Let me preface this review with a tiny bit of backstory. My wife and I had only been to CSA prior to our recent trip to CTI. We were assigned CTI via the Secret Rendezvous program, we did not select it for ourselves. As a matter of fact after having performed diligent investigation via the Couples web pages we had decided that CTI would be our LAST choice out of the 4 Couples resorts.
Our flight via Air Jamaica left about an hour late, but we seemed to have made up time in the air. Customs was a breeze and we were through to the Couples lounge in less than half an hour. As soon as we signed in at the lounge we were hurried to the bus that was about to leave. I like to have a good time as much as the next guy, but the 4 other passengers for our van were already drunk. This was around 11am. This made for a less than stellar ride to the resort. Given the circumstances our driver, Danny, was phenomenal. He gave us some island history and pointed out various areas of interest along the way. He even went so far as to bypass one of the spots that another passenger wanted to stop at (mind you we had to stop 3 times on the way for bladder relief). It was basically an inside joke between Danny and my wife and I.
We arrived at CTI around 12:30pm, roughly 2.5 hours before the 3pm check in time. As we walked up the steps into the lobby my jaw dropped. Literally. Being able to see the Caribbean Sea and the Island from the lobby was probably the most beautiful view I have ever seen, and one that I would marvel at for the next week. What a stunning introduction to the resort.
The check in process was a breeze and Captain Kirk led us to our room immediately, even though we were quite early. Our room was a deluxe garden view, but due to our location (room 5208) we had quite a nice view of the sea from our balcony. Also, since we were the last room on the block and right next to the stairwell, we never had any problem with noise from the hall or adjoining rooms as some reviews had mentioned. The room was clean and comfortable, which are really the only two important things to me. It was wonderful to be able to sleep with the balcony doors opened listening to the sounds of the waves breaking.
We set up our reservations at 8 Rivers and Bayside right away and had no problems fitting in exactly when we wanted. We also paid a visit to the excursions desk to set up our trip to Dolphin cove. Very accomodating once again.
O.K. I know I am being long winded so I will try to wrap up more quickly...
The beach: It was a perfect size for us since we are not "beach walking" people. Large enough to never feel crowded, but small enough to get to the bars and to the grill for some softserve quickly! Also, we loved sunbathing at the end of the pier, very quiet and a great place to get sunburned while reading a book!
The bars: We never had to wait more than a moment or two for our drinks, and they were always on point. Also be sure to check out the drink of the day when possible. This introduced me to one of my new favorites, the "Jet Ski". Delicious.
The food: My Lord where do I start? Everything was fantastic. Great meals at 8 Rivers and especially Bayside (can't beat the ambiance). Repeaters dinner was amazing. Loved the grill and frequented it daily for lunch.
Watersports: Great staff. Very helpful and forgiving if you happen to lose your snorkle in 50 feet of water like I did! We loved the sea kayak's! I more so than my wife.
The spa: So relaxing. I spent a fair amount of time on the massage table during the trip and I loved every minute of it! Marie worked knots out of my muscles that I didn't even know were there. Ms. Priscilla was a lovely face to meet you and helped us schedule our appointments together. Also don't forget to visit the smoothie bar!
The Staff: Out of this world. I couldn't come up with a single bad thing to say about the staff if I tried. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. Always smiling and really putting in the extra effort to make you feel like a part of the family.
CTI made a believer out of us. We were worried that CTI could not live up to our memories of CSA, but fortunately for us we were oh so wrong. The resort exceeded our expectations at every turn and my wife and I are already planning our return in January of 2012!