Now that we have arrived by bus at our resort of choice, made our way to our room of choice and made sure NOT to tip the Bellhop; If our room wasn’t ready, we might have spent the day at the beach and now it’s time to get settled into our room.
I personally like to unpack everything as soon as I get to the room! The problem with this is – what if you don’t like your room?
The first thing I do is take a quick look around and see if this location and room is going to work.
When I’m checking the location of the room I have a few personal preferences and if they aren’t quite right then I don’t have a problem asking to be moved.
You can specify preferences when you pre-checkin, but these requests are not guaranteed.
For example – I prefer to be higher up and don’t mind the stairs. Others may want to be on the ground level so they can walk right out onto a patio and head straight to the beach.
Don’t Be afraid To Move
If the location of the first room they show you doesn’t feel right for some reason, don’t be afraid to ask for a different room – they’ll even move your stuff for you! After all, you paid a lot of money for this vacation so you might as well be happy with your room.
Don’t expect the room to be much different – only the location will change.
It’s important that you are very specific when you tell them what is wrong with your current room. Too many stairs, too much noise from the road, bar, or night club etc. This will help them find you a room that fits your needs.
Note that if it’s a busy check in day, there may be nothing available at the moment so you may have to wait a couple of days for rooms to open up.
At Couples Swept Away, noise from the night club and bars can be a problem in certain rooms, so picking the right room type is important if this matters to you.
At Tower Island and Couples Negril, the rooms and blocks are very similar and entertainment focused around a central location so noise isn’t as much of an issue.
Smoking has not been allowed in the rooms for many years so no rooms should be smokey smelling and every room should smell and feel clean.
Now it’s time to have some fun exploring your room and un-packing everything!
The reason for this is simple – if you leave everything in the suitcases, by day 2 – everything is a mess!
Goes something like this – “Where is my bathing suit (stuff shuffling around, beach waiting) Why is the sunscreen here? (more shuffling, beach still waiting)…. Ugh, where is my bathing suit!! (beach still waiting) – FINALLY Found it!!… Now, where did the sunscreen go?? (beach gives up on you)”…
If you un-pack everything and quickly put it away – you will save yourself a lot of time later – especially around day 5 when things are starting to smell because you keep piling them on the suitcase and you’re not sure what’s clean or not.
There’s lot’s of storage in the Couples Rooms and Bathrooms. Most have pretty large closets and the bathrooms typically have a lot of storage areas underneath the sinks so you can put everything away so your room is still clean and de-cluttered.
Put it in the Safe!
Where’s your passport? Now is the time to put passports, credit cards and cash into the safe. No exceptions!
You need to make sure your passport made it with you to the room, and that you know where it is (in the safe!) so there is no confusion later.
Don’t Make Reservations for Night 1
The temptation is to make reservations for every night of your stay but unless you are celebrating a specific event, or it’s lobster night and you want to eat in a specific restaurant then I recommend not making reservations for the first night and instead eating at one of the non-reservation restaurants (there’s always 1 at each resort).
The reason is simple – Day 1 is a blast!! The time goes by very fast, you will get very drunk (or just excited if you don’t drink), very full (from finding the Ice Cream Machine) and you will ultimately crash very quickly and very hard from all the traveling of the day.
Thus, it’s best to just go with the flow on day 1 and eat whenever you get hungry or tired instead of trying to plan for a set time. If it’s too late, you’ll get hangry and more tired! Too early and you’re not ready for food and may not enjoy the meal as much as you should.
But Do Reserve that Special Night
Celebrating an anniversary on your trip? Want to guarantee a specific restaurant for a specific night so you can relax?
Now is a good time to go ahead and take care of that – a quick call to the front desk and you’re set. Note that we did not wait in the line to make reservations when we checked in and so by now the reservation desk should be empty and the call quick.
Find the Activities Worksheet and Spa Brochure
Planning on doing any of the activities while at the resort or getting a massage? If you look in your folder you should find an activities sheet and spa brochure (it might also be in the room). Toss this and the spa brochure into your beach bag as you’ll likely feel like looking at them later.
You will find a mini-bar in your room. It may or may not have what you requested in your pre-checkin as it just depends on when you get to the resort and where the mini-bar stockers are at the moment.
It should be stocked with the basic items (waters, sodas, juice and a couple of canned beers – usually Caribe or Red Stripe).
No worries – typically these items will show up by 5:00 – if you come back later and it’s still not stocked with your requested items, call the front desk to get it sorted out.
Note that if you switched rooms, this might throw them off…
Fill Out the Form!
Go ahead and find the mini-bar forms – sometimes they are on the coffee tables or in the drawers. Quickly fill one out and put it on your door if you want to guarantee it gets stocked with extra items the next day as well.
You’ll forget later and then the next day you’ll wonder why your mini-bar still doesn’t have your special requests.
Remember, you have to fill out the form and place it out every night if you want the mini-bar to be stocked with personal requests the next day. Not so easy to remember after a few Bob Marley shots!
If you forget the form, they will stock your mini-bar. It just won’t have any extra items or special requests and they will just stock the basic items.
How does your room feel? AC working as expected? Any puddles on the floor?
This is something to quickly check as the ACs are difficult to maintain in a tropical environment. The drain lines get clogged easily and they can leak onto the floor tile which will get very slippery – not cool in the middle of the night!
If it’s not cool enough, you should find remotes for the ACs sitting on the coffee tables or night stands. Turn on the ACs to make sure they’re working well.
If not, a quick call to the front desk will get it fixed quickly. You Do NOT need to wait for the engineering person to arrive. Just tell the front desk what is wrong and be on your way.
TIP – the lights on the ACs are very bright! At night this can be a pleasant night light or an annoying distraction – you can turn the lights off or dim them with the remote.
Grab the “Beach Towels”
At all the Couples resorts you should find 2 towels that are separate from the rest and seem a bit larger. These are your “Beach Towels”.
They are not that simple to tell apart from the others and sometimes I think they get mixed in.
There was a time when you had to keep track of these towels, turn them in to get new ones, and then turn in a “receipt” when you checked out.
Fortunately, they dropped this policy and now you should be able to get towels at any time throughout the resort without worrying about keeping track as much. This includes when you “Trade Places” – you can leave your towels at your resort and get new ones when you arrive at the new resort.
Don’t forget the Bug Spray!
Throw it in your beach bag – you’ll stay out late on Day 1 – you’ll want it in the evening and you won’t want to go back to the room.
Time to Explore! (almost)
Now it’s time to head outside and explore! Almost…
Do you burn easily? Did you arrive around 1:00? Is it really sunny outside?
You might want to take two seconds to spray sunscreen on your shoulders as the sun is brighter than you think and at 1:00 on a sunny day it only takes minutes to start burning.
Ok, Now it really is time to explore!
- Couples Resorts Water Sports
- Will you go Au Naturale?
- Walkabout Orientation Tour
- “Sand Gravity”
- The Day 2 Blues