If you've never been to Jamaica before I'd do the shuttle on the way TO the resort. It gives you a good look at Jamaica. You'll travel through Montego Bay so you'll get to see some of that city and then several small towns and some countryside, a good way to see how the people really live. It will give you a much better understanding and appreciation of the staff...once you see you'll understand.
It really saves you time on departure day as the shuttle will leave 4 hours prior to your commercial air departure time. If you take International Airlink or TimAir you will leave the resort about 2 1/2 hours prior to that time...if you do a charter, if you do a scheduled flight then it may not change your departure time so you'll have to evaluate whether it's worth the money. The air strip is about a 5 minute drive from CSA and the flight is about 15 minutes, checking in for these small flights is nothing like checking in at a commercial airline so it does save you time. Again, if you take a scheduled flight on International Airlink then the time savings may be mute, you'll have to check into departure times. The charters are where it's really valuable because it's all scheduled around you...but it IS more expensive.
We plan to always do it on departure day. Arriving...we'll see but it sure would be nice as we have a long day just getting to Jamaica. The shuttle isn't bad though and it's free.
In our 4 trips to the Negril side of the island, we flew back to Mobay each time. Timair 3 times and just this past April on International Airlink. The pilot was great (we did miss Curtis though....more entertaining) and the plane was a little more modern. It was about $70 for 2 less than we paid on Timair last year.
Funny thing was, we mainly did it so we wouldn't have to leave the resort as early as we would taking the shuttle. Having taken the flight 3 times prior we knew what to expect from the flight itself. Don't get me wrong, it is still a great way to see Jamaica but our main reason was to stay as long as possible.
Well, when we went to the lobby to check out, we ran into a couple we made friends with earlier in the week who were on the same flight home as us. They boarded the shuttle as we were checking out. By the time we got the cab to Negril Aerodome and our plane left, it was about 30-40 minutes after the shuttle had left.
When we got to Sangster and got in line for our boarding passes, they were about a row in front of us. So basically, we all left at the same time and we all arrived at the same time.
I posted previously about our experience last year leaving CSA when they wanted us in the lobby by 9:00 for the shuttle and we had a 5:40 flight. I informed the desk the night before that we were flying out Timair and we didn't leave CSA until around 1:45..... big difference.
Last year it was definately worth it...this year not so much so I guess you never know.
If you have never flew from Negril to Mobay though, I highly recommend you try it at least once, it's definately worth it.
Next year, I don't know what we'll do. Unless we go back to beautiful CSS, we always take the shuttle back from there.
Before the road to Negril was improved, back in the 80's and 90's when we first started falling in love with Jamaica the bus ride never took less than and hour and 45 min. Sometimes it took as much as 2.5 to 3 hours. When the bus ride was so very long, and far less comfortable than it is today, we used to use TimAir (still our choice over the others) at least one way on almost every trip. Now that the bus ride to Negril seldom takes more than 90 min, and often only 75 min, we prefer the bus and spend the saved $ on extra nights or toward the next trip.
Having said that, the flight to Negril from Sangster in those small planes is absolutely beautiful! The view is breathtaking on a sunny day and it was a real highlight for us at times. For anyone who has never flown to Negril ZI would call it a 'must do' at least once. There is a cost difference and TimAir costs a little more but they have been the company to beat on this route for years and years. TimAir is a charter, not a scheduled flight, so they fly on your schedule not theirs.
Last edited by rhallva; May 7th, 2011 at 10:52 AM.
If it's your 1st trip definitely take the shuttle. It is a beautiful drive with so much to see. We took the shuttle our first 2 trips. The last 2 trips we've taken the flight both ways and that's what we'll be doing this trip, also. We love the flight - the views are amazing! Not only that but the added bonus of getting to the resort faster (even if just a little bit) and not having to leave as early on departure day is great! Yes - it is a little pricey but we just factor it in when planning our vacation.
Flew this year there, shuttle back it was great. Will do it again. Although the last two times we took the shuttle. The driver we had on the way back was fantastic we explained everything in the way back and what we were driving by.
Thank you caviargal
Which company did you use when you took your flight to the resort?
In the past I have used TimAir a dozen or so times, always a charter. In 3 weeks we are using International AirLink purely due to price. I am sure I will miss Curtis and Kamakaze but I can keep $50 in my pocket - pays for drinks at Rockhouse.