We just returned from our trip to CTI, and I have to admit that I am going through a serious case of withdrawal right now.
CTI was wonderful!! We went there with a few worries about how it would measure up to CSS, but quickly found out that CTI has it's own magic. It is very different from CSS, but just as wonderful.
We felt that the staff at CTI was incredible. From the bellhop who showed us to our room, to Karon at the veggie bar, to the maid who made up our room each day...every single person was cheerful and made us feel like family. The entertainment staff is fun, and plan many great activities.
The food was absolutely fantastic. We especially liked the marlin dip and sweet potato chips at the veggie bar, the jerk chicken and pork, the snapper sandwich at the pool grill, and the awesome variety of desserts for lunch and dinner each night. Our favorite restaurant was 8 Rivers...the Beef Wellington was to die for, as were the crab cakes. Our least favorite was Bayside...the food was very good, but it was the only restaurant that didn't go the extra mile to accomodate my husband's allergies. He had to simply go without a soup or salad that night, which we were disappointed in. We both felt that since we had given them a heads-up about his allergies, that they might have gotten him some soup and salad from the buffet, instead of making him go without. That being said, the rest of the meal was excellent. The Verandah was also excellent..in fact we ate there twice in order to try everything.
The watersports are a lot of fun, and the staff there are very helpful. We loved the hobie cats, especially when Gary took us out and seranaded us the entire time. We even saw a school of flying fish!! Incredible! The water trikes are also fun, as was snorkeling off the beach at the island. We met the friendliest little fish who seemed to guide us around to all of the "good' spots. The catamaran cruise was a good time, and we especially enjoyed swimming in the blue, blue water.
Our room was very nice, and we enjoyed sitting on the balcony every morning and evening. It was a nice surprise to get champagne, cheese, fruit and crackers on both our first night at the resort and our last night.
We also enjoyed the spa area. We had a 1 hour aromatherapy massage which I actually enjoyed, even though I am not a massage type person. We really liked the hot tubs at night in the spa area, and usually had them to ourselves while everyone else was at the shows. It was so relaxing to sit there with the tree frogs singing.
I know that many people have been worried about the beach due to erosion, but believe me, there is plenty of room for sitting out. The erosion is worst by the watersport area, which is not where anybody sits out anyway. We had only one red flag day during our entire stay, so we were really able to enjoy the beach.
We are not big pool people, but did jump in both pools for a while. They are very nice, and not crowded at all.
CTI was definitely beyond what I expected, and has made our decision about where to go for our 30th anniversary very difficult. Perhaps we'll have to try a split stay between CSS and CTI to get the best of all worlds.
Outstanding review, which seems to reflect an equally outstanding vacation shared by you and hubby. No doubt the food allergy issue could have been handled much better by the Bayside personnel. But at least this appeared to be your only real negative issue, so good for you that the rest of it went so well.
You touched on the aromatherapy massage. That's something I think my wife and I will partake when when cashing in some of our spa credits. We're also interested in trying pretty much all the water activities you mentioned as well.
Thanks again, I really appreciated the review, especially considering we'll be arriving at CTI in just 5 days!
Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.
I am sooo glad that u enjoyed your vacation. I really needed to hear this because, I have been feeling that CTI has been getting a bad rep on the board for the last 2 weeks. My husband & I will not be going until 09/11 but, we were almost ready to chance resorts. The main reason we decided to stay with CTI is because, one of my co-workers was there the same time u were there and she too loved it! Her only regard was that they only stayed 5 days. And now I have your review. Each resort does offer something different and I think it's important that people understand that. I do have one question for youid you room seem more like a hotel? Was it noisy by your room location? I guess that's 2 questions.
We had a deluxe ocean room in the west building, which was not noisy at all.It did overlook the swim up pool bar, but that was not a problem for noise since the bar closed at 6:00 each night. The room felt more like a hotel than CSS does, but only because it is not a suite. Our room was quite large and airy, and I enjoyed spending time on our balcony each day. Please don't change resorts...I think you will love CTI! I miss it already!