Did a bad thing.....and now I have to wait another year
It was decided that we would return to Couples in February 2012 and go to CTI with my sister and her husband. We had been to CN in April 2011 and loved, loved, loved it! Couldn't wait to go back.
Well, we let our travel agent talk us into going to a different island, different resort (won't tell you which one - but it rhymes with candles). I tried to go with an open mind - tried to give it a chance....but it didn't work. The 2nd morning we were there, I sat up in bed and just started crying. My husband asked me what was wrong and I said "we made a mistake. we should have never come here". I'm not upset with my travel agent (he's family) and he really wanted us to experience other islands in the Caribbean - but I made that decision so I can only blame myself.
I kept thinking of what another couple told us at CN in April 2011 - this was like their 10th trip to Couples and they said When you find perfection, why go anywhere else. I should have listened to them and stuck with my gut feeling. Not only did I not enjoy my vacation, I feel bad for dragging my sister and her husband along.
Never again!! And I promise....I will return to Couples.
They say, "live and learn". I know that's a bitter pill to swallow. And on top of that, you have to wait until next year to return to, what you knew in your heart to be great.
Some lessons are harder to take than others.
One plus factor out of all of this is, perhaps when you talk with people about where you went and how crappy it was, or is some couples are debating doing the same thing and they read your message here, they may not make the same mistake you did. That may not be much consolation for you, but others may be spared the same happening to them.
I think that is very sad. Even though we go to couples every year and it is our favorite place to go we travel to other places also. Barbados, st. martin, san francisco I could go on and on but you get the picture. Anyway that is sad that you could not enjoy another island or resort. You have to remember your not at couples when you travel somewhere new. Its great you love couples, but I think you are really missing out to never go anywhere else. Just my opinion and I know we are fortunate enough to travel more than one time a year. That being said go have fun live life to the fullest. Diane
Thank you for all your kind words.
I did talk to my travel agent today about our experience. He said that he has heard the same comments from other customers over the past month or so. So I guess I'm not the only one who was a little disappointed.
I have my goal set now and even though it seems far away, I will be relaxing at a Couples Resort, Rum Punch in hand and enjoying the sweet sounds of Jamaica!!
After losing my job and having to cut back on vacations, we scheduled a trip to Mexico last December. Husband had back surgery on Halloween and we had to cancel our trip. Thanks to travel insurance we had our vacation money refunded to us and we put it away. It took us just five minutes to decide to travel back to Jamaica this December. Why go somewhere new when you know how much you will enjoy going to Jamaica. Besides, I really need a vacation and a break from "nurse duty!"
That really is sad your vacation was such a disappointment.
I think Diane has the perfect outlook on the topic. My husband and I also travel to places other than Couples. We have had some fantastic experiences in other places, and we look forward to many more. The key here is to have realistic expectations. I know that when we book a week in the British Virgin Islands, it's a completely different experience than being waited on hand and foot at Couples, but we love it anyway, simply because it is a vacation and another culture to explore.
It would be difficult for me to imagine Couples/Jamaica as my only vacation spot ever. We are (and will continue to be) repeat visitors to CTI and absolutely love the "Couples Experience" however, we also know how to embrace the here and now of wherever we happen to be fortunate enough to visit.
We made a similar mistake back in '05 when we went to the Bahamas and stayed at an AI ( rhymes with sneezes). We too wanted to check out other islands and resorts....we thought.
We always go in April and it was overcast all week and barely hit 70 degrees most days.
The place was loaded with overserved Spring breakers, the pool water was about 60, no balconies on the high rise we were in, poor service etc. etc etc. We were miserable.
The year before we had renewed our vows for our 25th during an 11 day stay at CN. That was our first Couples experience and it was amazing. All we kept saying was "what were we thinking".
Since then we have returned to CN two more times, CSA once and CSS 2 times.
Like Crabracer said, "live and learn".
I'm sure we will try other islands again, especially if Couples ventures out to one of them but, for now, we keep getting drawn back "Home" to Couples.
Feel your pain..... My wife and I and our Best Buddies went to CSA in 2000 and then 2 years later we decide to "try something new" and went to an AI in Barbados for 10 days....... What a NIGHTMARE.... we were ready to leave the 2nd day. You simply can't go wrong with Couples....... I will be honest -- we did find another place last year (Iberostar Grand Bavaro) in Punta Cana..... It was really nice...... but we're going back to CSA AGAIN -- for the 5th time...... 40 days and we'll be back in HEAVEN at CSA!
How very true...Couples Product can not be beaten !! Staying in Tower Isle in the 80's, the next year we tried the "other" all inclusive, then back to Tower Isle! Every other year for a few more years we tried another island and another all inclusive as well as a cruise...Never ever coming up to COUPLES standards !!! Since the early 90's...Couples has been our home away from home...the product, the people, the friends..."Priceless" !!! Thank you, Couples...soon come !!
I know we are definitely spoiled at Couples and it is, in my opinion, the best Rest, Relaxation and Romance resort out there. Not to say that I won't try other countries or resorts, (just right now, my husband and I are trying to find a great place to take our 6 & 7 year old boys to (suggestions welcome ....in the fall of 2012 - with our return trip to Couples in early 2013).
But I think that I have to explain a little more as to why I was disappointed in the other resort....I never really gave any examples or experiences. At least this way, other couples who may be thinking about trying this other resort, understand and what they could expect to happen to them. I'm venting now.....be prepared!!
As soon as we set foot in that other place we were constantly bothered by the Spa Girls - have you booked your appointment yet? come and see me - I'll take good care of you? Here's our daily specials....And if you don't like the price, I'll give you a good deal. And this went on day after day - at least 3-4 times a day. By the pool or on the beach - you were not safe anywhere unless you were in your room! You know, if I wanted to go to your SPA, I'll book my own appointment!! It was frustrating and irritating...
When we booked our vacation, we were told that we did have a $250 spa credit (promotional deal). When we got to the resort and opened up our envelopes, nothing. Checked with the front desk, Nope - no credit. So sent our travel agent a text and he said that he would contact our Air Canada to find out. The next day we got a reply...apparently, you had to be in a higher room category to qualify for the credit. The travel agent said that he was misled by the deal and apologized (he has given us a credit towards our next vacation by the way). But really...why should it matter what room category you are in? Just because I didn't book a room with a butler or concierge service or a Millionaire Suite, I don't qualify....what a joke!!! Talk about dividing the "haves" and the "have-nots"
Then, my hubby wanted to do his scuba while at the resort. He did all the book work and testing at home and all he had to do was his in pool dive and open water dive (I think....). He talked to one of "their representatives" online before we left who told him it would be $80 - hey, that's no problem. So we budgeted for that because we knew a lot of the 'extras' are not included at this resort. When we got there and talked to the water sports guys and they said "oh no, it's $250 but you should speak to the dive master". Ok, that's a little more than what we thought, but that's ok...we can handle that. Talked to the dive master later that day, nope $450!!! How can you go from $80 to $250 to $450??? Needless to say, no scuba. Not that we couldn't afford it, but I think my husband was just so angry he wasn't willing to give them his money after that.
I also love the Caribbean - I love to hear steel drums, reggae music - love the wonderful colors and just the feel of the culture and the land. That's why I fell in love with Jamaica! Sitting by the pool in the afternoon while the steel drums played at poolside - beautiful!!! There - you get to listen to the music of Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Rhianna, Justin Bieber - I'm sorry, but if I wanted to listen to this music, I could have stayed home. And it was loud - especially in the restaurant - you couldn't have a conversation with your significant other or friends, they wouldn't have been able to hear you.
Speaking of pool....good thing my husband is an early riser!! He got up every morning by 7am to go and put towels on pool loungers for us. If you didn't reserve your spot and you went to the pool or beach around 9am - good luck finding a place to sit in the shade or sun!!! All the best loungers were already reserved by the butlers before my husband got down there every day.
There was also a different special everyday. We went to get our resort photos the night before we left (which is advisable). We picked out our 5-6 photos, got them on a disc at a cost of $70. My sister picked hers out the next day as my brother in law wasn't with her the night before. They picked out their 5 pictures and got a free photo frame with their purchase - because that was the "special" that day. WTH!!! We did go into the photo shop to ask them about this and why they didn't mention this to us last night. All they could say was "sorry, can't help you. This is the special for today only".
What was the biggest disappointment.....the fact that there was NO romance here. They may advertise it, but they sure don't promote it or encourage it!!! It's hard to be romantic to Justin Bieber (lol).
For the money we spent and what we got in return from this other resort, it was far from acceptable. I know that there are a lot of people out there who love the resort that rhymes with candles but its not for me. I just can't picture myself going to this resort chain again.
Thanks to all of you who have read this post and for your comments. Now that I have vented to all my Couples Peeps, I feel much better. Hope to see you all next year at Couples!!