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  1. #1

    Default First timers need advice @CSA

    This will be our first time in Jamaica and our first time at couples. Any good advice regarding anything will be very appreciated. We will be at CSA Aug 16-22 for our honeymoon. Both of us are 27 and are friendly easy going people. We have never done an A/I before so we dont really know what to expect. What to bring? What not to bring? Is there anything that is a must do? Things to avoid? Anything you might think would be helpful is welcome. Thanks. Hope to see some of you there in Aug!

    Jason & Meghan

  2. #2

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    First Thing...Relax.... If you are checking luggage, take a change of cloths and a bathing suit in your carry on in case your luggage doesn't make it to the island at the same time you do.

    Second thing...relax some more. Have some singles or fives ready for the valet / driver at the air port. The are not employed by Couples. Enjoy a Red Stripe at the Couples lounge while you wait for your livery. This can help if you are a nervous passenger. The traffic flow in Jamaica isn't like the states. Oh and it is part of the British Commonwealth, they drive on the left... Take in the sites of the island as you are driving to the resort. Jamaica is not a wealthy country and relies heavily on tourism (1 our of 4 jobs is in hospitality). Have your camera handy as you'll see some beautiful coves, interesting sites and you'll want to remember those fun things after you get home.

    Third thing...relax again...When you get to the resort, smile, be happy and let your cares wash away. The States, your job, family and bills are all a LONG ways away. It's your honeymoon..ENJOY IT!

    Do take:
    SPF 30 or 50 creme , Deep Woods OFF (Just in case), at least 3 swim suits - they take a while to dry in the tropics, Aloe (just in case), camera batteries and camera memory - (my wife has had people tell her they had to DELETE pics while on vacation because they didn't think they would take many pics), extra beach towels.

    Must haves : PASSPORT, a Credit Card for incidentals, Cash in small denominations for the craft days at the resort, a positive attitude. The people my wife and I met in Jamaica are the most genuine, real and gracious people we've ever met.

    Don't take : stress, frustration, any notion of perfection. Like your wedding, there will be something that doesn't go as planned. In my wife's case it was her luggage, but it was there at the front desk waiting for her the next morning. If something comes up, take a deep breath and remember 50 feet from anywhere you are in the resort is some of the most beautiful beach and water you'll ever set eyes on. On the way to the water you can get almost any type of beverage you want, served to you with a great big smile.

    We loved CSA and can't wait to go back.

    Enjoy and Safe Travels!!!

  3. #3

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    In my wife's case it was her luggage, but it was there at the front desk waiting for her the next morning
    KCKev,

    I will be at CSA for the 1st time in 18 days! This is my first time leaving the country and only my 2nd time flying. How did they know to deliver your wifes luggage to the resort? On my luggage I currently have a name tag with my home address. Should I remove that tag and out a tag on with CSA's address?

    Thanks!

    -Mark

  4. #4

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    Buckeye, I would duplicate the response above, relaxation is the key. Do not diregard the advice of the extra clothes and bathing suit in your carry on. Even if your luggage arrives when you do, you are most likely to be lucky enough to arrive at the resort before check in time. No Problem Mon !, Change into your swim suit, go get some lunch and check out one of the best beaches in the world.
    Also, if you have any outdoor allergies, make certain to pack your meds in your carry on as well. My sinus issues seem to magnify in the tropics and taking my allergy meds as soon as I touch down seems to do the trick.

    A great attitude also is key, when we to CSA our first time, we were with 3 peat customers. We had requested a
    2nd floor Atrium, we were given a 1st floor. We took it in stride, decided to just enjoy, we were move the next day to the room of our request. We took the right attitude and didn't let it spoil a single moment. BTW, you can request what you want but no rooms, buildings or floor levels are ever confirmed prior to arrival. We knew this going in so that DID help sway our attitude.
    Enjoy,

    the four couples that we traveled with in 2010 are headed back to CSA for April 2012

    Now for some ribbing from a Notre Dame fan, I can't believe Ohio State didn't win a single football game in 2010, Shocking!!! Good Luck on the rebuilding process, might take a while.

  5. #5

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    You guys are going to love SA. My hubby and I had our honeymoon there, our 3 year anniversary, and are currently booked to celebrate our 10 year anniversary next year.

    My best advice is to relax, enjoy every moment, and go with the flow. Also, never miss a sunset. They are absolutely beautiful, and an event every evening

  6. #6

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    Greenie, I left my tags on my luggage simply in case the luggage is somehow intercepted before it leaves the country. If you are unfortunate enough to be missing your bag at the airport, remember, it's not the end of the world. Because you read the suggestions, you'll have packed a change of cloths and a swimsuit for that day! :-D

    Take a deep breath, make sure all the luggage has come in for the flight, and then take another deep breath, listen to the sounds to the mento band that will probably be playing near the baggage carousels. Next you'll step over the counter next the hallway you walked through from Immigration, it'll be on the left. Even though they are airline personnel, the are from the island as well and have a very nice demeanor and want to help you. You will fill out a form, describing your bag (my wife's was easy, big and PURPLE, so if you have a generic bag, put a noticeable ribbon or something to make it more recognizable), your home address and the resort you are visiting.

    More than likely the bag will be in that day, however, don't wait for it. Gather your stuff, head to customs after filling out the form and head to the Couples lounge and enjoy a beverage. At the end of the day the sort though all the bags left over and reconcile them against their forms. They will drive the bag out to the resort.

    Last thing to remember when checking in, let either the concierge or the front desk know your bag didn't arrive and that the airline will deliver it. The front desk will contact you when it arrives, or you can do what my lovely wife did and lock us out of our room, go back to the front desk for another room key and see your bag sitting there waiting to be delivered. (And don't try to take it, Couples staff will deliver it).

    Hope this helps. Relax, airplanes are safe, if you are nervous about air travel, one "beverage" before the flight can help to take the edge off.

    Leaving the country isn't a big deal. Make sure to have your passport on your person. Don't just throw it in a bag. After you are at the resort, the safe is meant to be used. :-D

    You will have to use your passport when checking in at the airport you are departing from. You'll have to fill out a Customs form on the plane before you land, the flight attendants will pass them out with blue or black pens (don't make any errors are you'll have to fill out another one). You'll have a bit of a hike, but if I made it on crutches, you can do it. Get to immigration and be friendly. Get your luggage. Tip the mento band with a couple bucks, and head down the hallway to the customs hall and pick a line. The will more than likely do a cursory check and you are on your way. When the valet comes up to take your bags, don't fret, they will ask where you are going and tag them. Then they'll point you to the Couples lounge. Tell the attendant there who you are and where you are going and then accept the first of many beverages on your trip. You'll need to tip the valet and the driver (they aren't employed by the resort and one out of ever four jobs on the island deals with tourism), how much is up to you, but a couple singles for the valet and 5 for the driver seemed fair, we didn't have many bags.

    That's probably more information than you needed or wanted, but relax, don't fret little things, remember that no matter how perfect you want your stay to be, like in life there will be one thing that doesn't go just right, from a missing bag, to spilling something on your shirt. Don't let it bother you. You are in paradise. ENJOY IT! :-D

    Have fun and safe travels!

  7. #7

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    Thanks KCKEV for all your help!

  8. #8

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    Read the FAQs on this web site. They'll answer a lot of questions you might have and address some issues you hadn't thought of yet.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  9. #9

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    This is a great thread that might help. One big suggestion... Dont over pack!!!! You will not need as much as you might think!

    http://couples.com/mb/showthread.php...at-quot-thread

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

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