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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    31

    Default Growing a bit worried......

    With our first trip to any Couples' resorts coming up (going to CSA), I am growing more and more worried about what the experience will hold. Very good friends of ours just returned from CSA, their 3rd visit there, 11th visit overall to Couples and were down-right dissapointed. They were in fact the ones who encouraged us to visit Couples when we decided on doing an AI this year instead of our normal trip. They reported that the staff was clearly a much different group than they were used to; service, attitude, ect and that housekeeping (lack of towels to the extent of one night not having enough towels because the resort was "short" and having the mini-bar stocked only 2 out of 7 nights) was lacking and that it was pulling teeth to get drinks on the beach. They also said that the food was hit and miss- some days it was the best ever, others couldn't compete with fast food. And that the rooms seemed to be getting in rougher shape each return (yes I know not to expect granite and marble, but chipping paint, broken light/bath fixtures are things you expect from budget hotels not 5 star resorts). On a positive note they did say the beach was fantastic as usual and the drinks were of course top shelf, and felt perhaps this could be exclusive to CSA and as always plan to return but said they will probably go back to TI or SS. This all comes after some other friends returned a few weeks ago and had some of the same comments. Perhaps they had just a bad week? I'm sure we'll have a great time and we never expect "perfection". Its just that for what we spent on this trip is a large amount for us and for what we usually spend on trips and without trying to get our expectations to high. Anyone been there very recently that can calm my nerves and let my buddy know he perhaps just had a off week?? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,000

    Default

    A friend of mine also noted that staff has had a significant turnover between our last trip home in October and his recent return in March (they go twice a year). He said nothing about inferior service, but I gotta believe that, with everyone needing a bit of a learning curve with their new employer that there will be some occasional breakdowns. However, I can't imagine things being as bad as your friends made them out to be; I'm not doubting their dissappointment when compared to previous visits.

    I do understand that Mr. Bowleg has been reassigned, but with the very capable Ms Lannigan taking his place at SweptAway as GM, I expect that our visit in May will be every bit as satisfactory as all our previous 9 visits to our favorite spot of beach!
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  3. #3

    Default

    We have been to other Couples Resorts and CSA is our fav, been many times and going back in July. We Keep in mind that what we are paying for is not just an appointed room, and I know you know all this, you get all inclusive water sports, amazing food, one of the most incredible beaches anywhere, classes, etc etc etc..and honestly the rooms are not luxury, they are very minimal and definitley showing wear,especially in the bathrooms, no luxury at all,but when you spend all day on that incredible beach, and enjoying the wonderful food choices, and the evening music surrounded by stars and ocean waves, the amazing staff and entertainment, you really spend little time in your room. I know the company should renovate, its time but it doesn't really bother us even though when we travel we stay in 4-5 star hotels and we know others who return year after year too. Believe me, we thought the same thing after our first trip, how could this be a 5 star and reading reviews but when we went the next year to a couples sister resort TI we couldn't stop thinking about CSA and this place was gorgeous, we literally booked that same year 4 months later lol to go back to CSA and get our fix. Everything was just so different and CSA was definitely a better fit for us. The staff are wonderful but you have to realize that they work very hard, im talking in bed by 3 am back up at 6/7 they each do many jobs, from teaching mornin classes, to afternoon volleyball, to entertaining afternoon activities, to mingling with guest, bartending,entertaining guest, etc etc, etc...they work hard and long and with little rest. Everything there is laid back, slow and relaxing. We have seen a few times attitude wasnt the best but with a smile and nudge all was allright. You will find your favorites fast, they will treat you like royalty, they will remember you when you return, you will make wonderful friends. Weve never had an issue with towels other than beach towels, and as for housekeeping, if you didnt get cleaned, a simple call will send someone down, at least thats how its always been for us. We don't worry to much about the mini bar we mostly drink outside the room lol. The last time we went the resort was short on things, but it was due to the hurricane that hit, and they grow alot of their own fruits/veggies for food so it was understandable. Were returning again this year and im not really worried, im a bit sad the staff weve known for so long are no longer there but im sure we will make new friends. Just try to stay positive and remember what is ideal for some may not be what's ideal for you, and you make it what it is. I hope one day they renovate because when that happens they will be even more incredible than they already are and everyone will want to stay at CSA lol.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    776

    Default

    I am not sure I would worry to much. I know that I have read some issues with CSA, maybe that is why Karen is moving into the position of general manager at CSA from CN. But I also think that sometimes when you have been someplace several times you begin to look past the wonder of the place and your expections become a little higher. I could be wrong, but I do think that is possible.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default Karen gone to swept away?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    A friend of mine also noted that staff has had a significant turnover between our last trip home in October and his recent return in March (they go twice a year). He said nothing about inferior service, but I gotta believe that, with everyone needing a bit of a learning curve with their new employer that there will be some occasional breakdowns. However, I can't imagine things being as bad as your friends made them out to be; I'm not doubting their dissappointment when compared to previous visits.

    I do understand that Mr. Bowleg has been reassigned, but with the very capable Ms Lannigan taking his place at SweptAway as GM, I expect that our visit in May will be every bit as satisfactory as all our previous 9 visits to our favorite spot of beach!
    Chris tell me this is not true? karen Laningan is now GM at swept away? Who is the new GM at CN? This is really a bummer unless Gary is running the resort right now until she returns? The staff is the main reason we return to CN every year. Diane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    31

    Default

    As I usually do I obsess about upcoming trips-- research them and read about them to the point where there is no spontaneity left- so the wife told me to just chill out and not to worry that our friends probably just expect nothing but the best since they've had so many trips there and the smallest little thing out of place sticks out for them all the while we could go down there and have what a return visitor would call a bad trip and have the trip of a lifetime, I'm sure she's right. The (husband) friend tends to nit-pick a lot anyways, his wife seemed quite a bit more pleased than he did, but she's more the beach bum. And that's why we went with CSA as we are looking for a week of being lazy on the beach with the occasional drink and a week without kids So I'm going to try and take my wife's suggestion and 'forget" (is that possible?) about out upcoming trip until it's rather close so there is more of this spontaneity that she keeps talking about.....with that said this message board is like a drug!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I do understand that Mr. Bowleg has been reassigned, but with the very capable Ms Lannigan taking his place at SweptAway as GM, I expect that our visit in May will be every bit as satisfactory as all our previous 9 visits to our favorite spot of beach!

    Oh no!!! Karen went to CSA??? Is she still managing CN or has someone else taken over there? We absolutely love Karen and would really hate to se her leave CN!
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  8. #8

    Default

    We are going in July as well. I have also been reading reviews that are sometimes just not very good. However my travel agent tells me this is the best spot in Negril and she books more return trips here than anywhere else....so I am taking her recommendation and not worrying about it. Looking very forward to a week in paradise!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Things were a little "off" on this trip (we just got back on 4/15) we just went on this month compared to previous visits but we know that they are in the middle of changes right now. The awesome made up or anything out of the norm. There was a lot of new staff there is a window on transition.
    Yes the rooms are getting a little warn on the old side of the resort, but they are in no way falling apart and to us they are still wonderful. No it's not marble and plush, but like you said we know not to expect that. We would rather have the true tropical feel than the Ritz Carlton atmosphere. Most of the time we have a gecko or two living in our room and we just get a kick out of it. I am sure that Couple will continue to keep up on any maintanence and removations of the resort as needed.
    We never had any issues with the mini bar being stocked or any issues with towels. We always had PLENTY of towels. I am actually kind of shocked to hear that. Give it a chance. I know its hard to say when you are spendin gso much money on a place but Couples is awesome and we have been returning for 10 years. Maybe take a leap of faith and give it a shot.

    Couples Ocho Rios 2005/2006
    CSA 2009/2010/2011/
    2012 x2/2013 x2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    28

    Default

    You should try CN!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    Traveler99. You are going to be pleasantly, NO immensely surprised at how much you love this place. When you get back home, you will find yourself thinking about it all the time. Be excited, be very excited!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

    Default

    Why worry? You're on vacation and you just said you don't expect perfection. I guarantee that you will see the most beautiful beach you have ever seen and also great sunsets every night. It sounds like the transition to a new manager might have been the issue for your friends. Just go and have fun and stop making yourself feel bad. You won't be at work, you'll be your love, you'll be on a great beach, and the drink will be flowing. Relax and enjoy. CSA ROCKS!!!

  13. #13

    Default

    The CSA/CN managers changed places the first week of April. After many trips, one overlooks any imperfections in the room. (old section) As long as the bed is comfortable! The activities offered are so varied. Watersports has new equipment. It's the best!!!! Yes it's costly, but other AI Carribean island resorts don't offer the many fun opportunities CSA does. We've been looking for twenty+ years and none compare, and they're more expensive. Haven't found any resort that has a tennis program close to what CSA offers. We didn't find fault with the food, but that's not the reason we return. Enjoy!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default

    So you are saying Ricardo is now the manager at CN? Well if that is the case we will not be returning this year to CN, long story bad experience at CSA years ago and Karen and Gary corrected the problem. I guess we will be going to CSS from now on, or follow Karon over to CSA. To us you don't fix problems at one resort and pass it off to another. Oh well this year is Hawaii anyway we have been tossing around the idea of canceling and this just makes it easier.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default

    I got my answer, I just emailed a staff member at CN that I know and it is true, Karen is gone to CSA! And Ricardo is now the GM at CN. I am so bummed I can't believe it. Just about everyone we knew has left CN and moved on and the ones still there are talking about leaving.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane View Post
    I got my answer, I just emailed a staff member at CN that I know and it is true, Karen is gone to CSA! And Ricardo is now the GM at CN. I am so bummed I can't believe it. Just about everyone we knew has left CN and moved on and the ones still there are talking about leaving.
    That's what I've been told also.....bummer...my wife is ready to cancel & go to St. Martin....why would Couples transfer a problem from one resort to another? Karen was great & the staff at CN was outstanding....if it ain't broke....don't fix it
    Captain Jim
    "I will grow old....
    But I won't grow up"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    612

    Default

    We're CSA loyalists, but I must agree that Mr. Bowleg was never really "out there" with the guests. On the very few times we saw him, he was stand-offish at best. Looking forward to the positive changes that Ms. Lanigan will bring.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    789

    Default

    We did meet Karen at the repeaters dinner at CSA a couple of weeks ago. She had only been there for two weeks and Ricardo was then at CN.

    The repeaters dinner was not run well. Too large of a group and it took two hours to get our food and finish. There were two separate times for the repeaters dinner on our last visit which made for smaller groups.

    We will see how this all pans out. We had small issues with our room and did notice some changes. But Iím not sure this is part of the management swap.

    Life is good

  19. #19

    Default Really sad...

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane View Post
    I got my answer, I just emailed a staff member at CN that I know and it is true, Karen is gone to CSA! And Ricardo is now the GM at CN. I am so bummed I can't believe it. Just about everyone we knew has left CN and moved on and the ones still there are talking about leaving.
    Absolutely loved CN. Been there 3X and have 2 more trips coming up. Now I'm worried, very worried. Didn't they ever hear of the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Hope I'm not disappointed w/ the new "team" at CN. I'd hate to have to look for a new "home". :-(

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Captain Jim don't be afraid to try CSS. We were there in December, we did a split with CN and loved it. Pierre is a fantastik GM. He is out there everyday and you will meet him and see him all the time. Alot like Karen. And don't rule out CSA because with karen running that resort I think it will be nice. But if you do look at St.Martin we have been there it is a nice island just don't go all inclusive go on your own and dine out and rent a car. Barbados is really nice as well. All inclusive is nice in jamaica but I think its nice to get out there with the locals. Happy travels! Diane.

  21. #21

    Default

    Hi Traveler99,
    We just got back from our 11th visit to CSA and we loved it. Yes there has been a number of changes in the staff but I found the new ones very friendly and very interested in providing excellent service. Look at it this way, this is your 1st visit to CSA, all the staff are going to be new to you -lol.
    We never had problems with having enough towels. Somedays we had only 2 fresh towels in the bathroom and 1 on the bed folded artfully. Other days we may have had 4 fresh towels. There was always more than enough to get us through to the next day. One day we were short 1 facecloth and housekeeper brought us another one at the end of her shift. That's good service.
    Don't worry aboout things like chipped paint and mirror repairs. The maintenance people are out every day making repairs.
    On one of our days the room bar service guy was out of vodka so he couldn't replace our almost empy bottle. We went to the bar and they gave us a glass of vodka with ice on the side. We survived.
    The resort was at capacity when we were there and we did notice that certain bars were more busy than others. Depends on where the crowd was hanging out. If one looked busy we just walked over the the next one.

    One thing I've learned about CSA is that it's always changing. Something you loved on one visit you might is so great on the next, but you always find something new that makes the place special again. After visit CSA 11 times I have to admit that sometimes I thought it was time to move on but when it comes down to it, I go back. We're already booked for New Years.

    Go, you wont be disapointed.
    Karon

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
    ....why would Couples transfer a problem from one resort to another?
    Just wondering about this comment. It seems as though you are indicating that Ricardo is a "problem". Is this based on Diane's comment of "To us you don't fix problems at one resort and pass it off to another" or is it personal experience?

    I guess I am somewhat confused by some posts that seem to indicate that CN will "go downhill" with Ricardo as GM yet he has been managing CSA for years (I think) and CSA gets rave reviews from a lot of folks. We were there two years ago and liked it. Why do some of you here seem to be so concerned about him moving to CN?
    COR Feb 98; CN Jan 09; CN Oct 09; CSA Feb 10; CN Oct 10; CN Sep 11

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Redsgi my comment is based on personal experience that we had at CSA a few years ago. I will not get into details on this message board as I have let that experience go. If you read another review on this board its called fifth time back that explains most of the problem with management not taking care of things. I will let rest with that being said. I am not putting down CN, I love that place but I do know I have issues with ricardo. Diane

  24. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Margi View Post
    Why worry? You're on vacation and you just said you don't expect perfection. I guarantee that you will see the most beautiful beach you have ever seen and also great sunsets every night. It sounds like the transition to a new manager might have been the issue for your friends. Just go and have fun and stop making yourself feel bad. You won't be at work, you'll be your love, you'll be on a great beach, and the drink will be flowing. Relax and enjoy. CSA ROCKS!!!
    Perfectly said!

  25. #25

    Default

    We've been to Couples many, many times(76) and have seen hundreds of personnel changes including many GM's. We liked some GM's immensely nd can't remember the names of some of the others. A question: If GM's and other staff changes were all that important would we have gone to Couples 76 times?

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