Travel – We used TimAir in lieu of the bus and paid $240 in cash for two round trips to Negril after making the web reservations in January. Could have used plastic at the TimAir counter in MoBay but opted not to and avoided the additional 5% credit card fee. From what I saw, nobody waited more than 30 minutes for a TimAir flight. The only bad part of the trip was the theft of a camera and digital camcorder on the return US Air flight. Frustrating because you are encouraged to not use carry-on baggage yet our checked baggage was opened and stolen from after US Air took possession of the bags at the MoBay ticket counter.
Rooms – We had a Gardenview Suite, which I highly recommend. The distinction between Beachfront and Gardenview (both suites and rooms) is so minor that I don’t see why they even bother to differentiate between them. The reason I would recommend a suite vice room is room size and amenities. Suites are twice as big, have an additional window on the corner side and the bathrooms are awesome. They have a Jacuzzi that easily held two plus a rain shower that you have to experience to really appreciate. Having a well stocked refrigerator in the suite was also a big plus. Bring CD’s, we forgot ours and really missed them. The hair dryers were not worth using (maybe 50 cycle electricity?). As far as room location goes, there are 9 three story buildings on the property (we were on the second floor of building 9 at the south end and it was perfect). Everyone we talked to while we were there said that their room was just right. I honestly think a guest would be happy in any of the buildings.
Staff – If you are new to Jamaica you have to understand that they are on “Jamaican time”. This is not really a matter of time, but an attitude that can be frustrating if you don’t get in sync with it. My wife and I made it a point to say hi and talk with every staff member that we interacted with and, without exception, they responded with courtesy and pride. We had outstanding service from everyone including the bartenders, waiters, front desk, maids and entertainers. All it took was a simple “Hi Mon” and “Thank You” to get treated like a welcome guest. While we were there three couples arrived and acted like the staff were paid servants. Their attitude was just reflected back and they were treated accordingly. They never did figure out why no one, guests included, wanted anything to do with them.
Social – Most of the guests were in the 30-50 year old age group while we were there (there were a few in their 20’s, but not many). My wife and I renewed our vows at the garden gazebo and it was a wonderful experience. The good times were way too many to list, but here are a few memories that we took away. We met a lot of other couples with similar interests and just had a plain old good time wherever we were (the pool bar is great!). If you are into diving, sailing or water sports there is more to do than you will have time for. My wife, along with maybe 50% of the gals there went topless on the beach. The beach and ocean at Couples Negril was as good as I have ever seen in the Caribbean, it has a real gradual slope that was ideal for floating and easy swimming. There are plenty of shade trees at the waters edge to lie under if you have had your fill of sun or just want to kick back and read. We are not “participators” but, couldn’t help but join in at Couples. The piano bar sing along and wine tasting nights are not to be missed. The “booze cruise” on the 94 foot catamaran was a high point of the week. Do take some dress up clothes so that you can take advantage of the “reservations only” restaurant as it is well worth it. Beach Party and Friday Lobster nights stand out in my memory.