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  1. #1

    Default Our Stay at CN - The Issue with Groups

    We stayed at CN the last week of April. This was our 5th time at the resort. We have loved our past visits and still love CN, but we had a few issues on this trip. First, it took 2 hours for our luggage to be delivered to our room. We arrived really early on a Friday morning and we were the only ones going to CN on the bus. We checked in quickly, but our luggage was not delivered. We called the front desk twice. My husband finally went to the lobby and got our 2 carry-ons so we could at least start unpacking. After about another 1/2 hour, I went back to the lobby to ask what was taking so long. It turns out, they never put our room number on our luggage. So, that was pretty frustrating.

    There were a couple large groups at the resort during our stay. They were there to party (mainly drink and smoke pot). It did take away from the romantic feel of the resort. They were very loud, playing their own music on the beach, which is really annoying. There were 2 groups at Lychee one night when we went to eat dinner. I couldn't even hear my husband talk it was so loud in there. It definitely was not the best night. There was also another large group at Otaheite one night. They did not seat them all together, but their tables were close and it was still loud. I feel like the resort had this party atmosphere all week, which is not what we were there for. We wanted to relax and reconnect as a couple. That's hard to do when it's loud and there are drunk people pretty much everywhere.

    I did see some people tipping. The few times I saw it was at Heliconia. It was done very discreetly, so the person tipping knew they shouldn't be doing it. Anyhow, service was good and we never had a problem.

    We love CN and would love to go back, but if we're looking for a romantic vacation, I think it's time to look elsewhere. I would love to hear other opinions on groups and what other people have experienced.

  2. #2

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    We went through a horrible week at CSS when the N-Vaders took over the AN area...loud, rude, drunk, selfish are only a few adjectives I can think of. They intimidated the staff and trashed the pool area. I made my thoughts clear to management via email when we returned and decided to treat is as a "one off". Two trips since, no problem but if it happens again we will look elsewhere for our vacation.

    I would miss CSS immensely but our trip to Couples represents a significant part of our discretionary income in any given year, and I refuse to have it ruined by drunken partiers.

    Hopefully 20 years from now I can still state it has never happened again.

  3. #3

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    There is a review of CSS on TA by someone whose vacation at the end of April was ruined by a group of 30+ couples almost taking over the resort. I just hope that management can come up with something to stop the bad behaviour that group mentality seems to promote.

  4. #4

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    We were also at CN the last week of April and noticed the same thing. This was our first trip to CN and honestly, when I was told it was the most INTIMATE of all the resorts, I almost laughed because it was quite loud, people (guests) were not all that friendly and there was one guy who walked naked at all hours of the day and night in front of buildings 8 and 9 - so creepy. we love Couples, but I'm just not sure we'll go back to CN . We too are looking for quiet, romance and calm we've experienced before at CSS. We had another couple with us, but all four of us were disappointed with the noise and "party" atmosphere. My opinion, of course. The whole week was not a bust, we had a really relaxing time, but not what we expected from all we've read.

  5. #5

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    That stinks, I know that it is very expensive to take a trip to Couples and most of the time the experience is fantastic. If you wanted a bunch of rowdy drunks all week you could have went to Myrtle Beach during senior week for 1/3 the price.

    We love CN but the same thing happened to us also. With only the 1 large pool it was a little rowdy sometimes (especially in the evening when everyone had been drinking all day at the swim up bar) and we would have to leave and spread out on the beach even if we wanted to lay out at the pool.

    We tried CSS after 4 CN trips and really liked CSS because you can really spread out there with several pools and 2 separate beaches.

    Then we tried CTI after that and liked it even better because they have 2 large pools. The beach is certainly not as large but plenty of room for us and they also have the island that is nice during the day.

    Unfortunately you will always have people that think they are the only ones there and can be rude and loud but if the resort is setup nicely you can usually move around a little to get away from that.

    The restaurant manager should have taken care of the loud behavior in the restaurant. The problem is that they "live" for good reviews and sometimes do not want to reprimand anyone for bad behavior so as to not get a negative review.

    We have been to plenty of resorts that do not allow that and they also do not allow them to bring their own music to the beach.

    Sometimes, you have to try different properties.....

  6. #6

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    Management should be aware that people who take that time to tell you they are unhappy about this issue should be thanked...it's people who simply never come back that are VERY expensive. If we didn't care about Couples we wouldn't voice these concerns, we would simply book a different operation next year.

  7. #7

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    ***There is a more recent TA post that states another guest staying the same April 27 dates did not experience the same “takeover attitude” an original TA review mentioned. Sounds like there is space and different areas of CSS for everyone so I have no worries and am looking forward to vacation.
    Last edited by foreverbarefootSXM; May 7th, 2018 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Addition - update

  8. #8

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    I think it's important to know that there are different types of groups. Wedding groups are obviously part of what Couples Resorts do. Some are more problematic than others, but those groups have been a part of Couples from the start. They are and will be a fixture at Couples going forward I would think. These are not the groups that worry me. It is the "Named" groups put together by TA's and made up of whoever books with that TA for their "group week". I have left other resorts due to the problem of named groups taking over the resort. Also even though named travel groups were the reason we left other resorts, I would maintain that the vast majority of the people IN these groups are essentially nice people who don't really realize the negative effect their group is having on the hard-earned vacations of others. Some other folks relish their perceived powerful position of being part of a large group. The large groups often result in and "Us and Them" mentality that is a vibe killer at a nice resort. Once management becomes dependent on the income from group bookings it becomes impossible to deal with them and their behavior because they want and need to keep the groups happy so it's easier to deal with disgruntled random couples whose vacation got worse because of a group than to deal with the group. At other resorts we had to work hard to find a week to go when some group wasn't taking over the resort. Rules go out the window and management is very hesitant to even challenge the groups for fear of losing the booking or getting blasted by all the group members on review sites. Couples would be wise to keep it from getting to that point by continuing to make sure that each and every couple is treated exactly the same even if they are not in a group and that every single person on the resort be forced to choose between following the same rules and consideration for others face being asked to leave the resort. At resorts we don't go to anymore groups videotaped people on the nude side without their permission, rope off entire sections of the beach with warning tape for their use, saving lots of chairs for their group in prime beach spots (many of which were not used all day), saved multiple tables before the evening shows, this list could go on and on..... and management there told those of us who complained that there was nothing they could do because it was a large group. I say keep the wedding groups for better or worse because it is at the core of Couples business model, but be wary of TA Named groups! I think I even read that one of the rules at CTI was (or is) "No Flag Raising"... and I think this might be referring to groups flying their own flags to denote their arrival or 'take over' that week. Maybe someone from Couples management can chime in on some of these concerns?

  9. #9

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    In case you're interested, here's the link:

    http://allthewaytravel.com/friends_trips

    We'll just miss them by a few days (again). I've never been at the resort at the same time as them so I have no opinion but they seem to leave a lot of controversy behind.

    I would be annoyed if I showed up early to ssb only to find large blocks of seats reserved with no-one sitting in them...

    But it doesn't take a group to be loud and obnoxious - we were in Pallazina one night when a young couple say next to us - they were very, very intoxicated - which was fine but then they got out their phone, turned it way up with country music and proceeded to sing the song - this went on for at least 3-4 songs before they got bored. Then their food came out and they proceeded to berate the server because their steak was "Not cooked at a high enough temperature" - this all went on for a while - more songs, very rude. We had the unfortunate problem of being sat 3 feet from them. (We were inside too - might have been different if they were outside, off to the side away from people)

    It was the rudest behavior I've seen from any guest at Couples (by far). We avoided them for the few days they were there.
    Last edited by MichaelAndKristin; May 8th, 2018 at 09:24 AM.

  10. #10

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    Now I'm worried. We have friends going to CSS for 2 weeks from 17th Feb 2019 on our recommendation. Their first week coincides with one of the David Parker groups. Their flights are booked but I shall try to get them to change their first week to somewhere else, as I would feel so responsible if it were to be spoiled for them. There is a resort in Negril with unique tree house type rooms that they were also interested in as I'm not sure that CN or CSA are their type of resorts.
    Last edited by Dawn; May 8th, 2018 at 02:11 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn View Post
    Now I'm worried. We have friends going to CSS for 2 weeks from 17th Feb 2019 on our recommendation. Their first week coincides with one of the David Parker groups. Their flights are booked but I shall try to get them to change their first week to somewhere else, as I would feel so responsible if it were to be spoiled for them. There is a resort in Negril with unique tree house type rooms that they were also interested in as I'm not sure that CN or CSA are their type of resorts.
    Honestly I'm not 100% sure which groups are which - I know that the "n-vaders" group has a particularly bad reputation and they travel in April-ish time frame.

    And the problems I've heard of involve ssb - mostly around the reserving of almost every chair at the ssb pool.

    Others have defended them...

    Unfortunately you can also end up at the resort with a wedding party at any time so I don't know if I'd change plans unless you know for sure this is something that would particularly bother them.

    February is pretty crowded anyway so they might not even notice a group during that time.

    Plenty of time to possibly move dates by a week though if it matters

  12. #12

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    I am so glad these people don't go to Couples Negril. And clearly whoever is promoting this can't spell either. Enhanses????

  13. #13

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    Thanks, MichaelAndKristin, you are quite right, when the resort is busy a group is less likely to stand out. I'll just run it past them and point out that we have never had a problem at CSS.

  14. #14

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    Dawn...we did have it happen so be aware. If you do encounter a group causing issues take it to management and let them deal with it.

  15. #15

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    Its really good someone posted a link! That wayyou can book around it, and it looks like they avoid CTI, so thats good for me! Its almost like going to Vegas and seeing if there are large conventions in town. Again, Vegas is 1/3 what you'd spend at Couples so having a group like this take over sounds like its the worst. One thing i liked at Couples was that everyone is there sort of "on their own", so each couple would kind of mingle naturally. ! We didnt go for that, but it was a nice that we met some other couples that we could hit the club with or grab dinner one night with. With those big groups, i doubt any of that is happening.

  16. #16

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    The large group issue has been going on since time immemorial. Well, a long time anyway. We have experienced most of the issues described above and we actually adjust our schedule to "hope" we miss large groups.
    At the same time, we understand the draw of wedding groups to a romantic place like Couples and (in general) experienced few issues with them. We've also sat at the Repeaters Dinner with people who were a part of a large (non-wedding) group that went out of their way to not be loud or obnoxious or to feel they had "elevated status"

    I will commend Couples management staff in taking action at times in the case of unruly/unallowed behavior. I can't recall specific instances of calming a large group, but have seen bar managers get their managers, who got their managers to let people know they would be removed from the resort if the behavior continued.

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