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  1. #1

    Default Asking all Canadians... advice..

    We travelled to another resort this year, that resembled footware Totally disappointed. We have been to CSS twice and had booked the other resort due to the price of Couples being far too high when the 2010 prices came out. We cannot book directly through the Couples site, since our most expensive part of our trip is our connector flight to Toronto. We pretty well are limited to using a Canadian Tour Operator.

    Just wondering for all the Canadians that travel to Couples, and possibly book packages through a Canadian Tour Operator - when did you book?

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamaicandaisy View Post
    We travelled to another resort this year, that resembled footware Totally disappointed. We have been to CSS twice and had booked the other resort due to the price of Couples being far too high when the 2010 prices came out. We cannot book directly through the Couples site, since our most expensive part of our trip is our connector flight to Toronto. We pretty well are limited to using a Canadian Tour Operator.

    Just wondering for all the Canadians that travel to Couples, and possibly book packages through a Canadian Tour Operator - when did you book?
    We booked our trip back in the begining of Sept. 2009, at a travel show that our Travel company host every year at the same time. This is where all the major tour companies come out and you can talk to them about what AI trips they offer and the different destinations you can go on. We found that the only way we could travel to Couples directly was to book our CN trip through the Travel agent and Air Canada..Non-stop travel 3 hours from Toronto Airport to Jamaica...If you need any other help just drop me a line

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Hi, This will be our first trip to a couples resort. We are leaving in 10 days for CSA. We used a travel agent at Sears and booked through Air Canada Vacations about 6 weeks ago. We have direct flight from Edmonton to Montego Bay. It's great not having to connect through Toronto.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default

    We booked in January but since we live near Windsor we fly out of Detroit. You might want to check that option out. You could fly out of Detroit or Buffalo. Might be worth the drive. We actually get a hotel the night before just outside the Detroit airport and we get the night and 8 days parking for the car for 89 bucks. Flight is NWA and direct return for just over 300 bucks. Booking was done at Sears. Avoid flying out of Canada as the price goes through the roof.

    The only time I would fly out of Canada is if I was flying to Cuba because of the silly rules in the states you wouldn't be able to bring much back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Hi, This will be our first trip to a couples resort. We are leaving in 10 days for CSA. We used a travel agent at Sears and booked through Air Canada Vacations about 6 weeks ago. We have direct flight from Edmonton to Montego Bay. It's great not having to connect through Toronto.

  6. #6

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    Hello fellow Canadian!
    Last year we used a Canadian Tour Operator, we booked air/hotel package in March 2009 for our trip in July 2009. This year we didn't use any Tour Operator, we booked our hotel only portion in January 2010 for our trip in August 2010. I've been watching the flight prices daily and when I saw a good deal I booked my flights just a few weeks ago. I'm not sure which part of Canada you're coming from but you might want to keep an eye on the major competitor in Canada for flights; they have a good deal going on for the paralympics, every time Canada wins a medal they put on a special. That's how I got my flight. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  7. #7

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    We are booking now for 2011, the hotel part only. Air is the most expensive part of our trip having to fly from Vancouver. It's wayyy cheaper to book the hotel and air separate. Also if you wait for a few month before your trip to book air it is usually cheaper. Also if you book your hotel during the week you can sometimes get air from Toronto Cheaper. If flying out of the US is an option you can usually save money (Some times $1000), but you need to be careful around the cost of their baggage. Hope that helps!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    257

    Default Be your own operator!

    Greetings from Midland, Ontario. We recently booked our first trip to Couples and booked our flight and accomodation seperately. We have never done this before and had always booked with an operator but because we wanted to split our two week holiday between CN and CSA we had to do things a little differently. We had some travel points from our Visa card which were very handy and we saved a lot on our flight! If you keep an eye on the airlines you can get some really great deals. Have seen as cheap as $300.00 return per person from Pearson to Montego Bay. I can honestly say that I don't know if we will ever book a package with a tour operator again...and best of all, no ridiculously early flight times. We are leaving Toronto on a Wednesday at 10:30 am...nice!

    Cheers,
    K
    Kris

  9. #9

    Default

    Are you close to a US border? We are in Fredericton, NB and fly out of Bangor -- MUCH cheaper (we are a 2.5 hr drive from Bangor).
    We book online and our favorites are Expedia.ca and selloffvacations.com

    We went to the footware one last year and were a bit disappointed too. way too much $$ for what you get. Our best friends have been to both Couples and the footware one, and say Couples is by far much better.

  10. #10

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    Hello friends,
    My husband & I are from Shediac River,NB.
    We just booked our trip for dec 2010..WE booked our land through expedia,we were luckey enought to use air miles for our flights.
    This will be our third trip to Swept away and sure to not be our last.
    our first two trips were with a travel agent.we flew out of Moncton to toronto, stop over both ways, so extra $$$$ for 2 hotels.
    From where we live the flights are very expensive to Jamaica!
    ~~Have a wonderful vacation!...Swept AWay soon come!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    688

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    We live in Kingston, Ontario, so have the option of flying out of Toronto or Ottawa, with our preference being out of Ottawa for so many reasons. For our last 2 trips, and for the one coming up in less than 3 weeks (all to Couples, by the way!), we've booked hotel and flight separately. West Jet often has flight sales on to Jamaica for as little as $200 return per person, and the hotel can be found on such sites as Travel Last Minute. We have a local travel agent who will price match whatever we find online, so we search pretty much every day for seat sales, as they are often only online for a few days at most. PLUS, you get twice the luggage allowance that you would normally get with a charter, so we can take our snorkel gear, our own floaties, etc, without fear of being overweight.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14

    Default

    try air canada caribbean vacations....they offer couples resort packages..

    did this last year; this year booked through a travel agent and ended up on a horrible charter airlines - skyservice - direct flight ottawa to montego bay.

    Luggage allowance 1/2 or regular scheduled carries and they weigh both checked and carry on bags.. leaving montego bay this feb actually saw a woman tourist paying $180 in over weight baggage fees.

    all i can say is that heavens they didnt charge me for MY over-weight in the cabin area!!!

    enjoy yur holiday... pound for pound, loonie for toonie, i still think couples is the best bargain with all inclusive almost everything of 4 or 5 star quality!!!

  13. #13

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    Long post - apologies in advance!

    Jen & I booked our first Couples trip to celebrate our 10 year anniversary last June, and we went through an Agent here in Ottawa. As we don’t travel much, we didn’t have a regular agent to deal with, so we checked on the Couples site for recommended agents, and went with one of those.

    We weren’t un-impressed with the agent we got, but we decided that our second trip, we would see what we could do to book our own way down. When Randy posted last fall about 2010 potential increases, we decided that we would book our trip right then and there. We were initially going to go through the Couples site directly; however Jen decided that she’d give our local Algonquin Travel agency a ring, just to see what they had to say.

    We did our homework, found a great deal on the resort only, and went into the Agency to chat with them, see what they had to offer. Turns out that the posted rate on the Couples site was cheaper then what the Agency’s “wholesaler” was offering, but they offer price-matching, so we ended up getting the cheaper rates through the Agency anyways…

    We recently booked our flights through Air Canada on a seat sale (got a good deal there too), and will be flying out of Toronto on the 10:30am flight.

    So we did 50/50. Hotel booked through the Agent, flights booked on our own, with advice from the agent as to when to look for deals and such.

    Some things to consider:

    1) Major tour operators (i.e. ACV) vs. Smaller charter companies.

    Many tour operators have a single Plane that they charter for various destinations in the Caribbean. They fly almost non-stop with that one single plane. They can offer some ridiculously low air fares, because they don’t have a lot of over-head for their single plane. The problem with this situation is that IF there is an issue, ANY issue at all, you will be delayed. Although this can still occur with the major airlines, it is less likely because they typically have contingency plans in place to make sure their customers arrive at their destinations on time.

    2) Travel Agents are NOT the devil!

    …However they are operating a business and you don’t operate a business unless you are making money. It’s that simple. The key is to go into any situation armed with as much KNOWLEDGE as possible. In my opinion, this rule should apply to any purchase you make, including Travel. Agents can offer you many perks or privileges that you simply will not have access to if you book things on your own. To some these perks are deal breakers, to others, they are minor details that don’t bother them. You hold the money; they hold the trip that you want. It’s up to both parties as to what the exchange will be.

    As for our personal experience booking on our own, the first thing that I noticed when booking our airfare for our trip in November, as that there were only a certain number of seats available on the plane. At first this was a bit confusing, because the flights had JUST been posted the day before. I thought, there’s just no way that this flight is already half sold out… The reason the plane was half full, is because the airlines will reserve certain sections of the plan for Travel Agents or pre-packaged trips. If you book through an Agent, you will have access to these seats. If you book alone through the airline directly, you will not.

    3) Travelling out of the US is an option, and one that will likely save you a good bit of money if you are willing to do some pre-travel travelling. Most of us live within 100kms of the American border, ourselves included. Travelling out of the US had not even crossed my mind when we booked our upcoming trip, but it will be something we look into for any future trips. The savings are just too great to ignore… Yes, it’s a bit more work on your part, but the cheaper you can make it for yourself, the more often you can go!



  14. #14

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    We are from Moncton, NB., we booked our CSA vacation for April 2010 in September 2009 from a canadian tour operator. I have been checking the prices often and I do believe we have gotten the best price possible so far. I think for Couples resorts (from my part of the country), booking early offers the best prices.

  15. #15

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    Have a fantastic time!
    Greta&Paul..Shediac River,
    WE will be back to Swept Away in Dec!..can't wait!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    32

    Default

    2 years ago we went to CN we book with a travel agent with a direct flight from Calgary but had to fly home via Toronto. She was cheaper than any place on the net that we could find.( we always book 10day trips)
    We are looking at booking CN again for 2011 Jan. right now ExpEdia but we have to fly from calgary to Toronto and the same back.
    westjet and aircanada vacations cannot even come close to the price for expidia
    will be checking with our AMA travel agent

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    277

    Default

    We went to CN last October from Edmonton. We had to fly Edmonton->Toronto->Montego Bay as there are only direct flights from Edmonton during certain times of the year. We booked hotel and flights separate as we were using airmiles. We are returning again in November of this year and once again we will have to fly from Toronto. However, in doing research, it is waaay cheaper to book hotel and flight separate, especially with the specials that Couples offers and the fact that the CDN dollar is almost par with USD. We are booking this weekend to take advantage of the Couples Special....cannot wait....I miss "Home"

  18. #18

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    We are from Eastern Ontario and booked CN in 2008 through an online travel agency and flew out of Montreal.

    In 2009 we booked CN directly through Couples via Ottawa simply because we wanted to stay an extra day.

    This year we booked CSS through Couples but this time booked the flights separately via Westjet leaving Toronto. We had planned to book December 5th for 10 days but delayed our departure by one day and saved approx. $300 / person simply due to the fact that it is cheaper to fly out and return during a week day versus a weekend. The money we saved bought us two extra days.

    Bottom line... we find 7 days not long enough and by booking the room through Couples we have more flexibility in our length of stay and are able to book flight times we prefer.
    Last edited by Smiles&Chuckles; March 22nd, 2010 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Just to clear things up a bit...

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