March 29th through April 4th
Great House Verandah Suites
Arrival: We had a direct flight from Orlando and got through customs really quicly. We were at the Couples area for about 15 minutes before the bus was ready to take us to Swept Away. The bus ride wasn’t that bad, we stopped halfway through for a red stripe but we were so glad when we pulled into the resort. There were two other couples on the ride with us and we were all greeted with champagne and a cold towel. Our room was the only room that was available since it was around 1:00 (I’d like to think it’s because I signed up for the romance rewards and was able to check in early?).
Room: We booked the Great House Verandah Suite, we had room 5105. The room was nice and clean and we had a good view of the beach if you standing on the right side of the porch. I didn’t see any mold and the only “bugs” I saw was a small spider once and another little bug once…..definitely nothing worse than what I’ve seen living in South Florida. The cleaning crew was spectacular and we had daily turn down service, I think they had a camera in the room because we’d leave for not even an hour and come back and they’d have the light on with the sheets turned down. My only “complaint” about the room was that it was right next to the cleaning room area and so occasionally we heard the crew outside our door but it really wasn’t a big deal to us.
Food: We tried every restaurant and absolutely loved every single one of them! The Palms was nice because of the buffet selection, but the fish sandwich at the S. Beach bar was hubby’s favorite. Our first night there was international night and it was awesome to see the huge selection. Feather’s was our favorite dinner of the week because of the food and atmosphere; hubby couldn’t decide between two items on the menu and the server was just like “no problem…I’ll have them put both on your plate”…he was in heaven! We went to Lemongrass twice and the dinner was fabulous, it felt weird to us just getting up when we were done without paying. The morning we left the resort we ran into the Palms for some food (I was pretty hung over and needed something before we got in the van) and we did see some eggs that were completely undercooked (gag!) but within a few minutes Hubby heard one of the cooks say something to another guy who took them in the back to cook them. Everything else on the buffet was nice and hot and fresh, which is surprising for a buffet.
Beach: The beach was beautiful and raked every morning. We never had a problem getting a chair at the beach regardless of what time it was. I will say I did see a couple who was under a cabana and kept their towels on their (they had brought beach towels from home) for 3 days straight. I do think that’s unfair that someone can leave their towel there 24 hours without any penalty and without giving anyone the chance to use the cabana…even when they were not underneath it. We didn’t use the green flag service because the bar was literally 15 feet away from us and we felt bad making someone walk to us in the hot sand to get us a drink.
Water sports: Hubby and I did the glass bottom boat on the windiest/choppiest day there was and I ended up feeling pretty sick afterwards. We didn’t really see any fish but it was nice to see the other resorts along the beach. We also did the cat cruise which was cool, we didn’t go on the slide but we did swim to the cave and back.
Excursion: Hubby and I took the excursion to the Black River, YS Falls and then the Appleton tour. It ended up just being us and the driver which was great because he had to take us to the bank in Negril so we could get cash (now THAT was an adventure) and then whenever we were ready to leave and go to the next stop he was there waiting for us.
Gym/Spa: FANTASTIC! We got a 1 hour massage and it was better than any massage we’ve ever gotten here in the U.S. We used the weight/cardio room a few times but it does get really hot after 10am. Hubby called the front desk to ask about where the basketball court was and when he showed up 20 minutes later he found that an employee had been sent out there (since he had called) to play with him. He really enjoyed talking to the guy and getting to know him while they played “horse.”
Bar’s/Nightlife: I hate to say that hubby and I didn’t stay up late much during the week; we were pretty exhausted from all the sun, food and booze. We did end up staying up late the night before we left and we went to the piano bar/aura lounge and we were SO mad that we didn’t go earlier in the week. We had a wonderful time singing (the guys won the song contest) and dancing later when the DJ was there. Hubby had to literally drag me out of there around 1am because we had to get up at 5:30 in the morning for our flight.
Employees: Pretty much every employee we met was super friendly and nice. On our last night there we were at Lemongrass when the photographer came by, I explained I would love for him to take our photo but we're leaving early in the morning so we can't buy them. Without hesitation he took my camera and took the photos like normal so we could take them home, it was totally not what I expected! There was just one night at the Palms where we felt that the server just didn’t seem to like her job…but we all have bad days so maybe it was just that. I wish I had written down the names of people we met on a regular basis because I couldn’t remember them all when we were filling out the card on the last day.
My overall review of CSA was A+++
Although I can’t say we’ll be back next year since we have a lot of other trips we want to take before kids get in the picture we will definitely be back within the next few years.
AAA, the off-site excursion you took is exactly the same one we are thinking of doing. How did you book that excursion? Did you do it through the Couples desk or another way? Did you have fun on the excursion itself? Thanks
Claire we did it through the couples resort, there's a desk in the great house building. They told us we could pay with cash or credit card...we accidently paid with cash which was why we had to go to an ATM in Negril.
We had a good time, our driver told us the history of Jamaiaca and about the different areas and he answered any questions we had. It was nice to go off the resort and actually see what Jamaiaca is like. I definitely recommend it if you've never done it before.