Several CSA Questions
I am getting married in 10 days and I'll be at CSA in 13! I was just wondering how long it takes from the time we land until we get to the resort. I think our flight comes in at 11, will I be on the beach by 1:00, 2:00? Just wondering.
I heard ATM fees are pretty steep in Jamaica so I plan to bring some cash but I was wondering if the gift shop, any excursions or the private beach dinner can be booked with a credit/debit card.
We are staying the the beachfront veranda suite and I wanted to know if anyone had experiences with this room category. We are requesting a 3rd floor room for privacy but does it also have a better view than 1st and second floors?
For people that have been to any of the resorts recently, is occupancy down? For some reason I dont get the impression that the resort will be packed full. What are your experiences with that?
I cant wait to lay on the beach with my husband in less than 2 weeks!
The fastest that we've been on the beach is one hour after our plane touched down. We came in on a Wednesday. There was no line at customs. We had flown first class on Air Jamaica, so our luggage was waiting beside the carousel. We were flying TimAir to CSA, the plane was waiting for our 15 minute flight.
Now on the other hand we've had to wait in customs for 45 minutes. Then we were taking the shuttle which is around 1.5 hours, depending on traffic. We were at CSA in 3 hours.
We've stayed in the Beachfront Verandah Suites, on the third floor. Great views. We never turn the A/C on. We sleep with the patio doors open and fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean and the tree frogs.
We always take a lot of small bills for drinks on the plane, tips to the Sky Caps and van drivers, etc...
$50 in ones
$100 in fives
$150 in tens
$200 in twenties
Anything that you book thru the resort, purchase in the gift shop and private dinner can be billed to your room and paid for with a credit card.
Congratulations on your up coming wedding. You will have a wonderful time.
Congrats on the marriage and going to CSA. Make sure to fill out your forms for customs/immigration on the plane and you will go much quicker thru that process once you land. If everything goes smoothly you will be at CSA anywhere from 1-2pm. Make sure they know about your request when you are checking in. I would also ask for a corner room. There are shutters behind the bed and the verandah has the side open also. You can also ask the check in people if they know if that room has a good view of the ocean. If you get to your room and you aren't happy with the view, just call to see if there is a room with a better view.
Definitely bring cash to tip the driver and spa people and craft vendors that show up on the resort. I'm sure you can put whatever else on your card.
Not sure how full the resort will be, but even when they are at full capacity it never seems that way at CSA. The resort is so spread out and beautiful and it never felt crowded. Make sure to check out all the resort has to offer. Try to do one of the first orientations so you can see everything there is.
Make sure to take advantage of the beach service. Grab a green flag and go lay out. When you need a drink, just raise the flag and voila! they bring you one. Try the Hummingbird. They are delicious.
If you land at 11:00, you have to take into account customs and immigration. Are you arriving on a weekend? Those days are much busier at the airport, so it may take longer. If you're arriving during the week, you may hit some traffic on the roads. In our 3 trips to CSA, it has usually been 3 hours from flight touchdown before we're at CSA.
Can't address the ATM fees, but I believe Randymon recently posted that all of Couples has gone cashless, so you will definitely need the credit card to reserve excursions, private dinner, etc.
We have booked the BFVS in the past and love it. Your best shot at an unobstructed view is the 3rd floor, although there will probably still be a palm tree or two in your sightline.
Occupancy is almost always lower during hurricane season. That's why the prices are almost half of what they are during high season during the winter.
katie will you have to change your screen name in 17 days ?
Just teasing about the name change :)
Congrats on the upcoming wedding. The bus ride should be around 1.5 -2 hours there is construction being done around sangster airport which may add a few minutes. Make sure you have your immigration papers filled out while you are still on the plan and NOT on line. have fun
You might expect to get to the resort between 2-3. The ride from the airport to the resort will take about a hour twenty min. The wait at the Couples lounge was never very long for us. We had time to use the restroom and have a Red Stripe and chat for a few minutes. The unknown is how quickly you can get through immigration and customs. The last time we went in 2008 I bet at least 5 planes came in at about the same time and we spent over an hour before we made it to the Couples lounge. If you arrive ahead of the rush you can get through in 10-15 min.
I think the resorts have gone cashless. Credit cards are accepted and I was comfortable using them at the resort. I have read that off site some people had problems fraudulent charges on their cards show up later. These stories may be few and could happen anywhere but I was reluctant to use my credit card off site except at Negril Hills. We would estimate about how much cash we would bring along and we brought a variety of denominations so that we could pay as close to exactly the amount of our purchase. Most places give change in Jamaican. When we went to Ricks Cafe we did ask if we could get our change back in U.S. and they accommodated. On the most part there is little need for cash except for airport tips and off site beers and souvenirs.
We stayed in the BFV both times we stayed and loved it. We prefer an upper floor for the overall view plus at night we liked to sleep with our balcony doors open so we can listen to the ocean and the tree frogs. In the morning we would enjoy our continental breakfast on our balcony, gaze at the beach and ocean and wave and say good morning to the staff as the go by getting ready for their day.
I have no idea how full the resort is at this time. I am certain that they were at capacity when we were there but we never felt that resort was crowded.
We are coming up on our 34th wedding anniversary and could not be happier. I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming wedding and wish you much luck and happiness in the years to come.
One last comment to my previous post. At check in ask if there is a corner room available. We liked having one side with no neighbors and the side view. We also like the extra set of windows with the shutters. We had 2nd floor units when we were there but I think 3rd floor would be just as nice.
I think we arrived about noon or 12:30 & were signing in about 3?
Take $200-$300 cash, small bills. Will need a CC for check in to hold just in case...cashless otherwise.
No problem mon & congrats!
You will probably arrive @CSA around 1-1:30.
They will put anything you want on your CC. Our beach dinner was added to our bill at checkout.
We have stayed in the BFVS twice now, once on 2nd floor and once on 3rd. We loved them both, very private, the 2nd floor had better view, 3rd floor had large palm tree.
Congrats and have the time of your life!
First, the trip from MBJ to CSA takes about 90 minutes or less. Getting through the airport, customs and immigration, takes about an hour or so. So if you land 11'ish you could be on the beach by 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
Cash works best for "beach purchases". Private dinners on the beach can be charged to your credit card as can gift shop purchases. In fact, I believe that is Couples' policy now.
Beach front verenda rooms will all have a great view of the beach as they are truly "on the beach". I don't think privacy will be an issue on any floor, including the ground floor.
Finally, even at capacity CSA will not feel crowded in the least. Because it won't be. It is so well arranged and there is just so much room on the resort that you will never feel crowded, even if they are running full. That said, I believe that you are travelling at the slowest time of year for Jamaica tourism, so don't give it a thought.
You are going to LOVE CSA, especially the beach.
I love the beach. :D
Be aware, though, you will want to return again. And again, and again..... Have a great trip!
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
It's already been answered, but yes, it will take about 1.5-2 hrs to get from the airport to the resort. There was part of the customs and immigration form that I (and many others) forgot to fill out so we had to stop and do that when we got into the terminal. I don't remember how it's labeled, but it's on the back or below a dotted line so it almost looks like something you don't have to fill out. Just read the forms carefully.
We brought $200 in cash. We tipped the necessary people at the airport, bought a few souvenirs on the beach, and came back with most of our cash. I'm sure the non-resort people like the parasailing and jetskiing guys will only take cash, but the resort itself takes credit card. There's also an exit fee you have to pay at the airport, that I think is cash only.
We stayed in BFVS # 3224 which is a 2nd floor corner room. It was awesome! We had a good view and I liked the feeling of being on a corner.
When we were there in late May/ early June of this year, someone told us it was only 70% occupied. Not sure if that's normal for that time of year.
What was the cost to fly from MoBay to CSA? Do you have to set that up ahead of your arrival?
how many flights landing when you do will effect customs and immigration. the drive time our last couple of trips has been slower due to the traffic in Montego Bay. once out of town and on the road it goes quickly.
our drives to Swept Away have been from 75 minutes up to over two hours. all traffic releated. if it is raining when you land expect more delays.
I always book our TimAir flight ahead of time. It normally runs $100 per person each way. So, $200 for a couple to fly from MoBay to Negril. If you make a reservation they will have a plane and a pilot waiting for you. They have their own van that takes you to the domestic terminal. We tip the van driver $5 and then the TimAir baggage guy will take your bags out and load them in the plane. We tip this guy a $1/bag.
It's a great flight and if money is not an issue it's the best way to get to CSA.
Thanks for the info........we will be there 1/31-2/7. That's a Sunday, so unless and accident slows us, I think we can deal with the ride. But getting there in 15 minutes does sound good. I'll check into it. I had asked a question somewhere before about the Gaming Room at CSA. Have you used it, and what type of machines do they have? Everything I am reading about CSA tells me we made the right decision to go there. I've been to Jamaica 14 times at different resorts......from the Couples in Ocho Rios & Negril to the Superclubs, Braco and Breezes; but I am really looking forward to Swept Away!