I used Ken with a group of 9 from May 10 -17 for all of our excursions, and now I won't tour with anyone else in Jamaica! My wife, who was planning our wedding in Jamaica, found him on trip advisor through a review of our resort, and he was so highly recommended that we only wanted to travel around the island with him. She then tortured him with a million emails to make sure all of the excursions were perfect. Ken is a saint with the patience of Job! I really liked Ken because he is a genuine, down to earth kind of guy. He's not one of these flashy and pushy or stand-offish guides that I have had in the past. He was so friendly and knew everything past and present about Jamaica. Plus, you are getting your own personal tour! If you don't see a trip listed on his website that you want to try, just email him. He can do any trip for you and make as many stops as you want along the way. Over our week in Jamaica, we did the Martha Brae River Ride, Zip Lines, Rose Hall at night, the Cool Running's excursion and made many shopping trips. Each excursion with Ken was great experience! My wife is already planning our next trip to Jamaica and has already picked 4 new excursions for Ken and is working on more! Get ready Ken! Lol!
Ken's Jamaica Dream Vacation is the best! It's the personal touch he gives to all of his private tours at competitive prices too! We were in Jamaica from May 10-17 and planned 4 excursions through Ken. When we first started emailing Ken, we were trying to get the most bang for our bucks. We had no idea what an incredible person he was! He can do any excursion that you come up with and make as many stops along the way as you would like, and it's your own personal excursion. There are no stops at other hotels or over crowded buses, but the part that impressed my group the most was the personal touch that he adds to each excursion. Ken is extremely knowledgeable about the history of the entire island and kept us entertained the entire time. Plus, he is an all around great guy! Through Ken, we floated down the river on the Martha Brae River Raft. We went to the best zip lines in Jamaica and visited the haunted Rose Hall Mansion at night! We also did the Cool Runnings catamaran to Dunns River Falls. We were all dreading the 2 hour ride to Ocho Rios on this one, but Ken made even the ride over enjoyable for us! We are already planning our trip to Jamaica for next year and plan to keep Ken busy the entire time! He is our extended family, and we can't wait to see him again!
Lindsay Mcfarlane is the best driver/guide I've ever had. My wife and I recently got back from our wedding in Montigo Bay a couple weeks ago. Lindsay took us practically whereever we wanted to go. He is very knowledgable about the island and offers so much wisdom. He even, cooked an authentic Jamaican meal for us which he named "coconut fish." He is very reasonably priced and very easy to get in contact with. If you're going to Jamaica, give Linaday a call. Hopefully he will be available.
I just returned from Montego Bay after a 3-day visit. I was there for a conference, staying at the Hilton Resort, but I wanted to get some good photos while I was there. I contacted Lindsay McFarlane from SNL Tours after reading good reviews for him online. Lindsay picked me up at the airport in his comfortable van and he took me through the bustling city, local produce market, the historical St. James Parish Church (built in 1775), an amazing scenic overlook at the Richmond Hill Inn. We took a quick break at an authentic Jamaican bar for a cold Red Stripe then off to my hotel to check in.
On the last day of my visit, I managed to sneak away from my conference around lunchtime and wanted to explore Montego Bay. There is really nothing to see or do within walking distance of the resort hotels. So I called Lindsay who agreed to take me into the mountains for some good photos. To say I was blown away is an understatement. We visited the small rural towns of Mt. Carey, Montpellar, Anchovy and many areas of Jamaica that most tourists never get to see. We capped the day off with authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken at "Scotchies" restaurant. We had an amazing day and I was thrilled with the photos I took while I was there.
Lindsay is very friendly and extremely knowledgeable about Jamaica and its history. His rates are very reasonable and if you want to see the REAL Jamaica, give him a try. Because my time was limited, I wasn't able to see some other areas that Lindsay recommended (Dunn's River Falls, etc.), but I plan to return to Jamaica and I will definitely use Lindsay again. You can email him at email@example.com. I've inlcuded his phone number below.
The best way to get from Montego Bay to Negril is still Champion Tours. Another visit to the beautiful caribbean island of Jamaica and we had excellent service again from our local guide. We received complimentary drinks upon pickup at the airport and had a great kick off to our trip on our way to our hotel on the West End in Negril. If you need transportation to Negril or want to go on some tours use the contact info below. We still highly recommend Champion's services. And we look forward to coming back!
While staying at the Ritz Carlton I learned that private taxis and buses were the way to get around cheaply and quickly and that the hotel taxis charge double.
I was recommended by a tourist to use Ken's Dream Vacations, so we did. Kenneth took us from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, round trip equalled 8+ hours. We had alot of fun shopping, beaching, and stopping a few places to eat. He took us anywhere we wanted to go for one flat fee, which was far less than what the hotels wanted to charge for transportation. What a nice man too!
Please do check him out and tell him Monica and Joe from New Jersey referred you.
His website is: www.kensjamaica.com
Oct. 7, 2011
Take a private taxi if you want to get somewhere cheaply and quickly. The hotel taxis charge double and make you wait to pick up all the other tourists, even ones from other hotels. We went with Ken's Dream Vacations. Kenneth will take you anywhere you want to go, from the airport to the zoo. You just tell him where and he'll name a price. Here's his website: www.kensjamaica.com
We went all over the island, from Mo'Bay to Ocho Rios, Bob Marley's, Dolphin Cove, Luminous Lagoon. He'll even take you to the village that he's from. A lot of fun!
He also has private buses if you have a large group.
Tell him Erik and Angela say Hi!
The larger of the two main international airports on the island is Sangster International in Montego Bay, catering mainly for holiday flights. Situated towards the Ironshore area, it is currently undergoing expansion. The domestic terminal is to the left as you look, although some international flights call at Kingston.
Once checked in, you must pass security and immigration. At busy times (Easter, US spring break etc.) you should allow at least an hour to do this as the queues become horrendous.
Once in the departure area, there is a reasonable selection of shops and refreshment facilities, although prices for souvenirs tend to be high. There is also the official shop for the Jamaican bobsleigh team with the actual machine itself. They are currently looking for corporate sponsorship, if you’re interested!
Refreshments are quite expensive inside the airport with a bottle of Red Stripe beer costing a hefty$3:50US. On the upper level, there is also another branch of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville chain, although I really wouldn’t recommend it (see my separate tourist trap tip).
If you have time, you might want to refresh yourself at either of the two fast food restaurants situated before security. There is the ubiquitous Island Grill on the left as you look at the airport (see separate tip), and the Groovy Grouper on the right beside arrivals. The Grouper is probably marginally my favourite of the two.
Smokers are catered for in the B&H lounge on the upper level on the right hand side just after immigration. You are welcome to sit there and smoke or watch the TV without obligation to buy a drink. This is just as well, as they are expensive here.
If you are arriving at Sangster, allow a good amount of time to clear Immigration and customs, both of whom are very thorough. The arrivals area has separate lounges for various of the larger holiday companies (Sandals etc.), and the almost obligatory Margaritaville.
Porters, who wear red caps, are available at a cost of $1US per bag or equivalent in local currency.
I have been to beautiful Jamaica on many occasions, but these last few times it has been great! I found a VIP service, amazing prices, Touring all over the Island of Jamaica, is possible and affordable. I recommend JamaicaAirportTaxi.com for all your transportation and Tours. Check it out yourself, professional, always on time and very knowlegable. See the Real Jamaica!
I am lucky enough to live in the Atlanta area, and Delta flies non-stop to Mobay in about 2 1/2 hours. They have really upgraded the airport in the last few years, much for the better. There is a little longer walk, now, when you get off the plane to Customs, but airconditioned and comfortable. I actually miss the old days when they let you off out on the tarmac, down the steps into the Jamaican sunshine! Once you have filled out the forms and gone through the lines (there is a bathroom close by for those with small bladders like me.) there is a place to exchange money if needed. I usually get about $200 US changed for smaller roadside shacks that may not take US$$. Downstairs is the luggage carousel and then out into the main area where resorts have desks set up for assistance---If you are staying at a large beachside resort, most times they will have a bus waiting outside to take you there. Otherwise you have to negotiate with all the solo drivers to take you to your resort. Negril is about 1 1/2 hours away, and will normally be about $80 for the one way trip, shared between all travellers.
Going back home, there are lots of cool shops that sell mini bottles of Appleton Rum, Blue Mountain coffee, and other Jamaican goodies at fair prices. I usually wait til I get here to buy those items for presents back home. There are a few good places to get a meal while waiting for your flight, or one last Red Stripe for the road!
This email is regarding the Montego Bay Limousine service your company provided to me and my friends on March 19, 2010 from Montego Bay airport to Breezes Grand in Negril. it was clearly indicated that I would have a bar set up for an extra charge, which I paid. I was to get red carpet service with a champagne toast for the special occasion. I spoke with you on the phone and explained we were arriving for our wedding in Jamaica and stated we would get a case of red stripe beer, a champagne toast with red carpet treatment and I specifically asked you if the limo was like in the picture and you told me that it was. You told me that upon arrival to the airport, the limo driver would be right off to the right after customs with a sign with my name, that all I had to do was check into the resort desk and away we would go. Now lets get to the reason for this email.
So, we arrive on time in Montego Bay on the exact flight number you told me you had from me and would be all set. Upon getting through customs, I saw all these people dressed nicely holding signs for people for transportation but none for me. I looked all over and found nothing. I went to my resort check in desk at Breezes and explained to them we were all here and I had rented a limo but could not locate it. I told them it was your company. A man from my resort desk left and came back 10 minutes later and told me the limo was late and would be there in 30 minutes. After walking around and watching people come and go, this guy finally came to us and told us our limo was here. It was now two hours after arriving at the check in desk. He walks us outside and over to a rusted busted up limo from the late 80's and my comment was, your kidding right, but nope, this was our Limo (which was obviously nothing like the picture on your web site). We now had to wait as they loaded up a bunch of beer which later turned out to be 15 beers, not the 24 I paid for. I guess the red carpet treatment came when this guy who stood around doing nothing told me he was the captain and I should probably tip him. So, all 7 of us file in to find the air conditioning is non existent, there was no cd player but a cassette radio that would not turn on. The sun roof was broke and would not open, the windows went down and would not come back up and the interior was falling apart. We had already wasted 2.5 hours of our vacation, so away we went. We drove 50 yards and into a parking lot of a gas station where the limo dies and the driver gets out and pops the hood. You have to be kidding me, almost 3 hours past now and this driver shows up in dirty torn clothes and runs the limo out of gas 50 yards from the airport. So after he hunts down a plastic bottle and puts a gallon of gas in this piece of crap, he gets it started and now we wait in line to get a tank of gas. Finally, we are now on our way, the car has gas, the hood has been put down and we are hitting the streets, with the rear end of the limo bottoming out at every bump we hit. We ask the guy how much longer after an hour of driving and he says "oh about an hour more" Being here before, I knew this was not correct. 10 Minutes later we pull into the Negril area and I see our resort. I tell him it is right there. He stops the limo and backs up right in the middle of the road. I am hollering at him to just make a right turn but he insists on backing up and going on the resort property in the driveway that was clearly marked "do not enter" he continues to drive and stops and asks a man where our resort is, even though I am in the back yelling at him, just turn right, there is the front door 50 yards from us. We finally get to the front door and we get out, get unloaded and this driver wants another tip. Really, a tip for what??
Air Jamaica was by far the most expensive option but it was the only direct flight available on the way down and when you fly in the winter from Chicago you want to get somewhere warm as fast as you can and without the increased odds of weather delays by having a stopover.
We used to use Apple Vacations or FunJet to book our warm weather vacations but they are no longer the cheapest deal in town, I checked Expedia, Air Jamaica Vacations, Orbitz and Travelocity and found that Expedia could give us the best deal.
Air Jamaica is pleasant to fly on and leisure travelers are less likely to remember to ask for those coveted exit row seats. The exit rows are HUGE on Air Jamaica, you could easily fit two more rows of seats in the space.
We have always flown into the Sangster International airport in Montego Bay, it's the closest airport to the resort areas of Ocho Rios (2 hours), Negril (1 1/4 hours) and Montego Bay (10-20 minutes).
Getting through immigration/passport control isn't too bad although it can be a bit of a wait if you arrive at a popular time. The luggage has always arrived before we've gotten through and is off the carousel.
We use package operators which include transfer to the resort, if you travel with Apple, FunJet, Air Jamaica Vacations, etc., you will want to look for someone with a sign from the company or wade through all the taxi drivers and find the numbered stands which have the package companies listed.
Many of the resorts, if you book directly with them, have storefronts at the airport where you go to find out how to transfer to the resort. I saw one for Couples, Sandals, Ritz Carlton and several others.
If you are renting a car, the car rental agencies are in the terminal. I saw an ATM but it was not affiliated with a bank. We have not used Jamaican money on any of our trips, USD are widely accepted.
When you are flying back home, there are several liquor stores and souvenir shops. Prices on souvenirs were higher than what you would find at the markets but not excessive. I think liquor is just a bit more expensive if you don't want to lug it to the airport, remember that you can't have liquids over 3 ounces if you are not checking luggage and you can't buy it after security if you are not flying direct and not checking luggage.
I expected more of a fuss coming in and out of theis airport but it was very smooth and easy. Customs was no problem either.
At the airport there are also tons of places to purchase last minute items for alot more. I liked a Bob Marley store they had there that sold things that they didnt even have at the Bob Marley Mausoleum. I was going to purchase some books here but they were ridiculously expensive.
As soon as we arrived even before we got out of the airport we were being offered weed by some of the guys that worked in the airport but their prices were ridiculous! "Hello welcome to Jamaica, I have some good smoke. You smoke?"
Air Jamaica cut a lot of their flights so I reluctantly booked flights with Delta with a stop each direction and it turned out to be a VERY long day, we were supposed to arrive in Jamaica just before noon, we ended up getting there around 7 pm with not one but two stops on the way down. And that was thanks to a nice employee at Northwest who saw that Air Jamaica had an earlier flight than they did and booked us on that instead of getting there even later. I felt like we were on an episode of "The Amazing Race" as my husband ran back and forth between Delta and Northwest trying to get us down there that day, although Delta and Northwest have merged, their computer systems are apparently have not yet.
It's always a risk booking connecting flights, this time it was a mechanical problem and a very short connection in Atlanta, but there are also frequent weather delays in Chicago. A lot of folks on our plane were going to places that only had one flight a day from Atlanta and I don't know if they were even able to get where they going at all.
I'll certainly be very reluctant to ever do that again!