I'm hoping the weather is going to be ok. There are quite a few storms out in the Atlantic and Caribbean right now
I'm wondering about security in the rooms for personal belongings. I know there's a room safe, but I've been reading lately that those aren't really that safe. Apparently some of the safes have a master code or can be reset somehow. So, what do you do with personal items when you leave the room? What do you take with you (to the resort)? I'm trying to decide if I should take my laptop, which probably won't fit in the safe anyway. It would be nice to be able to upload pics while we're on vacation, but is it worth the risk? What does everyone else do? or have done in the past? Anyone ever had anything taken out of their room?
Also wondering about American Express traveler's checks. I know we don't need cash at CN, but for other things like, excursions not included or shopping or maybe dining off the resort, do most places accept traveler's checks and/or is there any place nearby to cash them? Is there an atm machine anywhere nearby?
I've read about how much to tip driver's and such, but we're taking the TimAir flight from Montego Bay. Should we tip the pilot? And if so, how much? Any other off resort tipping would probably be just a dollar or so, right?
Any help/suggestions are really appreciated! Thanks!
I think you will find travelor's checks to be a novelty these days - they are not as widely accepted since the use of credit cards and even places that do accept them can be confused on how to actually process it. I have not used them in at least 10 years but I have seen people struggle to get them accepted (in Europe not Jamaica). If you book the excursion through the on-site tour desk they take credit cards.
We took TimAir last month and tipped the pilot $20 each way - there are also mutliple baggage guys to tip ($5) and the cab driver to and from the resort. We did not wait for the resort to pick us up - we just grabbed a cab and paid the guy $10 (its only across the street but we did not want to drag our luggage with us accross a busy street). On the way back we took the resort shuttle and tipped the guy $5.
We're going to CN on the 12th for our honeymoon... can't wait! Looking like the storms hopefully will miss us in Jamaica and we'll have amazing weather!! Rain or Shine....its Jamaica right?!! I'm interested to see if anyone replys regarding the tips myself...never been so definatly a good question!! Trying not to over pack at the moment and finding great difficulty in it!
Weather is always a gamble in the summer, but you can enjoy the swimup bars even during a rain shower (sans lightning, of course).
While there's always the possiblity of theft, I would tell you to not worry about security. We lock wallets and jewelry in the room safe. I carry a camera backpack which holds my camera, lenses, flash, laptop and accessories. This stays in the closet zipped up. We don't make a habit of it, but we've left an iphone charging on the nightstand while going for dinner and have returned to our room to find our bathroom refreshed and bed turned down. After 4 trips we've never had any negative experiences with the safety of our property. I don't worry about this issue any more at the resort than I do at home.
We've never bothered with travelers' checks - we carry a moderate amout of cash and a credit card and that is sufficient. Haven't used anything other than the provided shuttle from the airport - we tip the driver and baggage handlers as we do at the airport at home.
Ignore the weather...nothing you can do about it anyway. Hopefully you purchased trip insurance, this time of year it's a necessity but really for any trip of this magnitude I'd say it's crazy not to. If there is a storm you are covered financially.
As far as the room security...we put our wallets, passports, travel documents, that type of thing in the room safe. Yes, there have been reports of some being broken in to, probably happens here in the US also. Take reasonable precautions and forget it...enjoy the trip. As far as a laptop or other larger valuable items, we took our laptop and I left it sitting out in the room the whole week. Also had a camera bag with a nice camera and a couple point and shoot types which was left out all week as well. Nothing ever appeared to have been touched. It was nice to have the laptop, I posted photos to my facebook page and my friends and family enjoyed seeing them right away. I also ended up chatting with a couple people who happened to be on when I was posting pics and they liked hearing about the trip.
For shopping you'll want US currency...shops at the airport on your way home will take your credit card. You won't find ATM's, bring the cash you want and bring lots of smaller bills so you don't have to expect much change.
Tip your TimAir pilot $20 or so. There will be two pilots...one is the co-pilot...you only need to tip the pilot, they'll work it out.
I will respond to your question about the safes at CN. While there on our 5th visit in July we had a problem with our safe - it wouldn't open. We had not messed up on the code it just would not work. We called down to the front desk and they had to get the general manager to come up to our room as nobody on the resort has the override codes for the safes.
Karen - the GM - came up and tried a few things that did not work. She then had to go to her office and get the override codes that only she had access to. Once again she tried to open our safe with these codes but it did not work. She went back and checked the codes again, came back to our room and after some trying and trying on her part the safe finally opened.
It didn't really take a huge amount of time but it did require what appeared to be quite a series of codes and things that needed to be done in order to regain access. I was (then and now) never concerned about anyone else gaining access to the things in our safe. I would almost say that I feel they are safer because they are NOT keyed safes.
We put money, wallet, purse, jewlrey, phone, Ipad etc. in the safe. We left our video camera in our suitcase just because I didn't think to put it anywhere else and our camera was always with us.
Relax and enjoy CN!!!! It is a spectacular place!!!
We have been 7 times and have NEVER had anything taken out of the room.
I vote to leave your laptop at home. ENJOY JAMAICA while you are there.
Work with your pictures at home.
You don't need traveler's checks. You only need a very few dollars for tipping transportation guys.
I think you will love the place so much, you won't want to leave anyway. If you do want to book a trip, use a credit card. There is NO other resort tipping at all. It is weird the first time you go. You absolutely do not tip at Couples. No worries, no problems. You are going to love it!
Leave your Laptop at home.. No need for it... Disconnect from the world and enjoy your Partner.. The safe is good size but laptop will have to be small... Keep your cash minimal so you have very little to prevent a big loss. You do not need any big cash... We love it there..
Go and have fun.... Relax... Go to the nude beach and chill..
Never had or even heard of someone having something stolen from their room. Keep the laptop in a suitcase, just so its out of plain view, and any other valuables in the safe. You must understand that for your average Jamaican, a Couples job is quite cherished. As for travelers checks, I wouldn't even waste the time. We always bring about $350 cash and always have money to bring home. And, that's after excursions or night dives, offsite tipping, spa upgrades, souvenirs, etc. The customary TimAir tip is $20 per couple.
My husband and I were there last may 2010 for our honeymoon and had a blast!!! We are actually heading back in October 2011 just a month away. We had no problems with the in room safes and nothing was taken from our room. The safes aren't super big but plenty of room for cash jewelry and passports and wallets. We felt very safe with our belongings in there while we were out and about. We took about 200 us each in 5's and 1's and a few 20's. ( if you plan on going to ricks cafe you will need money- lots of it duento they kinda hound you for tips butbstill a fun time) we tipped 1-2 per bag at airport and 2 each for our driver to the resort and back to the airport we did the same. Everyone there takes us currency and make sure you bring a few dollars with you to the beach because the vendors have some great items. Most of all have a great time and make sure you try the bob marley shots and dirty bananas
I have not heard of anyone experiencing theft from the safe. In fact, many will write about leaving laptops, cameras, etc., out in plain view without worrying. We left cash, passports and cell phones in our safe daily and had no problem. Because of this, I wouldn't hesitate to bring cash instead of traveler's checks.
Your laptop won't fit in the safe. A small netbook will, however.
We always tip Curtis, the TimAir pilot, at least $25 each way.
You've definitely convinced me the rooms are safe. Now just have to decide if I want to mess with lugging the laptop along or not. It would be nice to upload some pics, but I can send some from my iPhone.
So, no Traveler's checks, just cash and credit card.