Just returned from CTI - our thoughts (first timers)
We were at CTI 6-30 to 7-5 and had a fabulous time. I won this trip on the Ellen Show website (no airfare). Here are our thoughts about our trip:
1. Travel - our plane out of Midway, Chicago was an hour late due to a mechanical issue so that put us into Montego Bay an hour late. Customs/Immigration was packed - took us about 45+ minutes to get through. We only had time to put on sandals, go to the bathroom, and have one Red Stripe before we hopped on the shuttle with about 4 other couples. We didn't make any stops and our driver shared lots of great info on the way.
2. Check-in and first impressions - Check-in was quick, about 10 minutes, the wet towel was nice and the rum punch. Because I researched on the board here, I knew to make some dinner reservations right away. So while I checked in, my husband made our golf reservation and reservations for Bayside and Eight Rivers. Our room was ready - it was a Superior Ocean. We were in Room 5401 which had a beautiful view of the cove next door. The room was great and we tossed our luggage in and headed out to find some food. We had an appetizer at the Pool Grill to hold us over until supper. We didn't do the orientation at all because I felt like I knew the place from this board and checking out the website map.
3. Food - We ate once at Verandah, twice at Eight River, once at Bayside, and once at the Patio (technically it was the Beach Party but the weather wasn't great so it was at the Patio). The food was outstanding overall! We loved the smoked salmon on the buffets, the fresh grilled snapper, the fresh fruit, etc. My husband didn't care for the main entrees at Bayside but he is not much of an Asian fan. I thought it was delicious! While we waited for Eight Rivers to open on Tuesday, my husband thought the menu looked so good that he wandered off and made another reservation for Thursday. Both nights at Eight Rivers was spectacular.
4. Activities - I am a type A personality who never relaxes much but I did a lot of just sitting on the beach, paddling the ocean, and just relaxing. It was great! We did do 9 holes of golf (my first time golfing on a course). We also did the catamaran cruise (we loved it!), snorkeling, and the stress relief massage for two at the spa.
5. Drinks - I absolutely fell in love with rum cream!!! The bartender at the piano bar suggested a rum cream and amaretto on ice and I drank multiple a day - and brought a couple bottles home with me also. I also tried a Bob Marley shot and thought I was drinking gasoline! My face made everyone laugh...never again!
6. Service and other miscellaneous - the service was impeccable and couldn't have asked for better. The only downside of the trip was the heat and humidity for us. We don't do well in the humidity/heat. On the days that the breeze was blowing, we survived. Other times, we played pool and ping pong in the game room or took a nap in the room if we were too warm. In the evenings, we would have drinks in the piano bar and soak up the air conditioning. We know we picked a "hot" time to go but it was the only time we could arrange someone to take care of the kids.
We definitely would go back! We might even split a stay with one the resorts in Negril. We both have wanted to stay in Negril. Overall, I think Couples rocks!!!
Thank you to everyone on this board and all the great information you shared to help us have a great trip!
We came in on the 29th and just go home last night (7/7). No doubt about it, it was HOT! We spent a lot of time in the pool. Too bad you missed the gala on the lawn outside the spa, it was beautiful! We are booked for Building 5 next trip.