Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1

    Default CSA - a Repeater's review

    My girlfriend and I just returned from CSA. It was her second trip, my 19th or 20th (I've been coming for eleven years, twice a year, but I went somewhere else several times and came to CSA three times in one year.) As one of the "old timers", I thought I'd lend my comments to the vast array of reviews already posted.

    For those of you heading to CSA for the first time, it is NOT any one of the following: a 5-star European Hotel, an Amazon Book Cruise, a luxury ocean liner, or a dude ranch. What it is can easily be described in two words: tropical paradise.

    Take any image of a beach, with miles of coconut groves just a few yards in from the waves. And right behind the coconuts, with even taller, thicker vegetation growing into a jungle canopy, there are dozens of two- and three-story wood and concrete huts. (Okay, upgrade the huts to comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with a bed that's tough to leave in the morning.) That's what you'll see at CSA as you walk the grounds on your first day.

    You can eat and drink around the clock, remember - all-inclusive. Pace yourself. The food has remained high quality for all the years I've eaten it. I'm not much of a breakfast person, but if it's the main meal of your day, you'll feast like a king. Make sure you try the Jamaican food at the Palms at the beginning of the omelet station on the right. Ackee and saltfish are served Sunday and Wednesday, my personal favorite. Add some pepper sauce and it tastes better than bacon and eggs (healthier, as well.)

    Lunch for us, since we're far too lazy to put on flip-flops and a t-shirt, is at the beach grill at the south end of the resort. I've been cooking jerk chicken since 1983 (my first trip to Couples) and the stuff they cook there is on the money for flavor and tenderness. There's pepper sauce on every table to boost the heat, no problem, mon. (Go across the street to Ossie's while you're there and try some of the best jerk on that side of the island.)

    Dinner, at the end of a long day on the best beach in the world, is either an okay-but-I'm-not-really-hungry meal or a ravenous feast. The Beach Party on Friday is for the latter, and the best dinner you'll have there. The dinners at The Palms are for the former, and don't expect to rave about it. The appetizers are very small, but you can get as many as you want. The entrees are just slightly larger and not the quality they used to be. We ate one night at Patois and had a much better meal, although identical in portion size. However, a mass of large wedding parties took over that end of the resort for most of our nine days, making it impossible to try another meal there.

    The Repeaters Dinner was equally disappointing, and has been for several years. I think, for a while, we're going to go to the Manager's cocktail party (great hors d'ouvres) where we can talk to the folks at the top and then head over to the International Buffet.

    Then there's the beach…

    What else can you say? It's the greatest beach in the world. Pure, soft sand, hard-packed at the water's edge making it wonderful for a long walk. Floating cushions and beach chairs are in abundance, and wherever you sit on the beach, someone will bring you a drink. What a great concept. Of course, the "palapa situation" remains unsolved. I doubt it ever will. But if you came to Jamaica to sit in the shade, my first question is: why?

    Snorkeling (pronounced "snarklin'") has always been a necessity for me. I bring my own gear in a specially designed backpack. There are 5 or 6 different chunks of the same reef. Sometimes there's stuff to see, most of the time it's just a nice way to relax and get some exercise.

    Physically, the resort has been maintained better than could be expected. You can walk everywhere and the grounds are clean, the pathways swept, and landscape in perfect harmony with your mood. The best rooms, in my opinion, are the Atrium Suites. The second floor, with the hammock and the view of either the gardens or the beach captures the true spirit of the tropical paradise. I finally got back into an Atrium Suite, 2nd floor, and it took six emails to make it happen, so thanks for that. Nice work with the minibar in the room and the upgrades to the bathroom. (Okay, we're getting further and further away from your image of a beach hut and closer to that 5-star European hotel, but we'll get no closer.)

    Last, but certainly not least, welcome back to Karen Lanigan, the new GM. Sad to see Ricardo leave, but that's life in the big corporation. (Ha!) We'll be back October 19th.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Wait... what??

    Ms. Lanigan is going to CSA? Have I missed something??

    Wow - hope this is a late April Fools joke!

    Beergirl
    Beergirl

    www.kenandbrenda.shutterfly.com for my Couples videos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,406

    Default

    Very good review, thanks for sharing.

  4. #4

    Default

    Very nice review.

  5. #5

    Default

    What a fantastically descriptive review! You must write for a living. (I do.)

    I will be at CSA in 2 weeks, 6 hours for the first time and you brought me there with your review. Thank you!
    CSA - May 2012
    CN - May 2013
    CSS - October 2013

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    Nice review. Very nice.

    Sorry to hear that Ricardo has left, we got to meet him more than a couple of times over the years and he was a gentleman to say the least.

    Looking forward more and more to getting back to CSA in June.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Whoa, what's that about Ricardo leaving CSA??? Where did he go?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,014

    Default

    I understand that Couples has "changed things up" a bit and swapped out Ricardo and Ms L. Good luck to them both... they'll do a great job!
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  9. #9

    Default

    Ricardo (CSA) & Karen (CN) have swapped resorts. Karen has been at CSA for just over 3 weeks now.
    Karen was previously at CSA a few years back but as Operations Manger not GM.

    Cheers,
    Tom & Erin 22x CSA Veterans
    The Janadians

    Don't worry about a thing, 'cuz every little thing is gonna be all right...
    Robert Nesta Marley

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi Ricky- Jim and met you and your girlfriend a couple years ago. Your review is on point. Thanks. We took advanage of the sale in April and booked 4/7-4/15. And you?

  11. #11

    Default

    Karen is at CSA now? I was thinking she was at CN for years (the last 5 times i was there). Anyway, thanks for the review Ricky. I just recently returned form CSS. I really enjoyed the resort, staff, rooms and relaxation. After going to CN with my previous ex...it's not really an option for me with my current partner...so, i was thinking of going to CSA next spring. I missed the white sand beaches and clear bottom oceans that the Negril side provides. I also wanted to share the experience on the booze cruise as well. Thank you again for the review, I just booked for next April.

    So far I've enjoyed both CN and CSS and I'm sure that CSA will not be a disappointment and will provide something different along with more lovely memories.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Ricardo and Karen have switched resorts. Karen is now at CSA and Ricardo is now at CN. I haven't seen a mention as to why, but then again I doubt we will anyway as that's not really any of our business.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainesunlover View Post
    Hi Ricky- Jim and met you and your girlfriend a couple years ago. Your review is on point. Thanks. We took advanage of the sale in April and booked 4/7-4/15. And you?
    If it was a couple of years ago, it was my late wife you met. We're booked for April 12-22, 2013, so we'll have a chance to meet again.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    FAWNRIDGE!!!!! You seem to be the one to ask since you've been there so many times...we were @ CSA December of 2010 and found paradise. Its been all we have thought of since and are returning in Decemeber. I have been trying to find out what if anything has changed since we were last there in 2010..anything at all. I troll this message board and trip advisor like a crazy person but havent found much info on what if anything has changed..Any info you have would be a great help! Any tips also for this visit!
    Thanks
    KatB

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    798

    Default

    I totally agree with the repeaters dinner as being a dissapointment. Nice that they have it. I just think that it needs to be split into two groups.

    I'm sure Karen will do a great job.

    Nice review.

    life is good

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fawnridge View Post
    If it was a couple of years ago, it was my late wife you met. We're booked for April 12-22, 2013, so we'll have a chance to meet again.
    I am sorry to hear about your wife and I did not mean any disrespect about calling her you girlfiend...so sorry. Look forward to meeting up with you again and this time we will walk down the beach and you can show us your favorite jerk joints.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KATBYERS View Post
    FAWNRIDGE!!!!! You seem to be the one to ask since you've been there so many times...we were @ CSA December of 2010 and found paradise. Its been all we have thought of since and are returning in Decemeber. I have been trying to find out what if anything has changed since we were last there in 2010..anything at all. I troll this message board and trip advisor like a crazy person but havent found much info on what if anything has changed..Any info you have would be a great help! Any tips also for this visit!
    Thanks
    KatB
    Kat - The nicest thing about CSA is that little ever changes.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Hey Ricky,

    We sat with you and your girl friend at the repeaters dinner Oct 2011. We sat at Ricardo's table. My wife sat next to your girl friend. We will be there 10/16 to 10/23 If we run into you I'll buy you a drink. lol Have you done the One Love Bus Crawl? Do you have any other suggests on where we should visit.
    Hope to see you in Oct.

    Butch

  19. #19

    Default

    The repeaters dinner at CSA is now in two sittings. It is much better having this format. Looking forward to meeting Karen on our next visit. Will have to do Trading Places to say hello to Ricardo.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaj111 View Post
    Hey Ricky,

    We sat with you and your girl friend at the repeaters dinner Oct 2011. We sat at Ricardo's table. My wife sat next to your girl friend. We will be there 10/16 to 10/23 If we run into you I'll buy you a drink. lol Have you done the One Love Bus Crawl? Do you have any other suggests on where we should visit.
    Hope to see you in Oct.

    Butch
    Butch - We return on October 19th, staying until October 28th. See you then and I'll by YOU a drink!
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    28

    Default

    You made mention of the snorkeling. Is that something you can do from the beach, or o you have to take a trip/boat? Is the reef colorful, or is it dull and brown(dead)?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •