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February 11th, 2011, 11:14 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
First Timers, want to do it right....
Hello All! What a wonderful forum! So many helpful and infomative people sharing the love from the time they spent at CSA was a big factor in my wife and I deciding to do our wedding vow renewal there. Now, we haven't been on vacation since we got married at sandals Ocho Rios 9 years ago, so for our 10th, we;re going back to Jamaica! We plan to renew our vows at CSA the week of Jan 23-30 2012 and we want to do it just right.
Room and location. It sounds like the atrium rooms are the hidden secret of CSA. We are going to book in early March to take advantage of the offer, but we are stuck on room type. What are the pros and cons of Atrium vs a Beachfront Verandah? The beachfront sounds amnazing, but the way people go on about atrium rooms, it sounds like they are the spot, and much cheaper. What's the deal? Best tip I've read so far is to go 2nd or 3rd floor beachfront so the room is away from the people walking by and the view is better.
Next, how are the renewals? We assume rules about the legality don't apply, but we could be wrong. What are the good spots to have the ceremony?
Is there a basketball court?
Do you have to swim 8 laps of the pool before you can SCUBA?
How far away is Blue Hole?
How far away is the Pelican Bar?
How is the nighlife in Negril? Is it safe/fun?
I know we're asking a lot, we hope to hear from all of you. Thanks to all who have contributed such wonderful information already....
R and J
February 12th, 2011, 10:22 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).
February 12th, 2011, 05:16 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Atriums are rustic... airy... and a good value. They don't have glazed windows, and for some this is a turnoff. There also is no TV. The BF Verandahs are newer. Yes, there is a lot of food traffic just a few feet from your verandah, but the upper floors may have obstructed views due to the palms that line the footpath. Its amazing how quickly these have grown! If BeachFront is an absolute must, I'd spring for the original Beachfront Suites. Also, the verandah suites (except for the newly recatalogued older garden suites - two floors) have three floors with four suites per floor. All the other original suites have just four suites per building (except for the three beachfront buildings that have a single suite on the bottom floor). Pick you poison... but what a way to go!
Lots of places other than the beach to have your renewal (they host all beach weddings and renewals at the same spot). There is a wedding gazebo... a couple of really neat pond bridges... and a rather isolated koi pond.
There are, I believe, two basketball courts over at the Sports Complex (check the satellite view).
Never done the SCUBA at SweptAway, but there is a swimming test... just not sure how demanding it is.
Never heard of Blue Hole; Pelican Bar would be a day trip, several hours there, out to the bar, and back. You'd probably want to bundle it with another tour.
Nightlife in Negril... lots of options, from beach parties at places like Alfred's and Margueritaville; to some upscale restaurants and bars on the Cliffs, such as The Caves; to some great standards like Rick's and the Sands. A good way to scout the area is by cab during the day... walk the beach (be friendly with lots of firm and respectful no's... you'll be approached many times); better still is to see the area by boat... book a trip on the catamaran cruise as soon as you can after arrival. Don't fear wandering into the night life... befriend another couple, share a cab, and make arrangements through the concierge.
Hope that helps...
"In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"
February 13th, 2011, 07:47 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
HI Rach and Jay...
A lot of people like the Atrium and after staying in the beachfronts we decided to try an atrium last time. We thought we would see what all the hype was about and plus it had a hammock, but I think we used it once. We prefer to use one of the hammocks on the beach. It was nice but we really missed the beachfront suite. So this year we are going back to the beachfront. For us it is worth the extra money so it really all depends on what you are looking for. We didn't like being in the garden area where the wedding gazebo was. We missed having our door open and seeing the beach and the ocean, and hearing it at night. There is a little more traffic because of the path along the beach but that didn't bother us. There is a difference between the Beachfront suites and the beachfront verandah suites. We prefer the beachfront suites. I think the verandah's are smaller.
My husband does the scuba every year and you do have to do the 8 laps in the pool. He is a water survivor instructor though so after a few laps the instructor saw he was proficient enough and so he didn't have to do the whole 8 laps. So it may or may not take the 8 laps.
I am not sure about the renewels but we will find out 2 years from now on our 10th anniversary when we renew ours...lol. But what I have seen and read is to try and do the renewels as early in the day as possible because there is always that chance of a daily afternoon shower. Not sure if that is the case when you guys are going, we go in october and it is almost guaranteed to have a daily afternoon shower. Just a suggestion but others may know more about the time of year you are going.
We don't leave the resort for the nightlife so I am not sure about that. We had a little scare in Ocho Rios one night off the resort on one of our trips so we prefer to just stay on the resort at night.
I am pretty sure there is a basketball court at the sports complex. They have everything, it really is a great area.