CN Review 10-13 to 10-17
This trip to Couples we chose CN, our previous trip was to CSA. It was great to go home to Couples, it seems that regardless of where you go with Couples you get the same level of service which is great. On our trip this year we were joined by two other couples, and everyone raved about it and are already talking about making a return trip. The Couples family has grown.
When we got to the Couples lounge at the airport, we were warmly greeted, and I got my first (through fifth) red stripe of the trip. We weren't at the lounge very long before our shuttle arrived, I was just thirsty. There were a couple things at the lounge that were off, but I didn't let it affect the rest of the trip. First off was the bartender was accepting tips. I didn't tip since he was a Couples employee and still received good service, just thought it wasn't allowed there, maybe I'm wrong. The second thing that put me off was the guy who took our bags. Before our bags were taken to the shuttle, or the shuttle before ours to CSS/CTI, he came in and announced to everyone that he lined up someone to take our bags to the shuttle and it was a mandatory $1/bag charge we had to pay or we could carry the bags ourselves. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem tipping the person who does that and actually had more money than that in my pocket ready to give to the person, I just didn't like the way it was presented that it was mandatory, because to me tipping isn't mandatory. I wasn't going to be "that guy" and say anything, but I did take the money I had in my pocket out and gave only the $1/bag I was told, so the person who carried the bags ended up w/about half of what he would have gotten otherwise.
The ride to the resort was fun, the driver was very informative and funny, and it actually seemed shorter than our previous trip to CSA. We were greeted warmly at CN, got the cold towel and cold champagne, and shortly thereafter were taken to our room. Our room was as pictured on the website, which was nice, the only negative with the room was the mildew smell that was fairly strong and persisted through the entire trip. I'm sure we could have changed rooms had we alerted someone to this issue, but I didn't feel like packing everything up to change rooms when our visit was going to be so short. I did not hear of this problem from my family in two other rooms, so it could have been isolated to just certain rooms and not the entire resort.
After check-in got into our bathing suits, hit the grill for some food and bob marley shots, and then straight to the beach. My wife's brother and girlfriend, the second couple joining us, was a surprise to my wife and her sister, and they surprised us at the beach which was very exciting for my wife and her sister. Their screaming caught the attention of security, but they eventually contained their enthusiasm. That was the first of the two surprises I had for my wife this trip.
The second surprise came on our first morning there and it would be hard to pick which was better. I took advantage of Randymon's offer of reading a love letter, and he gave us a wake up call and read the letter I wrote to my wife. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited about that, now how many other resorts will do something like that for you?
The rest of the week was spent eating copious amounts of yummy food, drinking plenty of drinks, and enjoying the beach. The flag service was great, and Stacyann (spell?) was fantastic. We did the night snorkel, which was one of the best snorkel trips I've ever gone on, as well as one during the day, and the catamaran cruise. The day snorkel trip was good, though I did have an issue w/the new vests they require you to wear. I know it is for my own safety, but I am a big guy w/a long torso, and a bit of a sunburn, so every aspect of it was uncomfortable. On the night snorkel I spoke w/the captain and he was ok w/me not wearing it. When we did the day snorkel the following day I left it on the boat, and the captain that day was not happy with me at all and told me next time I could not do that. The result being that I didn't get to enjoy snorkeling again on our trip. This is my favorite activity, so I was a little disappointed in that. I appreciate Couples offering these vests to everyone, a number of people in my group do not swim well and found them very helpful, but for someone like me who swims better than they walk and doesn't fit in them very well I would have been happier if they were just optional.
I know I mentioned eating a lot of food, but that deserves another mention. Lychee was great, we went there twice during our short visit. I can't remember the name of our waitress the first night, but she was great, and kept the food and drinks flowing all night. Otaheite was also good, I really enjoyed the lobster, which I'm usually too cheap to enjoy at home. The breakfast buffet was good, especially the omelettes. The grill for first lunch of beef patties or burgers and onion rings, and then heading to the buffet for second lunch.
The only thing we didn't do, that I was curious about though I wasn't sure we'd do or not, was the pool bar and activities there. In all my reading about CN I read how the pool is the focus of everything, and it certainly was packed and looked like fun, but I just couldn't get away from the beach and the water there. Maybe next time. And without a doubt, there will be a next time.
So glad you enjoyed your trip to CN. Making out 5th (?) trip this Dec.
Great review...we love CN and are looking forward to our return in 17 days!! We too are bringing a new couple into the family and I can't wait to see their reactions to the great service, great food, beautiful beach and overall paradise!! Yay for sun, sand and love.
Sounds like a great trip. We are getting SO close to returning and can't wait.
Thanks for sharing your trip to CN!!! My husband and I will be going to CN for our 5th time in March. We too have heard how much fun the pool bar is but, we too cannot tear our selves away from the beach and water there. The thing we have yet to do is the night snorkel. It sounds like alot of fun. I was a little worried about being out in the water at night but, from your review and many others I have read, I think I can overcome my fear. We have done the day time snorkel. I will completely agree with you about the vest they require you to wear. This should be optional. I like to dive down into the water and swim around and thats impossible with the vest. I should say, I dont disturb any thing while diving down I just like the freedom.
As far the food it sure doesnt get better then CN!!! The only thing I wish they had is the snapper sandwhich they offer fromCSA. I tried it when we did the trading places program and it is as good as all the fellow message board posters say.
Again thanks for sharing!!!
The rooms do smell a little mildewed. I come home and my clothes have that smell on them as well and it takes a couple of washings to go away. For those of you interested, I found a product through a friend of mine. Odorzap. You can order it at:www.urstuff.com(click on home & family). It's a little more expensive then Febreze, but it works better and doesn't have a perfume smell to it. I ordered it and took a travel size spray bottle and poured it in there and took it with me and sprayed the room and my clothes. Worked wonderful....Taking it again when I go back in February.
We see comments such as this occasionally and always wonder what people mean, speculating perhaps there were certain rooms with that scent. However, by now, having stayed in dozens of different rooms we're convinced that what some term "mildew" is what we believe is the cedar wood-ish smell, probably coming from the closet, because they all smell the same to us.
Originally Posted by Tennyson11
There is definitely a "CN scent" and we reached that conclusion because the scent is much stronger on clothing items that were in the closet (closed off by some type of wood - perhaps cedar, or maybe bamboo??) than items stored elsewhere in the room - though pretty much everything has that scent when we return. It also smells vaguely like cedar to us.
We like it and miss it tremendously when we've left CN. It could even be mildew - CN has that effect on people (others have posted on this MB that they like the smell as well).
Loved this review. Yes. next time check out the pool bar. We too are beach people and spend most of our time on the beach but at the end of the afternoon, it's kind of fun to go to the bar and talk to different people. My husband at first didn't want to go, but later I couldn't pull him away from the place!
Great review, brings back fond memories of our too-short stay at beautiful CN. Reading about the great experience you had with the night dive, that was the one regret I had, not making the time to do this. Guess that will just give me a firm reason to return (as if I needed one).
I agree........I smelled cedar when we there this past August from the new closet doors from the remodeling over the last couple of years........no mildew smell at all :)
I love how that smell lingers on your clothes. Every so often, when I pull out a sundress or swimsuit at home, that smell is there and reminds of wonderful CN.....12 days to go!!!
My wife and I were at CSA last year, and we did the day snorkeling trip, which was a lot of fun.
Although they did have the life vests on the boat, and offered them to everyone that was snorkeling that day, they were by no means mandatory. Neither my wife or I used them, as we are both excellent swimmers (I at one point had Lifeguard certification), but there were some that did take advantage of them.
Now, if this is something that has changed recently (having to wear the vests instead of it being optional), I can't say that I'm overly impressed.
Yes, I can see some potential reasons for the resort wanting people to wear them (liability issues etc), but this is MY vacation, and if I don't want to wear a vest because I can probably swim better then anyone on the boat, then I either won't be wearing one, or I won't be snorkeling.
What made me laugh that day that we went out though, was when the staff was talking about the life vests, they gave everyone the option of snorkeling without a vest, or the snorkeling the Jamaican way which was with the life vest so that you could lazily float around on the water.
Thank you so very much for the comments. I have visited JA 5 times and will be going again here soon Dec 16th. I have never stayed at a Couples resort but 4 of Sandals resorts so my JA friends said give Couples a try. Having never stayed at a Couples we have chosen the "Secret Rendezvous" package. We should know here with in the next day or so which resort. Just know your comments were right on time.
i'm glad the comments helped. to clarify, the smell in the room was not cedar, but was mildew for sure. after living in seattle for nearly 20 years i know what mildew smells like. but i do think this was because it was so humid when we went and not because of any cleaning issues w/Couples. all the windows were covered in condensation because of the a/c, even in the restaurants, and anytime i was outside w/o the a/c the air was thick. i think it's just that time of year.
Originally Posted by rudi
I'm definitely with Rudi on this one. Not sure what the smell is, and to some it may seem offensive. To me it isn't because I know the rooms are clean. To me, it just reminds me I am "HOME" and that is all that counts.
we are newby's going for our first time to CN hope we get nice room always worry's me when we travel we have had some bad experinces in the past. But this site for reviews makes me feel great just concerned about our garden view room? hope it is worth every penny we are spending to go there for 14 days. Looking forward to our trip Feb 28 to the 11 th of March count down begins.
Be excited. Be very excited. We always get a darden view room and love it. The area around the room is very tropical and lush and after spending all day at the pool and ocean, the room is heavenly to go back to.
Well, we are sorry to say that, we have been to CN several times. The first time it was great,first ever trip to Jamaica and a long and hard thought as to where to go and eventually decided on CN. We had a fab room overlooking the lakes and wildlife, the staff were great, made some fab friends and couldn't wait to go back.
The second time, we had a room overlooking the kitchen, but ho hum, this is Jamaica so go chill, we even bought a Digicel
mobile, and met up with some ready made friends. - we classed ourselves as Jam-English as this seemed to be our spiritual home - although the food wasn't as good as the first visit - the friendship was!
The third visit was appalling, we had a room next to the tennis courts, overlooking kitchens, laundry etc, the noise went on 24/7.with the movement of ice, laundry, kitchen workings etc. The food was disgusting, the swim up pool was dirty and cold. Our room had mildew in the bathroom, the patio doors didn't lock, the air con didn't work and the excuse was 'we are upgrading'.(That's not mentioning the cockroaches in the room)
Over the visits to Couples Negril we have paid over £20,000 for our holidays, I did write to Couples to express my concern, but 3 years later am still awaiting a reply.
We we are so sad about this. We were classed as VIP returning guests, but were given the worst accommodation possible Couples Negril was our dream holiday and at first, it was a dream - and perfection. However, we will not be returning in a hurry. It would appear that, if you are from the UK, you'll put up with anything they throw at you.
I feel very let down.
I am so glad this is your only post on this message board, and you neevr once indicate what measures you took to remedy your discomfort while at the resort! No resort is perfect, and everytime a member on this board who has had an issue brought ot management's attention, it was addressed immediately! How did the food suddenly become disgusting and the pool dirty and cold just for you? How many years are you going to wait for that return letter?
Originally Posted by jackwbs3
I feel for you and anyone else who has a negative experience, especially when you have spent hard earned money and travelled so far! In the future I urge you to grow a Philly pair and march over to the front desk while your partner lounges on the beach and firmly request a room change and answers to your other concerns! You might be shocked with the results! (nicely shocked)
I remember how cold the bathrooms were, but it felt so good walking in there after spending the day in the sun. Sometimes I would just go in there to cool off. Our stay at CN was great, we are going back in July of 2012 for our 5th yr annivesary. I can not wait!!
We have visited CN 10 times since 10/05 and have not experienced any of the issues that jackwbs3 mentioned. We have noticed that during the winter the pools may be a little cooler than in the summer but that is about it and beyond Couples control as the pools aren't heated. We have stayed in various rooms around the resort and can't imagine a room with a view of the kitchen or laundry facilities! Our rooms have been great as has the food. I would have asked for a different room on that 3rd trip and at least given mangement a chance to fix the problems and not just "put up" with them. We can't wait to come back in September, with a trip to CSS next month and expect the same great experience we have had each past trip. I believe Couples treats all returning guests, first timers, too, for that matter, as VIP's.
Did I just read this correctly? Someone's first post, criticizing Couples FROM 3 YEARS AGO, on someone else's thread?
All I can say is, my wife and I visited CN for the first time last March. We were so pleasantly surprised with the entire atmosphere of Couples, that we plan on returning in November for her 40th b-day.
No vacation is ever perfect. We have been on many cruises and been to several All Inclusive resorts, and I can safely say that CN was our favorite!
We returned for our 3rd CN visit last March...upon arrival, we were given our check in materials and I noticed that we were assigned like #4306(or some such)..knowing the layout I knew this would be past the tennis courts and closer to RIU...we kept an open mind, though, and let Herbert take our bags(and us) there...the thumping of the RIU music through the walls, and the hike from the lobby changed our minds that we probably couldn't DO this room for 9 days(although the room itself was awesome)..so, we went BACK to the lobby right then and there...and asked if it was at all possible to be moved...15 min later we were in like 2105..and all was well. They really aim to please at CN..sometimes you just have to speak up, to let them shine...If we weren't able to be moved, it would have been a bit of a bummer, but still no biggie...personally, I could live in a "lean to" tent on bloody bay and be content with CN