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  1. #1

    Default First time to Jamaica

    My wife and I will make our first trip to Jamaica Jan 8th-15th. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary. Looking forward to it very much. We are staying at CN. Any tips to make our stay better?

  2. #2


    We will be there the same time you are next January. This will be our 4th trip to Couples Negril. We have also stayed at CSS and CTI and visited CSA. We honeymooned at CN in 2006 (in our 50s), knowing very little about the resort. We had the best vacation of our lives. You really donít need to know anything in advance, but here are some tips:

    1) Before you go, read the FAQs on the web site:

    2) Sign up for Romance Rewards now. Then youíll be able to visit Couples Swept Away for a day if you want to. You may not want to leave the resort, but in case you do, if you are a member of Romance Rewards, youíll be able to, free of charge. And, if you are a member of Romance Rewards, you will get some perks on your next trip to a Couples Resort (and you will definitely want to return)

    3) Check out the Activities list for the things you may want to do at the resort while youíre there.

    4) As soon as you get a chance, go to the Guest Relations desk in the lobby and see what you need to sign up for in advance that you want to do. Definitely reserve a supper at the fine dining restaurant (Otaheite). You will need to check the dress code before you leave so you will be prepared when you get there. Men must wear long pants, dress shoes and a collared shirt. You may need to sign up in advance for the shopping trip and a couple other things at the Guest Relations Desk.

    5) The Helliconia Italian Restaurant is fantastic! They also have an Asian restaurant if you like that type of food. Donít miss the poolside buffets and be sure to sample a lot of the Jamaican food. Get a Jerk burger, chicken or pork from the Beach Grill.

    6) As soon as you get a chance, go to the water sports hut on the beach and see what they have to offer. You need to sign up in advance for many things like scuba, snorkeling and glass bottom boat and the Catamaran Cruise. The water skiing is also included.

    7) Donít miss the Cat CruiseÖitís the best! It is a big boat that you get down inside of, so your good camera is safe to take. You wonít need any shoes, just your swim suit, a beach towel and your camera.

    8) The Hobie Cat sail boats are a blast. They give lessons each morning and it only takes a few minutes to learn how to do it. Itís really easy and a whole lot of fun. Then you can take one out whenever one is available (if the weather hasnít caused a red flag day, which is very rare in Negril).

    9) I would suggest no more than one day of of-site tours if you are only staying there for a week. Go to the Tour Desk in the lobby and see what they have to offer. These tours are not included with the price of your room, so you will have to pay extra for them. We always take the trip to Rickís Cafť for $15 each. Itís kind of touristy, and some people donít like it, but everyone should go at least once. It leaves about 4:00 PM and returns after the sunset about 7:00 PM, so you donít miss much time at the resort.

    10) Spa services are also extra, but a 30 minutes Couplers Massage is a must do. The Spa is really the only place on the resort that you can tip. You should tip the people on the off-site tours and the drivers, including the airport transfer drivers.

    11) Please donít try to tip the employees because they are not allowed to accept tips and they can be fired for doing so. They are so friendly, wonderful and helpful that you will want to tip them, but donít. The best way to tip them is to get their names (they wear name tags) and write their names on the comment card as you check out. Raises and promotions are based partially on these comments.

    12) Be sure to save a lot of time for just lying on the beach and playing in the ocean. The average high temperature in January for Negril is 82 and the average low for the night is 72, so you really donít need a jacket, however the air conditioning in the Piano Bar can freeze you out if youíre planning on spending your evenings in there.

    13) If you plan on any shopping trips or off-site excursions, call your credit card company before you leave and tell them the dates of you trip. If you donít you card most likely will be refused in Jamaica by the fraud alert division of your credit card company. You should do this even if you donít plan on using it in case of a medical emergency. And, get trip insurance. Even if you didnít get it when you booked the trip, get it now. You just wonít get the pre-existing condition benefit. In three trips to Jamaica, we used our trip insurance on two of those trips. Once for an airline delay and once for a minor medical issue.

    14) No need to convert your US$ to Jamaican money because they all take US$ in Jamaica. I am speaking of the beach vendors and the shops in town. Also, bring small bills, because at the shops in town, you will probably get your change back in Jamaican money. They love US $2 bills too, so we always get a bunch of those.

    15) Be sure to talk to the Jamaicans you meet including the staff. Ask them about their country and their families. If you treat them like you treat your friends, they will become your friends. They usually donít start the conversation, in case you want to be left alone, but they are a very friendly people once you get them started.

    Iíd tell you to have a great time, but I already know you will!
    Last edited by Wally; October 22nd, 2010 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Typos
    <font size=2>
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015, CN 2016, CN 2018, CN2019

  3. #3


    I have to say it, "May the Schwartz be with you." Since you are celebrating your 25th, I'm hoping you get the Mel Brooks reference.

    Welcome to the Couples family! I think the key thing to remember is that like most of the Caribbean, Jamaica operates on a more leisurely time frame. Once you get to the resort, slow down, relax, and adjust to Jamaica time.

    If you've never snorkeled before, do take advantage of the included snorkeling trips to try it.

    If you've never been to an AI before, have a Mimosa for breakfast. Better yet, make a rum and orange juice from your minibar before breakfast! Of course, this explains why we never make it past 10:00 at night at Couples.

  4. #4


    In response to First Time in Jamaica. You won't need any tips on how to make your stay better. From the first moment you arrive you feel like a king & queen. Everyone is so professional and helpful. They make you feel right at home. My husband and I have visiting CN for over 9 yrs now and we keep coming back. We have even stayed other places, but always come back home. You will truly have a wonderful time and you are going at a good time. The weather will be better. Now it is rainy season there. Enjoy your stay and please post your comments when you get home. My husband made his own flag (drink flag)and tries to put it up when we come home, only I tell him, he will need to tip me, ig time tip.So he gets up and gets his own drink. You will see what I am talking about once you arrive and go to the beach. They hand out flags for you to put up when you need a drink.

  5. #5


    just relax and enjoy

  6. #6


    Bring lots of sun screen, check your worries at the door, and prepare to fall in love all over again..

  7. #7


    All I can say is my husband and I went to CN to celebrate our 25th anniversary and loved it SO much, we go back every year! You really don't need any tips. Just relax and enjoy. The place is magical!

  8. #8


    My hubby and I went for a late honeymoon in March to CN. You will have an amazing time as long as you just relax and enjoy! I wil warn you the airport in Montego Bay was very busy. Getting through customs took some time and after the flight I just wanted to be there. But once through customs we got our bags quickly, took a potty break in the lounge, got a beer and some waters and were on our way! The best part is you can be as involved or as private as you want. We never felt pressured to do games or anything, but by the last few days we were involved and wish we had from the beginning.!

  9. #9


    Congratulations on your 25th.

    No problemsÖ.. Go and enjoy each other and relax. Iím sure you earned it.

    Life is good

  10. #10


    For the airplane/airport....

    Bring 2 Blue or Black pens. Fill out the form the flight attendant give you and BE SURE TO LOOK AT THE BACK AND THE FRONT OF THE FORM. Complete this before you land, and you'll be better able to zip through customs.

    For the Resort.....

    Apply more sunscreen than you think you need.

    Drink PLENTY of water (more than you think you need to). You don't want to get dehydrated and miss ANY of your time in paradise!

    Relax and Enjoy, and Happy 25th!!

  11. #11


    Just returned from a wonderful stay. This was our first time and certainly not our last! We were traveling with three other couples and we all agreed it was a blast! We had so much fun just lying around the beach and pool we never did ANY of the water sports! This is so unusual for us, partly because we usually travel together with our families and this time is was just the adults. All we wanted to do was relax, have some island drinks and laugh our days away! At nighttime, we did the piano bar after a late dinner (we never made it to our rooms until after 6 ever day to shower and get ready for dinner!). We sang along to piano man and the karioke, danced our behinds off on the dance nights. In fact, we closed the place (the romantics probably all went to bed early - LOL). We played water volleyball and felt so at home it was uncanny! I arranged the trip (I am a travel agent) so I knew and had done lots of research. You will have a great time - Guaranteed!
    Oh and by the way, 3 of the four couples just celebrated our 25th this year! Happy Anniversary to you too!

  12. #12


    Wow! Thanks for all the responses - This is great. We are so looking forward to being there

  13. #13


    Wally, Well done! +1

  14. #14

    Default Perfect replys

    Wow, 7 responses and you got all the info you will need.

    We also will be there forour 9th or 10th trip, we lost count. we arrive on Jan 1 and leave jan 15th. Look for us anytime by the volleyball court.

    1. Dont let the airport get you down, you are arriving on a Saturday the busies day at the airport, prepare for 2 hours to get tothe lounge once off the plane. That is ahassle,but the only hassle till the following day leaving from the same airport.

    2. Enjoy the ride to the resort, remember they have different methods of driving than in the states, dont worry. I have not seen or heard of an accident with the buses going to couples.

    3. Once on the resort, relax,enjoy but remember JAMACIA TIME, no worries mon. May wait a little longer for service than you expect at home, but its much friendlier service than you get at home also.

    4.Couples is not a glitsy flasky AI, its a liad back romantic get away, enjoy as such.

    5. the best part, in our opinion, is you can make it what you want, if you want tobe alone for 7 days there is plenty of room for just you two. If you want to be socialable and make friends, that is easy to do also.

    Look us up, we are the socialable type

    Steve & Cindy

  15. #15


    Make sure you have a few one-dollar bills handy when you get to the Couples lounge at the MBJ airport; you'll need them to tip the porters taking your bags to the shuttle ($1 per bag). Enjoy a Red Stripe or soft drink at the lounge, but not too much because it's a 90-minute shuttle ride around curves and up and down hills. If you have any motion problems, take half a dramamine before the shuttle ride. We generally tip the driver $10, unless he's gone above and beyond. The only other CN-associated people you're allowed to tip are at the spa. The couples massage is incredible.
    You've already done the best thing you can do to maximize your Jamaica experience, by booking a week at Couples.
    Another great part of CN is the sing-along at the Piano Bar. We love Paul!
    I highly recommend the glass-bottomed boat ride, as well as the snorkeling.

  16. #16


    Wally, you did such a wonderful job with the tips. I would also like tips for CTI. I noticed that u have also been there. I would love for my tips to CTI to be as detailed as the ones for CN. I eagerly await your reply. Thank you in advance.

  17. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by spice505 View Post
    Wally, you did such a wonderful job with the tips. I would also like tips for CTI. I noticed that u have also been there. I would love for my tips to CTI to be as detailed as the ones for CN. I eagerly await your reply. Thank you in advance.
    All my advice (except for number 5) goes for all Couples Resorts. We didn't care for CTI, so we went back home to CN after two days there. It was too much like a hotel and not a resort. I can't recommend any restaurants because ewe didn't like either of the ones we ate at. The breakfast and lunch buffets at CN are much, much better than CTI. I wouldn't recommend the Cat Cruise at CTI either. We got bussed into Ocho Rios and the cruise went out into the ocean. It wasn't relaxing at all like CN's is. The anniversary party was fantastic. We were surprised when the regular CTI guests commented on the level of service at the meal because that was the service level we had been accustomed to at CN all the time.

    My advice, if you want to stay near Ocho Rios, is to go to CSS. Now that is a real resort!!!
    <font size=2>
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015, CN 2016, CN 2018, CN2019

  18. #18


    Two more minor suggestions.

    One with regard to 'where do we eat tonight'? Make a point of going to the entry-way of the Cassava Terrace Restaurant each morning to look at the menu's for all of the restaurnts - then pick where you want to eat that night. We made the mistake of picking Lychee on the "Lobster" night and hubby was not pleased that he missed a Lobster buffet! Oops. You should also check the buffet lunch at the Terrace to see if they're doing something you really want before you plunge into the fine grilled food at the beach grill. Again, we were not happy when we were munching on burgers (good burgers though) and one of friends came back from the Terrace with carved Turkey! So much food .... so little time.

    For the rooms - I'm not sure about the time you will be there, we were there in October. Jamaica is a TROPICAL paradise - the tropics are not only hot but wet. Therefore things don't dry well. Paper products especially will feel somewhat damp in your room (not too damp to use - just slightly damp) and clothes that are very wet may not dry. Wrap your suits up in towels and step on them to get as much dampness out as possible then hang them outside on the patio/balcony railing. If you bring multiple suits you might want to bring a "portable" clothesline to hang more stuff.

    All the other suggestions were right on the money. Relax, enjoy, and let the mood swing you to the beach/sea ofr relaxing bonding time with hubby or to the watersports shack for something a little more exciting. Certainly get to know the staff - a more genuinely happy group of people you will not find at any resort anywhere.

    Last - I'm envious because I have to wait until next October to go back although hubby is making noises about going in May No arguements from me mon!

  19. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    The breakfast and lunch buffets at CN are much, much better than CTI.
    You're nuts buddy. If anything, I'd give the edge to CTI in both the breakfast and lunch buffets, altho I wouldn't say whatever edge they hold is significant. A bit more variety, but quality-wise, about even.

    Your bias is out of whack at times and it often distorts your opinions, such as what I copied above.

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

  20. #20


    Here is an older thread for suggestions of what to take:

  21. #21


    Quote Originally Posted by schwarz View Post
    Any tips to make our stay better?
    Thiis may not be politically correct, but...

    In Jamaica, many people will try to sell you many different things. Sometimes the thing offered for sale may offend your sensibilities. They will not find it the least bit traumatic if you politely say "No Thankyou".

    You shouldn't either.

  22. #22


    I agree with Wally on the food. I didn't think the buffets at CTI stood up to the buffets at CN. And the Thai restaurant at CN way outshines the one at CTI. We really prefer CN over CTI.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  23. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradojuli View Post
    I agree with Wally on the food. I didn't think the buffets at CTI stood up to the buffets at CN. And the Thai restaurant at CN way outshines the one at CTI. We really prefer CN over CTI.
    Thank you, Juli!!!
    <font size=2>
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015, CN 2016, CN 2018, CN2019

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