Former cruiser help?
Need advice from former cruisers….My boyfriend and I have been to Couples resorts 4 times and we love them – 2 times CSS and 2 times CTI. We are planning a trip again in February 2011 and are trying to get my parents to come along. My parents have been on 3 cruises now, and they love them. We have been trying to get them to try an all inclusive because to be honest, we aren’t fans of the cruises (too regimented) AND we think you get more for the money at an all inclusive. Greg and I think they would love Sans Souci (for its beautiful grounds) .
My mom can't do a lot of walking when they get to a port because she has bad arthritis in her feet, so many times they would venture onshore a little way and then go back to the boat. I don’t think the stairs at Sans Souci would pose a problem for my mom as long as she didn’t have to take them 15 times a day. Plus there is a shuttle. Plus there are beachfront rooms.
At the same time, they say they don’t want to lie in the sun all day and drink (something Greg and I don’t really have a problem with. Heh.)
Is there is enough to keep them entertained at CSS….without the regiment? I know they would LOVE the formal night (they like dressing up on the boats – Greg and I don’t). And the gorgeous grounds. And the amazing Couples staff, which I really cant hype enough. It s something you just don’t get anywhere else. But does it compare favorably with the cruise experience?
You have to keep in mind there are different strokes for different folks. Personally I enjoy Couples as well as cruises. Others it hard to get them out of their comfort zone and to try something new. What can you do?
Perhaps if you negotiate with them to do something they like with them you can get them to do something with you. Perhaps they'll discover what they've been missing.
We've cruised several times before, and have also been to CSS and CSA.
If you book a beachfront room at CSS, they'll hardly have to walk the steps at all.
You absolutely do get more bang for your buck at Couples than on a cruise (especially if you enjoy the occasional cocktail or two). But if your parents enjoy the big shows and casinos that are available on cruise ships, then they may be disappointed in CSS. During the day, we found plenty to do at CSS, between snorkeling, off-site excursions, scuba, working out, swimming, and reading. However, your parents may find CSS "confining" especially is she has mobility issues.
I would sit down with them and find out what it is that they love about cruises. If they don't do much exploring in ports, then it can't really be for the ports. I mean, you do not get a feel for any place in the busy, crowded, ridiculously touristy port areas.
If it's food they love, tell them how Couples has lots of great dining options, and better than a cruise, they can dine in a more tranquil, open air environment and really enjoy Jamaica, rather than be stuck inside some icebox dining room in a ship. They even put blinds over the windows, so you could be anywhere at home. No atmosphere at all.
During the day on a ship there's no where to really get out of the sun unless you go inside or at least under a roof. There's no trees for shade. At Couples they can find a shady spot under the tress with a nice view of the ocean and read a book or just relax. They don't need to drink alcohol. They can have virgin drinks and fresh juices, which you have to pay for on a cruise. Even pop isn't free on a cruise!
Do they swim? They have options of nice calm ocean water or the pool to float in. On a ship the pools are postage stamp sized and full of screaming kids! ...Oh, and tell them how nice and quiet and peaceful an adult only resort is.
I truly cannot understand why people love to be on a ship on sea days. It's so jam packed and lacking in character. I mean, no beach, no trees or foliage of an sort (ok, except that new Oasis).
Tell them how nice and relaxing it is to be without a regimented schedule.
We have only done one cruise and we enjoyed it for the port each day intineray. We really got out and explored each island though. Stick me on a ship with sea days and I'd go nuts. I'd be spending a lot of time escaping to my little balcony. The lines and the crowds everywhere drives me bonkers!
We haven't been to CSS yet, and it does look beautiful, but if she has trouble walking, maybe one of the other resorts would be a better sell? You don't want them to hate it for all those stairs. If they like ships they like modern, so what about CTI? They can have a great view and more compact grounds, or CN, or CSA for a little more space and it's wonderful tropical feel.
Can I sell Couples or what? LOL
Maybe they enjoy going on a cruise alone as a couple and do not know how to say that to you. They may enjoy doing their thing while by themselves and you enjoying your thing by yourselves.
Just a thought, I know my wife and I enjoy our vacations alone now that we have the opportunity to do so!!!!! :) :)
I've cruised a few times...and while they are ok, they are no comparison to Couples. No worries about getting that final bill with all the gratuities, no 15% tips automatically added on for drinks, no charge for sodas or adult beverages...you wanna play bingo? free! glass bottom, snorkeling, kayaking, cooking demos, dance classes, hat making , pottery painting, ice carving demos, Jamaican history, ...you get the idea - already included! Now I only cruise because we take the kids on those.
....You may also want to look into CN. This is a smaller resort and grounds. Easy to get around.
Originally Posted by MONA70
WOW...That thread was informative! I have never been on a cruise & have no desire to do so.
Originally Posted by IowaFan
First time to Jamaica & Couples...CTI bound in 81days :D
I guess my first thought would be to find out what they actually do like and do do on a cruise ship that they think they'd be unable to do at Couples. I say that not to sound snide but because if your parents don't want to "sit and drink all day" and don't sound terribly active (not a dig, as I'm arthritis-free, and "not terribly active" is euphemistic when describing me on vacation), I'm wondering what exactly they're looking for.
I've never been on a cruise (no real appeal: kids, bar bill, bad food, etc.). I'm thinking that there are probably more scheduled activities than you'll generally find at Couples on any given day/week because of the sheer numbers and lack of other things to do whilst stuck at sea, but do they actually avail themselves of those activities?
There are plenty of activities included at Couples, as you know, but there are also a number of inexpensive outside excursions nearby if they want to see more of the island. One thing I think that's very nice about Jamaica is that it's one of the larger islands and is very geographically diverse. For the cost of the "extras" one would end up paying on a cruise for even a modest number of drinks, soft drinks, tips, etc., I would imagine you could easily cover the cost of, say, a day trip to Port Antonio to do the bamboo rafting (the first thing I could think of that doesn't involve a lot of walking or climbing) or a private or semi-private tour of other sites they might be interested in.
I guess my point is there must be some reason that they stick with cruising and are avoiding committing to one resort. Maybe they are just trying politely to vacation without you (as was mentioned), but maybe they're just afraid of being disappointed, or maybe they're just sticking with what they know, or maybe they really do like the familiar Americanness, so to speak, that seems to define many cruise lines.
But if you find out where the reluctance is based, you can accent ways to overcome that (for food, point out the fact that the chefs are very flexible in preparation; for excursions, present a list of available tours, etc.).
As an aside, a few years ago (October '07), we were married at CSS, and my in-laws (Greg's parents, two sisters and their husbands) came down for about 4-5 days (we stayed a total of 10 and had five days "to ourselves"). The reactions were definitely mixed. I won't bore you with the details, and none of the concerns were major or did anything to dampen the occasion, but my point is that for the first time I realized how different people really can be in what they want out of a vacation. All of the things we try to avoid in vacation at, say, the S resort are actually things that attracted one of my sisters-in-law: We do not want to spend a week on an over-advertised and over-commercialized plot of Americana where the only reason you know you're in Jamaica is because the staff have accents; they call that paradise because it's familiar and safe.
....I have done 2 cruises, both via Carnival. The last ruined them for me because of the Yard Apes. To be fair, Carnival does have what they call "Camp Carnival" to keep the kids busy, by age classifications. But this last trip, about 3 dozen yard unsupervised Yard Apes took over the pool and hot tub (the ones that said "Adults Only"). They pretty much spoiled the whole "Cruise Thing" for us.
Originally Posted by Love
If you've only been on Carnival or Norgwegian and judge the whole cruising industry by that experience that would be about the same as going to a bad AI in someplace, say like Punta Cana in the Dominican(which we hated) and judging the whole AI industry by that experience.
Not referring to you, Acranger but to anyone in general. I've been on cruises where you never see kids.
....That was the case on my 1st cruise (Carnival Conquest). After the last one, I was really turned off. I have been tempted, but decided to go again with Couples.
Originally Posted by ORV