I'm new to the Couples Resort Message Board. I have two close friends who have visited Couples and both have highly recommended Jamaica for our honeymoon. Now the problem - which Couples to stay at?
A little about us. We're getting married September 17th and plan to honeymoon for 6-7 days immediately following the wedding (leaving September 18th or 19th). Our main goals are:
* Clear, blue waters
* Beach time (less time at the pool)
* Other water sports
* Fun nightlife
Our concerns are:
* Airport too close to CN (is the noise bothersome)?
* Drive from airport to CTI and CSS too long (I've heard 2 hours)
* Hurricane season (again, we will be traveling September 18/19 through September 24/25)
For those of you that have visited multiple locations - which one would be best for us?
Finally, we obviously have some time. When is a good time to book our honeymoon for the best rates?
* All-inclusive All
* Clear, blue waters All
* Beach time (less time at the pool)All--CN and CSA have the longest beaches, but they are public at the water way which means vendors and other guests can walk the beach, CTI and CSS are both smaller, but in private coves, no one on the beach except Couples guests and staff.
* Other water sports CN & CSA you can jet ski, para sail right aft the resort, for CTI and CSS it can be done, but you go into Ocho Rios--just a few miles--hence the beaches are very quiet at CTI and CSS.
* Fun nightlifeAll have nightlife, but I think the other guests help determine how lively the nightlife is.
Our concerns are:
* Airport too close to CN (is the noise bothersome)?It's a very small airport and I don't believe that it has night flights.
* Drive from airport to CTI and CSS too long (I've heard 2 hours)1 1/2 hours about the same as Negril Resorts.
* Hurricane season (again, we will be traveling September 18/19 through September 24/25)well, that's why the rates are so good. It's hurricane season there and none of the resorts have anything to do with that.
For those of you that have visited multiple locations - which one would be best for us?Only you know what is best for you and your spouse.
Finally, we obviously have some time. When is a good time to book our honeymoon for the best rates?As soon as you decide which resort. The other option is if you can't decide, book a secret rendezvous which can only be done either 60 or 30 days in advance for the best deal. We have not had problems with changing reservations for Couples if we book and a better deal comes out.
Last edited by Vickyj; January 21st, 2011 at 02:06 PM.
Reason: repeated some info
October was our 15th trip to Jamaica during hurricane season. My advice is always use a travel agent to book your trip, won't cost you a penny extra and you'll have someone to help you with arrangements in the even you need to change your plans. Buy trip insurance when you book the trip. Put the idea of a hurricane out of your minds. In our 15 trips we've had two near misses, this year which was particularly rough in that area it seemed and a number of years ago when we were actually in Jamaica during the approaching of the storm. Neither trip was a bad experience and I'd never change my travel dates, we generally go in November but have been in October a couple times due to needs of travel companions.
We usually book our trip in June (for November)but it's a gamble regardless...airfare can fluctuate. My advice is find that travel agent, get his/her best guess, book the trip and don't watch the prices of the trip again.
Which resort is best for your is going to get you answers swearing by each resort as each has its absolute devoted fans. My advice is to read and read and read the web pages for each, narrowing it down over time as a particular resort seems less appealing to you. Each resort is very different even though they are all owned by Couples. All have the same great service and ammenities but each has a different look and feel so you have to decide which one calls to you. Read the trip reviews here on the message board as well. As you do these two things you'll have specific questions that come up and we can more easily help you.
Have fun, I always think planning the trip is half the fun of going.
I can't weigh in on any resort...yet...as our trip in September or October will be our first to a Couples resort in Jamaica. I do have a few general things to add though.
First...do not be surprised if Jamaica gets in your blood! I have had SO many people ask me why we plan on going back year after year when there are so many places we could go...the only answer I can say is because it's part of me now! I don't know how, I don't know when, but at some point it crept in to me and will never leave!!
Second...that being said...go to the resort that really reaches out to you! I thought I was totally set on CTI and I would not be upset to go there but there is something that just keeps pulling me to CSS...I have no idea why, but the thought of not going there makes me a little sad or disappointed...remember, I've never been to either yet!
Third...don't sweat the bus ride. When we went our bus ride was about an hour to an hour and a half and I thought it would be horrible-mainly because the last time my husband had been there was 10 years prior (not with me) and the road was barely 2 lanes and pretty much dirt. He prepared me to not look out the windows cause I would be scared and sad by what I saw...what a pleasant surprise that the road is now a highway! Our driver and helper were amazing and told us a lot about what we were seeing! We stopped at a roadside 'bar' and it was so cool. I am really glad I got to experience that. So if the only thing driving you away (lol) from CTI or CSS is the drive, please don't let it.
Finally...I worried about hurricane season too...still do a little, but I have heard so many stories about people who go the same time year after year and never had a problem. My son's teacher was in Jamaica when a hurricane hit and she said the resort just battened down the hatches, kept food and drink flowing and kept everyone calm with games and activities and after a day and a half it had moved on, the staff had worked their magic and you would have never known it happened! That, and using a travel agent just in case, gives me confidence!
Have a great time, enjoy each other and your surroundings because it's just beautiful. Enjoy meeting new people and remember to let go! It's Jamaica--no worries!!
We also went last year during the same time frame for our honeymoon and are returning for our one-year I did a lot of reading of reviews on TripAdvisor. We chose CSA as we wanted Negril and the resort spoke to us more than CN; beach, rooms, more restaurants. The beach is amazing as it is on the stretch called 7 mile and you can walk to Margaritaville if you are looking for some activity. I would say you are not going to get crazy nightlife but there are things to do often more low and not into all hours of the morning. But then again who wants to sleep in late when you could be enjoying the sun.
As far as distance from the airport, the bus ride can be 1.5 hrs or longer depending on traffic and bathroom breaks. But it is time to enjoy a Red Stripe and look and the scenery. You also have the option of taking a plane from MBJ to Negril for an extra cost.
Advice to put your troubles at ease, spend the extra couple hundred dollars on insurance in case of a hurricane or other issues. Also book before March as the rates could go up at that time. From personal experience I would also recommend leaving on Monday vs Sunday so you have a day to relax after the big day. Congrats!