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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    40

    Default CTI review ~ Jan 20-27, 2011

    After months of considering a few of the Couples locations we decided to go to Tower Isle. We had a most fabulous week there and look forward to returning as soon as possible!

    We flew Thomas Cook:
    Staff were lovely but the plane was cramped and crowded compared to Air Canada and WestJet. No t.v.'s which was a bit of a disappointment with a 4 hour flight. Unlike Air Canada and WestJet they gave us complimentary drinks and a nice warm meal.

    Airport Arrival:
    Couples lounge easy to find as the MB indicated and the staff were really warm and welcoming with the Red Stripe flowing until our bus departed.

    Trip to CTI:
    After 12 hours on the road the almost 2 hr drive was a bit much however the driver was very nice and now that we have experienced CTI we will still endure the drive. Maybe next time plan our flight timing etc a bit better so we aren't arriving at 2 in the morning.

    The room:
    We had an ocean view room at a far end of the complex - the room was beautiful and super clean, the bathroom was a little outdated but again verrry clean - it was sooo quiet in our end of the hotel. We slept with the balcony doors closed and the AC on but it was so peaceful (even during afternoon naptime!) that we could hear the waves crashing against the shore. Awesome!!

    The tour:
    We took the tour at 10am the first morning. SO glad we did as we settled right in after that. DF hit the gym and I hit the main pool. We were right at home the first day!

    The staff:
    Fabulous!!! They are so friendly and warm - just an absolute pleasure!!!

    The food:
    Verrrry good!! The Patio serves excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Grill was yummy and very handy when the relaxed holiday gal sunbathed or napped thru a proper mealtime. DF loved the Jerk Chicken. Burgers were delicious. We both gave up our diets for the week and indulged in realllly yummy fries at the Grill...far too often ;-) We never made it to The Bayside or the Veggie Bar. 8 Rivers was outstanding!!! Dinner twice there and it was fantastic! The Verandah was also very good and a nice break from the heat of the Patio on warm nights - the Verandah has AC as does 8 Rivers. Great for the men when they are sporting long pants and a dress shirt! :O)

    The drinks:
    All the cocktails were fabulous. We tried many different ones but kept going back to the classic Pina Coladas YUM!!!
    The wine was our only disappointment of the trip (and not a deal breaker for sure!). The red had only 2 options and one wasn't great, the other was certainly 'drinkable' but DF is a fairly well versed/experienced vino-phile (just made that up). Unfortunately there is only one white wine and it is a Chardonnay. Not a huge fan of the Chard and sadly when I am in hot climates I love a crisp glass of yummy white wine. I would have killed for a Sauv Blanc or Pino Grigio on the hot evenings over a lovely meal... but alas, not a big deal. On the upside the Champagne was very enjoyable and I substituded that when I needed a crisp white taste )

    The pools:
    Perfect! Super clean and beautiful. The big main pool is a much quieter vibe and there is lots of sun and shade to be found. The swim-up pool bar has a great view and is the more 'party pool' in the afternoons.

    The beach:
    Beautiful, altho' we are pool people so we never hung out there.

    The entertainment:
    We enjoyed three evenings of entertainment and we were really pleased we made the effort to see what was on. The staff and the hired entertainers were excellent!!

    The people, The clothes, The vibe:
    There was a fairly broad range of ages. Some young couples, a lot of couples in their 40's and many 50's and 60's.
    Thanks to the MB we didn't overpack too badly. We did live in our swimsuits during the day and got dressed up at night. Some nights I could see we didn't need to be as dressed up as we were but I'd rather err on the side of caution. No super racy swimsuits or over-the-top sexy dresses however most women are looking for a great tan and regardless of their weight they are in their bikinis. That was very liberating for me - 40 years old, 15 lbs over ideal weight and still thinks she SHOULD have the bod of a 20 year old LOL - and I donned my bikini quite happily.
    The vibe there was just perfect. Sooooo chill. I suppose going to a Couples only Resort provides that. It was also very heartwarming to see the couples of all ages. Both DF and I commented on this many many times. Just an overall happy place to be!!

    Bottom line of my very long review...

    LOVE LOVE LOVE CTI and we cannot wait until our next visit!!!

  2. #2

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    So glad you had a great time! We were married at COR Sept 2006 and finally returning for our 5 year anniversary this October. We can't wait to go back! 5 years was definitely way too long, but with a young child it makes it hard to go often. We're very excited to see the new renovations and enjoy the swim-up bar

    Kristen and Jason

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the great review, LiiziD! I really enjoy reading great CTI reviews as my wife and I are now down to 52 days before our trip there. Can't wait!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9

    Default wine

    I agree the wine is pretty bad. The Frontera is at least drinkable and does come in a sauvignon blanc. Unfortunately, you have to ask for Frontera and be persistent as the other brand of wine is far more available. I do wish they would upgrade the wine, seems that a place with high end liquor should have at least middle end wine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    40

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    Quote Originally Posted by BethJosh View Post
    I agree the wine is pretty bad. The Frontera is at least drinkable and does come in a sauvignon blanc. Unfortunately, you have to ask for Frontera and be persistent as the other brand of wine is far more available. I do wish they would upgrade the wine, seems that a place with high end liquor should have at least middle end wine.
    We checked at every bar except the swim-up and the only white (on our week) was the chardonnay We are wondering if we can take wine in our luggage for the next trip??? Altho' that will seriously affect my wardrobe options in my luggage.... Mind you, the gift shop at CTI has great stuff and really reasonable prices

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default

    great review!!! Thanks for taking the time to post it. My DF and I will be celebrating our honeymoon there in August and very much appreciate the info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    132

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    Great review. To the point and informative. We've got 84 more days before we're at CTI. Can feel the warmth and fun already.
    Mike & Martha

    CSS 2010, 2013, 2014
    CTI 2011
    CN 2012

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    269

    Default

    I am so glad you had an awesome vacation. Yes the breakfast at the patio is sooo good. Every night before dinner (except when going to 8 rivers) we would go into the patio and make ourselves a little cheese and cracker spread then go eat at a restaurant. Overall, the Caribbean just does not do wine well if it is included. I think once my boyfriend and I will have to buy a bottle to see if there is a difference. I love the champagne at CTI and yes it does make a decent substitue.

    "40 years old, 15 lbs over ideal weight and still thinks she SHOULD have the bod of a 20 year old LOL - and I donned my bikini quite happily." ....Good for you and Me Too! but I'll tell you what, I have a swimsuit for everyday. If I looked unsightly, nobody told me and I live for wearing my bikinis on vacation!

    You so made me look forward to my week at CTI in April!

    Thank You...Glenda

  9. #9

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    Great review!
    I'm with you about the wine though. The cab sauv was just ok, and the merlot a bit better, but not enough so to really enjoy drinking wine beyond dinner.
    I thought the white was horrific. I'm not even sure what it was... truly awful. I even tried a sprizter with soda to cut the sickly sweet taste of it, but I just couldn't drink it.
    I think that was one of the only good things (that and seeing our cats) about getting back to Vancouver... enjoying a nice bottle of wine again.
    Oh, and good for you for wearing your bikini! I brought a one-piece and a couple of tankinis, as I am not so thin as I used to be when I was younger... but I said to <beep> with it and wore my bikini to the beach (with a coverup a lot of the time, mind you) It sure is nice not to have ikky wet lycra against your belly, and be able to catch some sun on it

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default CTI Review Jan 20-27 , 2011

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a detailed review. We are planning on getting married at CTI in April 2012. We were having a difficult time deciding on which resort to use. We stay at CSS in Aug. 2010 and loved everything about it. Your review has made me glad that we reserved our wedding date at CTI. It sounds like the perfect resort for our guests, ranging in ages 27 to 63. I can't wait to get married at CTI and experience another vacation at a Couples resort. Thanks again for your review.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the review!! My girlfriend and I are making our first trip to CTI in May and can't wait. I find myself scouring the message boards just to make it seem around the corner. Could you elaborate on how you packed?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lwhite View Post
    Thanks for the review!! My girlfriend and I are making our first trip to CTI in May and can't wait. I find myself scouring the message boards just to make it seem around the corner. Could you elaborate on how you packed?
    I started with a list I found on the message board (I love lists - DF ended himself laughing when he saw that I colour coded the section headings LOL...) I created a Medicine Bag using the list and also all the great ideas on the MB. Unfortunately the Medicine Bag weighed 7 lbs!! FORTUNATELY we did not need even one item in it!

    I took 6 dresses for dinners (cocktail dresses, but I prefer to be overdressed when unsure)
    5 pairs of dressy shoes (wore 3 of them)
    2 pairs of flipflops
    3 bathing suits
    3 coverups
    2 casual sundresses
    100 pashminas/wraps (and only used 2)
    gym gear
    1 pair of shorts
    4 t-shirts and 4 tank tops
    1 pair of comfy pants

    DF took 1 longsleeve dress shirt
    4 shortsleeve dress shirts
    2 dressy pairs of shorts for dinners
    1 pair of long pants for dinner
    3 casual pairs of shorts
    7 t-shirts
    2 bathing shorts
    gym gear

    we also took a set of 5 (fake, battery operated) candles. Looked lovely on our balcony at night

    SO excited for everyone who is gearing up for their trips!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    28

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    Glad to hear CTI is still wonderful. We arrive Feb 13 and am so looking forward to it and to get away from the cold, freezing rain, sleet, and snow. The sun will be lovely!! Last time the food was so good and looking forward to it again. Thanks for the warning on the wine. I do remember the Dirty Bananas were so good.

  14. #14

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    Well. It's Thursday (Feb 3) as I write this post, with a Jamaican Fantasy in hand, sitting in the CTI internet cafe, and I leave tomorrow (Feb 4) and I'm in love! CTI was a great choice for us, despite my BF not liking the Couples Only idea. I agree with you on every point. The food was great, far better than anything he's experienced (It's my first all inclusive) and the entertainment was awesome. We, admittedly, didn't do much at night but you could hear a party vibe despite being far away from the beach... We weren't far, we were right above the volleyball court actually and feel we're in a great spot. Which room were you in might I ask? We're in 1106. I think our block was sort of neglected a bit during the remodel but it's great for us, even to the point where I wanna scrap my brand new mattress and get a King The bathroom was a bit outdated, true enough, but sufficient. Everything about this trip was fabulous. I do have to add though, that the excursions reservations were awesome and accomodating, and Colin, the tennis pro was a great coach to me, despite my lack of ability. MY BF was a ranked junior back home so I thought he'd expect me to be pro or something but he's really patient and treated me great.

    We're already talking about "Next Time" which prior to this trip was something we thought ridiculous... like, why go back to the same place time and again? But CTI was like home, and we're already thinking about coming back!

    As for the whole bikini thing? As a woman, early 30's who also carries a little extra weight (I call the 15 pounds my "Big Mac" weight) I felt fine in my bikini, whether it be my sport suits or my skimpier beach suits. It's somewhere where you actually realize you're not any worse or better then the people around you and it's very comforting to know you aren't being judged.
    Last edited by firebrand3; February 7th, 2011 at 03:02 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    40

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    @ firebrand3
    So happy to hear you loved it too! We were also shocked at ourselves: a) planning the next trip to Jamaica while still in Jamaica and b) wanting to return to the exact same place!

    Our room was 5308 and we were the in the other far end from you - we were passed the swim-up bar and around the corner. SO quiet!! )

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