Flight & Arrival
Two years ago, we said we didn’t care to ever fly Delta again, but this year we got the best deal from Delta, so we booked. All of our flights were on time, in fact early and we landed and were at immigration by 11:27 a.m. Flew through Customs and into the Couples Lounge where we had time to use the restroom, grab a drink and we were loaded on the bus with one other couple. Danny was our driver and drove us straight to the resort-okay, first stop at CSS to drop off the other Couple. Travel time from airport to CTI—1 hour 30 minutes.
We got to CTI and were greeted with a cool towel, drink orders taken and seated at the check-in desk. We filled out paperwork, were told our room wasn’t quite ready and we headed off to get some lunch. By 1:35, we were eating, having our 2nd drink and deciding what we wanted to see first. About ½ hour later, Evard found us to let us know our room was ready. We followed him to our “first” room. It wasn’t quite what we expected for the Premier Room, so we went to front desk and asked to be moved to the new building. They did this, no problem.
Our room was very nice. Each room has 2 beach towels and 2 refillable water bottles, the nice kind, hard clear plastic with Couples Logo and stainless steel bottom with screw off top that has a strap on so you can attach it to your belt or bag. We still aren’t sold on the 0degree entry showers, but the water temp and pressure was good. The bed and linens were very comfy, and the turn down and housekeeping services excellent. Our first night they delivered our Sparkling Wine and Sweets. Later Byron called and said he had something for us. He came up with t-shirts and our credit vouchers.
I don’t know what to say, except that it was amazing. The only thing I didn’t like was the shrimp and seafood bisque and that was only because there was something in it I couldn’t identify.
Veranda was once again our choice for dinner. The snapper was wonderful and the pumpkin soup was tasty.
8 Rivers had awesome Beef Wellington. It almost melted in my mouth is was so tender. We REALLY missed the piano playing during supper, especially because we were at the back of the restaurant where we heard the staff going in and out of the kitchen. Also, the area was open behind us to the hall between the Veranda and 8 Rivers and every time the doors opened from the Patio, we got blasted with the entertainment. I really hope they think about closing this off some how as it really takes away from the ambiance of both the Veranda and 8 Rivers.
Breakfast was incredible each morning and I got to have my chocolate croissants everyday with one of Ulysses’ wonderful seafood omelets. Almost every morning we saw Maxine who was visiting the guests. We saw Mr. Henry a couple of mornings as well as Randy Russel and Mr. Issa.
The Repeaters’ Dinner was amazing. We had Surf & Turf with lobster tail and filet. First we attended the Manager’s Reception on the pier. They had nice appetizers and drinks. From there we met with other repeaters in the Piano Bar. Gary sang a couple of songs to us, and then they invited us over to the restaurant for dinner. Gary was our “management” representative. LaToya and her husband Donny sat with us also as she was star performer for May and the star performer is invited to dinner. LaToya found out it was Michael’s birthday (Hmm wonder how that happened) and he ended up getting double of everything, including the lobster tail. She also arranged for a special dessert presentation for him with “Happy Birthday, Michael” written on his plate in chocolate and the staff singing to him.
We only ate breakfast and lunch on the patio except our first night. This was the night of the “Pool Gala”. However, this has been moved from the pool area to the patio, and not sure why. We missed the ice sculptures, but the food was good as always.
We got snacks from the pool grill and sweet potato chips from the beach veggie bar. But it was always good. I totally forgot getting the beef patties this year as I was hooked on the sweet potato chips and lemony humus or French fries with hot cheese.
Service was outstanding and it’s what we love about CTI. There were new faces with the staff that returned but all was good. Props to Katie from Entertainment who always greeted us each time she saw us.
The biggest surprise was not having draft beer on the island but getting glass bottles instead. It was hard to keep this cold, so if you are going and you will go to the island and you like beer, take a beer coozie. Drinks were always good. Service again was always good and we never had to wait. We even gave Abe a workout on how to make some of our favorites.
As this was not our first time, we did very little other than soak up the sun. We did do horseback riding hoping to get on the ride we haven’t had, which we did and if we go horseback riding again, we will try to get the Prospect Plantation Tour. I also did the Power Walks with Alford. It was great to get outside the resort on foot and see some of the country side. There was nightly entertainment as well as a disco on the Patio. They also had sing alongs in the piano bar.
I did end up using the gym 2 or 3 times. The equipment seemed to be new and I liked the built in fans on the tread mill and stationary bike.
AHHHH-very tranquil. We had our Repeater’s Massage and then with the credits I had the full body scrub and seaweed peppermint wrap with 55 minutes massage. Oh what a treat. My second treat was my 1 hour facial. The spa is also where you will find two Jacuzzis, plunge pool and at least one sauna. It is very beautiful.
The pools were all very nice and well maintained. The island pool could use some help as the filter cover was off one of the bottom drains and a jet cover was missing from a vacuum area near the bar.
We stayed on the resort to shop, hitting both the Logo Shop and the Gift Shop.
Our departure went as smoothly as our arrival. No one felt the need to stop on the way to the airport, so we went from CTI to MBJ in 1 hour 40 minutes. We had our repeaters departure gift which was a nice gesture. We were in line and to the gate, to wait, in no time. Had lunch at Cool Runnings and found that the prices for the restaurants at the airport have gone up quite a bit since last year.
We took a day and did the Trading Places that Repeaters can do with CSS. What we learned is that CTI is the place for us!
Well, I think that is everything. I am still trying to figure out how to post pictures on this site. If you have questions, please ask!
Okay I knew I would forget something.
Internet cafe is wonderful--AC works and you can print if you need to although we found that the pre-check in with Delta was worthless going home.
Stuff we missed from previous vists:
Piano in 8 Rivers (there wasn't even piped in music)
The blue canvas chairs on the island
Casino Night, or did we just miss it? Slots in game room (heard these were coming)
Basket swings and hammocks, the only hammock is on the island.
So I keep thinking of things--We were disappointed that the gift shop nor the logo shop had any Couples jewelry (okay, I was disappointed.) The gift shop had some jewelry, but not anything specific to Jamaica except the "One Love" bracelet, let alone Couples. May it will be there as they get more stock in.
Vicky--we'll be staying in a Premier Room 8/02 - 8/07. May I ask what exactly was not to your liking in your "first" room? Is there a particular building we should request prior to our arrival? I would hate to be disappointed on my first trip to the island.
Until this room, all the rooms we have had at CTI when you walked into the room, there was a small hall with bathroom on one side and closet on the other. This way there was more space between the bed and the public hall. This room did not have this. The view was spectacular but the balcony was very small with only chairs and no table. This was in the main building. Others had rooms in the main building and loved them. It was mostly just the space issue.
Thanks for the great review.
It's too bad we missed you guys this year.
We are heading out Friday and I was wondering if they still had a radio on the Island. I was trying to decide if I should bring headphones.
Token (aka Kent & Dawn)
Great review Vicky! I still remember your first trip, I was new to the boards and anticipating my first trip to CTI. I enjoyed reading all your posts and waiting anxiously to see if you had a good time. I remember thinking this is so strange that I am thinking about someone I don't even know and hoping she is having a great time. 4 Couples trips later, I still wait anxiously to hear everyone’s trip reports. I love to live vicariously through the couples family until my next trip..... Only 213 days until I revisit CTI for the first time.
I too would like to know what room you had at first and what you didn't like about it. also how was the new building? Did you like the location? Did you feel like the balcony was still relatively private?
Hi Vicky. Like Huskerhoney, we too will be making our Couples debut next year at CTI and staying in a Premier room as well. My follow up question is being you were able to get a solid take both, what would you say are the major differences between the Premier rooms in the Main bldg vs those in the new bldg? I know the latter is newer and I understand the ones in the main bldg offer a better view (not to mention elevators for those in the higher floors). Other than that, I'm not too sure what, if any differences there are. Thanks :)
Originally Posted by Vickyj
Hi Kent & Dawn,
Sorry we missed you too. Yes, they still have the radio/cd player on the island.
Have fun and tell everyone hello for us.
Hmm-trying to figure out how to answer the rooms questions. First, the first room was very small, small room, even smaller bathroom, and small balcony with no table. When you walked in the closet--which was huge--was right inside the door, then the bathroom on the ocean side of the closet. To the left of the closet was the bed which was near the hall side of the wall. I know it's hard to make sense. I just felt like we were right next to the main hall that people would travel up and down with only a thin wall separating us so you were sleeping, or whatever, right next to a hall that everyone was traveling down. In other rooms we have had, when you walked in the room, the bath would be on one side and the closet on the other. Then, Michael had printed off a list of rooms that Randy had posted months ago. Our room was not listed as being a Premier Room. Now the view was "to die for" in this room, but also the swim up pool and bar was directly below us. While the view from the next room was nice, it was not excellent. I think had we been up a floor, we would have had an excellent view. When we went on the balcony, the soon to be new rooftop lounge was immediately to our left, the main pool directly below, then the ocean. I could still hear the waves. The balcony was not as private as other rooms we have had. I hope this helps!
Thank you for the detailed review, I had a question about the horseback riding. About how big were the horses? Are their weight limits? For instance, my husband would just fall under the weight limit at a place we used to ride. In fact there was a sign that said "if you weigh more than xxx the horse rides you."
If the horses are small, then he would not ride of course, but then I don't want to use up luggage space on riding things if we will not use them.
Any advice would be appreciated.
The weight limit for the horseback riding is I believe 250 pounds. There was another guest who went by herself as her husband. THe horses varied in sizes and they stood us in line to figure the best fit. My photos from the horseback riding are posted on another thread. This ride was through the resort but on Chukka Tours horses and trail. We have done the Prospect Plantation Tour and prefer that ride and the horses. Have fun!
We can't wait to experience the new CTI next year!!
So glad you two had a great trip.
Peggy and I love CTI also.
Loved your review.
Great review. Thanks for breaking it all down for us. I know I could count on you to give an awesome review :D
So glad your trip was terrific.
Thanks so much for such a great and honest review. I have yet to go to CTI, but it is next on my list! So I really appreciate the time and detail you spent reviewing your experience at CTI. It would be really great, if you have the time, to also post this on TripAdvisor so we can share the love with other people not on the message board. Here is the link:
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I tried to be honest, but obviously it is just my opinion.
I did, but it is not up yet. As I posted the same day I did this post, I will re-post to TA.