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  1. #1

    Default Private shuttle vs Couples shuttle to CSA

    We are waffling on using a private shuttle over the couples shuttle. We have used the couples transfer 4x and are thinking of changing it up. Anyone used the private service out there? Was it quicker and or more convienent? Did you save anytime on getting to CSA? If you have, any recommendations on a good transportation service?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    A private shuttle would be no faster than the shuttle provided by Couples. A private shuttle would be required to follow the same traffic laws as the shuttle bus. It would follow the same route. It would encounter the same traffic, either in the same direction or oncoming. So how could it be any faster? The Couples shuttles depart about every 30 Jamaican minutes so I don't consider this wait to be excessive. It would drop couples off at CN, but again, this delay would not be excessive. A private shuttle may get you there a little faster, but you are talking minutes, not hours.

    Also, be careful what you wish for. Would you really want a thrilling ride across Jamaica with a driver who is speeding, taking excessive risks, passing with oncoming traffic, passing on hills, passing on corners, etc? That's what it would take to save any significant time from using the Couples shuttle bus. We had one of those rides once and it wasn't all that much fun.

    I have heard some people will charter a private flight between Montego Bay and Negril. This might also save some time. But you would still have the transfer time at Montego Bay, the time it takes to get you and yourselves off of the airplane in Negril, and a taxi cab ride from the airport to CSA. Again, you are saving minutes, not hours.

    Just my opinion but I would just use the Couples shuttle. I enjoy the ride and the scenery. Sometimes you get lucky and get a talkative driver which makes things interesting. I consider the shuttle ride all part of the experience. Maybe consider saving the money you would spend on a private shuttle or chartered plane ride and use it for an off resort excursion through the Couples tour desk.

    Enjoy your stay in paradise

    Only 89 more days until we return to CSA
    Jack and Kathy
    CSA 2007, 2010, and 2016. CTI 2012, 2014. CN 2016 (Trading Places only), 2018, 2020. 2023?

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    After 9 trips to Couples we decided on our 10th trip to CSS to use a private shuttle. It was well worth the money! It was so nice to not have to worry about having to stop if others on the shuttle needed to stop for a bathroom break or another Red Stripe. The shuttle driver was on OUR schedule! We used Dudley and will be using them again for our next trip in January! The shuttle was clean, and stocked with our drink requests water and Red Stripe!
    Last edited by suzyQ; November 23rd, 2015 at 10:09 AM.

  4. #4

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    The OP also asked about convenience (Suzy Q mentioned they had drinks on board her private ride and they enjoyed it thoroughly)... If timed well they could come close to saving an hour (car is there upon clearing customs and not having to stop for the whole shuttle to use the restroom and get another beverage)... Many people who take the flight from MoBay to Negril treat it like an excursion as you see things on it that you never will from a shuttle... I don't see this being any different than the Club MoBay debate on whether it is worth it or not, let everyone decide for themselves, they asked for advice on the private ride to CSA, as stated they are 4x repeaters so it is pretty safe to say they knew it wouldn't save them hours and have experienced the shuttle firsthand...

  5. #5

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    We've done the group bus many times and the private shuttle twice. The group bus can be fine, but it all depends on your fellow travelers -- which can be from one to six couples. If anyone wants to stop along the way for drinks, a smoke, the restroom, etc., everyone on the bus has to stop. That can be annoying if you just want to get to the resort. However, on the flip side, if you and the others are on the same page (re stopping or not), it's fine.

    A private shuttle uses the same type of transportation (a small bus) and takes the same time as the group bus to CN. If you're going to CSA, you skip the stop at CN, which will save a few minutes. The nice part is you get to enjoy each other's company without worrying about fellow travelers. The "bad" part is that you pay for essentially the same trip that is included in your fare.

    It's very much a personal decision -- whether the private shuttle is "worth" the cost is all about how important it is for you to control your journey to the resort.

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    We stopped taking this shuttle years ago. It's a awesome inclusion, but if you're an introvert, it can be a nightmare.

    Being subject to everyone's whims is not my ideal way to start a vacation. Give me a cooler of Red Stripe and a stop at an roadside jerk stand (not THE stop with all the other buses) any day.

  7. #7

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    I don't understand all the fuss about stopping for 10 minutes for a bathroom break and to buy a beer for the road. Seriously...that's a shuttle bus deal-breaker?

    Using a private shuttle may save you the 15 minutes you would normally spend in the Couples lounge,and the 10 minutes that you would spend on the dreaded bathroom break, so you would be looking at about a 30 minute savings driving straight through on a private service. I know some people that take advantage of the private service to plan a special excursion or shopping along the way too.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamaican_junkie View Post
    I don't understand all the fuss about stopping for 10 minutes for a bathroom break and to buy a beer for the road. Seriously...that's a shuttle bus deal-breaker?

    Using a private shuttle may save you the 15 minutes you would normally spend in the Couples lounge,and the 10 minutes that you would spend on the dreaded bathroom break, so you would be looking at about a 30 minute savings driving straight through on a private service. I know some people that take advantage of the private service to plan a special excursion or shopping along the way too.
    Jamaican-junkie after 10 trips to CSS and 1 each to CN and CTI, I know how I want to start my vacation. Stopping for the bathroom or drink breaks of others is not how I choose to start my vacation. If the Couples' provided shuttle works for you then that's great, but just because you don't understand why people don't feel the same way you do does not make that choice bad....RESPECT

  9. #9

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the insight! Surfhary, thanks for acknowledging we are repeaters and this isn't our first rodeo. If it was our first time I would do the Couples shuttle as it has some great merits, free for one! As we have been 4x this idea of a private shuttle was to do something different, and yes to save a few minutes. We know we're not saving like an hour or more like one can in Mexico. But maybe getting a little more chatter between us and the driver. Plus having a few red stripes of our own to share between us will be nice? So, as you can tell we're going to give the private shuttle a go, one way anyways. Coming back to the airport we will still use the shuttle.
    24 days till were back!

  10. #10

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    Stony - No problem first of all! Secondly, try searching for "private ride" or something similar on the MB. I recall a thread not TOO long ago where someone was asking for a contact for the same reason and received a few responses from people that hire a driver who picks them up in a car instead of a shuttle, had a cooler packed and some snacks or something. They mentioned they use them every year if I remember correctly. Not sure if it would be cheaper or not but based on your comments of wanting to interact with the driver this may help facilitate that for you guys. ENJOY!!!!! We don't have a countdown currently but are hoping to return to CSA next fall, we went several years in a row, tried a different island entirely another year and built a house this year so we are desperately missing Jamaica!!

  11. #11

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    After 4 trips on the bus, we took TimAir upon arrival last week and will never take the bus again. It took 15 mins to get to Negril and was like a mini excursion with beautiful scenery. Its the ONLY way to go. Upon departure, we took the shuttle and that was fine, because we were in no hurry to leave and actually appreciated it more. For the cost of TimAir vs a private shuttle, it should be a no-brainer.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamaican_junkie View Post
    I don't understand all the fuss about stopping for 10 minutes for a bathroom break and to buy a beer for the road. Seriously...that's a shuttle bus deal-breaker?

    Using a private shuttle may save you the 15 minutes you would normally spend in the Couples lounge,and the 10 minutes that you would spend on the dreaded bathroom break, so you would be looking at about a 30 minute savings driving straight through on a private service. I know some people that take advantage of the private service to plan a special excursion or shopping along the way tooy.
    yup, it's included in the price we've already paid and rather enjoy the bus. We are introverts (jim is) and usually really enjoy the ride. We can barely afford to go so tacking on more for a private ride seems unnecessary to me.

  13. #13

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    +1 for private transportation. We've done the shuttle, and like others have said, we don't like our schedules to be dictated by people we don't know. Our vacation starts the minute we pass through customs and immigration and the last thing we want to do is start our trip off by being packed into a shuttle with a bunch of strangers (as was our first (and last) experience). On our last trip, our hired driver was waiting for us out front with a cooler full of Red Stripes and water for the four of us (two couples). We decided not to stop and drive straight through, but it was nice knowing that if we decided we did want to stop, it would be our decision and ours alone.

  14. #14

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    Any good recommendations on private drivers or shuttle companies, approx. cost and contact info? Thanks in advance!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by StonyplainClint View Post
    We are waffling on using a private shuttle over the couples shuttle. We have used the couples transfer 4x and are thinking of changing it up. Anyone used the private service out there? Was it quicker and or more convienent? Did you save anytime on getting to CSA? If you have, any recommendations on a good transportation service?

    Thanks
    We used the private shuttle twice. Once a sedan drove us to the resort. It was an awesome experience. Last year we had a large van come for the 2 of us and the entire drive was a sales pitch for his tour business. We are back to the Couples van. Couples sets up the private transfer, cost was about $90.

  16. #16

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    I too am curious about the cost and if it is per person.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  17. #17

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    We ended up using a private transfer to CSA. It was worth it we thought. Used Ashton Pitt, $59 for one way. Which included a couple red stripes upon arrival. Was nice and we did find quicker on getting to CSA as we left asap and no stops on the way. I don't think we would use it for the trip back to the airport but the arrival feature was very nice and would do it again!

    Will be doing a review of our trip later with more info.

    Irie Mon

  18. #18

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    does the shuttle take the coast road to swept away

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweaver1932 View Post
    does the shuttle take the coast road to swept away
    Yes.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweaver1932 View Post
    does the shuttle take the coast road to swept away
    Yes it does.

  21. #21

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    We get a transfer between CTI and CSA each year.

    When it's just the two of us it's an air conditioned taxi and is quicker than the minibus.

    On average probably about 30mins saved.

    If your travelling from the airport it's probably about 15mins journey time saved. May be a short saving in waiting for others at Couples Lounge before the shuttle leaves but we have never waited their long.

    My view not worth it for the short time saved.

    It can be a bit more comfortable but again not worth the extra cost in our view.

    We enjoy talking to others on the shuttle and getting their stories of previous visits (or giving them tips if they have not been before).
    Kevin & Sylvie
    COR 2003, 2005, 2013, 2014, 2015
    CSA 2005, 2013, 2014, 2015
    CSS 2007
    CN 2003

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    We also took the plane on our last visit to CSA. It was great...quick, and like others said, like an excursion. We have booked it for our upcoming trip. The only reason we aren't doing the provided shuttle is the difference in time..15 minutes vs 90! Enjoy your trip.

  23. #23

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    After many trips on the shuttle, we now use a private driver...a lovely gentleman named Linston. We go at our own pace in a SAFE, CLEAN CAR EITH A VERY CAUTIOUS DRIVER. (Not dangerous or reckless as mentioned above). Oh. We also stop at KFC in MoBay!

    Whatttt? KFC ?! Yeah it's radically different and a life altering experience ��

    No, we don't there any quicker. Yes, it's the same road. But it's just the two of us. We also don't like the shuttle stopping for beer, etc. everyone has their own preferences and shouldn't judge anyone else for theirs.

    Linston can be reached via email.. I prefer to let him give you rates but DO tell him Suzi and Ricky referred you!

  24. #24

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    Suzi - Can you provide me with Linston's email? I'm curious about his rate. We've done shuttle and private car so if the price is right, private is the way to go! Thanks in advance!

  25. #25

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    Another option which I recommend is the TIM air flight (15 mins ) from MBJ airport direct to Negril. Its around 500 American $ return. You can also choose to go one way and use the shuttle back. Your bags go with you on the Cessna Airplane & a taxi meets you at the Negril airstrip. 5 min taxi ride to CSA or if staying at CN its directly opposite! My Mrs was also impressed & didn't tell me off for spending this ( kept this as a surprise ) & I think of it this way, you get to your room earlier, & you get a kiss & a cuddle a lot quicker ....... Maximises your resort time and the scenery en route at 2000 feet is interesting.

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