January 8th, 2011, 10:35 AM
I wanted to share some of our trip to CSS December, 15 through the 23rd. We went to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We flew USAir from Nashville to Charlotte then to Montego Bay. The flights were perfect and all of our bags made it. We used frequent flier miles and were able to fly First Class for the same number of miles as Coach so that was very nice, especially since bags fly free when in First Class. We were taking 3 extra bags full of supplies for some missionaries we know from the High Gate area so that was nice not to have to pay for them. Immigration and customs was a breeze. We actually had to wait on our bags. Made it to the lounge and were on the bus in just a short while. The driver was the safest I have ever seen in Jamaica. We made the trip with two other couples who were going to CTI. Of course we were all excited. We didnít stop anywhere so we made the trip in a little over 1 and Ĺ hours.
Check in was a breeze. Our returner perks were ready and exactly what we ordered. We arrived on a Wednesday so I made reservations for Casanova for that night which was Lobster night. We got to our room and since we were hungry headed for SSB to get some food at the grill. Didnít know they shut down at 3:00, but they had some jerk chicken and Jason fixed some for us, which was exactly what I wanted.
Left SSB around 5:30 after watching the sunset and listening to Clive play. It was very nice. Supper was great. We ate inside right next to the piano which I would not do again since it was too loud. I would also order extra appetizers since the portions were small, but very good.
We had a One Bedroom Beachfront Suite and it was great for us. We only used the tub one time, so donít know if that would be a selling point for us again. The balcony was small but served our needs fine. We were in A block and for us it was very good. I had very good WFI reception and could use my lap top any time I wanted and it fit fine in the safe. Sandy was the lady to clean our room almost every day and she did a great job. I was disappointed that we didnít get any special towel art. The in room bar was always stocked the way we wanted. We didnít drink the liquor like I thought we would though. But it was nice to have the soft drinks, ting and water. I did learn the hard way not to turn the temp up much. I did and it froze a Diet Pepsi and it burst open.
The first 4 days it rained almost all day long every day. We still made it to the beach each day but it was somewhat cool and we spent a lot of time under the umbrella or under the bar covering. The food was great at SSB. Jason made the best seasoned fries. One regret I have is that we ate lunch everyday at SSB. The food was fantastic, but I wish we would have gone to Bella Vista for lunch a couple of days since their food sounded so good. We did go to the repeaters dinner on Thursday night. Glad we went, but donít know if I would do it every time. The Friday Night Gala had to be held inside due to the all day rain. Water was standing everywhere. It was a nice night for the Beach Party on Tuesday night. The food was very good and the entertainment was great.
Sunday was the first day of real sun we had so it was spent on the beach instead of going to Dunnís River Falls. We had been in 2005 and decided we didnít want to do it again.
We loved breakfast at Palazzina. We never did do room service for breakfast since I like a hot breakfast. We had supper there once and loved the salad and appetizer bar. We had supper at Belle Vista three times. I think Belle Vista was our favorite over all. It was very romantic sitting by the beach and listening to the waves and seeing the moon shine on the water. The staff was always willing to meet your requests for changes or additions to the meals. I canít imagine how anyone could go hungry.
It was fun trying a lot of different drinks. The specials of the day were fun and usually very good. We did try a Bob Marley. One of those things you just have to do at least once. We found the wine to be very acceptable, but we are not wine experts by any means. I did miss my Diet Mt. Dew, but Ting is a fantastic substitute.
The waves were bad most days so we only tried snorkeling one time. Even then it was rough. The water was cool so we didnít even spend much time in the ocean. The management member that was at our table at the repeaters dinner commented that they had discussed that they never thought they would have to heat the pools in Jamaica but that it had been cool enough the subject had come up. The pools were a little cool to truly enjoy.
We did use the spa. We had a one hour Swedish massage, our 30 minute Swedish Repeaters Massage and a one hour hot stone therapy massage. We had the $350 spa credits and the repeaters perk. If it had not been for those I donít know if I would have paid the price for the massages or not. They were fantastic but I think the prices are high, but I donít do that sort of thing much in the US so I may not really know!!!!
Even with the rain and the cooler temps and cooler water we had a good time. We got to do what we wanted, which was to rest, spend time with each other and read a bunch. We meet a bunch of nice people and the staff was beyond fantastic. The work they do to make your stay as perfect as possible is unbelievable.
I only had a couple of complaints. One was having to call room service for ice. They were always pretty quick but it was a bother to have to call them. I would rather be able to get my own when I want it. The other was in trying to use our resort credits we got (the ones we had were specific to the spa and gift shop and not the one that could be used for anything charged to the room). They would not let you combine the promotions. So you could not upgrade the free repeaters massage and use the resort spa credit. Even in the gift shop you could not combine the repeaters credit and the resort credit. It all worked out, but seemed silly to me. The day before we left we went back to the room midday and our keys would not work. Sandy was next door so she let us in, but I had to walk to the lobby to get new cards.
I will never complain about having to leave 4 hours before my flight time. The bus ride was fine, but when we got to Immigration the line was the longest any one had ever seen it. We barely made it through Immigration and Security before our flight was scheduled to leave. Fortunately they were a little delayed and we made it fine. Even had time to pick up a couple of bottles of Rum. When we got to Charlotte the Immigration line was very long. We had to sprint to get our bags rechecked and get through security. I have an artificial left knee so I was glad they had the full body scanners. It makes it much faster for me.
CSS is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The staff was fantastic. We had been to CTI in 2005, but will probably go back to CSS when we return, which we will just donít know when yet.