Bumping this back up to the top!
No new shoes- break in all of the new shoes your going to wear!!! Nothing worse than having blisters in salt water.
Chocolate from the states- their chocolate is not the same as ours.
Premium lotion for your sunburn- I brought a really good repair lotion from home knowing how burnt I would get.
First aid kit- this is a just in case kit that contains a good pain killer ( emergency tooth ache) bug bite spray, benadryl, ibuprofen, exederine migraine ( works best for hangovers) tweezers, and an extra contraceptive device just in case;)
Snug water shoes- for the falls
Extra sunscreen- your gonna need it. Bring one more bottle than you will think you need. Waterproof not just water resistant.
A two person towel- nights on the beach are great with a big two person towel, two glasses of champagne, and your new bride. You can also set this up for a picnic on your balcony with room service.
Skin so soft or bug spray- eating outdoors in a tropical zone leads to bug . Sand fleas also come out at night so just spray your dress, pants, legs before you leave the room at night and all is erie.
Insulated mugs with closing lids- mixologists have no problem filling them btw
Bendy straws that will fit into your insulated mugs!
Scented candles- that were tropical flavored that we could by at home.( I am a grad of psychology and triggers ( such as scents) can bring back memories. We took a bunch of the same scented candles from home to scent the nights we came back to our room. Now at home in Iowa when I light the same scented candles it brings back many good memories.)
Long sleeved heat gear under armor shirt- We are both very white and no amount of sunscreen will protect our fair skin from getting burned while down there. We stayed in the shade alot and when we went snorkeling we wished we would have brought with us the shirts to protect our skin while floating around. The sunscreen can kill the coral and in some places they ask you to put it on around 1 hour or more before you go out to snorkel.
Gallon zip lock baggies. To bring home rum cream or sandy shoes or wet clothes.
2 baseball hats- Again we are super pale.
Jeans and tennis shoes ( I brought ones to leave there they were old) in case you want to horseback ride. This is now an extra charge though. They did away with the free horseback riding I think.
2 pairs mirrored sunglasses each- this way if you want to go to the AN beach no one will see you looking :)
Do try the CSS AN beach. The beach on the AN side is georgous and you can find a private spot for just you two under a hut. It was the most exciting and scarriest thing we did while in Jamaica and we did it all!! Just go be by yourselves and enjoy each other!
One extra thing that we wished we would have done while we were on our honeymoon is something extra special like swim with the dolphins ( I talked with one new bride and she was glowing with excitement afterwards) or a private dinner on the beach or perhaps bring her something not expensive but special from the states. (I got my husband a special piece of jewlery and gave it to him on the beach at night while we were walking). The reason I say this is because you may come back next year for your one year anniversary like we are and your honeymoon needs to have an extra special something.
If you have any questions feel free to get a ahold of us. We did almost everything and we have stayed at CTI and CSA and day tripped CSS.
Brian and Chris,
CTI,CSA- June 2011
CTI - July 2012
Is the sand in the water at csa soft? does my husband need watershoes. mexico was terrible, and we dont want another one of those experiences! We don't plan on visiting the falls if that helps. Thanks!
Also, I saw your note about the cups. We used to take insulated mugs to every AI we went to, but while some people do like them, they're totally unnecessary at Couples. For the amount of room they take up in the suitcase, they're not really worth it.
Matt & Lisa....
The sand is soft, soft, soft at CSA. It's very fine, and feels great on your feet. It's the softest sand I've had under my feet. I used reef shoes some as I was on crutches after having cast removed from an ankle. It also means the sand is so fine that it will follow you into your room!
Don't that dissuade you though, the staff there is excellent about taking care of the rooms and it wasn't an issue for us.
Enjoy and Safe Travels!
I read that someone brought along their own snorkel masks. Does c
ouples provide masks for use outside a "group" event?
So, after reading this thread and making lots of notes, then going to CN, I can tell you a couple things we DIDN'T need:)
I shouldn't have brought my water shoes. Absolutely NO need for shoes on the beach at CN and flip flops or sandals were great for everywhere else.
I brought a small soft sided cooler (someone had mentioned that was great for packing beer etc, from the mini bar and taking to the beach). They only put two beers in the mini mar and they are El Carib, which we didn't care for and two beers aren't going to last long anyway, and not really worth lugging a cooler around. Plus, they don't have any bottled water in the mini bar (or anywhere else). The soda's in the cooler are glass bottles (most of them), so not a good idea on the beach. So, really should have left the cooler at home.
I did bring an insulated mug though, which was great. Mine is double wall insulated with an attached straw and it floats. So I would just order a couple drinks from the bar and fill up my mug and we'd grab a floatie and head for the water.
We DID need extra sunscreen. We brought some spf 15 because we live in Texas and spend every weekend at the river so were already pretty tan, but that still doesn't cut it when you're spending that much time in direct sun. So even if you're already tan, pack some extra 50+ sunscreen, just in case. My hubby started getting sunburned on his shoulders after about the 3rd day. My lower back started burning on about the 5th day. You don't want to have to buy the spf 50 at the gift shop. It was $25!! Also bring some Aloe Vera for the sunburn you didn't expect to get.
If you are one who curls and/or flat irons your hair - bring an extension cord. No outlets in the bathroom (building code I'm sure)
Remember to bring some lip balm with SPF. Really need that. We have brought our own beach towels which helps you find you chair quickly. Going bak to CSA in March- can't wait.
One thing I now bring on every tropical vacation is asprin. Awhile ago I read that asprin can reduce the inflammation and pain of a sunburn. My husband is fair skinned and would often get a painful burn despite using sunscreen. Now I carry asprin in my beach bag. He takes two asprin after a couple of hours in the sun and another two 4-6 hours later. (Some websites say to take 2 asprin every 4 hours until bedtime.) Since he has started doing this, he has not had a painful burn. The key is to start taking the asprin as soon as you suspect you may have a sunburn. If you wait too long, this treatment won't be effective.
The other thing that I always take with me is a couple of plastic bottles. As others have stated, you can carry empty bottles through airport security. I then fill the bottle with water for the flight. I also take gatorade packets. Every day I fill my bottles with water and add the gatorade. I take these to the beach to help me to stay hydrated. I learned my lesson the hard way on my first trip to CN. I played beach volleyball followed by several drinks at the pool bar, including a Bob Marley. I then spent time in the hot tub. The result of that was dehydration and a missed dinner. Now I try to take in plenty of non alcoholic fluids along with the alcoholic ones. :)
All of these suggestions are so helpful!
I just ordered our Tervas insulated cups today! I'm so excited to get them in time for our CN trip at New Years. I will surprise my husband with his special cup in his stocking for Christmas. Now that CN doesn't provide bottled water and only has water stations, these cups should be a great "extra" to bring along since they will keep water colder longer and also keep the sand out.
Something we always bring along are cozies for cold beer and those icy cocktails on the beach. The cozies really help to maintain the ice in those blended drinks, otherwise, you have to drink them too quickly :)
I also find that Avon Skin So Soft lotion works like a charm to prevent bug bites, and bugs LOVE me.
Don't get this cozies thing...my drinks never last long enough to get warm....
small bills 100 1s 100 in 5s 100 in 10s so you dont have to wrry about making change and can tip drivers, caddies, etc...
Just got back from 8 amazing days a CSS - wish I had remembered
bubble wrap - to pack our gifts & booze
extra hangers - cheap ones to leave behind
soap/shampoo - the stuff in the showers is not great - we bought some at the gift shop
Extra bathing suit(brought 2, wanted 3)
less clothing - brought a ton back unworn
Things I brought that I am so thankful for:
Dicapac - waterproof camera bag! used it several times and not a drop of water
Dicapac - for iphone and ipad - help keep them safe on the beach and by the pool
small change 50 $1's & 20 $5's
coozies were nice so that they drinks don't sweat - we gave ours to a local when we left and they loved it
snack food - trail mix, granola bars, peanuts - great snack on the beach when you dont want a meal
Zantac - some spice food down there
Bose NC headphones - the peace and quiet on the flight home and bus ride made them worth every penny
My wife and I had an amazing time and can't wait to come back, the staff is amazing! Chadrick, Duane & Sherryanne - thank you for making our trip that much better!
A few cheap ideas for UK based folk...
Wind up torches, Waterproof Ziplock type bags, Waterproof Verlcro seal bags...these can all be found in most "Pound Shops" that litter our high streets.
Greatest. Thread. Ever.
Are watershoes needed for the beaches at CSS? Don't plan on going to Dunn's River, just for the beach and the sea.
Love, love, love this thread! So many good ideas! Just a couple of things that I learned from my two Couples vacations...first, I needed more swimsuit cover ups than I thought I would. I way overacked both times, but I wish I would have brought more swim suit cover ups both times. Lip balm with sunscreen. I just brought my regular lip balm the first time and ended up buying a lip balm with a higher spf because my lips got so dry/sunburned and that worked way better. Also, we always bring our travel cribbage board and a deck of cards. Then when it rains in the afternoon we just head over to the beach bar, sit under the cover and play cribbage and have some drinks until it stops raining.