We were first timers at CN New Years Eve celebration - NYE 2012
Here is a summary of my tripadvisor review of New Years Eve celebration at CN:
“New Years Eve celebration was a top notch Island extravaganza”
My significant other and I booked a trip to CN over the New Years Eve week 2012. This is our first trip to Jamaica and the first time doing an all inclusive. We have to book at last minute as we do not get our schedule in advance to know our days off so it meant limited options over New Years week. Our travel agent made a number of recommendations which we narrowed down to Negril. We had a tough time choosing between CSA and CN but in the end only CN had space during the time we could travel. We flew Air Canada direct from Toronto. Fortunately we just missed a day of storms but our flight still arrived about 45 minutes late. Arriving late meant we had to wait a great deal of time for our pre booked charter flight to Negril. Our late flight and peak travel season was combined with Island Time so it was somewhat understandable. We likely arrived at the resort at the same time that the resort bus arrived at CN. (Next time I bring a change of clothes in a bag so I get comfortable in airport lounge instead of waiting to unpack.) We booked a Garden Suite. We had requested a 3rd floor room in advance on the pre booking check in. The room was lovely, clean and exactly what was advertised on the site. I know some people have complained of peeling paint or rooms needing renovations but we did not see any problems. And we did not see one bug in the room during our entire stay. The suite offers a nightly hor d'oeuvres (rather small) service and you can have in room dining. We ordered a lovely breakfast tray with coffee each morning. Mini bar was stocked on a daily basis within 5 minutes of calling in a request. We did a 'Trading Places' day trip to CSA and decided that we were likely better suited to CN. The water is calmer at CN and we did not have any problems finding beach chairs or getting flag service. CSA beach seemed to be a lot more crowded, we had to scramble to get beach chairs and the flag service was non existent. (But the food options and gym services appeared nicer at CSA). Our own vacation centered around beach time, wonderful meals and getting a good night's sleep. We did enjoy the catamaran tour and glass bottom tour. We enjoyed a beach walk to Office of Nature (on the beach) for some grilled lobster with local flair. I had a mani/pedi and hair appointment at the salon which was lovely. (I would have stayed out of salon on vacation except that we had a New Years Eve celebration.) We preferred Lychee over the 'upscale' Otaheite both for food and service. Otaheite must be booked in advance but has an assembly line feel to it as it is simply 3 large scale seatings offered rather than simply taking reservations through the night. There was no issue with theft in our room but we made it a priority to put all valuables in a safe (password we select) when we left the room. We also put the privacy sign on the doors when we wanted to ensure no one was in our room when we out. We brought sun tan lotion, bug spray and water bottle containers. The bug spray was applied liberally before heading to beach to avoid sand flies. And we understood before arriving that Couples Negril does not provide water bottles on the resort but will provide filtered water. Both of us drank the water and did not get sick (whew). There is a computer room so we were able to touch base with home when necessary. We booked a romantic special candle light dinner in the tree tops (worried about the sand flies on the beach) which was lovely. You can bring an ipod with own music selection.
The best night of all was the New Years Eve 2012. It truly blew our minds. Last year Jamaica celebrated a milestone anniversary so the theme of the party was the "50th Anniversary of Independence". There was a wine and hor d'oeuvres mingling meet and greet in the area close to the salon/spa at about 5pm. There were lovely tables all over the pool area for buffet style dinner to start at 630pm. You could pick your own seat in advance by simply leaving a scarf. Or you could request a table be assigned to you. You could sit in tables of 2, 4, 6 or 8. One of the treats that we enjoyed was meeting one of the staff and their spouse as they were invited to join in the celebration. We asked to be assigned a table where we met some lovely people from around the globe. We loved that staff are treated with such respect and not made to feel like they should not socialize with the guests. So much food representing many cuisines from around the globe was served at different stations. My husband piled his plate so high with seafood that he had not even realized that was only one of many food stations. I recall British, Italian, Japanese, Island cooking and likely 5 other food tables where the servers offered you their take of that country's cuisine. My favourite part of the night was the delicious entire Otaheite restaurant devoted to dessert sampler buffet of every dessert imaginable. A fantasy room for those with a sweet tooth.
Wonderful energy. Truly an unforgettable celebration with dancing with a local band set up in the poolside area. It was fun bunch. Not too rowdy. A beach fire just after the band did the count down ended the evening. And an opportunity to launch paper lanterns at midnight. I believe most people even the stragglers were gone back to rooms by 1 or 130am. As with any night in Otaheithe there were varying degrees of 'dress to impress'. Some men wore suits and ties and some women were dressed to the 9s but they were the exception. I wore a long dress and strappy sandals while my SO wore a nice shirt and long pants. Um. Try to wear loose fitting clothes if you really wish to tackle the buffet.
We have been to Whistler, NYC, Las Vegas and Banff for NYE but we enjoyed this one the best.
Thank you, Couples Negril. My only suggestion would be that they advertise a little more on the web page so first timers knew a little more in advance what to do expect as the information before the celebration was sparse. And my only other concern is that perhaps 2012 was a celebration above the norm due the anniversary - but I imagine every NYE is a grand affair.