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Torn - Negril AI or not?


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#1 shyk3

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    Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:18 PM

    I'm so torn! I've been researching resorts and locations in Negril for quite awhile now and I can't decide what would be best. I've stayed at AI and non-AI before and both have their pros and cons. My biggest concern is the expense not only to us, but to our guests.

    If we stay at an AI, my leading choice is Couples Swept Away, but it's so expensive for guests and if they don't stay there, we will be stuck with guest pass expenses.

    If we don't stay at an AI, will I be able to just relax, eat, drink and be merry? The leading choice here is Idle Awhile so far, but I just realized they don't have a pool. Don't get me wrong, I love the ocean, but sometimes you want to lounge by the pool too. I'll probably also have to pay for a wedding coordinator if I go this route, but I'm sure it's more personalized.

    Does the expense equal out in the end? Cheaper rooms for non-AI, but you have to pay for activities, drinks, food, wedding.

    Help! We're trying to stay under $6,000 for 8 nights for everything. I'm open to any suggestions!

    Thanks!
    Krista

    #2 ~*petals*~

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      Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:08 PM

      How many guests are you having? Idle Awhile is very cute (we went for our honeymoon) but also very small. I believe 14 rooms total. The good thing is that you have access to the sports complex at CSA, if some guests choose to stay there instead.

      You might ask if CSA might be a little more flexible with your guest passes, since the two properties are owned by the same couple/family...

      #3 ErinB

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        Posted 13 June 2009 - 08:20 AM

        Our wedding was at CSA. Most of our guests had never been to Jamaica or stayed at an AI, though I would say that most of them have traveled quite a bit.

        The positive response was overwhelming! I know that we didn't have as many guests as I would have liked, but I think that happens with all DWs, however the ones that came said it was the best vacation they have ever had.

        I think a big reason for that was the ease of everything. If you wanted a sandwich, you walked to the counter to get one. If you wanted a cocktail, you stick a flag in the sand and someone brings you one. Want to go on the Catamaran cruise, just sign up. It was so nice to never have to pay for anything, try and keep track of a wallet, or worry about leaving money/valuables in the rooms.

        I believe the cost really did even out in the end. CSA has amazing food, good drinks, and TONS of water activities, which were important to our group. I had a cousin go snorkel everyday! We went to Margaritaville one afternoon and for a cheeseburger and 2 beers it was $35. At that rate, you'd be spending about $100 a day per person on food & beverages!

        All in all we paid $2225 per person for a week. We went with the free wedding package. I would guess that we spent less than $5000 on the wedding aspect - including attire, flowers, gifts, and OOT bags for 30 people.

        Check out my review in my siggy. There is also an everything Couples thread in the Sandals/Couples sub-forum. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!

        #4 ErinB

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          Posted 13 June 2009 - 08:23 AM

          Oh, and I just noticed you are from OP! That is where my DH is from! So, I can tell you it is really cheap and easy to get from MCI to Jamaica via Memphis on Northwest.

          Our Kansas family wasn't able to stay for the whole week because of work issues. We actually offered 2 packages a 7 night and a 4 night. The 4 night from Kansas City was $1400 per person including room, airfare, taxes, etc.

          #5 foxytv

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            Posted 13 June 2009 - 08:56 AM

            I haven't been to Negril, but I would tend to lean towards an AI. This way, your guests know the set price upfront and don't have to worry about shelling out money for every little thing along the way.

            Also, I think having a pool available is key with a group of guests, in order to give them options.

            #6 shyk3

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              Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:11 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by ~*petals*~
              How many guests are you having? Idle Awhile is very cute (we went for our honeymoon) but also very small. I believe 14 rooms total. The good thing is that you have access to the sports complex at CSA, if some guests choose to stay there instead.

              You might ask if CSA might be a little more flexible with your guest passes, since the two properties are owned by the same couple/family...
              Thanks petals! I had no idea Idle Awhile and Couples were owned by the same people. It now makes since why they allow access to the CSA sports facility. I might just have to try out the whole flexibility idea.

              #7 shyk3

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                Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:15 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by ErinB
                Oh, and I just noticed you are from OP! That is where my DH is from! So, I can tell you it is really cheap and easy to get from MCI to Jamaica via Memphis on Northwest.

                Our Kansas family wasn't able to stay for the whole week because of work issues. We actually offered 2 packages a 7 night and a 4 night. The 4 night from Kansas City was $1400 per person including room, airfare, taxes, etc.
                It is a small world! I'm still quoting airfare, so thanks for the tip!

                #8 shyk3

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                  Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:25 PM

                  I just reserved a date and time at Couples Negril!

                  February 20, 2010
                  11:00am

                  Thanks to everyone for your input!




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