Ok, so, we’ve booked a split of 7 nights at CSS then 6 nights at CSA late Dec/early Jan. We were at CSA for 2 weeks for our weddingmoon back in 2008, so thought it would be nice to return for our anniversary. However, being the indecisive woman I am, lol, I started to rethink it.
I started to think it might get too busy trying to do it all ...the excursions and diving and trying to do trading places days. Plus there's the moving across the island and resettling. We like to do the activities, but want time to relax too.
The more we look at photos and read reviews about CSS the more we are looking forward to going there. So I started thinking maybe we should just go to CSS for the whole stay and leave CSA for another trip instead of combining them.
However, CSS doesn’t have the cat cruise, and it has a very small dive boat that I hear can be a bit dicey in rougher water, or might not be able to go to the sites. It’s not all about diving or the cat cruise, but we are big water activities people, so if we’re spending all that time at one resort it would be nice to get out on and in the water.
So another option I thought about is a CTI/CSS split and do the cat cruise and the diving at CTI, and maybe Dunn’s, and then kick back and relax more as CSS. At least it’s closer when switching resorts too.
Question... If you’re doing a split and not staying very long at one resort, is it difficult to book things like the cat cruise, diving, Dunn’s river, restaurants, etc? Has anyone had this experience with short stays? What’s the minimum nights you would book to be sure you can book the things you want to do?
Oh, and what about New Year’s eve? It’s a Friday, which is the gala night at CSS so it should be good there. What do they do for NY at CTI?
What to do, what to do. I know... we'll love wherever we go because all Couples are great, but "we" just can't decide (DH will happily let me decide... thx! lol). I think we’re leaning away from the CSS/CSA split and towards either just CSS or a CTI/CSS split. Thoughts please?
Ay Jamaicamecrazy, we just returned from a short weddingmoon at CSS. We had such a great time that we are about to book again. However, I too was considering CSA even though we had a great time at CSS. I believe I am just as indecisive as you are.
I think it would be a good idea, (for travel sake) to split with CTI as they are so close to one another. I wish you the best of luck with your travel decision.
I totally agree with you that you made the right decision abouit going to Couples resorts again.
Even though CSS does not have the CAT cruise, you can book at CAT cruise thru the tour desk for a fee. For sure it is at least as good as Couples CAT cruises.
You can still visit CTI with Trading Places
To us CSS is the most romantic resort in the world
hahaha my SO is the same way. told me we can go wherever I want, then sat back amused as I hmmed and haa'd and changed our reservations at least a few times (and wondered about changing them much more than that). So I understand your indecisiveness! LOL.
So, I can't speak directly to your questions about a split, but what I can answer is your question about reserving things in short time periods. When we went to CSS in April, we didn't go for that long, and consequently DID have a harder time reserving activities. It didn't help that two of the days ended up being red flag days, and the things we wanted to do there ended up being cancelled and we didn't have enough time to rebook. Also, restaurant reservations were hard to come by, at least for good times... we ended up eating pretty late at Casanova one time, 9pm. I would stay at least 4 nights someplace.
As far as what you said about being "water people," I haven't been yet but if you truly are water people then I would suggest staying with your current split of CSS/CSA. Yes, they're far away from each other, but you have a good length of time booked at each and if you transfer early in the morning, you'll still have all of that transfer day to relax at CSA. Also, as you know, CSA's beach is much better than CSS's and I think you would enjoy the time spent relaxing at CSS, then doing water activities and such at CSA... or vice versa.
We stayed at CSS two years ago. It's a lovely resort, but I really don't think i would want to spend 13 nights there, it's just too quiet..... I'd definitely go for the split. I hear ya about the moving and stuff, I'm an overpacker and not a big fan of relocating, but I think it would be worth it.
As far as a CSS/CTI split - That would be fun, too. We actually like CTI better than CSS, but that's just us.
I'd stick with the split. I've done a CSS/CSA split twice and loved it. I think a week is plenty of time to enjoy everything the resort has to offer. I only spent 4 days at CSS both times I was there and didn't feel like I missed out on anything. By day 4 I"m ready to head to CSA!
13 night is way too long to be at CSS in my opinion, too quiet and the restaurant choice is not huge.. I would split with CTI. You are correct about the dive boat, much better boat and dive crew at CTI. We haven't been to CSA but have done the others and CTI is by far our fvorite. the transfer will take less than 10 minutes. Good luck with your choice.
Thanks for all your input... even though all of you are telling me different things! LOL. I guess that's to be expected
What I have taken from it is that we won't do less than 4 days at any one resort for sure. We'll probably do more like 5 or 6 min.
I KNOW we're going to love CSS. We can just feel it calling and I've fallen for it already. Strangely, more so than returning to CSA this time (because we did love it).
But, I do hear the comment about 13 nights there being to much. BTW, we picked 13 because we are planning to leave after Boxing day, and
stretched already at the other end since our anniversary is on a Sunday and we'll leave Monday.
We'll certainly spend at least 7 days at CSS, as this is where we want to use our $500 resort credit for massages on the cliffs.
I made my DH sit down and look at all those great panorama shots on the website of CTI. I don't think it's as much our style as CSS or CSA, but he really liked the rooms, and OMG, the ocean views! I think the stunning ocean views, cat cruise (would really prefer Couples private cat to being on a cat with a million cruise ship people!) and diving from a bigger better boat would make up for lack of lushness for a few days. DH really liked the look of the beach there too, and the chic and modern feel of the place may be fun for a change.
So currently we are leaning towards a split of CTI 6 nights then CSS 7 nights... but that could change...LOL. Stay tuned.
I would stick with the split. We have been to CN and next year plan on a split between CSS and CN. That way you get to experience the best the island has to offer. You do not want to miss the beaches of Negril. It is worth the 2 1/2 hour ride between the resorts.
Having only been to CSS, I'm not going to comment on the merits of the others or suggest that it is best for you to spend your whole trip at CSS. However, as far as diving and water sports go, I don't know that you'll necessarily find a difference in the availability of water activities between CSS and CTI (with the exception of the cat cruise).
As long as you don't wait until the last minute at CSS, you shouldn't have a problem wth availability. The problem, if any, is usually the weather, which is basically the same for both CSS and CTI. The north side of the island does tend to be windier, hence there is a greater likelihood of red flags.
We were married at CSS in '07 and spent about 12 days (split pretty evenly between family/wedding time and alone time) and have gone back each year for 8 nights. We have booked 8 nights for '10 and '11. We have debated trying another resort, but we love CSS, and I guess with so little time off from work, we don't want to "risk" being disappointed. We also debated a split, but most of the specials offered seem to require at least 7 nights, and they're too good to pass up.
The Dunn's River Falls excursion is usually available, but if given the option, try to go on a day when there are no cruise ships in port (the front desk can tell you about that). It's very touristy but definitely a must-do. Don't bring cash (or at least don't put in the pocket of shorts that turn transparent when wet, thus disallowing the "I don't have any cash" argument for the vendors). Do try to go for the gala at CSS, as it's quite the affair. I'm sure for New Year's it wouold be even more fantastic.
I'm sure whatever you decide will be great, and I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time. Please keep us posted.
Oh, and I was hearing on the radio the other day that a study showed that washing your hands can help with decision-making. That might be worth a try. Even if it doesn't help you make up your mind, you'll have clean hands!
Yeah, we actually like CTI better that CSS, but they are both great!! So I would for sure go with the CTI/CSS split. I think you guys would be less stressed doing this split, since the two resorts are only about 5 minutes away from eachother. Plus you guys have already been to the Negril side of Jamaica. There are things about both resorts that you will love. If you have any questions about either just give me a shout.
The problem, if any, is usually the weather, which is basically the same for both CSS and CTI. The north side of the island does tend to be windier, hence there is a greater likelihood of red flags.
whoa... wait a minute. Really? This is not good to read.
I am not a fan of wind. We spent 3 days huddled behind foliage to escape the wind when we were at Turks & Caicos. It was so bad you couldn't sit on the beach for being whipped and stung by the sand. The watersports were all shut down. No hobies, No diving. No snorkeling. No swimming even. It was rough. Plus the resort we stayed at offered nothing else to do.... at least Couples has other things to do, like Dunn's and horseback riding and pools that are more sheltered, right?
The North coast of Jamaica (Ocho Rios in particular) isn't that bad is it? I mean, I know weather is unpredictable, but there are patterns and norms.
We stayed in MoBay once at the same time fo year (end of Dec/Early Jan) and had fabulous weather.
I'm back before any other posts are up, so if some of you have replied, I don't know it yet.
Bad girl. I'm not going to obsess about the weather. It's not a dive trip, so if the red flag goes up and we can't dive much, then so be it. Hopefully we'll get out at least once or twice and will get to do the cat cruise, but if not there's so much more to do inland in Jamaica. If the winds are up and it's not beach weather we'll do the horseback riding and Dunn's and maybe golf... and hope it improves by the time we get to CSS so we can vege on the beach there
Sounds like I've decided, hasn't it?...
Well, we did it. We changed our booking. Now we are doing 7 nights at CTI then 7 nights at CSS. We were assured that we would get the $500 credit for each resort, (I asked to get that confirmed in my email) so we decided to add the extra night (and it's still a bit cheaper than 13 nights with CSA in the split).
So excited about 2 new resorts to discover. Now to watch for airfare deals, and start counting the days... but it's oh so far away still!...
jamaicamecrazy, I've never seen the wind near that bad. Even though the north side does tend to be windier, it doesn't really affect the resort, since it's in a pretty natural cove. What I have heard is that water farther out can tend to be choppier than on the west side of the island, thus limiting the roped swimming area (I've never seen no swimming at all). Having said that, however, we've had many days where we couldn't even take the little sailboats out because there was no wind whatsoever.
I guess what I really meant about the weather is that you can't predict the unusual things and what side of the island it might hit (if it doesn't in fact hit both). On one trip, we had the misfortune during the last few days of being largely rained out because of the edge of a passing tropical storm, which pretty much ruled out watersports and made everything rather wet but did not by any means ruin our vacation.
The other reason I mentioned the wind was in regard to scheduling some of the more popular activities. In "normal" weather, I wouldn't think that things would be fully booked, but if things are canceled for a day or two, people would be trying to "fit them in." Just don't wait until the last minute, and I'm sure you'll be fine. As far as dives go, the "resort course" dives do tend to fill up, but our friends who are certified have never have had problems getting out there.
I hope you have a fantastic time, and please keep us posted!