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  1. #1

    Default Warning* LONG first timer CN review

    Ok, so I probably read just about every review on this message board and TA that I could get my hands on! I was obsessed!! I rely so heavily on those reviews, so I want to give back, plus it just feels almost like I’m there as I write, so that helps too! I wanted to highlight the advice I received from this wonderful couples family, as well as give my two cents on what I needed and didn’t need from that wonderful “I wish I would have thought of that…” thread!

    This was our first trip to Couples, as well as our first all-inclusive. We have cruised in the past, and have been to Montego Bay once as a cruise port. I have to say those few hours in Jamaica did not come close to giving me a clear idea of what Jamaica was like. Ok…here we go!

    We live in Oregon and drove the 5 hours up to Seattle to drop our kiddos off with grandma and grandpa for the week before catching our red eye flight to Charlotte. We flew US Airways (we booked thru couples.com with the flight/hotel package) I’d never flown US Airways before and was a bit worried, after some reviews I’d read. Anyway, both of our flights down were perfect and uneventful. Do bring pens to fill out your customs forms, and do fill out one for each of you. Also, the advice about having a “cheat sheet” for your passport info, was very helpful!

    We paid for Club MoBay, so once we landed and walked down the ramp, we were greeted by Karen, our ClubMobay rep. She escorted us thru immigration, bags, and customs. From the time we met her at the ramp until we got to the ClubMobay lounge was 20 minutes. We landed on a Wednesday around 11 am. I did notice there wasn’t much of a line going thru customs, but I don’t think I would ever NOT purchase this arrival service. Especially after the amount of traveling we had done to get there! NOTE: My sister and her husband landed that same day at 230, and she said the customs line was backed up all the way to the ramp.
    We were greeted by the Couples staff at the lounge, and checked in, took all of about 2 minutes! I can’t comment on the Couples lounge because we were escorted over to ClubMobay (right next door). We changed our clothes and had a couple of drinks and some snacks, before we were picked up for our shuttle. I will say that when I peeked at the Couples Lounge on our way outside, it looked to be bigger and more comfortable than ClubMobays. We will hang out there next time!
    The porters loaded up all of our bags (there were 2 other couples on our shuttle), and he and the driver escorted us to the bus. We our used to tipping porters, plus the message boards prepared us, so we were ready with his tip. He wasn’t overly pushy about it, but made it obvious it was expected. Omar drove us to the resort in an hour and 10 minutes! Not too bad from what I’ve read. He did ask if we wanted to stop for a bathroom break, but we all declined.
    As soon as we arrived at the resort we were welcomed “home.” The check in process in my opinion is very smooth. No waiting in line, just have a seat and we will come to you! With champagne! We were checked in and in our room by 230. We had a Garden View room and were on the 3rd floor of building 4. Renaldo showed us to our room and once there, gave us a quick overview of what was what; the mini bar order form, breakfast card, etc.

    The room:
    Was wonderful! It looked just as it did online, no surprises! Within 10 minutes of being in the room, our mini bar service was delivered. Just the regular stuff. I had signed up for Romance Rewards, and put in what we’d like, and I think we got it, I can’t remember to be honest what I put, and we weren’t too worried about it at that point.
    We had the new bathroom style with the new shower. I like it! I understand what everyone is saying about the water on the floor, but I kind of think that’s the point. It seems like it was designed for the whole bathroom to have the shower floor. We did use more towels than we normally would at any other hotel, but they were in replacing towels 2 and 3 times a day, so it wasn’t a big deal to us. I’m not sure how “environmentally friendly” this method is, however?
    I brought extra hangars for my dresses, it was probably unnecessary. I most likely will still bring them next time though! 
    They were remodeling building 5 while we were there. Never heard a racket! We could hear road noise from our room. Only during the day though, mostly in the bathroom getting ready. It was never a problem at night.

    Breakfast
    We ordered coffee and pastries to our room 6 out of the 7 mornings we were there. It was nice to have a cup of coffee in the room (yes there is a coffee maker in the room, we just didn’t use it).
    We also ate at the Breakfast Buffet 6 out of 7 mornings. I was impressed! There were a lot of things that were the same from day to day, which is nice when you find something you like. They also changed out a few things on the hot buffet line, so there was some variety. The selection tho, was very impressive. I saw at the bar where you could get a fresh smoothie, but never got around to trying it. I did however take advantage of the fresh coconut water offered at the bar. No better way to rehydrate in the morning than with one of those! We also took advantage of the bloody mary/mimosa self serve area, that was nice. The birds were actually fun to watch, and really seemed to have some manners  they weren’t out of line at all.

    The Beach
    Better than I ever could have expected! It was so clean, and white, and soft, and pretty! I just couldn’t get enough of looking out at that gorgeous water!
    There was always a place to sit in the sun or the shade for 4 people. The floaties on the chairs are a fantastic idea. We enjoyed our fair share of floating in the sea as well as the pool. The red flag service is simply divine! It’s never a big deal to get up and walk the little bit to get your own drink, but they always seemed to know just when a cold drink was needed.
    The self service area on the beach is a nice touch. All we ever got out of it was ice and water. But it was nice to know that you could mix your own drinks right there if you wanted. You just had to fight the bees! It’s to be expected I know with the sugar and all, but I made my hubby get the water 

    Drinks
    I was worried that I might miss some of the wonderful drinks, so I made a list of all the recommended drinks from the message board. Turns out, they have a huge bar menu on all of the bars, you won’t miss a thing!! I’d also heard, as we all do, that all-inclusive resorts “water down” their drinks. I never once felt that this was the case. I did notice though that if you wanted brand name liquor you do have to ask for it. That goes for the yummy yummy rum cream as well.
    My favorite drinks by the end of the week was the Red Stripe, Jamaican Smile, and the Seabreeze!! I’d recommend them all!!!
    We did try a Bob Marley, at the swim up bar, with 10 of our newest and closest friends! I agree…everyone must try one 

    The Pool(s)
    The pool was very refreshing and how we spent most of our afternoons. Beach in the morning, pool in the afternoon, best of both worlds! The water was a little cooler than the ocean, so I found it easier to be refreshed. The swim up bar was of course very convenient. I can say I never crossed the waterfall for a drink. If it was necessary, my husband always volunteered…(he’s a wonderful man), or you could usually find one of your new friends who was sitting at the bar to “buy” you a drink 
    The other pool, “scuba” pool, we only went in once. One afternoon it dumped rain for a couple of hours and we left the main pool and decided to check out the “secret” hot tub. What a gold mine! Only one other couple was in it! Pouring rain, hot tub, drinks, new friends…great way to spend a rainy afternoon! We took a dip in the scuba pool once we got too hot in the hot tub. Very nice!! I never did see anyone in it that wasn’t doing scuba though.
    Also, even though we came over to the pool after lunch, we could always find a spot for 4! Loved it!

    The Beach Grille
    YUM!! Everything they have is just YUM!!! The ranch from the salad bar to dip your fries in was delish! Loved the Jamaican ketchup! Patties were yummy! It took us a few days to figure out that that’s what was in the little case.
    We did try the rum cream on ice cream…again..YUM! My husband was addicted!

    Dinners
    When you get advice to make your dinner reservations for Otaheite as soon as you get there…you should really do that. Like I said we were very tired, we’d traveled for 26 some hours to get there, we figured we’d “do it in the morning.” Welllll…I didn’t get to have lobster at Otaheite like I wanted. Oh well, we ate at Cassava Terrace that night (a la carte) and the lobster was scrumptious! And we had the perfect seat to watch the Silver Birds, WOW!
    We ate at Heliconia 3 times, Lychee once, Otaheite once, and Cassava (a la carte) once. I can’t say I had a favorite. They were all so unique, we enjoyed it all.

    Entertainment
    We went to Thursday nights beach party…very fun! The music and the interaction was great! Plus we were seated with strangers (gasp) and made more new friends! I loved the people here. So very nice!
    The Piano Bar entertained us a couple of nights. We were blessed to be in the company of some great singers. It was very hard to stay up this late tho!
    Silver Birds are a must!

    Water Sports
    Ok..so…SAND GRAVITY…I’m pretty sure I had it before I even got there! We had grand plans of taking advantage of all water sports has to offer. We even signed up to snorkel once! We didn’t make it though. The one thing we did take advantage of was the Catamaran Cruise…twice  The first time, we had just enough time to swim to the caves and back, so we went again to enjoy the slide! Very fun, it’s a must do!

    Spa
    Hubby and I enjoyed a couples massage in the tree house one morning. It was my husbands first massage! It was incredible. Never have I felt more relaxed! Very worth it!

    The staff
    Every single staff member we encountered met my expectations of the great people I’ve heard of on these message boards. I do have to say, it seemed like there was always someone new at the bar, never did anyone remember our names or our drinks. But, I’m ok with that! We’ve got many more trips to make that happen! 

    Misc
    We went off resort on Sunday with Lenbert and did the One Love Bus Tour. We really enjoyed ourselves. I think our group was a bit less wild and crazy than others I’d seen, but we still had fun. We were pretty tired and recouping a bit. But it was nice to see the local bars and the pretty sunset. I would definitely do this again.
    We also walked down the beach to look for the Office of Nature. We only found one. We walked all the way down to the vendors with the blue tarps. Maybe we didn’t go far enough? Anyway, we did some shopping, and checked out the other resorts and counted our blessings we were staying at Couples <3
    -I brought too much sunscreen. I will say though that if you bring the spray sunscreen, you will probably go through 1 a day. The lotion lasted much longer.
    -I used bug spray one time, on the beach party night. That was the only time we were in the sand at night. Never had a bug bite. We did however, see a few people covered in bug bites.
    -I brought straws. I would do this again. There were some drinks that were served with straws. It was hit and miss.
    -The insulated cups in my opinion are a must. We drink a lot of water!
    -I’d say a beach bag is also a must
    -I brought a glasses cleaning kit for our sunglasses, very glad for this tip!
    I am one of those people that research and obsess and read everything while planning a vacation. It’s part of the fun for me! I am quite often finding my expectations to be too high when I finally arrive at my destination. This trip, however, I have to say my expectations couldn’t have been high enough. Every single one of them was exceeded. I’m in love with Couples!! I am pretty sure we are addicted. We fell into almost a depression until we decided when our next trip back “home” would be. We are going to try Tower Isle November 2015. I hope I love it as much as CN!
    Thanks for letting me relive my vacation through you! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer. I brought home the current mini bar menu, room service menu, and weekly schedule of events. 

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the family...!!!

  3. #3

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    Very nice review!! Thank you.

    Kurt and Angela
    CN 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016
    CSS 2014, 2016

  4. #4

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    Gblackledge, you sound just like us after our 1st trip in January 2012!!! We love it so much we are afraid to try even another couples!!! We have done the trading places to CSA but pretty much just walked the full length of the beach. We will be back at CN in 21 more days for trip #3!! Yes you needed to go further down the beach to find the real office of nature but now you have a reason to return!! Lol. I'd like to be the first to say, "Welcome to the addiction of Couples Resorts!"

  5. #5

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    Thanks for this thorough review. My wife and I will be at CN in March for our first visit and reports like this just heighten the anticipation!

  6. #6

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    Great Review!! That's exactly how we felt our first time to CN in 2011. Since then we've been to CTI, CSA and back to CN....and back again to CN in Oct 2015.


    Dan & Jena
    CN 2011, 2014, 2015
    CTI 2012
    CSA 2013

  7. #7

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    Great review blackledge

  8. #8

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    Thanks for giving a review! This will be our first all inclusive vacation for my husband and I as well and we'll be going to CN. Can't wait!

  9. #9

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    We love CN...going for our 5th trip this December. We keep meaning to try the others but... We did do a split one year and went to CTI. CTI is very lovely...but different. It reminded me of a stunning South Beach Miami 40's or 50's hotel. Not much of a beach but both pools are amazing. The water can be a bit choppier as well...so again we ended up at the pools more often. The staff was just as amazing and friendly. We actually spent more time in the piano bar at CTI than at CN...little more lively and it's pink so I LOVED it. They also have a great gift shop with lots Couples merch that we didn't see at CN. You will love it because the staff and of course the people that go to Couples resorts are just awesome!!!
    Holly Irvin

  10. #10

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    And another Couplesholic is made....welcome to the family. Be prepared to never be satisfied again with anything less.

  11. #11

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    We are going back in April for the 2nd time. I'm glad I found your post, I got whisked right back there! I might have to print this out and put it on the fridge! Haha! 48 & a wake up, Jamaica soon come!!!!!
    Derek & Mila

  12. #12

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    Thanks everyone! I just reread it myself, I think pinning it up on the fridge is a must! I'm happy to say, that not only are we trying CTI this coming November, but we are already booked for our return trip to CN November 2016. Pretty sure that's the definition of an addict

  13. #13

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    Thanks for the review. We have been to Couples Negril 3 times and also have been to all of the other Couples Resorts. Going to CN 10/8/15 thru 10/15/15 and then heading to CTI until 10/23/15 where we will celebrate out 25th Wedding Anniversary. Love Couples Negril were there 10/13.

  14. #14

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    Great review and info - thanks so much! We have not been yet but are searching and looking at resorts in Negril.

  15. #15

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    Great review gblackledge, and now you are a couplesholic. You will have to attend meetings on a regular basis at your favorite resort, and check in very often here on the message boards. We currently have 4 reservations in the hopper, 2 for our first love Couples Negril and 2 for our home away from home Couples Swept Away. Life is good mon!

  16. #16

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    Thanks! I have enrolled in the meetings, and am catching up here on the message boards at least 3 times a week! Sounds like I'm right on track! I am also trying to recruit new couplesaholics. Keeps me busy!!!

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