with just a birth certificate and drivers license, but after I got my passport, I found it was much easier and quicker to go through customs. And in some places you have to have a passport!! A passport is so easy to get also.
Sandy
 
Old Dec 10th, 2001, 05:05 AM
  #9  
j
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I assumed 2 hours early to MoBay airport on the way home was enuf - our flight is at 5pm. If anyone can advise at to whether 3pm is adequate I would be very grateful. US Airways has advised me 2 1/2 to 3 hours however this is only "advised". I am hoping 2 hours will work - help?? thanks much - j
 
Old Dec 10th, 2001, 07:47 AM
  #10  
ohliz
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We arrived 2 hours early and had time to kill. But wouldn't it be awful if you ignored USAir and listened to me and missed your flight?

One thing - if you get there really early and want to go outside to smoke or head into town or something, DO NOT go through security - once you're in you can't leave.
Liz
 
Old Dec 10th, 2001, 09:32 AM
  #11  
paul
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J: According to the people at the hotel, late afternoon is the busiest time for flights leaving the island and therefore they advise going to the airport a minimum of 2 hours if not 3 hours prior to departure. If it was me, I would take the US Air advice for that flight.
 
Old Dec 10th, 2001, 10:17 AM
  #12  
Chris
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Just arrived back 11/28/01. No problems what so ever! Decided on a charter flight to and from Negril. What a time saver! Our hotel offered pre-check of bags for return. Air Jamacia rep is at the hotel early morning of departure to check your bags(YOU WON'T SEE YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE UNTIL YOU ARRIVE HOME!) and issue boarding passes. We just kept change of clothes, etc. for carry on. Our flight on AJ was leaving at 6:00pm. Got off the beach around 3:30pm took a quick rinse shower and changed. Got a taxi to Negril Airport(5 min.ride) Charter plane left at 4:30pm. Arrived at MoBay Airport 5:00pm. Check-in lines were crowded! Having our bags pre-checked, we just showed our boarding passes and had our carry-on checked. Got to the gate at 5:15pm only to find out our flight had been delayed 1 hour! Once boarding started security would do random checks with wand and also check bags. It pays to travel with 2 small children. We were singled out early and were one of the first to board with no further checks! I was told that if your bags are not pre-checked you should arrive 3 hours prior to departure.
 
Old Dec 11th, 2001, 04:39 AM
  #13  
j
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thanks for your help - altho i am dissapointed. i guess i'll change the plan to 2 1/2 hours ahead. if anyone else reads this and wants to stop me PLEASE speak up - dead time in airports is torture. thank you liz for the security gate info - as usual you are the best. US Airways said they do not offer pre-check bags policy ever which sounds like a good consideration when booking.
 
Old Dec 11th, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #14  
ohliz
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Well ,thje wait isn't as painful as it once was, like I said there's a Margaritaville in the airport now. Actually, I shop there - never find the time when I'm running around Jamaica so I don't mind doing a little in the airport.

If you have a driver taking you to the airport, you could check your bags/check in while he waits, then NOT go through security and then go eat in MoBay or something...
LIz
 
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 03:21 AM
  #15  
j
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we're flying timair and have been advised by timair to leave our negril depart to 2:30 - i guess i'll just monitor the situation. it's the first time I am nervous over something. You're right - I'm a baby about sitting in airports - just done it so much. thanks j
 
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 03:29 AM
  #16  
tivertonhouse
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Quick MoBay trips:If you check in early and prefer a last-minute jaunt via your driver and return into MoBay, the following are some quickie last-minute hits of JamaicaOWNTOWN--The Gallery of West Indian Art (online site as well)for paintings and better-quality mementos.Drinks at THE SHIP RESTAURANT on Bogue Lagoon (online at www.montego_bay_jamaica.com -- the best mobay info site);and THE PORK PIT,informal,outside,right by the airport,for fresh juices and a last taste of steam fish or jerk.
 
Old Dec 27th, 2001, 10:20 AM
  #17  
bill
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Paul-
I'm heading for the same trip on 1/1. Air Jamaica, airport, Ritz. How was the Ritz? Plenty to do? Many singles? I'm going with a friend. We're interested in a nightlife while down there.
 
Old Jan 4th, 2002, 07:53 AM
  #18  
Amy
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I would love some information about the Ritz. My husband and I are planning a vacation and it looks great on the website. In addition to whatever information you can give re: the Ritz, can you tell me if you felt safe while in Jamaica. Maybe a dumb question, but others I know have raised the issue and I want to be sure. Thanks for any replies! Amy
 
Old Jan 4th, 2002, 12:59 PM
  #19  
tivertonhouse
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AMY:If you enjoy the Ritz standard, the Ritz Carleton Rose Hall in Jamaica will NOT disappoint you. For a new resort, it scores top-notch for everything.
Except the beach, which is adequate,but hardly the best in Jamaica. Hardly a big trade-off, given the high standard maintained here. Great golf course, spa,
luxury style and old-Jamaica CLASSIC SERVICE -- it's a world unto its own without being barricaded away. Set outside MoBay, there'll be more than a few diversions you can arrange with the concierge staff. Horseback riding -- or if you're a beach fancier, a private excursion to a beach on the South Coast,Treasure Beach,perhaps or Negril for the day. It'll give you a safe taste of Jamaica outside the luxury cocoon of the Ritz which makes for a wonderful 1st taste of the island. They're got some good discounts on now as well...
 

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