We're planning a 12-14 day stay in July-August 2013. Originally we'd planned on spending the entire time at CN, however after reading through the forums it seems like quite a few people do splits if they stay longer than one week. Comments/recommendations on splitting? More hassle than it is worth, or great idea for a longer stay? Should we hit up CSA, which I understand is in the same area, or make the trip to CTI or CSS?
Random facts that may impact your suggestions -
* This is our first trip to Jamaica, and our first AI trip.
* My fiance likes to eat... a lot.
* I'd like to have the option of doing various activities and excursions (both on-site and off-site), and would likely going insane sitting on the beach for two weeks straight. (On this note, I think CN offers quite a bit to do, though it seems like we may hit up everything in 6 or 7 days.)
This forum has been a HUGE help in helping me plan my dream honeymoon... Thanks in advance for any insight you have on this issue!
Definitely do a split!!! I would do CSS the first week and CN the second week. CSS in Ocho Rios is a gorgeous property that you will love, the food is amazing, the spa huts are really cool, the excursions in Ocho Rios are a lot of fun (Dunns River Falls is a Must!!), water sports and catamaran cruises are terrific.....you can be active for the first week and then head over to CN in Negril to chill and relax during your second week. If I were you, I would take a flight from Ocho Rios to Negril instead of the very long van ride between the 2 resorts (check out TimAir). It is really neat flying to Negril from OCHI, viewing the island from above at a low altitude, seeing the houses, the coastline etc....was a lot of fun. Negril is very relaxing and laid back, CN has a great pool, the food again is amazing and the excursions offered are fun as well. We did a split for our honeymoon- but it was 10 days split between 2 resorts.....personally eating and drinking like a king for more than 10 days would push me over the edge (and I always exercise every morning on vacation to boot!!!!). ****If you sign up for romance rewards before your trip, you can do trading places and while you are at CSS, you can visit CTI and while you are at CN, you can visit CSA- so ou would be able to go to all 4 resorts during your stay!!!
My husband and I just did a split, first at CTI and then transferred to Negril. It was terrific! We left CTI about 8 am and we were checking into Negril by 11 am. Truly gives you two different views of the island. With Couples, you can't go wrong.
IMHO, doing a split between CSA and CN would be interesting. I think spending 7 days at either resort is enough to feel like you experienced everything there. I know that after 7 days, the restaurants begin repeating the menus, so going to a different resort might be refreshing! Although I've never been to CSA, I believe there are differences worthy of checking out. CN as the AN beach--not so at CSA. I believe CSA has a wonderful fitness center that CN lacks (CN does have one room but it's small). You can walk the 7 mike beach at CSA and visit little bars and places along the way. CN is a little more isolated. But....I think CSA and CN have some of the same activities i.e. Catamaran trip. but...how do you feel about packing up and moving?
Thanks everyone for the input. To answer oxbgirl's question, we're ok with packing up and heading out somewhere new, so that's not really a drawback for us. Sure, we'll lose a couple of hours with the transfer, but I think the potential benefits will outweigh the inconvenience IMO.
I'm leaning to the CSS/CN split right now, with CSS for the first week of the trip. I emailed the Romance Rewards Coordinator, and they confirmed that I'd actually be entitled to a bump up in status at CN - so with a week stayed at CSS we'd get the resort credit and other perks that come with the "Young Love" level at CN (although I'd feel a little guilty going to the "repeaters" dinner). Plus with the deal they have running now, we get two nights free (the 7th night at each resort)... it seems like we can't go wrong with a split.
I'm curious if we'd be able to get the honeymoon perks (message and champagne) at both resorts also. Technically we would be within the guidelines (within 30 days of the wedding plus 6+ night stay) at each resort. Anyone have any experience with this? This isn't a dealbreaker for me of course, just one additional reason to go for the split!
I'll look into the flight option - great suggestion. If we opt not to do that, will Couples arrange for our transfer between resorts?
If you are going to split then I would do both sides of the Island. If you sign up for romance rewards you can also do the trading places and that way you can do all four resorts in one vacation. You can't get better than that.
Since you are there for two weeks if you want to try both sides of the island then go for it. We first went to CSA and the next year CSS. Glad I tried the Ocho Rios side as did Dunn's river which was fun but Negril area is what I prefer. Have never done CN so this will be our first split this year. Whatever you choose you will love the Couples Resorts.
We did a CTI/CSS split - 7 nights each. We have a relatively long flight to get there so we like to maximize our vacation time and do 14 nights. We didnít do both sides of the island because weíd already been to CSA and wanted to experience the Ochi area without too much travel.
Doing the full 7 nights at each was great, since everything works on a weekly schedule (i.e. beach party, gala at CSS, repeaterís dinner, various activities). The transfer part was easy. We checked out of our rooms, left our luggage and went riding, then came back and showered at the spa and headed to CSS. Our room was ready, which was great. We didnít prefer one resort more than the other. We found them each very unique and enjoyed what each had to offer.
The only down-side to the split was needing to pack again and then unpack in the new room. itís not that big a deal though. Itís just different packing to go to another resort rather than home, where you can just toss it all in and take it all home to wash. You want to keep your dirty clothes separate from whatís still clean, and youíre trying to avoid wrinkles. I suggest plastic bags for possibly wet clothes/bathing suit, and dirty clothes, to put in the bottom of your suitcase (or use one for dirty clothes and one for clean... or clean-ish/worn once). Switching resorts means you can wear all those dresses again and no one has seen them. LOL. You donít need to worry about liquids/packing carry-on for the plane, so itís easier that way.
We liked the split enough that weíll likely do a CN/CSA split next time so we can check out CN and return to CSA.
For a first time though, switching across the island is nice, as youíll see how different the two areas. Many people have suggested leaving early to avoid traffic or having to make a stop at the airport. If you do that, just be sure to pack all your beach stuff separate and handy in case your new room isn't ready right away. I agree, better to do CSS first so you arenít as disappointed with the beach. The Negril beaches are much nicer, but CSS has a lot of great qualities. Itís a nice change to have a new resort to investigate. Itís like a second vacation right after the first one! Have fun, and congrats on your wedding
You should definitely do CSS and CN. They are our favorites. One year we go to CSS and the next we go to CN and back and forth each year. This year we were at CSS and next year we are booked for CN. Since it is your first trip to Jamaica, I would save the money and use the Couples transfer to go from CSS to CN. The island is beautiful. You will enjoy the scenery from both sides of the island. The flight is pretty expensive. Couples will arrange the transfer and you can consider it a scenic excursion. Be sure to do Dunns River Falls and request the DVD and take a waterproof camera. If you don't have one, you can purchase an inexpensive disposable. We climbed the falls twice and love looking at our videos. It was a blast. At CSS we love the Beachfront Suites and the Penthouse Suites. At CN we love the Deluxe Beachfront rooms. But next year we booked the Deluxe Garden to take advantage of the early booking special of one night free. We will miss seeing you by a couple weeks. We'll be at CN June 28 to July 6, 2013. Best wishes on your upcoming wedding.