A must have activity for my husband is sailing, so trying to decipher which Couples resort will best meet that need. An avid sailor, he wants to be able to take the hobie cat out on his own (without an activity staff person "teaching' about the operation of it, etc.). Do you know if this is an option at any of the Couples resorts? We have been able to do this at Beaches in the past.
Not a problem. If you want a lesson they will give you one. Otherwise, the first time you ask to go, they will ask if you know how. If you say yes, you get a life vest, check out with the water sports guy and off you go. 1-4 people anytime between 9 and 4 as long as there is a Hobie available. This is true at all four Couples resorts.
In my opinion, CN is the best Couples resort to go sailing because it is on Bloody Bay and you can go anywhere in the bay on calm waters. At CSA, there is no bay, just ocean and you have to stay within sight of the resort. The resorts at Ocho Rios have very choppy water most of the time and sailing just isn't that enjoyable or even available. There are a lot more red flag days where no sailing is allowed on the Ochie side.
We fell in love with the Hobie Cats on our honeymoon in 2006 and that is always one of the highlights of our trip!
I've been to CSS and CTI and out of those 2 I would say that CTI is quite a bit windier which is good for sailing but they also are known to have red-flag days where watersports are cancelled. I used to love sailing and haven't done so since I was a young teen but I think we'll go sailing at CSS at the end of the month.
I'm kind of a catamaran snob, and have to say that sailing at CSS in January was "satisfying," but just OK. They use the 13 foot Hobie "Wave," which are fun, and super-easy to sail, boats but not incredibly responsive or performance driven (but, for this market, probably perfect). They have one larger 16 1/2 foot "Getaway" for jib sailing, but will make you go out with one of the staff on that one.
So- we were there in January- gentle shore winds every morning head straight out to sea. Then from 10-11:30, absolute dead calm, then a really nice off-shore breeze would come up to bring you back in. Exactly the same every day- you could have set your watch by it.
The reef is a little challenging to get out of at CSS- it's pretty rocky, and you have to tack or jibe back and forth (catamarans don't tack very well without a jib) to one particular place to exit. Once you exit, some days were flat-ish choppy water, and a couple days were an absolute thrill ride with 5 foot swells.
Before we went, I had visions of taking the boat out all day, and literally sailing around the coast to other resorts, or at least over to Sunset Beach. You can't do that. The watersports guys don't want you to get in trouble with their boat, and so insist that you stay within line of site (at least, what they can see with binoculars). They're nice about it, and I understand that they're responsible for the boat and the guest safety. It's their job.
If your husband windsurfs, that's also an option. The same "line of site" rules apply, though.