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  1. #1

    Default The Random Thoughts of a Recent Repeater at Tower Isle

    My husband and I visited Couples Tower Isle in April 2012 for our honeymoon (a year delayed). You can read that review here. For our five-year anniversary, we decided to go back and bring along 3 other couples -- two of whom had gone to CTI on their honeymoon (One 15 years ago, another in 2013) and a duo of newbies.

    Some random thoughts from the week:

    - First things first, we love CTI and we will be back. So any somewhat-negative musing I have is NOT enough to stop us from returning!

    - Club Mobay: We booked this a couple weeks before traveling after I did a lot of research on whether it was worth it. We arrived at 11:30 a.m. on a Saturday. SO WORTH IT. I don't know how much time we saved, but it was awesome to just walk past everyone waiting in line. We left on a Friday and there wasn't any line, but I didn't mind having the opportunity to have a couple glasses of red wine before boarding the plane home -- it helped me fall asleep just as the plane was taking off. One note: The food is not great, though it tided us over until dinnertime.

    - Minibar issues: They've stopped automatically restocking the minibar. We don't go through enough liquor in a week to need refills there, but we ran out of glasses every single day. They were never restocked unless we called the front desk, and that was annoying. I also really like club soda (plain), particularly in the morning, and had to call multiple times throughout the week to get that restocked as well (no place I could get it before the bar opened at 10 a.m.).

    - Room: We booked a Deluxe Ocean View. During pre-check-in, I requested a higher floor (we were on the first floor previously). We were in room 4205, which had a nice view of the island and the swim-up bar. The only time it was noisy was the first night when we could hear music from a wedding on the island.

    - Trading Places: We went to San Souci on Wednesday, as none of us had been there before. I had done SO much research that I knew it ran from 10-4, so when we booked, I didn't even ask the time and the guest services rep didn't volunteer it. Our group arrives at 9:55, to find that the shuttle had left at 9:45. Guest services called over to CSS, which said they could accommodate us (I guess other guests got on the bus when we didn't show -- there were about 14 of us on the bus ride back). However, we were going to have pay $10 a couple for a taxi. We agreed, but as we were waiting, I visited the Couples website to make sure I wasn't crazy (I swear, I wasn't trying to prove anything, I just wanted to know why I thought I had the right time). It did say 10 a.m., so I showed it to Guest Relations and, very nicely, they paid for our taxi because she agreed that it was confusing. Great service! We laughed, however, as we were waiting for our bus to the airport on Friday and at 10:15, they were still calling for guests for the bus to CSS.

    - CSS itself: So beautiful. Lovely nooks and crannies. Gorgeous, calm sea (CTI was pretty choppy all well). But, holy moly, that place is quiet! I've seen CTI kind of referred to as "the party resort," and I thought all those people were crazy. But, when you're comparing it to CSS, CTI is DEFINITELY a party. I'm so glad we visited, though I don't think we'll return. I also preferred the food at CTI, though I know I had limited access to CSS' options.

    - Island: Not much to say -- we visited twice; I was much more comfortable this time than I was in 2012 (despite being 30 vs. 26 and having had a baby in the meantime). We did eventually get the rest of the group over there, though our time spent was limited.

    - Activities/service: This was perhaps the most peculiar of the stay. We arrived on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon, we were questioning the level of service. No one seemed to make an attempt to learn our names, no one seemed overly happy, and scheduled activities (volleyball, jewelry-making) just weren't happening. We were disappointed. Then, on Monday, the A-listers came in! I don't think the entertainment staff was there over the weekend, and it made a HUGE difference when they (and perhaps some other superstar employees) arrived. I mentioned it to Raquel, and she said they had some sort of big event on the Friday previous and the staff was recovering. So, who knows. But, luckily, things picked up and returned to the Couples service we know and loved.

    - Spa: Husband and I opted for Couples Massage. Nothing to say except it was amazing. It was $250, plus we tipped $20 for each therapist.

    - Random food and drink thoughts: I loved getting a glass of fresh juice from the veggie bar and then taking it to a bar to have the bartender add vodka or coconut rum. Bayside was probably the best dinner we had. The staff was always very accommodating for a group of 8, when most tables are set up for a max of 6.

    - Random Internet thoughts: To communicate between the group (3 couples were in block 4, but one had a premiere room in block 2), the ladies used Facebook messenger (one didn't have an iPhone, so we couldn't use iMessenger), and that was very convenient.

    - Scuba: My husband did the intro class on our last day. We recalled that in 2012 (and our friends in 2013 thought the same) that the first ocean dive was part of the free watersports, but this time, each person had to pay $50 for an ocean dive -- so the free scuba is in the pool only. He happily paid the $50, but it's a bit misleading, perhaps, to indicate free scuba when you can't actually go in the ocean for free. My terrible memory, though, means that perhaps it was the same deal a few years back and I just don't remember that.

    I think this is long enough, yes? It was a great trip and when, on the last morning, I asked the newbie friends if the resort lived up to the hype of us all talking about it for the previous year, they said "absolutely." We'll be back.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjc5032 View Post

    - Scuba: ...each person had to pay $50 for an ocean dive -- so the free scuba is in the pool only.
    Interesting. Maybe there has been a change? We have done the intro to scuba class twice at CN, no charge for the dive.

  3. #3

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    Hmmm the intro dive was still free last year. Will see first hand in 16 days

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Interesting. Maybe there has been a change? We have done the intro to scuba class twice at CN, no charge for the dive.
    When did you last do it? We definitely got charged; I saw it on our final bill.

  5. #5

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    This Is directly from the FAQ page on this site. If you paid $50.00 I would be questioning it. How did you pay? Cash or on your bill at the end?

    All Couples Resorts properties offer scuba diving use of all of our PADI certified equipment, which is included in your stay. We also offer a resort course and introductory dive—all complimentary. Please remember your diver certification cards to enjoy full diving privileges.

  6. #6

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    I have done the intro dive and CSA and no additional charge. Hmmmm.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffin View Post
    This Is directly from the FAQ page on this site. If you paid $50.00 I would be questioning it. How did you pay? Cash or on your bill at the end?

    All Couples Resorts properties offer scuba diving use of all of our PADI certified equipment, which is included in your stay. We also offer a resort course and introductory dive—all complimentary. Please remember your diver certification cards to enjoy full diving privileges.
    We paid on our final bill on the end. When we signed up, my husband was told the introductory dive was in the pool. We all thought it was really weird, but it wasn't the water sports guy asking for cash up front; we paid Couples.

  8. #8

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    I know there is an additional $50 charge for each extra dive after the Discover Scuba dive (assuming you are not certified). Maybe he went twice?

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    My brother in law did pay $50, but that was only because he wanted an additional dive after his initial complimentary dive. My guess is that you were charged in error.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer_Suds View Post
    I know there is an additional $50 charge for each extra dive after the Discover Scuba dive (assuming you are not certified). Maybe he went twice?
    He did not go twice, and he wasn't the only one charged (another friend in another cabin was also charged). Maybe I'll shoot an email over to Couples to check in.

  11. #11

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    Yeah, you should inquire about the charge. That is very strange indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by kjc5032 View Post
    He did not go twice, and he wasn't the only one charged (another friend in another cabin was also charged). Maybe I'll shoot an email over to Couples to check in.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridgeata View Post
    Yeah, you should inquire about the charge. That is very strange indeed.

    I decided to do that...and I got a couple of responses saying that he must have done a private dive after the complimentary introductory dive, and when I tried to explain that he didn't, I haven't gotten a response.

    Oh, well .... note to others, if you get a bill for scuba diving, double-check that it's correct! Luckily, my husband feels like he would have $50 for it no matter what, so he's not perturbed. I'm a little irritated, but not enough to make a stink!

  13. #13

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    I'm sure it was a simple mistake. I personally would ask for a reimbursement, it's not making a stink. I'm sure they will rectify the situation if you ask.

  14. #14

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    All sorted! The charge was in error. They had his name down twice, indicating he did two dives, but when they looked into it, found there was no paperwork for the second dive. They are refunding the cost! Thanks, guys, for assuring me that I wasn't crazy about thinking that it was incorrect...

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