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Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

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Detroit, Michigan
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27 posts
14 reviews
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Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Think I made up my mind and have decided on CSA.

How are the included activities like the snorkeling, glass bottom boat, sunset cruise, rick's cafe, and margaritaville arranged? Do you have to make a reservation for these things, is there a limit as how many you can do? Are they worth your time?

Do they have a buffet available every night for dinner? Do you need reservations for the other restaurants? Is there free room service?

I know the website says NO tips, but I always like to tip at an all-inclusive. They always seem to be working so hard to make you happy. Can you tip if you want, or is it not allowed?

Madison, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Tipping is strictly forbidden, they can be fired for accepting one. Sing their praises in the comment cards bring small gifts instead. Yes u have to make reservations for those things can be done at the watersports hut, dinner reservations are made at the concierge and that is for Feathers and Lemongrass patois doesn't need a reservation. no limit on reservations of any kind except scuba.... Room service for breakfast only, as far as a buffet I believe the Palms has them. We always do the other restaurants not much for buffet so not completely positive.

Edited: 04 February 2011, 03:34
Detroit, Michigan
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27 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Any suggestions for the small gifts? Is there anything you think they need or is hard for them to get there? Also, is the snorkeling good? Is it hard to get a reservation for activities?

Madison, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Not its not hard.

Tampa, FL
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4. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

The Palms is always a buffet restaurant (breakfast, lunch, & dinner). I encourage you to try all the restaurants because they are all VERY good. Patois Patio is really my favorite. All the meals are always great. The snorkeling is a lot of fun. Marlon and his brother are the guys who take you out on the boat, and they are a hoot. Have fun! :O)

Also, please remember tipping is STRICTLY forbidden. Please don't do it. The best thing you can do is leave their name on the comment card when you leave the resort. :O)

Orlando, Florida
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for Jamaica
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4,347 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Small gifts are a very good idea, school supplies for the staff's children are always a big hit. We have also brought perfume, lotions, tee shirts and some baby things.

But anything that you bring and leave for the a note stating that you are giving them a gift, otherwise they could get in trouble.

Couples really does have a very strick no tipping policy. Their feeling is that there are many people that make your stay wonderful, the gardeners, the laundry, the cooks, people that you never see and therefore can not tip. They do have tips built into your rate and they do compensate their employees.

Couples also has a training program for employees that, from talking with regular staff, is very competative to get into. Upon completling the program, you are not guaranteed a job at Couples, but you can take that training and get a job at any other resort.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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6. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

We had a hard time not tipping but we did not at all. You do have to sign up for the activities. We are not plan ahead people so that was hard for us. We did walk up to the sports shack right before a snorkeling trip and they said sure we have room. Oter times we walked up and they were full. As for Ricks we just got our own cab. There were four of us and couples wanted I think $15.00 Per person( round trip) we paid a cab driver $2.50 ($10.00 total) per person each way so $5.00 round trip, plus a very nice tip. We did not have the resort get us the cab we walked out on the road for a bit then found one. We enjoyed that as we were on our own time and could stay as long or as short as we liked. Plus we wanted to walk the cliffs a bit and explore. You will LOVE CSA!!! Wish I was going back this year but we are taking the kiddos so no going there.

Buffalo, NY
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127 posts
154 reviews
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7. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

We just got back from our 5th trip to CSA on Wednesday.

Reservations for snorkeling and the glass bottom boat can be made one day in advance at the watersports hut. You can go as many times as you want, as long as space is available (there are 3 snorkeling trips daily). If you are a morning person, try to book the 11:00 snorkel trip. Sometimes the 1:30 or 3:00 trips get cancelled due to the waves kicking up in the afternoon. The snorkeling is OK; it's not the Great Barrier reef, but there are lots of tropical fish, and sometimes you can spot a stingray.

The sunset cruise is booked with the concierge. You can book this as many times as you want to. You can easily walk to Margaritaville (10 minute stroll down the beach), so we've never done it through the resort.

The Palms has an ala carte menu on most evenings except for the Friday Beach Party and the Monday International Dinner, which are both strictly buffets. However, for dinners the other night, they always have a serve yourself salad and pasta bar, which is a bit like a buffet.

Continental breakfast for room service is available at no additional cost. Couples San Souci is the only Couples resort that offers in-room dining for all meals.

Feathers and Lemongrass require reservations for dinner, which can be made up to 3 days in advance. We never had a problem getting a reservation. You can eat at either restaurant as often as you want, but you can only make one reservation at a time for each restaurant. This is a big step up from many other AIs that restrict the number of times that you can eat at the nicer restaurants. Patois is also a great alternative for breakfast, lunch and dinner and does not require a reservation.

They are very serious about not tipping. My husband in the past has slid money to the staff. I told him don't even think about it on this trip, as Couples has posted that if a guest is caught tipping they will be asked to leave the resort. As far as gifts, T-shirts are very popular with the male staff, especially ones that are sports related.

Burlington, Canada
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18 reviews
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8. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

There is no everynight buffet at CSA. The beach party is on Friday and the International on Monday and both are full buffets. The other nights, The Palms has a full sit down menu but they do offer the salad bar and pasta station which are buffet style as Nittany and Fargo said. The food at CSA is just amazing so treat dinner as an event. You don't want to rush through it like at one of the mega resorts. When dining at the Palms, they have live dinner music then a full show with dancing afterwards. The International buffet is just fantastic! We even skipped the repeaters dinner this year so we didn't miss it! They had a huge pasta station, salad bar, sushi bar, rack of lamb, jerk chicken and pork and a huge dessert table, and that was only half of it! You will enjoy the food immensly!

Lancashire, United...
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for Playa Blanca
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9. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Definitely no tipping. Just read the lastest CSA review where they state there is no tipping required, but they left a tip for the maid and the mini bar guy every day!!!.

I just hope for the sake of the staff involved that Couples don't find out who the poster actually is.

Tampa, FL
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2,114 posts
34 reviews
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10. Re: Couples Swept Away - Included activities and restaurant info

Sorry about saying the Palms had dinner as a buffet. We thought it was every night. I've been to the International Buffet and the beach party when it was in the Palms because of inclement weather, and every time I've been in the Palms, it's been a buffet. I'm not a big buffet fan so we always eat somewhere besides the Palms. I'll have to try it out for dinner one evening. Thanks for the info guys! :O)