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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Help!! How to purchase Trip/Where to Stay!

    Hello all!

    I am planning a wedding to a Couples resort--hopefully this January. We decided that a big 'ol wedding is just not our style. I don't want to deal with the stress--the hassle--or the money. My finance has always wanted to get married on the beach...so now we are going to! I tried to contact a travel agent--and I was NOT impressed. I guess I do not fully understand what their purpose is. It would be nice to have them to help me figure everything out--as far as the rooms and the wedding coordinator goes... however--- I found rates at Expedia.com/Priceline.com/and travelocity.com that would be at least $300 less. I am having my parents and his parents come...so that is over $1000 in savings..which is HUGE! Has anyone ever gone this route?

    Also-- we are planning on doing the 'free' wedding..simple, sweet, to the point, and on the beach--can anyone elaborate on this? and what the 'free' wedding is like?

    Lastly--I have been reading these threads like a mad woman--honestly I think I'm obsessed... I am stuck between CTI and CSS. I like the idea of the privacy of the CSS--but I LOVE the fact that CTI is newly remodeled--has EVERYTHING included (I was looking forward to horseback riding and the Catamaran ride...) I am pretty confident that CTI is my way to go... We really want a 1st floor walk-out room to the beach. Which room would this be? The deluxe or the superior? (At CTI)

    I apologize for rambling--our time to figure this out is dwindling. We were originally going to get married at home in August--we found out that going in January was in our budget!

    Please help!! Thanks. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Just book directly through Couples. You can buy travel insurance and everything.

    Peruse the photos and descriptions of each resort - one will call to you. You could always do a split if you can't choose between two located near each other (CTI and CSS), or sign up for Romance Rewards and visit the neighboring one for a day.

  3. #3

    Default

    My advice is to call another travel agent. Look on this site for one of Couples' preferred agents. Not everyone is versed in the Couples way of doing things. If you want stress free trust me, this is the stress free way to do it. Not everything can be boiled down to monetary savings plus many time what you see priced "online" is not an exact comparison to what the agent is providing--including cancellation/trip interruption insurance, preferred flight times, etc. And, if you have a problem do you really think the gnome is going to help you?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,160

    Default

    Hello,

    First let us start off by saying congratulations!! Whichever resort you choose will be wonderful for your wedding plans. We've stayed at both.

    We booked through a TA though I hear it's just as easy to go directly through Couples.

    We were married in April 2008 at CSS and did the free wedding. This included meeting with the wedding coordinator to plan the wedding, flowers for bride and groom, and reception - to include cake and champagne. It was simple yet special. We chose to do ours in the wedding gazebo instead of on the beach but have seen these done and they are very nice.

    CTI has more excursions than CSS (horseback riding and catamaran cruise) included in your stay. So, if your budget is calling you to that resort, and those things are important, then that would be the way to go.

    You will not find a "1st floor walk-out room to the beach" available at CTI. The resort sits above the beach and you can get to the beach by walking down stairs from the lobby, main bar and main pool. Here are pictures we took while there this past April to help with getting your bearings: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecsimso...7621684003201/.

    If you want to see what CSS looks like here are some pictures that we took there...also this year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecsimso...7621684193991/ and in 2008: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecsimso...7608740935393/.

    We prefer not to tell you where to stay but give you information that will allow you to choose the resort that's right for you. As ElaineChick pointed out...one will call to you.

    Have a wonderful wedding!!

    Bart & Bug

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,337

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kobjl View Post
    Hello all!

    I am planning a wedding to a Couples resort--hopefully this January. We decided that a big 'ol wedding is just not our style. I don't want to deal with the stress--the hassle--or the money. My finance has always wanted to get married on the beach...so now we are going to! I tried to contact a travel agent--and I was NOT impressed. I guess I do not fully understand what their purpose is. It would be nice to have them to help me figure everything out--as far as the rooms and the wedding coordinator goes... however--- I found rates online that would be at least $300 less. I am having my parents and his parents come...so that is over $1000 in savings..which is HUGE! Has anyone ever gone this route? First thing I would look into what is cost direct at Couples verse the dot com places. They are all good, except you can not make a change, or it will cost. Couples will match prices if you call the 1-800 number. One thing to watch with the dot coms is the airfare. They will come up with a real low price but it takes 20 or so hour to make the trip. Look at room only (Couples and dot coms) and air only (direct with airline and dot coms), and air and room as a package (Couples and dot coms). Who ever has the best deal and a travel length you can live with go with that. A TA will just book you tickets and act a middle man. They will not help you with the wedding coordinator. The wedding coordinator is handled by couples. They are pro's at this. You can click this link to see if your date is open. http://www.couples.com/weddings/01b-overview.htm When you book your wedding date that will get everything moving with the wedding coordinator. You just need to book your room and airfare.




    Also-- we are planning on doing the 'free' wedding..simple, sweet, to the point, and on the beach--can anyone elaborate on this? and what the 'free' wedding is like?I did not get married at Couples, but I been around them. The service is about 15 to 20 minutes long. The free cake is Two-tier cake of chocolate, vanilla or Jamaican fruit. They look good, but I am not a cake eater.

    Lastly--I have been reading these threads like a mad woman--honestly I think I'm obsessed... I am stuck between CTI and CSS. I like the idea of the privacy of the CSS--but I LOVE the fact that CTI is newly remodeled--has EVERYTHING included (I was looking forward to horseback riding and the Catamaran ride...) I am pretty confident that CTI is my way to go... We really want a 1st floor walk-out room to the beach. Which room would this be? The deluxe or the superior? (At CTI)

    CTI does not have any beach front walk outs. They all have balconies. I would pick the a Deluxe room for you will have a view of Tower Island and the beach. Superior over look the cove next to the resort. (Building 5 - South wing)

    I apologize for rambling--our time to figure this out is dwindling. We were originally going to get married at home in August--we found out that going in January was in our budget!

    Please help!! Thanks. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!!
    No problem with the help, ask as many questions as you want.

    Enjoy CTI and your Wedding. Welcome to the Couples Family
    Irie Mon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    Personally, I'd use a travel agent even with that kind of savings. We've been to Jamaica 15 times and I could probably book the trip in my sleep myself but the travel agent gives me peace of mind. If something goes wrong I am nobody to the airline or whoever is responsible for the problem and I don't know where to begin working it all out, but the travel agent will know what to do and is my advocate. As far as booking directly through Couples, I'm not advising against it, I just don't have experience in that regard. If you didn't like the travel agent you first tried then find another but use a travel agent. Also, don't skip the travel insurance. It's going to add a few $$$ to your trip but will be another valuable option if you need it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I can't comment on CTI, as I've not been, and I am not going to say anything negative, as I know people who love it, and if that's what's calling to you, then go for it. Having said that, we were married at CSS two years ago, and we specifically chose that resort becuase having been there decades earlier, it stuck in my mind as one of the most perfect spots to be married (and I've traveled quite extenstively).

    The wedding gazebo is private and beautiful, and it juts out from a bluff overlooking the ocean, and it's really quite breathtaking. I'm sure the ceremony at CTI is also lovely (and the pictures I've seen of the TI wedding setup are breathtaking, although that seems out of your budget), but you may want to take that into consideration.

    Also, the wedding coordinator was spectacular, and the spa is phenominal (the couples massage hut also juts over the ocean in what used to be a look-out tower when it was a cliffside forification, and you hear the waves crashing beneath you with more than a 180-degree view of the ocean.

    You may want to explore the option of a split stay, as was mentioned. The resorts are quite close, so you won't lose much time, and that way you can see and enjoy both.

    If you want to check out our pictures, I believe they are still up at mestralle.shutterfly.com. Please keep in mind that the backdrop isn't quite what it would be normally, as it was terribly windy that morning, and we had to position ourselves so as not to take full advantage of the view so that my hair didn't fly straight up and look like a mohawk.

    Congratulations on your wedding. Whatever your choice, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default

    We booked our wedding at CSA directly with one of Couples preferred travel agents, I would suggest you do that or just book directly with Couples. I would also book airfare directly with the airline. I don't trust the large internet companies at all, they only want your money and they don't care what happens to your vacation.

  9. #9

    Default

    I am also booking with CSA for this coming April. I normally book through a different agent, who is okay. This year I had won a travel voucher so I am booking with another agent in the city, she is phenomanal, every price I can find on-line, she finds cheaper amd we are even flying first class! When it comes to a wedding trip I would go with an agent, it is a stressful enough time that the more you don't have to deal with the better. Find a seasoned (min 10-15 years experience) travel agent and I am sure you will be happy. I won't be booking with my previous agent anymore, not that she was bad but the new one is just so much better! Shop around you are the consumer!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I also want to add that I didn't see the first time on the read-through that you specifically wanted to be married on the beach. Obviously, my post is less relevant.

    Also, with regard to travel agents, I think their relevance is becoming less as time goes on. I grew up with my mother working for American Airlines, specifically as a liason between the airline and travel agents (at the time we were traveling extensively), and it never really occured to me to use a travel agent, as I already knew "all the tricks" and was frequently traveling non-rev.

    That is NOT to say that I hold travel agents in low esteem by ANY stretch of the imagination. I have just never really had occasion to use one personally. We booked through the Couples site for our room, and there was no "hassle" involved with regard to the fact that it was a wedding. In fact, the biggest hassle I had was with our flights, which we couldn't book at the time through Couples because of the city we were flying out of.

    Okay, sorry, rambling. Whatever you choose, I think you'll have a fabulous wedding, and I wish you all the happiness in the world.

    (P.S. the only snags we had post-arrival at the resort were the fact that it was drizzly and super-windy on our wedding day (not the fault of the resort of course) and that our first choice of wedding cake was not available because of the unavailabity of some of the necessary fruit because of the prior hurricane (again not the fault of the resort).)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    223

    Default

    I tried to book with couples today but had issues using my debit card.. and also had issues because the flights that I found through couples.com are apparently no longer offered at the rate that they say they are... so it bombed in the processing process and put a nice hold on my money.

    Not a huge deal.. a call to couples and a couple hours got that straightened out but unfortunately, they were unable to match the rate that initially was quoted on the site. Not a big deal, I searched around and adjusted our dates a little to figure something out. It cost us a bit more but I ended up actually booking with travelocity.com because it saved us a couple hundred dollars and got us the better room.

    Couples called me back to let me know that they handled the issue with my debit card and released the hold on that and I asked about travelocity and they assured me that it's fine. In fact, she said people book through them all the time. So that put my mind at ease.

    It took a couple weeks to finagle a last minute Jamaican vacation.. but now it's booked, we are going to CTI on 11/11 and I can't wait!

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