My husband and I are so excited to be going to Jamaica in a few weeks. We've taken one lame vacation (4 day mexican cruise, awful) in the 15 years we've been together. I work and go to school and my husband is busy all the time --- we just got married last year and this is like our honeymoon.
My sister and her husband are going too (slightly different days)... we've been reading the posts to try and make sure we think of everything. We (my sister and I) are both planners and I want this vacation to be something we (my husband and I) talk about for the rest of our lives.
Here is what I know so far...tell me if I have missed anything.
1. Take and wear plenty of sunscreen
2. Men need long pants, collared shirt and closed shoes for fine dining – women??
3. Book your dinner and activities when you arrive
4. Dunes River Falls is best on Sunday when the cruise ships don’t dock
5. Schedule a massage Monday after the Dunes river falls
6. Bring small bills if you plan to leave the resort
I knew there is more, but as I write this my mind went mush!
I know my husband wants to scuba… maybe more than the included dive and he is looking forward to the tennis and ping pong tournaments (he is so competitive).
I just want to lay on the beach, eat good food, tan, be drunk and happy the whole time…. And maybe take in a little yoga. I enjoy learning about new cultures too so I hope we get experience some part of real Jamaica cultural.
Curious do they have chairs on the beach or do you just throw out a beach towel?
Any other advice or tips would be appreciated.... from what I hear everyone has a great time no matter the planning or experience.
I am a planner too (already have lots of ideas for our Feb return to CSS!), and this board has had a lot of really good posts, though you may have to look through the history for more details.
RE: Scuba - is your husband certified? If he is not, no problem on additional dives, but there is a $50 cost (to cover equip & air). If he is, he can dive daily for no charge and they also offer an inexpensive refresher course for the certified divers that haven't been under water in a while.
There are lots of chairs on the main beach with lovely floats that you can take into the ocean. The chairs by the mineral pool are good to for sun soaking.
It doesn't get a lot of press, but one of my favorite places at CSS is the grotto - the natural mineral spring over by the fitness pavilion. There are little fish and crayfish that live in the bottom, but it's a beautiful secluded nook. The water is COLD, but on a hot day, nice to dip your toes into.
I am a chocoholic, so I like to bring hershey miniatures with me to keep in the mini-bar and share. I also like to have an excuse to wear fun dresses, and you can go all out or stay laid back at the restaurants and Gala, so dress your style! I love the easy-going vibe at CSS, and hopefully you will too!
- 106 days and counting!
I would just add that with regard to No. 4, ships never dock on Sunday, but there may be other days with no ships in port. The front desk will have the schedule in case you'd like more options.
And as far as dining, reservations are usually not a big issue, but you will have a better choice of times if you book early. If you have more than three non-event evenings, I'd suggest trying all three restaurants early and then revisiting what you enjoyed most, as people have varying preferences on the restaurants. (Our personal favorite is Casanova, and I invariably order the lamb option and have never been disappointed; some people find it a little too formal and prefer Palazzina or Bella Vista.)
Finally, even if you're a planner, don't overthink it. The last few weeks can be killer if you're a worrier, so just rest assured that you'll have a fabulous time at a great resort in a wonderful country.
O.K. CSS newbies... here is some advice: don't put so much pressure on this one vacation! You and hubbie will have a fantastic time I'm sure, but not because you planned it all, but because you are at Couples! I know it is hard not to want to map out all your precious days, but sometimes that can close you off to just going with the flow and really, really relaxing. Try to strike a balance and be open to unexpected delights. You will want to go back, so trying to "do it all" during the vacation of a lifetime might be setting you up for un-met expectations.
REMEMBER: Save some time for romance.
Trust me, Couples gets under your skin and you WILL want to go back. It is the people, both staff and other guests that make that true. The feeling is magic. "Once you go, you'll know."
My beautiful wife and I will be there Nov. 27 to December 5th for our fifth straight year. See you there and happy Thanksgiving!
So glad that you have picked CSS
I don't think that you will be disappointed
Just a few other things from our previous trips
Competition--there is also beach volleyball if your husband likes that. There is often is a more or less friendly game of pool volleyball in afternoons
We were there the first week of Dec last year (we usually go in July) and the ocean was a little cooler than in the summer. Hubby might want to bring a suit for scuba if he has one or you can rent them from the dive shop.
If you want to see more of Jamaica, go into town on one of the excursions or ask the tour desk to book you a cab to drive around town a bit. The staff on the resort are awesome but the atmosphere is not a very Jamaican feeling (IMHO)
Restaurants--honestly no bad choices. We love sitting out on the patio at Cassanova. Food is always really good. Dinners are slow and relaxed and nice for conversation.
Dress-I get hot so I wear really light weight linen pants, a light weight shirt and shoes with no socks. Typical resort stuff for guys. My wife wears sun dresses and maxi dresses most nights and a little sexier resort style dresses for the Gala. We like dressing up for dinner, rather than going to casual restaurants and wearing shorts. It makes the time feel more special.
Last thing--try out SSB
if you have never done the AN thing it is worth a try.
It definitely gives you the memories that last forever
You can find more info on SSB on the AN section of MB