My husband and I made our second trip to CSA on Oct 13-20. Some of you may recall that Tropical Storm Nicole had hit the island a couple of weeks earlier and we had been very concerned about the flooding and what type of weather and damage we would encounter. I even for a very very brief moment wondered if I should postpone...Well, we worried for nothing...the weather was great and the beach, though smaller, was BEAUTIFUL!!
At the airport, the Couples Lounge was amazing and the bartender, I'm sorry I don't know his name, was extremely energetic and kind and really went out of his way to make every one who entered that lounge feel welcomed. He did a great job!!
The ride to CSA was ok, although the bus driver did not say too much. There were some very chatty couples onboard, so I think he did not get much of a chance. Some guy entered the bus selling Red Stripes and many of the couples purchased some...I did not think that was necessary. I realized that the beer purchasers were FIRST timers because WE knew "FREE" Red Stripe "SOON COME". We arrived around 2 pm to CSA. Our Ocean Verandah room was not ready yet so we went and had lunch at Seagrapes. We had a chance to enjoy delicious fish tacos, which for some reason we did not have last time. We went back to the lobby and our room was ready, but it began to rain. We walked through the rain to our room, but it was all good...We were in JAMAICA!! The room was nice and the view was great. The rain ended in minutes by the way. I was surprised that the mini-bar was not stocked with any liqours, as it had been three years ago, but I realize much can change in three years. We were told that we could fill out a card and request what we wanted on the following day...only problem, the little card to request the liquor was missing and we had a bit of a hassle getting one. However, after we got it, we were good and the bar was kept stocked.
We ate at Feathers and Lemon Grass...the first two nights. The food was good, but the service at both left a little something to be desired...I think both are overrated frankly. We actually found that Patios Patio was nicer or at the very least JUST as nice and less stuffy without the pressure of reservations etc! The Palms Buffet for dinner, especially the Pasta Bar, was great too. In fact, there was plenty of great food to eat and I ate PLENTY. The scale at home proved it!!
We had a couple of problems with our room safe...we got locked out of it twice, despite carefully putting in the correct code. We then had to wait for someone from management to come and open it. It was not much of a problem, but a bit inconvenient and I am really surprised that it happened twice on our trip.
Now for the snorkling...Ok I can not swim too well, but after telling the Watersports staff this, they promised that all would be good because even non-swimmers were welcome on the snorkling trip. I was told that I should go because I would enjoy it and that they took non-swimmers out all the time. Well, that wasn't exactly correct. I could tell upon entering the boat that the boat captain was not too happy about weak swimmers onboard for the snorkling. They DEFINITELY need to establish better communication here...weak swimmers and definitely non-swimmers need not go snorkling. They had plenty life-jackets available, but they really did not have the man-power to tend to you out there if you can barely swim. I mean I totally understand, it's just that I was told otherwise.
Although I had promised myself I would stay up LATE each night and enjoy every HOUR of Jamaica, after all the FUN in the sun all day, I was tired! Of course I refused to admit it even as I lay on the bed almost each night at 10 pm or slightly earlier, along with my husband saying, "We are only going to take a nap. We are going back out in a hour..." Well next thing you know its morning. I did manage to stay up and out until 11 or 12 two of the nights.
Great breakfast at the Palms each morning...and then we spent our time between the pools and the beach. I drank my fair share of Greyhounds (grapefruit juice and vodka) Again,let me mention the weather was perfect...despite the Tropical Storm which had recently hit a couple of weeks earlier. So if you are worried about weather, you probably should be...
Since we were repeaters as promised we received our tee-shirts, the AWESOME couples massage (so relaxing, don't pass that up!!!) and of course we enjoyed the repeaters dinner. It was a rather long event, but very nice. Now if it can be said you are treated like celebrities ordinarily at Couples, at the Repeaters Dinner, you are almost treated like Royality! Also the repeaters we met were so nice. We were the couple at the table with the least visits (2), the others had 3, 4, and one couple had 8 and had been to all of the Couples Resorts.
Then..it was TOO quickly time to go, despite staying for 7 days this time, a couple days longer than our last trip. Just as last time, upon return from CSA, I worried if I enjoyed it, truly savored it as much as I could while I was there. Despite being smaller due to Tropical Storm Nicole, the beach I assure you was breathtaking. It seems like I never appreciate how beautiful and peaceful it all is until I am back home and reality hits. We are going again in a couple of years. Frankly, I'm too scared to "gamble" with any other Caribbean resort. To all of you lucky folks who have a trip planned in the near future you will have a great time!!
I am surprised about your experience with the snorkeling. When we were there they they went out of their way to accommodate a non-swimmer. She was terrified and they gently talked her into giving it a go. One of the guys went in the water with her. He was very gentle and reassuring. She fell in love with it and was ecstatic that she was able to do it. Watching her and how lovely the guys were with her was a highlight of my trip.
Thanks for the honest review! I'm glad that you had a great time overall. I was a little concerned about the beach erosion but as you said and so did many others, it's not a problem. WE have 100+ days to go until we will arrive at CSA for our second Couples experience.
Great review. We actually had the same issue with our safe. We were locked out even though we were putting in the correct code. It was weird. We called and management was sent out and they were there within minutes. We were very happy with the responseand luckily it only happened once.
I had to giggle about your early evenings... we are the same way. Our first night we were in bed at 8:30. Most other night was usually around 10:00... and there were a couple nights we made it to 11:00. But we were up every morning at 5:30. We think the morning are really the best times out there. Everything is so calm, quiet, and fresh. After working out and then breakfast we were usually on the beach by 8:00-8:30 and was our time to really take it all in.
I'm kind of concerned about the service issues I'm hearing at CSA lately, especially in the restaurants...we've only been to CN and the service was great! I'm worried that we've made the wrong decision here to change resorts and try something new for our next vacation.
Travelbug, just to clarify CSA is great. I have not been to CN so I can not compare the two. I was attempting to provide an honest and fair review. The service was great...some little issues here and there but I would pack up and be there again tomorrow if the opportunity arose. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you do not experience CSA. The service issues are rare and the number of positive and memorable experiences far outweigh those. I love csa and I don't really even want to go to another Couples resort. I promise you will have a great time.
Hello again. I too was concerned before our trip to CSA back in 2008. Our first Couples experience was at CTI in 2005. Everything was wonderful, especially the smiling, helpful staff. I read a few reviews for CSA about how unprofessional and unfriendly the restaurant staff were. This was far from our first CTI experience. Our first meal was a late dinner at Patois Patio. Our waiter was a young man who hadn't been a Couples employee long. He was fairly quiet and didn't seem too sure of himself. Within a few minutes I had him loosened up, smiling and talking like we were old friends. This also happened with another waitress at Patois one lunch after my buddies and I got back from playing a round of golf. We were joking around with her and within minutes she was smiling that wonderful Jamacian smile of hers. My advice is to treat the Couples employees like they are your long lost friends and you all will have the time of your lives. You get out of a relationship what you put into it. BTW, enjoy your Ocean Verandah Suite if you took our advice on your room advice thread. Enjoy, Steve