CTI - 1st time
My wife and I are looking to book a trip to Jamaica at the begining of February. The CTI has caught our eye and we were wanting some opinions from younger couples that have visited the resort. We are 25 years old and it will be our honeymoon. We want relaxation but also want nightlife. Just wondering if the CTI is a good destination for a younger couple to fit in and have a good nightlife experience or should we be looking elsewhere? Any info would be appreciated!!
Hey! So we are both 30 and are going to CTI for the 4th time next summer.. i think we were 24 or 25 on our first trip.. Would love to fill you in on all the details which is probably easier via email so if you like send us a message mctighth2400@gmail
Originally Posted by Mr.Vacation
My husband and I went to CTI for our honeymoon (April 2012) we were 27 and 29. Loved every moment of the trip. We're actually heading back for Christmas (12/18-12/26). If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask. You will not regret booking here- we had so much fun!
Originally Posted by mctighth
Hi mctighth, would you be willing to share some details here publicly too? My husband and I are going to CTI for the first time at the end of January 2013 and would love to hear your thoughts. We're 32 and 31, respectively, and this is actually our first-ever trip to an all-inclusive resort. We're not huge dancing/club scene people but do enjoy drinking and having a good time. This will actually be our honeymoon as well, although we've been married for 2.5 years. We're really excited for this getaway, so if you have any tips/advice/whatever, we'd love to hear it!
I'm going to tag onto this thread, if that's ok. I have other first-timer CTI questions and would rather not clog up the board with a similar-type thread.
After reading the first-time-related threads/what to pack/what to leave home/etc, I have a few remaining questions.
1. CTI's accommodations area of the site mentions what's included in the rooms. One of those is a coffee maker. Does anyone know whether I could bring my own loose grounds, or do they use those little "pods" that are common in US hotels?
2. Are umbrellas/ponchos included in the rooms? Are these even necessary? We're going for 5 nights at the end of January.
3. I've seen a lot of comments about being sure to bring bug spray, but then somewhere saw a comment that this wasn't needed at CTI. Can anyone speak to this, specific to CTI?
4. How does the trading places thing work, where you can go visit the neighboring Couples for the day. Is this worth it, especially given that we're only there for 5 nights?
5. I have seen LOTS of talk about bendy straws, drink koozies, and insulated travel mugs. What are your thoughts about these at CTI?
I may have more questions that arise, but those are my main ones right now. Thanks in advance...
1. they use the pods
2. I did not see either in the room, usually never rains that long
3. We had mosquitoes when sitting on our balcony in the evening, never did see them anywhere else.
4. I would stay in (1) place if you are only there (5) nights, you will spend a good part of (2) days traveling anyway, They make you leave for the airport (4) hours prior to departure
5. You can bring them but you do not need them, they have cups and straws. We used to bring those things 15 trips ago but not any longer.
Those coffee pots in the rooms are those 4 cup coffee makers you typically see here in the states. Couples provides those "4cup" coffee bags to go with it and will refill them the next morning. I don't believe you can bring your own coffee down there because you cannot bring food to the Island, nore would you really want to because Jamaica is known for some of the best coffee.
Our rooms have always had umbrellas in the them. I've never used them because even though it may rain a little every day or maybe not at all, the rain actually feels refreshing after being in the warm sun. Rain is usually short lived except for huricane season and Jan. is not huricane season.
Some people are very sensitive to the sand fleas that are sometimes out at night on the beach. We were not at all bothered by them at CTI, but my husband had some bites at CSS. Been to CN and never had a problem either. We bring the deep woods off wipes that come in packages because they are easy to pack, just in case and have only had to use them the one time at CSS.
As far as bendy straws, I guess it depends on how each person what they like. The resort has non bendy straws. drink koozies are nice but I personally think insulated travel mugs take up too much room.
As far as trading places think of it this way, you are only there 5 days, the first and last days are travel time. It depends on how much you want to see the other resort or how much more of CTI you want to see and how much you will enjoy yourself at CTI. I'm willing to bet that you will like it there so much that you will be back again, if not CTI, then you may want to try another one.
The only one I have not tried yet is CSA. CN is my favorite, but each person has their favorite and some like CTI more than CN. Each place is differant and each person has diff. likes. The service is the same at all of them, that is they treat you well.
So what did mrvacation decide??? Did they book at cti???
At CTI you will get souvenir water bottles in your room. They are not insulated. My hubby takes a bottle wrap to put his beer glass in to keep the beer colder. A couple of years ago, on the island the beer was served in bottles. Now it's served in glasses.
I had my first mosquito this past trip, #6, while getting a treatment in the spa. Of course, it was a body wrap, so I could even swat at the little buzzer. But we still take bug wipes, just in case.
I have never seen umbrellas or ponchos in the rooms. Most of the buildings are connected, so even if it does rain, you won't be outside. The exception is Building 1 and Bayside.
We have done Trading Places a couple times. One time we came back early. This year, we stayed the whole day and enjoyed ourselves. It was nice to see the other property. But only you know how you want to spend your vacation, so only you will know if it's worth the time.
Trust me when I say dont sweat the small stuff!
The Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is amazing- they serve it all over the resort and you can order room service, they'll deliver it to you! I know they have machines in the room, but we didnt fuss with them at all. As for ponchos/ umbrellas dont waste the space in your bag. It rained one day while we were there 4/12, but it was still warm and like people have said the buildings are connected so you dont really notice. We found a nice spot at the bar that day and socialized- it was a great day. As far as coozies and straws, again, I didnt worry about it and I wouldnt unless its really a must have for you. As far as splitting time I know if you're a repeat you can get a pass for a day at another neighboring resort- this year we will try CSS for the day to look around. Time goes by so fast- just stick to one resort and plan to try another one next time. We've only been once, but Im getting ready for trip #2 - only 27 days... so dont hesitate to ask questions!
As you can see it took us a little while to get back here and see your message. Thats why we put our email out there so much more efficient that way lol. email us and we can help our mctighth2400@gmail let us know your concerns or questions
Originally Posted by janda
Thanks for the replies, everyone. We'll probably forego the travel mugs and ponchos/umbrellas but may bring a small baggie of straws and the bug spray wipes. We'll probably skip seeing the other resort in town, and duh, I can't believe I forgot about Jamaican coffee being superb! Thanks again.
mctighth, thanks for the offer, but I'd prefer to keep my email private and just converse via these boards. No big deal, though; we're getting our questions answered. :)
We are going back for the fifth time next week. Do NOT bring coffee. Arguably the best coffee (others might say Kona) in the world is Blue Mountain Coffee. This is what is in the rooms. Taking coffee to Jamaica would be like taking corn to Nebraska.
No umbrellas or ponchos in the rooms. I've never wished I had one. You might get there and find it really rainy but it's never happened to me.
I do take bug spray with me to put on my ankles if I'm going in the sand at night. Once I got some tiny little bites, nothing serious.
Never bothered with trading places, might try it this time, don't know.
Who needs bendy straws etc? I don't need something like that to keep up with. If your beer gets hot, get a fresh one. But, I'm just low maintenance. We went without checking any luggage last time.
Originally Posted by janda
Looks like you got some great feedback. I'll add my $0.02. I read the boards compulsively before our first trip 3 years ago, brought a lot of stuff recommended by the repeating gang. On our return trip we scrapped the can cooler/kozy things and the mugs. If your drink melts before you can finish it, they will give you another one! We did enjoy having bendy straws, and giving some our neighbors on the beach. (I brought a big package! We gave the rest to someone just checking in as we were leaving.)
We also didn't bring the mosquito net for the balcony door so we could leave it open at night after the first year. It's hard for mosquitoes to manage the slight breeze so I haven't had a problem on our balcony, at dinner, etc. I did get some kind of bites on my feet when we were in the sand at night for the beach party, but I had packed a little thing of bug spray so I put some on and was fine. We never saw umbrellas in the rooms but we also never had much rain. It drizzled a few times but never for more than a few minutes. Most of the buildings are connected, so you can stay dry. (This was in March.)
You can sign up for Romance Rewards before you travel to Couples, the benefits you're eligible to use on your first visit are pre-check-in (set up that mini-bar!) and Trading Spaces to the closest resort.
In our experience the nightlife was quiet-ish but fun, and mostly seemed to center around folks making friends on the resort or traveling with couples they knew. We usually have a few drinks and go to bed but some nights the piano bar is full, there are folks laughing and lingering over dessert in the Verandah and others enjoying a nightcap at the bar, on the deck by the lobby or on the pier.
Hope that helps!
Thanks, all. Now I'm wondering about electrical outlets in the rooms. My main concern is our camera battery, though recharging cell phones may be an issue as well (undecided about getting international coverage for the month of our trip, but hubby has mentioned watching videos on his phone on the airplane). I imagine we need a converter of some sort...any suggestions for those?
I have signed us up for the Romance Rewards and checked what we'll want in our mini-bar, so that should be all set (what a cool service that is!). Now I'm focused on having enough cover-ups and dresses for the trip. I already bought a couple of new bikinis, but as we're anticipating spending some time on the island, those may not end up being necessary! ;)
Thanks for all the tips, everyone. We're about 7.5 weeks away from our first trip to paradise and are completely excited.
Jamaica is 120 volts like the US, but 50 cycles, not 60 like the US. So electronics will charge like normal but don't keep them plugged in all the time as they will get hotter than normal. Something like a US hair dryer would work work but would run slower. Plugged in US clocks are, of course, right out.
BTW: the plug is US/Canada standard.
No need for electrical converters if you are accustomed to 110v. That's all we saw at the resort.
Originally Posted by janda
We travelled to other resorts in the past and had to bring mugs, worried about this and that etc. At Couples, just bring yourselves but not your worries. Couples will take care of everything else. We just bring necessities in our suitcased to Couples and that is it.
My husband and I returned November 20th. It was amazing! We enjoyed everything about CTI. The ppl are the friendliest ever! I went to the spa several times to get my hair and makeup done and finnela is wonderful! We also had an hour long couples massage which was very relaxing. We had a beach front room but found the garden area nice too! We enjoyed the food it is not as greasy as you would find it in the south. As for the cell phones. I was very worried we have a 5 year old and a 10 month old. Our cell phones did not have service within the gates but Verizon told us it would be $2.99
A minute. We called from our room and to the USA it was only $1.00 a minute. And the outlets no worries. Use the safe for all your personal belongings.
Oh and we had the photos done which were good. And the private dinner on the beach. Very romantic!!!! Our favorite drink "the jamaican smile"
Have fun and enjoy every minute of it. I wish I was back.
We were at CTI November 17 - November 24th. It was awesome.
As for connecting with people in the states, we (and they) downloaded the app called Viber onto our cell phones. Before we left the states we put our cell phones in "Airplane Mode". When we got to the resort and turned our phones on, (ours stay in Airplane mode when turned back on if they were in the mode when turned off), and we connected using the resorts WiFi - which Viber operates off of. We could send and receive text messages with Viber - with other Viber users. On Thanksgiving we called our family (they downloaded Viber before we left the states) using Viber. It was awesome. I didn't want to be connected but with kids at home and a mom who had been sick - being completely disconnected didn't feel like the right thing to do. We left our phones in the room and when we came back, we went out to our patio where the WiFi worked and it was perfect. The Viber app was free.
Good times to all who visit CTI in the future!
We have a question also, when you are laying on the beach are there servers that come around and get you drinks or do we have to walk to the bar every time?
If you take up your beach space near the juice bar they offer "red flag" service and will gladly fetch your cocktails from the bar!