My fiancee and I are going to CN for our honeymoon in September. We've booked a beachfront suite and are REALLY looking forward to it. My question is, would it be better to take the bus from Montego Bay or fly with TimAir? From what I've heard, the bus ride can be a very nerve racking experience.
The bus ride is just fine, the roads have improved so much in the past few years and it's a great experience to really see the landscape and beauty of Jamaica... and the shuttle is free and included in your reservation, so why spend money to fly there when there is a nice air conditioned shuttle provided to take you for free?
The shuttle is part of your inclusions, and is actually not nerve-racking at all. It is an awesome ride and you get to see some great scenery and towns along the way. Since its your first time, thats a great way to start your trip. Plus, you get to drink Red Stripe on your way!
We have been to CSA in 2007 and then CN last year. We have always rode on the bus (not that I don't want to fly...i would love to to once anyway!) and i did not consider either one to be nerve wracking, but i am also a very laid back person. The ride TO the resort has definitely been more fun than the ride to the airport, especially if you have never been. The drivers we have had have been fun and tell you lots of things about jamaica. If you're drinkers, you have the opportunity to get a beer or two leaving the airport and depending on if everyone on the bus is ok with it, we have always stopped halfway at a little joint for more beer and to use the restroom. It took us about an hour and half probably, including the quick stop. If i had to choose and had the extra money to do it, i would ride the bus to the resort and then fly back to the airport. Everyone that has flown says it is very pretty to see Jamaica from the air But thats just my opinion! We enjoy the ride and think its kinda fun and have never been scared, although i am sure some people probably have had some crazy experiences seeing how they drive! Enjoy!!
Personally, I enjoy the ride in the Couples Van. You get to see the neighborhoods and country side of Jamaica, while conversing with the bus driver and other Couples guests. I don't find the van ride nerve racking at all. It is a personal choice......no bad choices.
I can only let you from others' experiences from 5 years ago, but back then this used to be a question asked often. I've heard that both the bus ride AND the plane ride can be nerve racking experiences.
Again, not sure if anyone has had a recent experience with TimAir, but from what I remember it seemed as thought he flight didn't save you any time once you were able to finally board and land in Negril and then get to the resort by cab. I personally enjoyed the bus ride and in 07 split time between COR and CN. That was a really LONG bus ride. But I enjoyed the scenery and made me appreciate the people and culture as we drove from parrish to parrish.
The choice is yours, but if it were up to me I'd save the money on the TimAir flight and spend it at the spa with a couples massage to unwind after the bus ride!
The bus ride to CN or to our resort of choice CTI, really had gotten a bad connatation. It's true that it is somewhat long, about 1 1/2 hours to CTI, I think that it is about the same to CN. If one has never taken the bus, it can be an enlightiing experience. Usually the bus driver will point out some interesting sights along the way and you can ask all sorts of questions that he will be glad to answer. The bus is air conditioned so that part of the trip isn't so bad. In our 32 trips to CTI, we have taken that ride probably 20 times. The rest of the trips have been split between the plane and a private taxi. At one point, the plane used to be a perk for repeaters. That was great. When they stopped offereing the plane, we paid for it ourselves. Back then it was about $150.00 one way. Since then, the price has gone up significantly. The private taxi was provided by a friend we have in Jamaica. When we get to the Couples lounge, we call our friend Andre and away we go. We tip him as well as bringing things for him and his daughter.
If this is your first trip, you may want to treat yourselves to the plane ride. Off hand, I don't remember what the price is today for one couple. If there are two or three couples, the price is less. You get to see things from the air that would be missed on the ground. Most of the plane ride will save some time,. Not always. Getting over to the other part of the airport where Tim Air is located sometimes can take a while. Then, if there is not a plane ready to go, they may be coming back from a previous trip, you may have to wait.
So I guess that it depends on how much money you want to spend, and hopefully save some time getting to the resort.
If you take the bus, chances are there will be other couples along for the ride. If some of those riders are repeaters, you will have a chance to pick their brains for information about the resort or about activities such as Dolphin Cove, Dunns River and shopping trips.
There is no easy answer. It all depends on what the two of you would like to do. The plane can be faster and you will see more, the bus ride may take a bit longer but you get to see things along the way that may be interesting.
For your first trip to jamaica I recommend the bus trip. You get to see more of the country, and it is usually very informative. Save the cash, and use it for something special, like a dinner in the tree house.
We always take the small plane. We have used Tim Air and International Airlink. Both are good. Air Link had nicer planes but the pilots on Tim Air are friendly and remember you. The view is amazing and we like the 15 min flight compared to the 1.5 hour bus ride. It's a personal choice but I thought I would share mine. It runs a little over $200 per couple each way
It's always a sad sad bus ride on the way back. If you fly on the way back then you can stay at the resort longer, which is a bonus.
I'd definitely take the bus on the way there though. It's an eye-opening experience and tends to be a lot of fun, especially if you get a good driver.
This will be our 7th trip to Negril. Unfortunately we can only go for four days this time. So due to the shortened trip we are debating on taking the flight to get more resort time out of our trip. I know there are two companies available....any recommendations on either?? Also, if you have ever done the flight, how long did it take from start to finish (checking in, boarding, landing and then travel to couples from Negril airport)? Thanks in advance!
Ditto M&K. We flew TimAir in '06 and it was about $165 per couple and even though we had to wait for another couple to get going (about 25-30 minutes after clearing customs) we still beat the folks who were in the Couples Lounge by a solid hour.
Flying Intl Air Link in April. It's now about $205 per couple for the chartered flight and since we'll be arriving to MBJ with our friends who are taking the charter with us, our flight will be waiting for us to go within 15 mins of clearing customs.
The short flight is a great experience. You cruise the coastline and see the mountains and whatnot and you're not dealing with the bus driver stopping in the rural areas a for vendors to sell you stuff or to get beers for your impatient co-passengers, which is commonly noted in great detail on TA reviews.
So, we spend the extra dosh on the flight down. Take the bus on the way back. While the busload of people are waiting to check in all at the same time, you'll be on your 3rd rum punch at the swimup bar.
My thoughts of coarse... Been to cn 6 times...I have done the trip many different ways.... I would take the plane there super cool from the air... Bus ride on way home to see the landscape... It's always been a crazy ride the seven times I've been there... Eric from WI
To me this answer comes down to a few things... I've riden the bus, never the plan....
Things to consider:
If money is no consideration, I'd consider the plan, but I'd still go with the bus (I don't like flying, and you may not save any time, only save travel time-waiting, etc... ) because it's a neat experience.
If money is a consideration, like others have mentioned, I'd rather have a 55minute couples massage than save an hour (at most) of travel time.
The bus, while a little nerve wracking at times (quickly applied breaks from time to time), it was very informative and scenic.
Depending on what time your main flight lands, the TimAir might not save any time. We also looked into this, but by the time the next scheduled TimAir flight left, we would have already been to the resort. I would also like to point out that the bus trip is a great experience. We had a lot of fun and got to see what the real Jamaica looks like. It certainly gives you a whole new respect for the people and country.
We've done the flight to Negril before on 3 different trips (out of 10). When the road to Negril used to be a very WILD ride, it might have saved us some time .... maybe 30 - 45 minutes or so .... but now that the road is complete, it doesn't really save any time from what I could tell the last time we did it so we started taking the free shuttle again. For people that it's their first trip to Negril, I'd say take the free shuttle van ..... It's very interesting to get a look at the island & well worth it, especially if you don't plan on leaving the resort once you get there. If you've been before & want to try the plane to see what it all looks like from the air (very pretty), I'd say take it going TO the resort & then take the shuttle going back to save the money ..... The drive back to the airport is way quicker for some reason ..... Never takes more than 1 hour & 15 minutes.