Very Well Said, jamaica 97 ...so true!
Very Well Said, jamaica 97 ...so true!
Hey, no place is going to be "perfect" on everything. We are returning to CSA for our seventh time this June and we know that there will be things that are a bit sub-par in our view. However we also know that we are getting a heck of a lot of bang for our buck.
Alcohol brands: irrelevant, I mean really?
Rooms a bit aged: irrelevant, if you want a new place then stay at a new place
Perfectly manicured and cleaned beach: come on, it's a beach, blame mother nature for the seaweed, besides it is as near perfect as any beach I've seen, very well taken care of
Water and coffee filled at all times: meh, they do a more than adequate job in my opinion
Staff: again, come on. They are people, are you perfectly pleasant to them at all times?
Trifles, all trifles in my opinion.
I can't keep up with all the complaints I read above to address them all individually, but I will say that I became a bit agitated after reading for a while. I suppose you can't please everyone all the time. We love CSA and plan on returning every year, if possible, for as long as we care to. They will have to have far more than subtle, occasional stumbles in service and amenities before we will write them off our list of favorite places to spend our vacations.
I think many have hit the nail on the head here on a number of items:
1. Research - I read TA everyday on several resorts. I read for both our upcoming trips (CSS and EPM in mexico) and I also often read about resorts we are considering or ones we have recently been to (CSA). I often read complaints about things that seem completely obvious to me that a traveler should have looked into prior to vacationing - such as not knowing that CSS has steps or that it is a small private beach, Not knowing EPM has dress codes or doesn't do restaurant reservations.... Even I have suffered from the research bug - I learned my lesson on our CSA trip - I researched so much and really knew what room location etc we wanted. I sent in 2 advance requests, neither was honored. In fact, one request was to avoid being next to the Palms and that was exactly where we were put. We couldn't have gotten any closer if we tried.... But, as it turned out, we looked at the rooms we could have gotten and realized ours had some attributes (more privacy) than others. This is an important feature to us and we would not have been that happy with those BFS that we right on the path. So, it worked out right... Gotta go with the flow a bit.
2. Things definitely change over time but I know it has got to be tough to see it happen.
3. Liquor - not being able to get a certain brand wouldn't ruin my trip because I just wouldn't allow it... There were several times at CSA where the bars were out of things. Did I think that was a little lame - yes, but we had a great trip regardless. I do think CSA could eliminate these complaints by just stocking additional where needed. For example, the martini bar was often out of grey goose and would want to mix you a dirty martini with Smirnoff... So, if CSA would just stock a few extra bottles this perception of "first come, first serve top shelf liquor" would be gone.
All in all, I think going with the punches ensures a good trip. Every resort has its pluses and its "needs improvement" areas. They may not be the same for every guest. You just have to weigh out your personal non-negotiables versus the resort attributes and decide - can I be happy here and does the value I perceive equate to what is going to be pulled from my wallet? Our 2 trips this year are going to be very different. We have researched that and have different expectations and needs from each resort.
Live from CSA! I'm writing this from our AWESOME Atrium porch....won't disclose the room number, though! We arrived yesterday, and so far everything has been amazing. I'm not noticing any changes since our last trip in November 2009. Here's the good news!
Arrived at 2:00, room was ready by 3:00. They were more than happy to honor our room request
We were greeted with cold towels, many welcoming smiles, and champagne
Mini bar was stocked when we arrived
Lobster night was fantastic -
Staff have gone above and beyond to be accommodating
In summary - no worries!! I'll write a better review when we return.... I'm off to take some sunset pics now
Life is good !