My husband and I have been to Couples four times. Three at CSA and one at CTI. We definitely prefer the Negril side of the island more so don't intend to head back to Ochi. I truly love Jamaica and CSA and miss it when I'm home, but last time we went, I felt like the thrill was gone. While everything was just as lovely as it ever was, it was all the same. Same food, same activities, same events, etc. Maybe that's to be expected and there is some comfort in the "same" but I was wondering how any of those repeaters out there (the ones who have been to Couples dozens upon dozens of times) keep things interesting. Do you take excursions? Try new things? Meet new people? What's the key to keeping the thrill alive? I miss that feeling and really want to have it again the next time we go! I've already booked trip #5 for April 2014.
I have been to CSA more than two dozen times, returning Oct 4th for our standard nine-night stay. This will be my wife's fifth trip and we've already got April and December 2014 booked. So I guess we fit your criteria. The thrill begins as we step off the jet in Montego Bay. From there, we know what to expect and relish in the joy as each of those expectations is met, time after time.
We don't consider Couples to be a vacation and perhaps that's the secret. Couples is a getaway, an adult spa, an escape from our daily, often repetitive existence. (Not that I'm complaining, mind you.) A vacation involves maps, museums, art galleries, searching for restaurants, buying local currency, etc., etc. We will begin vacations next September with a month-long excursion to Italy - our honeymoon. After that, there's China, Australia, Southeast Asia, and list of European cities three pages long. But Couples is none of those things and that's what makes it unique. Yet even with all this major traveling, we'll still be at Couples twice a year.
Thrill factor aside, the best attribute of CSA is its consistency. We know what food will be served. We know where to park ourselves on the beach. We know the quality of the service Couples will provide. All of these constants are the reasons we return twice a year. There's that oh so clever marketing phrase - once you go, you know. Well expand that ten-fold or twenty-fold or more and it makes sense. You say the thrill is gone? You're looking too hard to find it when it's right there in front of you every moment you're in Jamaica.
Great question - while we haven't been to CSA umpteen times yet, we did stray from the couples family for our last big trip. Ironically it was Barbados. Had a fantastic time. Food was good, staff was awesome, beach...you know the rest. But at the end, it wasn't CSA, and that's why we are coming on back (20 some days to go !!!). So I think for us anyway it was to try something new in hopes it can match or somehow exceed the couples experience. Didn't happen. After we got home and kinda recapped (sounds like we had a meeting) it was clear that it'd be back to CSA the next time we took a big trip.
We are planning on doing some different things this go round...and getting off property a little more, but will still hit Church on Sunday, Mt. Airy school, maybe play more golf? We will still spend most of the time camped out on the beach and taking in all that vitamin D the sun can offer.
We are going to be hitting the gym this time as we've turned into gym rats the last 6 months...
I am hoping you can help me out since you've been to couples several times. My husband and I went to CSA last year and this yr we wanted to try either CSS or CTI which one would you recommend between the two? I'm afraid that neither will compare to CSA.
We only have trip #6 booked to csa and while we do feel comfortable there, we are trying a new thing every trip. We finally tried Lemongrass and really liked it. We did do the one love pub crawl, it was ok but won't try again. I tried the stand up paddle boards (fun!). I do like to try new things and cb is on the radar, jim's not so sure.
Yes it's not as exciting as the first time but we do look forward to our trips.
It's hard to say how to "keep alive" something that hasn't even checked into hospice yet, at least for us. We look forward to our yearly pilgrimage every day, when we're there we do things that we enjoy doing, even if they are the "same ol" thing, and don't necessarily do more or less of anything.
I can understand how that could happen. We love the familiarity. As soon as we arive at CTI it feels like a comfortable pair of jeans. We do try to add something new to our week, but for the most part we go to CTI to relax and leave the home life at rest for a little while.
The first time we went to CTI, I had an itinerary for the entire week. As the days went by, we found we didn't want to do anything but relax. maybe you are still in the vacation mode that you feel the urge to go go go. Nothing wrong with that, Jamaica will be there for you when you need to unwind and relax.
Very good question. CSA has always been our first choice for vacationing. We keep asking ourselves the same question “why not try somewhere different”. We look at what we want in a vacation and we keep coming back to CSA. For us, it’s where can we go to relax from our extreme lives we live. Sitting on the beach at sunset sipping champagne. It doesn’t get any better than that.
After three trips to CSA, my husband and I decided to branch out and try a different Negril resort last year. Big mistake. CSA has set the bar so high for us that it's tough find anywhere else that can compete. I don't recommend it, but the disappointment of staying at a non-Couples resort is sure to respark that fire.
On a more positive note: To change it up a bit, we've started doing off-resort excursions....someplace different each year. So far we've done YS Falls (2012) and Pelican Bar (2011). This year (going back to CSA) we're going to do the One Love Bus Crawl and bring school supplies to Little London Primary School.
Best of luck and blessings to you. )
Danno1022... I think it depends on what you like about CSA. We stayed at CTI and visited CSS while we where there. Both properties were incredibly lovely, the staff was just as wonderful and the food was great. For me, however, the beach was not very nice. The water was more rough and full of sea grass. If you're the kind of person who hangs out by the pool at CSA that you probably won't care. CSS had many steep slopes and stairs as well as only a couple beach "areas" as opposed to the long beautiful beach at CSA. We did venture to the au naturale island one day and it really wasn't as scary as we thought it would be. Checked that off the bucket list but aren't in any hurry to do it again. Also the beaches over there are private. I can see how many would prefer that but I really enjoy the people-watching on the beach and the musicians that stop by and play the steel drums. We don't regret going to CTI so if you're curious to experience it for yourself, it won't be a bad thing. We just decided that CSA is more preferable for us. So much so that we've never wanted to leave and venture up to CN.
We are not 20 time repeaters, but have made several trips to both CTI and CSS. We alternate our vacations to Jamaica with trips to other places. It gives us a chance to see other cultures and experience other things, while giving us the chance to start missing Jamaica. Once we book, we start reminiscing about Jamaica and all the stuff we love at the resorts, and by the time we return we have that same "thrill" all over again. I still get teary-eyed when we see the Couples lounge in the airport, and again when it's time to head back home.
Try mixing in a few other places instead of just Jamaica every single trip. (I know that's blasphemy to some people here, but hey...you asked.) I see it this way: would you only want to eat one flavor of ice cream for your entire life? Not me!
CSS is our favorite resort but we switch it up so it is not the same every year. Went to CSS last year going to CTI in a month - booked CSA for next year already then probably back to CSS or maybe CB...
we have been going to Ja almost every year for about (15) years. First the 'S' resorts in Mobay then SC resorts in Negril. We were staying at GLN and walked by CN one year and decided this place looked nice so we booked there next year. Then back to GLN but SC was letting all of their resorts go down so we went back to CN 3 more times before trying CSS. Then we took a break for a couple of years and went to St Thomas and several trips to Cancun. Then we realized how much we missed Couples and now Back to CTI 2 years in a row. We will probably go back to Negril next year
You might have to take a break, maybe try Cb next year if you can get there easy enough or try Cancun but you WILL be back to Couples.
Awesome thread! We keep going to different resorts (couples, of course).
Then we had another child... By the time we make it back to Jamaica, there will be no question about how thrilled we will be!
That being said, I don't think reproducing is the way to keep CSA exciting ��
Our next trip in November will be our 36 to CTI. Over the past 18 years, we have made so many friends at the resort, that "going home" feels just that. We are home with people that we love. Warm smiles and hugs. Truly happy to see each other and catch up on what's happening.
A comfortable relaxing atmosphere that does much to sweep away "reality", and give us much needed space to get reacquainted. Time to stare into each others eyes. Time to be embraced by warm sunny days and cool sultry nights. Time to breath fresh air. Time for each other.
We stayed at CSS once. And we did enjoy it. It's gorgeous. And SSB was outstanding. But our hearts have belonged to our gracious hostess, who stands watch over her quiet cove, and coming home to be with her is an overwhelming privilege and has given us great pleasure visit after visit.
We were married at COR in 2001 and have been back every year since. Also, have done a split between CSA (5 nights) and CTI (7 nights) these past 2 years. Booked for next year already. The excitement is when we step off the plane we know we are going "home"!
We also love the familarity of being "home". We've been to CN 6 times and every time we easily find our "niche". We epecially love how we feel as a couple; the everyday grind sometimes tends to make you lose your way as a couple. Being back at CN, it is only a matter of minutes really before we fall in love with each other all over again......and I love that!! We do try to get off resort a couple of times, usually we hire a driver and set out for an adventure on our own. Museums, the Blue Hole, One Love Bus, Pelican Bar...we try to research before we go and find something unique and new to see.
We are "new" repeaters only 2times to CSS with 3rd booked but we vowed every time we go do something different. Off the resort, this time we went zip lining next time who knows. But we think of it as home away from home without the hustle and bustle and schedules to keep. We take the time to be alone (since we have 2 young kids) and indulge ourselves. I did something HUGE this time and tried Lobster and marlin for the very first time ever. My husband was shocked and I think fell more in love with me since he is a avid fisherman and loves fish lol!
We tend to plan at least one nice dinner off the resort when we are there. We like to try a lot of different places, but Rockhouse is a favorite of ours. We will probably try Ivan's next time. That helps break the
'sameness' of going back to the same resorts.
Another thing that helps is to split the trip between resorts. We love Couples Negril, split the trip sometimes with a few days at another resort. The cliffs are nice for this and we never have more fun than when we spend some time at Hedonism II, even if it's just a day or evening pass.
This is a good question and I am eager to read what others say. We have been vacationing in Jamaica since the last 80's and love to find ways to keep it fresh!
I am in total agreement with Fawnbridge. Our time at CSA ( just our preferred resort) is our home away from home. We are blessed to be able to do a river cruise in Europe and a tour of Italy but they are busy. My total relaxation starts when I step off the plane and walk to the Couples lounge. I guess having the familiarality of the resort helps as in knowing where you like your lounger, how to figure out what night to eat where etc. As for meeting new people every time we go we meet new people and also recognize ones from past visits. There is a vast world out there but like to set aside a week or two each year to spend time at one of our favourites.
When we arrive at CSA, we are always greeted with a big smile and a "welcome back home." We call our annual trip to CSA, going home for the holidays. It is always exciting to catch up with our old friends (guests and staff) and to note the chnages to the resort, the beach etc. Also, I think you hit the nail on the head in your question:we do take excursions, try new things and meet new people every trip. There is so much to see and do off resort: Pelican Bar, YS and Mayfield falls, river rafting, dancing at Bamboo Bar, catching a concert at Bourbon Beach, eating out at one of the restaurants on the cliffs. And even on resort: yoga and fitness classes, tennis and squash lessons, massage classes (or just massages :-)), snorkeling, scuba, boating, paddle boarding, sing alongs, dancing at aura lounge etc. it is really hard to fit it all in in one trip and a great chance to try thinks that you never thought you would. Also, if you always go on the same week, try another time of year. Each week has its own feel and many repeaters go back at the same time each year to see their old friends or to celebrate a special occasion, but at a different time of year there will be a whole different group of people and vibe (generally, but not always younger in summer and older over holidays which I think has to do with wedding season and the increased cost for the holidays). Finally, mix it up. A few years ago we felt by the end of our 2-week visit to CSA that it had lost a little of the magic for us, so we booked an adventure trip to Peru (Amazon and Inca trail) to mix things up. While tromping through the jungle in sweltering heat and though deep mud in search of monkeys that we never found with a terrible guide who was not very nice, we sat down on an ant infested log to eat "breakfast;" a stinky, warm, hard boiled egg and slice of cheap white bread. We looked at each other and both exclaimed at the same time: "next year we are going to Swept Away!" We did and it was magic :-).
I think this December will be our 8th visit to Couples. We have stayed at Tower Island, Negril and Swept Away and we were excited every time. I am always excited to not have any cleaning, cooking, or errands to run during the stay. As if this is not enough, we are excited about being entertained and fed very well. What could be better??
We think of it as "Camp for Grown-ups". If anyone ever had a great experience at summer camp, you know that they just can't wait for next summer to go again. We see a lot of the "kids". All the "counselors" are there. We know the routine. We love the food. Yah. Camp Couples is where want to keep going. And even after all these trips, it doesn't get old. It hasn't lost any luster. As of this writing, we are 79 days away from returning. In a few weeks from now, this guy will be bouncing off the ceiling. I would bring the bags down today.
Anticipation. That's what keeps it exciting. Even with all the "sameness" there always turns out to be wonderful new exciting encounters and adventures.
We've been to several other beach places (St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. John, Mexico, Hawaii) but Jamaica keeps calling us back. Before we found Couples, we tried a couple of other AI's in Negril (one we even went to twice) but then we tried CSA. We loved it but didn't want to go back to the same place twice in a row so the next year we tried CN & fell even more in LOVE LOVE LOVE with it & other than going to CSS on the SR once, we have not wanted to stray to another beach destination. We have found our paradise & it doesn't get old. When the excitement of going wears off, then we'll try some other islands, but I don't see that happening anytime soon since CN is all we talk about when we talk about going to the beach. We do mountain trips in between to get to hike, whitewater raft, & enjoy something totally different but when we want to totally relax, there's no place like CN & we like knowing that it's going to feel like home when we get there the next time. Only thing I wish is that we could afford to go for longer than 8 nights & more than once a year.