November 4th, 2012, 07:25 PM
Our first trip to Jamaica and have a few concerns
My husband and I will be at Couples Swept Away over the holidays. We have been to St Martin and Aruba several times each and love them both, but we wanted to try something different ( we have never been to Jamaica) and adult only. This is also our first all inclusive. We recently just booked and could only get a garden verandah room. I noticed someone said that not all rooms have air conditioning on another site. Is this really true? We cannot imagine this. Also, my husband was excited to drink Red Stripe beer. I just saw On another site that Red Stripe is only available at some venues and only after 6pm. Is this true? Last, I love tropical islands, but I don't like being in the sun if I am not in the water. I'm really bummed that we will most likely never get a papala (spelling?) and shade is somewhat sparse.
November 5th, 2012, 03:32 PM
Oh my.....where have you been reading? Red Stripe beer is the National Beer of Jamaica and is service 24/7 at CSA on tap. You might not have it in bottles or cans but you will find it all day and night!
Yes the palpala's are scarce like any other resort. You will have plenty of shade though from the sea grape and palm trees, they even have sail covers going from tree to tree for added cover.
Yes there is AC in EVERY room at CSA. There is only 1 AC restaurant though.
Have no worries you will love CSA, though CN is my resort of choice ;-)
November 5th, 2012, 03:34 PM
-Ooops, thought I read that you were going to CTI; oh well, when you do, this will take care of any AC, Red Stripe, or shade tree questions you might have
We have been to CTI many times (never in a garden side room) and I can't imagine that they wouldn't all be air-conditioned. As far as Red Stripe goes, you can only get it at the Couples Lounge in Montego Bay airport, at CTI at the pool bar, the island bar, the main bar, the piano bar, and, on special occasions, from someone walking by. They may start serving it at 6 pm, but if that's the case, they continue to serve it until 6 pm the next day (except for the few hours that the bars are closed).
Shade can easily be found anywhere you want to be. Several shade trees on the beach and by both pools. I'm not a big direct-sun person, and I always find a way to get out of the sun when I need to. One word of caution - in the pools, be sure to alternate drinking hands or you will tan the one you use to hold your drink and leave the one you use to steady yourself rather pale. I don't know how to spell papalapa either and I don't think I would know one if I drank it.
Don't wory, you will love Couples and CTI. My guess is that you will probably have had your last trip to Aruba.
Last edited by Bob_and_Sandi; November 6th, 2012 at 11:56 AM.
November 5th, 2012, 04:23 PM
All rooms have air conditioning. Red stripe and red stripe lit available at all bars on tap, from opening to close. There is tons of shade, just not a lot of palapas... There are tons of beautiful shade trees lining the beach. W sat under a huge almond tree right next to the bamboo bar many days, and it was perfect.
November 5th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Although I can't answer all your questions (because we've only been to CSA once - 3 years ago), I do want to reassure you that you will DEFINITELY love Jamaica and Couples Swept Away. If you are at all nervous of your decision, don't be. After going to CSA in April of 2009, we have gone to St.Maarten, St. Barts, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Costa Rica and Mexico, trying out other islands and tropical destinations to see if they were as nice as Jamaica and Couples, and... none of them were. St.Barts was pretty darn awesome and gorgeous, but it is such an expensive island that NOTHING was included with any rental. We have decided that we need to stop trying to find somewhere as nice as Couples and just go ahead and return, so we are. This December, for our very special babymoon... no where will make us feel as relaxed and pampered as Jamaica. You will love the people and the island and the food and the beaches and entire atmosphere... oh, and you can drink the water.
Don't fret at all about your trip, you will fall in love all over again at Couples!! And you will never find another all inclusive quite like Couples, so let it be known that the bar has been set high and if you want to repeat the experience somewhere else, you'll have to stay at another Couples resort to do it!
November 5th, 2012, 07:11 PM
After reading the responses above, I am sure you now realize that someone has been feeding you a lot of misinformation (a/k/a BS). A/C, Red Stripe, and shade are all plentiful. We just returned from CSA this past Friday (you can see our photos on a separate thread). I have been all over the Caribbean including Saint Martin and Aruba. On no other island will you get the service you will find in Jamaica and the Couples Resorts is at the top of the list. "No problem mon" is not only their catch phrase, it is truly the way they live. Once you experience Jamaica and the Couples Resorts, your only question will be which resort do I go back to next year.
November 5th, 2012, 07:58 PM
I am stuck on your line that this is your first all inclusive. Be prepared to be blown away. You sound like you love tropical islands like us but everything and I mean everything is included in that price. All the fun water sports is included and also the top notch drinks! You will love the beach at CSA. Lots of shade and so gorgeous. I can't wait to hear your review. Be excited, be very excited!
November 5th, 2012, 10:37 PM
My SO and I had been to St. Maarten several times (always stayed on Dutch side and really enjoyed it, especially the food) and I've been to Mexico (Playa del Carmen) once (I got soooooo sick there, I've never been able to return). I had also been to several AI's in Jamaica with a girlfriend (and loved them all).
My honey found CSA back in 2000. We were the first resident of a BFVS (just after it was built). We got to the resort late (it was just dusk), and I just remember bursting into tears it was so fantastic. Since 2000 our ONLY beach vacay has been to CSA, and we've really enjoyed watching it grow.
One thing I'd mention, is that depending on when you're at the resort, the palapas can actually be uncomfortable. Sometimes the beach is so built up that the palapa chairs are almost up against the roof of the palapa. I honestly wouldn't sweat it - unless you're uber competitive, it really isn't worthwhile getting bent out of shape over these. You WILL be able to find shade RIGHT ON THE BEACH without any problem.
All of the rooms are air conditioned. The only rooms with TVs are those with the word Verandah in them.
The only air conditioned restaurant is Feathers. The woman in the couple will want a shawl or light sweater, as they tend to make the room much cooler than necessary (IMHO). Please be sure that both people in your party bring appropriate clothing (trousers and closed toed shoes and collared shirts for men, no flip flops or beach wear for women). While the Feathers decor is nothing to write home about (to me it looks like someone's 1980's rumpus room), the food is really good, and shouldn't be missed.
We love EVERYTHING about CSA (except the Palms for dinner)....We hope you will too!
November 6th, 2012, 01:28 PM
If you have stayed on Palm Beach in Aruba, you will love the fact that the vendors on 7 Mile Beach are not nearly as aggressive and obtrusive as they are in Aruba. Although there are vendors on 7 Mile Beach, they must stick to the water line, and security keeps them moving along if you are not interested.
Jamaica has a much more laid back feel than St. Maaten/Martin, too. And even though a lot of people speak English on St. Maarten, it's not even an issue in Jamaica.
So, to answer your questions, I saw the review on Trip Advisor, too, where the person stated that not all of the rooms have air conditioning. I don't think that person meant the actual guest rooms, because they certainly do all have air conditioning (and you can set it to "frosty"). However, most of the restaurants are open air, and even the fitness center is open air.
As far as Red Stripe, you can find that anywhere at the resort at any time. There is even a Red Stripe tap next to SeaGrapes so you can help yourself.
There is plenty of shade available on the beach (they keep adding palm trees, and there are also shade sails). So even if you can't get a palapa, you will be able to find shade. There are also umbrellas by the pools.
November 6th, 2012, 02:29 PM
I have only been to CSS, so I can't really answer your questions, but if CSA is comparable to CSS, I have a feeling that once you have been at CSA a couple of minutes, the only concern you will have left is how quickly will you be able to find the time/$$ to go there again.
November 6th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I feel better about our decision. I am really looking forward to our experience in Jamaica! :-)
November 7th, 2012, 09:51 PM
You are going to love CSA. It's like a small Caribbean village with lots of food and bar choices. It's so romantic. Also, the adults only aspect is the best because you can truly let go and relax. You won't be bothered by any children. As far as the palapas go......they aren't really that great. It gets a bit hot under them and your view is obstructed. There is plenty of great shade on the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I can't wait to get back to our piece of paradise. CSA rocks!
November 8th, 2012, 06:47 AM
That's great Pbgates - HAVE FUN!!!
November 9th, 2012, 11:42 AM
I loved this post. We will be at CSA for our 6th time in 1 more sleep and can't wait. Our first stay we talked to people like you guys who had been to several different resorts and keep coming back here. We decided to just keep coming here instead of spending our money somewhere else and being disappointed. Thanks.
November 9th, 2012, 08:20 PM
Just out of curiosity what site gave you all the bad 4-1-1 about Couples Resorts. That way I know to never use that site.
Originally Posted by Pbgates
November 10th, 2012, 03:27 AM
Just a couple shots of all the shade thats available. Enjoy
November 10th, 2012, 05:38 PM
There is plenty of Red Stripe and AC. I don't know much about CSA, but if it's anything like CN you will love it.