Sherrynchuck, I don't think it should be perceived as an entitled attitude or whining just for whining's sake. A big part of the message board, over time and especially for repeat guests, is to provide almost a living comment card where people can discuss changes and (at least this is my impression) management can hear immediate feedback to their changes and ideas.
This is the third change to the repeater rewards program since its inception. At each stage, management has sought input (positive and negative) from guests before implementation of new changes or new wrinkles to the program.
No complaining repeaters on here are saying anything like, "Well, I'll never be back again," or even "But I DESERVE this benefit." People are giving their perception of and feelings about the changes. If it comes off as pompous or entitlement-seeking when people mention the number of visits, I don't think it's being meant that way. It's almost like expressing one's tenure at a job or military rank - people who've been there 20 times have more experience with these issues than those who've been there 10 times or 5 times or just once. I don't think anyone's saying "because I've been there X times, I deserve X perk."
First, let me remind you all that no other company provides such an interactive communication tool - this message board. We truly do appreciate everyone's input and is one of the reasons we continue to outperform much of our competition on the island: Your Loyalty!
That being said, the Romance Rewards program IS voluntary and not a requirement to be provided by Couples Resorts.
Let's get one issue off the table from the outset. The "one category upgrade if available upon arrival" has been a consistent problem for us to deliver. More often that not, due to our resorts popularity - and many guests paying for the higher categories - upgrades are seldom available. We are eliminating this due to non-performance and to avoid continued disappointment. We KNOW you ask when you arrive anyway. I'm just not willing to commit to something in writing that I know cannot be delivered. Done!
Regarding the $100 check given upon departure to Passionate Love level members who have stayed at least 7 nights: The key words are "upon departure". The process is cumbersome for us, involves too many departments and does nothing to ensure your return trip.
Further, remember that IF you booked your 2011 7-night stay prior to June 30, 2010, it is very likely that the nightly rate for 2011 was LESS than 2010 - despite increased costs of operation - AND we gave you a $500 resort credit.
Since, by your own admission, many of you return year after year, we stand by our position that a $200 resort credit is better than a $100 check.
Finally, the resort credits may be spent on ANYTHING you can charge to your room. Want a nice bottle of wine? Want a private dinner on the beach? Want to try the Canopy Zipline tour? Want to get PADI certified? The credits are not just for the spa and gift shop.
And all along I thought our loyal guests return year after year because you love our resorts, our staff, our beaches, our food, and the unique boutique-style intimacy that we try to provide...
Thank you for your passion. We look forward to welcoming you home again to Couples Resorts.
Amen, Randymon! Well said!
We will continue to book Couples year after year because no matter how you look at this and compare to any other resort, Couples far, far outshines the competition in every way. It seems some have forgotten this is a business and there has to be some profit margin to even continue being in business. You can't 'give away the store' and continue to offer all the amenities that Couples offers. Thanks for all the great things Couples does for their guests! That being said...we are coming home tomorrow to CSS and can't wait! And it truly matters not if there even is a RR program.
PS: I wouldn't want your job. :-)
I can say for myself that all that romance stuff is confusing but i am a male after all..... we come for the resort, the island, food and the staff. I can only think that some might feel like the dangling carrot is being taken away. When we first started going to Jamaica we would get a free one way air transfer... well now that is gone and we are totally ok with it. I prefer the resort credits as I like to purchase some of the cool hats you have in the gift shop and my wife loves the spa. We are coming back home in 6 days!!!
Actually I am I like the change. As so many have stated the chances of getting an upgrade are slim to none.
Although I did find it very interesting that when we checked in last month we were told there were no upgrades available and yet the resort was only at 50% capacity and a honeymoon couple that was married at CN transferred to CSA, didn't like it, came back to CN was able to get an upgraded room, but I digress.
To have the $200 credit upon my next return is, for us, a good thing. Because of our schedules we can not always book at the time offerings are being made for resort credits. This way we know that we will always have a credit for our next trip. We are going anyway, so that is an added perk. For us that means that in addition to the 30 minute massage, we can upgrade it now to an hour or 90 mins if we choose.
Good job Randy, I think it is great.
Thanks for your reply, Randy. Any comment on rewards treatment for guests saying less than 7 days? With work and a baby on the way, I doubt we'll ever be able to stay that long and would hate to be left out of rewards participation.
Well, we aren't at the passionate level yet (sitting at 14 nights currently), but you won't hear me complaining!
We've booked two trips to CTI and CSS and love that we'll have the $500 credits. We'll be using them for the spa and private dinner and maybe gift shop. Treats we wouldn't otherwise get. Then we'll be at the passionate level at the end.
Is having to book to come back to get the $200 credit a bad thing? I think $200 to look forward to is more incentive (like we need that!)
So I totally agree with the changes, particularly not offering the room upgrade. I can see where that was a pain in the bee-hind. If people don't expect it, they won't be disappointed. Me, I just book the category we want to start with. The rates were lower when we booked, so we were already able to book ourselves higher categories than when we went to CSA. Plus I agree the $100 cheque (sorry, "check". I am Canadian and have trouble spelling it "wrong" ;) does nothing as an incentive and is spent off resort.
Come on people, Couples gives us some great perks that other chains don't offer. Let's not whine or they might just take it all away!
Every ting be irie mon! I just wish Dec. 26 would get here already!!!
First - we and the people we travel with have never asked for an upgrade we are very happy with the room we get every year.
Second - I don't care about the $100 check on departure, I thought which I said on my previous post that we might be misunderstanding you that the people that have already booked before June 30th (including myself) was going to lose the $500 resort credit. You have cleared that up, so that is good.
Well said Randymon. It's just amazing how people get bent out of shape over the smallest of things. As you say, our devoted repeaters should be drawn to Couples by the amazing service, quality, and experience you continue to deliver to us.
If a $200 credit vs. a $100 check makes that much of a difference to them, perhaps they should be looking elsewhere for their vacation needs.
Randymon. We want to thank you for all you do for Couples. We are very happy with every perk we get. We will continue to support and visit Couples even if no perks were offered. The Couples "team" makes all of us feel special even if no monetary rewards are offered. We have stayed at many AI in the Caribbean and Mexico and no other resort gives us the feeling we get when we visit Couples. The only resort we have ever stayed more than once in 20 years is Couples Swept Away. After next March, we will have achieved the Grand Slam!! We only need one more visit to the "S" resort to receive a free week. I doubt it will ever happen!! Once we started staying at Couples, we couldn't go back!! Thank you again for all you do. Greg and Dari
why not issue the 200 resort credit for the current stay in place of the 100 check? Why does it have to be for a future visit? Not all of us made the 500 resort credit deadline and hard
to plan a trip that far in advance.
We will be at the passionate level for our next trip...if we go in April, just wondering what rewards we may get, if any, if they've taken away the passionate level rewards until the trip after that?
I fully understand the economic situation and that many companies have needed to make changes to continue providing a superior product. I also agree making changes to the RR's is necessary to avoid confusion and disapointment. Hopefully these adjustments will ensure things like the wonderful service and quality of food will remain the same at Couples. I'd even like to see the staff get a raise this year.
My point is that the changes to the RR's should be made, communicated and then go into effect for bookings made after the date of the announcement. I think customers have a right to know what they are purchasing, even if it's a year ahead of the delivery date, and receive the services that were offered when they agreed to purchase the product/service.
Going forward having a resort credit waiting for me will be a nice thing to come home to. That's why I booked my 2011 vacations so early this year. The $500 credit was an amazing offer. But Randymon, even I can't drink $700 of good wine. LOL!
I have too agree with most of the message board, this is not a bad thing!! We will be going in April 2011 for our 5th trip. Yes we did book early because of the 500 credit but, we would have booked anyway. I like that we booked early because then i can start the count down.
The fact that you get such perks in the first place is awesome. 150.00 at the gift shop, which I use for gifts for the family. Then 250.00 at the spa, well you can guess who gets that!!
Besides all that, we get the repeater perks!! WOW
All I can say is, it's all good!!
Couples is such a great resort without all these extra perks. We always book the room we want and don't even worry about an upgrade. We have been going to Couples for 7 years now and I love getting the Couples Repeaters t-shirt but rest assured if they stopped giving those it sure wouldnt spoil my vacation! And when we are laying on the beautiful beach or lounging by the pool getting the "red flag" service I sure don't worry about getting a check at departure or a credit on the next visit. I am just worrying about what drink I will get next or which restaurant we will choose for dinner? Thanks Couples for all you do!!!
Randymon, thank you for creating such lovely resorts for us to go back to...year after year. We'll be there, no matter what perks are extended to us.
My 2 cents....I would prefer a $100 credit during my current visit. It is silly I know because it is $100 less, but it just feels more like a reward for loyalty rather then marketing to get me to come back.
Not that it matters because I am booked for Dec 2010 and 2011.