The pleasure of travelling

Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, November 20, 2008

We need to book one more night in Jamaica before we leave. Since we are not so grabbed by Hedo II, we shop around. A hotel in Montego Bay is recently taken over by Hilton and the rate is 107$ per night. Let's do that. It is 2 to 3 hours driving from Negril to Montego Bay. Today, it is closed to 3, since it has been raining for 24h.

The hotel is nice.

But, at the end of the day, the whole thing was more expensive than Hedo. How can that be? Well, 25$ one way from the airport to the hotel. 25$ for the wireless. And 50$ PER PERSON for the buffet. No alternative. But, the staff was really really nice and it was an experience.

We arrive at the airport more than 2 hours upfront, like good girls and boys. Check in. Boy cannot find our tickets on line. Then, he gets confused about the luggage. 3 bags? Who's are they? Hubby points out: Tony, Tony, Marina. Fill in name tags. But, but, but: they all have name tags! Dr T is smarter: he just fills in an additional tag. Which the boy put on to the wrong luggage. Next to my HUGE lemon green name tag, he attaches T's name tag. If our luggage gets lost, that will be fun explaining to them that it has 2 different names on it. Next thing: we have to pay extra for the 3th luggage. Tony explains: we have an international Star Alliance ticket, we are allowed to 2 items per person. Boy: no, not locally. Tony: yes it is in the conditions and we did it flying here from Charlotte. Boy: no, not to Charlotte: he will have to charge 100$. Sigh. It goes on like that for ages. Luckily, Hubby knows what he is talking about.
Next is the luggage destination: the tag says LAX but the boy says we have to pick it up in Charlotte and check it into LAX. Do NOT go to 'why?' This process took almost an hour.

I am not even to describe our meal in Burger King: no bacon, no diet coke and no water.

LAX: we have to clear immigration. Do NOT ask why. Since we are at the very back off the plane, we are the very last one at immigration. In the non- American line. Lots of Jamaicans in front of us. Very unfair, but it is difficult for the Jamaicans to get a visa to get out of their country. So, the security is strict. A woman with an annoying child is finally behind us. It is kicking and pushing us. Mum keeps on saying: why don't you listen? Why don't you obey? BECAUSE YOU DO NOT SET ANY RULES: YOU JUST NAG. NAGGING NEVER HELPS. No, I do not say that, just think.
Another plane arrives and all of a sudden 14 of the 16 immigration counters are designated to that plane. HEY! After half an hour lining in a row to line for the counter, we are 7th in the row. I address the security officer: the other counters have max 2 people in it. 2 Americans: which means: cleared in 2 minutes. We have a flight in an hour! She (which is a 70+ woman) says: these lines (14 of them) are for the plane from Germany. I say: we will miss our connecting flight! Answer: sorry. She most definitely is NOT. I ask why can't we ... but she is gone. The woman with the annoying child, standing behind us previously (the only one) is now standing FIRST on the row for the Germans! We wait and wait and wait. By the time we clear immigration ourselves there is NOBODY LEFT IN THE WHOLE HALL. That is right: the whole German plane went through, the women BEHIND us with the PITA child is already having dinner at home and there is not one passenger nor security officer left. We run to our luggage pick up to learn that ... a suitcase got stuck in the canal and the whole thing is blocked. We wait and wait. A hostess from the airline is offering some help: please put the liquor in your check in luggage ASAP in title to make your connecting flight. EXCUSE ME?????? Which luggage do you want me to put in into? Why do you think I am standing here waiting? Why do you think I am late? BECAUSE I HAVE NO LUGGAGE!!!!! Hubby says afterwards: and if I would have had booz I would drink it ;-)))

Finally, our luggage arrives, we run to check it in again, go through security again and luckily, our flight is delayed for 2 hours. Of which we spend a pleasant hour in lounge, with a beer and internet. After a quiet flight, we arrive in LA at 22h local, our 1 in the morning: tired. We booked a Travelodge airport hotel with a free pick up bus, which ... does not show up. We see any possible hotel bus past by, except ours. After waiting for 40 minutes, Tony calls the hotel. They will be there soon. Twenty minutes later, we get picked up. Hotel, check in. OK for a night:

We go next door for a Denny's. It is almost midnight here, 3 in the morning for our body. You can imagine how tired we are: we did not even try the free internet.

06h30 shuttle, 06h15 check out. The receptionist says: go and get some breakkie, it is free. Unfortunately, toasting some bread takes forever and when I arrive at the bus, 5 minutes before departure, our driver snaps: no munching. I do not understand immediately. He points at my toast: NO MUNCHING. I say: OK, then no tip either. Explain to me: he can (and does as far as we saw) take 12 people per rite. One person has AT LEAST one bag. Normal tip: one dollar per bag. Driver does AT LEAST 10 trips a day. Average daily TIP: 120$. In your pocket. In the black. Sure: you might have to vacuum clean your van in the evening because those tourists crumbed over it. I would vacuum clean SINGING with 120$ in my pocket!!! Instead, you prefer to piss of the costumers by barking at them that they should throw out their breakfast and by that throwing out your tip. I really, really do not get it!

There is a huge line to check in the luggage but it goes very fast: everybody at his turn and his turn for everybody. Unfortunately: the auto check in stops working by the choice of the seats. We have no seat allocation. Seats will be giving at boarding. That means: probably not sitting next to Hubby.

After a lot of running around, we do get seats next to each other but ... squeezed in between other people. I have a funny thing about that: I seem to be claustrophobic when I cannot open a toilet or I get stuck between people in planes. Never anywhere else. It is my experience with people next to me in an aisle seat on a plane: they sit down and fall asleep within seconds: keeping me prison for the entire flight. Why do they want an aisle seat if they do not move anyway?

We do have an individual video screen and Dr T and I watch Mamma Mia simultaneously. I enjoy it very much. We are tired landing in Hawaii but, hey, we can pick up our car now!
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