We stayed at CN October 8-18th. This was our 5th visit, all to CN.
Last year we had so many problems that I was very hesitant to go back. IM SO GLAD WE DID! This trip was by far one of the best trips yet.
Check in at airport – Immigration was very busy, we arrived 30min early and they were not expecting that many people to come at one time. They told us they had more people coming on duty in just a few minutes. Once that happened the lines moved very fast, I think we only waited about 20 min, then we were on our way to pick up our luggage,
And we were on our way to the lounge…
Couples Lounge – My fiancé went to seek out a TimAir Rep as I checked in at the Couples Desk. The man at the desk whom did not have a name tag on was rude. I gave him our names, then told him we were most likely going to take the TimAir flight over, he proceeded to become very indignant with me, he asked if I had reservations for TimAir, I told him No, He then proceeded to slam his pen down on his desk and told me to go get my luggage because they were not going to be responsible for it. I was so shocked I got up and walked away from him. We were traveling with another Couple and they witnessed this whole exchange, as did one of the baggage handlers. I was so upset (due to the problems we had last year), I thought I had made the biggest mistake coming back. My fiancé at that point was walking back over with the TimAir agent, and saw how upset I was… The man at the desk then yelled out the door to the TimAir rep and asked how long it was going to be before we left, and he told him we were leaving immediately. We then grabbed our luggage and we were out of there. I wish I would have gotten his name, but I did not. I have NEVER run into this at the lounge before.
Not a good start to our vacation….
TimAir – Flight was beautiful as it always is. In less than 40min from walking away from the Couples Lounge, we were landing in Negril. The flight was beautiful. Our pilot was Curtis, whom we have had every year we fly.
Just in case anybody is curious it was $108.00(US) one way per person.
Check In – Fast & courteous. I know they are unable to guarantee room requests etc… I did ask for any room any floor building 1-5, she smiled and said “we can do that, no problem” We ended up in building 3. PERFECT!
Beach- The beaches are fine!!!!! Now having said that, we arrived October 8th, Nicole had just come through a few days prior and the seas were still rough, HUGE waves were coming into Bloody Bay, which is unusual for the most part. There was a lot of seaweed and other plant and animal life washing up on the shores. It was terrible. (NOT COUPLES FAULT!) The grounds keepers worked hours upon hours attempting to get it cleaned up, only to wake up the next morning with it covered again in the same thick, deep seaweed. Again the grounds keepers were back at it again, raking, digging, raking digging…. I was amazed at how had they worked, only to wake up yet the next morning to even more… ugh… They repeated the process everyday. By Monday October 11th, the seas finally calmed and very little was washing up on shore. At that point, they really kicked it into high gear and our beach was beautiful the rest of the days we were there, the water was clear and the beaches were beautiful! I mention all this because all of those that worked so hard at getting it cleaned up day after day after day should be recognized by all the hard work they put into keeping our beach beautiful!
Diving and Snorkeling- Yes, as I have mentioned in previous posts, Bubbles (the dive boat) was damaged during Nicole, and the snorkel/glass bottom boat sank. Couples was able to get another snorkel boat which they were sharing with the divers the first couple days we were there. After a couple days Couples was able to get another boat so we didn’t have to share it. The dive boat was/is a glass bottom boat. I commend Couples for getting a boat, any boat, so these activities could continue. It wasn’t the most ideal situation, as it made getting gear & people on the boat very difficult, and getting ready on the boat was to say the least, very tight. We are all spoiled by how large and roomy Bubbles is/was….
Last we heard was Bubbles had some prop & Hull damage and they are working as quickly as possible to get her up and running again. But no time frame was offered to us. No news on the Couples snorkel boat.
Diving was great, lots of sea life… Lion Fish everywhere (yuck), Stingrays, turtle, octopus, eels, snapper, grouper, French angel fish, starfish, trumpet fish, drum fish, and much, much more!!! Don’t let the boat thing detour you from going and enjoying the beautiful diving! It’s not how you get there; it’s what you get to see underwater!
A huge shout out to Craig, Richard, Shrek and Alain, Could you ask for a better group of guys???
Other watersports – Everything is up and running.
Food – WOW! Fantastic… At Helliconia they have also gone to vibrating pagers – Still a bit unorganized, we were there with 3 other couples, and they would order the same thing we did, but we ordered first, and they would all get their food before us??? Kind of odd… But no worries… We always got our food, and it was always hot and wonderful!
~ Breakfast – In room service was prompt.
Cassava - Breakfast – Large selection every morning, excellent omelets made to order, fresh fruit and pastries.
Helliconia – Nice selection of burgers, fish, soup and salad.
Cassava – Fish, salad, soup, lasagna, and other pasta dishes.
Lychee- This is my favorite place. The Lychee martini is smooth and sweet.
Heliconia- fish, chicken and pasta dishes.
Cassava- We only ate here once, and it was the Thursday night buffet, pretty good, nice selection of fish, steak, lamb chops, salads, cheeses etc…
Otaheite- They had a beef tenderloin that you could cut with your fork… Delightful!
And the pumpkin soup, I could have had a large bowl of that for dinner… How do they make it taste so good???? It was out of this world!
Room & Housekeeping – As I stated before we were in building 3, second floor, room 04 (3204) – Very nice, air worked great. We did have a leak in our bathtub, No worries, we just placed a hand towel down in the corner behind the door, and all was well. Last year our biggest complaint was no hot water or worse yet, no water at all. We did not have that problem this year. Water was in working order, if anything too well… It was hard to get the water temperature anything but HOT! I would rather have that, than cold water! Huge shout out to couples for having taken care of the water issues! This was a great relief to us this year!
Housekeeping always had our room cleaned by about noon everyday, and beverage service was usually around 4:00 every day. We usually beat turn down service back to the room, but on those nights that they did turn down our room, it was tidied up just perfectly, with fresh towels laid out. What a perfect amenity. We did see housekeeping off and on throughout our stay and they were cheerful and friendly! Thank you to housekeeping for doing a fine job keeping our room fresh and clean!
Spa – We had our complimentary 30min massage, it was very nice! Walked away feeling relaxed. I also had the full body scrub the day before we left, this was the best thing I have ever had at the spa over the years… How did I not get one in previous years? My skin was left soft, glowing and rejuvenated. I loved it; I will defiantly do that again, and highly recommend it to anybody going!
Anniversary Party - Once again we have had the pleasure to celebrate Couples Anniversary, Couples holds back no expense for this party! The theme was “Old Hollywood” Couples had a MG sports car there for us to enjoy looking at, and getting our picture taken with. It was a HOT looking car! The food and desserts were endless.
Over the pool they had a large screen and the movie “Casablanca” was playing. Nice touch! Ice sculptures were everywhere…. Old movie pictures where placed around the resort, adding just the right amount of Old Hollywood. One part that stands out most in my mind is when I went to use the washroom. There was a staff member standing at the door, she opens the door for me, I go in… and when I came out, there she was…. Directing me to the sink, she then hands me a cloth dish rag to dry my hands and says to me, “Madam when you’re done, you may lay the cloth across my arm.” She then led me out the door, to where there was a tray of mints. WOW! I have never had a personal attendant in the bathroom before! An unbelievable amount of work goes into setting this party up, and I thank everybody for making it so special for all of us! It was fantastic!
Repeaters Dinner – As always this dinner is spectacular. Great conversation and warm welcome homes from all staff.
Observations – *I noticed a lot more people smoking weed this year, than in previous years.
*I noticed a lot of people being rude to staff. If there is one thing that can make me become so angry it’s that. I admire all the hard work each and every one of them provides, it infuriated me when I saw people being disrespectful.
*Bigger groups of people wanting to be seated together at the restaurants. While Couples is accommodating in these requests, you can tell it throws them off. We saw a wedding party trying to get a table for 20 inside Lychee. For those of you who have been to Lychee know how difficult that one was. They ended up in 2 tables of 10.
*Security was very watchful of people coming and going on the beach. I noticed them frequently walking on the beach.
*I didn’t notice a lot of vendors on Mondays. I was watching for the guy who makes the necklaces on the leather laces… He wasn’t there, I was disappointed. I really wanted to get a few of those.
*Same stuff in the gift shops… Had a hard time spending my 75.00 Gift shop credit. I would like to see coffee mugs, or Couples glasses. With the logo on them. Maybe incorporate some of the items on the web sight into the gift shops, like the beach towels, wine glasses etc…..
*My favorite place is lying in the hammocks – I love how Couples has added more throughout the resort. I even took the name down of the company that makes them… I’m getting one for my back deck!
*Plenty of shade on the beaches of CN.
To sum it up, we had the best vacation, it started off a little rocky, but in the end, the suburb service dismissed our initial encounter at the lounge.
If anybody has any questions please feel free to ask. There really are not words or enough time to express what a warm and welcoming place Couples is.
Respect to all…
Nice review Becky. Our first trip to CN was right after a storm and the beach and water was full of seaweed. I was so disappointed thinking it was that way all the time. But of course, within a few days all was well. BTW-I also find it hard to spend our $75 in the gift shop. Love the idea of Couples wine glasses.
Great review....I too absolutely love the pumpkin soup. It is probably one of the best things I have ever eaten. And the tenderloin as well. I can't wait to be back in 17 days. I'm so glad to hear that the beach looks great; can't wait to be lying back with a nice cold beverage.
I am so glad to hear you had a great time. I know you were unhappy last visit. We, too, have had an issue here and there. Most notably the front desk staff being rude. It seems enough people complained that this was not an issue last time we were there ( March 2010) We are going Dec 5th and hope the scuba boat is up and running. The first time we went the boat was down and we still had a blast. Glad to hear that the guys are still at the dive shop. Thanks for the review!
All the dive guys are still there, and doing great! We spend a lot of time with them while we are there! Wish we could go back again soon, but as it stands right now 2013 would be soonest we can get back... We already have vacation plans for 2011, and 2012. But I will continue to play the lotto in hopes of getting back soon!
Have a great trip in December!