First Review for First Timers at CTI - Including a wedding!
I've been reading a lot on these forums for the past few months prior to arriving at Couples Tower Isle, with my Fiance, at the time, and our wedding party of 16.
I feel like I really should post a review on how everything went down for us, and what are the pros and cons' we felt that made or broke the trip for us.
I will start by saying, so no one gets pushed aside or upset over my review for this place. Everyone has their dislikes and likes about where they go, you just have to take them with a grain of salt, cause something might be "wrong" in my eyes, but someone might also like it.
Me and my Wife went for 10 days. June 25th, till July 5th.
We had a connecting flight in Altanta, before we arrived at MBJ in Jamaica. After we arrived at MBJ, we had to wait in a seemed like forever lines for customs and immigration. Couples resorts cannot be held accountable for anything that happens in these flights or immigration, so I wont go to deep into those.
On the way home, It was a breeze, no long lines and not to much of a waiting period before arriving at our gates.
Travelling Between Resort and Airport
On the way there, we had a bus to ourselves, due to having around 12 people heading there at one time. Bus driver was awesome, explained a lot about the resort and the island itself, like the culture and the heritage of the Island of Jamaica. Extensively knowledgeable in the area of expertise.
Just like I have read before on here, If your bus driver is nice, safe and sociable, you should tip him for his services, And yet, we did because we felt like he went over and above from what he had to do.
The way home, we felt like he was a bit rushed, made a few rookie moves as a driver, as we would see it as to be dangerous. Arrived at the airport earlier than we expected but we did tip him as well, because that is his service that he is providing.
This was all of our first trips to Jamaica, and we did not know what to expect as the island. It was a "poorer" place than we all expected. We were told on the way to our resort, If we go off the resort, Do not talk to anyone that you don't know, and do not make eye contact, because they will take you and try to sell you a lot of items or even worse. It scared some of us a bit, but didn't ruin our trip due to being in a resort with security.
Check-in / Check-out
Checking in was a breeze. The receptionist met us at the front, all 12 of us, talked to each of us and made sure we knew where we had to be and what we were being handed as in paperwork and maps. They greeted us with a cold towel, rum punch, and a smile on their face happy to greet us at their home away from home.
Since my Fiance (at the time) and I brought in 10 other rooms with our group, we received a free room upgrade. We were offered a Suite with a ocean view, or the "Villa Suite" in the garden. I will talk more about this further down.
Checking out is a different story. We received a paper in our door, a day or two after arriving, stating what time our bags need to be out side of our door at, and what time our bus comes. Our bags we're suppose to be out, as the paper says, at 7:15, and our bus comes at 8:15. Perfect. Enough time to get some breakfast with the remaining family members left on the resort, and head home.
July 5th comes around, and 6:45 the phone rings, with the bellhop asking us if its okay to come pick up our bags. We didn't think anything of it other then they are early and want to get ahead of the game. All of a sudden, 7:20 comes around, and we get another phone call. This time, Its front desk, asking where we are because our bus is waiting for us to head to the airport. Whoops. Someone messed up the times on their end!
At checkout - They tried charging us for some items that we were told that we received for free, with the wedding package that we picked a while back. Thankfully, I had the email's printed out, and we were able to come to an understanding about the price.
Like I said before hand, we were upgraded to a "villa suite". She showed us the Villa first, and my SO feel in love with the personal pool, and Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, that we didn't care to see the other offer she had for us.
When you think of a VILLA SUITE, you think of modern, updated getaway. It definitely was a get a way from everyone else, but the modern and updated aspects did not impress me. Our shower was hot and cold, within a few seconds and didn't stay one temperature. Our tub did not produce hot water and the hairdryer looked like it was from the 60's.
I felt like it was livable for the meanwhile we were there, but I did not complain to front desk or management, because I felt they already went out of their way to bring us up to this suite, I wouldn't want them to have to bring us to another one cause a few small nitpicking.
We did see our other "groups" rooms that they did purchase. Everyone in our group did a "superior Ocean view" room. One upgrade from Garden.
There was a few couples in our groups that paid for a "ocean view" room, but had the only view of tree's off of their balcony.
One couple did ask to move rooms, and the next day they were put higher up with a better view. There was no questions asked or any problem moving, though it was off season and didn't seem like a lot of rooms were being booked.
Now, Lets talk about the real reason we were all there. Food, Drinks, party, WEDDING, and Drinks!
All I really want to say, is that the wedding coordinator, took great care of us and was there from before the wedding started and until we were done with our photos.
Worked out perfectly and a very nice wedding. We had to pay extra for a "mento band", but it was well worth the extra $150 it cost for it. It made the Jamaica wedding, more authentic for the place we are being married at.
The ONLY complaint I really had through-out the entire trip, which really got to me, was the price of wedding photos compared to regular photos.
It cost us 20$ PER PHOTO to burn them onto a CD so we had some memories on paper of our wedding.
Luckily, we did have a group of people in our family that was there taking photos so we only purchased 10 photos on our "resort credit" that we received for booking 7 or more days.
For the family's or couples that go there, just to get married, I would advise you to bring someone to the wedding, that can take pictures, or It will cost you an arm and a leg if you want some good wedding pictures.
Drinks at the bar, was to Die for. I didn't have one drink that was over poured or one that I couldn't drink (unless I really didn't like the taste!)
Every bartender was nice and polite and was willing to make you anything you asked for if you knew how to make it.
My SO and I lived off of Jamaican Smiles, and the "feature of the Day". After our wedding, a few couples wanted to do the "Bob Marley" Shot with us. Oh, does that shot ever knock you on your ass. Be Careful, Its one strong shot.
Food. Oh how I loved the food.
We went to each restaurant more then once, and we loved everything they had to offer. We are both non fish eaters so we cannot comment on that, but the pork, chicken, Lamb, steak. Anything else, was to die for.
We were there for 10 days. After the 7th day, we were wanting some McDonald or something from "back home". I think you go anywhere like this, you'll get tired of the same food so, I cannot complain about that, or make it sway my decision.
Every night, there was either a singer, dance group, steel drum band, or something to entertain us until our eyes were rolling back into our heads from trying to stay up late after a whole day of fun in the sun!
2-3 times in the week, they would have a "large" buffet, such as a beach party, or a Pool party around the main pool.
Singalongs in the Piano bar, DJ smooch hosting some disco party's, or some singers making everyone do karaoke with them. There was always something to do at any given time of the day.
As far as Snorkeling, boating, and all the included excursions, We did more then enough for the amount of money that cost you a night.
Shopping trip - They bring you to some "commercialized" area, where it seemed like they all sold the same items, in the 10-15 shops that they had there. Wasnt too much local items, mostly imported items that were for "souvenirs" to buy from the shops. They were pushy, and followed you around trying to get you to buy whatever you touch, or seem interested in.
Catamaran - Was a blast, loved getting splashed wit the ocean waves, and had a blast dancing on the boat.
Snorkeling - Was awesome as well - the Watersport crew really knew how to look after you and knew how to help if they were needed.
Water Sports - Kayaks, water bikes, hobie cats - All was fun! Didnt have a problem with trying them out and them showing you how to do them if need be.
DUNNS waterfall - It was awesome - We had a great tour guide. A bit pushy at the end to buy their DVD - It did purchase one for our group, and it was more of a "yelling YAHMON and NUMBER ONE" into the video camera. Wasn't any footage of actually climbing the rock. Was disappointed in that. Was not worth $40 that they were offering it. Venders after the falls were really pushed, just had to look forward and walk past if they show you anything.
We cannot comment on the Au Natural beach, Margaritaville (even tho they told us it was free, they after said it was going to cost us $10 to go), Golfing or any other activities due to we did not partake in them.
And to conclude my rant/review - All in all, Every single of us did highly enjoy ourselves at this resort. We all did have a great time, we all loved the resort, all the staff members that said "hey mon!" everytime we walked by them or if they asked if everyones alright.
Our wedding was a great success at the resort, and we would recommend couples to head to Couples Island in the future.
But like I said in the start, Everyone has thier dislikes and likes about anywhere they go. You have to take it with a grain of salt, or you won't find anywhere thats perfect.
As far as we know, this is way past average service and a resort. We adored our stay and everyone that helped us enjoy our wedding and honeymoon.
Thank you for reading Hope this helps anyone whos looking for a review.
Thanks for your review. I loved the part about wanting some food from back home...so true! We were craving some pizza and coke so bad we got dominos in the airport (only to find out it was spam not ham on the pizza) . Sorry to hear you had some frustrations with your room/checkout. I agree that the wedding photography pricing is crazy expensive, but they include so many things for the wedding free and wedding photo packages in the states are outrageous too...so we didn't mind spending it. The upside is that there won't be that expense next trip! Things are only as perfect as your attitude allows. It sounds like you made the best of things though. The good news is that you know what room category you would/would not like if you return. Many on this message board have said that they have tried a certain room category that wasn't their favorite, but they love other things about the resorts so they return and stay in a different room. I recommend the junior suites/suites if your wife enjoys the jacuzzi. It sounds like you might prefer the ocean view to the garden view. Happy to hear that the service and drinks were better than you expected. I hope you'll return!