Rebecca & Tony
I heard about Nancy and her team on other wedding boards and felt we should give working with a travel agent another try based on the reviews alone. We were not local to Nancy, so that was my first unfounded concern about working with her – something she proved over time and time again that held no bearing to how she runs the business. Both Tony and I felt that we were working with a long time friend, rather then interacting with a travel agent. We had a not so good experience working with a local travel agent three years ago and vowed that I could do just as much background work as she did to save the money. Well, Nancy and her staff know their stuff and do 200% more work then I could ever do on my own – even from 100’s of miles away! The team at My Island Getaways was always one step ahead of what I was asking. They anticipated my dreams about my honeymoon and helped make them reality – it was seriously that good. Here is what I can remember about the interactions that we had with Nancy Finn and her staff while planning our honeymoon.There is so much to comment on!
To give you some background, Tony and I had no idea where we wanted to go for our honeymoon, as long as it was warm and all inclusive. We both agreed that we wanted to try to find an affordable room, nothing to fancy and a quaint resort with good food and a good staff. Our past travel agent experiences including getting booked at a massive resort, that we had to take a bus to the lobby or the other end of the resort and the food was no better then an old country buffet, bland, nasty, and something we could make better at home! The staff their was not personable at all, in fact we preferred to stick to one of the beach bars because the bartender took care of us and had more to say then “where’s my tip”? The beach was also a disappointment, it was dirty and un-kept.
After hearing about Nancy, I dug around a bit on her website; everything I saw was right in line with what I saw on the bridal reviews – very organized, new pictures from HER vacations and specific resort information and details that you could not find anywhere else. I decided to give Nancy a call, just putting the feelers out there. Nancy and I talked for over an hour the first time just so she could see what Tony and I wanted from our honeymoon. I was open about our concerns with the last vacation we booked through a travel agent and she was not sales pitch-y at all. We talked a lot about the food at the resorts she books through, mostly because if we were going to do this again, I wanted to make sure we were getting good bang for our buck, not some phony resort that was all Americanized.
After we hung up, I guess they researched different resorts for us based on what we wanted because, Nancy called ME to touch base again with specific room/location quotes based on our budget and desired needs from the resort. That was the first thing we were impressed with, Nancy always had our budget in mind, keeping us at the highest level of service for the lowest cost at all times. She knew details about each resort and took pride in being able to give specific examples of when she was staying at the resorts. I loved that she was not too good to stay where we ended up staying. I knew that I was placing a high level of trust in Nancy to interpret our wants and needs from our honeymoon, over time I came to find out, that is why she is stellar at her job – she knew more of what we wanted then we did!
After Tony and I narrowed down the list to three resorts, Nancy looked into specific pricing at three different levels of rooms at each Sandal’s resort (total of 9 pricing options) so we could see where our budget would fit in at each resort. After all of the evaluation, we decided to go with Sandals Dunn’s River because it was our favorite resort on paper, and we could get the best room location/level for our budgeted amount. It was the smallest of the three resorts, but that was what we wanted; we were also able to get a better room level for cheaper because the resort was smaller compared to most. We ended up booking for the mid level room kind of far in advance, knowing I would be less stressed if I had that taken care of.
As you probably already know, many off the beaten path questions come up when you are going to a new location. I asked all of them! Even those that I knew I could find the answer to myself such as: do we need a visa, are our checked luggage bags going to cost $, do they accept American $ at the resort, are we safe bringing our wedding rings, what are the excursions, what time do the excursions close, what days do cruise lines come in, what excursions would you recommend, what excursions might not run if it rains, etc., etc., etc. We had TONS of questions. We had never stayed at a Sandals and knew we were headed straight for luxury when Nancy returned most questions, the same day, with answers like, they take care of that, the airlines already know, Sandals does that for you, I’ll take care of this and let you know, etc.
Nancy was on her A-game – We felt as if we were her only clients and she was really working to make us have the best vacation possible, not a sale. There were also several flight changes throughout the year, all of which she notified us of immediately and communicated what that meant for layovers, transportation, costs of the tickets etc.
Come the week of the wedding, we did not hear anything from Nancy – this was nothing that alarmed me, up until we were getting ready to leave our house for the airport and wondering – was everything ready to go?!?! Once we finally made it to Montego Bay, Jamaica – we knew we were in for a treat. It seemed like we were the only ones headed for a life of luxury – we were very giddy with anticipation. After taking the bus all the way to Sandals Dunn’s River (we were in a coach, but we heard some people had a van or other transportation depending on the size of the group going at that time) we were immediately greeted by the concierge welcoming staff. They explained that our room had been upgraded (courtesy of Nancy’s relationship with the resort), and that our room was all ready to go. This was one of many unexpected surprises from being a part of “Nancy’s Crew”.
They had someone bring us up to our room, all the while telling us about the different places on the resort as we walked around. After getting settled into the room a little bit, we saw a personalized note from Nancy welcoming us and telling us about the staff (manager’s list) on site if we needed anything to call. We actually did need the manager right away; somehow the safe had been locked before we got there. The night manager was not yet there, but they said he would come up at 10:30 when he got in. At 10:01 he knocked and we were both caught off guard – turns out being on time, even early is expected at Sandals. When we ordered room service for delivery between 9 and 9:30, it was not even 9:05 each morning before they brought it in! That was super cool – we are a very timely couple and that was something we will always remember.
From that point on it was pure relaxation. The resort was just as Nancy said – everything was absolutely phenomenal and never left us expecting something more. She did a great job at scoping out which resort would be best for us as a couple, as well as helping us pick our excursions. We knew all about them before we even got there, knew what to bring to wear, what to bring with us off of the resort and what to leave behind. We found that once we did go off of the resort, you could tell the difference between someone who had Nancy as a travel agent (us) and someone who was not well prepared for their outings. We loved being the well prepared tourists! The resort lived up to EVERYTHING Nancy and her team promised. The food was spectacular, the staff was awesome, truly friendly and the environment was safe and secluded.
I can honestly say that if I had not come across so many positive reviews, and subsequently booked with Nancy Finn – our honeymoon would have been way more stressful and less fulfilling. Every need or want that we had from planning, booking, arrival, staying and departure was calm and organized. It was the first time in our lives that we ever been treated like VIP – it was amazing and something we will never forget. We can only dream that our next vacation will be just as relaxing. I cannot think of a better way to travel then as a part of the expert team at My Island Getaways.
Thank you so much Nancy – you did a wonderful job!