Wow! Where to start?? Arrival at the airport and going through customs was about average. The Couples lounge was very welcoming and organized with friendly staff having everything under control. Luggage was tagged and taken to the busses by airport porters. Tipping? Let's call it what it really is...it's a fee! Dollar per bag and IMHO, totally undeserved. Airport porters will toss your luggage carelessly any which way. If this was truly based on tips, I think the porters would be much more careful. On the return a week later, nobody on the bus used the porters...we all carried our own luggage. Bear in mind these are NOT Couples employees. Our driver was very friendly, professional and enjoyed pointing out sights along the way...made the trip go by very fast. Requisite 1/2 way stop for restrooms, more beer and jerk chicken. Our reception at CN was excellent...cold towels, good champagne and honestly, felt everybody received personalized attention during check in. Had a garden view room in building 2 and it exceeded my expectations...clean, very nicely appointed and none of the damp odor some people have mentioned on this board. Throughout our stay, water pressure and temperature never an issue, AC nice and chilly. The grounds were absolutely beautiful throughout the resort. I had read about the mini bar and of course thought that it would be stocked with mini bottles. Keeping that in mind, I just requested one of each to cover all the bases. To my surprise, they brought in full size bottles! Talk about exceeding expectations!! Going on to food...lets just say if you don't like the food here, YOU have the problem, not CN. The food was extremely good, plentiful and with excellent presentation. I gained 6 lbs. in one week! The drinks are mixed relatively weak, but that is not a bad thing. Can you ask for a stronger drink? Absolutely! But you're going to be drinking a lot and your goal should be to maintain a pleasant buzz and not get blotto. The staff from top to bottom was extremely friendly and accommodating. They will do all in their power to make you happy and meet your expectations. Our anniversary was the 13th and we did the his and hers massage at the treehouse. Massage was absolutely wonderful...not sure if it's worth paying extra for the tree house. You are face down half the time and have a towel over your eyes the other half. This was followed a little later by a private beach dinner...awesome experience and well worth the price of admission. The only screw up in our 8 day stay was when they brought my wife the wrong entree and took about 20 minutes to replace it. Never felt a need to leave the resort. SCUBA diving or water skiing first thing in the morning followed by a late breakfast then pool or beach time. And let me say the pool and beach here are some of the nicest I have ever enjoyed. can't say enough good things about the divemasters...top notch across the board! Went jet skiing (100.00 for an hour)and parasailing (90.00 for two people about 15 - 20 minutes). Oh, don't bother with the extra 30.00 for the DVD of your parasailing...it's pretty much trash. Sunset catamaran cruise was really nice...do not miss. As a first timer to AN, all I can say is do it...it is the most liberating, mellow, totally non-threatening experience! Average of 5 - 8 couples on the AN beach at any one time(usually the same 5 - 8 everyday)...nobody looks, nobody cares. Chat if you want, hang out, drink, whatever. I had absolutely no qualms getting up and strolling into the ocean...no floaty burrito necessary! Will you see the AN regulars around the resort? Sure! Does it weird you out? Absolutely not! Did it rain while we were there? Sure! Did it put a damper on the fun? Absolutely not! Just go to the room for a while and enjoy some "indoor activities". Of course, when you are having fun time flies and our week flew by. Oh, as far as bugs go, we took DEET and I never put a drop on me. I think I got one mosquito bite and one ant bite. All in all, Couples exceeded my expectations and I believe I set the bar on the high side. We are already planning a return for next year and singing the praises to all our friends and family, hoping they will join us. Now I truly realize why so many on this board go back year after year. I know I've rambled around here, but if anyone has specific questions, would be glad to answer.
Kristi: I should've been more prepared like you! We leave for hotel in STL tonight and jet of for CN in the morning..here it is about 10 a.m. I leave work in two hrs and I'm still NOT packed! lol And I've been super excited...Just thought if I packed too soon time would go by SO slow..Now I'm gonna run around like a chicken with my head cut off! lol
thanks for the review.....about the catamaran cruise....we will be getting married at the resort and wondering, since we've heard not to miss the cat cruise, if it would be good the night before a morning wedding or enjoyed the afternoon (about 5 hours after the wedding) w/ friends in hand....the date is still up in the air and thgt maybe this can be a deciding factor... ahhh, opinions and preferences, I know : )
Thank you for the review. It truly made me "homesick". I think this board has a lot of Jamericans. Last time we were there the guy at customs seriously with a very straight face told me I need a new passboard. I was so sure that my passboard was still OK and must have had a very shocked look on my face when he said. You are now a Jamerican and next time you come you can say you are coming home. Then he proceeded to smile. I should have known. They are all so fun on the Island. I tell a lot of the locals that we was there before they were because the first time we were there was on our honeymoon 34 yrs ago. The locals have not changed at all. They are still the same fun loving, no problem people as then. My husband and I have so many fond memories of the Island.
Thank you for the review - just one note, though, about the porters at the airport. These guys live on their tips. Compared to them, even the most struggling of us who can afford to vacay in Jamaica are wealthy. Please don't begrudge them their tip - if you can afford $2 per bag (instead of $1), that's great - if not, please consider your $1 per bag a small fee (after all, what does a small Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts coffee cost??)
Who cares if they don't treat our baggage with the respect we think it deserves - just think of what happens to it behind the scenes at the airports!! Please just give these porters a bit of respect - they're trying to earn their living, just like most of us.....
I completely understand your point. I gave them $4.00 for three bags. I grew up in countries such as Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala so you're preaching to the choir. My only point is that if they treated your bags well, people would be more inclined to tip more generously and they would have repeat customers on the returns to the airport.
Got it Mividaloca - I understand about treating baggage well, but....Having traveled a lot, the only thing I can say is it's probably fair to say that the ONLY people who treat my bags with respect are me and my honey....otherwise, all bets are off....