Should we split our holiday 5 days in CSS and 5 days in CTI or stick with one
We are new to both these couples resorts and are having a really hard time deciding between them despite reading the message boards, looking at the pictures and videos. So we came up with the idea of spending 5 nights in one and 5 in the other?
Our main priorities are good food and the ability to do water sports each day - sailing, paddleboarding and snorkelling.
Initially we were going to spend 10 nights in CTI but we are concerned that we might get cabin fever spending 10 days there and so liked the idea of having the pond and more places to walk around at CSS.
Having read some posts and trip advisor though I have understood (maybe incorrectly) that the food is better at CTI but the beach/water is better at CSS for watersports...hence we are now confused!
If anyone can please give us feedback on food at either resort and also if they were able to sail/snorkel from the beach or if this was frequently restricted due to waves etc.
Lastly if anyone has had positive or negative experiences of splitting a ten day trip like this...if it was 2 weeks I wouldn't hesitate I'm just worried that we won't "settle" at either in five nights?
I would say to stay at one and take advantage of the Trading Places off for Romance Reward members. You would lose 1/2 a day just packing back up and unpacking at the next place. You can just visit one or two day to the other resort and at least have some fun and get a feel for it. Just my opinion. Good luck deciding what to do.
We've been to CSS twice and absolutely loved it! Total relaxation. The grounds are beautiful! We thought about doing the trading places with CTI but we love CSS so much we didn't do it. In fact, we only left the resort one day to go tubing down the river!
If you have the time I would say to split it between the two. Thats what we are doing. But we are doing 7 days at CTI and then another 7 days at CSS. We have been going to CTI in January for the past 3 years. We did the one day trip to CSS and loved it. Thats why we decided this year to split our vacation up.
Scott & Jen
Couples used to offer a split like that between CTI and Negril that we tried twice, both on 10 day trips, and we decided they weren't for us. The problem is that if you love the first place, you may be harsher in your estimation of the second place because you had to leave your happy place; if you were only content at the first place you may feel those days were wasted when you love the second resort and don't have as long as you want at the second. Also, as Margi mentioned we lost a day between packing, moving, unpacking, & figuring out where stuff was at the new place. We prefer the food at CSS to CTI, but we haven't been there since the remodel, and both are better than the all-inclusives we used to visit in Mexico. I have never seen restrictions on the water sports at CSS and have seen them at CTI, so that may factor in to your decision. I hope this helps.
We've done just what you're thinking...split a long stay between CTI and CSS. It was a great choice! Just when we thought we'd seen everything at one resort we went to the other. Of course we didn't see "everything" at either which made us decide to go back again.
You'll find that CTI has more food choices than CSS. But the Starlight Gala at CSS is something not to be missed. Both resorts serve excellent food so that shouldn't be a problem.
Both CTI and CSS visit the same snorkeling sites but CSS is in a cove so the water is a bit calmer. Sailing is a bit more tricky at CSS than CTI as you have to navigate a reef to get into the ocean.
Of course both have a place for AN tanning. The difference is that you can walk to the one at CSS while having to take a boat to the one at CTI.
Oh...one other difference. We feel the sunsets are more spectacular at CSS.
If you're thinking of doing a split between the two then go for it! Besides, if you're a Romance Rewards member, you get perks at both.
We have stayed at CTI and CSS for 7 days each, however, last year we couldn't decide, so we did a 4/3 day split. This year we are doing the same.
We love the restaurant selection at CTI, the new spa area, the larger piano bar and the south beach feel of the resort. Also, the guests are somewhat younger, making the resort a little livelier and night.
On the other hand, we love the tropical rain forest feel of CSS, the larger rooms with wonderful views and Sunset Beach. CSS has a somewhat older, quieter crowd, so the feel is very layback and romantic.
A 3/4 day split is a little short, however, we pack very light and don't waste a lot of time packing and unpacking. To me 5 days at each is almost perfect for a split, other than 7/7. However, if you pack and bring a lot of stuff, it can take 1/2 day to switch. The nice thing about splitting is that you can wear the same evening clothes at least twice at 2 different resorts, so you can get away with a lot less.
If you want a somewhat active vacation and the best of both resorts, I would definitely recomend the split. We love both resorts for different reasons.
I think 5 days at each resort is a great idea! I personally get bored with a resort at the 5 day point... because at that point we have done everything that the resort has to offer (ate at every restaraunt, seen all the entertainment, did the beach, pool, water sports, etc. ... and the days start to blur/repeat). I think it would be like two vacations in one! You would get to start anew at the other resort... experience all it has to offer... and both resorts have a lot to offer.
Furthermore, it seems like the folks who do the "trading places" thing, always seem to like their original resort better... and I (personal opinion) believe it has to do with them being more settled and comfortable at their original resort... and going for a visit is more like being a stranger at the other resort.
The resorts are very close (10 mins apart or something)... so I don't think packing up and moving is a big deal.
Good Luck with your decision. Have a great trip.
PS. I wanted to do the split myself, but we only have 7 days... and 4 and 3 isn't enough... but 5 and 5 would be perfect (again, my opinion everyone).
I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions abouit what to do.
My opinion is somewhat bias. Well, okay very bias. We've been to CTI 34 times over the last 17 years. We still haven't gotten cabin fever. But we spend all of our time out on TI, the Au Natural sun bathing island. While there isn't that much to do there, we laugh a lot with friends, soak up lots of sun, and have a chance to spend some quality time together. They bring food out each day, usually some fish, chicken, rice, salad and desert.
If you don't do to the island, I think you should, there is plenty to do on dry land. Water activities, snorkeling, water skiing, paddle boats, shopping in town, a trip to Dunns River and so much more.
As Margi pointed out, you will lose some time packing and unpacking. And if you get to CTI late in the day, that pretty much takes care of your first day. CSS is only about fifteen minutes away and the trading places day is a great way to see the resort, enjoy some activities there and sample the food. I've heard many people say that they think the food is better at CTI, but I think that's a personal choice. Personally, we found the food at CSS to be just fine.
Ifyou plan to go to SSB for a naked day in the sun, they do have a real beach, it's much larger than the island at CTI, and you can walk there any time you like. As opposed to waiting for the boat to TI. And TI closes at 5pm, but at SSB, you can stay as long as you like. They do have better food at the beach. Usually jerk pork or chicken, rice and or potatoes, salads and desert. CSS is quite a bit larger than CTI and there are a lot of places that you can explore.
Good luck with your decision. No matter which one you decide on, you really can't go wrong. All four Couples resorts have their own ambiance. Staff at both are outstanding.
If I had ten days and wasn't planning any excursions, I'd split it 5 and 5. But I wouldn't for less time than that. We've never done a split, but it must be pretty cool to pack for your next vacation instead of going home.
Thanks for the advice and information. Well in the end our decision was made for us as CSS didn't have the availability for us to do the split. For this vacation I'm glad we didn't as we needed some serious R&R and I'm not a light packer so we would have lost time moving and getting used to the resort set up/trips etc- however great point sanssouci1 - next time we go and most likely will split, now knowing the resorts I will pack lighter anyway and as you say one dress can work for a night in each resort! Also now we 'know' couples we won't need to spend time figuring things like the trips/restaurants/activities out.
We did take advantage of the trading places and really loved the layout and feel of CSS but are slightly put off there in terms of the food... if we hadn't been to CTI before I don't think we'd have noticed but having been totally spoiled with the huge selection of great food at CTI for breakfast and lunch, let alone the three served dinner options at night, the buffet at CSS for lunch didn't compare - we may have hit an off day and unfortunately we couldn't stay for dinner so I'm hoping a separate thread I've posted will clear that up and help in our decision for our next trip...or maybe we need to try CN....?!
We had an amazing time at CTI though and as you say crabracer you really can't go wrong... I'm just not sure if we've found our home yet...or maybe we will be very happy nomads!