We are currently at CSA, arrived Wednesday. It was raining and our shuttle driver said that had started the night before but it quit in the night and we haven't seen a drop since. To start from the beginning...
This is our 14th trip to Jamaica but our first to Couples. The experience in the airport was as usual. The lines appeared daunting for immigration but actually moved quickly. Grabbed the bags, went through customs and off to the Couple's lounge. The experience there was just as we've read elsewhere...check-in, use the restroom, grab a drink if you like and it was just a few minutes and our shuttle was ready.
Our shuttle driver was a bit soft spoken but we were sitting up front and he was happy to converse especially if we were asking questions. As I said, it was raining so the roads were a bit of a mess and we also went through Montego Bay as school was getting out and he said traffic was worse as a lot of people were getting off early due to the rain. The trip to the resort took easily 2 hours due to the traffic. Made one quick potty stop along the way.
On arrival it was again just as I've read here before...men stayed to collect bags and tip the driver while the women went to start the check-in process. It was about 5pm so our room was ready.
We are in a beachfront verandah and I have to say it is worth every penny we paid...we love the convenience of being so close to the beach. Upon arrival our room was cool but so humid the floors were literally wet and they didn't seem to be drying even after being here for better than an hour. I thought this strange and eventually discovered the bathroom window was open and it was so humid outside the ac just couldn't keep up. Once we closed that it took a while but things dried out. The room did indeed have an odor when we arrived...almost musty but not that old basement musty smell, something different. My suspicion is that it's all the wood in the room in this humidity as I noticed the same smell in the Patios Patio the night we arrived and they also have a lot of exposed wood. It has been suggested on this board to bring something to combat this but I'm not one to pack that kind of junk so I didn't. I have a real "thing" about odors but to be honest by the time we woke up the morning after arriving I really wasn't noticing it anymore. Nothing can be done about the climate here and battling the humidity and salt is just part of life. The resort we used to stay at had an odd odor of it's own as well.
The food has been great. My husband eats NO meat at all (if it had a face he doesn't eat it) and I will only rarely eat a bit of chicken otherwise I don't eat meat either and so far we have found plenty of options.
The staff are awesome. I lost (and later found) our room key the first day we were here and when I called the office to find out what to do to replace it they were so friendly..."No problem" is absolutely the motto. In fact, one of the new key cards didn't work so I had to go back and they apologized to me...didn't I cause the issue in the first place? Nice people at every turn.
The weather has been wonderful since our first evening. The rain stopped during the night and it has been cloudy but no more rain. Tonight walking back from dinner I noticed the moon and stars so I suspect tomorrow we will see the sun. It has still been plenty hot enough to be in the water so no worries there.
The beach is indeed suffering from the storm of a few weeks ago but that is certainly not the fault of the resort. From what the staff has said I'm guessing it's about half as deep as it was...they point and say "it used to be out (that far)" so I'm not positive but that's close. The beach party had to be held inside tonight as there is not enough room on the beach...we were told this by a member of the staff. However, the beach is not at all crowded so nothing to worry about. Plenty of room for all the chairs and without feeling like you are on top of one another.
We don't see any obvious evidence of storm damage other than the beach. All the restaurants are operating and to my knowledge none of the rooms are closed. Nothing seems in disrepair or otherwise disturbed.
We have 5 days left and I'm sure they'll be as wonderful as the first 3 have been. If you are wondering if this is really worth the money I'd say absolutley YES!
Thanks for the live update SherrynChuck. Almost like being home(we miss CSA so much). Here's hoping the sun shines the remainder of your holiday! Enjoy your time in paradise & have a rum punch for me! Yum! Hey, when you see Elvis, do me a 'solid' and tell him Sal & Wendy say Hi! Peace out, Razzl
It has been a very relaxing several days here so far. No place is perfect and I would say that one of the flaws of this message board is that it can lead you to have some expectations that no place can fulfill. But all in all I would say CSA is worth the money and we have already talked about coming back again next year.
However, today a group of 3 or 4 couples arrived on the beach...obviously repeaters as they are talking about what they remember and don't remember. They are talking loud and non-stop and playing their own music so loud I couldn't concentrate on my book. They are down by the water and we've moved up to the chairs outside our verandah and can still hear the music.
I will watch to see how this situation is handled but my guess is it is accepted. Interesting to me that so many on this board want to instruct people on how to dress and behave at the resorts yet it is a group of repeaters that has interrupted what has been a calm and serene beach.
Just read Sherrynchuck post about the beach at Swept Away. I will be arriving with a group on the 3rd. Do you mean the beach is not as wide, the water is closer? Or is it very shallow? We have been going to SWA for quite a few years now and love the staff, the property and the food. So glad you are enjoying your trip.
The beach is narrower and the water is closer in than it was prior to the storm a few weeks ago. It is unfortunate but who can control the storms? The beach is still plenty big enough that you don't have people on top of each other during the day though, we haven't felt crowded at all.
Elvis has been around...several times a day I'll see if I can get my tush out of the chair to pass on the message.