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  1. #26

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    What first grabbed our hearts was that we were treated just like family that had been gone from home to long. We, in 4 years, have never met an unfriendly person, we have never had an unpleasant moment. We stumbled into JA, having never heard of Couples, we went on the advice of our TA, she assured us we would love it, and she couldn't of been more right. Every year in October, she emails us and says, "Couples in January right? " and we book. CTI is amazing. We look forward to it every year like a child looks forward to Christmas. Thanks Couples for all you do

  2. #27

    Default What first grabbed your heart

    what first grabbed our hearts was the bus ride to the resort. We were there in 2007 in July. the road was torturous but we met a couple on there who were on their honeymoon and we are going back with them this July. We had an amazing time and on our last morning, my boyfriend opened the french doors, let the sun and breeze in and for the very first time, told me he loved me. Apparently, I caught his heart in Jamaica. We knew were hooked when shortly thereafter, a hurricane was bearing down on our beloved COR. We were glued to the tv and message board and we prayed for our new family. Our prayers were answered and we are going home in 23 days, we are going home again. It is a magical place and I am hoping for more magic.
    driveindou

  3. #28

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    I have my sister-in-law to thank for getting us to Jamaica. She planned the first trip in 2001. She has only been back once because she now loves Mexico. Silly woman!
    We've returned every year since and will do so as long as long as we're able.
    I remember being in awe when I got my first glimpse of the island as we approached MBJ. The topography was incredible, steep, green hills rising so close to the shore, breathtaking. Then we disembarked onto the tarmac and I got my first taste of the warm, sultry Jamaican air. Ahhhhh.
    I enjoyed the bus ride to CTI (COR then). It was our first taste of the island and we 'drank' everything in. Steve and his sister were a little white knuckled on the ride (you all know why!) but I enjoyed it. I just sensed we were fine, and there was no doubt we were in a tropical paradise!
    An hour and a half later we finally pulled up in front of the entrance to CTI, no doors, just a big open, inviting entrance into the lobby which we could see straight through out to the sea. Wow.
    As we stepped into the lobby Steve and I looked at each other and knew we were feeling the same thing, a VERY strong, overwhelming sense of peace and wellbeing, unlike anything we'd EVER felt before, anywhere. From that moment, although we didn't know it then, Couples and our soon to come Couples family, became an integral part of our lives.
    And then we were handed our oold washcloths and a glass of sparkling wine. It just kept getting better!
    Kirk just happened to be the one who took our bags to our room that day. I remember him throwing the balcony doors open. Room 274, we loved it, and it was an unexpected upgrade! It's now tradition that Kirk takes us to our room every year. Fortunately, Kirk was working at CSS last January, when we were refugees from CTI, and was able to escort us to our room then too. We've met his family before and had lunch at his house this year.
    And that's what has brought us back to Couples every year since '01. Not only the peace we find there but especially The STAFF, we can't begin to praise them enough. We are very fortunate to have others besides Kirk that we talk you throughout the year until we can return to see them. Two of them have even been able to stay with us for a week while they were here on work visas, Charmaine and Tyrone.
    Next Thursday we are going to Maine to see Tyrone who is working there now. We met him the day after we first arrived. CTI had it's own riding stable then and he was a guide. Steve and Tyrone were riding at the back of the group and so had plenty of time to talk. They really hit it off and for the next 2 mornings Tyrone took us on an extended, private ride. That gave us the opportunity to get to know him. Tyrone was the first to invite us to his home and since then we have gotten to know his family and we visit them every year. I'll never forget our first visit, we were walking around up in the hills after dark but we felt safe knowing we with Tyrone. We met so many people that night and we felt comfortable with every one of them, an unusual experience for me. I have never had such a feeling of acceptance before or since. One year his brother Ziggy, who was 11 at the time, wandered off from us as we were walking around from house to house. He returned a half hour with beaded necklaces of yellow, back and green for Steve and I. I asked him where he got them and he told me his father made them (he and Tyrone have different fathers). I found out a few years later that Ziggy's father is Brother Albert who has a craft shack down the road from CTI. I know many of you know him. I treasure those beads more than any jewelry I have. Nothing in my life has ever meant more to me than being told that we're now considered part of Tyrone's family. His grandmother (who owns all the property where the extended family lives) has said that we will always have a place there if we want to build a house in Jamaica.
    Also going to Maine to see Tyrone with us are 3 other couples who we met at CTI and are now lifelong friends, Kelly and Zane, Mary and Dave, Rod and Sopenny. We'll be calling Merna, Sharon, Kirk and Ava while we're there, and Kimberlee from CSS. It's our Jamaican reunion here in the states.
    It was the unbelievable sense of peace that I have only experienced in Jamaica that first touched my heart but it's the people who have brought us back every year.
    198 days until I hear welcome home again. Soon come.

  4. #29

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    So I went deep to find something other than shade, buffets, and loud music. Hopefully you enjoy a flashback 6 years, when the roads were a little rougher, but the hospitality was the same as today. It is always the people! Sunsets, sand and wonderful food doesn't hurt either. Peace.

  5. #30

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    Nice idea!!The staff who we have come to be seek out at each returning visit, friends we met from Atlanta who still keep in contact with and visit, , "sand gravity", cocktails, the beauty of the sunsets and beach, and time with each other.

  6. #31

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    the lobby absolutely. however, the people, no doubt! can't wait to get back...hoping around 8/6/2016 for our 22nd anniversary! cn here we come!

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011

  7. #32

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    We love what everyone else said, but to confirm:
    arriving at the Couples Lounge
    The notion that after we leave the restroom, and grab a RS, our transportation is ready
    The Welcome Home, as soon as we step from the van
    The service from all of the staff, treating us as Family
    The food is delicious
    Our ultimate BFVS view and wonderful accommodations
    The piano bar and lounge to dance all night
    Daily breakfast in our room, before cruising to breakfast at Patios
    Evening turn-down service after dinner
    All nightly performances and time spent with new 'friends'
    Waking up to gorgeous sunrises and watching phenomenal sunsets
    Surprise notes of encouragement from staff

  8. #33

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    Her name was Tibbsie. (sp)

  9. #34

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    We arrived at night. There had been riots in Kingston. On most street corners it seemed there were troops or police, some with automatic weapons. We even saw an armoured car. 2.5 hours on the bus - no highway all the way to Ocho back then. Got to CTI and basically went to bed, wondering where on earth we had chosen for our first long haul holiday.

    The next morning awake early. I went for a walk and could not believe the beautiful sights ,colours and the view of the sea, beach and island. Went back to our room and said to my Wife - come and look at this. Soon hand in hand walking along the beach and met Delroy and started to talk to him.

    That is when it hit - we were in our second home. ,Makes me emotional just writing aboiut that first time.

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by behindthegoal View Post
    We arrived at night. There had been riots in Kingston. On most street corners it seemed there were troops or police, some with automatic weapons. We even saw an armoured car. 2.5 hours on the bus - no highway all the way to Ocho back then. Got to CTI and basically went to bed, wondering where on earth we had chosen for our first long haul holiday.

    The next morning awake early. I went for a walk and could not believe the beautiful sights ,colours and the view of the sea, beach and island. Went back to our room and said to my Wife - come and look at this. Soon hand in hand walking along the beach and met Delroy and started to talk to him.

    That is when it hit - we were in our second home. ,Makes me emotional just writing aboiut that first time.
    When we stepped into the lobby at CTI and felt that warm breeze with that spactular view...... We both knew we would be back...... Trip 4 in 3 weeks!

  11. #36

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    The lovely people of Jamaica and the wonderful atmosphere. Jamaica is a magical place.

    Life is good on the beach

  12. #37

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    We had been talking about a trip south for a few years but it seemed that we just kept talking ourselves out of it due to financial constraints. Finally in 2009, after hearing our friends talk about how much they loved Jamaica we decided that if we didn't just go, then we never would. We booked our trip for November 2009 to a small resort in Runaway Bay that our aforementioned friends had gone to 3 times and we were off. It was our first time in 14 years that we had traveled outside Canada and that was only a trip to the US, hardly foreign territory.
    The last few weeks leading up to our vacation were just a blur as we tried to figure out what we needed to pack and of course we ended up with too much as we packed everything we thought we would need. WAY too much clothes, meds, toiletries etc. As I said we just didn't know what to expect.
    Finally the day came and we took the long trip from Newfoundland to an altogether different island. I remember using the seat back screen to track our flight and not watching a single movie. Then we saw the green water around the Bahamas and we knew then that this was far different from the ice cold North Atlantic we grew up with. After another 1.5 hours flight time we landed in Montego Bay, amazed by the sight of palm trees and turquoise waters.
    The first thing that struck us (literally) was the wave of hot, moist air in the jetway. We started shedding layers as we were dressed for 0 degrees celsius, not 30 and proceeded to immigration by following the herd. After what seemed like 2 hours in a sauna we were on our way to the resort with a cold red stripe in each hand a look of wonderment on our faces.

    After arrival and check in we walked out to the beach and did something our friends had recommended we do, kicked off our shoes and walked into the sea. We will never forget the feeling of warm sea water as we are used to sea water that is near freezing most of the year (not kidding, without protection your survival is measured in minutes). After dinner that evening, just hanging out on the pier and having gotten our first taste of Jamaican hospitality and cuisine, we knew why our friends kept coming back. For the rest of the trip, at random times, one of us would look at the other and say "we're in Jamaica". There are lots of places to go in the Caribbean, some cheaper, but none of them are Jamaica. For us it's simply the people that grabbed us above everything else and it's what keeps us coming back year after year. As the old slogan says "Once you go, you know".

  13. #38

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    On our first visit to Jamaica, in 1988, we stayed in a standard room in one of the high rises in Ocho Rios. It grabbed me when I stood outside on our tiny little balcony at dusk, and heard the sounds of Ochi and the tree frogs. It seemed so exotic, and different than anything I'd ever experienced before. Keep in mind, up to that point I'd never been south of Chicago. Looking forward to our 28th visit in 2016.

  14. #39

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    In 1997 my husband took me to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary.....we barely got home when i went to the travel agent to book our next anniversary trip to Jamaica...and i chose CTI....at the time the name was Couples ocho Rios. I was so excited! It was a long two hour bus ride from Montego Bay...the road was narrow and twisty and curvy in those days. We pulled in the beautiful drive....and checked in.....went to our room...and opened the french doors to an amazing view!
    Everyday was more wonderful than the last. We swore we would be back.

    19 trips to Jamaica later we are returning to couples...this time to CSS. I can't wait to see what Couples has in store for us this time!

  15. #40

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    Honestly, in 1982, we took first trip to the island of Jamaica, to "Tower Isle"...the airport was tiny, walked off the plane , down the stairs to the tarmac..., no lounges; on the bus with a cooler full of beer and soda, provided by the hotel, along with a member of the entertainment staff ( those days they were called
    co-coordinators) which began your stay.... on that non-air-conditioned bus! ...and it just gets better from there !!! I must say the PEOPLE made us return...the warmth, the welcome, the smiles!!
    ...things have changed through the years but has it not everywhere ??? Always love to hear those words ..."Welcome Home"...! Hopefully, "soon come" !!!

  16. #41

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    Finding our way to the couples lounge the first time, we must have looked lost because someone behind us told us just go to the desk and they will take care of you. Which resort are you going to? we said Swept Away, they said you'll love it, and welcome to the family. Getting ready for trip #3 in 99 days.

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