As mentioned last month, we will regularly be featuring familiarization (FAM) reports created by our amazing certified graduates because peer-to-peer learning is so important, effective, and helpful…not to mention, fun!

This month’s report is by Angela Jamieson, CTA about her recent FAM trip to Jamaica:

A warm welcome! Let’s start with the arrival at the airport. VIP treatment is affordable through Club Mobay. You arrive at the airport, and, as you walk toward customs, there is your name on a sign and a lovely smile and welcome from a member of Club Mobay. That person gathers your paperwork, and you walk right past the long lines to your own area where you cruise through customs. Well, sometimes there may be a slight wait, but nothing compared to that long line you just walked past. You are ushered through retrieving your luggage then are brought to a lounge where awaiting you is a cool, damp towel, along with rum punch, champagne, or Red Stripe Beer. Then the Club Mobay rep finds whomever you are using for transportation and sees you off.

I suggest to my clients that, unless you are staying in Montego Bay, you probably have a one- to two-hour drive ahead of you, so bring a refillable mug or thermos and fill it up with a drink from Club Mobay. Jamaica is now plastic-straw free, so bring your favorite cup with a straw, or your frozen drinks may be a little difficult to manage. The bartenders will rinse them out for you between drinks, or you can wash them yourself in your room!

You can purchase an arrival and departure bundle through Club Mobay for $80.00 adult or $40.00 child. Travel agents get the bundle for $40.00! The arrival cost is $50.00 adult and $25.00 child, and departure cost is $30.00 adult and $20.00 child.

I generally book through JTL Tours for my roundtrip transportation. Jewel Resorts used to include it but no longer does. Did you forget transportation? There are booths right at the airport that will arrange for rides! Taxis are more expensive, so booking transportation to and from the resort should be done ahead of time, if at all possible.

Arrival at a Jewel Resort—be it Runaway Bay, Paradise Cove, or Dunn’s River—will be a pleasant experience with cool, refreshing drinks waiting. You check in, and your luggage is brought to your room for you while representatives point out interesting facts about the resort.

Why choose Jewel Paradise Cove? For one reason, it’s adults only and located on a private cove where the water is calm. If you are looking for a long beach walk, then this isn’t the place. There are 225 rooms, so it’s a smaller, intimate resort. The ocean-view rooms have beautiful views in buildings 6, 7, and 8.

Things not to miss while staying here: The Silver Birds Steel Orchestra steel drum band; Dining Under the Stars night; Manager’s cocktail party for free giveaways; and the free trip to Konoko Falls. If you like to snorkel, bring your own snorkel gear and use the private beach for excellent snorkeling. The Sunset Bar is the place to be, with gorgeous views of the sunset and a great way to start the evening before dinner.

In addition, there are four restaurants. Jade is Teppanyaki-style dining and requires reservations. Moonstone is an Italian eatery with open-air seating right on the water. During the day, Moonstone is the Court Jesters Pizza Place. Platinum is where you will get white-glove service and some great culinary experiences. The Coral Café features buffet-style dining and some great Jamaican dishes. You will find most of the entertainment or shows in this area.

The Aquamarine Pool Grille and Bar is open 24/7 and is where you can find burgers and fries, chicken wraps, nachos and cheese, and many other delights. On the beach, there is the Jerk Hut with chicken and pork, along with the Jamaican patties.

There are plenty of water toys; ask resort employees to take you out for a ride on the small Hobie Cat sailboats.

Unique selling points of Jamaica: Waterfalls; Blue Mountain biking and coffee; numerous choices of ziplining and ATVing; the Grotto Caves; and the Haunted Rose Hall Tour in Montego Bay. Additionally, Rick’s Café in Negril is a long ride, but you will see the beautiful island, and the sunset party is worth it.

Your target clients: This includes active and adventurous clients, those who would like to just sit back and relax, and humanitarian clients. Jamaica offers everything from luxury to middle of the road.

One final recommendation: Be sure to try the jerk chicken and pork, the chicken or beef patties, and Jamaica’s staple food: goat, rice, and beans.

Thank you, Angela!

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