Let me preface this and say this was our first trip to Couples Negril. We were with 3 other couples and decided upon CN because of the many favorable reviews and of course this message board. We wanted to stay at an all inclusive with a great beach, good food and place where we can relax and enjoy ourselves. Well we found that place - CN!
When we arrived at Montego Bay, the customs line was huge! However, it moved along pretty quickly and we were through customs in about 30 minutes. After customs and immigration, we went directly to the Couples lounge. There we were provided with Red Stripe or bottled water (I don't drink beer). We encountered the handler who told us it was $1 per bag or we could take the bag ourselves. We did not mind and let the baggage take our bags to the van. We boarded and waited a while because they were missing one couple. After some phone calls and a roll call on board, we were off. Long ride, we had a woman on board who has been many times and talked the drivers ear off about what has changed since her last visit. The rest of us just took the time to doze or look at the scenery.
We arrived finally after about 1.5 to CN. We step off the van and were immediately greeted by the wonderful staff with cloths and a drink. The check in was easy, we had to confirm and sign our sheets with our departure information and leave an imprint of our credit card for incidentals. We were then lead to our rooms with our luggage to follow later. We had room 9304 which was terrific. It had an ocean view and overlooked the ponds and beautiful grounds. The room itself was nice, large king bed (a little hard but I prefer it that way). Air conditioner a bit noisy, but not enough to complain about. Large screen TV and most importantly clean. If you leave your A/C off and open the balcony doors, your room becomes steamy . Room had a mildowey or musty smell but I am aware we are in the tropics so it didn't bother me nor was it that strong that it really was an issue.
We had packed our carry on's with our bathing suits so we changed quickly and met the others by the grill. Rather than bore you with all the other minut details, I will just hightlight the Pro's and Con's
FOOD- Plenty of food (and good too!), loved Lychee. No problems getting reservations, though we ate probably later than most people - between 8 - 9 pm every night.
BEACH/Pool-Beach was cleaned everyday, though water was still a little rough the first two days because of the previous hurricane. At one point, lost my sunglasses because of a Rogue wave - LOL and the water still wasn't clear enough to see where they went .
Security was awesome, I would run the length of the beach and they asked me my name and room number and recorded it. When I returned they would wave and check me off.
THe floats are a hugh plus. We never had a problem finding shade or a chaise lounge together. Having the floats available to lie in the ocean was a highlight of my trip! And you don't have to reserve one or rent one etc, its all included! The pool was always clean, never saw any residual suntan oil etc. The waterfall kept the pool clean and the swimup bar was fantastic! Bartenders were awesome and friendly. Always, recommending some great drinks to try! Bob Marley shots were a hit (I did not try it though).
STAFF - was incredibly friendly and wonderful. Always smiling and asking if they could do anything for us. We had a group of eight and we made our own time, singing in the ocean with one of our iPods, playing cribbage by the pool or beach, playing pool volleyball at the end of the day etc. The bar service at both the pool and the beach were superb! They would come around and give you cold washclothes, extra water and just check on you if they can bring you anything. It felt like we had a personal butler they were that attentive!
GYM - was open, though they had some water issues previously and the some water remained on the floor. We were able to work around that and I was able to work out on the aerobics floor by bringing out weights and using the bosu, steps etc. Nice big mirrors and the aerobics floor had two big fans to cool me off while I was working out - nice touch!
DRINKS - top shelf, no watered down stuff here. I have to say, they make the best Mojitos I ever had! Mini bar - only complaint is that I wish they would give you more than two bottles of water (by the way, they are the nice big kind). But, you can get more water at any of the bars so it wasn't too big of a deal.
ACTIVITIES: during the day, they were plenty and staff would always see if you want to get involved. However, the nighttime activities were few. We went to the piano bar and the piano man ended at midnight. We were under the impression that it would stay open until we left but that wasn't the case. This is truly our only complaint about the activities!
LIGHTING - the crabs at night are creepy. I think the romantic lighting is nice, but the walkways could be a bit more lighted with solar lights etc. I jumped a few times when the big crabs would scurry across about a foot away from me!
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT - it is a long ride. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend take TimAir and start the vacation a bit earlier!
Now back to the title of this review. We met a lot of couples we had been there lots of times. We have said to ourselves why would anyone want to keep coming back when there are some many other places to visit. Then we realized.. you will not find a more pleasant staff or personalized attention, beach service, floats, water sports, top shelf liquor etc anywhere else. There is no place like home and that is what CN is all about! I get it now...