I have never been to Jamaica and my husband and I are trying to plan a trip. We were led to CSA through a travel magazine..... we have been searching extensively. Anyway, how do you know which room to choose, do you book air fare seperately, how long of a bus ride is it from Montego Bay?????? Do they have a special for people doing a vow renewal.... I know, a lot of questions. We are finally getting to take our honeymoon, and at the same time celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (this is where the vow renewal comes in). We really like the looks of Couples Swept Away, so that is 1 positive thing so far. :-) I would appreciate any feed back. oh ya, is mid April to late in the year to go..... as far as weather is concerned anyway. I don't want any rain. We live in Northern Washington and get plenty of it here....lol
thank you in advance,
Hello.Ok let me see if I can answer all of these for you to help.
1. Room to choose will depend on what you like, TV or no TV first, if you want a TV then choose Veranda suites. No TV then its beachfront suites or Atrium or Garden. They have pics of all. If you want to be right in front of beach pick Beachfront. ALL rooms rock so, its really what you want. The Atrium have a hammock outside which is nice. The BFS have big walk out porches which we LOVED.
2. We always book flight and room together, we have used couples and also expedia too so just we look all around.
3. The bus ride is about an hour and half. They stop half way through to go to bathroom and buy a redstripe if you want. Its a nice ride if you have never been there cause you get to see the local areas.
4. Yes they have a Vow Renewal which is REALLY nice so go on the wedding site to check that out.
5. April is a nice time to go, only thing I would do is bring bug spray, as you get later in year they come out.
Hope this help a bit, Jane
We looove CSA!! I will try to tackle some of your questions.... as far as what we do when booking a room, we always book the lowest level room. The atrium rooms (lowest level) are awesome! But, we're also repeaters, so we may or may not get an upgrade when we arrive - it all depends. We do love the atriums so if we get "stuck" there, that's fine by us!
We have always booked our airfare separately. Usually we book our trip so far out that airfare is not an option to book at the time anyhow. Plus, I've been able to find better deals on my own than what is offered through the airfare package.
Bus ride is about an hour and a half. It's not a bad ride, and you'll get to see a lot of the countryside. Hopefully you'll get a driver who wants to tell you about everything you see (sometimes we have, sometimes we haven't) -- but even if you don't, you can ask your driver any questions and they will gladly answer. (Also, just a side note, you tip your driver, and also your luggage handlers at the airport. The transfer is included, but tips are appreciated.)
I don't know anything about doing a vow renewal but I know they offer it. I think it's on the page about weddings.
If it rains, typically, you will get an afternoon shower for an hour or so and then it clears up. You're not going during hurricane season so that minimizes your risk of rainy days. I haven't been in April but I would think that's a great time of year to visit (I've been in March and also in June). Even if it DOES rain, the shower will give you an opportunity to take a nap or just chill for a bit. If you look at the forecast for Jamaica, it's going to say "rain every day". It's because it's in the tropics and they get showers that typically don't last very long almost every single day.
Good luck with your planning, and happy vow renewal (and anniversary)!!
Choose the room that best fits your budget. You probably won't spend as much time in it anyway. They do have renewal of vows, we did it at CN for our 25th and it was better than our wedding day. The bus ride is about 1.5 hours with a pit stop. If you don't stop it's about 15 minutes shorter. April is a perfect time to go. The rates are cheaper and the weather is perfect. We usually book the air fare separately. It ends up being cheaper. Just go to a site that shows all airlines to find out which ones fly from your airport and then check the airlines own web site to book. Hope that helps.You will love Jamaica and you made the right choice choosing Couples!
Wow, you guys rock!!!!
I am soooo excited to go, i can hardly stand it. Thank you for your input. It has helped a lot.
Thank you for the well wishes, and enjoy 2011.....
We usually go in mid april. The rates drop, it isn't too hot and the weather is typically very nice. It didn't rain once that trip which was good and bad. You have high humidity when it doesn't rain. We actually did a vow renewal/honeymoon on our last April trip too. We usually get the Atrium suite because we love them the most. They used to be higher on the price list but are now on the bottom which is nice. They were sold out when I booked in Jan so I got a beachfront suite. It's pretty much the same thing with a slightly different balcony and a different view. I like the Atrium better because of the privacy and very low noise. Our BFS was the second building from the Palms and right in front of Seagrapes so it was pretty loud. I think any of them on the main path (all beachfront rooms) would be pretty loud though. The location of that room was perfect otherwise because it is right in the center of our favorite part of the resort and near all the things we do. We spend most of our time diving, swimming in the main pool or snorkeling so it is all right there. I am not a huge fan of the swim up bar because it is a lot more crowded and open and it is chlorinated. The main pool is so relaxed, usually pretty empty and there is no chlorine. We love the old section of the resort because the plants are all mature and it is sp quiet and peaceful. The rooms over there are awesome because they don't feel like hotel rooms at all. The Atriums and BFS have only four rooms per building and the rooms don't share a common wall so you have windows on all sides. It feels like a private tropical bungalow. The balconies are huge and there are beautiful brown plantation shutters on all the windows. There are screens so you can leave the shutters open and get an awesome breeze. The new section (rooms with verandah or great house in the title) also have those shutters but they have glass behind them and there are only windows on the front wall unless you get a corner room. There are more rooms per building and you do share a wall so they are hotel rooms.
Check out the wedding section of the website, they have a part about vow renewals. I didn't upgrade anything and it was still awesome. I got purple and white orchids which were one of the standard options and I chose the gazebo because it is far more private than the beach, much less windy and there is shade! Even at 10am I felt like I was melting. They made it very simple and it was very nice. They really go out of their way to help you out. There was a fellow who sometimes helps the wedding coordinator out who helped with ours that morning. I brought my little camera with us and he offered to take photos of us with it during the ceremony which was very nice since it was just the two of us there. He was an awesome guy and great to talk to. I got my hair done at the salon which was nice and inexpensive. It was very nice!
We get our airfare on our own because I hunt for deals and wait for sales. Some of our trips are booked too far out to get airfare at a decent price, if at all. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy two one way trips instead of a round trip too.
As far as the rain goes, it's almost always short and it's warm. Half the time you are wet already anyway! It's actually very nice because the humidity drops after the rain and it sort of washes everything off so it's all clean and fresh. Only once have we been there when it was pouring and it was actually still pretty nice. That was in Oct about a week after a hurricane came through. The rain didn't last too long and it was really beautiful. It happened to be on the night of the big anniversary party but they knew it was coming and planned ahead. There are umbrellas in the rooms and if there is not one they will bring you one right away. I packed a compact one because I knew the weather might be spotty and that way we would each have one. It was nice to walk around under the umbrellas at night. Usually the showers are mid afternoon and only last a very short time.
Anyway, I think CSA is an awesome choice and you will surely love it! Please let me know if you have any other questions about the vow renewal or anything.
Some people will tell you not to worry about the room, to book the lowest price because you won't spend much time there anyway. To me that's individual preference. We like the beachfront verandah suite because we do like to spend time on our verandah but like the view and being close to the beach. Let your preferences guide you. Go to CSA's page and look at the room descriptions, they are very accurate and the pictures are exactly what the rooms look like. Spend a little time pondering it and go with what fits YOUR needs.
We always book our trips as a package and book through a travel agent. A travel agent isn't more expensive but will be a wonderful help if you have trouble with a flight. You will hear of people having booked as a package or room and flight so do what you find easiest. I'm a huge proponent of travel agents.
As others have said, the bus ride is over an hour...about 90 minutes. We happened to arrive during a huge rain storm and also at rush hour so it took easily 2 hours but I believe this was a fluke. There is a puddle jumper type airline you can take either way but I'd recommend it for the trip back if you are interested as it will save you several hours the day you leave...it is called TimAir. If you can't decide you can make the arrangements once you are in Jamaica, we did and the Couples staff was very helpful in making the phone call and faxing the form (I had printed that off at home we just hadn't made the decision to take the flight).
Don't read ANY weather reports. We've been to Jamaica 15 times and it will always say rain. Most of our trips were to Montego Bay and in spite of those reports we had many trips with no rain at all. In Negril you will get some rain most days but it will be short, much like Miami if you are familiar with that. We were there for 8 days in October when it was stormy (hurricane season) and one day it was cloudy all day but no rain. We had probably 4-5 days with short rain storms, maybe an hour or so. And the other days there was no rain or clouds all day.
You will absolutely love CSA.
I cannot believe how helpful all of you have been. You have no idea how much it means to me. I keep checking back daily to see if anyone else has dropped a pointer my way, and to my astonishment..... there you all are. Wow, it is so very nice to know that in this day and age, there are still people out there that care..... and, we don't even know each other.
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN!!!!
So I think we have setteled on a date..... April 19th thru the 28th.... roughly with in a day or 2. so if any of you are going, I would love to meet you and say thank you in person. :-) If not, I will surely post my pics.
one thing to remember about the rooms...you really aren't in them all that much...even if it rains! I think it rained once the last time we were there and the bar was still open so we grabbed a drink and played some bingo with the activities director and made some new friends. One of my favorite afternoons!
Robin, whatever room you get you will still LOVE it, and then when you come back because TRUST me you will want to come back, you will change your room just to see what you missed hahaha. We always get the BFS, due to we like the old section too but this time trying the Atrium, had nothing to do with money just wanted to see what they were like. Have FUN!