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  1. #1

    Default Which month is better, Jan, Feb, or March?

    Hi, my husband and I are looking into CSA for early next year. We were wondering which of the 3 months would be better as far as the nicest weather, least rain, and which of the months would the resort be less busy?

    Also, we have read about people "reserving" beach chairs. We aren't sun worshippers but love to lay on the beach w/ shade, is there a problem getting the straw hut like umbrellas and/or do they provide regular beach umbrellas as well? How early do you have to be up to get a good spot on the beach?!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    11

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    Excellent question! I would also like to add one question to your post: is it tough to find lounge chairs/umbrellas in particular areas more so than others? (ie. mineral pool vs main beach?)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    708

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    I haven't been the time of year you are questioning but I can tell you that basically Jamaica does not have seasons so generally the weather is the same year round. If a storm is nearby it will cause weather changes but hurricane season is summer and fall (June/July-October/November).

    As far as people reserving beach chairs that's not really a problem. We had no problem getting chairs on the beach or even getting just the spot we wanted. The issue is more with the palapas and people do get up early, put their stuff under one and then go...wherever they go...and not show back up for hours. When we were there in October even though this was going on there were always one or two left when we went to breakfast which was as soon as the restaurants opened. If you didn't care which one you got you wouldn't have to get up at a ridiculous hour to get one. There are no beach umbrellas. There is plenty of shade provided by the palm trees and there are a few of the shade sails so if you want shade it is easy to come by. A good spot on the beach and shade are no problem, just the palapas that are an issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    1,032

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    It really depends on the crowd. There will always be a certain amount of saving and you do have to get a hut (palapa) in the morning but sometimes it's worse than others.

    Last April I thought it was really bad. People were saving chairs in the shade AND in the sun so they could go back and forth and not lose their shady spot. Then they would get up and leave for hours with both sets of chairs still saved. It's one thing to get up and use the restroom or grab some lunch really quick but this was ridiculous. I start to get sick and light headed if I spend too much time in the direct sun so I try to find at least a little shade but it was very hard that time. I was able to find a tiny bit so part of my face was covered or something like that but I had to keep moving because my shade was so small and the sun moves. It was just so frustrating because the beach was fairly empty but there were a ton of towels sitting out there.

    In October the crowd was totally different. People would take their things with them when they left their palapas so we were able to get one around lunch time in the afternoon. There was no saving of multiple chairs per person or anything like that either. The resort was almost at capacity when we were there in Oct because it was the big anniversary week but the people were just much more respectful.

    The first time we were there was a few years ago and it was a lot more like Oct than April. It was hard to get a palapa unless you got up early but nobody was saving chairs like they were in April.

    Sometime during the summer between our two trips last year they installed some shade canopies so there is even more shade now. I think that time when people were saving so many chairs was fairly abnormal. I wouldn't worry about that too much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    317

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    We've only been to CSS once last April and the weather was absolute paradise. Reports called for rain nearly every day but it never rained.

    Again, this is CSS, but we didn't have a difficult time finding beach chairs. A lot were reserved, but we always found a pair.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    631

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    Not sure if money is an issue but that isn't the cheapest time to go. I think April or December before Christmas is a little cheaper. From my experience the weather tends to be a little cooler at night in the winter and sometimes the water isn't as warm as I'd like it. But in the summer it can be very hot down there even at night. The restaurants are open air and if heat bothers you, it might be an issue. To us, I'll sweat it out and enjoy where I'm at.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    432

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    I am a Floridian so there is a big difference to me especially with water temps.

    It is just too cold for us to swim in the winter so we would not go before March and prefer April and May. I know that those in colder climes find it just fine.

    We did see a good bit of chair saving at CSA last visit and the annoying part was that they stayed that way for hours, unused except for towels and books.

  8. #8

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    We have went in December and March. We love going in March because it seems less windy in our opinion. We went in December once and the wind was crazy. It almost always rains part of your trip when you are there but it isn't rain like we are use to in the states. It will rain for 30 minutes and if someone came to the resort an hour later they wouldn't even be able to tell it rained.

    I have never had any problems finding someplace to layout. Hope this helps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,251

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    January, February and March are "peak" season at CSA. You can tell, because this is when the highest rates are charged. We just got back from CSA last week. We were told by several staff members, that the resort was booked to full occupancy through March this year. I would assume the same for next year.

    If you look on weather.com, you will see that Jan.-Mar. is the driest season of the year in Negril. On our first four trips to CSA, it rained once during our trips to CSA during this time. On our most recent 10-day trip, it rained in the afternoon on four of the days. It was also completely cloudy during the afternoon on five of the days (but brilliantly sunny during the entire morning every day). Everyone commented on how unusual this weather pattern was, but the long and short of it is that you can expect rain during the afternoons just about anytime.

    There is now lots of shade avaialbe along the beach. In addition to the palapas and the shade sails, they have planted many more mature palms along the beach path. The chair saving does still happen. I flat out refused to play the chair saving game this year. We work out every morning, and even though we would not get to the beach until 10:30, we were always able to find two loungers. There are umbrellas located on the pool decks if you are specifically looking for umbrellas. But there was a recent post from Randymon that they don't allow umbrellas along the beach, probably because it would block views.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    607

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    Our first few trips to Couples was always in February & March until I found out how much the price drops after the first week in April. Since then, we have always gone in April. Unfortunately, that means no lobster because it's out of season but we can get a lot of lobster dinner back home for the hundreds saved.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

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    My wife and I have visited Jamaica at least once in every month except August, September, and October. We tend to avoid the height of the hurricane season and humidity. Jan, Feb, and March are all winners in terms of average rainfall, average temps, and somewhat lower average humidity though! If I had to pic one month I would choose February because the very best weather we have had in Jamaica has consistently been in February in the Valentine's Day/President's Day time period.
    Having said that... now the disclaimer! You can have a week of sun or a week of rain during any given month so be prepared to have a good time no matter what happens.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    869

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    AT Cn, the last 2 years, 15 days total, it rained the very first day we were ever there, February 12th 2009, for about 15 minutes, just enough to get you damp, I sat in the chair on the beach and loved it. That is the only rain I have seen. Last year, there was pretty good thunderstorm went through about 3 - 3:30 in the morning, and it rained cats and dogs, but that was over before sunrise so I don't count it. That all in 2 trips in February. 7 days and a bag drag I will be back again. Hopefully, no rain.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    2,184

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    February is the best and driest month.imo

  14. #14

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    We have traveled to the Caribbean the last five years in FEBRUARY and have been extremely lucky all times. I think it rained once in Mexico one year and last year at CN, we had rain during the night once. This made it easier to find the tree frogs after the rain in droplets of water! Once you see how little they are, it really is amazing to hear the sound that they produce. We will be at CSA in just 15 days and we are sooooo excited! Also, my logic is this: typically, we are on vacation a week or two over the Christmas holiday so waiting to go away again towards the end of Feb. or beginning of March is a nice "break" from the frigid temps. in the northeast plus you've just put another 8 weeks or so into work and you're ready for a change again.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    631

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    I don't think you can plan for rain no matter when you go. We went in June last time and it rained 10 minutes one afternoon and that was it. There was a chance of rain everyday predicted.

    For us, it's all about water temp. If we can't walk right in without feeling chilly, I don't wanna go. The summer months are awesome because of the water. We bring our floats and drinks and stay out there all day. I've been in late Feb where we could barely stad to stay in for more than a few minutes.

  16. #16

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    We have been to CSA twice in January and just returned from our first Feb trip. I would have to say that I preferred January. The main reason for this was that the resort was less crowded. It was at full occupancy last week. Even when full, the wonderful thing about CSA is that it is so spread out and there is so much to do if you want to, that it doesn't feel crowded even when full. We also had no problems making reservations. It's just that we enjoyed having fewer people on the beach in our previous trips. There was some saving of chairs. I would say that, by 9am, most beach chairs were in use or had been saved. Shade is not an issue because you can always pull your chair under a palm tree. The palapas do go early (before 7am, I think). We also had better weather during our Jan trips, though this could just be a fluke. This time, it clouded over by about noon for four days in a row and stayed that way for most of the rest of the day, with short periods of rain. On our two previous trips, we had perfect weather every day. Whenever you go, though, you can't go wrong at CSA.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    13

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    Here's how I have it figured out, you go to Negril in the Oct, to Dec because it really doesn't have much rain and Ocho Rios in and around April that's what we have been doing for a long time now, seems to work for us.

    We have been in the North during July, which is really hot and windy, but we had no rain then either. It's just a matter of what resort you want to go to at that time. We usually do CN beginning of Dec.

  18. #18

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    whichever month you decide to you, that will be the best!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    2,272

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    Kcares ~ Are you asking the question regarding CSA or CSS? CSS has the mineral pool, not CSA. You've already received the answer if your question was for CSA, but if it was for CSS then there is not an issue finding chairs at either the main beach or the mineral pool.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

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