Has anyone ever planned to book a SR a year, or slightly less, in advance? Even though we are big CN honks, we are considering doing a SR in maybe March or May of 2013. If we get CN, great, but if we get to another resort, we are open to that too. Can't go wrong with Couples! Being big time planners, though, I'm not really sure if there is any type of strategy that anyone has used for planning this out. Obviously, the airfare should be booked in advance, but what's the best strategy for making this work out seamlessly? I would hate to book a flight and find out that all the SRs are booked before we get a chance to get it reserved. Any help is appreciated!
You canít book the Secret Rendezvous very much in advance. They only offer it if they have un-booked rooms. Right now, for instance, the SR is only available for June and July 2012. You have to wait and book it at the last minute and home the airfare doesnít kill you. You could also book the airfare in advance and just hope they offer the SR for your dates.
We booked a SR in May for this September, They have already told us where we are staying. (CTI) I figured that we would get CTI and we are excited because we have not been there yet, we have upgraded our room already.
This is the first time in (15) trips to Jamaica that we have ever booked a SR
I would think between the SR and the Wednesday specials you would be able to get something at a good price for a last minute booking if you went and had your airfare already.
I would never wait until the last minute to book my airfare unless you happen to live in an area like Baltimore/Delaware where you have access to 5 major airports. You just might be stuck paying some outlandish price for air if you wait thus giving up all of the savings you got from the specials.
My only caution is that you may not be saving as much as you think. When you book as a package there is a savings on airfare. From my hometown(Omaha) May2-9 the price for the exact same flight is $400 higher booked direct from the airline than it is in the package offered by the airline's vacation supplier. In addition, Tower Isle and San Souci are offering a free night when you book 7 so at least Tower Isle is under $300 per night. You would have to save a lot of money on the SR to beat that price if you ended up at Tower Isle. For CN, the room rate is $344 per night so you would have to get CN on the SR for less than $287 to make up for the difference in airfare. I would just caution that you do your homework to know for sure what you are looking at. Even call a travel agent to see what is the best deal they can get right now for the dates you want. Then you can make an educated decision on whether you think it would be worth the wait and the risk.
drbcwp.... I'm wondering how/why you know where you are staying if you booked the secret rendevous... I'm wondering if you actually booked a different promotion because they do not tell you where you are staying until just 2 weeks before you go under the SR, so you wouldn't know until right before you leave, that's why it's cheap, they just put you where they need to fill rooms. So I'm thinking you probably didn't book under the Secret Rendevous but some other promotion and so you wouldn't have been able to upgrade either unless it's a different promo you booked under.
on our first trip to couples in '08 we had planned to do a sr because all the resorts looked nice and i thought it would be a deal we couldn't go wrong with. so we did book a flight in anticipation of booking the resort, and requested the time off work, and when the time came that the sr should have been posted, it wasn't there. for that particular month (april) couples only offered the sr for the second half of the month and not the full month. so that plan was out the window and i ended up booking us for csa and paying that rate for the trip. this was before the wednesday specials, so we really had no other options. so the trip was a little more expensive than we planned, but still wonderful and worth it. our next trips were booked far in advance to take advantage of resort credits and early booking prices and have all been cheaper than our first trip and not much more than doing a sr.
Thanks brandonesha, that's what I was wondering about. The SR deals are available every 2 months for the following 2 months, but until the end of those months, the next 2 months worth of availability does not pop up. I have noticed that not all weeks are always available, so you totally answered my question. Not worth the risk IMO. Thx!
kttchwaugh, thanks for the input, too. I always do really extensive research and did find a way to save around $500 if we booked our flight now and booked the SR next spring. Unfortunately, the 7th night free is not available for the dates we want to go, but it is available for all the resorts, not just CTI and CSS. On another note, we've been in Colorado for 10 years, but I am also an Omaha native. My entire family is still there.
To all, thanks for the replies, when all is said and done, we are still not ready to risk getting put up on the OR side. We are Negril lovers through and through, so we booked our Love Away Plan for our 4th trip to CN next May/June, and got our plane tix for around $550 a piece. The time will come for exploring the OR resorts, but now is not the time. This is gonna be a short trip for us, and we just want what we know. We're having a tough time with the idea of going to Jamaica and not diving with our favorite guys!