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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    916

    Default Couples Reviews - Be realistic

    In light of recent conflicting reports, I had to do a little research. Any time someone is overly enthusiastic about how great their trip was or overly critical, I tend to do a little background research to see what the deal is, whether here or on TA.

    On a thread that was recently closed a repeater had two posts that piqued my interest, because of something I read in two different parts of the MB:

    "I think (Resort) has changed. Please see my post (Post Name)."

    followed by:

    "Things have changed so much at (Resort) that we are considering cancelling our next three scheduled trips."

    Just moments before posting the first comment, the same person wrote on a meetup thread:

    "(Name) and (Name) will be there from (Hometown). We just left July 6th and can not wait to return."

    I left all the specific info out, because I'm trying to point this out respectfully. There is a ton of conflicting info out there and when we first went to Couples in 2007, all we had was TA and a couple smaller Caribbean review sites. Maybe the fact that we had no prior expectations is why we love our resort so much and keep going back, but if anybody ever says "ritziest ever", "grungiest ever", "disappointed", etc., do your homework. These trips are not cheap, in general, and for those of us who aren't retired and have young kids at home, sometimes even once a year is tough to pull off. Couples is what you make of it, but I'm pretty sure nowhere in the branding does it make a guarantee that you will like it. In a room of 1000 people, you will have 1000 different opinions. The MB can be an especially volatile place, because there are so many repeaters that feel Couples owes it to them to never evolve and always keep things the way "they" like it. It's a business and without proper management, it would be a lot worse. Not all of management's decisions are always going to be spot-on, but at least they are making the effort to actively manage, and keep as many people happy as they can.

    Sorry for the rant. Just a happy repeater with realistic expectations.

    No worries here! Can't wait for our fourth trip back!
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    48

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    Amen I agree completely

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    162

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    yep im right there with you, no place is perfect. I myself had one of the best weeks I can remember and it was last year in Aug. I see threads saying the place changed and this and that, complaints that the food was not good, weather, ect... well I guess you can not please them all but I think for those that do not enjoy there time its a good bit there own fault.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    50

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    I get a kick out of the ones that have their whole trip ruined by situations which are clearly not the resorts fault. Insects in a tropical locale! Humidity! Sand in their swimsuits! Drama, drama, drama.

    It's a vacation, the resort does a pretty fantastic job keeping people happy (an interaction with the manager of CN 11 years ago cemented our desire to return... A decade later, I still talk about him) and frankly keep the place pretty nice given that guests and the weather are placing constant wear and tear on the resort.

    I try and remind anyone that is going to JA the first time that it is different than going to Florida. Change your perspective to having a desire to enjoy yourself, and the rest will come naturally.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    53

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    I agree. Be realistic and post realistic reviews.

    Look at it this way- if you love couples so much that you just want to shout their name to the world, you will probably help couples more if you write a moderate, unemotional review instead. Why? Because people/first-timers read these reviews to get an idea of what the resort will be like when they book, and if you post a glowing, sunshine-and-rainbows review that sets the bar impossibly high, the people who read your review could go with unrealistic expectations and come back disappointed, which could, in turn, lead to a negative review of the resort. I'm not saying be overly critical- but don't be ridiculously passionate, either. Find a middle road and explain things honestly and openly.

  6. #6

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    We booked our second trip to CN even before we went the first time because of the early booking special of a $300 resort credit. We loved it and of course didn't cancel the 2nd trip. That was last year and we weren't sure it would live up again to our expectations but it did...and then some. The loyalty program "Romance Rewards" is awesome; especially the repeater's dinner.

    Plus we met wonderful people like Sue & Bruce who's company we enjoyed so much; we agreed to go back the same week and meet up again. We just paid our final balance for trip #3 and Sue e-mailed me that they have too. (It's official)

    We love CN so much that we are even booked for our 4th trip in September 2014 even though by then we will be retired and living in Cozumel Mexico.

    Couples is just too wonderful to pass up. It isn't ritzy with all that glass & marble; but that isn't for us anyway. We love the casual, laid-back atmosphere. It is small and intimate. We're also not big on dressing fancy for dinner but enjoy doing it twice for Otaheite. Especially on lobster night.

    And of course as scuba divers we love that extra option that would cost big dollars at the other resorts.

    Once you go to Couples; you are hooked. And that is a good thing. A very good thing.

    Betty
    Betty
    Couples Negril - September 2011, 2012, 2013 and have just booked 2014
    Scuba Club Cozumel - Jan, Apr & Nov 2012 and Jan & Nov 2013
    Cobalt Coast, Grand Cayman - May 2013
    Retiring & moving to Cozumel, Mexico in early 2014

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

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    So many of the negative reviews, or even just negative comments, seem to originate with someone being disappointed or things just not being what they expected. As has been said many times on this message board by folks much wiser and experienced than I, "a vacation is what you make of it". Maybe those of us that find Couples to be nearly perfect for our needs talk it up a bit too much. Maybe we paint a picture of memories that reality can never measure up to. If I have contributed to the disappointment of some else's vacation I would feel very regretful for doing so. I usually try to keep my comments and opinions based on reality and try to speak from as objective a point of view as I can. However I have to also admit that I can not imagine any vacation spot being closer to perfect for us than our home at CSA. The beach, the staff, the ocean, food and on and on. We spent our whole vacation this June just laying about and doing mostly nothing and totally enjoyed every minute of it. We actually spent less time making plans or joining activities than we ever did before. No cruises, no tours, very few reservations, schedules or agendas. Just the two of us with our friends, the beach, the sun and the ocean. It is not always glitz and glamour that makes a successful vacation. Sometimes nature will just move in on your plans and make things slow down and force you to cool your jets. Example: one of the fondest memories we have of our trip this year was seeing and visiting with a little black dog walking the beach with her owner (Kala? the cocker/dachshund mix, maybe you have met her as well) who had great fun visiting with folks and chasing the sand crabs all day. Had nothing to do with Couples or anything else, but simply made our day on the days she happened by while we were on the beach.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that you can't go in thinking "I am determined to find something wrong with this place that so many people rave about". You gotta go in rolling with things as they happen. Let yourself enjoy the little things that add up to one large sack of happy that comes tumbling out in the sand. Look at the palm trees, watch the ocean roll in and out for a while, look at the clouds roll over, watch the lightning and listen to the rain. Too many things to list but they are all in that sack together.

    Oy, I've over stayed my welcome here.

    Have a great trip, I really mean that.
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    976

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    My saying is "you have to have clouds and rain in paradise or nothing will grow or get better". Nothing is ever perfect, but they do a much better job then most at Couples. Not all employees will have a great day 100% of the time, so smile and move on and nothing mechanical or man made will last a life time without breaking or needing repaired.

    Like gap639 said, the people who complain about the things Couples has no control over, are mostly drama kings/queens.

    Life is good there for all of us who keep going back year after year, but we all know you have to have some clouds and rain for beautiful sunsets/sunrises.

  9. #9

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    There are occasionally some valid negative reviews posted here, but for the most part, as others have stated below, they are from people who expected something different than Couples has to offer. Couples is a tropical vacation. Imagine going to your brother-in-law's house in Miami for a beach weekend without the kids. With Couples you're not expecting white-glove service and crystal, but since you're paying for it, you also should not be looking for beer coolers and an inflatable pool.

    Does this mean that Couples is NOT a chic place? Just the opposite. It's what you'd call "tropical chic". With the exception of a restaurant or two on each property, you can get by with casual clothes (shorts for the guys) and open-toed shoes. The rest of the time, you'll be in a bathing suit, or not. It's the staff, the quality of the food and its presentation, along with magnificent grounds and comfortable rooms that infuses the chic into what would otherwise be just another Caribbean resort.

    I tell people who ask why I've gone to Couples more than 30 times and have the next three trips already booked, that Couples is not a vacation. There are no tour buses, no famous churches or museums to visit, and you're rarely going to stand in line for anything other than omelets. Couples is an adult getaway - day camp for grownups. It's not a five-star hotel with a valet service or a cruise ship with a Captain's table, just the place for the nutty rich to show off their poor sense of fashion. We go to Couples twice a year and, starting in another year, two other "vacations" to places where a guidebook, local currency and bottled water are necessities.

    The only necessity you need for Couples is a proper understanding of the word "relax".
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    369

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    The best complaint I heard was "The ocean was too salty"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17

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    I will be at Couples Negril from 8/19 thru 8/26, this is will be my 5th trip to Jamaica and my second to Couples Negril. I was last there in 2006 but every time I stay anywhere else, I always compare it to CN. When I planned my trip this year, my only issue was deciding was which Couples. This will be my first trip with my soon to be husband and we plan on getting married next year at CN. I always tell people if I can afford two big vacations a year, one would definitely be Jamaica and at Couples. Compared to the big resorts such as the RIU's and Grand Bahia, I love Couples Negril. The resort is smaller, which means the food will definitely be better. The beds are much more comfortable too. One day I might visit one of the other Couples and I hope to do a day trip to CSA. It is definitely worth the trip and your money. The free catamaran cruise to Rick's Cafe is a must. Didn't jump off the cliff but I attempted. They have locals with jet skis and there is parasailing right on the beach. Don't knock it until you try it.

  12. #12

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    Ok, I haven't officially posted a review of our trip. I'm unsure what to write. We were at CSA from may 1-8 2013. This was our first trip out of the USA. We arrived on a Wednesday and it was a perfect place!! We live everything about our trip. On may 2nd, Thursday, I fell while walking into lemongrass and broke both my boot (jones fracture) and elbow (landing on the elbow). While most of the staff were sympathetic, no one seemed to go out of their way.. With the exception of the sea grapes staff. They were GREAT!! I emailed couples directly and they did offer a one night stay for free within the next year. My family is aisle class family who cannily take one vacation per year. We have 3 kids so next year we have to take them somewhre (or ill feel guilty) I spent over $800 for 2 X-rays and 2 shots. We couldn't enjoy our trip.. But it wasn't technically the resorts fault so there is no recourse for us. Even through insurance. It was just a vacation (that we had waited over 10 years to take) that was a disaster. It was not couples fault.. I rolled my ankle while walking in heels. I ha never before worn heels.

    I said all that to basically say: Jamaica as a whole is NOT as a whole, handicap friendly. The staff asked what happened.. But never helped us up stairs or ino restaurants. I loved the people an the atmosphere.. But DON'T get hurt there!!

  13. #13

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    Hay guys, it may just be me but I say don't tell anyone how great Couples is to have the best time for the best price. I want to have "our room" every year. If you tell people how great it is, they may come. If they come they will take up a lot of rooms. If they take up a lot of rooms, "Our" room may not be available. So, just don't tell anyone and we will have it all to ourselves!!!! lol

  14. #14

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    Jeredandbrook, I'm so sorry you had such bad luck and frankly I'm amazed at the lack of attention from the staff. Prior to my last trip I had surgery to my foot which was not fully healed when we went to CSS. I can tell you they were GREAT. When ever we needed to move around the property they sent a van to pick us up and take us directly (as possible) to the spa or restaurant. The maids constantly asked if we needed anything. So, even though you did not have such a great time, they should have taken better care of you!!! Which resort did you go to???

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    328

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjprescott View Post
    Which resort did you go to???
    Since the restaurant was Lemongrass... it had to be CSA.

    I wrote a review after we returned from CSS back in March. Yes, there were many good things. But there were also some bad and I did list those. I'm pretty fair when it comes to reviews (good and bad) and don't sugar coat anything. Just share my entire experience. I know that's what I want when I'm going over reviews and trying to decide where to go.
    Linda & Nick
    CSA - Oct 2004 (for our wedding!!!)
    CN - March 2006, Nov 2013
    CSS - March 2013

  16. #16

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    We were at CSA. The staff were all friendly, but only a couple of people went out of their way (even to open doors for my his and to push my wheelchair through). The resort was at full capacity while we were there. I can understand why the staff weren't overly attentive to us. And when I was talking about recourse, I should have specified..I was mainly speaking of reimbursment for medical expenses. My health insurance won't pay Because it was out of the country. The trip insurance won't pay because they say it was an accident on property and the resort should be liable. I, personally, don't think it was the resort's fault at all. It was a freak accident. I didn't trip in anything, just rolled my ankle while walking on flat ground.

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