Long Review (CSS, CSA, CN) July 14 - 26, 2012
We just got back from 12 wonderful days at the Couples Resorts. We were in Jamaica from 7/14 - 7/26 and we got married on 7/18. Here is a review of our experience:
CSS- After a snafu with our flight (we were supposed to get in at 1pm and actually arrived at CSS at 9:30pm), we landed and had a short wait at customs (about 20 minutes, we were expecting longer) made our way to the Couples lounge where we were able to have a cold Red Stripe and a Pepsi. Our shuttle was ready to go about 10 minutes later and we had one other couple who was in the shuttle with us. Since we had got to the airport at 4:30am, we slept on the ride to the resort since it was dark and we couldn't see anything anyway.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with cold wash cloths and Champaign and were given the keys to our room. We were also informed that the couple we were traveling with were in the room directly below us which was perfect. We were in G17, a top floor corner room that had great views . One side looked over the saltwater pool and the mountains and the other looked over the ocean. One downside of this location is it is right by the Balloon Bar so if you like to go to bed early (before 11pm) it may be a little noisy for you. We had no problem sleeping thru it when we did go to bed before the live entertainment was done. Loved our room, had a large balcony with a table 2 chairs and 2 loungers. Large living room, 2 closets and 1 dresser in the bedroom and your standard hotel bathroom. We were right next to the lobby and Casanova so no stairs to get there. Had some room service as soon as we got there and the nachos and pizza are amazing!
Our first morning, we went to Palazzina, the only option for breakfast except for room service which we only did once for breakfast since it was mostly only cold. Palazzina had an amazing breakfast buffet which we never got tired of. Make sure you try the omelets and pancakes made to order! Did Dunn's River Falls since it was Sunday and supposed to be less crowded (which later in the week we were talking to another couple and they didn't go on a Sunday and they said it was super busy, it wasn't bad at all for us on Sunday). Had a blast and I highly recommend it! My husband did get "tricked" into buying something when we left. If you don't want to buy anything tell them you have no money and keep walking! We did talk the guy down to $10 for 2 of the statues they were selling instead of $20. Once we got back Hung out at the pool bar all day, had lunch at the Beach Grill and had our first Jamaican Jerk Chicken - YUM! Tried as many drinks as possible that day and just hung around the pool. Met Anthony at the Beach Bar and he made the most delicious drinks! Dinner was at Bella Vista since it was the only place that did not need reservations. Good food, good service, just wish there was more light to see what we were eating and also make sure you use bug spray!
On Monday, we met with our wedding coordinator for our Wednesday wedding. It was a pretty short meeting with us just picking our cake, location and flowers. We didn't do any upgrades since I made my own bouquet and just used the provided flowers for our trash the dress photo shoot. We also hired and outside photographer which was an extra $500. The coordinator gave us a time line for the day of and what we needed to bring (groom- rings, iPod, boutonnieres (brought own)) and what time the hair and makeup was at and when she would meet myself and my bridesmaid.
Tuesday was the Beach Bash and we LOVED the buffet. So many selections and everything was amazing! The desert table was to die for! We had a table right next to the ocean and you couldn't beat the view. We didn't stick around for the band but went up to the Balloon Bar instead. My fiancé and I separated for the night (he stayed with his best man and my maid of honor came up to our room) and prepared for the wedding the next day.
Wednesday morning we woke up to cloudy skies. We ordered room service for breakfast (cold cereal and a basket of breads) and it was delivered right on time (6:45am). Our hair and makeup appointment was for 8:30am. We walked down to the salon (right near G block) and it took from about 8:30 until 10:00 for our hair and make up to get done. I was very happy, my stylist was able to do exactly what I wanted with my hair and makeup. It started raining when we were getting our hair done and the wedding coordinator met us at the salon with an umbrella to get us back to the room. Luckily it stopped raining right before we left. Got back to the room, got changed into my dress and the coordinator came to get us at 10:45am for the 11am wedding. Since it had rained, it was hot and humid and I was dying in my dress. We took a van as close as we could get to the wedding gazebo and we made our way down. The wedding went smoothly, it only tool about 15 minutes (we didn't add any extra vows) and then we sat down for the signing of the certificate and cake and champagne. Spent about 3 hours going around the resort with our photographer and got some amazing shots! I had no worries for any part of the wedding and I would have it at CSS again in a heartbeat!
We went to Casanova for dinner where the chef prepared me a special meal since I don't eat red meat and there was no chicken on the menu. I didn't get his name but a huge thank you to him!
Loved Casino Night! My only complaint would be some of the guests taking things a little too seriously, had a blast with KatieAnn being our dealer!
Starlight Gala was beautiful and we had fun watching the band! Turtles were supposed to lay eggs that night so we headed to SSB and spoke with the environmental coordinator who told us all about the turtles and that the resort moved the after party for the Gala from SSB to the Beach Grill so the turtles could come lay their eggs.
We had made plans to do all the water sports and the glass bottom boat etc but ended up just being happy relaxing and hanging around the pool and the beach.
Saturday morning we headed to CSA. Our van picked us up at 12pm and Phillip was our very informative driver. Took about 3 hours to reach CSA since it was raining and the roads get crazy when it rains! We reached the front desk and got our room keys, as we walked to our room the first thing we noticed we all the people hooting and hollering on balconies etc. It seemed like there were quite a few large groups here. Once we got to our room, hubby didn't like the fact there was no TV so we started talking about upgrading our room. We decided to have lunch and headed to the Cabana Grill. As we walked there, there were louder and louder people. People shouting from one balcony to another and the noise from the swim up bar was crazy. Had lunch at the grill, service was terrible, we felt like we were bothering the staff by ordering food. So far we were not feeling the CSA vibe.
After our lunch we decided to go to the front desk to get a room with a TV, if people we going to be loud all night we needed something to drown it out. On our way to the front desk, we decided that we would see if we would transfer down to CN. Our thoughts were smaller resort, less loud people, more "honeymoonish" for us. The gentleman at the front desk was very helpful and we were able to go down to CN within 1/2 hour. We were put in room 2210 which was an end room. We unpacked and started to explore the resort. We were already in love with CN over CSA. Had a much more romantic feel to it. We headed back to our room and we found... ants. They were all over the bathroom, on the towels that were prettily arranged on the counter and crawling on our bags. There were tons in the sink (now mind you we hadn't used the sink for anything yet). There was bug spray in the closet (hmmm) so we sprayed where it looked like they were coming in from (window in the bathroom) and went down to let the front desk know. We cleaned up most the ants before we left). Front desk said they would have the room "deep cleaned" and if we found more in the morning then they would move us. Got back to the room after an hour and we could tell that the staff didn't "deep clean" (there were still dead ants by the sink). Woke up the next morning and there were more ants in the bathroom. Went to the front desk and they said they would move us. We went from Building 2 to building 1 room 1203. Great room, amazing view and best of all, NO ANTS!!!
Liked the Beach Bar a lot but be sure to wear bug spray, they tore us up! Ivylyyn was the greatest bartender ever! We didn't go to the BB on her nights off! Had fund at Casino night, comparing CSS to CN, CSS wins hands down. Games more fun at CSS and the prizes are better too.
Never really met the entertainment staff at CN, the only event we went to was the Casino night.
Did the glass bottom boat tour and learned some really interesting things about the area and got some great pictures.
Signed up for the Catamaran, it was storming pretty bad before we went, lighting and thunder was still going on when it was time to board so we decided not to do it. Lighting and water are just not my thing...
Went to the repeaters dinner, the food was some sort of red meat and again, the chef made me some chicken which I greatly appreciated. Sat across from Ricardo the GM and he was very informative about the resort and some of the improvements that he wants to make.
Shade - Never had a problem getting a shade spot by the pool. Didn't really hand at the beach too much but I do have to say that a lot of the cushions at the beach could be replaced. There were quite a few that were really cracked and peeling bad.
Overall, we really enjoyed CSS and CN. We plan on going back to CSS in 2014 and we would go back to CN as well. We are hooked
(Sorry this was long and rambling )
Becky & Dave
CSS July 2012 (Wedding @ CSS 7.18.12)
CN July 2012