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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

    Default Ended up at CTI--a review

    My husband and I spent our 10 year anniversary at CSA in 2008. It was our first Couples experience and we loved Couples Swept Away. Not long after that trip, we booked over a year and a half ahead of time for our 12 year anniversary. We of course booked CSA.

    We left on September 29th and everything was great. As we were landing in Montego Bay the weather looked really bad and our landing was very turbulent due to the weather. Come to find out they only let 4 planes in that day and we were the 4th and last in that day. Customs and Immigration went smoothly and we rounded the corner to go to the Couples Lounge. There were a lot of people and luggage out front. I walked up to check in and the man told me that the road to Swept Away had been washed away and that we would be staying at CTI that night. I had never been to another Couples Resort, so both my husband and I saw it as an adventure.

    There were two buses filled with displaced passengers and we drove thru pretty bad weather, but by the time we got to CTI it was clearing up a bit. It was pretty caotic when we arrived, but there was rum punch for everyone and they had all of us already to go with our rooms. At CSA we were booked in a Garden Verandah Suite and at CTI we received a Superior Ocean room. We had a pretty good view of the sea and the room was really bright--white walls, white tile floors, light wood furnishings, and yellow bed linens. This is quite different from the GVS at CSA where it is terra cota tile floors, dark wood and white linens. The room was very sufficient, but didn't have a mini bar (we would have had one at CSA). We did miss the mini bar because we were in building 5 which was the furthest away from the main bar. The pool bar was a couple buildings away, but wasn't open all day and night.

    We saw that the weather was going to be really nice in Ocho Rios for the week we would be in Jamaica. We heard stories about how bad CSA was getting hit (only 2 restaurants open, the beach gone, lots of debris in the water) and that first day we decided that whenever they gave us the go ahead to head over to CSA we would just stay at CTI. CTI had the same amenitities and we didn't want to lose a day packing/unpacking and 3 hour ride to the other side of the island. We were happy with our decision considering the state of CSA at the time.

    All the staff at CTI were wonderful. We never came across anyone that didn't genuinely seem happy to be doing their job. The main bar was great and the swim up pool bar was lively all week. In the afternoons the entertainment staff would come to the swim up bar and hang out and play games. It was a lot of fun. The entertainment staff were very good. They were fun and very into their jobs. The Piano Bar was nice for nightly cocktails and the bartender was very nice. That bar did, however, have a funky smell and on certain nights seemed overwhelming.

    The restaurants were all great. We loved the romantic atmosphere at Bayside and the food was great. The chef even came out to check on us and she was very engaging. We went to eat at the Verandah restaurant, but when we sat down and looked at the menu, nothing looked good, so we left and ate at the Patio Restaurant which was the buffet. The buffet had tons of choice at all meals and we always tried the local dishes which were always good. 8 Rivers was fabulous on our first night there and we were excited to be going there again for the repeaters dinner. The Repeaters Dinner was a big let down. I had read so much about these and was really looking forward to nice night, but it was packed in the Piano Bar for cocktail hour and then the member of the Couples team that sat with us was the man that brought us to our room. Don't get me wrong, he was nice as pie, but I was hoping to had someone from management or the equivalent sitting with us. Also, the food was just okay. My husband left early and I left right after the main course. Big disappointment

    The beach was very small compared to CSA, but there was plenty of room and the water was crystal clear. The staff brough fruit around and drinks of the day and the main bar was right up the steps. We loved eating lunch at the new veggie bar/cafe that was right there at beach level. I also got espresso drinks almost every afternoon at the coffee shop in the logo shop, also on the beach level. Totally different beach scene than CSA.

    As far as the included excursions, we did the horseback riding and had a great time. My husband was way hung over and we were going first thing in the morning. He was really dragging, but as soon as we got on the horses he perked right up because it was very pretty and informative. We loved our horses and the guides. We also went snorkeling and saw much more that what we saw at CSA. We really enjoyed that.

    The things we liked about CTI--The towel exchange system does not exist at this resort. There were towels available all day in a big wicker bin outside the Patio Restaurant and you could also get them at the water sports hut. It was great not having just one towel to keep track of and to be able to get a dry towel whenever you needed one was very convienent. We also liked the modern lobby decor. It was really cool looking. The addition of the coffee shop was also a plus. The staff also seemed happier and more accomidating at this resort.

    CTI really had everything, but it just wasn't for us. The resort is definitely more hotelish. At CSA we would walk thru lush foliage to get to different locals, but at CTI we walk thru halls to reach our destinations. The big white buildings that housed everything defined the property where at CSA the beautiful beach defined that resort. CTI was just too small for us. We like to stroll and you really couldn't do that at CTI. When we return to Jamaica we will be going back to CSA. The feeling of CSA stayed with us for days after we left the resort. It seemed like it took me days to get out of the layed back island feel after leaving CSA. CTI just didn't linger. It just didn't have that big of an impact. We may try another Couples resort someday, but the next time we go we will definitely be going back to Couples Swept Away. It truly is a magical place and I'm so sorry we couldn't experience it during this go around. I would highly recommend CTI, but CSA has our hearts. Different vibes at each resort, but both awesome. Couples Rock!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    751

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    Good write up and info. Have not been to CTI yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

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    Any other feedback on this post? I would love to hear what more people thought. Have a great day.

  4. #4

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    I thought it was awesome! Do you have any pics to share?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    276

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    What a great review! I'm so happy your vacation turned out to be great even though you had an expected change thrown your way!

    You said that "I also got espresso drinks almost every afternoon at the coffee shop in the logo shop, also on the beach level."...were these espressos part of the all-inclusive offerings or did you have to pay for them?

  6. #6

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    I thought that was one heck of a review, and what impressed me the most was the honesty of it all. Margi went on and on about their mostly positive stay at CTI, but when it was was all said and done, her heart is still with CSA and explained why.

    So many times when folks do resort comparisons and especially when comparing to their "home" resort, they tend to devote a good portion of their review bagging on the other one. Not so here. She and hub liked all that CTI has to offer, it just didn't quite measure up to what they've experienced at CSA. Very fair, very honest. Good stuff.
    Ron

    Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for sharing Margi. It seems that like you, I am drawn to CSA & CN rather than CSS or CTI. It's lovely to hear how you made the best from a situation that would have 'rocked' others.

    20 days and counting to my first trip to CN.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

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    We took lots of pictures. My husband is the one that does all that tech stuff. I'll try to get a few posted. If you are on Facebook, they are already uploaded there. Search Margi Pilon Neff and I'll friend you.

  9. #9

    Default

    CTI is quite different to CSA, its more similar to CN imo.

    At CTI you don't have the long beach walk you can do at either CN or CSA, but the resort is still quite big otherwise and you can plan a long walking route around the resort, at least we did when we were there last time.

    I know CTI gets this knock by a lot of people for being hotelish but I kind of like that about it, and if its raining its a big plus it also provides lots of rooms with great ocean views, compared to the layout at CN which provides a lot of rooms with garden views.

    It def. has a different feel then either of the resorts in Negril, and for many reasons. We have done the ocean view rooms at CTI and its worth the upgrade imo.

    We have gotten a chance to travel a couple times a year recently and enjoy doing one trip in Negril and one in Ocho Rios, will def have to check out CSS this time as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

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    Travelbug--It's all included! My husband would be napping and I would be checking things out and having a nice coffee drink. It was a great perk in my opinion. I love that at the Couples resort ALL is included. Couples Rocks!!!!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margi View Post
    We took lots of pictures. My husband is the one that does all that tech stuff. I'll try to get a few posted. If you are on Facebook, they are already uploaded there. Search Margi Pilon Neff and I'll friend you.
    Will do!
    Thanks

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