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  1. #1

    Default Been to CN - now confused!

    My husband and I visited CN in March 2007 for his 40th birthday and had a spectacular time. We are considering another visit to Couples in February 2012 for MY 40th birthday and would really like to try another resort. I have been reading the posts and have had several questions answered, but a few remain. Please help me decide which Couples resort to go to next!

    1. Beach....this is an important feature to us, however, I don't need miles and miles of beach. I just want a clean, soft beach with clear water. I keep reading how the Negril beaches are so superior...but why? Are we only talking about the length of the beach? We also prefer no vendors. I know some like that extra bit of local flavor, but we really don't. On vacation, I don't want to be bothered with vendors that I have to tell no - even if they are polite and take no for an answer. At CN, the beach was lovely, we walked the cove one time and enjoyed the one day the vendors were brought in but grateful we didn't have to 'deal' with the vendors daily. We also liked that the beach was semi private. For these reasons, I am not sure I would like the CSA beach. But I am worried about the Ochos Rios beaches for clarity and sea grass. Thoughts?

    2. Excursions...we didn't do ANY at CN and I regret that. I would really like to do Dunn River Falls so we are leaning towards the OR couples resorts. But again, not sure if Dunn River is so worth it to go to that part of the island specifically for that.

    3. Type of resort...I don't necessarily mind a 'hotel' feel as long as it's still a carribbean feel....thoughts on that?

    4. husband has had 9 knee surgeries and a lot of stairs might hurt after a week. Are there roooms or sections at CSS where there are less stairs?

    That's it...really, my MAIN concern about going to OR are the beaches. If I could get that fear addressed, then I'd have to decide between CSS and CTI. As BEAUTIFUL as CSA looks, I have two problems with that resort...(1) no TV's in the room category I'd want (sorry, I'm a TV lover...even on vacation!) and (2) public beach with locals, vendors, and other people from other resorts - I don't think that's for me...

    So, as you can see, I'm confused. Someone, please help me. We LOVED CN - but I'm a 'Been there, done that' type of person. Part of me wants to even try another island - but I trust Couples so much that I figured I could go back to Jamaica - do some excursions and stay at a different resort and it would feel like an entirely different vacation.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2


    The beaches at CTI and CSS are not as soft as the Negril beaches. We have found the water to be rougher at CTI and calmer at CSS for floating. But there is a lot of sea grass at CSS. At CSS you can request a shuttle pick you up in lieu of the stairs. CTI has the Cat Cruise and CSS does not due to the reef. Dunns River is great but could be a problem for your husband after all those knee surgerys. I agree with you that it's nice to try both sides of the island. Our favorite Couples resorts are CN and CSS. We trade back and forth between the two. This year we are going to CN and next year to CSS. You have a tough decision based on what is important to you. I wish I could be more helpful.

  3. #3


    Hi Jenna! CSA is great, beach is wonderful and beautiful water. I stay in the old section without TV because we don't need it. CSA is so romantic and we are going July 5th to the 12 celebrating our 20th anniversary and our sixth time there. Food is great and you wouldn't be sorry. We all have a preferences. I like CSA because it doesn't look like a hotel.
    Sharon in Milwaukee

  4. #4


    Hi Jenna,

    I can understand your situation. We went to CSA last year, and like you my husband does not like to be bothered by the vendors. He did not even want to walk the beach because of it. This year we are doing a CSS/CN slit in August. I also am concerned about the beaches, so we are doing CSS for 4 nights, and CN for 7. That way I figure we get the best of both. My husband broke his leg water skiing at CSA in November so he is just starting to walk again. We are booked into the beachfront suites at CSS close to the beach, and main pool in case he has a problem getting around. Like other people have posted, you can get a pick up if its a problem. I will do a review of both resorts when I get back, but I am not going until the middle of August. Good luck with your decision.

  5. #5


    7 Mile Beach in Negril is one of the best beaches in the world...not one of the longest one of the best. Now, having said that I'll tell you we visited Montego Bay 14 times before we went to Negril and I thought the beach was fabulous. I'm from Nebraska and our beaches are awful! Now that I've been to Negril I don't think that beach in Montego Bay is going to be quite as lovely but if it was a choice between a beach in Nebraska or one in Montego Bay you can guess what I'd choose. Any beach in Jamaica is fabulous but nothing is Negril, you won't find that powdery white softness on the other beaches.

    I've been to CSA and I can tell you the vendors aren't an issue. They have to stay at the waters edge. The resort where we used to stay was a private beach so I was a little leary of this situation as well but seriously, it's NOT AN ISSUE! It's not like they are in a continual line one right after the other and if you sit back away from the water they don't even speak to you. I didn't and wouldn't advise any one else to let that factor in to their decision to choose or stay away from CSA.

    Been to Dunn's was fun but I certainly wouldn't choose a resort for that reason. And if hubby is concerned about stairs it won't be an excursion for him. Dunn's River is a spiral staircase in a waterfall that you climb. Yes, you can exit at certain points but you start at the bottom and climb to the top so you still have to climb the stairs to the top. Here is a link to just one of many websites about the place

    If you don't mind the "hotel feel" then who is to tell you that is wrong? That is a personal choice and I think that's fine.

    You might want to read the reviews on CSS...almost everyone seems to comment on the stairs.

  6. #6


    The beach at CTI has darker, coarser sand and the water is clear. The beach is totally private and small. CTI is very modern and has all the amenities CN would have plus some excursions that CN does not have. It was a very nice resort, but totally different than the one we had been to which was CSA. If you want to try something new, I'd say go for CTI because the stairs may be an issue at CSS. Good luck deciding, but after experience the OR side, we are going back to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen and that is CSA.

  7. #7


    I'm going to take another look at CSA as well. We LOVED the nice calm Negril beaches...and I'm not sure I'd like the sea grass in OR. The funny thing is, I agonized over which Couples resort to go to in 2007 and we picked CN because of the semi private beach, minimal vendors, calm beach, etc.... all reasons I'm still looking for - but I don't want to do CN again because I've already done it!

  8. #8


    I LOVE CSA, and was scared when we received CTI for our Secret Rendezvous. However, we really enjoyed CTI, and would love to one day return. However, if you are a person who just likes to lie on their " floatie" and rest all day, CTI may not be a great choice. I am one of those " floatie " people, however I did not miss it very much at CTI. Seagrass is not a problem ( only near the island ) - just slightly rough water ( however, much more calm then my trips to Mexico and Playa del Carmen). The beach is private, plenty of palm trees, and was actually larger then I had anticipated. I was still able to get in the water and swim. I did my first trip to Dunn's River Falls, and I say , if planning on going stay in Ocho Rios. I can not imagine committing a full day to do the trip, instead of just a morning, like when you stay in Ocho Rios. The view from the rooms at CTI were wonderful, loved sleeping with patio doors open listening to the ocean. Food, top notch. Spa very peaceful and wonderful. I really did enjoy the complete atmosphere of CTI, and I highly recommend it.

  9. #9



    We love CNN and have been twice, and twice to CTI. All of the Couples resorts are awesome, be sure to do the trading places if you go back to CN so you can check out CSA for a day. Or if you go to one of the Ocho resorts, be sure to spend a day at the other. We are going to CSS in September and booked OceanView Suite which I believe are in A and B blocks, closest to the beach and most restaurants (I think). The beaches at CSS are very nice but the beach at CN has softer sand and the ability to walk out neck deep in the water without stepping on any coral, rocks, shells, etc. The beach at CTI is very nice and secluded but very small. If you are interested in au natural sunbathing, there is none at CSA. We have not seen any vendors on CTI or CSS properties that weren't brought in by Couples, with the exception of Shell Man at CTI. We have enjoyed all of the excursions, especially the snorkeling trips and horseback ride; we haven't done the Falls. We had both a regular room and a suite at CTI and it felt like a resort, not a hotel both times. The Negril resorts have the incredible sunsets, but the sunrises at CTI are amazingly beautiful! I understand the sunsets at CSS are nice too but that is on the other end of the island from Negril. You might consider a split trip and stay at two different resorts on one trip. Whichever Couples you choose, you are guaranteed to Enjoy!

  10. #10


    Remember that the beaches on the north shore at CTI or CSS are mainly man made with courser almost construction grade sand. The beaches in Negril on the west coast are natural with fine soft white sand. CSS comes with a lot of stairs even if you stay in the beach front. The main restaurant is up on the hill as well as the mineral pool, spa, gym, and Charlie the turtle's pool. That leaves CSA as your perfect choice. Flat resort, great food, fantastic beach, great excursions...I could go on and on. Beach vendors are never a problem. Only the waters edge is public and even if you meet them on a beach walk along the 7 mile beach a simple no thanks is all you need. Go, enjoy, and relax at this true beach resort.

  11. #11


    We stayed at CSA last year (and will be there again in 12 days). I can tell you the vendors were not an issue at CSA. The beach was fantastic! We didn't notice any grass (a whisp here or there) and the beach is pristine. I really didn't notice anyone from outside the resort. On occasion a one, two or three man band would play on the beach (out in the open away from the guests) could tip them if you wished but they usually didn't stay long and it was only once or twice a day that I noticed. Our room last year had a TV but we only watched it maybe 3 hours total while we were there. This time no TV..I doubt if we'll miss it. We caught the news a time or two but we're going to Jamaica to get away so no TV will help.

  12. #12


    What room category at CSA did you think you wanted and for what reasons? Maybe we can help you decide on a room. Many people have a "thing" about the TV, we did too and booked the BFVS over the BFS due to the TV...we turned it on one evening out of 8, the night before we left because we were in a funk and packing. Every place we've been on vacation before we've watched TV but there was something about CSA, we just didn't watch it.

  13. #13


    You will love CSS and/or CSA. At CSS you have great views and rooms. The grounds are gorgeous and lush. The beach is small but intimate. The food....great (and yes, you have room service)!. We are returning to CSS on Thursday :-) CSA is located on the fantastic 7 mile beach. This resort offers more dining options. Both resorts have a carribbean flair and service out of this world! Have fun deciding. Lastly....which ever resort you decide, you won't be disapointed. You can't go wrong with Couples!

  14. #14


    Thanks everyone for your honest input.
    I am going to seriously look at CSA. The only other option would be CTI. I really wanted to do a swim with the dolphins excursion and I thought that was only in Ochos Rios but after doing more research I find that I can go near Negril too! Which of course, makes it that much harder to decide! I'm leaning towards CSA now because (1) the vendors don't seem to be a problem and (2) I am really wanting to lie on a floatie in calm waters and my husband really wants to walk the beach.

    I admit, I have been researching other islands because I am such a 'been there, done that' type of person - but I also don't want to mess with a good thing. I loved Jamaica, and I KNOW and TRUST the Couples name - plus I really like the message board and the ability to connect and have some place to vent my excitment as we wait to go!

    I'm sure I'll be back on with other questions!

  15. #15


    For what it's worth, I've had a knee surgery and had two torn miniscuses when we were at CSS in January. I wore a brace when we climbed the falls and had NO problems. I wore it intermittently at the resort and I was only sore one or two days when we really walked a lot from room to beach to room to lobby to beach to room. No matter where you go you will have an amazing time!

  16. #16


    12+ Trips to Jamaica, 3 to CN, 1 To CSS, and upcoming CSA in November 2011

    The beaches in Negril are fabulous but the beaches in OR are just fine. CSS has a small but very nice beach, water was clear and I do not remember any seaweed like you find in Cancun. The a/n beach area was really nice.

    We stayed in 'A' block and loved our room, A & B blocks are on the same level with everything except 1 restaurant, 1 night club and the office. There are a lot of stairs but we did not use them often because most of the activities are on the A and B block level.

    The room was very nice w/ a sitting area, nice bedroom, bath w/ jacuzzi, and nice deck w/ table and chairs. Our view was awesome. I would never trade for rooms at the top just to have a bigger balcony. We like to go back to our rooms for bathroom not the public ones and 'A' block was perfect for that. Our room was A CORNER room on the 3rd floor overlooking the pool and ocean (A31). My wife loved the room service.

    Dunns River is ok, lots of people and vendors and only about 10-15 minutes from CSS, unique place and worth a visit if you don't have to go very far. We normally just hang out at the resort and relax on our trips

    No vendors at the beach

  17. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by The2ofus View Post

    We are going to CSS in September and booked OceanView Suite which I believe are in A and B blocks, closest to the beach and most restaurants (I think).
    The rooms in the A and B blocks are the Beachfront Jacuzzi Suites. The ocean view rooms are on the cliffs.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

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