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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    85

    Default CN, CSA First Timer can't decide... Help :)

    Hi all, I've been researching a vacation for a 20th anniversary gift to my wife this coming July and have been looking at places in Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico for an all-inclusive. We've never done an all-inclusive and our last cruise vacation was a nightmare. Weighing all the pros and cons, I've finally come down to Jamaica and going through multiple "resorts" Couples Resort seems to have the best results for reviews and nicer all-inclusive resorts. I'm ready to book just having a little trouble picking the resort that fits us most. Here are some brief details about us and what we're looking for, maybe some of your "veteran" Couples resort hoppers can shed some light for me.

    - I am 42 and my wife is 46, both with 3 teens. But kids aren't coming
    - My wife loves to relax, sit on the beach and read.
    - I prefer to keep busy, one of those fidgety guys.
    - we both are food fanatics, I was in the restaurant business for years and love to cook
    - we both love site seeing and are nature lovers

    Resort questions:

    - I've been reading on this forum for the past few days trying to piece together resorts and their activities/amenities and excursions. I would love to horseback ride but is it only available to certain couple resorts?

    - Excursions, seems that the Negril area doesn't have as much excursions as the Ochos Rio area, what other excursions are there other then the Appleton Estate and Mayfield Falls? which we will probably be doing also. I love to see Dunn's River Falls but I hear it's not worth the trip from CN or CSA.

    - Snorkeling and Scuba diving are top of my list for activities, I know you can get resort certify and 1 free dive, but is that for both of us or only one of us can do this?

    - Also, maybe Couples staff can answer this, I know there seems to be a lot of perks for Wedding and Honeymooners but are there any for ones celebrating anniversaries?

    Sorry for being long winded, our last Bahamas trip left us a bad taste in our mouth and I wanted to cover as much basis as possible. This is a gift to my wife and I want it to as problem-free as possible.

    Thanks all!

    We're hoping to book for July 10th arrival.

    Damen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,354

    Default

    Congratulations! My hubby's and I are also about to celebrate our 20th!

    The included horseback riding is only at CTI, but you can take a trip on your own if you want to from any of the resorts.

    There are several options for tours and there is a tour desk where you can book the excursions. Options are several, but you can go to Pelican Bar, Black River Safari, ATV ride, zip line, dolphin swim, etc... You have of options. I don't suggest going to Dunn's River from the Negril area as it would take 6 hours there and back and you would only be a the falls for an hour or so. But there is YS Falls and Mayfield Falls that are available from Negril.

    The optional resort course is for both of you, but it is for only one dive. If you think you might be interested in diving you can get certified at the resort and then you can dive twice a day, plus go on the night dive (extra cost).

    Many of the resort guest are celebrating a special occasion and thus Couples would be doing something special for most of the guest. So instead of only treating some of the guest to special treats, Couples treats all guest special. On the night of your anniversary dinner you can make reservations to eat at the reservations restaurant and request a special desert ahead of time. There is also the option of purchasing the private dinner and dining on the beach.

    Don't worry about being able to stay busy. There is a lot to do at the resort. I also like to relax on the beach while hubby's is running all over the resort participating in the activities.

    Both CN or CSA would work for you so go with the one that is calling to you.

    Just an FYI- CN has an AN option if you are interested, but if not, the option is not in your face and is way off to the side of the beach.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,354

    Default

    Congratulations! My hubby's and I are also about to celebrate our 20th!

    The included horseback riding is only at CTI, but you can take a trip on your own if you want to from any of the resorts.

    There are several options for tours and there is a tour desk where you can book the excursions. Options are several, but you can go to Pelican Bar, Black River Safari, ATV ride, zip line, dolphin swim, etc... You have of options. I don't suggest going to Dunn's River from the Negril area as it would take 6 hours there and back and you would only be a the falls for an hour or so. But there is YS Falls and Mayfield Falls that are available from Negril.

    The optional resort course is for both of you, but it is for only one dive. If you think you might be interested in diving you can get certified at the resort and then you can dive twice a day, plus go on the night dive (extra cost).

    Many of the resort guest are celebrating a special occasion and thus Couples would be doing something special for most of the guest. So instead of only treating some of the guest to special treats, Couples treats all guest special. On the night of your anniversary dinner you can make reservations to eat at the reservations restaurant and request a special desert ahead of time. There is also the option of purchasing the private dinner and dining on the beach.

    Don't worry about being able to stay busy. There is a lot to do at the resort. I also like to relax on the beach while hubby's is running all over the resort participating in the activities.

    Both CN or CSA would work for you so go with the one that is calling to you.

    Just an FYI- CN has an AN option if you are interested, but if not, the option is not in your face and is way off to the side of the beach.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    We are big CN lovers and I think this is the place for you both. There is so much activity going on at the resort that you won't want to leave. My husband just wants to chill on the beach and I want to get up and go and it all works. We both love the snorkeling trips and all the water sports. You can both do the diving stuff or just one of you.
    There isn't anything big for the anniversary people but just being there together will be greatest gift you can give each other. Believe me, you will have the time of your life. We went for the first time on our 20th anniversary and are going back for trip #7 in July this year.

  5. #5

    Default

    You have chosen well - as nature lovers you will LOVE Jamaica, and as food lovers you will LOVE Couples. I think Couples Tower Isle is the only one that includes horseback riding, but you can arrange for that at any of the Couples resorts for an extra cost. We have now stayed at CN, CSA, and CSS. We just returned from CSS and I do think the Ocho Rios area offers more in the way of sightseeing - we went on the Dunns River Falls excursion, and also booked a private tour to Coyaba River Garden, Wassi Art pottery co-op, and Blue Hole (a gorgeous spot on the White River - very private). There are many more sightseeing tours in the area, including a trip to Port Antonio, which is a must for nature lovers - the scenery is stunning, and it is very un-touristy.

    If you do choose CN or CSA, Mayfield Falls is wonderful - it is similar to Dunns River in that you climb the falls, but it is much more private. You can also visit YS Falls and go on a Black River Safari, and visit a bar in the middle of the ocean (Pelican Bar).

    Out of the 3 resorts I liked the food at CSA best, but that is from a vegetarian perspective. I think from a foodie perspective ANY Couples resort will please you. CSA, CN, and CSS all had wonderful beaches for reading and relaxing.

    I know "you would love any of them" isn't that helpful, but I hope some of this will help!

    Mary

  6. #6

    Default

    We also had a "not so great" experience at an AI in the Bahamas so I can say with confidence that you will truly love Jamaica. The country is beautiful and the people are so nice and seem genuinely happy that you're there. We stayed at CSA and are planning a trip back in April. I am also a beach lounger and my husband likes to do stuff but we managed to work them both in just fine.

    If you want to go diving, I would really suggest that you and your wife get certified before you go. Don't waste valuable vacation time taking a course. Plus, only certified divers have unlimited dives. If you take the resort course, you'll only get one free dive. My husband is certified, but I am not. He would go out on a dive in the morning while I relaxed on the beach. When he got back, we'd have lunch and take a nap. What a day! :-)

    The only caution that I have to give you is to be prepared for the heat and humidity. I'm from Florida and it still overwhelmed me. We were there at the beginning of June last year and it was really, really hot and humid. I understand that your anniversary is in July but if you'd even remotely consider going another time of year, then you may want to do that. Otherwise, just take it into consideration when planning excursions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Damenc View Post
    Hi all, I've been researching a vacation for a 20th anniversary gift to my wife this coming July and have been looking at places in Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico for an all-inclusive. We've never done an all-inclusive and our last cruise vacation was a nightmare. Weighing all the pros and cons, I've finally come down to Jamaica and going through multiple "resorts" Couples Resort seems to have the best results for reviews and nicer all-inclusive resorts. I'm ready to book just having a little trouble picking the resort that fits us most. Here are some brief details about us and what we're looking for, maybe some of your "veteran" Couples resort hoppers can shed some light for me.

    - I am 42 and my wife is 46, both with 3 teens. But kids aren't coming
    - My wife loves to relax, sit on the beach and read.
    - I prefer to keep busy, one of those fidgety guys.
    - we both are food fanatics, I was in the restaurant business for years and love to cook
    - we both love site seeing and are nature lovers

    Resort questions:

    - I've been reading on this forum for the past few days trying to piece together resorts and their activities/amenities and excursions. I would love to horseback ride but is it only available to certain couple resorts?

    - Excursions, seems that the Negril area doesn't have as much excursions as the Ochos Rio area, what other excursions are there other then the Appleton Estate and Mayfield Falls? which we will probably be doing also. I love to see Dunn's River Falls but I hear it's not worth the trip from CN or CSA.

    - Snorkeling and Scuba diving are top of my list for activities, I know you can get resort certify and 1 free dive, but is that for both of us or only one of us can do this?

    - Also, maybe Couples staff can answer this, I know there seems to be a lot of perks for Wedding and Honeymooners but are there any for ones celebrating anniversaries?

    Sorry for being long winded, our last Bahamas trip left us a bad taste in our mouth and I wanted to cover as much basis as possible. This is a gift to my wife and I want it to as problem-free as possible.

    Thanks all!

    We're hoping to book for July 10th arrival.

    Damen
    Watch this...may help make up your mind.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZzTeh7Q1vY
    Shaun & Michelle Campbell
    Ya Mon!

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