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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Booked the flight, on the fence about CSA....

    So we have the flight all booked but I'm still undecided about where we'll stay (husband says he'll be happy anywhere there's a beach & no "pool activities" music blasting, lol). We're going to Jamaica in August.......yes, I like to book vacations last minute.

    Couple of final questions:

    -what time do the bars close? I read somewhere that's it's much earlier than other resorts

    -what's the deal with "saving" beach chairs and all the shaded spots being "taken" by 8am, while the "takers" go about their day elsewhere? Is this really that prevalent?

    -do you feel secure leaving your beach bag unattended while you go into the water? Does security keep an eye on these things? Yeah, I know all about being smart (survived 5 yrs in NYC without being a victim lol) but I don't want to have to worry while I'm on (an expensive) vacation, still on the resort property

    -does the resort at full occupancy in early August? I realize summer is the off-season in the Caribbean, but then again it seems like couple is atypical....

    Basically, we both have stressful jobs/lives, we live in a large city, we don't get a lot of "couple" time, blah, blah. We want our vacation to be as relaxing and hassle free as possible. This means sleeping as late as I want and not having to worry about making it to the beach "on time," or making it to the bar before 8pm

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default

    nobody?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,679

    Default

    Sounds like you should go to Couples Negril. It's more relaxed than CSA and you can find chairs and a shady spot on the beach anytime of day. Even at full capacity in January when we go, the resort never feels crowded.
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  4. #4

    Default

    been there 12times and love it...bars close around 2am depending on the crowd etc... we leave stuff on the beach and poolside and never had a problem

    even at full occupance the place always seems like it not even half full plenty of room to do as little or much as you want by yourselves or with others

    CSA IS AWESOME YOU WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE
    Randi & Sherri
    (Pork Chop)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Wally: Oh nooooo... It took me forever to whittle it down to CSA and another non-Couples resort. My head might explode now

    Randi & Sherri: what's the lounger/shady spot situation on the beach really like?

  6. #6

    Default

    -The beach bars close at 6pm, but then all the bars in the restaurants are open then. The club bar stays open until the last person leaves.

    -The saved spots are under the palapas. There are windsails and palm tree spots that are usually open. There are also umbrellas by the pool. We've been during summer, at lower capacity and then again in the winter at 100% capacity. Never had an issue finding a lounge chair or shade. We didn't get up and save either. Just woke, ate breakfast, and wandered down.

    -We feel secure leaving our bag while we are in the water. When we go to grab lunch we'll take our camera, ipods, and room key with us.

    -Usually not full in August, but who knows?

    -We enjoy going because you don't have to think about anything. Before we went the first time, I stressed about knowing the water sports schedule, worried about reservations, etc. Once you get there, you don't think about that. The most "stressful" nights are those that you have reservations, because you have to be somewhere at a certain time.

  7. #7

    Default

    plenty of loungers all the time on beach and pool areas...they have palapas inbetween the palm trees for extra shade as well as some huts...my wife has had skin cancer taken off her face so we always get an umbrella by the swim up bar or fiind some shade on the beach
    Randi & Sherri
    (Pork Chop)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I don't think the bars close at a specific time. One night we stayed until after 3am and they had some others still in the bar. The other nights we left about 1am.

    I did notice the beach chair problem. I actually saw one person save the chair as the sun was setting the night before under one of the shade trees then the next day I saw her use it but she actually saved 2 chairs in the shade then she moved where she had 2 chairs in the sun saved. So one couple was using 4 chairs and they were like 10 feet from each other. That's were I think the problem starts. I did see some people sitting on the beach because of this problem. I normally get up around 7 and put stuff on the chairs to hold them.

    Yes - we felt secure leaving are stuff on the beach. We would be in the water for hours and never had a problem.

    The pools were not very loud and generally empty except the pool bar.


    We are also going in august.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    717

    Default

    Donít stress over your vacation. Itís really not worth it. I always did and found that Jamaica was just what the doctor ordered. You can get up early to save a beach chair but they arenít that hard to find. We have had our stuff moved when attempting to save a particular spot on the beach anyway. There are always plenty of chairs to go around and your stuff is safe if left while you grab something to eat or run off to sail a hobiecat. CSA is a great place to relax and there are no worries...mon.

    Life is good

  10. #10

    Default

    We have been to CSA many times and we have never had trouble getting a shady spot. Now, getting a palapa is near impossible because of the hoarders that seem to never be around but there is plenty of palm tree shade, plenty of chairs and several hammocks as well. We never get to the beach before 10 - 11. No worries.

    The bar in the disco closes when the last person leaves. The action in the disco just depends on the crowd there when you are. We have been in there when it was packed and there are times we are the only ones there.

    We have never had an issue with security and leaving our things on the beach while we are in the water.

    The resort should not be a full occupancy in August but even when it is, it's hard to tell.

    Just relax and go with the flow of the laid back Jamaican culture, enjoy your time away from the city and you will have a great time. Don't get in a hurry about anything, that is just not how they are.

    I hope this helps! We will be arriving this Sunday

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    481

    Default

    Never had a problem w/ bars closing too early. You sit in the sun all day drinking and your are baked by midnight, but we do stay up late and there is a bar in your room.

    Saving chairs is not any worse at Couples than anywhere else in the US

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Eve_ecs.... At CSA between 6:00 and 7:00am they rake the beach and there is no one out there except for a runner or someone strolling along the water. I never saw the beach completely full and there was shade to be had all times of the day. To the point I remember people pulling their loungers our into the sun. There are several palapas along the beach and those seem to go first each day. If you are worried about it, take towels down around 7:30 and stake your claim. Keep in mind it is a west facing beach and you will be in the sun by 4:00 in the afternoon, which is when the beach seems to thin out for people going to the room and getting cleaned up for dinner etc.

    We carried a beach bag with camera and water housing and never had a worry about theft. CSA is part of a seven mile public beach, however there are security patrols on either end to monitor and keep vendors off the resort and on 'easement' part of the beach. Both pools were relaxing and never rowdy. The only thumping of music would be coming from Margartitaville down the beach at night.

    I don't know what occupancy is in August, but we went over labor day of Sept 2010 and it never felt crowded in the least. I can't see how it would be much different.

    These two pics were taken about 5pm in the afternoon at CSA on our first day (9/3/2010), you can tell how crowded the beach is...



    Good Luck and Safe Travels.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,250

    Default

    We've been to CSA 5 times, most recently this past January/February. We've also been to CSS, taken cruises, and gone to resorts in DR, Belize, Grand Cayman, Aruba, Barbados, Bahamas, etc. I only bring this up because I am going to point out something that may not be obvious to many. Almost every resort has chair saving issues. And god help you on a cruise on a "day at sea."

    On our last trip to CSA, I flat out refused to play the chair saving game because we were staying in the Greathouse, a relatively long trek down to the beach compared to where we usually stay (beachfront). We usually don't get to the beach before 10:00 because we work out and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. During our 10 day stay, we never had a problem finding two loungers. The palapas are another issue, but there are lots of shaded areas on the beach. The pools that bookend the resort also have shade umbrellas near the loungers. CSA has definitely added more loungers to address this issue.

    We always left stuff on our loungers when we went to lunch or to get a drink or to use the swim up bar. Never had anything taken in five trips. In fact, someone retrieved my new straw hat that blew away in the wind and was kind enough to place it back on my chair, in my beach bag. I would not, however, leave super expensive electronic equipment such as a Kindle or a high end digital camera unattended. That's just not smart anywhere. While the security staff does a super job, they can't possibly keep track of who belongs to what belongings.

    The Aura Lounge stays open until the last guest leaves. The other bars do close earlier, but honestly, most people (even party animals) will tell you how hard it is to stay up into the wee hours after a full day in the sun and drinking before noon (oops, that would be us). But if you are looking for a completely insane bar scene at night, you can always go off resort.

    We have incredibly stressful job, too, and find Couples to be the perfect place to relax for us. No little kids, no roving singles (like at other adult-only resorts), and no pushy entertainment staff screaming at you to enter contests.

  14. #14

    Default

    The palapas (shady huts) are taken on the CSA quite early. You are, however, able to find shady spots in under the palm trees pretty much any time during the day. Somedays I might need to move the lounger every couple of hours to keep the shade but it's not a big deal. I have never not been able to find shade. IMO, the palapas are overrated...I much prefer the sahde of the palms.

    The pools at CSA are nice and quite for the most part...especially the pool across the street at the sports complex. It feels like a tennis resort in Palm Springs across the street...a totally different but equally wonderful experience (there's shade there too).

    Safety - I feel fine leaving my bag, iphone, nook all on my beach chair when I go in the water. We've never had a problem but I don't know how carefully security watches the stuff. I wouldn't leave a $500 camera sitting there unattended... Security does keep non guest walkers along the shore so the only ones who could possible steal your stuff are fellow guests and employees...and my feeling is a thief isn't going to pay for a couples vacation or risk his job just for my iphone.

    The bars stay open late...especially the piano bar which doesn't even really get going until about 9 pm and I'm usually dragging my husband out by 1am. I think the bartender stays until the last person leaves, but that's never been us so I can't confirm.


    Go to CSA...I can't see how anyone doesn't love it. It is about as relaxing and hassle-free as can be.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Eve, Relax, you will love CSA. During the day the activities staff do try to get the guests involved in sports or games but if you want to decline as they say No Problem Mon!
    We were there with three others couples in April of 2010 and really never had an issue with getting loungers at the beach area. Shade is tough to find on the beach but not an issue up by the pools.
    The pool where the swim up bar is located can get a bit loud but there are other pools to choose from if you care not to mingle with your fellow travelers. The Martini bar above the Palms stays open late but not NYC late and it is a blast to watch the bartenders craft their magic.
    The A/I experience here will knock your socks off, as far as a must try, the Snapper sandwich at the Grill, amazing.

    Don't be afraid to ask for anything, including top shelf spirits, my favorite Lemon Citron and Ting, awesome
    Mick

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks, everyone!

    This will be our second trip to Jamaica. We've been to four other resorts in the Caribbean, but those were either tiny boutiques where there was no "competition" for loungers/etc or they were megaresorts, where there was a ton of everything.

    As for beach theft, I wasn't really concerned with fellow guests or employees-that can happen anywhere on the resort. CSA would be the first place we've been where there was a beach open to walkers-by and vendors. Good to hear nobody's had a problem with this.

    Making a decision this week......leaning towards CSA

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Don't worry about the passers by, the private security company does an outstanding job with people on the beach. To the point where most people at the resort that want to interact with a vendor selling "REEGAAAEEE MMMMUUUSSSIICCC" or "CCCIGGGAAARRREETTSSS" or art or even 'Elvis' will walk down towards the water to meet them. Keep in mind the beach is 7 miles long, so while there are vendors , they go up and all the way back, we never found them annoying and the three piece music group was REALLY good.

    Enjoy your stay and Safe Travels.

  18. #18

    Default

    Just going to reiterate what people here already said. We went for 10 days to CSA in April (1st trip to CSA, 2nd to Couples), so we had time to get a good feel for the resort. I'm the type who researches everything to death and reads reviews to make sure we get the perfect vacation, but you will feel your worries melt away once you get settled in at CSA.

    If you want palapas (the shaded huts), you will have to compete with the people who must get up at 4 am to claim their turf. I can attest that this is not unique to Couples. We usually were out around 8-10 am for breakfast or scuba diving and never had a problem finding loungers.

    We brought our Kindles and camera in our beach bag and would leave it on a chair at the pool while scuba diving for a while, and they were fine. We also left them unattended down at the beach for short intervals - I think you'll be fine as long as you don't leave them blatantly laying out. There's enough people around that it would be extremely obvious if a vendor came up to an unattended bag, and it's unlikely that either a local or fellow guest would steal like that anyway.

    You may also be surprised about how early you go to bed. We are a couple in our late 20s who can still stay out til last call at home, but found ourselves going to bed pretty early at CSA. Drinking all day and playing in the sun can take a toll on you, and the latest we ever stayed up was til around 11 pm. If you're a party animal, there's always the martini bar which I highly recommend and then the lounge.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eve_ecs View Post
    Thanks, everyone!

    This will be our second trip to Jamaica. We've been to four other resorts in the Caribbean, but those were either tiny boutiques where there was no "competition" for loungers/etc or they were megaresorts, where there was a ton of everything.

    As for beach theft, I wasn't really concerned with fellow guests or employees-that can happen anywhere on the resort. CSA would be the first place we've been where there was a beach open to walkers-by and vendors. Good to hear nobody's had a problem with this.

    Making a decision this week......leaning towards CSA
    There are security guards on each end of the resort that keep track of who walking the beach. They radio back and forth and keep an eye on them. They do not allow them to come up the beach towards the guests and IF they do (most of the time they dont) they take care of it. They do not allow them to harrass or bother the guests at all. They really do a great job. I just feel bad for them cause they are always in pants.. I dont know why they dont allow them to wear shorts with their security uniforms (like UPS shorts). The people walking the beach really is nothing to be concerned about! Try not to over think any of it, just go with it and relax. CSA is perfect!

    Couples Ocho Rios 2005/2006
    CSA 2009/2010/2011/
    2012 x2/2013 x2

  20. #20

    Default

    We have booked our 3rd trip to CSA(4/2012), now we start watching flight pricing. You can't go wrong with CSA.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,929

    Default

    On the fence?? That's not good... you may need to re-evaluate... not sure that you're sure...

    Good luck...
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


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