Hello! Totally new to couples, been to MB Jamaica once in 09. We have definitely decided to come to couples for our honeymoon this October, but we can't decide between CN or CSA...
We are in our mid 20s, and as much as we enjoy taking some quiet time on the beach we also look forward to meeting new people, which usually happens while sitting at the bars - in particular the pool swim-up bars. We're not total party animals but definitely do enjoy a good/lively time especially with new friends. We would also like the resort to have a decent night life (or very close to the resort if it must be off the property - walkable is always preferred). Definitely not fans of everything shutting down at midnight, or feeling like we're staying in a ghost town.
We're also fairly active people (well fiance has a little ADHD I think!), and enjoy activities like beach volleyball, while I look forward to doing some yoga!
From our previous experience in MB, we didn't spend as much time on the beach as we would have liked b/c the "vendors" would not stop harassing us to the point where we would have to get up and walk away! If this happens at either CN or CSA please tell me b/c I will do anything to avoid that while on our HM.
We are also interested in a few excursions. I am psyched about the included "booze cruise" and visiting Rick's and Margaritaville, along with the river tour (rafting?). Would the excursions/locations be any different between CN and CSA (how far are they from each other)?
That being said, which resort would you recommend based on these things? Which resort has a livelier crowd? More activities? Better rooms (looking at the beach fronts but unsure - want a good view but like the secluded feeling while in the room)? Does either have better restaurants? Are any of the bars or restaurants 24hrs? Better layout/flow of the grounds?
Sorry if that's a lot of requests, just looking for the best suiting resort for our HM since you only get one!
Lastly, any little pointers to allow us to make the most of our stay would be greatly appreciated!
As far as a "lively" crowd that can vary from resort to resort week to week depending on the guests at the time. Sorry but that's just the fact, no one resort is known to be more lively than any other, it's totally dependent on the crowd at the time. I can tell you that in general Couples resorts aren't known for being very active late into the night...I said IN GENERAL. At times you'll find a few folks that are willing to stay up and keep things going but it's not unheard of to find people saying they were so tired from a long day in the sun they hit the hay early rather than stay up late partying. Couples resorts really cater to the more romatic atmosphere than the all night party type thing so it's not unusual for it to be a little more laid back at night. Again, you may hit a week where there are people who want to stay up and keep things going...luck of the draw.
CSA has more vendors but they aren't a problem. A simple no thanks keeps them moving, security sees to that for sure. And if you don't make eye contact with them they don't even ask you to buy whatever they are selling. The closer you are to the water the more likely you are to engage in conversation with a vendor, if your chairs are back a bit from the water they won't talk to you as they are required to stay at the waters edge.
Excursions are going to be the same from both CN and CSA, the two resorts are about a 5 minute drive from each other.
Rooms at CN do not directly face the water so none have a full on beach/ocean view. There are rooms at CSA that step off right onto the beach if you want that but because of the way it is arranged you still have a bit of a secluded feeling. Rooms are in smaller buildings with lots of dense foliage around them so you don't stare across at the building next to you, sort of gives you the feeling your building is the only one on the property. As far as the inside of the rooms ("better rooms") this is really a person thing and you should visit each resorts web page and view the rooms and decide which one appeals to you. Click on accommodations to read the room descriptions and click on the maps to view the pictures, both are very accurate.
Both resorts cover alot of what you are looking for. There will be more beach vendors at CSA because the length of that beach is much longer with better access. However, the vendors stay at the water line and have to keep moving (security is good with moving things along). They will only approach you if you make eye contact or gesture them to come. I was never approached by any vendors and don't remember seeing many of them. The beach at CSA is the best I've ever seen. It's endless in both directions and you can walk to Margaritaville which is to the left about a 10 min walk. Also, there are lots of bars/restaurants/shops/etc going both ways on the CSA beach. We love CSA!
I have heard that CN's pool scene is lively and the beach is nice with not as many vendors. Lots of people like both resorts and most have their favorite. I think food and activities will be the same at both resorts. I do know that CSA has the most bar and restaurant choices of the two. You'll have to just keep looking at pictures and reviews to figure out which one is for you.
Which ever one you choose, make sure to sign up for Romance Rewards before you go. The Rewards includes a program called "Trading Spaces". You sign up for a M/W/F morning to go check the other resort out for the day. It's only from 10-4, I believe, but at least you'll get to see both while you are there. Congrats and have a blast.