Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $

Posted By: Brian&Andi

Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 02/26/2018 06:18 PM

Any advice or experience w/ "Club Mobay Lounge" in Jamaica?

The resort (Moon Palace) is saying that customs lines will be very long upon entering & departing (up to 5 hrs) during Spring Break - we're on the back-end w/ H.S. kids departing on March 30th

They're offering a service where they escort you to their own "short" customs area...a private lounge with snacks, beverages, etc and the promise of an expedited process.

The fees are $80 per person for both arrival & departure.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 02/26/2018 06:35 PM

We did it a few years ago and it was very nice. I don't think we paid $80 a person, but it probably varies, based on season, etc. I don't know about it taking 5 hours to clear customs, that certainly seems excessive to me. For the departure, it was nice to be away from the crowds, and the food and drink were included in the price. Are you saying that the resort said you could book Club Mobay through the resort? As far as I know, you can still book Club Mobay directly with them. Perhaps the resort is marking it up? I might suggest you look about booking directly with Club Mobay, and see what the price is..
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 02/26/2018 09:04 PM

Just recently got back from a week at Sandals Royal Caribbean...I had read about Club MoBay but since we were traveling with others for a wedding, we decided against us. Clearly the value increases with the number of arrivals happening at the same time, but there were a couple of planes coming in at the same time and we were through customs etc in slightly less than 30 minutes I'd estimate. We did see the Mobay people leading people past us though. Much quicker leaving. I think the $80 number is $50 & $30 but I don't remember which direction was which.
Posted By: TravelHat

Re: Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 03/01/2018 02:10 AM

I believe it is 50 going in and 30 departing. We have only done the depart. Carol is right the food and drinks are worth it with a comfortable lounge, table service and decent food buffets. The bathrooms are very well kept and there is showers and room to change if you leave the beach and head to airport. Most resorts get you to the airport a couple hours or more before your flight so if you are the eating and drinking type it pays for itself. Gets you through departure security quickly too.

If you are flying Southwest ( I know Carol won't be) the gates are at the other end of the terminal so leave the lounge 45 minutes before your flight time. They are pretty prompt about starting the boarding 30 minutes ahead.

We have neve been through the arrival with them. Most we ever waited was an hour. Our resort has their own lounge so we go there and wait on transport.
Posted By: purplelily

Re: Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 05/15/2018 05:27 PM

I'm late to the conversation, but we just went through for spring break (March 12-19, so not weekends), and breezed right through on both ends. No way in hell I'd pay $80/head. That 3 hour check in on departure is misery in a bottle, but there's some decent fast food and Margaritaville Cafe - ick, I know, but it's better than Subway) I'm a lifelong Parrothead, but Jimmy has really sold out and cheapened the whole lifestyle.

I dream of an outdoor airport lounge with trees, flowers, hammocks, island music, a big sandbox, and a real jerk BBQ food truck / bar. My husband says it would be a security nightmare, like terrorists could drop contraband in with drones, I don't know. There has to be a way, though. I'd pay $80 for that hang out spot. banana
Posted By: TravelHat

Re: Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 05/16/2018 02:22 AM

We went April 4-11. We did both ways.
Arrival- the lines were long but not like we have seen on Saturdays. It was nice to bypass all of it and go straight to the stamp. The arrival lounge was weak. Not much on the food. They offered drinks and had a self serve beer tap. I think the plus was that we caught a earlier shuttle to the hotel and we made it to destination an event on time.

Departure- we were stopped in traffic for close to an hour for a security check. If we were checking bags it would have been an issue as that line was large. We do carry on only. We got right through security and headed to the lounge. Although we didn't have much time there it was still nice to hit the buffet, have a couple quality beverages and extreamly clean bathrooms.

Worth it? To us yes!
Posted By: lee614

Re: Customs - Long Wait vs Concierge Service $ - 09/25/2018 03:39 AM

I will add my experience. (to this older thread) Been to Jamaica twice since Irma. Nov 2017 short wait on arrival (Tuesday) Departure on a Sat or Sun - Long long long line. Line went fast and security was fast and great. Maybe an hour wait. Mobay people had little to no wait.
Trip in end of June Arrival on a Friday - wait was long. perhaps almost an hour. and VERY warm/ hot. I watched the Mobay people pass through with no to little wait. At this point I was thinking MoBay was worth every penny. Departed on Thursday (July 5) Line was much shorter and wait was minimal to get through security.

So my thoughts are - do the MoBay thing if you're travelling the on the busiest days - Friday, Sat & Sun. The other days you might roll the dice unless you're anxious to get though as quick as possible. Perhaps there is a place where you can see when all the flights arrive to find out if you're arriving in the middle of the rush, etc...

My other advice: Book a private shuttle/car. The group mass shuttle stinks. We waited over an hour to fill up every single stupid seat. Search/google and trip advisor helped me find a reasonably priced taxi.
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