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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    230

    Default Beergirl's CN Live - after a week here

    Hi all,

    Okay, we've been here a week, so I thought I'd make some observations about the changes here at our beloved CN. This is our 8th trip - we've also been to CSA and CSS.

    When we arrived, there were literally MOUNTAINS of sea grass washed up on the sand. We were very surprised to see this much up on the beach, but we were assured this is merely the ocean cleansing itself. The staff worked tirelessly trying to get it raked up and disposed of. This lasted a couple three days, and the resort actually hired a backhoe to dig huge holes in the beach on each end of the resort, then they buried the huge piles of sea grass. The grass has all but disappeared by now, and the beach is again pristine and beautiful.

    The beach is much more narrow than last year, probably 20-30 feet. So, of course, the swimming area is very shallow. It's only up to my chest as far as the ropes. The sea was very churned up from a storm, but it's back to its beautiful clarity now.

    We've had a couple of rain showers, but nothing too bad. Let me warn you - the sand flies are AWFUL! Bring something with DEET and WEAR it and REFRESH it! Our first full day here, after a rain, I got over a hundred bites on my calves - ended up at the nurse! She had to call the doctor in, and I had to get a shot of antihistimine AND a shot of cortisone in my bum, plus prednisone and cream for a week. The burning and itching was awful. If you do get a lot of bites, don't hesitate to go to the nurse - total cost was $315, but it beats crying in bed!

    Okay, I know you want to know about the FOOD! Let me tell you, I loved Misha's food, but Andre has stepped up his A game, and the food is better than we've ever seen. A new pastry chef has us noshing on the most tender baked goods and pastries. Seems like they're always fresh right out of the oven. Lobster night (we've had two now...) was the best we've tasted. Some new changes at breakfast - the scrambled eggs aren't on the buffet steam table any more, they're in a huge skillet on the corner of the omelet counter. Much smaller quantities, they are much better. Mushrooms a la creme yesterday for breakfast.... yum!

    Lychee has a new head chef and a new menu - not sure if I like it as well. They still have the tasting platter, but have added a tempura shrimp and a pork satay to it. The entrees are ala carte - you order your meat, then match your sauce, choosing from three curries or stir fry style. Pad Thai is still there, but haven't tried it.

    The repeaters dinner last Monday, held outside Otaheite, was phenomenal. Beef tenderloin and lobster, with a leek soup that was out of this world. GM Karen told us that this is the most repeaters they've ever had at one time - 200. That means literally HALF of the resort were repeaters. That really makes a statement, doesn't it?

    Heliconia is changing their menus daily (I don't think they did last year). The beach grill is still having issues with getting the orders out on time and in the correct order. Andre was having to deliver plates to guests the other day to try and get caught up. I wonder why this is such an ongoing problem.

    Elkie is still on maternity until after the first of the year. Some of the new trainees are wonderful, some are a bit surly at times - a mixed bag.

    Housekeeping is a hit and miss. Sometimes they get there before 5 pm, and sometimes not.

    Okay, off to the beach. The musicians are still all on the beach. Had a funny show the other day. The "dancing" guitarist and the ceegarette man teamed up for a song and dance "Ceegarette on the Beach". Hilarious.

    Hope this tidbit helps tide you through till you get "home".

    Beergirl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    468

    Default

    Sounds like you are having a really great time. So very very sorry about your encounter with the sand fleas. If you can get a bottle of Calamine Lotion it may help tremendously! We were eaten alive in Roatan Honduras in April. The only thing that helped was the calamine.

    Since Carlton, the man who walked the beach advertising Bourbon Beach, with it's "going to be HOT HOT HOT, has passed away has anyone taken his place?

    We wish you a continued blessed vacation!!

    Bright Blessings!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    276

    Default

    Omg Beergirl, thanks for posting such a great review. We are 20 days and counting to CN and are so excited to return to the place where we got married last year. All of the points you made are what we are interested in hearing about...the beach, sand flies, food and service. We are trying to stick to our workouts and will resist the temptations of Christmas indulgence in order to enjoy CN!

  4. #4

    Default It`s gonna be Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beergirl View Post
    Hi all,

    Okay, we've been here a week, so I thought I'd make some observations about the changes here at our beloved CN. This is our 8th trip - we've also been to CSA and CSS.

    When we arrived, there were literally MOUNTAINS of sea grass washed up on the sand. We were very surprised to see this much up on the beach, but we were assured this is merely the ocean cleansing itself. The staff worked tirelessly trying to get it raked up and disposed of. This lasted a couple three days, and the resort actually hired a backhoe to dig huge holes in the beach on each end of the resort, then they buried the huge piles of sea grass. The grass has all but disappeared by now, and the beach is again pristine and beautiful.

    The beach is much more narrow than last year, probably 20-30 feet. So, of course, the swimming area is very shallow. It's only up to my chest as far as the ropes. The sea was very churned up from a storm, but it's back to its beautiful clarity now.

    We've had a couple of rain showers, but nothing too bad. Let me warn you - the sand flies are AWFUL! Bring something with DEET and WEAR it and REFRESH it! Our first full day here, after a rain, I got over a hundred bites on my calves - ended up at the nurse! She had to call the doctor in, and I had to get a shot of antihistimine AND a shot of cortisone in my bum, plus prednisone and cream for a week. The burning and itching was awful. If you do get a lot of bites, don't hesitate to go to the nurse - total cost was $315, but it beats crying in bed!

    Okay, I know you want to know about the FOOD! Let me tell you, I loved Misha's food, but Andre has stepped up his A game, and the food is better than we've ever seen. A new pastry chef has us noshing on the most tender baked goods and pastries. Seems like they're always fresh right out of the oven. Lobster night (we've had two now...) was the best we've tasted. Some new changes at breakfast - the scrambled eggs aren't on the buffet steam table any more, they're in a huge skillet on the corner of the omelet counter. Much smaller quantities, they are much better. Mushrooms a la creme yesterday for breakfast.... yum!

    Lychee has a new head chef and a new menu - not sure if I like it as well. They still have the tasting platter, but have added a tempura shrimp and a pork satay to it. The entrees are ala carte - you order your meat, then match your sauce, choosing from three curries or stir fry style. Pad Thai is still there, but haven't tried it.

    The repeaters dinner last Monday, held outside Otaheite, was phenomenal. Beef tenderloin and lobster, with a leek soup that was out of this world. GM Karen told us that this is the most repeaters they've ever had at one time - 200. That means literally HALF of the resort were repeaters. That really makes a statement, doesn't it?

    Heliconia is changing their menus daily (I don't think they did last year). The beach grill is still having issues with getting the orders out on time and in the correct order. Andre was having to deliver plates to guests the other day to try and get caught up. I wonder why this is such an ongoing problem.

    Elkie is still on maternity until after the first of the year. Some of the new trainees are wonderful, some are a bit surly at times - a mixed bag.

    Housekeeping is a hit and miss. Sometimes they get there before 5 pm, and sometimes not.

    Okay, off to the beach. The musicians are still all on the beach. Had a funny show the other day. The "dancing" guitarist and the ceegarette man teamed up for a song and dance "Ceegarette on the Beach". Hilarious.

    Hope this tidbit helps tide you through till you get "home".

    Beergirl
    Thanx for the update. Going home to CN in 28 days. My wife Sharon and I feel like we know you. We have been watching your video on shutterfly(the 20 minute one) a couple of time a day to get our "Couples Fix" for a while now. Sometimes when no one is around I dance to the sound track(LOL I imagine that`s quite a sight). I Love Jamaica. We also stayed in a Beachfront Suite at Sans Souci, I think it was A2. Second from the end by the A.N. beach, ground floor. Judging from your pictures at CN, I think we were in the same area in front of the spa on the ground floor in Feb. 11. Who knows. Maybe we will meet up one year. My wife and I will buy you and Ken a beer at the Beach Bar. Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.
    It`s gonna be Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!
    Ere De Fun Don Done
    Grand Lido Sans Souci Feb. 2002, Couples Negril Feb. 2010,
    Couples Negril,Feb. 2011, Couples Negril Jan. 2012,
    Cool Runnings eh!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    784

    Default

    Hey Beergirl,

    Glad to see that you are back back "home" in Jamaica. Iowa is COLD.

    Have fun!

    Life is good

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    277

    Default

    Thank you Beergirl....57 days and counting...I love the reviews everyone posts, especially the "updates". Enjoy the rest of your time on paradise.

  7. #7

    Default

    Hey Beergirl, we were there last week also, and that dance that Donovan did with the Cigarettee Man WAS hilarious!! Everyone loved it! "Everytime I turn around (and they both turn around), cigarette on da beach"! Did you notice the Cigarette Man has added to his spiel? "Cigarettes, cigaaaars, cigaaaars, sunshades, it's gonna be hot, hot, ho-ot, ho-ot, ho-ot"!

    We were at the same table as Karen Lanigan at the Repeaters Dinner and she said that about three times a year they get a huge (not hurricane) storm and they leave all that seaweed on the beach. Also, she told us that the hole digging and burying was an ecological action. I didn't realize it but she said that the piles of sand and seaweed are 60% sand!! So I guess it makes sense to just bury it, and the seaweed decomposes and we still have a beach, because as you said, the beach is a little smaller.

    Hey, how did you get so many sand flea bites? We were on the beach ALL day and never got ANY. Perhaps you got them in the evening? I hear they come out when the sun goes down and the sand cools off. Maybe that's it.

    We were in a Beachfront Suite (1101) too and that's the ONLY room we'll get at CN...so much room, and what a view! And the nightly plate of yummies that arrives is SO good!

    As for the food, I haven't weighed myself yet, and just may ignore the scale altogether, but it was super in all of the restaurants...even the buffet at night at Cassava! lol We really loved the new chef and the food at Lychee this year...in fact my husband prefers it over Lemongrass at Swept Away, where we were the week before.

    Great review, Beergirl! All I can say is "Ditto"!! Can't wait for next year!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Must agree re Lychee -- not a fan of the new menu. Appetizers are good but the main course consists of cooked meat or shrimp with a sauce on the side. Disappointing. On the flip side, love the fact that Heliconia's dinner menu changes frequently and that they've sort of returned to their Italian roots. It remains our favorite restaurant. And Otaheita was great as always with -- for better or worse -- much faster service. If you want a slow dinner, be sure to tell them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    230

    Default Hot, Hot, Hot

    Fluffin, there's a guy walking the beach - half of his head is blonde, and half natural black. He's singing "ceeegarettes, cigars, cigars, cigars, sunshades. It's gonna be hot, hot, hot... hot, hot. It's a lovely cadence.

    Beach-bum - we talked about you the other day, and miss you on the loungers behind us.

    I forgot to mention a couple of things. They have ice buckets in the rooms now. Really nice stainless steel ones. This is something we've been putting on our comment cards since they opened the mini bars. Nice to see it's done.

    We're seeing more groups here - not necessarily large ones, but the tables in the restaurants are full of four-and six-people groups. I guess it makes sense with all the repeaters here.

    Dinner at Heliconia last night was... well... awful. I've been looking forward to the Mushroom Rissoto, waiting all week for it to show up on the menu. When it arrived at the table, it was this large gray lump of cold sticky rice that my fork actually stood up in. Eeww... Our waiter never came by to ask how anything was, they all seemed extremely overwhelmed, never making eye contact, no drink refills offered, etc. When he finally picked up the uneaten dish, he said... "ya mon, I noticed you must not have liked it..." It's not like I couldn't miss a meal, but I was really disappointed, to say the least.

    Heliconia is serving this molten lava olive oil with their freshly baked rolls. It's so spicy it's totally inedible, with scotch bonnet peppers prevalent floating in the olive oil. I don't know whose idea this was, but a nice garlic olive oil with parmesan cheese would be so much more appropriate for the regular masses. We've had to ask and ask (and wait and wait) for butter for our rolls instead.

    Something else I've never seen before, and don't particularly like: One of the musicians from the house band is on the beach, playing his guitar for tips. He is right up in the shade, not respecting the boundaries, and gets right in your face, telling you that since he works here, he can work the beach. He is a bit agressive, and we've seen people really have to tell him off, and to go away. This came up in conversation with Wayne, the Operations Manager, and he said the musician shouldn't be doing that. But, it's happened almost daily since.

    If I sound like I'm whining, it's because it's our last day here. We got the "goodbye paperwork" yesterday. Boo hoo...

    Beergirl

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    230

    Default

    Mark527,

    Thanks for the compliment on my video. The vision of you dancing to the sound track is stuck in my head now! hee hee I really enjoy making them. I don't think I have enough "new" material for one this year, although I've taken photos of all of the FOOD! If anyone wants to see our Jamaican videos, they're on my shutterfly account: www.kenandbrenda.shutterfly.com

    Beergirl

  11. #11

    Default

    We too were sad to see the mountains of seagrass piled on the beach last week, but they handled it well and is all part of beach life..the 2nd half of the week was awesome, thankfully neither my wife or I experienced any insects on the beach and we were camped out there every morning.. Beergirl must have sweet blood!!

    It was great to be a part of the largest ever repeaters dinner too.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    Oh thank you. I needed to hear that in the middle of this cold winter. I was actually transformed back to CN while reading your post.

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