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  1. #1

    Default Group Atmosphere Question

    I want to ask before booking. And this is probably the best forum to do so...

    We are looking into booking a group to come. It won't be too large, but we want to celebrate a 10 year anniversary with friends (couples). All in our 30's/40's. I want to know the overall atmosphere. We want to relax, but also have fun. Do people drink a lot? Get crazy? Dance? Not like spring break madness, but let loose and maybe have a hangover the next day type of fun? Like I said, we don't want to book the wrong place, but the couples resorts include so much and look so amazing. We just don't want to arrive looking to let loose a few days and have it be nothing like we expected.

    Does the piano bar get fun? People stay up late? How is the pool during the day?

    Any insight people can provide is appreciated.

  2. #2

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    I think it depends on the individuals.

    I can relax, or I can be active.
    I can drink water, or I can drink rum.
    I can go to bed early, or go to the Piano bar.

    Likewise, you'll find a mix of everything at any of the Couples resorts. Some people will sit on the beach and read a book for most of the day, others will hang around the swim-up bar and pound beers all day.

    Your vacation will be what you make of it, and who you choose to vacation with. We have a couple friends we would bring to Couples with us on vacation, we have others we wouldn't even JOKE about bringing to Couples with us.

  3. #3

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    mrssloppy,
    Opinions on this board vary, everyone has a favorite Couples resort (I'm a CN guy). Don't put too much into any one opinion, but certainly consider the group input on this and other threads and go with whatever feels right to you. The one thing I think all of us agree on is that there is no one "best" Couples site...the good news is that you can't make a bad choice.

    Note: I have NOT stayed at CTI.

    Spring Break: don't worry about that. One outcome of the "couples only" model is that it removes the "meat market/frat house" party scene from the mix. The Couples clientele tends to be (not a rule, but a tendency) mature adults looking to get away and relax. It's usually a relatively laid back scene, but you can find the energy/activity if you want that (beach volleyball at CN & CSA...haven't seen that at CSS, pool bar shenanigans, piano bar sing along fun, etc.). One note: "mature adults" does in no way imply a Hedo thing...that is not a Couples thing. Occasionally there will be a group that is rowdier/louder than I prefer, but I refuse to let that impact my good time. I will just go where they are not. (Note: I accept full responsibility that at times, I may have been "that guy". Apologies to anyone who has been in the CN piano bar during sing-along with me.)

    Pool Bar: CN is generally considered the best pool and pool bar. I think the CSS pool bar is quite nice, too. I remember a drink or two (make it three or four) at the CSA pool bar, but I don't recall hanging there much or feeling compelled to.

    Beach: CSA and CN.

    Night life: the CSA piano bar was the most active and lively that I have seen. CN piano bar has great sing-along and also Donnavon Dalrymple (beach performer) performing a few nights a week. We are big Donnavon fans and would not miss a chance to spend some time with him - he is joy personified. I recall CSS having entertainment in the Balloon Bar. But the reality for us is that we go to Jamaica for the daytime. Early to bed/early to rise, our day usually goes like this: in-room breakfast #1>exercise>buffet breakfast #2 (how great is it to have the opportunity for breakfast #2? )>Dirty Banana at 10:00 when the bar opens>beach>water sports (if we are up to it)>cocktails>pool>cocktails>beach>cocktails>cockt ails>dinner>cocktails>sleep>repeat. Based upon that, you can assume that "let loose and maybe have a hangover the next day type of fun" is the norm (well, it is in my world).

    The first time we went to Couples (CN), we left with both of us feeling "meh" (it was us...made a few travel mistakes, let it get into our heads). We knew we could do better. Trip 2 floored us, it was great. 12 will be to CN in December, then 13 in April 2017. Reading here, you will find repeaters who have lapped us a few times...that alone speaks to the Couples experience.

    Read, consider the input from here and elsewhere...then go have your vacation and HAVE FUN! (and make sure to report back after)
    Last edited by Bert; August 26th, 2016 at 02:58 PM.

  4. #4

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    I'll give my thoughts on Couples Negril as I have been there 3 times. The other resorts may have a different vibe. What resort are you considering?

    Do people drink a lot? Yes. But I have rarely witnessed the falling down drunk or getting sick drunk.
    Get crazy? No, not really. There will be some loud groups and lots of laughter, but not the rowdy stuff that I think you are asking about.
    Dance? not much dancing at CN. But there have been reports of hangovers.
    Does the Piano bar get fun? The piano bar can get fun, but it depends on the mix of guests at that particular night/week. You sound like you would up the party level a little bit, and that would be welcome, IMO.
    People stay up late? This can vary day to day and week to week. For myself the days of sun, sand and fun wear me out and I'm not much for staying up past midnight.
    How is the pool during the day? The pool bar is the social hub of the resort. That is where you go to meet other guests. The bar area can get a little crowded on occasion but the main pool area has plenty of room.

  5. #5

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    Well let me try to give this a go. Couples is designed for couples in love first and foremost. It is not a huge party place but there is fun to be had. It is not a drunken bash, it is a more reserved lets have fun but respect each other. Do party groups come to this resort chain? Yes, but I think it bothers those who come to relax and reconnect with their loved one. YMMV and others may have a different opinion.

  6. #6

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    I can answer about Couples Tower Isle (CTI)

    Do people drink a lot? Some do, but like you said "Not like spring break madness, but let loose and maybe have a hangover the next day type of fun"
    Get crazy? It is a resort for "couples" so getting crazy isn't the norm. Not to say that it doesn't happen now and then, most people are respectful.
    Dance? I can't remember what nights but there is a band that you can dance to and the night club opens up a 10pm I believe and closes when the last person leaves.
    Does the piano bar get fun? Usually it is fun when there are a bunch of people there. You already have a group going so I'm sure you will enjoy it there.
    People stay up late? Most don't. We try to stay up late but the drinking, sun, food and salt air seem to sap your energy. Good luck with that!
    How is the pool during the day? Always fun? Try the one on the island in the afternoon.

    What ever resort you choose you will not be disappointed in. We are repeaters (5 times) but there are many repeaters well over 20 times and some over 70 times. My advise is: Try to meet other guests outside of your group. In every trip we have always met great people and because of that made each trip a memorable one. The staff is one of the best things about Couples and one of the main reasons why we return. We are treated better here than anywhere else. They are always willing to take that extra step to make sure you are happy.
    CTI - 07, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21

  7. #7

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    I think you will be fine to go as a group. We are in our late 40's early 50's and we usually travel to CN with one another couple and then meet a another couple or two s while we are there and hang out with them. You can for sure, relax and have fun! Some people drink more than others, but you don't see too many acting crazy. Dance - yes! Piano Bar - does gets fun, with dancing, karaoke, games, etc.! My experience is if I get a hangover it usually only after the first night, because I are so happy to actually be there, I may drink a little more than normal!
    Hope this helps!!!
    We are heading back to CN October 12th for the 4th time!

  8. #8

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    Speaking for CSA, as that is our Couples home:

    The swim up bar at the Great House pool gets livelier as the day goes on. After lunch things usually begin to pick up. Most of the afternoon there is a party going on with some of it groups, some of it just couples that join in. It gets a bit rowdy at times, but not "crazy". Folks interested in relaxing tend to stick with the beach.
    Night entertainment can go late if you want. Palms has live entertainment of some type most nights and ends around 10:30. The piano bar runs around the same hours so you probably have to pick one or the other on a given evening. You can then head to the Aura lounge, a nightclub atmosphere with recorded music and a DJ keeping things going. Lots of dancing and a bar. Stays open "till the last guest leaves". Neat place for late night entertainment for a group. Also the Cabana grill is just downstairs for a stop off for late night munchies.

    Have fun, respect others and your group will a great time.
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  9. #9

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    We just got back last month from CSS, which there was a larger group due to a wedding. There really was no issues with having group there as long as all couples. Drinking, there is allot of that, starting as soon as the bars open. But with being mature adults, did not see a single tumbling person totally smashed out (though it seemed like Jamaica as a whole tried with me on the first day after exiting a plane with an itinerary.. lol). Getting crazy, not really. Most crazy was people having a great time doing pool volleyball. Dancing, the event person as CSS was great at getting people up and dancing with the live music (normally about 9:30). And he himself was an amazing dancer which came helpful for the 80% horrible dancing guys so the ladies could actually dance. But by 9:30pm after drinking since 10am, even myself, whom does not dance, was up and dancing. But we are talking reggae, not crazy club dancing. Piano sign-along was fun, not overly crazy or anything. At CSS I would say mix up late and not. We where up until 1am or so most nights, and there were other people also. But was not crazy parties, etc. Was enjoying good music, taking it all in, having good cocktails. Pools, lol. Now, with a group, that could be adventurous and you will learn allot more about your friends than you ever though. CSS has two swim up pool bars. The one on the main beach mainly had allot of the younger newer couples. Just married or only couple years together. So mostly in mid 20's to mid 30's. SSB has an amazing swim up bar which is much more laid back and sociable, with almost daily games of pool volleyball. Honestly my wife and I hung out at that pool/bar 70%+ of the time after we did it.

    I'm sure none of us are really helping for choosing which resort to choose since everyone loves the one they go to. But again, everyone loves the one they go to, so they should all be good. If you have more questions, just let us know.
    Jason (mbjnt) and Heather (hetoepfer82)
    Sans Souci 2016, (July 2017)

  10. #10

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    I can only speak for CN, 152 days until trip #8, the piano bar is fun with the right people. If they don't care how bad or good they sing, me included, I'm a lousy singer. The pool bar is a great place to hang out and meet people. Do some get drunk? Absolutely. There were some days I had no idea what happened. Hangovers? Sure, I had quite a few. The people there will be as you want them to be. If you want to meet people, they are very friendly. If you want to stay in your own group, that will be respected as well.

    Duane & Mary

  11. #11

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    I can answer for CSA primarily, but also been to CTI and CSS. I've also worked in the resort industry for a dozen years. Couples is just that. Couples. It's not a group destination. It's not a wild party destination. It's not a get wild and crazy and disturb the couples who come there by drinking a lot and whooping and hollering out by the hot tub at night destination.

    No, I'm not an old fuddy-duddy, and yes, this is MY opinion (not that of others). I think if you're looking for a place to go as a group, you should consider a more group-friendly resort. Everyone...especially you and your group...will be happier!

  12. #12

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    Thanks all for the input so far.

    I was looking more into CN or CSA as we want to take advantage of the Negril beaches.

    We are definitely a fun group (I should note we are WI folks - haha). Can we get rowdy? Of course. Are we disrespectful? No. I guess I am concerned more about disrupting couples that were there for a peaceful time. While we want that too, of course, there may be days/nights where we have a little more fun then others while over indulging. I mean, all inclusive tends to lend itself to drinking a weee-bit to much. Even if you are on your "romantic honeymoon" there are times you want to let loose too.

    I have read many other boards and review sites trying to decide between CN and CSA - but that's an entirely different topic. I know you can't make a wrong choice, but I want to pick the best one for us! Such a big decision! LOL

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrssloppy View Post
    Thanks all for the input so far.

    I was looking more into CN or CSA as we want to take advantage of the Negril beaches.

    We are definitely a fun group (I should note we are WI folks - haha). Can we get rowdy? Of course. Are we disrespectful? No. I guess I am concerned more about disrupting couples that were there for a peaceful time. While we want that too, of course, there may be days/nights where we have a little more fun then others while over indulging. I mean, all inclusive tends to lend itself to drinking a weee-bit to much. Even if you are on your "romantic honeymoon" there are times you want to let loose too.

    I have read many other boards and review sites trying to decide between CN and CSA - but that's an entirely different topic. I know you can't make a wrong choice, but I want to pick the best one for us! Such a big decision! LOL

    We have been to both CN and CSA one time. While we found the atmosphere much livelier at CN, I wonder if CSA might be better for a big group. If you are bringing the party with you, so to speak, you won't need to rely on others for a party atmosphere. And there is also more room to spread out so that you don't feel like you're disrupting others who are looking for peace and quiet. There's also more room to spread out from each other if you need a break from togetherness. The other advantage of CSA is that there is a longer beach and more options for walking to off site bars and restaurants if you want to take the party on the road.

  14. #14

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    [QUOTE=mrssloppy;280792]Thanks all for the input so far.

    I was looking more into CN or CSA as we want to take advantage of the Negril beaches.

    We are definitely a fun group (I should note we are WI folks - haha). Can we get rowdy? Of course. Are we disrespectful? No. I guess I am concerned more about disrupting couples that were there for a peaceful time. While we want that too, of course, there may be days/nights where we have a little more fun then others while over indulging. I mean, all inclusive tends to lend itself to drinking a weee-bit to much.

    I think that a group who knows they want to overindulge and are thoughtful enough to be concerned that they may be disturbing guests who are there for peace and romance may want to consider an adults-only resort that is not couples-only. These are really much better geared for the party group experience. There are resorts with awesome and large swim-up bars and big pools, and large enough night time spaces designed for more noise. I can think of several resorts in MoBay, two in Negril, and a couple in Ochi that would be a terrific fit for your group, as well as numerous resorts in Mexico on really beautiful beaches. Thanks for considering your experience as well as other guests :-).

  15. #15

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    Either one would work. We prefer csa as its bigger and can spread out and move away from smokers or whatever. Cn has a bigger better pool but that's it imo. There are more restaurants and entertainment options at csa too.

  16. #16

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    My one suggestion is to keep things toned down and respectful at the restaurants for dinner. Nothing worse than dressing for a romantic dinner and having to suffer through a loud and rowdy group near by. Don't go as a group to Otahiti.

  17. #17

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    We just got back the end of last month from CN. There was a group of 5 couples from St. Louis who took over everything and in a big and loud way. We were so glad when they left 3 days into our vacation. I'm guessing they didn't realize how obnoxious they were being, but I think it would have been much better if they had gone to an adults only resort and not a couples only resort. BIG difference between the two. They were obviously there to let their hair down and have a good time and drink too much and consequently it put a damper on our vacation. Even a group as 'small' as 5 couples traveling together can make for a loud ''crowd''.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradojuli View Post
    We just got back the end of last month from CN. There was a group of 5 couples from St. Louis who took over everything and in a big and loud way. We were so glad when they left 3 days into our vacation. I'm guessing they didn't realize how obnoxious they were being, but I think it would have been much better if they had gone to an adults only resort and not a couples only resort. BIG difference between the two. They were obviously there to let their hair down and have a good time and drink too much and consequently it put a damper on our vacation. Even a group as 'small' as 5 couples traveling together can make for a loud ''crowd''.
    I have to agree with Coloradojuli. I am not exactly against groups, but when you are in a group...small or large, you tend to forget that you are not the only folks on the resort. Respect is key.
    Gene and Jeanne
    CSS October 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
    CSS/CTI October 2018

  19. #19

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    I too agree with coloradijuli. It is all in the name - Couples. We just love CSA and try to return every year. If we wanted a group atmosphere, and we have holidayed with a large family group, I would choose an adults only option.

  20. #20

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    I just followed a link to CSA on another thread looking for theme evening information and it says'
    'Just couples.....There are no kids, no singles' and I wonder if this would impact on your decision. Whichever - enjoy Jamaica is amazing!!!

  21. #21

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    At this point, we have no idea how large this group of mrssloppy is. Is it 4-5 couples or is it 15-20 couples?

    Many of us repeaters make friends at Couples and then make plans to meet up at the same time with them year after year. And even though guests may travel as a single couple, those meetups, in some cases, can turn into large groups as well. So "just couples" can be a relative term, and saying that there shouldn't be any groups would be like saying that repeaters shouldn't hang out with their Couples friends.

    I think we all have to accept the fact that there will always be some level of "groups" at Couples. With that being said, no one likes being subjected to "takeovers", and we can only hope that respect will prevail.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamaican_junkie View Post
    At this point, we have no idea how large this group of mrssloppy is. Is it 4-5 couples or is it 15-20 couples?

    Many of us repeaters make friends at Couples and then make plans to meet up at the same time with them year after year. And even though guests may travel as a single couple, those meetups, in some cases, can turn into large groups as well. So "just couples" can be a relative term, and saying that there shouldn't be any groups would be like saying that repeaters shouldn't hang out with their Couples friends.

    I think we all have to accept the fact that there will always be some level of "groups" at Couples. With that being said, no one likes being subjected to "takeovers", and we can only hope that respect will prevail.
    Very well said!! We do this every year, not a large group but technically a group.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamaican_junkie View Post
    At this point, we have no idea how large this group of mrssloppy is. Is it 4-5 couples or is it 15-20 couples?

    Many of us repeaters make friends at Couples and then make plans to meet up at the same time with them year after year. And even though guests may travel as a single couple, those meetups, in some cases, can turn into large groups as well. So "just couples" can be a relative term, and saying that there shouldn't be any groups would be like saying that repeaters shouldn't hang out with their Couples friends.

    I think we all have to accept the fact that there will always be some level of "groups" at Couples. With that being said, no one likes being subjected to "takeovers", and we can only hope that respect will prevail.
    Hi JJ, I agree with you also, but I would like to point out that when we plan to meet up other repeaters (we do each year) we are all generally of the same mindset.
    If you are a first time visitor and you are coming as a "group" then none of you have experienced the serenity and relaxation that is available and do not generally appreciate the Couples aspect. I am all for making new friends and also bringing friends along or meeting old friends while there. But, I have noticed that if you arrive as a "group" you don't always grasp the idea of respect for others. If you are shouting across the beach or pool for part of your group to use the chairs or palapas you have saved for them that is not showing much respect for other travelers. If you insist that your "group" eat together, you may not mean to, but you now have a "takeover" of sorts. We had dinner at Cassanova (fancy dining) one night and there was a group of 8 couples....complete takeover. They were having their own party oblivious to the other diners. I am positive they were having fun, however, if you were sitting around them, you could not even talk across your own table to your partner....very annoying. I have also noticed that if you arrive as a "group", that is generally when the chair and palapa games start.
    Have fun, meet others, bring others but remember to be respectful.
    Gene and Jeanne
    CSS October 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
    CSS/CTI October 2018

  24. #24

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    We have been at CN 3 times and have always enjoyed it. We will be going in Nov.for trip number 4. I don't know the how many in your group. " I want to know the overall atmosphere. We want to relax, but also have fun. Do people drink a lot? Get crazy? Dance? Not like spring break madness, but let loose and maybe have a hangover the next day type of fun? "The atmosphere is relaxed. There is plenty to do if you want or great beach or pool if you don't. My wife loves the piano bar. The entertainment is always 1st class and Beach Party is always fun. There is a great deal of drinking but I have never really seen people getting out of control. I have had a few 'hangover days' The water sports, cat cruises and scuba are great and included. If you are with a group it is nice to know that you get there and put your wallet in the safe. Not all have the same income and there is no pressure to keep up with everyone else. My wife and I usually do a vacation a year and CN is our favorite place to go.

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