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Thread: Seeking advice

  1. #1

    Default Seeking advice

    Hello all.

    My wife and I are visiting Couples Tower Isle at the end of November. We will most likely spend the majority of our days au naturel, on the island, sipping whatever the bartender suggests.

    My concern is that, after 5 pm, the island is closed and all the resort guests will be using the pool/beach. Does it become crowded, or is there enough space in evenings?

    I have talked to my travel agent about splitting time between CTI and CSS. I really like that the au naturel facilities at CSS are available after 5pm. There will be, of course, a cost to this change.

    My questions to the experienced couples travellers...
    1. Does CTI become crowded in evenings, or if the island is closed during the day?
    2. Is it worthwhile splitting time between the two? What are the advantages/disadvantages? Do we get to eat at all of the a la cartes at both, or will we be restricted?
    3. If I asked when I arrived, what are the chances I could facilitate a split between the two resorts directly? Has anyone done this? Was there much of a cost difference?

    Thanks all for any advice and guidance. We are very excited and very much looking forward to a week of no kids.

  2. #2

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    Cannot answer about comparisons between CTI and CSS but want to bring one thing to your attention - Sunset in Ocho Rios in late November is around 5:30pm. As such, there really is much beach time after 5 anyway.

    Lastly, we have done a split stay before and have on booked for this November between CN and CSS. I would not recommend a split stay with any less than 4 nights at each resort. Just my personal opinion.

    Good luck.

    Kurt and Angela
    CN 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
    CSS 2014, 2016, 2017

  3. #3

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    Once 5:30 rolls around, everyone is headed back to their rooms to prepare for dinner. I can't recall exactly what time the pool bar closes, but I'm sure it is closed by 6:00. And as mentioned, sunset is early...so not much sun time left in the day anyway.

  4. #4

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    Hello SteveT,

    The island is a great place to spend the day while at CTI...weather permitting. We were there this past November (around Thanksgiving) and the weather wasn't always cooperative. We've stayed at CSS also and like being able to walk onto the AN beach. During our Trading Places visit to CSS, on our last stay at CTI, we found that wind was broken by the cliffs and it was warmer there than CTI (more exposed). So, here's our answers to your questions:
    1. Does CTI become crowded in evenings, or if the island is closed during the day?
    - As was mentioned, since it gets dark around 5:30 that time of year, the beach and pool are not crowded after 5 as people are getting ready for dinner.
    2. Is it worthwhile splitting time between the two? What are the advantages/disadvantages? Do we get to eat at all of the a la cartes at both, or will we be restricted?
    - We like doing split stays when we stay at Couples for 7 or more nights (lets you have two vacations for the price of one (almost).
    - If it's going to cost extra to do a split stay...we'd just stick with CTI and do the Trading Places (Romance Rewards perk) visit to CSS.
    - While doing the Trading Places you're able to eat at the buffet (Palazzina) and beach grill (won't be able to eat at the Casanova).
    - If you stay at CSS you'll be able to eat at all the restaurants and enjoy having breakfast, lunch or dinner in your room...if you want.
    3. If I asked when I arrived, what are the chances I could facilitate a split between the two resorts directly? Has anyone done this? Was there much of a cost difference?
    - Doesn't hurt to ask...but, since each resort is independently operated, it'll be up to management at both and availability.

    Hope this helps in your decision. Have a blast!!

  5. #5

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    To answer your question about visiting another resort in the same city, you can do so at no cost, if you sign up for Romance Rewards. Then you can do a Trading Places day between CTI and CSS. Trading Places days are MW&F from about 10am to 4pm. You can have lunch at the restaurants that are open, but aren't on the resort at dinner time. You sign up for Trading Places with Guest Services 24hrs before you want to visit the other resort. If you would like to do a split stay, you can book that on the Couples website or through your travel agent or other travel site. You just book 2 separate trips. We are doing a split stay between CTI and CSS for the 3rd time this July--3 days at CTI and 11 at CSS. This will be our 15th visit to CSS and 3rd to CTI. Couples will transport you between the 2 resorts for free. We love our split stays it's like have 2 vacations in 1.

  6. #6

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    It gets dark Early, pitch dark by 6:15 so you would probably be on the island alone and they will probably make you leave because they have romantic dinners for non a/n guests there.

    It has never been that crowded at any of the (4) for us but we do not go at peak times. November is not peak.

    After 5:00 at CSS a/n beach they advertise to all of the guests for sunsets and the a/n rules do not apply, there will be a bunch of guests there in full dress with cameras.

    I would not split a stay between Ocho and Negril, CSS and CTI are just a few minutes apart in Ocho and CN and CSA are just a few minutes apart in Negril but it would take up a good part of your day to transfer between Ocho and Negril, we did this once. You have to shower, pack, have your bags taken up, wait for transportation, 2 hour drive+, check-in, wait, unpack.... so most of your day is gone.

    We have been to all 4 and our favorite is CTI, if you do not like you can ask to be moved and they will accommodate you. We had to pay a little bit of a difference to move between resorts once but that was negotiable

  7. #7

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    Bart...can you explain further your statement..."but, since each resort is independently operated,"
    All Couples resorts are operated by the Issa Family and operate under the same Couples umbrella. Switching between resorts is never an issue unless there is no room. They will always accommodate if someone is unhappy at one of their resorts and want to switch to one of the other resorts. So your statement makes no sense to me.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  8. #8

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    Does the boat run to CTI island after 5pm? I thought everyone had to be off the island around 5pm.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rim1one View Post
    Does the boat run to CTI island after 5pm? I thought everyone had to be off the island around 5pm.
    Yes if there are couples who have purchased Romantic Dinner on the Island or there is a wedding/reception/etc. on the island.

  10. #10

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    To be clear, even on those nights with activities or meals on the island, all guests still need to depart the island at 5pm.

  11. #11

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    What often happens is......when the island closes at 5 PM, many of those returning to the mainland (including us) often end up in the mainland pool (with the swim up bar) for another hour or so....and then we sorta find our way to our rooms to get ready for dinner. It's a total blast, believe me.

  12. #12

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    While they each are owned by the Issa family, each resort is its own entity...which is what makes each property unique. That is what makes Couples different from the "cookie cutter" resort chains. Requesting to switch resorts isn't automatic. There has to be room and the other resort can say "no" as there may be a difference in the cost the guest paid at the first resort compared to the room category at the second (they wouldn't want to take a loss). This was explained to me by Randymon a few years ago when I asked him why Couples guests at one resort couldn't do a day visit at another without an additional charge...before Trading Places came to be. Couples will usually attempt to accommodate but that shouldn't be expected...especially since they will do everything possible to fix something that isn't right. Trust me, we've experienced that, we're given the option to move, at the GM'S expense (each resort gets their guest's money) but declined because they made things more than right.

  13. #13

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    Gotcha Bart. We did do an exchange one year when we made reservations at one resort and after a few days requested a transfer as we were not happy with the resort. Management gladly made the change for us and before 10am the next day we were at the new resort. Could have changed the same day, but circumstances worked out that the next morning was sufficient.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

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