A short review that ended up long: CSS/CN split trip
We recently returned from our 4th trip to CSS (March 2-6) and it was, as always, a wonderful trip. We started at CN for 4 days (Feb 27-Mar 2), and even though we loved the Beachfront Suites and the exquisite dining experiences, it wasn't quite the style vacation we were looking for. CN is more "Fun and Social" so I couldn't wait to get back to CSS for a "Relaxing and enjoyable" end to our trip. So glad we went to CN, but next time it will be straight home to CSS or maybe try CSA.
At CN, my highlights included the Cat Cruise, which was a blast, Stand-up Paddleboarding the nacho bar kicks butt and the big blue couches by the pool, all of which I REALLY wish I could transport to CSS! The beach scene at CN was a little busy for our taste, but the water was absolutely gorgeous despite the unfortunate rainy weather we had. We played bocce in the rain and made the most of it! Our room was on the 1st floor, Building 9, so yep, right next to the A/N beach shrubbery. Honestly, it was just surprising at first, and then not noticeable and surprisingly convenient. Certainly not the same experience as you get at CSS at Sunset Beach, but nice nonetheless. We traveled with another couple, but enjoyed making new friends (hello Amber & Bobby!!) or spending time on our own. I did enjoy the Spa, very relaxing and excellent service helping me to customize my treatment. We also enjoyed watching the birds, fish, frogs and turtles in the ponds at CN. There was a bit of group activity that I didn't particularly care for, but the environment at CN is definitely on the more boisterous side anyway. I thought the gift shops were super cute and I am kicking myself for not buying a palm tree charm while I was there. We didn't really get the chance to build any relationships with staff, but it was a short stay. CN: beautiful, very accessible, fun and in true Couples style, well-appointed.
CSS, ahhh home at last!! The <3hr bus transfer to Ocho Rios wasn't that bad. As Repeaters, they sent us off with travel packs, so that helped too. CSS was booked SOLID while we were there, so we wound up not getting a room in my beloved G block and stayed in E block instead. It was ok, but the internet connection kept dropping off and the penthouses in D looked right down on our balcony, so it wasn't quite as private a 1BR Oceanview room as I had hoped for. Getting dinner reservations before 8:30pm was a little difficult, but we managed with Bella Vista, room service and a little luck at Pallazina (had a no-show and they squeezed us in!). Loved watersports as usual with a great snorkeling trip (thanks Christopher!) and the boys enjoyed SCUBA with Patrick. I went to a Aqua-lates class that totally kicked my butt and was super fun. I loved the Package 99 treatment at the spa (sweedish massage + exfoliating treatment) and I miss the sound of the waves on the rocks from Far Away... First time we had dinner inside at Cassanova and it was quite enjoyable. I love the presentation of soups at Couples, wish I could do that at home successfully! Sitting in the hot tub above the mineral pool, I found myself counting all the things that I love about CSS, the grotto, pool bar entertainment (trivia rocked! ok, I did win, so that helps my perspective), the towel swans, lizards crossing your path, the best omelet station ever with morning mimosas and being able to sail away with my fiancee, sending our troubles away into the Caribbean Sea on a Hobie Cat.
One last story, we stopped into the Jewel Box on our last evening and found a ring that I thought I might like for my wedding band. We talked it over during dinner and the next morning before our bus back to MBJ, I stopped in to purchase it. Tragedy almost struck as another couple was looking at the same ring for a 10 year anniversary band. I don't recall your names, but if you read this post, thank you again for so graciously handing me the ring and insisting that we buy it. I can't wait for June so I can wear it everyday as a symbol of our love, marriage and a reminder to look for the good and kindness in ourselves and others like what we found at Couples Sans Souci.
kiki, from my past visits to CN and CSA, my first comment after CSA was "I liked it but the beach is so much busier than CN" (honestly), so if you found your happy place @ CSS then you may want to reconsider going to CSA if a busy beach puts you off as much as it did us......needless to say we are booked @ CN this july