Couples Resorts claim to be the Caribbean’s most all-inclusive, all-inclusive resorts. What they mean by this is that you’re not just getting food and drinks with your room. Couples offers a whole suite of activities, excursions, and rentals to their guests, all included in the price of the room. I think they try to make it so you could spend your whole vacation at the resort and still never get bored.
And that’s exactly what we did on our anniversary trip. We never left the resort (on land, that is) and felt completely satisfied with our experience. It’s not like we are averse to getting to know the local culture; in fact it’s usually one of our goals while traveling. But this vacation was only 4 nights and we had a lot of relaxing to catch up on!
To avoid bogging down my review of Couples Negril with too many details, I decided to write this separate post and do mini reviews of some of the amenities and activities we tried at the resort. Click here to read my main review of Couples Negril, or click here to learn more about the planning and cost of the trip.
Glass bottom boat ride
We almost didn’t sign up for this tour because we thought it sounded a little boring. When we got to the boat at the appointed time we realized no one else was looking for excitement either; we were the youngest couple by far. (In fact, we were in the youngest 5% of all guests at the resort, at 31 and 33.)
It’s true the glass bottom boat ride was not a “thrilling” experience, but we had a good time nonetheless. Mainly because this tour had something we weren’t expecting at all: lots of humor! The tour guide, Milton, had us laughing a good portion of the time. And you can’t attribute it to the alcohol either . . . Nicoleen was pregnant at the time and she was in stitches with the rest of us.
The boat ride goes along the edge of Bloody Bay and over to a nearby island and then back. We saw lots of fish on the reef and some big sea stars in an open sandy area.
Nicoleen and I brought our own fins, snorkels, and masks so I can’t comment on the rental gear. We were disappointed to learn we were required to wear life jackets during the snorkeling tour; no diving for us. We met the boat on the beach at the appointed time and were ferried out to the south end of Bloody Bay. The guide gave a few warnings about urchins and currents and then let us go. For first timers he stayed at the boat and gave a mini lesson.
My mask was leaky, which cut into my enjoyment quite a bit. The currents were strong and there was a strong wind, so it wasn’t a very relaxing experience. However, the reef was a good one, with lots of different fish and sea life to look at. I would recommend the snorkeling tour but I would try to wait until a calm day.
Sunset catamaran cruise
The catamaran cruise was our most memorable boat ride of the trip. Around 3:00 we waded out into the water to board. The large cat was staffed by a cruise director, a bartender, and a couple of deck hands. The cruise began with some introductory instructions and safety messages by the cruise director.
As soon we we got underway, the bartender filled the entire bar top with plastic cups of pirate punch. The bartender was awesome; he was singing, dancing, and lip syncing to the blasting reggae music the whole time he was shuttling out drinks. Some mixed drinks were available upon request, and there was always punch on the bar, ready to walk up and grab.
NOTE: The catamaran is provided through a third party, so it’s not subject to Couples Resorts’ no tipping policy. Bring some cash and tip the crew!
The cruise took us south out of Bloody Bay and along the Negril coast. At the halfway point we anchored in a little cove where steep cliffs overhung a cave. The cave formed a horseshoe and we were invited to swim through it. The cave walls were full of fossils and the floor was pure sand. We were greeted by some local kids inside the cave who later dove from the cliffs for our entertainment. Of course they were trying to get tips and several cruise guests indulged them with $1s and $5s as they swam near the catamaran. The boat was equipped with a waterslide that launched you off the side, into the water. Several other cruisers were amazed that Nicoleen, 12 weeks pregnant at the time, was feeling well enough to use the slide.
After the pause at the cave, we motored north again, back toward Bloody Bay. As promised, we arrived at the bay just in time for a lovely sunset. After the sun dipped underneath the horizon, we moored in front of Couples and disembarked. The catamaran cruise was definitely worth the time!
The game room is next to Lychee restaurant and has a pool table, board games, and gambling machines. It also houses our secret snack source, a popcorn machine. The slot machines take dollars and were the only time we used cash the entire stay at Couples Negril.
Stand up paddleboard
If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s available. I personally find the idea to be boring and pointless, but Nicoleen took one out on our last morning. She said it was nice to be above the water and to have good visibility into the water. She saw a stingray but not much else for sea life.
The extra included amenities and activities at Couples Negril are definitely more than just marketing. With a longer stay I think we would have taken advantage of more of the activities. Some were more fun than others but I don’t think we regret spending out time on any of the ones we did. Hopefully my mini reviews on this page will help you decide what’s worth it for you if you’re planning a stay at Couples in the near future.