I have been reading, and making copious notes from, the "I wish I had thought of that" thread. Hubby and I are going to CSA for the first time in October 10th to 24th and are very excited and I am addicted to the message board already!
I wonered if anyone had any "wish I had known about that" suggestions that could help first timers ~ for example I have already picked up that it will be a good idea to do the orientation at the resort, which I probably would have skipped without the message board advice.
managers reception on Monday night. It's a nice event but they don't advertise it much.
They had a little band, special drinks, special appetizers and desserts. It lasts maybe an hour.
It's in the aura lounge. We did not discover this until our 2 visit and will do it again on our next visit.
Here you go - in no particular order because I'm writing this as I'm trying to push through a Friday that is never-ending....
Make reservations at Lemongrass and Feathers right after you check in (concierge is right across the hall from check in area). Be sure you bring appropriate clothes for Feathers!! You won't be sorry!!
Make reservations for the Cat Cruise at the same time
Go snorkeling at least once - even if you're "iffy" on it....you'll be happy you did! And btw - you DON'T have to be a swimmer - they'll provide life vests so you can just paddle around on top of the water - easy as pie
Be sure to take the time to meet your servers, housekeeper, grounds crew, security - they're generally very nice and while some may be a bit shy, you'll find that they're terrific people!
Make sure you meet with Elvis - he's not a CSA employee, but you'll see him walking the beach with a phone to his ear and a giant smile. He'll set you up with parasailing (a MUST, even though it's not included) or jet skiing. He's a very nice person.
Try out the Buddha Pool at the Spa - tranquility personified, and it's usually empty!
If you like tennis (or want to learn), make an appointment with a pro - It's FREE!!! - but be sure to do this early in the AM before it gets too hot!!
Try any and all soups - even if you feel like it's too hot to eat soup, DO IT!!! They make the BEST soup at CSA!! Really!!
Try the creme brulee anywhere - I ordinarily don't like it at all, but I LOVE it at CSA!!
Try the Lion Fish at Feathers - they're an invasive species in the Caribbean, and Couples is really being "green" by using them as a food source - and they're delicious!
Be sure to wake up REALLY early at least once....go to the Palms and get a carafe of coffee (they open at 5:00 and they'll provide you with a carafe). Bring the carafe back to your room and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee while watching the moon set and the sky lighten. Or just go and sit on (or walk) the beach and watch the resort wake up....it's one of my favorite times of the day....
SLOW DOWN!!!! Allow sand gravity to take effect. You're on vacay, and you're on Jamaican time....RELAX AND ENJOY!!
There's so much more - the most important thing, though, is to just allow you and your honey some time to connect and enjoy each other.
I wish we had known about the smoothie bar at CSS. We didnt try it until the end of our trip and the smoothies were so delicious! Now I cant wait until September when we go back to CSS to have another one!
We went to CSA in May last year for 5 nights and I was also addicted to the MBs for months before we went (ok, and am still on here) and thought we would also do the orientation but once we got there we just began enjoying ourselves and ended up skipping it. I really don't think we missed anything as we had a wonderful time and are returning this May for our 2nd visit for 7 nights. Can't wait! I'm not saying the orientation isn't worth it but the time is was scheduled when we arrived interfered with our "how cool is this place?!" time. I brought way too many things that I really didn't need and quickly learned that if you just give yourself over to "island time" and "sand gravity" all will be good. Do bring lots of sunscreen, swimsuits and stress to leave as soon as you hit the beach. My husband never relaxes (I call him "Border Collie" at home) but he sure figured it out quickly at CSA and can't wait to return. You will love it. Enjoy!! ps. I am so jealous that you are going for so long!!
Make sure you have an ink pen (black or blue ink) on the plane to fill out your immigration/custom form going & returning.
Have smaller bills .... Probably nothing larger than a $20 with more $5's & some $1's .... change is hard to get from vendors & will need for tipping the shuttle driver, luggage handlers, tour guides, taxi drivers, etc. ---- Keep a few bucks in your beach bag if you're interested in having the beach musicians sing & play for you .... they're worth it. US $'s are fine so no need to exchange money if that's what you have.
It's a $1 per minute to call the US from your room phone so not too bad .... At least that's what it is from CN so assume CSA is the same.
Thank you all so much ~ everything I read just makes me look forward to our holiday more! Some great advice and tips have been gained from this site and I'm sure there'll be more before we go in October
We are headed to CSA in March for our honeymoon and hadn't thought of half of this stuff! Thanks to all of you repeaters from us rookies
We're going to CSA in March too! We will be there for 9 days. So excited!
One thing that I have to ask about is how many clothes/bathing suits to pack? My husband is a repeat offender of packing too many clothes and I always under pack.
Does he need to bring a tie for the fancy restaurants?
Thanks for all of the tips!
The soft serve ice cream station at Seagrapes is something that some dont know about. I didnt realize that until talking to some of the new people. Its delicious! It was not working in October because of the construction they were doing behind Seagrapes. That is also where you can get a nice coconut water. Not only is it yummy but it s great prop for pictures! If your looking to go off the resort at all for dinner we went to Ivans onour last trip and it was amazing. The view and sunset was the best we have ever seen in all of our trips. AND there was a dolphin swimming around as we were watching the sunset from dinner table. It was amazing. It was a place recommended to us by another couple at Couples. Ivans also has a free shuttle to pick you up, just call Catch a Falling Star Resort to make the arrangments.
Use the bathrooms in the Couples Reception Lounge at the airport to change into those shorts and flip flops from your carry ons as recommended above for the trip to the resort.
Have single dollars to tip the baggage handlers at the airport $2 per bag. Tip your driver to the resort as well when you arrive.
CSA has 3 different snorkeling sites. Ask to go to Mexico! It is by far the best. If you wear Rx glasses to see, invest in a prescription dive mask for your snorkeling. Always more fun when you can see clearly. The morning trips out fill up the fastest as the water is calmer. Book early!
Closed toe shoes and slacks for Feathers and Lemon Grass Restaurants for the men.
Visit Shawn at the Matini Bar above The Palms for some great drinks. House specialty...chocolate martini!
Plan on walking the beach end to end at least once.
When the water is calm and you go out to about chest deep look down. There are live starfish on the bottom.
Fish tacos at the Seagrapes Cafe for lunch are great.
Banana stuffed French Toast at Patois for breakfast at least once.
Way too many things to list here. Relax and enjoy.
The BEST advice I can give you about this thread and the other one is that is to be careful and not overpack, because of all the suggestions. Especially the ones about room treatments, like candles, bug screens, xmas lights, etc. This is all just dead weight that you will not be in the room enough to enjoy anyway. Same thing with excessive toiletries and meds. I guess it's good to have a few handi-wipes and ketchup packets, but those are 2 things I always bring and have yet to use. I started with a page-long list of items that need to be brought from the "I wish I would of thought of that" thread, but after a couple trips since that thread started, that list is now around 5 or 6 items. Just make sure and be realistic about what you actually NEED on your trip. Even then, you will probably only use half.