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Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

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NJ
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212 posts
33 reviews
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Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

Hi all!

I know this has probably been asked to death -- what would an advantage be for me hiring a private transport vs taking the free shuttle?

I'm truly anxious about the ride to the resort and I figure in any scenario (shuttle or private hire) an accident can happen. I hear they drive crazy in Jamaica and I just want to be comfortable and not so stressed out. Taking a helicopter to WH next month is out of the question due to cost and I'm afraid of heights (I don't even like to fly but will do it apprehensively).

Thanks!! 🙀

Roseville...
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1,584 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

The advantage is that you would be the only passengers. It may or may not be an actual car which may be a better ride than a bus. Honestly the ride isn't that bad and the shuttle drivers have done it a million times. You are in good hands! Also, if you hire a private driver you can dictate when or where to stop. You would probably leave the airport sooner as well. We always take the shuttle but lots of folks like taking a private driver.

Tampa, Florida
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1,154 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

Our last trip to Whitehouse was last Christmas. As our departure date approached I found myself contemplating the bus ride back to the airport while I should have been enjoying the final few days on the beach instead. While the trip from the airport to the resort was not “horrible” – it just didn’t seem the right way to end a great holiday. The tour company (Island Routes has a booth on site) has a limo service in both directions so we signed up to have the limo take us back to the airport. The road was just as rough but the limo was definitely a more comfortable ride than the bus (seemed to save some time as well) and I’m glad we did it. We are planning to hit Whitehouse again soon and I think we’ll do the bus to the resort and the limo back again.

Calgary
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4,148 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

We recently went to SN and hired Island Routes (third time) as transportation. Our driver told us a funny story about a couple he had driven to SWH a few weeks prior. They were terrified of the drive because of comments on tripadvisor. He assured them it would be fine. The couple closed their eyes, held hands and basically said 'Hail Mary' all the way to SWH. They didn't say a word to him once he dropped them off. On the way back, he had them again and they were so comfortable that both fell asleep during the ride back to Sangster. Moral of the story...go with the private transfer!!! But, I'm biased...lol.

Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
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8,598 posts
46 reviews
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4. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

We've done both the shuttle and private drivers to SWH. Both modes of transporation are great!

For me, the advantage to the shuttle is that I totally enjoy being with other SWH guests who are as excited with anticipation as we are about arriving at the resort. We've met some lovely people on the ride in. Another advantage? The transportation is included in your booking! :)

A private driver will be open to whatever you wish to do...stop or not stop along the way. Only you can decide whether the extra cost is worth it.

I should mention that I suffer motion sickness and I also have a fear of heights. But the ride to the resort is not something that I ever worry about any more and I don't give a thought to whether we should book a private driver or take the shuttle. We have total faith in the shuttle driivers...they've done the route many many times. I actually enjoy seeing the landmarks and knowing how many minutes away we are from the resort.

Just remember that in Jamaica, car horns honking are normal...they do it in greeting, they do it to let you know they are behind you, beside you, ahead of you, passing you. Not to mention they drive on the opposite side of the road from what we are accustomed to. So it's normal to be a bit apprehensive. Just have faith in your driver. And the destination is so worth the drive!

Minnesota
Destination Expert
for White House, Negril
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13,075 posts
169 reviews
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5. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

We have done the free shuttle many times and like it. We have also done the private driver route using great drivers from THE LIST. The advantage of the private driver is the absolute privacy and that you leave for the resort immediately upon entering the arrival hall. You would avoid the wait time for the free shuttle to leave, generally only 15 - 30 minutes.

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6. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

My husband and I are going to Sandals Whitehouse in November and we prefer taking a private car because I get very bad motion sickness, I figure a private car will stop for me if I need them to where the bus full of other guests might now. If you don't mind me asking how much was the private limo through Sandals?

Calgary
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4,148 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

Johnna: Sandals private transfer (via Island Routes) costs US $240ish each way...unless they are running a sale.We have used it three times now (2x in Jamaica, 1x in St. Lucia). Great service, but it's not for everyone. They use Audi or Mercedes sedans...not an actual limo.

Edited: 12 July 2014, 14:44
Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
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8,598 posts
46 reviews
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8. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

Johnna...you could also consider booking an external private driver based on THE LIST in the upper right of the screen. I'm sure their costs will be much less than booking through Sandals.

We too are going to SWH in November. There is an informal roll call started by Milandralove if you wish to join in! tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1009314-i12763-k7…

Dallas, Texas
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93 posts
64 reviews
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9. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

I hated the drive in Sandals mini-bus no leg room at all, I am 6' 4" , would recommend private driver to anyone over 6ft. Also you can make stops if you want or go directly to resort. Would never do the Sandals bus again to Whitehouse ( we just booked Whitehouse again and will be calling same service as last time)

United States
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11,261 posts
115 reviews
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10. Re: Sandals Shuttle vs. Private driver

A one way private transfer from the airport to Whitehouse will cost something in the range of $US150 one way. Considering that I have already paid Sandals for a transfer, I would never pay that much again for the same service. As I see it, I could spend the money on a tour, etc. and get much more value out of the transaction.