If you've never been to CSA I would say do it! It doesn't take that long and since the expansion, of CSA the map they give you at checkin can become a little confusing. Besides it will give you a chance to meet some nice people and make some new friends! Enjoy your trip! oh and be sure to have Bob Marley shot at least once when you are there!
One of the good things about going to the orientation is that it gives you a chance to meet others who arrived at the same time as you and will be there the same week. Most of the other couples we have socialized with on our Couples vacations were ones that we met either on the shuttle to the resort or during orientation.
We have stayed at all 4 Couples Resorts. I have always done the orientation the first or second day of our stay. It does not take long and the guide will give you a lot of valuable information. You also meet other guests on the tour. We have made some good friends this way.
I guess it depends if you are going for 2 weeks and are going to enjoy leisurely exploring on your own, or just for a few days in which case you may kick yourself if you only discover the billiards/pool room on your last evening. CSA is quite spread out and full of quirky corners so the guided tour can be a helpful shortcut on your first visit.
I have heard varying opinions on this, but I strongly believe that in order to get the best experience from CSA you should do orientation. It gives you the lay of the land (the resort is deceptively large) and the restaurants (open times, etc.). We have actually done it twice in our 4 trips to CSA as we had almost 5 years off in between trips 1 & 2 and a lot of things had changed. It's also a great way to meet members of the entertainment staff - which I have found makes the experience even better.
We have been to CSA five times (number six coming up in June). We have taken the orientation tour on three of the trips, including our first. It only lasts about an hour and is a terrific way to meet some of the staff and see what is going on around the resort that you may otherwise miss. Another great thing about the orientation is meeting other guests. We have met people that we would run into throughout our stay at dinner, on the beach, on the cat cruise or just about anywhere else. We also met a couple on our first trip that we are still very good friends with. We have met up with them on each of our subsequent trips to CSA and remained close throughout the now seven years since we first met on that first orientation tour in 2005. I would say making that one lasting friendship made the one hour tour one of the best time investments we have ever made.
If you vacation like I do, your whole trip could be a delightful waste of time. Best time I've ever wasted!
I took the orientation at both CN & CSA and I'd say the orientation at CSA was more informative than the CN one because CSA is much more spread out. More ...well...just more stuff. I thought it was lots of fun. Plus we got a tasty rum slushy out of the deal. Come to think of it, I don't think it would've ever occurred to me to ever even ask for shaved ice soaked in rum unless I'd taken the tour. Fresh in from the world, jet lagged, then BAM...Rum snow cone. That will do!
Or if you want, just wander around until you get the place sorted out. The sports complex is across the street. Have a smoothie every day...they are wonderful! Also have a look at the greenhouse and veggie garden over there by the sports complex too. What a super setup.
I don't think it's a waste of time. We didn't do it at CN and feel we missed a few things. We have done it every time since and even when we do the trading places. It gives you a good feel for the place. Met people at CTI who do it every year and said they learn something new every time. It's only an hour.
How did you feel about NOT doing it at CN? I think it's a personal thing. I enjoyed finding my way around the resort...yes, it's larger than CN, or so I've read here. But basically the restaurants are on either far end and the fitness stuff is across the road...you've spent time here on the message board so you are already getting up to speed on some stuff. And as far as meeting people and socializing, it's a personal thing...part of the reason I DIDN'T want to do orientation. I didn't want to spend my time with other people or meet new friends, I just wanted to sit on the beach and chill. I also despise anything that has a time schedule while I'm in Jamaica so I just couldn't force myself to get in gear to do orientation. I loved the wandering and exploring and finding the resort on my own schedule.
No one is wrong on this subject, it's totally about personal preference. If you want to know the lay of the land right off the bat and are afraid you'll miss something then do it. If you like the freedom and adventure of exploring the place and aren't worried about possibly missing one small corner then sit on the beach and watch as the group passes by. Do it your way mon!
Our first time at CSA my wife and I took the orientation tour and it was a big help. We also had 2 other couples on the tour who were there to get married and we made friends with them and attended both of their weddings. The six of us got together at different times and it made it so much more fun.