Just returned from 12 nights at CN celebrating our 20th anniversary and wanted to share my impressions.
We had booked our trip last August and were very excited to be getting away.
Transportation: Booked Club Mobay for both arrival and departure. Our flight arrived at 1030 on Saturday and the airport was virtually deserted. As others have said, it's a crap shoot. I'm sure if it had been busy, we would have really benefitted for their service. On the way out our escort somehow managed to lose us at the security checkpoint, either that or she had finished her duties. We found the lounge without any problem though and had time for a quick drink before boarding our flight home. We also booked a shuttle flight from MB to Negril and enjoyed the short trip. Somehow though another couple from our flight arrived before us and had not used either Club Mobay or the air shuttle, so again no time saved. Having said that, I would probably use Club Mobay again, but for the expense, probably not the air shuttle.
Room: Because we arrived so early, we did not expect our room to be ready, but it didn't take very long and we enjoyed a drink or two while waiting. Our beachfront suite was exactly as we hoped and expected - building 5, ground floor. It was nice to be able to walk directly from the room to the beach from the patio. Noticed ants aroud the sink on the first day, but a quick spray from the supplied can of bug repellent and I don't recall seeing them the rest of the trip (12 days). Good condition overall. We did have some rowdy neighbors, but not to the point of reporting it to the front desk.
Food: Not quite as good as our last AI experience, but still tasty. It took a little coordination to work out which restaurants were open at which times and the wait at Lychee seemed a bit much. Great food there and we did eat there twice, however both times there were only a handful of other couples yet the wait seemed a bit lengthy. Great patties for a quick bite at the Heliconia. We ate breakfast most days at the Cassava (vice the in room continental offering) and the couple with us didn't have great luck at the omelette station, not wanting cheese on the omelette, yet getting it anyway several times - sometimes getting it corrected gladly, but once "not so much".
Service: Overall, very good. It made a difference if you made an effort to get the person's name and engage them. If you didn't, the service seemed a bit mechanical at times. Mini bar was always stocked within the estimated 15 minutes of your call. One suggestion however might be to fill out a form upon check in and then your mini bar is automatically replenished to that level vice having to call every day. A maintenance request was handled in a timley manner.
Spa: We only took advantage of the spa once for a couples massage and it was fantastic!. Those ladies really know what they are doing. My recommendation would be to use the spa facility as oppsed to the treehouse or beach locations only because the spa itself was so peaceful with nice music and the rain just added to the effect. Even with the "please be quiet" signs I doubt the beach would be as relaxing - we often sat on the beach near the massage hut and the beach vendors and motorized watercraft must have been distracting.
Water sports: The catarman cruise is a must do! Very entertaining. Night snorkel is another must do event. Many things to see that you don't see during the day. Hobie cats were very good and easy to check out. After the required lesson, I don't think I ever waited more than 10 minutes to sign one out. On my first solo sail though I did notice a mechaical issue with the main sheet cleat not locking and pointed it out to the staff who assured me it would be fixed right away. For the remainder of our stay that cleat remained broken despite my mentioning it each time the staff offered me that particular Hobie.
Excursions: We did three - the One Love Pub Crawl, the Black River/YS Falls and the Times Square shopping trip. The Pub Crawl was one of the vacations highlights! Lenbert knows how to show a good time and I highly recommend it. The travel desk arranged a private driver for the falls trip and that is the way to go! For the $20, you go when you're ready and stay as long or as short as you like. We saw crocodiles and loads of birds in addition to the falls. It was one of those 'check the block, get the T-shirt' type excursions for us. Nice to have done it, but wouldn't do it again.
Weather: Hot and humid with short bursts of rain once or twice a day. Water temp was perfect.
Overall opinion: Great vacation. Will we return? Possibly.