Honest July CTI Review from a Repeater
For avid board readers you will find a smiliar review also as a response to a posters questions however I felt it would be beneficial to all. CTI is my Jamaican home and we were offically labeld Jamaricans after this trip considering our real attempt to get to know and travel Jamaica. We have been from Negril clear to Portland Parish (including the Blue Lagoon, Boston Beach, and the Boston Jerk Center) and have began understanding a good portion of Patois.
Just returned yesterday from 3rd CTI trip (4th Couples Trip, CN)...Still LOVE the staff from check-in (Kirk & Byron) to all meals (Shauna Ray. Steven and Allyssa), to entertainment (Katie) absolutely top notch, still LOVE the food although Bayside is our favorite we ate at each twice and it was superb even the private island dinner was fantastic depsite the logistics invovled, still LOVE the view from Premier Ocean although we usually do garden becasue we are rarely in the room. NEVER have experienced ants or any other type of bugs, only on the "island" did I find a more limited selection of booze but the creative and wonderful bartenders (Rohan, Terry, Antoinette, Kelly, and the many many others) make you forget almost immediately. We did have 2 red flag days (first time ever) but they were happy to transfer to CSS for a day trip if the "nude experience" was on your day time agenda. On appropriate days the Hobie cats were running never experienced an unnecessary "no" answer for anything. Even the Catamaran ran using an alternative pick-up location. We used a red flag day to enjoy Dunn's River since there the weather is of no concern. The red drink flags were in action :) and the Entertainment was top notch not that I would expect any less from Katie and her supervisor Ava!!! Loved the addition of Moses and the new and improved Silver Birds show!!! Guest services were very accomodating and exteremly friendly!!! Check in desk was equally awesome!! Dalan (Delan) from watersports continues to be one of our favorite staff members!
For those torn between CTI and CSS I would highly suggest using the day trips offerred on M, W, F so that you can have your cake and eat it too for picture opportunities and change of scenary but man I would not want to maneuver all those steps for an entire vacation especially at night. The turn down service is great, so don't skip that by using your do not disturb, sometimes you even get a nice creative surprise(Thanks Catherine & Erica)!!!
There were a few negatives this trip although it would not at all change my opinion nor my booked vacation for July of 2013 back to CTI. So let's test the negative side of the post to see if there is a monitor issue. I will share them in hopes that Couples will address the concerns so that they continue to be a top notch resort!
The boats at CTI need an overall. The Pontoon was a great idea however it is already not running and awaiting parts for the 9 days we were there, or the red flag might not have made the same impact. The dive boat also struggled a few times, but don't worry divers they used a work around with the Snorkel boat and or the CSS boat, however for those wanting to glass bottom boat or snorkel there were a few adjustments they had to be willing to overlook.
We love the vibe and look of CTI but there are some areas where touch up paint would bring the fresh look back.
The island was having a water line problem this didn't close the island but it did require a willingness to forgo blended drinks and the use of a fresh water bucket to operate the potty properly it was easy enough with a big barrell of water and a quick dunk of a small bucket in order to flush. Stuff happens anywhere and everywhere so no blame only stating facts.
The glass bottom boat needed a thorough cleaning of the glass.
The beach could have been raked with a little more urgency to ensure a beautiful experience especially since there isn't too much beach but this seemed to only affect the area closest to the watersports side.
The new extra laps requirement for the resort scuba seems silly. As a diver if the point is to determine comfortablity in the water then reserve the yes or no for the ocean dive based on what happens in the dive pool this is a much better indicator than whether or not you can swim hand over head in the pool for the extended laps considering you NEVER dive using this skill/technique matter fact quite the contrary it makes you roll underwater.
Some of my favorite friends had been sent on vacation (Collin dive shack, Raquel bar) however I want to give a huge shout out to Janice (BJ) from watersports who was a delightful female version of Divemaster Collin whom we missed desparatly although it was a nice surprise when he showed up to do a fun dive with 4 of us repeaters even during his vacation. We would love to see Janice (BJ) become a permanent addition to the Dive team!!! She was impeccably professional, patient, and geniunely excited to help share her passion for diving!!! This can be very encouraging for the baby seals who are attempting their first dive expereince :)
I will trully miss the Catamaran and do hope negotiations can be worked out. It is a highlight of the trip and enjooyed by many. It would be nice to have at least one water trike brought over from CSS they can be a lot of fun. And although I understand the logistics and it is said often I do wish the repeaters dinner was one the internatinal gala night rather than the beach party fingers crossed for next year. I also missed the horseback riding this year, that was a great excursion.
So there it is another trip in the books and eagerly awating July 19th 2013 where we are ready for our 10 night stay (longest ever)!!! Although I felt it only fair to be honest pelase do not mistake the honesty for unhappiness, the staff does there best to overcome any adversity and there is always somewhere or something availabe to enjoy!! I love CTI and can't wait to return!