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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    2

    Default Recent reviews on TA and need advice

    Hello This is my first post. I've been reading a lot of reviews on here for about a month. I recently read some recent reviews on TA that were not so good regarding staff and rooms. I will be going on my honeymoon to CSA from July 9-16, 2012 and we will be staying in an atrium room. We are so excited!
    I understand people have different experiences and people's opinion on things can vary greatly. My only big concern is bugs (mostly ants in the room and sandfleas). I hate bugs and even though I have read some wonderful reviews on here I am a little concerned about bugs and the overall value of CSA. This will be my first trip with my fiance out of the country so we are relatively pretty new at traveling. I guess I get worried when I read not so good reviews. I want to have the best time with my future hubby on our honeymoon and I want to get the best for my money.
    I have a whole year to go and I don't want to keep second guessing my decision to go to CSA. Do you have any advice? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    245

    Default

    We stayed in an Atrium suite in August of 2010 and had no issues with ants or other bugs. There may have been one or two of the little things, but nothing that was bothersome or that was memorable. I am sure you will enjoy your trip and the Atrium room!

  3. #3

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    Just like others have noted about TA reviews be careful of the first time posters that state, "they have travelled all over the world". Some people will complain about anything and everything no matter how minor or the result of their own doing. We were just at CSA this past April for our 2nd time and have booked our 3rd time for next April. As far as bugs go we never had an issue with them----it is the tropics though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    989

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    My advice is to relax.

    You may run across the occasional exploring ant in your room, it is the tropics and the bugs have been there much longer than the people. They will be very few and far between, most folks never see any at all.

    Keep in mind that the rooms at CSA are not the glass and steel towers of Vegas. They are much more organic and simple in their elegance. If you are looking for a relaxed, romantic honeymoon with a magnificent beach and beautiful surroundings you have chosen well.

    Keep reading the message board. You will be reassured in your decision by the honest and mostly positive reviews you will find here. We are in the planning stages for our trip to CSA for next summer. Believe me, if it weren't the best vacation we have ever had we would not be returning for our sixth trip. You will get plenty of bang for your buck.

    I think you will love CSA.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    327

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    No Problem Mon


    Realistically the only way you can avoid bugs in a tropical location is if you get a big ziploc and stay inside it while you're there. It's not really a issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    470

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    Yes....stop stressing! There are bugs in the Tropics.....If you do not leave food laying about you should not have an ant problem in the room. If you do simply ask housekeeping to spray.

    In the 20+ years of traveling the Caribbean/MX/HI we have only had a few encounters with rude staff ANYWHERE. Everyone has a bad day on occasion. Go with a great attitude, don't be afraid to TALK to people on and off the resort. Use common sense and you will have a wonderful time.

  7. #7

    Default

    Yes there will sometimes be ants in the room or on walkways. As with any other "tropical" place there are bugs on the property. These only tend to get in people space when food or drinks are left lying around or spilled. I guess because we live in south Georgia which has weather similar to Florida we are used to bugs and ants. I didn't realize there were places you could live without them. Some people do get bug bites; especially at twilight (I'm one of those people!). We always take some type of bug repellent. I like the Deep Woods with Deet towelettes. I just apply before going outside after sunset.

  8. #8

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    Fanci, there is a reason many of us come back year after year.
    CN-July 2006
    CSA-July 2009
    CSA-July 2011

    Eat, Drink, and be Merry for tomorrow you may die.

  9. #9

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    We stayed in an atrium room a little over a year ago and had no issues with bugs. We did, however, have a beautiful moth join us.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,363

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    I can promise you that the value is there. All of the inclusion (including water sports), the fabulous food, top shelf liquor, nightly entertainment, it all adds up and it is worth every penny and then a lot more. No need to worry about value.

    As far as bugs, you are in the tropics and going to run into a few bugs especially ants if you leave drinks or food in your room. They are sugar ants and can very quickly find the food. Be sure to rinse out your glasses before you leave them in your room. We've been to Couples 5 times and have never had an infestation of ants, yes we have had some, but housekeeping leaves a can of bug spray in the room and you can just spray the ants with it and they will go away. If you don't have a can, then call the front desk and they will deliver one.

    As far as sand fleas go, they come out after rain and in the evenings on the beach. If you either stay away from the beach after the sun goes down or after rains, you should be fine. Otherwise, I use Avon's Skin-So-Soft and it does the trick as well as moisturizing my skin after being in the sun all day.

    Once again, you have made an excellent choice. Don't second guess yourself. CSA is a fabulous value and you will have a wonderful time.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    138

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    My husband and I were at CSA last September. It is heaven on earth! To keep ants out of your room, just make sure you don't leave drinks or food sitting out for too long. We encountered sand fleas one morning while we were on the beach when they were raking it. If you're worried, just bring some OFF bug spray and you'll be fine. Don't put too much stock into the bad reviews. Having been there, whenever I read the bad reviews I laugh because our experience was a complet 180 from those. The food is great, the drinks are strong, and most importantly you're there with the person you love. Go and have fun. It's so true, once you go you know!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    220

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    I have been reading some poor reviews, this happens from time time. Regarding the bugs, u do get them in the tropocs my in my experience they are not a problem at CSA. Regarding rude staff...I am shocked! I've seen / heard rude clients but not staff. There may be some new staff which may (repeat may) have resulted in a slight decline in service, if this is the case everything will be fine shortly. I would not worry

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    567

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    It is the tropics and bugs are around. I have never had a problem with ants in the room but if you bring food and drink in you may have issues. The sand fleas do come out at sunset oi the beach and can be a bit annoying, If you go in the rainy season I understand there might be some mosquitos. Somtimes if I sit at the outside edge of the Palms I have been bitten around the ankles, again I started using Cutters. I live in MI so none of this really bothers me. I bring Cutters and spray my lower legs and ankles to stave off any bites. We have bee to CSA 3x times in Dec once and twice in Feb.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    340

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    Ok, so 85 percent of the reviews are very good or excellent. 8% of the reviews are poor or terrible. Granted, there is an odd trend of late....

    If you are traveling in the tropics, you will come across bugs. To avoid ants, don't keep exposed or unwrapped food in your room. Ants will find the food in any hotel. I have no experience with sand fleas.

    If the comments don't change before you are 6 months out, then start thinking of other places. Otherwise, relax - Couples is great!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,432

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    Hi fancy7, no place is perfect. It is the tropics so you will see an ocassional bug. Don't leave food in your room and if you see some ants in there, call the desk and they will come and spray.
    We got married at CSA in 04 and have been back 3 times. Swept Away rocks! I really don't want to go anywhere else. Relax, you will have a great time.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    268

    Default

    just relax and don't worry. you'll love it there, take some bug spray for dinners outside at night and relax.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    26

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    There was another thread on here about this, but I can't find it now...

    The short form is that we were at CSA last week in a BFVS and we had ZERO ants in the room. We saw one or two spots outside that they liked, but it was probably just from someone spilling ketchup or somesuch.

    Each morning we found maybe 10 really really (_really_) little black dots moving in the sink. I just rinsed them down the drain. No problem mon.

    Staff wise.. Other folks here have talked about the "value" of the reviews on TA from _first time reviewers_. Those are generally the folk that will only take the time to write a few words if something ticked them off. You won't find those folks taking the time to write about anything good, and they're generally LOOKING for something bad to say.

    We can't say enough good about the staff at CSA, and from what I read here, what we experienced is common across ALL of the Couples resorts. We even got a smile and a laugh out of the grill chef at 3am!

    The folks are all truly dedicated to you having the best time you can have. I doubt you'll have any problem at all.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,321

    Default

    Unfortunately, ants and sandfleas do exist in Jamaica. Do be sure to douse yourself with bug repellent before dusk and you will be OK with the sandfleas. On our last trip to CSA in January, I got eaten alive the first two nights because I didn't cover myself liberally enough with Off. Bob did not get a single bite during our entire trip. Go figure. And yes, you very well may see ants in your room, especially if you are in a ground floor unit. The ants are looking for food, even if it's tiny crumbs that we can't really see.

    Here is the key to not being disappointed when you go. Do not expect marble and brass and all sorts of glitz and bling in the room. The rooms are basic, but clean and comfortable. The verandahs are all fabulous, many with couches and ceiling fans. The beachfront rooms are literally on the beach. You are paying for location. Do I think the rooms could use a bit of a refurb? Yes, I do. But the rest of the resort is simply fabulous, from the powder sugar white sand to the top shelf liquor.

    When you read reviews on Trip Advisor, take a look at the reviewers' postings history. I generally disregard anyone who is posting a first review, especially when they use phrasing like, "I have traveled the world." The couple that switched from CSA after 3 hours? First time review.

    You will make yourself crazy if you fret over every negative review on TA. CSA is clearly not for everyone. If CSA is calling to you, you will, in all likelihood, love it. Just don't expect a lot from the rooms besides a beautiful view, fully stocked minibar, and a super comfy bed.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: recent reviews on TA and advice

    Thank you all for reasuring me. We are so excited about going to CSA. I hope I didn't sound picky.. I'm just excited. And we have never been to an all inclusive resort so I don't know what to expect. But it all sounds wonderful. So many of you who have been to CSA or other Couples resorts have such wonderful things to say. It really helps.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default

    IMO some of those resorts are bogus. I never trust reviews from people who are brand new to TA and have zero other forum posts or reviews.

    Also, the scathing "I left after 2 hours" is a direct regurgitation of the same review that person posted last year, though she opened a new screen name.

    CSA is not for everyone and people need to do their homework so they do not expect marble and glitz. We enjoy the resort for what it is - a casually elegant beach resort with comfortable room (with great oversized terraces), great food and drink, lovely grounds and a staff that for the most part does nmot disappoint. The beach speaks for itself and is a main reason we choose CSA, as well as for the sports complex (I am a gym rat) and the good nightlife at the resort. We also enjoy Negril and there is easy access to the cliffs from here.

    When in Jamaica, CSA suits our needs just fine, and CN is a close second.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    614

    Default

    not to put too fine a point on it, but please be sure you look at the room photos online (both resort and guest) photos. also, i'm typically not one of those conspiracy theorists who think that the negative trip advisor reviews are rigged, but a couple of the more recent reviews seem to be the same review slightly reworded and posted again....

    we're returning to csa for our 8th trip this fall, and most recently stayed in the atrium (first floor) room which we loved! but be sure that you're aware that there's no TV, if that is important to you....

    we hope you love csa as much as we do, and that you'll choose to make vacationing there a tradition.

    congrats on your wedding!!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,953

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    As stated, it's the tropics, you will see bugs. As for rude staff, many of the newer staff are very proper which may come across to some as being rude or cold. I found that if I refer to them by their name, they start to warm up. We got to CTI, but in 5 trips, we have never witnessed rude staff. The staff at Couples is exceptional and if you have problems, let the management know and so the problems can be addressed.
    Vicky

  23. #23

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    Regarding the TA reviews, I frequently use TA to find hotels when we travel but know the reviews are not always accurate. When I posted my review of CSA (from our May 2011 stay), it took TA over 2 weeks to post as they apparently found my positive (but well-rounded) review to be suspicious. I have posted reviews for five or six other international hotels and restaurants within the last year, and not just the Caribbean (like these people claiming to be world travelers....right). You can click on a reviewer's profile and see where they have traveled- for example, mine shows over 60 places across the world.

    So to sum it up: TA is a mixed bag, but definitely not perfect. This message board is a far more accurate reflection of what you will find at the resorts.

    To answer your question: We did not get one bug in our ground floor room, and the staff was AMAZING!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    We have always stayed in BFS or Atriums and there were always bugs in the rooms. It seems to be worse on the bottom floors, probably because of the easy access. Sometimes you can tell that the previous guests left food out. There were big ants in all the bathrooms which makes sense because they need water but last year we also had a lot of other bugs too. There were some little bugs in the bed and all over the main room that we could not get rid of. We also had a horrible time with sand fleas on that trip. I had so many bites that two people actually asked if I had been vaccinated for Measels! We hardly ever spent time the sand because we were almost always in the water but we got covered in bites anyway. They must have gotten into our luggage too because I woke up with bites for months and we live nowhere near any sort of sand or water. We went back later that year and got maybe a dozen bites total. Who knows why it is so bad some of the time but not others. We still love CSA and have booked additional trips back so it isn't bad enough to keep us away.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    567

    Default

    I have been to CSA 3 going on 4 times. On visit 1 made friends with a staff member. We try to keep in touch between visits.
    Hope this is ok for her to do so.

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