We have just booked 6 nights at Couples Tower Isle from March 15th 2012 in a Ocean View room. As this will be our very first stay in Jamaica, and first time at any Couples hotel, are there any tips and things to be aware of.
John & Barbara
look on the site more, there is a great forum on what you wish you would have packed or things you were glad you brought. I am going in a week and 1/2 and I have been on here daily! If you have specific questions ask them.
Agree with nat8980, there are lots of tips but they are all here on the board already and the list is long. Look for the I Wish I Would Have Thought Of That thread, it's a list of items people have thought of packing that you might not think about particularly on your first trip.
Always read the reviews that get posted on CTI you'll pick up great info specific to that resort on restaurants, rooms, beach, bars, etc. By the time you go you'll feel like you've already been before. Also look at the CTI web page over and over and over and also the Couples FAQ page, tons of great information and pictures in both those places.
You have a year to go so you'll learn all you need to know by sticking around the message board and reading. If you come up with specific questions please ask. One idea is to keep a little notebook near your computer or create a document for making notes as you read.
Tips...hmm everything was so great....not sure if you need any.
As advertised, pretty much everything is included.
This was our third trip to Jamaica, and first to couples.
Be prepared for line ups at immigration at the airport in Mo Bay, both coming in and going out. No big deal, as they have enough staff on duty to move the crowd through pretty quickly. And have your immigration card filled out BEFORE you get into line!!
Once through immigration, and you have your luggage, find the Couples Lounge, where you can have a beer, use their private washroom to clean the 'travel' off your face! You will be escorted to your private Couples shuttle. Count on about 90 minutes to get to the resort. Beware the "rest stop' on the way, as they charge a flat rate for anything you want to snack on or drink. No problem if, like me, you don't mind helping the Jamaican economy, but 10 bucks for 2 diet cokes and a pack of
M & M's was a bit of a shock. Wait the extra 30 mins, and get if all for free at the resort!! While Couples doesn't "allow" tips, tip the luggage porter, and especially the driver. Driving in Jamaica is not for the faint of heart....so reward him!!
Go to the service desk in the main lobby soon after you check in...to book your excursions and meals in 8 Rivers and Bayside. Food is excellent in both and menu seems to change every 2nd day. No limit to the number of times you can book these...you just need to ask.
Same thing for excursions, like the Catamaran Trip, and Dunn's River Falls. They are both "Must Do". The resort provides a private shuttle to the falls, and depending on what driver you get, you will be briefed on the tourist pit falls like being talked into buying things you don't want.
Buy a good pair of water shoes, with hard soles, if you want to do the Dunn's River Falls excursion.
If you haven't already booked a suite, I might recommend paying a little more and getting a suite with an ocean view. While rooms are all pretty good, the deluxe rooms' bathrooms are tiny, and a bit of a disappointment. You will use the shower a lot, the Jamaican humidity is high, which is great, but leaves you sticky every time you leave the room.
I was a bit late in learning that if you have any issue at all...they really want you to bring it to the attention of the front desk. Couples have made their well deserved reputation for looking after guests by doing just that. Ask (politely) and Ye shall receive.
Finally, don't pack a lot of clothes. "Dressy-casual" is the order of the day. You can wear T-shirt and shorts to the Patio (buffet) if you choose, and will need a pair of pants (men) and collared shirt for 8 Rivers and Bayside.
I typically worry and check out all the reviews before I travel. Won't do that again for Couples, it was as good as everyone said it would be. Honestly - ignore any of the bad reviews on Trip Advisor.