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Thread: Chill Out...

  1. #1

    Default Chill Out...

    We are repeaters to CSA and are returning next week. We have enjoyed the Couples experience and have found it to be the top in Jamaica! The staff, location, beach, food and actiivities combine to make it the best vacation ever. Thank You Couples!

    On a more serious note: After browsing this MB we have to say people need to relax a little bit and just 'Chill Out'. There appears to be an 'air of panic' on many threads: Beach Chairs, transfers, food, attire etc. This is Jamaica - Just let the experience happen. Do not over plan your trip. On arrival book a couple dinner reservations and a few activities and let your vacation begin. 'Soon Come' The pace is slow in the Islands. Let yourself slow to the Jamaican pace of life and you will be rewarded. Relax and don't sweat the small details. This in Jamaica Mon! Enjoy!
    Last edited by JandAfromME; February 1st, 2010 at 03:02 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2

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    " Do not over plan your trip "

    I have never agreed with any post more than this one, but I fear it's "too late" as we have seen this going on for a few years now. As a result, we've seen repercussions of overplanning and stressing ( and a sense of entitlement ) played out at the resorts -
    as well as at the Airport Lounge and OFTEN at the Front Desk and Concierge. I'm sorry to say that sometimes it results in people being kind of rude, especially to the Staff. ( Which makes my blood boil. Nothing will ever ruin my trips, but this kind of behavior comes close. )

    I know many of you have formed friendships and bonded through this Board and some have even gotten useful information- but there have been times, especially this last trip in Dec. 2009 that I said to myself
    "They've created a Monster with that Board" and that's just what I've observed -

    When we first went to Couples, we didn't do any investigating on the Internet or connecting with "repeaters"- we just looked at a color brochure and planned the trip. Never even went on the Orientations ( at all 4 resorts ) . That worked for us, and we continue to return.

    There are too many people with pre-trip schedules, and concerns of a specific room - when they've never been there !! (The "Chair Game" is everywhere you travel - can't get rid of that one. It's a joke and should be laughed at)

    And yes, it's Jamaica- nothing is going to go by your tight schedule - no matter how long ago you wrote it planned it and wrote it down.
    It seems like somewhere in the middle of opverplanning and REALXING would be a good place to be.

  3. #3

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    I'm so chillin, I'm wearing a p-p-p-parka.
    Ron

    Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.

  4. #4

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    Ron and Rosa,

    Everything you say is SO TRUE! It is good to see that there are still many others out there that are on still 'the same page' as we are!
    Hopefully some may heed your advice and just let their vacation happen. We should all take a moment and realize how damn lucky we are to be able to experience what a Couples vacation has to offer...

    Respect!

    Jim and Anne from Maine
    Last edited by JandAfromME; February 1st, 2010 at 04:49 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #5

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    Yes, I agree it is important not to 'over-plan'. However, "planning" does not equal "sense of entitlement" *or* "an air of panic".

    I cannot travel to a warm climate every year so, like all of my trips/vacations, I do lots of research on-line so I can be prepared for my trip.

    Being well-prepared does not turn me into some crazy person. I go with no expectations of 'extras'. However, to me, advance planning means a trip with much less stress . . . which is the whole point of a vacation. Hopefully my research will help me decide the *must-do* excursions . . . which we will enjoy when we aren't laying by the pool or on the beach . . . relaxing and reading a book (which I'll be purchasing soon and setting aside for my trip) . . .

    I won't slam those who choose to 'fly by the seat of their pants' on their vacations; please give those of us who plan the same courtesy.

  6. #6

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    I agree but to someone who hasn't been it can be overwhelming and you want to get all the facts up front. It helps to know what to expect and I think that while some seem to be in a panic the people of this board do a great job of calming fears and exciting everyone for their vacation. I think it's more excitement and anticipation than panic and overplaning. I've got over a year till my next trip and this board makes me very excited to go again. I'd rather plan it all ahead of time so when I get there I don't have any worries or questions.

    Couples brings out the best in us all.

  7. #7

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    YA MON! Every ting Irie Mon!


    ROCO!!!

  8. #8

    Default Couldn't have said it better.

    The sooner you get into Jamaica time the sooner you will enjoy yourself.

    See you in two weeks.

  9. #9

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    WandA -

    So, so true! For those of us who have been recurring occupants of our home at (insert your favorite Couples resort here) over several years, it can be certainly said that this message board is NOT your friend!

    While it is obviously a wonderful repository of information, a place to stay connected with friends, and a way to stay up to date on all things Couples, it is also, but its nature, a planning tool for many. The problem, though, is keeping expectations below the roof tiles.

    I think we Couples veterans can serve that role to a large extent. That is why I always refuse to give out our favorite room number... why I ALWAYS try to explain the logistics of room assignments... why I suggest to the brides-to-be that the Palms is NOT a reception hall for their wedding, it is a gathering place and restaurant for all Couples guests... and so on, and on, and on.

    In doing so, I'm sure some of us come off as snobbish and harsh... to which I say, "Too bad". I really am trying to be well-intentioned in helping to ensure that folks are not disappointed by impossible expectations. Does that make me unenthusiastic? Hardly!

    I'll gladly provide folks with my experiences, advice and knowledge of our favorite destination, so long as the information I provide is not interpreted as any kind of promise by Couples to deliver the impossible.

    To Jim and Anne, thanks for starting this post... it gave me a chance to smile and vent at the same time...
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  10. #10

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    I do hope that people realize that our intention is not to "Slam" other vacationers on their mode of prior planning. We do agree and certainly do alot of prior research before any trip. No "seat of our pants" travel for us ! It is fun to do and knowledge is power! All we are saying is that folks should just 'Relax Mon' and enjoy their trip...

    (It just appears that over the last couple years the MB is fostering some vacation anxiety as well as pertinent and valuable information.)

    Peace!

    Jim and Anne from Maine

  11. #11

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    "I agree it is important not to 'over-plan'. However, "planning" does not equal "sense of entitlement" *or* "an air of panic"."

    In some people, it does. I've seen and heard it in action, believe me. I know it doesn't apply to everyone, but there are always a few incidents that stand out - not going to list them here -

  12. #12

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    I'm a walking dichotomy when it comes to vacations and planning. The anal side of me (which unfortunately is the dominant one) believes in planning, planning, then more planning, as evidenced by the fact that I began my research for our 25th anniversary trip to Jamaica while we were still in our 23rd year of marriage. I pretty much had Couples picked out over a year before I booked, then officially booked the trip with more than 10 months to spare before departure.

    Of course in the interim of all this, I was gobbling up everything Jamaica and Couples related, to the point that if I so chose, there wouldn't be enough hours in the day or days in the week to do all the cool stuff there is to do. I mean, certain things we consider must-do have to be factored into our schedule to a certain point, heck that just stands to reason.

    Yet thankfully there's the spontaneous side of me. It may be the weaker of the two, but it's voice is always heard!! And because of this, I make sure to leave plenty of free time to do or not do whatever by not overbooking/overplanning. Because you never know what's going to develop once you get there. We may run across an activity for which we were previously not aware or make some nice friends who want to do this or that and would like us to join them. If our entire trip was planned out to the max, then we wouldn't be able to experience these things.

    But there is one thing we ALWAYS plan for any vacation, and that's making sure we bring a great attitude for a fun time ahead. Now this is something that should be a must for any vacationer.
    Ron

    Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.

  13. #13

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    I am definitely one who over plans but it mainly comes from excitement. However, I have booked CSS knowing that I have read about mould on sofa's, beds uncomfortable, etc I am though wise enough to appreciate that mould and damp is always a problem on islands ruled by humidity. I don't think you will ever find a bed that you love as much as your own.

    If I wanted brand spanking new then I could have chosed CTI but it was other reasons that made me choose CSS. I go with rose coloured glasses but they are bi-focal with clear glass at the top!

  14. #14

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    The best laid plans... and so on.

    While wonderful advice, the ability to "let it happen" with no planning is sometimes difficult for many to follow. I am one to not plan anything if I can help it. Drives my wife and kids crazy. One of the things I loved about CSA is that there is no need to plan anything beyond where to eat dinner. And even that isn't really necessary if you don't wish to mess with reservations or dress codes. I disagree that the message board is no friend to those who frequent its threads. True that it implies the need to worry about locations of rooms, what's in the mini bar, where are the beach chairs, and my favorite, do they have irons in the rooms. Go figure. But that is more a function of the personalities and needs of the members than an evil of the message board itself. Especially for those that have never been to a Couples resort. Let's face it, it is a lot of money for most of us to belly up for a vacation the like of which many have never experienced before. I know we fell into that category our first time. It is human nature to want to "plan" to get as much for our invested time and treasure as we possibly can. Ergo the popularity of buffet restaurants in the midwest. But I digress.

    The lucky ones, IMHO, realize soon after arrival at their Couples of choice, that simply doing nothing can be the best vacation possible. I my opinion that's what a beach is for, doing nothing but soaking up the sun and going for walks in the surf. When our friends ask what we do in Jamaica my answer is often "nothing, nothing at all". Certainly draws some strange looks. However there are those that want to make excursions and trips off the property, play golf or tennis, take a yoga class or sing at karaoke night. And these take, yes, planning. Much to the dismay of those of us that disdain such efforts for a true vacation, it is none the less a necessity for those who care to partake of such activities. So do we declare their vacation to be not adequately spent? I think not. I would assume that their opinion of our slothful days on the beach would be equally negative.

    So. Different strokes for different folks. To coin a seventies phrase. Let's not be too judgmental about how folks choose to relax. That's the idea of a vacation, to do what makes you happy.

    Oh and by the way. We did a vow renewal for our 25th anniversary on our first trip to CSA. Yes, it was planned. We had a "reception" in the Palms, right there in front of everybody. This was not planned. Of course we made a point of inviting the whole place to celebrate our 25 years with us and it turned out to be a pretty nice evening for everyone. Kind of like when they sing happy birthday at Applebees. Everyone turned to see what was going on and then went back to enjoying their dinner with no further disturbance from us. It was all good.

    To one and all, I hope your next visit to Couples is the best ever. However you decide to spend your time.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kazd View Post
    I am definitely one who over plans but it mainly comes from excitement. However, I have booked CSS knowing that I have read about mould on sofa's, beds uncomfortable, etc I am though wise enough to appreciate that mould and damp is always a problem on islands ruled by humidity. I don't think you will ever find a bed that you love as much as your own.

    If I wanted brand spanking new then I could have chosed CTI but it was other reasons that made me choose CSS. I go with rose coloured glasses but they are bi-focal with clear glass at the top!
    Funny you mention the quotes about mold on the beds, etc. Before we went to CN last November, I had read on here that you have to have your expectations set correctly....rooms not all glamour and glitz, very average, etc. So I tried to set my expectations so that we wouldn't be disappointed. When I opened the door to our room, I was VERY pleasantly surprised. This was probably the NICEST room we have ever stayed in. Now we have never stayed at any other all inclusive, never been to Mexico or DR, but when we travel we stay in nice places. Maybe not 5 star, but certainly nice places and this was by far the nicest. I think it is good though to set reasonable expectations and I think you will be pleasantly surprised that way. Though I have never been to SS, it is a Couples resort and that makes all the difference and it will be WONDERFUL. Enjoy your trip.

  16. #16

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    Well said, dirtleg.
    We made our first visit to Couples (CN) a few weeks ago. This trip was to celebrate my wife's birthday (a significant one - rhymes with nifty). I really wanted to provide her with a trip a cut above our usual vacations.

    I've been accused of over-analyzing something before making a purchase decision. That's just my nature - I want to feel that I've been fully informed so that I'm comfortable with the decision I make.

    I discovered this message board early on and, true to my nature, literally read everything pertinent to my decision. The decision to pick a Couples resort was easy - the choice of which resort was the tough one. By the time we settled on CN, I had a comfort level with my decision that would have been completely impossible without this message board. My only "worry" was if the actual experience would measure up to my expectations, which were admittedly pretty high after reading so many raves here.

    Well, after booking we began the several month waiting game. Frequent visits to this board heightened our anticipation making us even more excited about the trip.

    Once we arrived, we were not disappointed, but rather delighted even more than we expected. It wasn't that the resort was nicer or the beach prettier or even the staff more friendly than we expected. Heck, we've stayed in nicer hotels and Florida's gulf beaches are the prettiest I've seen. But this experience was different. It was more a feeling or aura of contentment about the place. I know it sounds kind of hokey, but it's hard to describe. The total Couples experience was much more than the sum of its parts. We immersed ourselves in the experience and dismissed our planned agenda. We never even left the resort property during the week to do any sightseeing - and we don't regret it.

    As soon as we got home, we started planning our next trip. This time we've picked CTI this April and have planned to do the off-site excursions. Will we do them? Don't really know and doesn't really matter. We know we'll enjoy ourselves regardless.

    Is there a point to this post? Sort of. Make your plans, read the MB frequently, fantasize, anticipate and, when the time arrives, enjoy. Don't get hung up on details though - the overall experience will make any single detail seem relatively unimportant.

  17. #17

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    My style is to research like a mad woman. I enjoy it. It makes my vacation feel longer. The thing is I never go with the expectation that I will do or see it all. Once on holiday I kick into go with the flow mood and have learned over time that stuff happens and it often leads to the most unexpected and fabulous experiences. If we feel like it, I know what there is to do and have read all about the best way to do it.

    One of my favorite afternoons at CSA last June was when Dave and I were hunkered down under the palapa of the Sunset Bar in a torrential downpour with some great people. We drank the afternoon away watching the sheets of rain in awe as the water rose around our feet and it was thrilling. Then the rain stopped on a dime, and we saw a magnificent sunset. Magic that I could not have planned.

  18. #18

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    After a number of visits, I guess you learn that planning is a pretty over-rated activity. I, too, like the rough sketch approach... meet the plane, make your connections, clear customs and immigration... then free-style it from there... well until they toss your butt out, anyway.

    I DO research the area every single trip... just to stay abreast of changes... new bars, new attractions, new rules, etc. But beyond that... toss your cares to the sea breeze and...

    Enjoy!
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  19. #19

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    " Then the rain stopped on a dime, and we saw a magnificent sunset. Magic that I could not have planned. " - This statement says it all!

  20. #20

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    Do what you want beforehand. Once you get there, just let the island vibe take you away......

  21. #21

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    I think the message board is a fairly decent tool to help the waiting process, once you book you just want to get to Couples! I look and look to find the best deals and flight times (im cheap) but I know im going to couples just a matter of which one. Once im on that plane the planning is over. I cant even make dinner reservations right when i get there because i cant plan that far ahead and i dont want to be locked into a schedule. I think the beach chair thing is by far the most ridiculous complaint on here. I dont go on vacation to wake up early and I certainly wont wake up early to reserve a chair. just sit on your towel or sit at the bar until one comes free. My wife and I fell in love with Jamacia on our honeymoon and now when we go its just us time, we just want to hang out together and enjoy each other all day long. We have gotten some valuable advice from this board and some things you just have to find out for yourself and next time youll know.

  22. #22

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    Good point!
    I love to use the MB to get people's ideas on their past experiences and be aware of little bits of info I wouldn't have known.

    But I agree, once there just relax and let things happen. You might have plans for many excursions etc. but realize you just want to chill on the beach and pool bar!

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