Once again, we visited a Couples Resort in Jamaica. This time Couples Sans Souci (CSS), just outside of Ocho Rios. We left 9 October from Memphis. The flight was good, until 30 minutes out of Jamaica. Then we saw the black clouds we were to fly into. Not good. Instead of a pretty view of Montego Bay, we didn't see the ground until just before touching down. Pouring rain. But immigration went well, and we were quickly at the Couples Lounge. We had, with several other couples, a 20 minute wait for the buses. Pour me a Red Stripe, No problem!! Once on the bus, it was off to CSS. Jamaica driving is exciting enough, pouring down rain doesn't help. We saw two crashes along the way. It did stop for a bit when we made a pit stop 30 minutes short of the resort. But more rain as we got rolling. At CSS, we started checking in. I was told the best day to go to Dunn's River Falls was on a Sunday, no cruise ships. So, while Linda was checking in, I made reservations for the next morning. Then off to our room. I was hoping for "A" or "B" Block. We got a ground floor room in "D". Oh well. The room itself was great. A fourier, LARGE bedroom, big bathroom with walk in shower. a living room with couch, tables, Large screen (as did the bed room) TV, and bar. Best; a nice balcony with a good view of the beach and ocean. Not disappointed at all. Into swim suits (it's still raining) and to the beach. OK, the water is muddy. A quick bite to eat at the beach restaurant and to the pool. Now it's 5 pm. We discovered the bar closes at 5, but we get a drink anyway. There are 3 other couples at the bar and pool. Note that it's still raining!! Hey, we were there to get wet! We decide to go back to the room. Had room service send us dinner, then sacked out.
Sunday morning, still raining. CRAP! But did get to see twin rainbows. Good sign for those getting married that day. OK, it's to Dunn's River Falls (http://www.dunnsriverja.com/) with several other couples. The pictures of the falls shows a nice pool and the main falls. It does NOT say the total falls is a 90 foot drop, and we're gonna climb UP it. Do NOT bring anything that is not water and shock proof!! But this was fun. We had GREAT guides. Don't forget to bring "Tip Money". Back at the resort, still raining. Lunch, then to the "Game Room" so we can check the computers there. Hey!! The Colts are on!! That took care of the afternoon. We have indoor dinner reservations (yep, still raining) at the "Casanova Restaurant". A few Rum Creams before dinner at the "Balloon Bar" first. Then a fabulous meal.
Monday morning, NO rain! Beautiful morning. The beach water is still muddy AT the shore, but clear once you get out a few yards. Sadly, the sand feels mucky, and there is a mud cloud behind those walking through it. Don't know if this is a normal condition, or a result of the Hurricane a week earlier. Just know that we will be wearing Water Shoes from now on. As for the beach; the sand is gravely with tiny pieces of shells, sort of like Florida's west coast. Water Shoes or Rubber Sandals would be a good idea. The pool and pool bar were another story; nice size, with a good bartender.
Tuesday, it's my birthday and another beautiful morning. I must have been good!! We go on the shopping trip to Ocho Rios (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocho_Rios) . Linda wanted to hit the HD Store for a shirt for her daughter, and then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe (bar isn't open til Wednesday, assuming when the cruise ships come in), for a shirt for my daughter. A little more beach, a little more pool. Then it's the Beach Dinner and buffet. We were seated with 2 sets of newly weds. Cool. Both were fun to talk to. Then the evening entertainment; A Steel Drum group called "The Silver Birds" (http://www.silverbirdsentertainment.com/). OUTSTANDING!! In my album below, you will see pics AND videos of this group. Linda then got me back to the room, where Room Service brought me a birthday cake (double double chocolate), a fruit tray, and a bottle of champagne. Yes, a good birthday indeed!!
Wednesday, we checked out the rest of the grounds again. Looks much better when it's not raining. Looked into making a reservation for for a free "Returnees Massage". Spent some time at the Spa's pool where only 3 other couples were. And what a great view from this entire area. For the Message, we were sent to the "Tuck Away" spa where we got a great message. I had been having problems with my right hip for several days BEFORE we left (not good at the falls), and Linda's legs were still sore. After the message, we felt great. Should have gotten this 2 days earlier! Wednesday is also "Lobster Night", and well worth the wait. This was even better than the Lobster we had at CN last year.
Thursday and Friday went by much too quickly. We tried out the Paddle Boats (harder than it looks) and the Kayak. Lots of pool and beach time as well. Thursday was also the "Manager's Cocktail Party" AND "Returnee's Dinner". The dinner WAS spectacular, that took the better part of two and a half hours to go through. Each table got a member of the resort management. We were graced with the Manager of the gift shop. A very attractive and delightful woman. We learned much about Jamaica. And since she has a 7 year old daughter, the Jamaican Schools. We also enjoyed the "Gala" Friday night, but had to get to bed early. Our bus was to pick us up at 7:30 am.
This was a great week. It would be easy to go into comparisons of Couples Negril (CN) and CSS. But they are two entirely different resorts. CN has a spectacular beach with that "Sugar Sand" that seems to go on forever. CSS has the spectacular grounds that is more like the Garden Of Eden. The best thing to do when repeating to a Couple Resort is to go as if you've never been to a Couples before. Below is a LARGE album of pics. Hopefully, they can the feel of the resort.
And more Resort Lessons Learned (RLL);
RLL 1) Weather forecasts for Jamaica are totally worthless. Forecasts called for thunderstorms EVERY day and night for the entire week we were there. Other than the all dayers Saturday and Sunday, we had beautiful weather.
RLL2) Dunn's River Falls is NOT for fat old people!!
RLL3) CSS involves a lot of walking and stair climbing.
RLL4) Rain in Jamaica is a lot warmer than rain in Tennessee.
RLL 5) Lobster Night is NOT to be missed.
RLL 6) It really pays to register for the "Romance Rewards".
RLL 7) "Bob Marleys" deserve their reputation!!
RLL 8) Parrots bite!!
RLL 9) The "Ground Floor" of "D" Block is higher then the 3rd floor of "A" Block. There were 49 steps from the beach to our room.
RLL 10) It IS possible to sun burn lips.
RLL 11) Do NOT miss any of the soups.
RLL 12) When Security says "You have been selected", it does NOT mean you won a free trip!!
RLL 13) The people of Jamaica are fiercely proud of their country. You see the National colors of Green, Black, and Yellow everywhere. I think I was most impressed with this.
As usual, Album Pics are below;