Travel Diary: Negril, Jamaica | Day 1

4 January, 2015

Ahhhhh!  My trip to Negril, Jamaica was amazing.  Seriously, I wish I was still there right now.  For as long as I had been planning this trip, I knew that I was also going to be telling you guys all about it when I got back.  What I didn’t know was that I would have so much to tell you about the trip and my experience, that I couldn’t possibly put it all into one post.  So welcome to the first of eight parts of my Travel Diary of my trip to Negril, Jamaica!

Day 1: Travelling to Jamaica  

So today my mother and I were up super early to head out to the airport to begin our journey.  Our flight wasn’t until 10 am, but you know that you need to be there at least 2-3 hours earlier for an international flight.  Add to that that December 19th is one of, if not the busiest travel day of the year, and I felt we were better off safe than sorry.  So I booked the airline limousine to pick us up at 6:30 am!  It picked us up like 10 minutes early, and then proceeded to book it all the way to the airport.  Seriously, this trip normally takes like 30 minutes from my house, but added to the fact that the driver had a lead foot, we also had no traffic.  So the 30 minute trip took 15 minutes.

When we got to Pearson, we were met with long lines.  They were not kidding when they said that the 19th of December is the busiest travel day of the year.  Looking at the line up to check in, I almost  wished that we had arrived even earlier.  But of course luck ended up being on our side because we were approached by a Sunwing worker who asked if we wanted to upgrade to Elite Plus for a price of $40!  Normally, I wouldn’t do that, but Elite Plus not only allowed us to choose our own seats, but it also allowed us to skip that super long check in line.  I was sold!

Once we made it through security,  we finally had the opportunity to sit down and relax a bit while waiting for our boarding call.  Now I haven’t flown out of Pearson in a while, and it’s been even longer since I flew out of terminal one.  But man, has it changed.  I successfully managed to resist the lure of the Duty Free Shop.  I mean, really, they have both MAC and Estee Lauder counters!  I did end up spending the entire time in the fancy schmancy lounge where I had a ridiculously overpriced breakfast, but they brought it right to my seat.  As I sat with my mother waiting for our boarding call, I noticed on the complimentary iPad provided that there were a large number of flights headed to Montego Bay this morning.  I wasn’t too concerned with any issues leaving Toronto, but rather about landing in MoBay!

Mom and I did not sit together for the flight.  Which was probably a bit of a blessing in  disguise.  She sat at the very front and I was in row 16!  Despite feeling like a bunch of sardines in a can, and not getting my complimentary champagne, the flight was quite good and very short.  Just over three ours after take off, we were landing in beautiful MoBay!

Now the fun really begins.  Remember when I made note of all the planes flying out of Toronto within a short period of time?  Well landing in MoBay was fine, it was the grid lock in the actual terminal that took forever.  Seriously, it took over an hour to get through Immigration, and then another hour to get through Customs.  By the time we made it out to the shuttle to take us to the hotel, it was after 5 in the afternoon.   We landed at 2:35, so yeah, it took a long time.  Now if we were staying in MoBay, this wouldn’t have been so bad.  But we were staying in Negril.  Now Negril is over an hour a way from MoBay during good traffic, but in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic, well, it took us an hour just to manoeuver through downtown MoBay and get to the coastal highway.

When we arrived at the hotel, the Riu Palace Tropical Bay, we were greated with a refreshing drink.  A ‘welcome to Paradise’ cocktail, and after such a long day, it was much needed.  Despite being super tired, I got a second wind and immediately wanted to start exploring the hotel.  Instead, I explored my room, took a nice refreshing shower and headed off to get some dinner before making my way back to the room to get a good night’s rest so I could start the next day off right!

Join me tomorrow where I talk about day 2 of my trip to Negril, Jamaica!

xo ~Nicole

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  • Sarah M

    Yuck to so much airport time, but you tell it like it was pretty stress free regardless!

  • MizzJ

    Oh wow it’s only 3 hours to Jamaica from Toronto? That’s so close!