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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    124

    Default CSA REVIEW April 28th - May 6th 2012

    We just returned from our second amazing trip to CSA (April 28th-May 6th, 2012). I wanted to let everyone know about our experience.

    Airport: We arrived in Montego Bay around 1:30pm. I was a little worried since I have heard lines are really long at the airport on Saturdays. We did have to stand in line, around thirty minutes, to get through immigration, but customs was not too bad. Once we had cleared customs we headed to the Couples Lounge and were greeted with big smiles and a couple of Red Stripes. The wait was not very long before our shuttle was ready to leave for the resort. It was pouring rain when we arrived in Montego Bay but as they say in Jamaica, “there is no problem, only a situation.” Our driver’s name was Stuart, he was great. He answered all of our questions and kept us talking. We stopped half way to the resort for a bathroom break and a beverage. Last year our driver did not stop so it was nice that we got to do something different this time. Just as a side note, and totally my opinion. If you decide to get a rum punch on your stop, and they ask you if it is strong enough, be sure and tell them “NO!” It makes for a very interesting ride to the resort. When we arrived at the resort we were greeted with a cold towel and a glass of champagne. The staff was very nice and checking in was a breeze. Our room was ready when we got there so we were immediately taken to our room by Collin. We had a first floor BFVS room 4119, it was absolutely amazing!!

    Room: The rooms are perfect! They are not marble and all fancy, but they do bring the island feel. Our room was very clean. It was cleaned twice a day, once in the morning and in the evening they are swept and you are given turn down service. The Housekeeping staff is very nice and polite. We always bring them candy as a “Thank You” for doing a good job. We do the same for the person who stocks our mini bar. Speaking of the mini bar, I have read past reviews of problems with getting the mini bar stocked. Our bar was stocked every day. Also, we were on the first floor and didn’t have any noise from guests who were walking by late at night, we never heard a thing.

    Food: The food is wonderful in all of the restaurants. We ate at all of the restaurants this trip. Our favorite is probably Patios, with Lemongrass a close second. We did eat at the Cabana Grill late at night after leaving the night club. All of the servers in the restaurants were very pleasant; we never had any issues with them or our food. Some of the things you must try during your stay, in no particular order, are: the banana stuffed French toast; any of the pizzas; and the jerk chicken pasta from Patios. I would also recommend the sweet potato chips and fish tacos from sea grapes.

    Activities:
    On this trip we did try a few new things, as the sand gravity got the best of us last year. We went on the glass bottom boat ride and did the snorkeling trip. Desmond was our captain both times and he was great. The glass bottom boat ride takes you out to the reef so you can see the sea life. It also takes you around to some of the sunken ships that are under the water. We were also able to see some of the other resorts along 7 mile beach. This was our first time snorkeling and it was a great experience. It was raining when it was time to go, so we just waited until the rain stopped and then got on the boat and left. Desmond was extremely helpful for us “newbies.” The actual snorkeling was awesome. We were able to see a lot of sea life. We also did an excursion to Black River, YS Falls, and the Appleton Rum Factory. This was an all day event, but I highly recommend it. There were only four of us from the resort that went that day. Our driver was Karl, he was great. On the Black River we were able to see crocodiles and learned a lot about the foliage and wildlife. After the river, we had lunch on this hill. It was alright, we paid $10.00 each for the lunch. The YS Falls was wonderful; however the water was really cold!! There is a rope swing that you can swing into the falls, which I did while my husband watched and took pictures. The guides there know exactly were to take you for the best pictures. The last stop was the Appleton Rum Factory, it was very informative. At the end of the tour there is a rum tasting, you are able to taste 12 bottles of rum until you can take no more. It is about a 2 hour ride back to the resort from the factory.

    Staff: The staff everywhere we went was awesome!! We met so many new staff members along with seeing the ones we met on a previous trip. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. We have made new friends on this trip. We took several pictures with the staff. We met Cindy at the Aura Night Club, and we talked with her throughout the week at the Sunset Bar. Also at the Sunset Bar was Dermon, who we had the pleasure of meeting last year. This guy is awesome! I thought he did not work there anymore and one day at the Sunset Bar I heard, “Oh My God, you are going to love it” and my face lit up. The other bartenders at the night club were Dan, Frazer, Edward, Hericho, and Dwight. They all took very good care of us. We will post our pictures under Staff Shout. Couples is very lucky to have such a wonderful, caring staff.

    Beach: The beach was awesome as usual. How can you not be in love with 7 mile beach? I did notice they added more palapas, which was a nice feature. We were able to get one each day we were there. The beach was busy a few days we were there, but I think it was because there were some large wedding parties there. It didn’t bother us at all. Everyone on the beach is respectful of your belongings. We always left our stuff on the beach if we went and ate lunch or did an activity. The vendors are not pushy and a simple “no thanks” works if you’re not interested, or you can go “check out their handy work” if you see something you like.

    Overall Experience: This was our second trip to CSA. Our first trip was in 2011 for our honeymoon. This trip was the greatest trip ever! I’ve never had such a good time on vacation. Everything was perfect. I don’t think I can find one flaw or something that could be improved in the whole eight days we stayed there. The staff, atmosphere, beach, food, and activities - everything was great. It did rain on us more this year, but as they say “there is no problem, only a situation.” We had such a great experience that we are already planning a third trip back to CSA next year. We just can’t stay away!!

  2. #2

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    Great trip report!!

    We are leaving in 12 days! so excited!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    94

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    Thanks for the review! We are heading back to CSA in October . We honeymooned there last year as well. We also signed up for the Black River/YS Falls tour. The Appleton Rum Factory wasn't included though. It says 8am-4pm so I wonder if they will try to add that in there? Did you book that excursion when you booked your trip? I am actually wondering if it's worth spending a whole day doing that, since we'll only have 6 fulls days left...I hope so! One more question, did you try the Trading Places and go to CN for a day? Thanks again!

  4. #4

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    We were there April 24-May 1 for the third year in a row so our trips did overlap. There were strong winds the first 2 days we were there so the surf was churned up a bit but after that it settled down nicely. If you were there in 2011 then you saw how much the beach has recovered from the hurricanes that cut into them the end of 2010. Both ends of the beach have almost doubled in size although the middle area on the resort is still a bit narrow. We did have some rain on 2 of the days there and some clouds on others but overall a great time. Like they say...a rainy day in Jamaica is still better than a sunny one at work!

    We hired a private driver and did the same off resort excursions as you did. One suggestion for anyone planning the YS Falls is to take water shoes as after jumping off the falls into the pools below or off the rope swing you will have to walk over a rocky bottom to get out. The zip line there was fun as well.

    The staff is what really sets Couples apart from other resorts. They are always smiling, saying hello, and trying to help in any way. Rooms are kept clean, drinks are made with laughter and jokes, dishes cleared quickly, very helpful front desk, and the grounds kept up wonderfully. We saw a lot more plantings along the footpaths this year over last year.

    For those who have never been to CSA most of the buildings are more like beach villas than a hotel. You feel more at home. We stayed in the Beachfront Suites in the old section and there are only 2 rooms upstairs and one down in each building. Each building is surrounded by foot paths lined with island vegatation. Our windows have no glass! Screens for the bugs and wooden louvers for airflow or privacy but the evening sound of Jamaican tree frogs and the lapping waves come right into your room at night. There is an AC unit in each room for those muggy nights so don't panic. The Veranda Suites are in the newer section and they are bigger buildings (3 levels) and they do have glass if that would be an issue with you.

    All things considered, we think CSA is the perfect relaxing true beach resort. Ya mon...come home to Couples.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    124

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    Hi bball2011,
    We booked everything through the tour desk at the resort after we had arrived. We told them we wanted to to go Appleton as well as the other 2. It is totaly worh it!! I think that Appleton and the falls were the best part. I did not mind being gone a whole day. It is nice getting to see another part of the island. It was $110 a person to do all 3. As far as trading places we were going to but decided we love csa we did not want to try it this time. I would still like to try it sometime. I hope this helps. I also hope you have a wonderful time. we miss it already. csa soon come

    Robin

    Quote Originally Posted by bball2011 View Post
    Thanks for the review! We are heading back to CSA in October . We honeymooned there last year as well. We also signed up for the Black River/YS Falls tour. The Appleton Rum Factory wasn't included though. It says 8am-4pm so I wonder if they will try to add that in there? Did you book that excursion when you booked your trip? I am actually wondering if it's worth spending a whole day doing that, since we'll only have 6 fulls days left...I hope so! One more question, did you try the Trading Places and go to CN for a day? Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    30

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    We had 3218 on the second floor and the waves crashed all day and night last week.....beautiful!

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