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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    276

    Default CSS - Recent Reviews

    We are returning to Couples for our 7th trip in 5 years, and are returning to CSS. Recent posts on Trip Advisor have us quite nervous, describing a decline in food quality and room maintenance, and that there are dogs now roaming around the resort and beach, and are getting into room service trays left outside the room doors, etc.

    Can anyone comment?

    Our last trip to CSS was "very good" but we experienced two things that kept it from being "great". The menus were more limited than our first visit (fewer entrees) and Cassanova didn't have several items which were listed on the menu. Also, we noticed the menus didn't change much during our stay and didn't vary much from our first visit which was a year earlier. Since CSS had such a strong gourmet reputation in the past, we were somewhat disappointed.

    Regarding animals, we understand that cats/kittens have always been around CSS restaurants, and no doubt they help control rodents, but I do wish guests would not feed them while dining in the restaurant, and that Couples would post a notice requesting this for the consideration of other guests. Please understand that some guests are highly allergic to cats and can't have them slinking around their table/legs looking for scraps. Additionally, during our last visit, halfway through our last visit, one of the cats had a large patch of fur missing from its back, which exposed raw, damaged skin. This cat was walking around Pallazina and it was absolutely stomach-turning. I dreaded going to Pallazina for breakfast/lunch and seeing this cat. I would think stray dogs/wounded cats would become a hygiene/health concern at some point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    332

    Default Dogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelBug View Post
    We are returning to Couples for our 7th trip in 5 years, and are returning to CSS. Recent posts on Trip Advisor have us quite nervous, describing a decline in food quality and room maintenance, and that there are dogs now roaming around the resort and beach, and are getting into room service trays left outside the room doors, etc.

    Can anyone comment?

    Our last trip to CSS was "very good" but we experienced two things that kept it from being "great". The menus were more limited than our first visit (fewer entrees) and Cassanova didn't have several items which were listed on the menu. Also, we noticed the menus didn't change much during our stay and didn't vary much from our first visit which was a year earlier. Since CSS had such a strong gourmet reputation in the past, we were somewhat disappointed.

    Regarding animals, we understand that cats/kittens have always been around CSS restaurants, and no doubt they help control rodents, but I do wish guests would not feed them while dining in the restaurant, and that Couples would post a notice requesting this for the consideration of other guests. Please understand that some guests are highly allergic to cats and can't have them slinking around their table/legs looking for scraps. Additionally, during our last visit, halfway through our last visit, one of the cats had a large patch of fur missing from its back, which exposed raw, damaged skin. This cat was walking around Pallazina and it was absolutely stomach-turning. I dreaded going to Pallazina for breakfast/lunch and seeing this cat. I would think stray dogs/wounded cats would become a hygiene/health concern at some point.
    We went last year, no dogs were seen. The cats were there. Other places we have gone in Mexico also had cats in their open air restaurants. The difference is that the cats would pee and puke in the restaurant and the staff would laugh about it and leave it there. We never saw the cats do anything stomach churning and I would highly doubt that the staff at Couples would laugh and leave it there. If they did, I'd immediately tell them to get the GM, or find him myself.

    The cats didn't bother us - but I can see if you are not a fan of cats or are allergic, you wouldn't want them there. A gentle "shoo" with a napkin would make them go away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Loved the privacy of CSS december 2012
    Very romantic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    117

    Default

    We travel to CSS twice a year and we love feeding the cats so do most guests. If you don't like it TravelBug order room service or just stay home in your cat free house. Normally there isn't a dog around but we were just there in Dec and we saw 4 or 5. The one female will bite you trying to get to the food in your hand. Found that out the hard way. The dogs normally stay around SSB area. I believe they belong to the people in the house near SSB.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    121

    Default

    We too never saw any dogs last July and as mentioned the cats keep the rodent population down and overall weren't too much of a problem.

    Personally these days I never take individual reviews on TripAdvisor seriously but tend to look at the overall general theme of the comments as I believe if 100+ people say a place is great (and the fact CCS gets so many repeaters proves how good this place is) and the odd one says its awful its more likely that person is either used to the highest 5 star luxury all the time, are 'very hard to please', have too high expectations or something happened that spoilt their idea of perfection. eg if you look closely, those that complain mostly tend to have more than one complaint and may say most of the following in their reviews - the room was crap, the food was poor, the staff were rude, the other holidaymakers were drunk, the management does not manage properly etc etc whereas if a reviewer said overall it was great and we enjoyed it but I found the choice of food limited or their room needed a lick of paint but overall they enjoyed it then I would be more likely to believe their review as a true reflection of the location and their vacation whereas finding fault everywhere and with everything in my opinion says more to me about the individual person than the resort.

    eg Many years ago we stayed all inclusive on a small island in the Maldives and had to get there by sea plane and it was paradise on earth to us, aqua blue seas, uncrowded white sandy beaches, we stayed in secluded wooden chalets on the beach (with all mod cons), waiter service around the pool all day, a great choice of food in an evening, chance to swim with sharks, turtles, rays, tropical fish etc during the day and we even spent one day just the two of us alone on a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with no one else for miles around and yet reading some of the reviews on TripAdvisor I could easily have thought that person had been to a totally different location and if I had read them beforehand may not have booked the vacation and missed out on one of the greatest experiences of my life.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    59

    Default

    I like cats but I don't want to share a restaurant with any. Whilst I'm not allergic to them, I'm with TravelBug, I don't think they should be encouraged in the restaurants, and I think it's unfair to say order room service or stay at home...................why should we.

    I must admit the idea of 4-5 dogs wandering around bothers me more, especially if one of them is prone to biting. Was it just a one off occasion in December, or is this the norm?

  7. #7

    Default

    Oh, I had forgotten about the cats at CSS in Pallazina. It's the only Couples we've seen cats in the restaurants. We love cats, so we feel bad when we see skinny strays. I admit we did feed them a few scraps, but I didn't try to touch them. I do agree it's not very sanitary. I also agree that those allergic or afraid of cats would not be comfortable. It would be nice if they weren't there, but I would feel better if I knew they were fed elsewhere. Instead we heard various stories about Couples getting rid of the cats. That made my heart sink.
    In Aruba we were at a resort that had screens to keep the birds, Iguanas and lizards out. That worked.

  8. #8

    Default

    We do feed the cats but we save a small plate evenfor them and then bring it to the little patio at the entrance after dinner to keep them away from the other guests.

    I love cats, but our cats don't have dinner with us

    There were only 5 cats that we saw in October - three adults, two kittens - all seemed healthy - at one point a 6th tried to approach but one of the adult cats chased it off.

    As for food - the menu could use an updating as I would like to see some more salad choices & side choices but quality was not lacking this past october

    I did enjoy the fact that October is in lobster season - that added some variety on those nights

    Dogs? Never seen any at css - that seems like a liability that would be taken care of quickly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    117

    Default

    Name:  IMG_0447.JPG
Views: 697
Size:  170.0 KB
    Here are the 3 cats taking a nab between feeding.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    111

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    My wife and I didn't mind the cats. They did hang out around Pallazina but they didn't beg for food and they certainly didn't bite. The idea of dogs running around is a big concern for us and I hope they take care of it. Dogs are bigger and can be scary to some, they also leave their mess behind wherever. Sorry to all of you dog people out there it's just my opinion. The thing that bothers me most is the biting.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    94

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    We were just at CSS on 1/6 for the day (trading places from CTI, where we were staying). We hung out on SSB & had lunch at Palazzina but didn't see any cats or dogs whatsoever on our stay there. I am a cat owner and understand that having cats on property is beneficial for keeping the rodent population down, but I agree that they don't belong indoors--and especially not in the restaurants. Stay dogs roaming around seem less likely to be benefitting the resort in any way, and if they are aggressive something should really be done to keep them off grounds. It becomes a liability issues, and yes, what about those with allergies? Couples goes above and beyond to accommodate guests who have food allergies; they should do the same for those with animal allergies.

    There are a couple of cats at CTI, but I've only ever seen them in the garden area.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    276

    Default

    Thank you for the comments!

    Lotsastuff: There's no need for nasty comments on this message board. I am a passionate-level Couples repeater, and nope, will not stay home. I prefer to give Couples my business. Just because I've made these observations and comments, please don't assume I have a cat-free house and dislike animals. I had a dog and cat as part of my family for the past 14 years and I love animals. However, noticing what some people do at CSS (feeding cats from their restaurant table) isn't fair to those who aren't cat people or to those who are allergic.

    I noticed a man take some food and he lured the cats away from the restaurant and fed them over on the opposite side of the walking path- doing this is much preferred to feeding when sitting at a table in the restaurant.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    117

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    The female didn't just run up and bite me. I was feeding a friendly puppy and she was hungry too. Maybe just a little to hungry and wanted my finger too. I will be back in May feeding them again.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    274

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    We saw cats at Palazzina's when we were there in August. They did not come inside but did wander around the tables in the outside seating area. I hate cats and all it took was a simple shooing away and a stamp of my foot and they left me alone. I vaguely remember hearing dogs bar at the house on the property that is on the way to Sunset Beach but don't recall seeing any.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    604

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsastuff4u View Post
    The female didn't just run up and bite me. I was feeding a friendly puppy and she was hungry too. Maybe just a little to hungry and wanted my finger too. I will be back in May feeding them again.
    Please be very careful hand-feeding any animals that you don't know (whether at home or abroad). Especially in foreign countries, where rabies shots may not be mandated….If you really want to feed the strays, just take your scraps out to a non-dining area and leave them on the ground for the animals to eat. My mom always taught me to be respectful of animals that I didn't know, and her advice is worth heeding. Or not, if you want to risk more than a finger nip and maybe test out the Jamaican medical system….

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    276

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    Great words of wisdom, gonegril. Unfortunately I knew a woman who was bit by a cat (not at a Couples resort). Because the cat was a stray and not likely vaccinated, the woman had to undergo a series of painful shots in her stomach for rabies. Needless to say, she thinks twice now before getting close to unfamiliar animals.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelBug View Post
    Great words of wisdom, gonegril. Unfortunately I knew a woman who was bit by a cat (not at a Couples resort). Because the cat was a stray and not likely vaccinated, the woman had to undergo a series of painful shots in her stomach for rabies. Needless to say, she thinks twice now before getting close to unfamiliar animals.
    That's OLD SCHOOL/ They are now in the arm. On top of that...1 of the signs of Rabies is they stop eating. Clearly not a problem with the animals at Couples.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    763

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    I agree with gonenegril about the risk of being bitten, that would be my biggest concern. But past that, I don't understand why it's such an issue....if someone is allergic, being in a public area probably will not set off their allergies and they can always shoo them away. And as far as hygiene/sanitary....CN has the blackbirds and egrets that are all over cassava and outside the beach grill.....I don't know about sanitary with them either but I'M NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT. I like to watch the birds and find it entertaining. I would LOVE to see cats....I LOVE cats and glad they have someplace where they can get something to eat and not starve to death. Unfortunately that happens too often and if they are looking for scraps or even better, having someone luring them away and feeding them, good for them. It is much more humane than gathering them all up and euthanizing them. Kudos to Couples for not making a big deal out of the cats (or the birds at CN)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    337

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    I think the cats are there to keep the rodent population down - which works for me!
    Jan and Mark
    CN 2009
    CSA 2011
    CSA 2013
    CSS 2014

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    62

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    Quote Originally Posted by lotsastuff4u View Post
    That's OLD SCHOOL/ They are now in the arm. On top of that...1 of the signs of Rabies is they stop eating. Clearly not a problem with the animals at Couples.
    Whether in the arm or stomach you still go through a series of painful shots. Animals in the early stages of rabies may show no signs at all. In addition, cat and doug bites can be highly infectious regardless of whether they are rabid.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    311

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    I believe Couples docs the cats ears when the are rounded up and vaccinated and spayed/neuters. That will be how you know the cats are an official resident.

    Amy

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    342

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    Quote Originally Posted by moiira View Post
    Whether in the arm or stomach you still go through a series of painful shots. Animals in the early stages of rabies may show no signs at all. In addition, cat and doug bites can be highly infectious regardless of whether they are rabid.
    I hate it when Doug bites.

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