So...I haven't even fully booked our trip to CTI, but have already been on all the message boards checking everything out...and I couldn't be more excited!! My fiance and I are getting married November 17, 2012 in Minneapolis, MN. Then (as soon as we can contact our travel agent and nail down the details) we are jumping on a plane 11-19-12 to Couples Tower Isle!!! We are staying for 7 nights. This will be my first vacation for an extended period of time AND my first vacation out of the country. I am so excited I can barely stay in my skin!! And I still have to plan and have a wedding before I can come :)
Anyway - I am doing my best to find all pertinent information on the message boards, from what to bring, what to wear, gifts, tipping, what to do and what not to do...but any specific information or comments that would have been particularly helpful to you BEFORE you went your very first time on any sort of vacation...I would be so appreciative of!! :)
Well Mrs. H Congrats!
My wife and I just returned 3 weeks ago from CTI for the 1st time. Never been to Jamaica before! A few thoughts. 1st is you guys will love it. We had a garden non-ocean view room and loved the privacy & buety of the foliage after a day by the ocean and pools. The tendency is to pack to much. Really, all day your in a swimsuit or shorts. Dinner is the time to check your closet for khakis/sundress or whatever for dinner and you wear that for 3-4 hours, so that can be repeated a few times! We took 2 excursions off "campus". Dunn's River and Mystic Mountain. We loved both! Mystic for me was really fun with the fantastic view and bobsled run. Loved it. Foods wonderful as are all the guests and staff. Only worry we had was the travel down with connecting flights & long day. I think that's the only worry anyone has. After that a cool shuttle to hotel (and Couples does take care of you at the airport when you arrive). and a rum punch upon arrival at front desk! Savor each and every day as it goes by so fast! There is a very big reason Couples has repeat guests. People love it as did we. Have fun!
Rely on the tips you are getting from the Couples Message board and trust the reviews that you and your fiance have selected a spectacular place to spend your honeymoon. If you haven't already, start or join a group for those that will be at CTI the same time as you. It's fun to get acquainted prior to vacation but even if you don't everyone is so friendly you will meet new people very easily.
I would say make a check list of the things you will need (including passports, Drivers licenses and credit card for hotel hold) and bring the list with you to check off when you leave so nothings left behind. Also double check flight schedules the day before and day of trip there and home.
You reminded me of my husband and I's first trip out of the country together. So many things went wrong including me getting a 2nd degree sunburn and one of our planes home getting canceled, amongst other things, it was also way to hot (we went to Mexico in the summer) but what I remember most from our trip is all the fun we had, not the bad stuff and when we got home we felt like years of stress were wiped away. Perhaps its just our personalities, but getting away from it all is such a great feeling it's like what ever bad stuff happens while we are there is so small in comparison. Basically don't worry about what could go wrong or let it stress you out.
I think you will have the time of your life. Try not to have impossible expectations and just go with the flow when you get there. Every plan you make you might want to change so don't hold too tight to any particular plan or schedule. Just play it by ear.
Oh and enjoy this planning part of the trip too. I love the anticipation before a trip. It's a wonderful distraction from everyday life! I love it so much I start planning my next trip almost as soon as I get home from the last one. :p
Thank you so much!! First of all - I didn't know you could join groups with people who will be there at the same time you will...that's so cool! :) And thanks for all the helpful tips...I am definitely a list person so checking and double checking that we have everything will not be an issue! I also am grateful for the tips on what you did and what you wished you would have done!
I am very much looking forward to becoming part of this "family" :)
Join the rewards program(They treat repeaters very well!) & come back for every anniversary. We too love the anticipation, so we plan everything around our annual anniversary trip Couples! We are celebrating our 4th anniversay in 14 days at CSS & it keeps the magic alive!! Other tip: Go to the Island EVEN if it might freak you out...it's a fantastic experience to share with your husband! Congratulations!
Welcome to the Couples family! We found Couples about 6 years ago thanks to our travel agent who visits CSS as often as she and her husband can get away. Our first trip was to CTI before the major renovation. Our daughter and son in law spent their honeymoon at CTI three years ago and had a blast.
My best advice is to not overpack. For our last trip to CSA all of my clothes fit into one carryon. My wife had one carryon and one small checked suitcase. You'll need bathing suits, cover-ups, shorts and tee shirts more than anything. Only bring three or four outfits to wear to dinner and do not bring a lot of shoes to match the outfits. You can wear dinner attire more than once and believe me no one will notice. In our carryon we kept our essentials especially the bathing suits, tee shirts and sandals we planned on slipping into as soon as we got checked in. It happens often that your room won't be ready at checkin. The receptionist will tell you to get changed, get something to eat, hit the beach and come back at a certain time for your room keys. This has happened to us once at CTI and twice at CSA. Funny, we've only been to Couples three times and it's happened every time. Hmm, could this be just a coincidence? I think not, so be prepared to leave your luggage in the lobby, change your clothes and go explore the resort.
My final and most important piece of advice is to leave your stress at home and treat the workers at CTI like they are your friends. The Jamacian people are so friendly once you talk to and show interest in them. They will befriend you and remember you on your next trip back home to Jamaica. Then you will understand why us repeaters say about our love of the Couples Resorts, "once you go, you know".
Enjoy your time in Paradise!