I know you are arriving on the 27th and not the 28th but I can't believe it would be too much different. I don't think we would consider it at all for arrival, but that's just us. I was thinking about it and the only way I could see doing it is if you carry-on your luggage and have private transportation arranged. Then you could speed through Immigration and Customs, check-in with Couples and then be on your way.
We usually check our bags on the way even though they are carry-on sized. You hit immigration first thing off the plane and we have found that in the 15 minutes or so that takes, our bags usually are ready to be picked up. Going through Customs, if you have nothing to declare the line is usually pretty quick there also. Then once you check in at Couples, despite the great service there, you are liable to have to wait for your bus to leave the airport headed to the resort. So, the bottom line for me is, you are going to have to wait somewhere almost assuredly.
Now, take this all with a grain of salt. We have been going to Jamaica since 1997 and the only "bad" airport experience we ever had was the first time and that was probably because we flew out on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and MBJ was a mess. Now that the airport has been "more modernized" we haven't had any issues at all. Anything could happen and we have heard of others' bad experiences, but a lot of the time that has to do with weather in North America and flights getting stacked up and arriving on top of each other.
I'm not trying to disparage Club MoBay, I'm sure it has its advantages and we may consider it for departure but not arrival. I'd rather put that money towards another night, or some other amenity. I'm sure others can weigh in but this is just my opinion.
Wow, I can't believe how much I just typed. Anyway, there are a lot of Jamaica veterans here on this board that I'm sure are glad to help. Feel free to ask anything.
Start checking this website for arrivals daily. This will give you an idea of incoming traffic trends so you can plan accordingly. If it looks like the airport is starting to get busy, then consider Club Mobay.
Purchasing Club Mobay is a crap shoot. The last time we went to Jamaica in 2012 we waited in line for over 2 1/2 hours, maybe more, for immigration and customs. Club Mobay would have been a bargain on that trip.
On our upcoming trip in February, we plan to purchase Club Mobay anyway. Spending about $7,000 for our trip so an extra $150 is no big deal. I know it's a gamble. But I don't want to wait for hours in line knowing what is on the other side.
We arrive around 1120am 11/27 ( Wednesday ) for those of you experienced vacationers... anyone have any idea how busy the airport is then and if the club is worth while?
Some say it's not worth it. If you're standing in a 2+ hour line, waiting in the hot airport while Club MoBay people pass you by and get on with their vacations sooner than you (after many hours of air travel), how will your SO feel about your choice to save a few bucks? Worth it to me. $5000 vacation + $160 of peace of mind... seriously? Why considering saving a buck here?
Okay, I don't want to hijack this thread but since we are talking about it already; I've been thinking about this more and more since my above post. I was only thinking about it for departure but I may be sold. Last year on departure, the security line was pretty long, probably 30 minutes or so, and, I got pulled out for a random search in the back room. That's another story. But that added another 10-15 minutes of wait time. And that tends to be the worst part of a trip, you're leaving vacation, it's hot, people are cranky, etc. etc. So now I think it may be a done deal. And, at $160 for both services per couple, I may just do both.
Has anyone been random searched when using Club MoBay? Not that anyone should get preferential treatment because they paid, but just curious if they are less likely to get pulled?
We had Club MoBay passes for departure last year and my husband was pulled for random search. The Club MoBay representative was very helpful. She said not to worry, it had happened to her before. She let us know the procedure. Which was comforting to know because we were kinda freaking out.
Thanks to you lovely folks for sharing your experiences, I went ahead and booked Club MoBay for our arrival and departure. We are Saturday to Saturday, in January.......I am guessing it will be busy! :-) I didn't even know this service existed! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
I love researching my trips in advance and getting advice from seasoned vets to the area. I am like a fish out of water traveling to Jamaica. Mexico I can do with my eyes closed and hands tied behind my back...lol. Looking forward to our trip to CN!
Thanks for the info atrue. I doubted Club MoBay would be able to help, just curious if anyone had seen it happen.
KrisJamie, I'm talking about the security line for departure. It was crowded and pretty hot last year. Though I agree about the renovations. Once we got past security to the gate areas it was cool again. Back in 1997, I'm pretty sure the only good A/C was at the original Margaritaville in the old terminal.
We always change on the plane for arrival and departure. Actually, that's probably the number one tip I would give a newbie. We always switch to shorts, short-sleeves, and sandals before we land. I love seeing the looks of amazement on some people's faces when they realize how over-dressed they are! But, I understand folks coming from cold weather. We try to dress light even for the ride to BWI so we don't have lug coats and such around.
In 2 trips to Jamaica I never knew Club Mobay existed, but I'm glad I know now. We've never had a problem arriving (always on a Monday) or leaving (we took really early flights out, were at the airport before the counters opened) so we never had problems. This next trip we are arriving Monday again but a tad later than normal and leaving mid day on the next Monday, so I think I'll be booking Club Mobay for peace of mind and comfort!
Got pulled departing Lenningrad in 1983 from my group into a seperate room with two Soviet soldiers who rifled thru my stuff. We were college students traveling with our economics professor. I was worried they were going to plant somthing or my luggage was some how compromised previously. Relations were a bit tense those days and more so than we thought at the time.
If your traveling and your keeping it legal there are no worries.
I left Lenningrad that day with no problems but it scared the hell out of me. They asked me why I was so nervous and I said "American movies don't portray you guys too nicely these days, If this was a movie something bad is about to happen to me"! They Looked at the mirror in the room which no doubt was a two way, laughed and thanked me for my patience. They asked me why I was visiting and I said for educational purpose (truth). They asked me if I had been offered drugs. I told them the non export vodka they had was so powerful they don't need drugs in Russia!! I also added "you know in america we sell drugs to school children and they are on every corner! Why would I come here for that, I wish I could buy more of your vodka!" Im not saying I charmed my way out of being hassled further but Im sure they were taping the process and in no time I was out of there and back with my group.
Bottom line is Don't bring the ganja home! Those Nice Doggies that come and sniff the luggage and their collectors are well trained. They can smell the coffee AND the ganja!
FWIW, we did club mobay this past trip (sept) and it really made it all just a little nicer and less stressful. Got some decent food, coffee and a few red stripes, (not necessarily in that order). on the way out and back to the harsh reality of everyday living.
I looked into arrival for our last trip. Glad I didn't. There were people on our flight who didn't get through any quicker than we did. PEOPLE, fill out your forms correctly & on you flight! Anyway, their arrival lounge was right next to Couples. People that used it, barely had time, then we boarded our bus.
Just booked Club Mobay for our trip in 23 days to CTI, arriving on a Saturday. Last year we arrived on a Friday and it wasn't too bad but I figure Saturday is a busy travel day anywhere so why not take the plunge. I am sure it will be worth it as my husband is not a patient man and we want to start our vacation as quickly as we can. Thanks to everyone who commented, it certainly helped.