Our plane begins its descent and we excitedly peer out the window at the blue-green Caribbean Sea and the Island of Jamaica. Paradise is at our fingertips! Our flight is early and the world is good.
Going through Immigration was a bit of a snafu–really a bit of a Charlie Foxtrot…. We were given one form per family on the plane (somewhat standard practice) and immigration requires one form per person. The hall was filled with confused travelers filling out additional forms. One grouchy immigration agent would send travelers to the back of the line if all forms were not 100% complete….. Needless to say, by the time we exited security, we were ready to be on vacation…..
We quickly find our Destination Management Company, who were to provide shared transfers for us. Now, normally, I take private transfers, but occassionally, I like to see how they operate as some of my clients will opt to share their transfer. We step outsdide–Welcome to Jamaica! I am instantly greeted and asked to wait five minutes for our shuttle. Five minutes–I begin to worry….five minutes is what I tell my chickadees when they ask “are we there yet?” Tick-Tock. We wait. The waiting area is sponsored by Margaritaville and spiked slushie machines, kegs of Red Stripe and it’s Five O’Clock Somewhere merchandise fill the small space. The music is loud and pumpin…but I am ready to slip my toes in the sand and start my vacation….and we wait.
Normally, with my preferred Wholesaler, the wait times for shared transfers is somewhat low, but life happens and sometimes circumstances are not perfect. We must have been the earliest ones on our transfer–and our driver needed to wait until he had all of the passengers on the manifest. After thirty minutes of waiting, I put my Takin Care of Business Hat on and decided to gauge the situation and get us on our way. Once the transfer coordinator realized how long our wait time had been, he quickly gave the okay for us to depart. What was going to be an early arrival ended up being a later arrival than we expected.
Our vacation was not ruined, but it was not a good way to start. We were stressed and confused our first hour in paradise–not something I want my clients to experience….especially when the solution is simple and accessible…hire a private driver…at least for your arrival. In my opinion, the lack of stress is worth the extra cost (and it isn’t typically a hefty difference). If we would have arranged a private transfer, a driver would have met us in the arrivals hall; holding a placard with Lukovic written on it and the world would have been good–we would have been in paradise in minutes and not be so frazzled upon our arrival to our hotel.
I experience the hard stuff so you don’t have to.
As for me, the blue Jamaican waters beckon a run on the beach–time to return my mind to paradise and experience the Island.