My wife and I are planning a 20 yr anniversary trip and want to go in Jan. or Feb. of 2012. So far dates come back as unavailable when booking online. How far out are dates posted? Would an agent or Couples rep have those dates? We are trying to get an idea of how much we need to save.
My suggestion is to click on the "FIND A TRAVEL AGENT" on the left side of this page and call one that is near you. We always book trips through our agent and she's very helpful, especially since she's been to every one of the Couples resorts. As a matter of fact, we booked way back in the spring of 2010 for December of 2011 at CSA, so I don't know why you can't get a booking. The prices don't change that much from year to year so I'd suggest looking at the 2011 prices for the month you want to go and save accordingly. Hope this helps...Steve
My wife and I also go to Couples in the late winter and are almost always looking for a deal, so we've been where you are. The cost of this trip is a combination of the cost of the resort and the cost of the airfare. To maximize savings, view these as separate purchases.
For the resort: Couples usually has some very good deals in the late spring (Mayish) for reservations the following year. Remember, you are looking for a reservation at the absolute peak season (so are we) but it means that you've got to be careful in shopping. Couples doesn't really discount rooms during that period, but they do offer special savings and "book before the prices go up" discounts. So for example, my wife and I booked last May for a week's vacation next March and paid about $3K for the week, but got $500 in resort credit (that's anything you could bill to your room... spa ... my wife's favorite... gift shop, upgraded wine at dinner... etc.) The rate didn't go up much as we went into the fall, but the $500 credit disappeared. With regard to where to book... I've booked several times through www.allinclusiveoutlet.com. It's a travel agent in Kentucky that had gotten me better prices than anyone (including couples). Their service is also very good.
As for flights... that's a different matter. If you have frequent flier miles to spend, that's a consideration. I have a frequent flier account on United and I rack up miles because of a credit card (I don't actually fly all that much). I used to think that there were no flights to Montego Bay available during peak season with frequent flier miles, but this year I found out that's not true. I waited until the first day that United opened flights to MBJ for my week (just about a year in advance) and found frequent flier tickets to MBJ. The bottom line is that we didn't pay anything for the flight and we paid just about exactly $3K for a week at Couples Negril in peak season (with the $500 resort credit). I feel very fortunate to have bagged it.
If you don't have a frequent flier account, Kayak is your friend (www.kayak.com). Not only does it compare air fares from different carriers, it can also show you what the trend is over time for example, whether the fares for the week you have in mind are trending up or down. This can give you a good idea of when to book.
I guess the bottom line is that if you want to go in Feb, 2012, I'd start looking in late feb of 2012 for an airfare and monitor it weekly through about June. Sometime during that period things will look good and you'll know it's time to commit.
Let me know if I can provide any additional information. I love Couples, but I am thrifty (cheap)!