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  1. #1

    Default Honeymooners and First Time Couples Guest: Questions & Feedback for Swept Away!

    Hi Everyone,

    My fiance and I literally just stumbled across the Couples website after months of hemming and hawing over where to book our honeymoon for this May 29 - June 6, 2012. Having friends and family who swear by the Sandals brand, we did our research but just couldn't seem to commit...seemed overpriced and lacking it the things we really value (customer service for everyone not just butler level guests, all activities truly included, etc.). It took only a few moments researching the Couples Swept Away website to realize we had found our perfect honeymoon spot! We will be booking this week once we book our airfare (being gifted to us via miles from the future in-laws so we have to get that taken care of first). Have spent the better part of the past 48 hours reading through reviews and these boards, which have been helpful, but still interested in some fresh perspective/answers to the following:

    -Many reviewers swear by the Beachfront Verandah Suite and suggest the second or third floor. We are inclined to book this level and beg to get the third floor corner. Some of the pictures show these rooms with the plantation shutters featured it the Atrium suites and some without; we like the rustic charm of the shutters and prefer that to the more "modern" looking rooms with the split angled mirrors above the bed (again just going from pics). Any insight from frequent or recent visitors who had a BFVS and if so, did it have the shutters?

    -As we will be honeymooners staying for 7 nights, we will qualify for champagne and a 1/2 hour couples massage; have read about people upgrading these massages to a full hour or even 80 minutes. Has anyone done this and, if so, what was the price difference? Do you book this upon arrival or do we need to make arrangements prior?

    -This might be silly, but I really want a place with crystal clear water...how's the water? It looks clear in some pics but murky in others. Probably depends on the weather. We see in our research that it could be rainy in late May/early June but if so typically just for a little bit in the afternoon.

    -We would love to snorkel and kayak every day; can you snorkel in the swimming area or only on the boat trip?

    -We are not terribly worried about additional excursions (again another reason we like the Couples brand, it already has just about everything we want included/at the resort) but if we were to allow one day for an external excursion are there any suggestions? Have read about Mayfield Falls and YS Falls. Any feedback on trips and companies you booked with appreciated. Wouldn't mind some sort of waterfall/ziplining combo.

    -Any other thoughts/suggestions to make what already seems like a magical place even more enjoyable? We have been forewarned about bug spray (and thank goodness, I have extremely bad reactions to bug bites) and are pretty seasoned travelers (we met while touring the U.S. in a theatrical production). This is a pretty big treat for us and we just want to make the absolute most of it.


    Thank you all in advance for responses to my rambling note. Counting the days til we experience paradise! : )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    A couple of things:
    If you really like the "rustic charm" I would go with a Beachfront Suite -- NOT a Verandah suite. Those have only 2 floors, but they all have the plantation shutters throughout. Note: No Television, tho... which should be OK. You're on your honeymoon, after all....

    Snorkeling: You CAN snorkel in the swimming area if you bring your own stuff, but there isn't much to see. You can probably get on a snorkeling trip almost every day if you're not picky about the time. Kayaking you can do whenever you want. Last May, DH and I went kayaking down the beach, and I guess we went too far, since they sent watersports after us on the ski boat. "You've gone too far, mon. You must stay in sight." LOL. -- We are experienced and fast kayakers, and we were just motoring down the beach.

    I'm not sure about the other answers as we haven't done any outside excursions, and we've been married for 13 years, so no honeymoon at Couples for us. But I'm certain someone else will answer your questions.

    Enjoy our favorite place on earth!
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  3. #3

    Default

    I can only address 2 things in your posting.........BFVS........we had the first floor corner and loved it. We liked being able to return to our room from the beach and not have to climb stairs. We would set up our chairs out on the beach but in front of our room, leave the verandah door unlocked and return when needed. Night time noise did not bother us.........the AC is loud and drowned out any late night revelers.

    The water when we were there (Jan. 31-Feb.7, 2010) was crystal clear, no rain at all. Some days there was a little wind, but overall it was hot and sunny.

    We are returning Jan. 30 - Feb. 6, 2012, have requested the same room and it will be our official honeymoon. We were married this past June 18
    . I'll have to check into the champagne and massages.........didn't know they were included.

    I've been to Jamaica 15 times, stayed at different Couples and Superclubs resorts, and I have to say that CSA is my favorite !!!! Enjoy !!!! I'm sure you will.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Congratulations- you've picked a wonderful destination- my wife and i made our first trip to csa in Sept of this yr- and i just booked again for next year same time- (and im a big"let's go somewhere new" kindaguy) We stayed in a Oceanview VS- but really thought we'd move up to Beachfront if we came again- and when i made our commitment- went ahead with the same room. truely depends on how much time you want to spend in the room- we spent very little-however, you're on your honeymoon ! Keep in mind-gets real bright really early in Jamaica, so the shutters come in handy. Absolutely ask for the 3rd floor- views will be much better- and will not have the constant traffic that walks along the sidewalk between you and the water.
    2) didnt do the massages- but heard nothing but raves about them --i would assume if 30 minutes is good- 80 has to be great!
    3) Water quality- is spectacular- having vacationed many places, you will be hard pressed to find any clearer water anywhere. Even at the back of the roped off swimming area- you'll be able to see you toes, and any of the critters .
    4) we snorkled several times- off the couples boat- not sure if you'd wnat to snorkl right off the beach, really not much to see- the trips run roughly an hour- and there are several different dive ares they can take you to, just tell them which ones you have already seen. we didnt kayak(i had a broken arm) but any of the water craft seemed to be readily available.

    Tips- dont try to do too much- enjoy each other-great meals, night life- relax..... and no matter what anyone says, undeer no circumstances- drink a Bob Marley--- you'll thank me later.

    My fiance and I literally just stumbled across the Couples website after months of hemming and hawing over where to book our honeymoon for this May 29 - June 6, 2012. Having friends and family who swear by the Sandals brand, we did our research but just couldn't seem to commit...seemed overpriced and lacking it the things we really value (customer service for everyone not just butler level guests, all activities truly included, etc.). It took only a few moments researching the Couples Swept Away website to realize we had found our perfect honeymoon spot! We will be booking this week once we book our airfare (being gifted to us via miles from the future in-laws so we have to get that taken care of first). Have spent the better part of the past 48 hours reading through reviews and these boards, which have been helpful, but still interested in some fresh perspective/answers to the following:

    -Many reviewers swear by the Beachfront Verandah Suite and suggest the second or third floor. We are inclined to book this level and beg to get the third floor corner. Some of the pictures show these rooms with the plantation shutters featured it the Atrium suites and some without; we like the rustic charm of the shutters and prefer that to the more "modern" looking rooms with the split angled mirrors above the bed (again just going from pics). Any insight from frequent or recent visitors who had a BFVS and if so, did it have the shutters?

    -As we will be honeymooners staying for 7 nights, we will qualify for champagne and a 1/2 hour couples massage; have read about people upgrading these massages to a full hour or even 80 minutes. Has anyone done this and, if so, what was the price difference? Do you book this upon arrival or do we need to make arrangements prior?

    -This might be silly, but I really want a place with crystal clear water...how's the water? It looks clear in some pics but murky in others. Probably depends on the weather. We see in our research that it could be rainy in late May/early June but if so typically just for a little bit in the afternoon.

    -We would love to snorkel and kayak every day; can you snorkel in the swimming area or only on the boat trip?

    -We are not terribly worried about additional excursions (again another reason we like the Couples brand, it already has just about everything we want included/at the resort) but if we were to allow one day for an external excursion are there any suggestions? Have read about Mayfield Falls and YS Falls. Any feedback on trips and companies you booked with appreciated. Wouldn't mind some sort of waterfall/ziplining combo.

    -Any other thoughts/suggestions to make what already seems like a magical place even more enjoyable? We have been forewarned about bug spray (and thank goodness, I have extremely bad reactions to bug bites) and are pretty seasoned travelers (we met while touring the U.S. in a theatrical production). This is a pretty big treat for us and we just want to make the absolute most of it.


    Thank you all in advance for responses to my rambling note. Counting the days til we experience paradise! : )[/QUOTE]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    31

    Default

    ErinandDave2012,

    We stayed on the 3rd floor of the BFVS. We had the shutters. My sister was on the 1st floor of the BFVS and had mirrors. Both room were great. However our room on the 3rd floor had a better view of the sunsets. After all the great food we also needed the extra steps. LOL

    The water is crystal clear. A beautiful shade of blue. You can snorkel anywhere. They do offer 2 snorkeling trips a day. You have to sign up for them first thing in the morning for each day you plan to go.

    If we (the MB addicts) do not answer all your question any of the staff at CSA will have an answer for you with a smile. We have never been to a place were the staff is as friendly and helpful as at Couples.

    Congrats and have a wonderful trip.

    Jellis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    518

    Default

    FYI, ge,
    we are going in feb on our official hoNeymoon. We married in October. Just contacted couples about massage and champagne. You only receive these if you were married within 30 of your trip. Bummer for us, but not really. We're all going to couples!

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to our questions!!!

    We were already convinced this was the place for us, but the warm welcome and suggestions from previous visitors really confirms our decision.

    Thank you all again, we truly appreciate it and can not wait to become a part of the Couples family!

    Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

    Erin & Dave

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ge View Post
    I can only address 2 things in your posting.........BFVS........we had the first floor corner and loved it. We liked being able to return to our room from the beach and not have to climb stairs. We would set up our chairs out on the beach but in front of our room, leave the verandah door unlocked and return when needed. Night time noise did not bother us.........the AC is loud and drowned out any late night revelers.

    The water when we were there (Jan. 31-Feb.7, 2010) was crystal clear, no rain at all. Some days there was a little wind, but overall it was hot and sunny.

    We are returning Jan. 30 - Feb. 6, 2012, have requested the same room and it will be our official honeymoon. We were married this past June 18
    . I'll have to check into the champagne and massages.........didn't know they were included.

    I've been to Jamaica 15 times, stayed at different Couples and Superclubs resorts, and I have to say that CSA is my favorite !!!! Enjoy !!!! I'm sure you will.
    Which room was that?? We are doing BFVS, and have never been, so not sure which torequest ,but we want first floor

  9. #9

    Default

    I think all the other items were covered except for the excursions. We took one arranged by the resort on our first visit (we've gone twiced to CSA). It went to YS Falls, Black River and Appleton Estate. Not that it was bad... but we wouldn't do it again. It was a long day, hot and alot of travelling. You can see some neat stuff but it's very touristy -- your kinda being pushed here and there and given a time limit, etc. On our second trip we just researched some nearby places off property for jerk chicken. One is within walking distance (Best in the West -- across the street from Coco la Palm) and took a cab to another not too far up the road (Three Dives) on the cliffs. It had spectacular views and the hotel next door had a bar and area where you could jump into the water. To me, that was a more authentic (yet not too adventurous) off-resort experience compared to the excursion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default

    There are only 4 rooms on each of the 3 levels of the BFVS. Only the end rooms of the BFVS have the shutters. The two inside rooms have the mirrors above the beds as there can not be a window there as it is next to the next room.

    Also, you must "honeymoon" within 30 days of your wedding date to get the honeymoon benefits.

    We "honeymoon" at CSA every year and love it!!!

  11. #11

    Default

    Just as a point of clarification...in the OVS and BFVS categories the buildings have three floors with 4 rooms across on each floor. It's the two middle rooms that have the mirrors on the wall above the head of the bed and the outside (end or corner) rooms that have the shutters...because you have an exterior wall you have windows and the shutters are the cover over the windows instead of curtains.

    As far as which floor...I always say it's totally personal preference. Some swear the top floor is best because they like the views and don't like the traffic right in front of their verandah...note that the sidewalks will be literally a few steps off your verandah and in the BVFS category that also means the beach...if curtains on the doors are open it is possible for people to see in your room though most people don't stare rather they glance as they walk by as is human nature, the verandah is perfectly open to the view of others though so it depends how you feel about privacy. Others swear the first floor is best for the convenience and truthfully you do have a beautiful view of the sea it's just a different perspective than from above. The second floor has it's fans as well because many folks want the privacy of an upper floor but don't want the trek up the steps. The interiors of all the rooms will be the same, the rest is personal preference. And remember, rooms are assigned basically as you check-in or at least not until the day you are to arrive. No way they can honor requests because what room you get depends on who is checking out in the category you're arriving to fill. Ask at check-in if you really have a room preference but be careful about going with expectations as you may not get what you want. If you can't decide, don't make any request and see what you get. All the rooms are fabulous and you'll find that once you are there the desire to have a specific room really fades and you'll be immersed in the experience.

    To the OP as far as water clarity, this can absolutely vary with the weather. A rain shower won't cloud up the water really so I wouldn't worry about it. It's rough seas from storms that cause the sand from the bottom to be stirred up into the water thus making it cloudy. In 14 trips to Jamaica we've almost always had the beautiful crystal clear water you are hoping for but we've been there a couple times when it was or had recently been stormy and the water was more cloudy. It doesn't settle down pretty quickly though and the time of year you are going does not have a high likelihood for storms. I'm betting you'll have that water you want.

    If you react that badly to bug bites I'd stay off the beach after dark and after a good rain...that's when the sand fleas are out. During the day you shouldn't have a problem. Good idea to bring the bug spray though...be sure it's one with DEET, the others don't seem to work as well on those critters.

  12. #12

    Default

    to Ge:
    Hey i was was excited to finally see someone going the exact same time are we are. We will be leaving Toronto January 30th.
    where are u flying from? What time do u get to Mobay? Maybe we will see you there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Mayfield falls is a less touristy trip (you can book through the resort and will likely end up with a taxi driver for the day who will take you and wait for you). At the falls, a local rasta becomes your guide: it is spectacularly beautiful and refreshing. Bring a little money for tipping and to buy yummy rasta snacks and drinks from the ladies at the entrance.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    11

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    Well be there the same time as you honeymooning and I loved your questions exactly what I was wondering! Looking forward to our free massages and champagne! Keep the helpful hints coming they are much appreciated we are staying at CN in a beachfront room.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,415

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    I see the issue of requests rearing its head in this thread, so to avoid disappointment, you should know that Randymon announced almost two years ago that requests for specific buildings, floors, or rooms are not allowed at the time you book your vacation. You book a specific room category and can expect a room in that category, but that's it.

    Once you arrive at the resort, you can make a specific request, and if such a room is available, your request will be granted. Couples discontinued the practice of allowing guests to make requests at the time of booking b/c some guests seemed to think that their advanced requests had to be honored and were particularly rude and ugly when their requests could not be honored upon their arrival at the resort.

    You won't spend much time in your room, so don't sweat the small stuff.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

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