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  1. #1

    Default New "early booking" specials

    Yep, Couples is at it again. We all wait and wait for them to post their so called "early booking special" only to have the rates jump astronomically. Why does Couples feel the need to increase their prices so much?

    For instance, the Private Dinner recently increased from $170 to $200. That is an increase of 17.6%! And for what? All the food and drink is already included, so what exactly does that $200 go toward?

    The past 2 or 3 years, when new rates have come out, they have been vastly increased from the previous years, only to have everyone complain about them, and Couples then proceeds to lower their prices to a slightly more suitable level. For reference, here is our pricing for our past trips, as well as any booking bonuses:

    March 2013: Beachfront Suite. $404/night, $300 credit, and a night free (and this is during the more expensive peak season)

    April 2014: Beachfront Suite. $387/night, $300 credit, and a night free.

    April 2015. Beachfront Suite. $433/night, $300 credit. The only reason this is higher is because we added an extra night because the airline messed our flight up, so we had to pay current rates for the extra night.

    April 2016: Beachfront Suite, $393/night, $250 credit.

    April 2017: One Bedroom Ocean Suite, $348.29/night, no credits. (This was a Black Friday deal booked through a travel agent).

    April 2018: $545/night, $250 credit.

    So from 2016 to 2018 (both early booking specials) that is an increase of 38.7%. Even the deluxe ocean category is $469! The rates drop in May to $514. They used to drop right after Easter, so April was still in the "lower season."

    Sorry for the rant. I just really want to book our 2018 trip, but am not willing to pay these new "early booking special" prices.
    Is this Love that I'm feelin'?

    CSS March 2013, April/May 2014, April 2015, April 2016 Soon Come
    CN April 2014

  2. #2

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    Holy Moly....WOW.

    9/30 - 10/7/2017 booked a CSA garden veranda $361 per night ($2530.11 for the week) plus $250 resort credit.

    Same week in 2018 $471 per night ($3297 for the week) plus $250 resort credit.

    That is a $110 increase per night - An over 30% increase in 1 year.

    I love Couples Swept Away, but this increase is more then we can afford. We will certainly enjoy our upcoming trip this year as it unfortunately may be the last.

  3. #3

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    this is why we wait for the black friday sale. last two years ......we go in October, so the prices are less than March, but we've scored each time

  4. #4

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    I am with you… unfortunately. The rack rate for CN for January 2018, well after NY, is coming up at $1046 USD p/n ($1375 CAD). The 2018 early booking rate is $553 USD p/n, ($727 CAD) which is higher than when I checked awhile ago (prior to the specials coming out). It would to cost us about double what we paid for our wedding trip to CSA in 2008 which was a package with air. We wanted to return for our 10th anniversary but looks unlikely now. We only take 14 days trips and at well over 10K CAD with the “actual” exchange rate (never as good as XE), plus air, that adds up to be too much. Unless our TA can work miracles with the pricing, or maybe we split the trip with another Jamaica resort and just do a few days at Couples (not ideal at all), we’re going to have to go celebrate somewhere else. I have been looking and have found better prices for other high end AI resorts on other islands/destinations. We love Couples, and have looked forward to this trip since our wedding-moon to CSA and our last trips to CTI, CSS and CN. So very disappointed. 

  5. #5

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    Yes...we love CSS but there is a limit to what we are willing to pay. In the real world nobody is getting these kind of rate increases from year to year. Five percent is considered generous.
    Last edited by Gatekeeper; February 21st, 2017 at 08:20 PM.

  6. #6

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    Over priced and their quality is in decline. Last time i was there the occupancy rate was way down.

  7. #7

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    We go to Couples for 9 nights at the end of August each year, 3 trips to CSA and this year will be the 5th year that we will be returning to CTI. I was just floored with the price increase that I got today from my travel agent. We book with the same travel agent every time and the increase this year is $79.24 (rounded) per night or $713.24 total. We have always taken advantage of the "Early Booking Specials" that includes either a resort credit, a free night or both not counting our Romance Rewards. I understand that businesses will have an increase in prices from time to time in order to remain a viable business but this year will probably be our last year to "come back home" because this price is getting out of my range of affordability. It's not all Couples fault however but that increase along with the same drastic increase in airfare makes these vacations hard to afford.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron3637 View Post
    Over priced and their quality is in decline. Last time i was there the occupancy rate was way down.
    ron, where were y'all staying?

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011
    CTI 2017 [50th birthday & 23rd anniversary], 2019 [25th anniversary]

  9. #9

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    So dissapointed with Couples again. Why do we have this game every year. They say the rack rate for our room at CTI is over $900 and we're getting 65% discount. Thats a joke! Firstly we have never paid rack rate and I doubt anyone does. That rack rate is more than one of the villas which has all inclusive spa treatments.

  10. #10

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    The last time they had a massive price increase it was rolled back, not entirely, several days later. We were ready to book our two 2018 trips yesterday, but our TA - Lindsey - said to hold off a few days, the rates may indeed change.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    On the web, always open

    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fawnridge View Post
    The last time they had a massive price increase it was rolled back, not entirely, several days later. We were ready to book our two 2018 trips yesterday, but our TA - Lindsey - said to hold off a few days, the rates may indeed change.
    This past August the occupancy rate was the lowest at CTI that we have ever seen, management said it was around 50% but it was closer to 40%, this came both from observation and talking to the staff that would know. One day on the Island we had it to ourselves for a good part of the day. We did trading places with CSS 2 times during this trip and we saw the same thing there. Couples came out with high rates several years ago and then a few days later scaled them back to a more affordable level and hopefully will do so again.

  12. #12

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    Of course I was peeved at the price increase. I just booked again for 2018, price went down $100 per night. Called the travel agent and booked for next year. Couples...Quit playing games. You have a loyal clientele.

  13. #13

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    I looked at the early bird rates for January 2018 last week, and the rate is only $120 total for the week more than I paid for January 2017. Before those rates came out, I checked the rates and they were $120 a week cheaper than I paid this year. As we were waiting for the bus to the airport, Mr. Issa came by and spoke with us for a couple minutes. We did mention how much we love the resort, how many times we have been there, and also the disappointment of the yearly rising prices, that we would have to look for another place to go in the near future. He didn't say anything.

    Duane & Mary

  14. #14

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    So, not to distract from the core discussion, but this is a double whammy when airfare is added in. From my market (ATL), we are seeing a massive strangling by Delta, which is the lowest when you take away Spirit, whose times and quality are much worse due to its extreme discount nature.

    A good price out of ATL is $400-$450. Delta starts at $650 and up for most dates.

    Anyone else seeing this trend in other markets?

    P.S. - part of the big quality bump with Delta is the fact that it's a nonstop, so from a hassle / time / risk perspective, you see their appeal.

  15. #15

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    thanks to coloradojuli, we went with sw and got 400 bucks off, as well as more with our veterans advantage card. thank you, coloradojuli!

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011
    CTI 2017 [50th birthday & 23rd anniversary], 2019 [25th anniversary]

  16. #16

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    When Southwest pulled their non-stop flights form ATL about 3 years ago, Delta immediately increased their price. When Southwest was flying I could book a flight on either carrier for the mid $300s before fees. There are no no-stops out of ATL other than Delta, which sux.

  17. #17

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    Ok, so we checked the rates about a week ago & the price for our usual room was $464 a night. I look today & the price is over $1000 for the same room, same time in 2017. The so called special discounts the doubled price & puts us back to $464..so where is the special? How about discounting from the original price, not double it & then discount it! They did the same thing last year, & we went somewhere else instead & will not hesitate to do it again! I might add that we are 23 time repeaters to CSA & love the property but are put off by the games Couples play. Do they really think we are all that stupid??

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeandrr View Post
    thanks to coloradojuli, we went with sw and got 400 bucks off, as well as more with our veterans advantage card. thank you, coloradojuli!
    Thanks Glad I could help you out.
    SW just released their flights for end of September (when we are going) and they don't have a flight from PHX to MBJ during that time of the year So we are back to paying $1400+ for our flights.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  19. #19

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    They are competing with Sandals and their "65%% off" advertising crap!

    Prices are going up, and to make matters more difficult for us, we pay in Canadian dollars... so double whammy!

    Going in June for 4th time, may hold off in 2018!

  20. #20

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    Maybe its because of the low season we go, but we had quite a different experience. We had just returned from our first wonderful week at CSS on 8/13/16 in which we payed $3,515 including nonstop flight from Chicago, Ocean Suite, and travel protection. Three days later on 8/16/16 I received an email from Couples stating if we book within 7 days of departure, we were eligible for the
    "Returning Guest Discount", so I booked 8/12/17 thru 8/19/17 on the loveaway plan. I had to wait until 330 days before departure to book nonstop airfare from Chicago. The first chance I had to book a flight I did, and we are paying $3,486 for the same room and flight a week later than last year. Then on 11/28/16, we received another email from Couples about a cyber Monday deal. I called Couples and asked if I had already received the best deal, was put on hold for just a minute, and then was told my Couples price would be reduced by another $42. Within 5 minutes I received a revised confirmation email which now had our total cost @ $3,444. Maybe it's the off season time of year, or we just got lucky, but we are very pleased paying $71 less than last year. A couple days ago (2/28/17) we got the early bird email in which they want to give us 60% off the $6,349 and pay just $ 3,815 for just the room in 2018. Ha ha, no thanks! I'll wait for the " Returning Guest Discount " email, shortly after this year's vacation, and the cyber Monday email late November, and hopefully get close to the same rate again.

  21. #21

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    Hello all, kind of off topic from the "2018 Early Booking Special", but my wife and I are looking to book for November or December 2017, but there are no pricing specials listed. There is a special that ends October 2017 and then the next special is for 2018. I know we booked in February 2 years ago for our November travel, but have yet to see anything for the end of 2017 travel specials. Does anyone know if they usually offer anything for Nov/Dec?? Thank you!
    Dave & Rachel
    CTI: October 2009, March 2013, November 2015
    CN: November 2017

  22. #22

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    Good story SeaKiss.

    Everybody needs to remember that all stories are anecdotal.

  23. #23

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    We just booked 15 nights CN Beachfront suites August 2018. We are going April 2017 CN Beachfront suites for 15 nights on the 7 day from departure deal. We are paying about the same slightly less in 2018.

  24. #24

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    We are waiting for the same time period. We went to CSS the first week of December 2016 and got an amazing rate FILA (falling in love again.) I have called several times and was told to just keep watching the website.

  25. #25

    Default Help! Give this first-timer some advice!

    Repeaters - my wife and I are planning our first Jamaican vacation in Jan 2018. I see some early bird specials out there, but this thread has me confused - is now a good time to buy or is there an inevitable price drop coming?
    Looks like it would be $512/nt for 7 nights in Premier Ocean at CTI.

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