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  1. #1

    Default Wrong Decision? Excited yet Terrified

    I have a reservation for CTI May 12-19. My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary. I am so very excited about getting to travel to Jamaica but am afraid I have picked the wrong resort.

    Here are my concerns:
    1) The beach is going to be way to small and crowded. I can handle a small beach although I would have preferred long walks on the beach. However, I reviewed the dates we are traveling and it now shows through online booking that the resort is full for these days. A small beach+ lots of people= crowded and miserable for me as I am not a fan of large crowds. They actually make me have panic attacks which is why we selected what looked like a smaller resort brand than some of the other A.I.

    2) Not being able to enjoy the restaurants
    There has been a lot of talk about not being able to get reservations at the restaurants. I am also very detailed orientated and the more i can have planned before I leave the less overwhelmed I will feel. I sent the romance concierge an email but have not received a reply. I just want to be able to enjoy both of the restaurants while we are there.

    3)Not knowing what to expect...again this goes back to my control issues. I see alot of people posting about the other resorts but very few about CTI.


    I will make the best of it because it is already paid for and I will be with my husband but any positive feedback would help ease my stress......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    140

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    1. We were there twice when it was at capacity and you would never have known it. The beach was never over run and there was always a place somewhere to sit and relax. I think you'll find that "at capacity" means something entirely different at a small resort. NO big crowds. If even medium crowds bother you, avoid buffet nights. I don't like big crowds either so we do a romantic dinner on our balcony with room service.

    2. Just plan ahead. Know what nights you want to make reservations for what restaurants (have a plan A and a plan B) and make them at the same time you check in. I did this and got all my reservations the way I wanted them.

    3. This is a little harder. I'd just search on CTI and see what you can do. It's true that CN and CSA are discussed more. I just got back from CSS and found that it was not easy getting a ton of info there either. CTI is wonderful though and I really think you'll be very happy with your vacation!!!
    Susan & Chris
    CTI 2003, 2004
    CSS 2008, 2013!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    514

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    The beach is smaller than CN or CSA but not that small, plenty of people go to the island or hang around the pools. You will have a good spot on the beach.


    There are (3) nice restaurants plus the pool restaurant and theme nights, make your dinner reservations for 8 rivers and Bayside as soon as you get there.

    We have been to all of the Couples properties at least once, we went to CTI last year and that is where we picked to go back this year. We really liked CTI

  4. #4

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    @M. Brumley..Please relax..You will have a great time...My wife and I will be celebrating out 10th year anniversary too as well as renewing our vows in August..This will be our 4th time there...It is a wonderful place to be! No worries Mon!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    281

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Ank View Post
    @M. Brumley..Please relax..You will have a great time...My wife and I will be celebrating out 10th year anniversary too as well as renewing our vows in August..This will be our 4th time there...It is a wonderful place to be! No worries Mon!!
    Capt Ank - my wife and I will be doing the same - celebrating 10 wonderful years and renewing our vows! What dates will you be there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    281

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Ank View Post
    @M. Brumley..Please relax..You will have a great time...My wife and I will be celebrating out 10th year anniversary too as well as renewing our vows in August..This will be our 4th time there...It is a wonderful place to be! No worries Mon!!
    Oops - scratch that - we're actually going to CSS - not CTI. Maybe we'll see you when we come over for a visit.

  7. #7

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    You sound like me. We are going to CTI June 5-12 for the first time. I usually like to plan every minute before I even arrive at my destination. I will decide what activities and excursions I want to do and which restaurants I want to eat at and hope I get to. But I have decided that if things don't go exactly as planned I will not let it interfere with my fun. It's Jamaica, how could you not enjoy yourself?

  8. #8

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    Just relax! We took the plunge too and I was a bit nervous because I loved Negril so much! But I'm super excited to try something new!

    1. Not everyone goes to the beach, some go to the pools, some to the island, and some hang out on the pier. From my research the beach seems large enough to spread your loungers out. Some people have mentioned that few people move down towards the bayside restaurant so this may be an option for you. You can always grab a chair by the pool or on the pier if you find the beach too crowded. I wouldn't let this be a deal breaker or cause for anxiety. You might also choose to sit with people who you become friends with!

    2. You will be able to eat at the restaurants, but if its at 100% capacity you just may need to be flexible on where you eat and when. Remember various places close on certain days due to beach parties and repeaters dinners. If you look through the reviews people who were there when it was at full capacity did get to eat at all of the places they just had to be flexible. Again go with an open mind and relax. No matter what resort you go to that is near capacity you will run into this.

    3. Also if the resort is nearly full that should tell you that it is a popular resort. Expect to have a great time and meet fabulous people! Couples doesn't have so many repeaters for nothing! Just remember you are on Island time, the pace slows down!!!

    -don't wait until the last minute to book the cat cruise.
    -take advantage of the water sports.
    -there's a couples lounge in the airport which is wonderful!

  9. #9

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    I am NEVER able to relax before we get to Couples and we have been going for 5 years, so I totally understand how you feel! We are CSS regulars and had our first trip to CTI this past February. I am not going to sugar-coat it, yes, the beach when the resort is full the beach may likely feel a little congested, but I highly recommend the moving of your lounger or heading out to the pier if the Island is not your thing.
    With the restaurants, you are there long enough to get into the places you want eventually, again perhaps needing to be a little flexible with the time of your dinner. You'll need your dinner ticket and reservations for dining and the Cat Cruise were made in the Lobby at the Guest Services Desk. I hope the weather is lovely for you! We went on the Cat Cruise in the rain and it was still fun, so don't worry too much about it.

    You will encounter ALL of these same issues at other AI resorts in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean. No one is immune to it, however, I will say that Couples does a GREAT job of keeping service up, exceeding your expectations and making you fall in love with each other and the resort all at the same time. Breathe easy, it WILL feel better soon!

    Feel free to email me if you have any other questions, I would be happy to reply! kksnyder23 at yahoo.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    CSS 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    CN 2012
    CTI 2013

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    156

    Default

    I too felt this way before ever visiting CTI. It was my first time out of the US and I was very nervous. I am the trip planner for my whole extended family so I know what you mean about having details before you go. I just couldn't believe you could wait until you get down there and make dinner reservations and it would be OK! Well, it was. It was all ok. That trip was the most absolutely relaxing and restorative trip I've ever taken. I was a recent widow and had just started dating my now husband. Now CTI is where we took our honeymoon and we have decided we are going back every year, even if we have to scrimp and save to do so.

    I call CTI a "Vacation Control-Freak's Rehab". It sure has been for me. I'm not even going to tell you to relax because I know nothing anyone could have told me before I went would've done it for me. But being there sure as heck did. You'll know. Within 2 hours of arriving, you'll know it's all alright.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    346

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    3rd time for us. We leave in 4 days and I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve. Yes we are very exited to be going back.

    I trust you did a lot of research in choosing the resort that is best suited for you. You picked CTI for a reason, no need to second guess your choice. We weren't sure we picked the right on either. You can't go wrong at any of the Couples Resorts, CTI seemed to call to us more than the others.


    Make your reservations upon arrival for restaurants (that require it) and any activities you want to take in. After that get a drink, find a couple of loungers, park yourselves in it and take it all in...relax and enjoy. Vacations and stress can never go together. (Isn't stress what we are getting away from?)

    Congrats and have a great time!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    I CANNOT WAIT to hear your review of this trip after you return home. PLEASE, PLEASE write a review. I know exactly what it will say.
    Everyone is anxious before their first trip somewhere. That was a long time ago for me. We are going back to Couples for trip #9 this year.

  13. #13

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    I appreciate all the words of encouragement. Keep them coming.

    I was on the message board for weeks and have spent hours reading before I ever decided to just go ahead and put my concerns out there. I had wanted to take an A.I. vacation for years and our anniversary seemed like the perfect chance. Originally i had thought about us renewing our vows, however, after a quick conversation with my husband that idea was nixed. Not because he wouldn't do it all over again but because he didn't want me to have to stress about making sure everything was perfect for a second time. Less stress= more fun.

    As of now, we have 22 days 18 hours 48 minutes and 43 seconds before our plane is scheduled to depart. I have list after of list of packing items, things to do, things to do as soon as we get to the resort, etc. etc. (I guess this is the CONTROL FREAK coming out in me.) I really hope that as you say the stress will go away once I make it to the resort.

    I will certainly write a review upon my return, if not post while I am there. Please keep the comments coming so that may stress level remains tolerable until my trip departure which is now 5 minutes closer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    347

    Default

    M. - By your 2nd day at CTI you will be laughing about this thread and all your anxiety.......because it will be gone. So might all your plans for the week as the "No Problem" spirit overtakes your soul and you become one with the island. It happens to everyone and I mean EVERYONE.

  15. #15

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    Breathe! I'm also a 'planner' and like to know what to expect before I do new things. I had no idea what was coming my way when we landed in Montego Bay, I just went with the flow, and I LOVED every.single.second of our trip.

    So, first, try to relax. I know it's hard to do, but just know that you will be taken care of and your trip will not be ruined. You will come home with the best memories and a lovely tan

    The beach isn't as small as some make it out to seem. Even when all of the chairs are filled, you don't feel crowded because chairs aren't all placed together.

    You will get reservations at Bayside/Eight Rivers. Once you check in and are escorted to your room, get settled and head back down to the lobby to pick your dates. There will be room for you and you will love all of your meals. With that said, please don't feel like you aren't going to have delicious dinners on the nights without reservations because you will! Veranda has wonderful food and is right across the hall from Eight Rivers - everything is just as good

    Lastly, you won't know what to expect and that's part of the fun! Traveling is full of unexpected surprises and you've just gotta go with it! Trust me, try to relax and just let things happen as they do - you will have a much better time this way. Don't expect too much too soon but instead enjoy your time in Jamaica!

    I'm very curious to see how you feel when you return home - my bet is on that you can't wait to go back!

    You will have an unforgettable vacation, so just enjoy!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Brumley View Post
    I have a reservation for CTI May 12-19. My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary. I am so very excited about getting to travel to Jamaica but am afraid I have picked the wrong resort.

    Here are my concerns:
    1) The beach is going to be way to small and crowded. I can handle a small beach although I would have preferred long walks on the beach. However, I reviewed the dates we are traveling and it now shows through online booking that the resort is full for these days. A small beach+ lots of people= crowded and miserable for me as I am not a fan of large crowds. They actually make me have panic attacks which is why we selected what looked like a smaller resort brand than some of the other A.I.

    2) Not being able to enjoy the restaurants
    There has been a lot of talk about not being able to get reservations at the restaurants. I am also very detailed orientated and the more i can have planned before I leave the less overwhelmed I will feel. I sent the romance concierge an email but have not received a reply. I just want to be able to enjoy both of the restaurants while we are there.

    3)Not knowing what to expect...again this goes back to my control issues. I see alot of people posting about the other resorts but very few about CTI.


    I will make the best of it because it is already paid for and I will be with my husband but any positive feedback would help ease my stress......
    M. Brumley,

    We will also be at CTI from May 11-18 celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and renewing our wedding vows on the beach May 14. I too am somewhat of a control freak myself and a little apprehensive of what to expect. Part of that is the fear of the unexpected. I do know that no matter what, we are going to have a blast because it is going to be what WE make of it. SO just relax and know that no matter what, its going to be a wonderful experience. I hope see you there and hope have a wonder time!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,356

    Default

    We relax and exhale when we arrive at the Couples lounge and have a cold beer in our hands. Have no fear, cti will be wonderful! We've never been to cti but it's Couples after all! Have a great trip

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,397

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    All the repeater at CTI have been so many times we don't post many reports. we also are trying to keep the Resort to ourselves. LOL.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,490

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandj View Post
    All the repeater at CTI have been so many times we don't post many reports. we also are trying to keep the Resort to ourselves. LOL.
    I haven't posted a T/A review in about 3 years. I post a few pics here and there, though.

  20. #20

    Default

    I really appreciate all the insight. Still very stressed, and getting more so everyday. However, plane departs in 9 days 23 hours and my to do lists seem to grow daily. So ready to just relax!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    52

    Default

    You definitely didn't pick the wrong resort because there is no "wrong" resort....Hubby and I honeymooned back in 1984 at Couples Ocho Rios as it was known then. Fast forward two kids, dog, cat and now a grandson and we decided in 2009 that we'd like to go back for our 25th anniversary to what is now CTI.

    It was great-so much so that I don't want to do family vacations anymore! (We took those kids of ours away for enough years.)

    Love being spoiled which is what you will get at CTI as well as the other Couples properties. From reading the message boards as much as you have you will know so much more going in than many others.

    Take a chill and realize that you're going to Jamaica Mon-NO PROBLEMS!!!

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