My advice is to NOT plan your vacation away. Go with the flow and soak up the Jamaican vibe that is there. We love CTI and just know that you will too. You will meet amazing people from the staff to the guests staying there with you. Hop over to the Meet Up thread and see who is going at the same time.
I currently reside in Louisiana, and have been to CTI 6 times, and CSA once. We return to CTI on 9/15. The previous posts give good advice....I would only add to attend dinner at LeGourmet more than once - and make sure the hubby has closed toed shoes.
Ditto to everything Bkhiattky said! We have been to all of the Couples but CTI is our favorite! I also agree with the closed toe shoes, but Le Gourmet is now 8 Rivers, so it might be worth checking out more than once. Not sure why Louisiana is different, but the bar opens at 10am for the rest of us
Ive enjoyed reading the tips posted to you ... We leave in (GASP) 11 days for a 9 day stay. Its our first time
I had some questions though too ...
1) Do you need a physical / Dr note to do the scuba diving, or only if you have a medical problem?
2) What is the Customs/Duties like when leaving the island - do you need to cash to pay for any suvenior type things you purchase?
3) On the travel channel last week they had a Jamaica special which included some "Best Coffee" place in the moutains and river rafting down the Rio Grande --- anyone done either of those, is too far away?
1) Do you need a physical / Dr note to do the scuba diving, or only if you have a medical problem? You will need a doctor's note, unless you have an up to date log book with a current dive. Though I can't be 100% sure that they always ask for it.
2) What is the Customs/Duties like when leaving the island - do you need to cash to pay for any suvenior type things you purchase? You have to pay taxes on certain items, such as liquor, but only if you go over the allowed duty free limit. Here is a link to the US Customs for all the entry rules: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/
3) On the travel channel last week they had a Jamaica special which included some "Best Coffee" place in the moutains and river rafting down the Rio Grande --- anyone done either of those, is too far away? We have not done either of those, though from CTI, the Rio Grande is a little far. However, there are plenty of other rafting trips nearby that you can set up through the tour desk in the lobby. The nearest is the Martha Brae. As for Coffee, the Mavis Bank is the most well known coffee factory and it too is far away, in Kingston.
Hope this helps! Have a great trip!
Someone also wondered about the different ocean rooms (Superior, Deluxe and Premier). The main difference is the location. I'd be happy to send anyone a map and room list of CTI if it would help (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When you go diving you are required to fill out a medical questionnaire. If you answer yes to any question, then a doctors release or physical is required.
The only customs when leaving actually occur when arriving in the USA. Never had anything to declare so I don't know what form of payment is required.