CSS a true jewel (trip report) WARNING LONG!
This was our 4th trip to a Couples Resort (2 trips to CN) and our 2nd trip to CSS. 4/17-4/24. This trip we brought 2 couples with us that were also with us at CN in 06. This trip was to celebrate 3 girlfriends since 7th grade turning 50 this year.
We arrived at Mobay and I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got through Immigration and Customs. Big improvements there! The Couples Lounge is always such a welcome sight! I almost ran to it! We were quickly on our way. After a stop for a drink and bathroom break we arrived at the resort, our towels and champagne was quickly handed to us, and checkin was swift. Our repeat perks were waiting for all of us, although I wish I'd have looked at the sizes of the t-shirts, we were given two womens shirts, my husbands does not fit. Be sure to do a double check here. No worries I have two.
We were in a One Bedroom Ocean Suite which is what we had last trip. We were in G block, our view from this room was incredible, and in our opinion well worth the stairs.
I do not suggest if you have a large group to try to stay together for dinners, our trip started off shaky, but I blame this on ourselves. This is a Couples Resort after all, and we tried to have a party of 12 for dinner, needless to say that did not work out well, and started our trip off on a bad note. All quickly got better from here.
We took advantage of as much as we could that the resort offers as inclusive.
Early each morning we would have coffee/fruit on our balcony, watching the fisherman or the cruise ships go by. Then we would go down and have eggs prepared to order. Head to our spot on the beach. Even with the resort being at capacity finding a place was never an issue. This resort is very large, with 4 pools and 2 beaches you will always find a place.
We did Dunns River Falls, last trip we got rained out, so we made it a point to do this early this trip. Outstanding, however I'm not sure the video was worth the $40 since they ended ours with a different group. My husband wanted me to be sure to mention this in my review. lol
We snorkeled, went out on the Hobie Cats with the Watersports guys which is a riot! My husband water skiied, and 2 in our group dove. We made it to Sunset Beach for the sunset most every night. The sax player over there is such a romantic touch!
2 of the girls went on the shopping tour. We participated in Casino night and Shots Bingo, and well just had a blast. Watched more of the Entertainment this trip and it was great to slow down and meander.
The service during our stay, well this is where it gets turned on at CSS. Pierre the G.M is truly everywhere, and has his finger on the pulse of the resort at all times. He is amazing and it all trickles down from him. One of the people in our group loves Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew to him is like coffee is to me, so without it he is lost. He was asking one of the watersports guys about it, if they carried it in stores. Richard said he would check, as he had not heard of it. The next day Richard walked over to Aron with a couple bottles of Mountain Dew. You would have though he handed Aron gold! This was huge! Pierre did something similar for us that week, without going into detail something he thought was very small, was in fact very big. His response was that is was nothing and if that is all it takes to make a guest happy, well it is just what you do.
The Beach Party had been moved from our trip in 08 to a much better area, and the lights and setup were beautiful all in the JA colors. The entertainment was very good, as was the food.
The Manager's Cocktail Party was also excellent, with the Flutist in the background, and Mojito's in tow. Very nice beginning to a wonderful evening. The Repeater's Dinner follows, and they do a wonderful job with it at CSS. The presentation of the food is over the top outstanding! An evening not to be missed.
Has anyone encountered the rainbow affect around the sun while in JA?? Does anyone know what it is called? It was very very cool to see. We also had an orange moon one night, laying on our double chaise with a glass of wine, looking at the stars, the orange moon barely reflecting on the water, listening to tree frogs, while next to the one you love... seriously does it get any better than this?
Our trip in 08 the Gala got rained out. This year we had a beautiful night. The Gala is another thing not to be missed. It is like attending a gorgeous outdoor wedding reception with food stations from around the world. The desserts are gorgeous and I don't even like desserts. The entertainment that follows is very good, the reggae was awesome! Dancing under the stars with the white lights, again how romantic!
I was disappointed to see the room service menu had changed. It was smaller. The other menu's have also changed. I was pleased that my favorite appetizer at Casanova which is no longer on the menu was the special appetizer that night. I ordered two. It is the Calamari/Scallops/Shrimp in the puff pastry.
Last trip we did not make it to Bella Vista. This time we made it a point and really enjoyed it. Our other favorite was the Pasta Station at Pallazzina.
Now I will caution people not to expect glitz, glamour and opulence at Couples in the rooms at any of the resorts. (we have now been to all 4) The rooms at Couples are Caripbean casual elegance. If you go expecting more than that you will be disappointed! Having said that, we love the rooms at CSS, we love the One Bedroom Ocean Suites, we love the size of the suites, and balcony. We love the location of G block, the view we had was breathtaking. We only used the shuttle a couple times, as we enjoyed walking hand in hand a different route to and from our room enjoying the jungle-like tropical beauty of the resort
We did a trading places day at CTI. The decor there is absolutely beautiful. Tommy and Peggy having been there gave us a tour. We only saw a basic room since we could not get the rest of our friends off the island to show us their rooms... lol The island was a blast since we knew 3 couples from prior trips. We spent some time at the new pool as well. While personally I did not dislike CTI, it did not grab me like CN and CSS have. I think the biggest reason was the lack of lushness to the grounds. I loved having the option of the Trading Places Day. Great addition Couples! p.s. Thanks for buying me lunch Richie!
We did our repeaters massage which was outstanding as usual, and something we so enjoy as a Repeater's perk. We splurged on the Hot Stone Massage later in the week(compliments of our Jamaica Jug). We were fortunate to get the Hideaway both times, although I don't know how any of the huts on the cliffs could be bad with the waves crashing beneath you and the wind blowing. Ahhhhh take me back!
CSS is about the grounds, they are lush, tropical, jungle-like, surprises around every corner, drop dead gorgeous! CSS is about romance, flutists, and sax players, and gorgeous sunsets, and all in a setting that makes it almost impossible not to be in love. CSS is about service, if you need something do not hesitate to ask, the staff will do everything they can to make your stay memorable.
Speaking of the staff, well there are too many great ones to name! Like I said earlier it starts with Pierre and trickles on down. Shelly Ann and Mini Me in Entertainment. Orlando, Easton, Dimitri, Francine were our favorite bartenders. Kenneth and Marsha from the Spa, Dr. Love! Richard in Watersports, We just downright had fun with all of them.
I truly feel a vacation is very much what you make of it, you can always find things to complain about, which I'm not going to lie we did, but we would say ok, starting over now. Reflecting back on the things that bothered me, really not so big in the overall vacation picture. Again, this trip was to celebrate turning 50 with 2 of my oldest friends and their husbands, it turned out to be a very memorable trip for all of us!
This is the first time leaving Jamaica that I cried my eyes out. With all of the uncertainties in the world, and our lives right now, a return trip is not such a sure thing. The reality of that made this departure very difficult. Thank you CSS and staff for making it great!