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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    470

    Default Large Weddings at CSA-Ambience Lost

    We just returned from a 9-night stay at CSA, our favorite place! We were very disappointed this trip by the distruption caused by large wedding parties. The resort is COUPLES. During our stay there were wedding parties of 40, 50 and 80 people. The groups were loud, disruptive, and created long lines in the restaurants. One night we weren't even able to get into Patios for dinner; at the beach buffet a huge area was blocked off/reserved for one wedding group.

    What are your thoughts on this? In my humble opinion, wedding parties should be limited in size (20 perhaps?). We choose Couples as the other guests are also all couples (not families, singles, and people determined to out-drink each other). Typical Couples guests are there for the same reasons we are; to enjoy a fabulous, romantic, relaxing time!

    We love CSA... do you agree these large parties kill the ambience that IS CSA?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    692

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    In a very simple answer to your question - one big YES, it definitely destroys the ambience!!
    (Karen&Paul)

  3. #3

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    I haven't been there yet, but I will be getting married at CSA next month. Our wedding party is 4 people. My fiance and I and his parents. We invited more, but only invited 20. I thought along the same lines you did. I didn't even think I would enjoy a large wedding at Couples. Plus, I dearly love everyone we invited, but really wouldn't want them there for most of our trip. I do think I would be disappointed if half the guests at the resort were all one big wedding party.
    CSA - May 2012
    CN - May 2013
    CSS - October 2013

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    23

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    My wife and I had a similar experience at CSA. We have been to all 4 Couples resorts multiple times and CSA is by far the most popular choice for destination weddings. It was a once and done for us; however others love the ambiance of CSA and that's fine. Our simple solution to that is visit one of the other 3 choices if you prefer to be away from the big groups and singles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

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    I am sure that from a business standpoint Couples loves these large wedding parties. But if they are receiving preferential treatment by reserving large portions of realestate to exclude other guests, then they are not in keeping with the Couples philosophy of intamacy and romance for everyone, in my opinion anyway. The problem I would have with a large party of guests is if they tend to move with a herd mentality; crowding restaurants at the same time, congregating at one bar in large numbers, descending on Seagrapes all at once. In other words taking up space and services for themselves to the detriment of the experience of the other guests. If they could have the wedding, with their full party in attendance, then blend back in with the other guests before and after the ceremony I would have no problem with it at all. But again, that's just my opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    671

    Default

    Suzi, I have to agree with you. After 2 trips to both CSS & CN, my wife and I decided to check out CSA in April of 2010 and we had the same experience. CSA is a beautiful resort and having the ability to walk down the beach really appealed to us. You don't get that at CSS and only somewhat at CN. Our first full day we headed to the pool bar at the south end after spending the day at the beach and it was dominated by a group there for a wedding. We were able to find 2 seats on the dry side of the bar but we didn't stay long. The wedding group was loud and obnoxious. We just figured they were having a good time and it was late afternoon so it wasn't unusual for there to be a few "overserved" guests at that time of the day so we blew it off. The next day we decided to just head to the same pool after breakfast. It seemed like the same group never left. There they were, drunk and obnoxious and it wasn't even noon. They "owned" that pool & swim up bar all week.
    We spent the rest of the week at the pool next to the Palm. We went to the Palm a couple nights for dinner and the same group was in a reserved area just as drunk and loud as they were by the pool bar. There were at least 6-7 other groups there at the same time for weddings and they were nowhere near as bad but they were also large, loud groups just the same.
    But, nonetheless, we love Couples for the whole "Couples" theme too and we decided to stick with CN & CSS for that. I know that Couples is perfect for a wedding and CSA seems to be the most popular choice. I guess it would be hard for them to turn down a large group from a business standpoint but, like you said, maybe they should consider limiting the size of a group.
    We went back to CN last year and are headed to CSS next April. In our 3 trips to CN and 2 at CSS, we never had this experience. We could chalk it up to just a bad week but I'm not so sure. I don't recall much conversation on this board about this problem at any of the other 3 resorts.

  7. #7

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    Wow! I sure hope we don't experience that when we visit next month...If thats the case, we could have just gone to a property that caters to all and saved a few hundred dollars..I understand people want their family members at their weddings, but a oversized wedding party disrupting the ambience of a "Couples Only" resort, would be a major disappointment...I hope Management reads this post..

    P.S. Is it possible to find out in advance if there will be large wedding parties during our stay, because if thats the case, I will switch resorts...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,360

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    I'm with dirtleg, well stated. We were at CTI one year when a wedding party was present. To put it simply, we would prefer parties be limited in number and single guest bookings should be closer monitored. We stopped going to the piano bar because of the group.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    259

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    Whether it's CSA or any of the other Couples resorts the ambiance is lost when any large group - not just wedding parties - "takes over" a location. As dirtleg said, it makes complete business sense to take all the reservations, but it then becomes a "group" resort rather than "couples" resort. When the group members start behaving obnoxiously, then both the other guests and Couples reputation suffers.

    Coloradojuli's suggestion that parties by limited in number is great, but I'm not sure what the number should be. 10 couples means 20 people, is that too large? I don't think there is an easy answer to this, but I think it would be worth Couples management considering this.

  10. #10

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    ABSOLUTELY!! It seems like the large parties at CSA have no respect for those of us who are there as couples. We were on the beach one day, in the same spot since 9 am. After lunch a big group came to the beach, sat 2 feet away from us, turned on a radio loudly and proceeded to throw a football OVER MY HEAD!! So much for our peaceful day in the sun. We moved far far away, and avoided them for the rest of the time. There were other weddings there that week that took over Aura on several nights. This is why CSA is at the bottom of our choice list for the 4 resorts.

    To be fair, we did meet a large party that was not of that mentality. There was a big group from a midwestern state at CTI a couple years ago who sat together on the beach and watched a college game in the game room together, but the rest of the time they were split into 2's or 4's. They never took over anything, and most of the time you didn't even realize they were travelling together.

    Is it the wedding mindset? As in - we're here for a wedding and weddings mean party, party, party as a group? Or perhaps they think everyone else is there for a wedding too so everyone will behave the same as them? I think if the large parties are detracting from the romantic atmosphere, then size limits should be considered. 80 people together seems extreme for a place called Couples. I read on the board that there is a wedding of 120 going to CTI next April. That's half the guests! Guess where we will NOT be next April?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    776

    Default

    Dirtleg, I think you hit the nail on the head. From a business standpoint it really is a no brainer. But from a guest's view it is a completely different story.

    The year before last, when we were at CN there was a fairly large wedding party, I think about 40 people. They night before the wedding they did have an area roped off for their rehersal dinner and of course the next day for the wedding and reception on the lawn by the gazebo. But after that they just sort of blended back in to the rest of the resort, I do think several left, I am not sure. But we only saw a few of the couples, including the parents of the bride over the course of the next week.

    I don't think that there is an easy answer at all. I do wish that they could or would monitor singles a little closer as well. There was a group of 8 from Tenn at CN last summer. Of the 8, 6 were part of a couple, but other 2 were the single daughters of one of the couples. At first we thought they were there for a wedding, and they might have been, we just didn't see them at any wedding the whole week we were there. Even if they were that is more then the 5% of the group, closer to 25%.
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. If they get mad, you will be a mile away and they will be barefoot!

  12. #12

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    We were at CSA last week and noticed a few very large wedding groups too. Some of the guests were well behaved while others; not so much. That seems to happen whenever there is a large group of people that get together. I don't mind if a few (3 or 4) large tables are reserved for wedding dinners either. But I think the size of the wedding party should be limited to 30 of so guests. My concerns about large wedding groups is that they take over activities such as the catameran trip leaving no space for the other guests. I think the number of weddings per day needs to be looked at as well. Some days they seems to be almost back to back. You get 3 weddings the same day who each have dinners booked it can get a little crowded in places like the Palms.
    I understand from Couples perspective they want the business but it does have an impact on ther other guests at the resort. Putting a limit on the number of "wedding guests" doesn't mean that all the people who want to attend the wedding can't come, it just puts a limit on the number of people who will sitting together for the dinner(s) and that can be pre-booked for activities such as the catamaran trip.


    I enjoy seeing people get married or renew their vows at Couples. It's romantic and reminds me of my wedding day. It just needs to be better controled/managed by the resort hosting the celebration.
    Karon

  13. #13

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    Even though I am getting married at Couples, I don't think large groups should be allowed. Couples should look into a cut off number. I just looked at the wedding calendar and there is 4 weddings the day we transfer from CSS to CSA. I am seriously rethinking if we want to go to CSA or switch to CN. Might have to call the travel agent today, last thing I want on our honeymoon is a huge group of people trying to overrun the resort!

    @louiseandjames, it won't tell you how large the wedding is but if you go under "weddings" on the main page and click "reserve your date" you can see how many weddings there are during your stay.
    Becky & Dave
    CSS July 2012 (Wedding @ CSS 7.18.12)
    CN July 2012

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    470

    Default

    From a business standpoint, I don't think Couples is making huge revenue by booking an 80 person wedding vs booking 40 COUPLES. The room rate is the same (actually if they're booking so many rooms, the rate may even be less!). At a non-inclusive resort, these wedding guests would be paying for all meals...at Couples the food is all included.

    I sincerely hope management is reading these posts and reconsiders large wedding groups. 80% of your business comes from 20% of your guests; there's a huge group of repeaters. Offend them, or turn down a one-time wedding? hmmm... now what's good business sense?

    The groups last week DID travel in packs; including drunken hot tub time at night.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    276

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    I really understand where everyone is coming from! You want a nice relaxing romantic vacation (I do too!). What absolutely boggles me is that there are THAT many people in a wedding party that could afford to make the trip to Jamaica. I had thought about it briefly when hubby and I got married but reality set in and no one would have been able to attend so we got married here at home so my family could be with us.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    113

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    Suzi,
    We were there the same days as you were and would have to agree, what a pain. We went to the Friday night beach party and could not believe all the saved tables. A group of 80, really, how romantic. NOT.
    While I felt that they were either very well behaved as they did not bother us much, or they really kicked into gear after we left on Saturday

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    228

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    I don't remember there being a problem with that at CSA three years ago when we were there (might have been luck of the draw), but there definitely was at CTI two years ago, at least in the evenings. Fortunately for us, it was only the last couple of nights.

    This particular group (and it wasn't that large a group as groups go, maybe a dozen or so) seemed to be a particularly noisy lot, which was especially a problem when they were inside the buildings, given the accoustics of the halls and the openness of the buildings. One evening they were waiting in the hall outside Eight Rivers, and we were dining at the restaurant across the way from them and couldn't converse between us. They didn't get any quieter once they were in Eight Rivers, which made it better for us but I'm sure it made for a disappointing dining experience for the other patrons in that restaurant that evening.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtleg View Post
    I am sure that from a business standpoint Couples loves these large wedding parties. But if they are receiving preferential treatment by reserving large portions of realestate to exclude other guests, then they are not in keeping with the Couples philosophy of intamacy and romance for everyone, in my opinion anyway. The problem I would have with a large party of guests is if they tend to move with a herd mentality; crowding restaurants at the same time, congregating at one bar in large numbers, descending on Seagrapes all at once. In other words taking up space and services for themselves to the detriment of the experience of the other guests. If they could have the wedding, with their full party in attendance, then blend back in with the other guests before and after the ceremony I would have no problem with it at all. But again, that's just my opinion.
    Completely agree with this.

    From a business perspective it's probably very nice to have one party take up 20+ rooms for the resort. But just as you said, you then have a large herd of people who migrate together and that will almost always take away from the other guests.

    I do think the suggestion of capping a wedding party to 20 people is a good idea and even that number may be too many. My wife and I were married at CN and we had people come down for the wedding, but we asked most of them to stay at other locations because we wanted to have them there for the wedding and reception but that was it because after that point we were on our honeymoon.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by beckyanddave View Post
    Even though I am getting married at Couples, I don't think large groups should be allowed. Couples should look into a cut off number. I just looked at the wedding calendar and there is 4 weddings the day we transfer from CSS to CSA. I am seriously rethinking if we want to go to CSA or switch to CN. Might have to call the travel agent today, last thing I want on our honeymoon is a huge group of people trying to overrun the resort!

    @louiseandjames, it won't tell you how large the wedding is but if you go under "weddings" on the main page and click "reserve your date" you can see how many weddings there are during your stay.

    Thanks beckyanddave....

    I just looked at the wedding calendar for CSA during our week...It looks like the way it is set up, you have 4 times to choose from, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon...Based on our week, there are several time slots still available all week...but of course it doesnt tell you how many in the party..I emailed the resort directly, and they did respond by telling me that there are 11 rooms booked for a wedding party during the
    1st part of our stay...I guess thats not too bad, and at this point we will just go with the flow of things...My only concern is that we can get dinner reservations and that we will not feel smothered at the pools...and that we can truly enjoy the overall "Couples Only" experience that we are looking forward too.

  20. #20

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    Well said Dirtleg. We go to CSA every Feb/Mar and every day there are 1 or more weddings. We have never encountered a large party. Usually it's no more than 10. Once there was a larger wedding and they had the banquet hall { where the manager's cocktail party is held} and really didn't notice a large group around the resort that week.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    612

    Default

    JUST. SAY. NO......

    To large wedding groups....

    END OF STORY....

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

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    The groups should have a limit. Couples needs to decide if it's a catering hall with accommodations for the guests, or if it's a romantic destination for couples to spend quality time together and relax. What is/was the business plan when it all began? What made the resorts so popular? We've invited a couple of friends the next time we go and I hope it's the same great experience it has been for my husband and I. Couples, and CSA specifically, should be intimate, romantic and beautiful. It is to us and we hope it stays that way.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    13

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    I am getting nervous now. Our first trip to couples is in June. I really wanted a relaxing trip. Dealing with a drunk wedding party is like having children around. As a mom of 3 that is not my idea of a romantic vacation.

  24. #24

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    Just read a trip report from a someone who just returned from CSA, and the complaint was "loud partying on balconies and patios that became annoying"....WOW! okay, that is sooo not cool at a Couples Only resort...

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    564

    Default

    If Couples is going to book groups there should be some written guidelines they are issued with protocols to follow and staff should enforce them. It's not fair to the other guests to not enjoy the full experience due to groups hogging things.
    They are paying customers too.

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