Swept Away in prime time
I have been on this message board and trip advisor reading and reading. We are going to Swept Away in 10 days after counting down for sooo long.
What i am hearing lately is poor service and not clean rooms. Is this because it is now the busy season? We arrive at the end of January and i think the resort is almost full. Can this be the reason why the service is so slow? Do they not have enough staff on hand for the crowd?
We have never travelled anywhere and this trip is a 1st for us. We paid a lot of money for this 7 day trip and hope we are not disappointed. I am hearing slow food service (over a hour) and dirty smelling bars and not clean rooms. Has anyone ever been here when the place is full and get this poor service? Or is this something that is currently happening for whatever reason?
We go to CSA every Thanksgiving when the resort is at capacity, so I think I can do an apples:apples comparison....
First of all, please remember that you're in a different culture (and you're on vacation!) You will probably find that service is a bit slower than what you might experience back home. We'e eaten at all of the restaurants, and I can honestly say that dinner at the Palms is typically the worst service....drinks never arrive, slow a la carte service....so, we just don't go there for dinner (breakfast and lunch are typically fine there). The other restaurants have generally been fine (although we generally enjoy taking a couple of hours enjoying our dinner and each other)....I guess if you're really in a hurry to eat, you can always tell the hostess and your server. The people at CSA are very well trained in customer service, and we've found that they'll do anything they can to make sure you're happy....
Our rooms have always been well cleaned and cared for by the housekeeping staff - you may find that they come between noonish and 3:0o or so, but the room is always clean. Plus there's the evening turndown, when they freshen the towels, etc. No problem there!
We've never experienced a smelly bar, but the only one we haven't visited recently is Aura Lounge (and I have heard reports of a "funky" smell, whatever that is). You'll find the bars clean and well stocked with top shelf liquor.
This last November we actually commented that the level of service has actually improved, and it also looked like the grounds crew was even more on the ball!
Also, we found that Mr. Issa (the owner), was on site for at least part of the day for several of our 9 day stay. He is VERY attuned to the overall look and vibe of the resort, and is definitely a micr0-manager!
We agree that this is an expensive vacation, and in this economy I think we all want to make sure we get the most bang for our buck! We've visited CSA 8 times and have always been very satisfied.
One hint, though, be nice and polite to the employees - they're people too, and they really respond well to a smile accompanying a request. I think you'll find the staff to be some of the nicest people - you may not make "life long friends," but I think you'll enjoy them!
Try to relax and enjoy your upcoming vacation!!!! I wish I were in your shoes!!!
Hey Debbie and Paul - we are definitely doing the single digit dance now!
Let me try to put your mind at ease on a few fronts. We have always gone to CSA during "high" season (January and February). We have been there five times. Only ONCE on those 5 trips have we ever been told that we would have to wait for a 1/2 hour for a table. That was last January on a Sunday evening at the Palms. We simply walked to Patois and were seated for dinner immediately.
Yes, sometimes at breakfast at the Palms, they forget the water or the coffee. This probably happens once or twice a trip. Bob will get up and get his own coffee, no problem.
Maybe 5 times total at the Palms, our drink order has not arrived. Bob goes to the bar and gets us drinks. No problem.
Seagrapes for lunch is notoriously slow unless you sit at the bar area. Can't understand it, but that's the way it is. Cabana Grill around 1:00 can be a mad house. Have never had to wait more than 20 minutes for food, and usually it's out in 10 minutes or less.
The above list is the sum total of all of my CSA horror stories related to dining. Is CSA perfect? Nope, it's not. We're all spending a lot of money, but I have yet to find a resort that is perfect. Maybe if I was a multi-millionaire, but I'm not.
There have been a few recent posts from brand new posters complaining about the dining at CSA. NONE of these posts have provided details. I strongly suspect that some of these posts are bogus. However, I think it speaks well of Couples that they allow these posts to show up on the message board.
I will note that Zaraforty was kind enough to post a few negative thoughts regarding her recent stay at Couples. I deeply respect Zara as she is a long time poster. However, we all have negative experiences on vacation from time to time. Last year, our room category was not available for our first night at CSA. Was I upset? Yup, I was. Couples has consistently allowed me to post this on this message board. I think that shows how aboveboard they are.
Finally, I personally think service may be slower in the low season (October-November). They are training new staff at this time.
I have NEVER had a dirty room at CSA or CSS. I am a neat freak, too. I have noticed the funky smell at the bars, though. That is nothing new. But, jeez, have you ever been to Key West and walked down Duvall Street in the morning? All of the bars are open air and they are all being aired out. The smell is enough to gag you.
I think as long as you are not expecting perfection, you will be fine.
There is a thing called "Jamaica time", that being said, there is also a thing called a "smile", and my wife and I have always found that at Swept Away, it goes a long way. We have been there five times, and are returning in April. Momma did'nt raise no fool! If Swept Away didn't sweep us away everytime, we wouldn't be coming back. First trip? and you booked Swept Away? You hit Gold! Go out as fast as you can and get a lottery ticket cause you've got the mojo working! Smile and respect, that's all you need to do in Jamaica.
We will be there Jan. 30 - Feb. 6. We were there in 2010 around the same time. We had a clean room, and from what I remember, the service was fine. You have to remember, there's American time service and then there's "Jamaica time, Mon". I don't remember any specific problems. I've traveled to Jamaica 15 times, and what I've observed is the people who demand service immediately, don't get it. If you're nice to the employees, talk to them, they get to know you........you'll find that as you are walking to the bar, they'll have your drink waiting. The ones who are insistent on service immediately, will wait. Just my past experience. Relax, you're on vacation........"everything's going to be alright" !!! Irie
This is the time of year where people/guests/ect vote for Best Resorts/Best Hotels/ect in the World and Carribean---and if you notice those who have expressed negative reviews are brand new members of the sites (including this one you will see the same on trip advisor) and have only published 1-3 posts/reviews--in other words take it all with a grain of salt as they say because most likely they have never even been to the place! You will also see at the same time of these "negative" reviews there are 3 times more positive reviews---I know someone who just returned from CSA and they said they had the time of their lives and everything was pristine and never waited for anything.
We were just there December 26-January 2. I will agree with the slow service, though it didn't take an hour to get a table anywhere. It was once you were seated you waited a while to get drinks, to order, to get food. The servers were not friendly at all, which I was really surprised about. The one good experience we had with wait staff was Feathers. Everyone there was very friendly, which is exactly what I expected.
As to the bars and rooms, we had no problems whatsoever. Our room was cleaned very well and I didn't notice a bad smell at any bar we went to - Aura Lounge, Martini Bar, any of the beach bars, nor the bar at the fitness center. I was impressed with the cleaning service in the room and I enjoyed the bars we went to.
I hope this helps. I was really disappointed in the service at the restaurants.
Hey Bob & Judy! Oh my YES we are in the single digits now.This time next week we will be there.
Ge: We are sty
Sorry my keyboard dropped.
To Ge: we are stying the exact time frame as you guys. We fly out of Toronto Pearson on January 30th at 6 a.m and stay till Feb 6th. when is your flight and where are you coming from? Maybe we will be on the shuttle together? If we are you can tell me everything since we have never travelled.
We cannot believe after all our counting down we are now finally in the last few days before we leave. hey what will you guys and Bob & Judy be doing this weekend before you leave? Debbie & Paul
yesterday i bought Sangsters Jamaican rum from the LCBO to get ready for our trip :) and it is good stuff!
Hey Debbie and Paul - we are really getting close now, huh? On Saturday, we will clean the house and do some last minute chores, like take the dog to the kennel. That is the worst part for Bob, I think.
When you get there on Monday, that will be the "International Dinner" at the Palms. They have a very nice buffet selection. There is also the managers cocktail party on Monday evening. That is at the Aura Lounge around 6:00. They have all sorts of yummy appetizers there and you can meet some of the staff. If you plan on snorkeling, sign up early in the day. I've heard from friends that are already at CSA that the boats have been going out full!