July 27th, 2009, 11:15 AM
CTI Review - 7/20 - 7/25
We just got back from CTI. As a disclaimer, this review has a few complaints, but please know that this trip was so amazing/unforgettable...we can't wait to come back home.
We flew Delta from Atlanta and arrived at MBJ around 10:30am. We got through Immigration and Customs in less than 20 minutes. There was a very large Youth Group on our plane, so we made sure to walk faster than they did. We were in the lounge for about 15 minutes and sucked down a good few Red Stripes.
The bus ride was uneventful. The road to Ocho Rios looks to have been improved recently. We stopped about halfway for a bathroom break and some more Red Stripe. On the resort by about 1:15pm.
Everald showed us to our room, he was a blast and SO nice. We had booked an Ocean Jr. Suite, but they were all full so they upgraded us to a One Bedroom Suite!
We were in 3222 and had a great view of the ocean even from the second floor. The room was big but kinda boring. I am not sure if they recently finished renovating this room and hadn't re-added some artwork, but other than a small picture above our bed, the walls were white and bare.
This doesn't matter too much as we were only in the room for sleeping and changing. The zero entry point shower was AWESOME! Two shower heads, a bench seat in the back, it was basically it's own room.
All of it was fantastic. We did the repeaters dinner on Monday night at 8 Rivers, which included some amazing tomato/sausage soup, and Lobster/Beef Tenderloin for the entree. It lasted a long time, but was very tasty.
We tried each restaurant while we were there.
Bayside was great, but VERY hot. There wasn't any breeze coming off the water and I had mistakenly dressed up (slacks and button up shirt) which isn't required at Bayside. The food made up for it and our service from Andean was spectacular.
Veranda - Really good food, but pretty slow service. We were sat and waited about 15 minutes before someone came to take our dinner order. Once they did, the food rolled out quickly and tasted great.
Patio - The buffet was awesome each morning/afternoon/night. I especially loved the English Muffins with "cheese" (There has to be something else on it as there was a Mustard taste that I LOVED!). The lobster night on Friday was the best. I had Surf/Turf/Turf with Lobster, chicken, and steak....getting hungry thinking about it now.
The grills were both good. Only did the veggie bar once and the sweet potato chips were great. My favorite though was the Jerk Burger at the Grill. I fell in love with this and will go back to CTI as long as they have it. It is a huge burger patty with Jerk Sauce, caramelized onions, and Dijon mayo on a Coco-bread roll...holy crap I want it now!
We did pool volleyball each day at 1:30. There was a consistent group of about 12 of us that played each day so it was nice to see familiar faces.
The Cat-Cruise was awesome. My wife sat on the netting and got DRENCHED! I'm talking soaking wet, as if she had been swimming. The area where it anchored down for swimming was so calm and had beautiful blue water. The crew (not affiliated with Couples) were very fun, but did try to sell CD's and Necklaces which was a little bothersome, but a simple 'no' and they were ok. We did the $20 dance...if you don't know what it is...just make sure you go on the cruise.
The Island - Never thought I'd do it. We went out early on Thursday morning and fell in love with it. There is no awkwardness or weird feelings. Everyone is just there to relax and have a good time. It was very beautiful out there. We stayed all day Thursday and most of the day Friday. If you even have the slightest bit of interest to go, DON'T WAIT UNTIL YOUR LAST DAY, you will regret it. We got to meet Fred and Cynthia who are Couples vets, it was great talking with them and hearing their stories.
We upgraded our 30 minute massages to 1 hour. It was so relaxing and unlike CSA we were in the room together during the massage. We relaxed in the Spa hot tub and Buddha pool after the massage to help get the oils off. If not you will literally bake in the sun the rest of the day.
My wife and I noticed two things when comparing Swept Away to Tower Isle. First of all the staff seemed different. At CSA every staff member we encountered had a certain eagerness to them. They were always smiling and laughing and having a good time. The staff at CTI were amazing overall, but they seemed to need time to warm up to you. We saw a lot more 'indifferent' service there. Once you kinda started talking to them, they seemed ok, but it just felt different. Maybe it was a cultural difference between Negril and Ocho Rios, maybe we've changed a little over the 3 years since we were at CSA, who knows. Having said that...they were still great at CTI. The staff at the swim-up bar were awesome and really seemed to have a good time with us.
Secondly, CTI felt much smaller of a resort than CSA does. This was a great thing. Throughout the course of our week we got to know a number of other couples and found our selves hanging out with them, eating with them, playing volleyball with them. We didn't have that feeling at CSA. But that was a honeymoon trip, so it was much more about "us". This trip was all about getting to know other people and making friends, and the size of CTI really helped out with that.
Such an amazing trip. My wife is literally depressed and wanting to plan our next trip already.
July 27th, 2009, 03:55 PM
Thanks for the review! I'm thinking about going to CTI for my wedding. Do you have any pictures of your rooms, etc? my email address is email@example.com
July 27th, 2009, 06:30 PM
Thanks so much for your review. One of the things I love MOST about CTI is the smallness of the resort. It sounds like your trip was amazing, and now I'm hungry too!!!
July 28th, 2009, 10:41 AM
Excellent, informative review. Thanks so much.
Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.
July 28th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I have some photos and VIDEOS! They will be posted shortly and I'll send everyone a link.
July 28th, 2009, 08:39 PM
Great review!! We just got back from CTI july16-22 (review of CTI) and had about the same experience. The resort is beautiful. The biggest thing we noticed compared to CN was the staff and the night life. The staff at CTI was very friendly once you approached them. CN and CSS just had a different feel.
July 28th, 2009, 08:43 PM
Hey Jessica and Adam. Thought I recognized the activities. It is Debbie and Jeff. We had a blast with you guys and I am so depressed already and ready to go back. Your review didnt mention the buddah pool lol
July 28th, 2009, 09:39 PM
Hi, we were there the same time y'all were! I'm sure we must have seen each other. We found that once the staff at the Patio got to know us, they were quite attentive.
Wasn't that zero-edge shower the niftiest thing? I wish I had them at home. Bathtubs are overrated. I actually sit down in one once a year. I prefer showers, and the zero edge shower has got to be the easiest thing in the world to clean as it's an extension of the floor. The sink, not so much. Kohler's designers need to get out in the world of regular people and refresh their memories on how sinks are actually used.
We loved being on the island. I've got an all-over tan for the first time in my life. Like the song says, I've just got to get back to the Island...
July 30th, 2009, 07:15 PM
Thanks for your comments. 17 days to go count down has started
October 20th, 2009, 11:47 PM
Your review was my kind of review. You talked about specifics that meant alot to the two of you as a couple, and your overall stay! Thank You! I super love this site for reviews like yours! I live for Xmas and Spring break when I can go back to the Caribbean, until then thank you1..Great review!
October 21st, 2009, 08:49 AM
As the world turns...My experience with CTI's staff was much different than yours..We encountered SMILES,HUGS and LAUGHTER as we were departing the "hello bus" and it got better with each step..We have stayed at CN and CSS and have done two day passes to CSA and CTI's staff are at the top..I guess it depends on certain days and issues.CTI's staff really impressed us.
April 15th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Wow...it's been entirely too long since I've been on the boards!! Our photos are up: http://picasaweb.google.com/adam.upc...plesTowerIsle#
Debbie and Jeff - We loved the trip so much, you guys are the best! Going again anytime soon? Oh, what happens in the Buddah Pool, stays in the Buddah Pool ;-).
Lanellboo: Thanks! We love sharing our experience with others!
April 15th, 2010, 06:01 PM
Thanks so much for posting your vids and pics. We will be there Monday. Can't wait. Never been before but it looks wonderful