Just returned from our second trip to CSA, third to The Negril area. Once again, I know why Couples has so many "repeaters". We were at CSA last in 2011...a few minor changes, but overall, the same great Couples experience. Kudos to The Issa family and entire staff. I must mention that our first trip to CN included just me and my S.O. The next trip to CSA included two other couples and this trip, three other couples. I think we did a good job promoting how wonderful a vacation at CSA is.
We stayed for nine nights and arriving on a Thurs. worked out well...Customs went speedily as did our ride to CSA. Also, no one demanded money as we boarded the shuttle bus this time, which was a relief. We arrived in just under an hour and were greeted warmly with drink in hand and a "welcome home". It felt good to be back! Our rooms weren't ready, we were there before normal check-in, so we changed into swimsuits and found our special place under our favorite sea grape tree...ahhhhhhhh, yes...Just like we remembered it!!! We decided to start the first full day off with a couples massage...to relax and get on Jamaica time. Mission accomplished - I was in slow motion getting ready for dinner that night. The spa staff is wonderful and we enjoy the ambiance.
We dined at LemonGrass for lobster night and it was better than expected. The best surprise though was that Sandia was still there and we were thrilled to see her, still sweet as ever, loving her work and doing a fantastic job. She is a true asset to the resort.
Went on the catamaran trip...lovely sightseeing up the coastline but we did miss Rasta Ralphie. I understand he had an accident recently and we wish him well. Vera was great and FUN as usual. Got a chance to swim in the sea but the water was rougher than usual and swimming into the cave & back was an adventure in itself.
A few of us caught a ride on a Hobie Cat with Seymour and enjoyed the ride and his knowledge of the area. He manned the boat well and showed us the sights - above water and beneath. We wish we could have gone out again with him, but the waves weren't cooperating towards the end of the week and water sports were limited.
As usual, the entertainment staff was so much fun and good at their jobs. The crew had changed from 2011, but they were great: Skippy, Alex, Shelley, Andre, Tamara and Tamika. A VERY talented group of people...Andre's performance and Tamar's singing were exceptional and all of the entertainment staff were enthusiastic. Thanks for the good times!
We did two excursions off-site. One evening went to Rick's for the most spectacular sunset and a dune buggy trip w/Chukka. Had a good time at both and glad we tried out the dune buggies - especially getting soaked riding through the creeks. HaHa
We finally dined at Patois Patio for both breakfast and dinner a few times. The food was really good as well as the presentation. My new favorite breakfast item IS the banana stuffed French toast. Couldn't get enough of this and was pleasantly surprised to find it several mornings at The Palms. Thank you for this.
The meals at The Palms were always way above average and we think the choice of ordering off the menu at dinner time along with the pasta bar is a nice arrangement. Rose at the pasta bar was so accommodating and pleasant every day. One minor issue at The Palms restaurant each morning was the line for eggs-cooked-your-way. It was very difficult to access the other items on the buffet as the line grew for the egg station. A few mornings I actually felt like I was fighting to get in and get my food as no one wanted to move aside. I think this needs addressed ASAP as it's a bad set up. I was not the only one experiencing this daily. I also missed the endless tray of scrambled eggs but heard from a good source that this was not a Couples decision but a mandatory requirement.
Damian was at the Martini bar when we arrived but moved elsewhere. Enjoyed his company & expertise this trip and in the past. This is one of our favorite hangouts, especially before and after dinner. Everyone who served up our martini of choice was happy to do so. Thank you.....loved The Caribbean Martini!
Our room choice - The Atrium Suite - is so open and airy. The room was always spotless and we appreciated the turn down service and freshening of the towels. Thank you housekeeping for taking such good care of us. The mini bar was also always stocked to our request. We were a little surprised to see glass bottles of beer brought to the pool area from the rooms. Not a good idea and we hope people think this through next time.
The weather cooperated this trip and we were able to enjoy The Shipwreck Beach Party on the Beach! A lot of work goes into setting this affair up, with special tribute to Bob Marley, the entertainment and Jamaican food at it's finest. Loved it all...nice!!!
We took a walk up the beach to the more public are and was sad to see how much of the beach had eroded at some places. Hope Mother Nature returns it soon! Regardless of the changes on and off the resort, what does remain the same and constant is the amazing vacation one will have at CSA (and the other Couples locations). The icing on the cake are the employees and the friendliness of the local people. We have never found this on any other island that we've travelled to or at any other resort. We may try out Couples Barbados next year; to get another Couples experience- swim with the sea turtles and walk with the monkeys but if we do, we hope to find the local people as special as those living in Jamaica - Respect!