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  1. #1

    Default Tips to avoid disappointment

    Work is dragging by so I thought I'd have some fun...

    I like to read the TA negative reviews too as it can be comical to me how little it takes to ruin others' vacations.

    Many of the "issues" can be avoided so I thought I'd share some tips. Everyone, please add to these! I'm sure you all have tips

    COMMUNICATE!

    This is one that people just aren't used to on the first trip. If anything is not to your liking - let them know! They will do their best to make sure everything is perfect for you.

    For example - Can't find a lounger on the beach? Talk to water sports - they will find one for you or go get out the extras they have. They'll even drag it to a good spot and set it up for you.

    Don't like something about your room - they will send someone quickly to fix the problem or find you a different room (if they have availability) - they'll even move your stuff for you

    Food allergies? You can personally talk to the chef(s) to insure your diet needs are met.

    FIND YOUR SCENE

    it may not be very obvious at all the resorts but couples has set up their resorts to have quiet areas - and party areas. The swim up bars/pools are where all the partying takes place. These areas tend to be smoky, loud and generally a lot of fun!

    But every resort has quiet areas too - at CSS this is the most obvious with the mineral pool - this area is kept quiet and is especially relaxing in the morning. There is no alcohol - only a smoothie bar. The spa is near by so there are signs asking you to be quiet and if you get too loud, you may be asked to leave the area (especially at night)

    Tower island is similar - there is a main pool with swim up bar that gets pretty wild, but a seperate pool on the other side is usually quieter. If you need even more quiet - venture into the spa area with the "Buddha" pool for a very relaxing time.

    Couples Negril is a bit more compact and suffers from the problem of only having the one very large pool so it can be a bit harder to find a quiet spot, but the beach is still pretty large for the number of guests and finding a quiet spot (so far) has not been a problem.

    The AN areas are even set up this way too - at Tower island, if you go to the right you will find a nice, quiet, peacefull setting. If you got to the left - you will find the swim up bar/pool which is where the party is...

    Sunset beach - same story - stay on the beach for quiet - go to the swim up bar to party.

    THE DAY 2 BLUES

    This is real. It's the day after arrival, you're excited and you have soooo many plans - but - you feel like crap!

    This is because all the stress of planning, organizing and traveling have hit you all at once.

    Don't make plans for day 2. Sleep in, relax, take your time and just soak it all in... If you fight it - days 3 & 4 you will feel like crap too...

    AVOID THE RUSH

    The restaurants can experience a mini rush when they first open - make your reservations for at least 30 minutes after they open.

    This can also happen with the hot water supply - an hour before the gala at CSS can be hit or miss for hot water. It recovers pretty quickly.

    WATERED DOWN DRINKS(?)

    They are definately not watered down as I have watched them open new bottles on many, many occassions. However - they are trying to serve consistent, measured drinks, all day - to a large range of heavy drinkers, lightweights and beginners so keeping the drinks on the weak side is a must.

    They will happily make your drink stronger but you will get the best results if you tell them exactly what you want.

    For example - don't ask "Can I have a rum runner - and please make it strong" - you will get mixed results. Some bartenders will just make you a standard rum runner - others will put a "bit" more rum in.

    Instead - order "Rum Runner, with a shot of rum on top" - you will get exactly that.

    ROOM ISSUES

    Leaky air conditioner - just call the front desk - the drains get clogged pretty easily in the humidity - engineering will have it fixed in minutes. Kind of their version of re-booting your computer - happens all the time.

    * A note about the air conditioners - you can turn the (very bright!) lights off at night using the remote.

    Ants - if you leave any food out, you will get ants in your room - everything that might attract ants should be kept in plastic bags. Sugary drinks should be emptied when done and the cap put back on. If you do get ants - housekeeping can help.

    MINI BAR

    If you want it re-stocked every day of your trip you have to remember to put out the card the night before. If you need it re-stocked asap - call the front desk.

    EXCURSIONS

    Be wary of how much time an excursion will take and always ask before you commit. Many require you to be on a bus for several hours and can take you away from the resort for the entire day.

    Instead, consider hiring a private driver. You will save lot's of time and hassle for a little more money.

    Dunn's River falls (This is a free excursion I highly recommend!) and the blue hole (not free, but very cool) are great excursions as they both leave in the morning and will have you back at the resort by lunch.

    Don't go off resort on the days the cruise ships are in town.

    CREATURES!

    Mosquitoes - mostly only come out in the evening but they can be quite aggressive - I was bit in the same spot three days in a row once.

    Sand Fleas - (ONLY a problem after dark!) A lot of people have blamed couples for "bed bugs" in their room when in fact they were bitten by sand fleas on the beach. It's easy to tell - if it's only your ankles and the spots are somewhat concentrated and itch like crazy! It's sand fleas. The problem is you will not feel them when they bite - you won't even notice until the next morning when your ankle won't stop itching.

    Spray your ankles/lower legs before walking in the sand after dark and you should have no problems. If you stay on the concrete/grassy areas or go straight to the water you shouldn't have any issues.

    Bring DEET and after bite or hydrcordisone just in case you do get bit by either.

    Sea Urchins - they are numerous in some locations - they are usually found in the grassy areas so most of the sandy beaches are ok. If you step on one it means a very expensive doctor visit and antibiotics - which means no more drinking! Bring water shoes and wear them if you're not sure what to look out for.

    Mongoose! If you're lucky you might see a big, fuzzy looking squirrel - they like to hang out by the pond at CSS - you will mostly see them in the mornings. He's not a problem - just a cute creature to look for

    Cats - are there to do a job. They may roam in the outdoor dining areas. It's best if you ignore them but if you want to feed them - they now have areas they would prefer you bring your scraps to. If you have allergies - ask to sit inside where available as they are not allowed indoors.

  2. #2

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    MY ROOM ISN'T READY!

    Check in time is 4 pm... not when you arrive at the resort. Housekeeping will do their best to get your room ready as they certainly do not want to see the lobby fill up with luggage. Saturday is the busiest day for checking in and checking out which means more rooms and more time needed to make up each.
    CTI - 07, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21

  3. #3

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    Thanks. We travel to CSS next Monday and I was looking for more tips to read. I appreciate the post.

  4. #4

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    Excellent post and information! Thanks! One addition/clarification. While CN does have one very large pool as mentioned in the original post, there is also a smaller quiet pool and hot tub behind the watersports area. It is used for scuba training in the mornings some days but makes for a nice quiet small pool area most of the time. Also at the large pool the hot tubs at either end tend to offer some more quiet relaxation since due to the size of the pool they are a pretty good distance from the bar in the middle. We usually choose the more quiet one at any given time.

    The thing I most agree with in the original (that is full of great points!) is that so often people simmer all week about something bothering them and never tell anyone at the resort about it. Then they feature it prominently in their TripAdvisor review. If it doesn't bother them enough to given management a chance to fix it for them I don't like seeing it in the review.

  5. #5

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    I completely forgot about the small pool at Negril - that whole end of the resort tends to be quieter

    RESERVATIONS

    It's 4:00 - you just realized you never made reservations for tonight...

    Couple of options:

    1> Call the front desk from wherever you are (the resort has phones all over) - we've even called from SSB - there are almost always reservations available - although maybe not at the best times. It took us a couple of trips - walking up the stairs to the lobby/reservation desk before we realized we could just call them

    2> If it's after 5:00ish, Show up at the restaurant(s) and ask if they have availability. As long as you are dressed appropriately, they just might be able to squeeze you in (they might also say no, or come back in 30 minutes). People will cancel all the time because they drank too much, got sick, or just don't feel like getting off their butts... Worst case, you end up at the casual/non-reservation restaurant a bit over dressed.

  6. #6

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    Why is it taking so long to get my food - relax you are on vacation

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by doncindy View Post
    MY ROOM ISN'T READY!

    Check in time is 4 pm... not when you arrive at the resort. Housekeeping will do their best to get your room ready as they certainly do not want to see the lobby fill up with luggage. Saturday is the busiest day for checking in and checking out which means more rooms and more time needed to make up each.
    We pack a small bag with everything we will need for a day on the beach (I change into my bathing suit at the Couples lounge in MoBay, pull a sun screen out of the checked luggage ). As soon as we get to CN, we are ready to go. Once, we were on the beach with cocktail in hand (my measure for "arrived") at 11:15 in the morning - that is a great travel day! On one trip, we arrived rather early, room not ready, no problem mon! We hit the beach, had a great day and didn't make it up to our room until after 6:00 p.m.

    A little planning ahead

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    We pack a small bag with everything we will need for a day on the beach (I change into my bathing suit at the Couples lounge in MoBay, pull a sun screen out of the checked luggage ). As soon as we get to CN, we are ready to go. Once, we were on the beach with cocktail in hand (my measure for "arrived") at 11:15 in the morning - that is a great travel day! On one trip, we arrived rather early, room not ready, no problem mon! We hit the beach, had a great day and didn't make it up to our room until after 6:00 p.m.

    A little planning ahead
    YES!! On our last trip (in December), I finally decided to do something similar and our arrival was SO much better than previous visits! I packed a swimsuit, coverup, and flip flops in my carry-on bag for the plane. I grabbed my sunscreen out of my checked luggage at the airport. As soon as we had checked in at CSA, I changed and went to get some fish tacos and then a drink. What a wonderful way to relax while waiting for your room! So much better than sweating it out in my jeans and being miserable for a few hours.
    Becky & Daniel

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