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  1. #26
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    I love reading your review! We are going for our first time in August and I love to hear about all the tips and what to expect!
    I have a different kind of question, I like your idea about taking the coffee creamer to your room for your coffee. Do you remember if they had any flavor coffee creamer or just regular? A friend of mine went to an AI and brought her own packets of flavor creamer from home...not sure I will, but I thought I would ask :-)

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonofthebeach View Post
    I must say that this is the best written, most accurate & honest review I have ever read on this board or anywhere else. Why, I feel like we were right there with you guys..oh, that's right, we were..lol.. Awesome job Rachel.
    You WERE right there!

    Thanks for the kind words...this little review is just helping me relive my vacation a bit longer before settling into some ridiculous 300 something countdown!

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironbutterfly View Post
    Great review...this will be our first time, so much information about CSA is awesome.

    I was wondering, how late do the two beach bars stay open?
    Thanks ....

    I am 90% sure until 6:30pm...but 10% of me says until 6pm, I am sure someone here will correct me if I am wrong

  4. #29
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by madtown mom View Post
    Rachel, we should be friends. I am finding my self nodding in agreement with almost everything you said. Then I read it... "Frozen drinks"
    Good lord that bugs me, especially given the possible bottle limit!
    I am all for having decent booze in whatever you drink, but with a frozen drink you will not taste the difference. If you drink good vodka bc it's cleaner and you don't want as wicked as a hangover, guess what? All the sugar in a frozen drink will kick your butt in the morn no matter what vodka you put in it!
    I too, like to drink Wine and good liquor. I would have shed a tear seeing that poor guy try to order a martini only to find his goose went in a purple rain. (Or whatever).

    Now that I got that off my chest, I love your reviews!!! Please know how much we appreciate them! Gotta get your couples fix!
    hahha...glad you are enjoying it...

  5. #30
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtleg View Post
    Kidding aside, I am enjoying your reviews very much. Thanks for all your work putting it all down for us to read.

    A quick comment; we almost always eat lunch at Seagrapes, something we learned last year was to go to the Palms for a bowl of soup to carry out to our table at Seagrapes to enjoy while we wait for our order to come out. Best of both worlds! .
    OMG - my husband loves this idea. Thank you! And I will also grab some of their focaccia bread from Palms, it is so tasty!

  6. #31
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    Jan 2013
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    Thank you soooo much for this review! I've enjoyed reading it and will look forward to the rest! This will be our first time visiting CSA and we only have 30 days left! We are so excited!!

  7. #32
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    Mar 2011
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    As I am (finally) getting back in regular routine my time is more limited. So the next few installments might be a bit shorter.

    Part 5: Sports Complex and Spa

    First I have to share my love for the very kind security guards that greet you to help you safely cross the road to the Sports Complex and Spa. Especially the older gentlemen who’s name is slipping my mind right now. They are always smiling and so sweet.

    Each year we spend more time at the Sports Complex (I’ll refer to this as SC). It really is amazing, and unlike anything I have ever seen. Once you cross the road you enter through a building (where Spa is located) and back outdoors to a huge pool, tennis courts, gym, bar, and beautiful tropical greenery.

    A few weeks before our trip my husband suggested “Why don’t we bring workout clothes this trip and exercise each morning?” I laughed. I mean why on earth would I want to exercise on vacation, right? I think my response was something like “Why, so I can burn off 1 or 2 drinks from day before, is it really worth it?” He won that battle, we brought the clothes, and I am glad we did. It reminded me that we exercise because it feels good, not just to burn calories.

    We were up most mornings by 8, so just about half of those mornings we would go over to the SC. Sometimes together, sometimes separately. We primarily used the “Jogging Track”. It’s a half mile loop around the SC. If you have never done it, walk it at least once. I thought I’d get board trying to get my 3 miles in, so looping 6 times. But it really is pretty. I like that it turns a lot and offers different scenery so my mind never got bored while jogging.

    Also along the track is different fitness stations (think pull ups, lunges, etc) with instructions. I didn't do this but saw others following.

    On the first day we worked out, I went to the indoor gym after walking the track, hoping to do the elliptical. The gym is very large for hotel standards, but very hot. I also didn't like the type of elliptical they have (ARC). Just not my preference. I opted to walk on the treadmill for as long as I could (which was probably only 20 minutes) before I thought I may die of heat exhaustion.

    The SC also has a large aerobic studio. It was closed in, so I would assume it was air conditioned. They offer 5 or 6 different type of aerobics classes, as well as yoga and Pilates. This is something I want to take advantage of next trip. If you prefer your activities on the beach, they offer that too (Fitness beach walk, Yoga, and Abs class).

    Another thing I am interested in next trip is the tennis clinics. If you play tennis you will love CSA. I would think it is a tennis lover’s dream. M – F they have clinics for advanced, intermediate, and beginner. Plus daily “round robin” tournaments.

    After your workout you may want to head to the SC bar. They offer a ton of different smoothies, as well as energy drinks. I can’t remember if it was Red Bull or another similar brand. Also Poweraid. My favorite is the fruit infused water they always have, self serve.

    Moving on to the spa. Oh the spa. When you enter the building on your left is the spa. The salon (for hair and nails) is on the right, but you sill checkin at the spa. I had 2 services this trip: a massage the second day, and a spa pedicure on another day.

    After our second afternoon of rain, not wanting to sit around the room any longer, I called to make a late afternoon (I think 5pm) 55 minute massage. Let me say this point before I forget, but for the third year in a row, I schedule my appt with very little notice/same day, and have never had an issue getting time I want. They will ask you if you have a preference for a male or female masseuse.

    For me the answer is no, I have no preference. I am no expert, I only get a few massages per year, but I think many of my best massages were from males. They seem to apply more pressure, which I prefer. I know some people get weirded out by males massaging them, so I understand if that’s not your thing. But you may be limiting yourself.

    I always arrive to the spa about 30 minutes early. After filling out a brief questionnaire, you are shown to a locker room, and pick a locker and change. Each (open) locker has a robe. The robe is similar to the ones in the room, but larger and a little bit thicker. I think thicker. But maybe just the larger part is making me think that. BTW I am fully aware people may be saying “That’s what she said” while reading this. Anyway, you put your stuff in the locker and assign your own security code to lock it.

    When you make your appointment they will tell you to bring your bathing suit if you’d like to sit in the…hmm….pool? I guess it’s a pool. No, I think it’s a large Jacuzzi. I don’t know. It’s the long pool, with hot water, jets, and the Buddha in the center. I am sure you have seen pictures as it is used in lots of the marketing material. I always enjoy sitting in this for a while. It relaxes me and gets me in a calm state. However, I wore the wrong suit this year. Make sure to wear a light (material) suit. Because your masseuse will greet you and offer you a towel, but really a minute later you are undressing for your massage. So the first 10 minutes of my massage I heard my very wet hanging suit dripping water which was kind of annoying.

    O’Neill was my masseuse and he was awesome. Just the right amount of pressure that released tension, but not so bad that I was going to hurt the next day. He only spoke a few times during the treatment to ask if pressure was good.

    Afterwards I headed back to locker room, and went to the sauna. It was off, but I was able to easily turn it on and spend a few minutes relaxing. After getting dressed, I went to look to tip O’Neill (YES, you can tip the Spa and Salon staff). He was gone, I left the tip in an envelope at front desk for him. Next time I will be sure to tip him directly before I go to locker room. I see a lot of people ask “How much do you tip?” I never understood someone questioning this. Why would it be any different than what you tip at home?

    Towards the end of my trip my pre-vacation pedicure was looking pretty bad. This never happened to me on vacation before, must have been bad polish. My toes looked like I hadn’t had them painted in months. So on another late afternoon I scheduled a last minute spa pedicure.

    This service was fine, but not sure I would ever do again. I think I get more out of my $30 local pedicures. First off, it takes place in the salon, which rightfully so is VERY well lit (uugghh can I get some of this light in my GVS bathroom please?) And (at least during my appointment) playing very upbeat reggae music. It just didn't feel very spa like. I also would have preferred more massage of legs and feet. I wonder what the lower “classic” pedicure didn't have that the spa pedicure did? But really, my toes looked great (still do) and the technician was very sweet. This time I directly handed her the tip after my service was over.

    Wow, I never would have thought I could write so much on these topics.

    I have all the printed materials/schedules for the SC and Spa if anyone has any questions.

  8. #33
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdawn View Post
    I love reading your review! We are going for our first time in August and I love to hear about all the tips and what to expect!
    I have a different kind of question, I like your idea about taking the coffee creamer to your room for your coffee. Do you remember if they had any flavor coffee creamer or just regular? A friend of mine went to an AI and brought her own packets of flavor creamer from home...not sure I will, but I thought I would ask :-)
    I didn't see any kind of flavored creamer. But, to be honest, that's not my thing so it may have been there and I missed it. I'd bring your own to be safe.

  9. #34

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    You are spot on about Grey Goose. Last May at CSA, I had one, oh so excessive Goose martini night (6) and I was disappointed when I arrived later the next night and they were out. The bartender told me they only get one bottle a night. Needless to say, I was there earlier the next night, but limited myself to 3, so as not to hug the porcelain that night. Lol
    CSA - May 2012
    CN - May 2013
    CSS - October 2013

  10. #35
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    Mar 2011
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    Part 6: Housekeeping and Mini Bar

    I see people complain sometimes on the housekeeping schedule. Or lack there of. You can never predict what time they will be around to clean the rooms.

    This goes for all hotels. Typically from what I understand, housekeepers are to first always clean the rooms of guests checking out. This way new guests can get in room. So on busier checkin/out days, you should assume your room will be cleaned later. This is why they can’t make a schedule. If they did, then people would complain “my room wasn't ready at checkin at 3pm as promised”.

    We are more laid back on this. If our room doesn't get cleaned one or two days, that is OK by us. It may be because I travel frequently for business, stay in a lot of hotels, and know how hard these ladies work, but I always clean up room myself before leaving. Throwing out the garbage, rinsing glasses/bottles and placing them together, straighten up bathroom, hang up towels. So the housekeepers are really pretty quick in our room. Just take a quick walk and come back in a few minutes and they will be done.

    As I have said before, we are late eaters. So we typically don’t leave the room until close to or after 8pm. This trip we always left the Do Not Disturb door hanger on, and didn't get turn down. Again, we just didn't feel we ever needed it.

    If you bring your wet beach towels back to your room, the housekeepers will take them now. CSA has eliminated any beach towel exchange/return process, thankfully. I mean, are people really wanting to steel these things? We always are in habit of exchanging wet for clean before we go back to room in the afternoon. Never had an issue with the towel hut not having clean towels.

    Most that complain about the clean towel supply are going in the morning on their way to the beach, so most likely they either left their wet towel in the room, or are dropping it off in the morning. If majority of resort does that, you can understand why they would run out. I mean, they do need time to actually wash the towels.

    While on this topic, reminded me of something else. For the first trip ever I brought a handful of clothespins. I got a packet of 50 at target for like a $1. This made SUCH a difference in drying things in the bathroom. I know things dry in the room pretty fast because of the air, but I prefer to use the hooks for things I wear most often (robe, pjs, cover-ups, hats) and hang the wet stuff in the shower. The clothes line in the shower is perfectly positioned so even if stuff is hanging, and you shower, it doesn't get wet.

    The mini-bar ordering and delivering seemed much improved this year. There is a new way to order, just like room service, by hanging your choices on your door at night. As stated on the order form, items are delivered between 10am and 5pm. We always found this to be the case.

    If you have been to CSA in recent previous years, you may remember Kevern, one of the beach bar tenders. He was recently promoted, and very humble about it, to some sort of management trainee. He is currently overseeing the stocking of the fridges. I have no doubt under his watch things will run very smooth.

    What isn't completely clear to me, if we ONLY needed the standard items refilled, do we need to hang the request on the door? I wasn't sure, and never asked, so I hung it out every night.

    My husband was VERY happy that Red Stripe is now in fridge (glass bottles) instead of caribe. I was happy to see diet coke, and some days it was coke zero (I prefer diet coke) in place of diet pepsi. FYI diet pepsi is still at all bars/restaurants. The order form also still says pepsi.

    If you have never been before, they deliver to your minibar standard items, then you can request additional items such as bottles of liquor, wine, juices, and mixers. Appleton Rum, Kirov Vokda, Old Tom Gin, and Techer’s Whisky are the brands (If you want a different brand several more are offered at a charge, listed in the in room binder of information).

    Here is a link to picture of the order form: CSA April 2013 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    So here is my pet peeve on the “standard stock items” which are 1 diet coke, 1 coke, 1 ting, 1 ginger ale, 4 waters, 4 beers. Why can’t I just get water? We end up ordering everything, including all the optional juices, just because we want drinks in the room. We are constantly hydrating after days in the sun (and maybe some drinking) and drink our 4 allotted waters before we go to dinner that evening. So basically we are ordering things we don’t even want, and may cost the resort more money, just because we want more drinks in our fridge. I’d love if someday instead you get a limit (example 10 drink allotment), then you choose what <10> items you want. Or if they gave every building a self serve water cooler I would love that too.

    Someone suggested I write “more water please” on the form. I tried this twice I still got my 4. Other days I would put a star next to the water (as you see in my picture) and that didn’t work either.

    When we checked in our mini bar request (from pre online checkin) was not waiting for us. So I asked to switch hotels. No I am just kidding. I always laugh when I see people complain about that. It was stocked with all the standard items, and they did deliver all of the requested items later that day.

    Oh another tip on ordering – I couldn’t get any pen to work properly on the order form. It’s that thicker, glossy paper that is sometimes hard to write on. No big deal for just checking off items, the issue was with writing our name and room number. I had brought a sharpie from home (for another reason) and this worked great.

    This year we learned to order less alcohol, as it was mostly out of the novelty “because we can”. We just ordered rum and wine, and of course drank the beer. If you plan to order wine, bring a wine stopper with you from home. The room will have an opener.

    I think that covers those topics!

  11. #36
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    Mar 2013
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    Thank you sooo much for your reviews. I'm certainly enjoying reading them and you have answered questions I didn't even know I had. Such as the clothes line in the shower - that will come in very handy and now I know to bring some clothes pins.

  12. #37

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    One problem we ran into last May at CSA was that they were insistent you get all of the standard drinks and were insistent you keep them in your fridge. As for sodas the hubby and I only drink diet at home, but made an exception for a little ting. We don't drink other regular sodas and we don't drink beer. I begged and pleaded for them to take the standard items back and they wouldn't. They also wouldn't "let" us lake them out of the fridge and leave them on top.

    This caused a problem because we always wanted 2 bottles of bubbly chilling at any given time and we would fill aluminum water bottles at the bars and store them I'm the fridge to keep cold. I drink a ton of water on a regular day at home and even more when I'm there. These things would only fit in the fridge if we took out the beer and the soda we didn't drink.

    Because of their insistence we have the items we didn't want, this caused us to be wasteful on a couple of occasions, which I hated. As soon as the bar was stocked, we would dump out the regular sodas and toss the cans into recycling bins so that I could put our other stuff back in the fridge. This seemed ridiculous to me. If we don't want them, we shouldn't be forced to take them every day and be wasteful.
    CSA - May 2012
    CN - May 2013
    CSS - October 2013

  13. #38
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    Jun 2009
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    We always find ourselves drinking the water allotment up and some times the juices. We don't touch the liquor or the beer and seldom drink the Coke, or Pepsi, products. The mini-bar is a nice extra, we remember the days when we did not have one in our room and we could still get by fine without one.

    Housekeeping is a mystery to us. Some days they would show up before noon, other days not till late afternoon. No big deal either way.

    With the old beach towel system we had found the water sports hut to be out of fresh towels on more than one occasion after a day on the beach. We shall see how the new system works out next month.

    Thanks again for the very thorough and entertaining reviews!
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  14. #39
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacie & Chris View Post
    One problem we ran into last May at CSA was that they were insistent you get all of the standard drinks and were insistent you keep them in your fridge. As for sodas the hubby and I only drink diet at home, but made an exception for a little ting. We don't drink other regular sodas and we don't drink beer. I begged and pleaded for them to take the standard items back and they wouldn't. They also wouldn't "let" us lake them out of the fridge and leave them on top.

    This caused a problem because we always wanted 2 bottles of bubbly chilling at any given time and we would fill aluminum water bottles at the bars and store them I'm the fridge to keep cold. I drink a ton of water on a regular day at home and even more when I'm there. These things would only fit in the fridge if we took out the beer and the soda we didn't drink.

    Because of their insistence we have the items we didn't want, this caused us to be wasteful on a couple of occasions, which I hated. As soon as the bar was stocked, we would dump out the regular sodas and toss the cans into recycling bins so that I could put our other stuff back in the fridge. This seemed ridiculous to me. If we don't want them, we shouldn't be forced to take them every day and be wasteful.
    S & C,

    I had a similar issue this year. The bar that holds drinks on the inside door was missing from the fridge. So as is I couldn't stand up my bottle of wine and didn't want to be wasteful and dump it, so instead I took out the bottom shelf and stacked all the sodas and juices (on their side) on the top shelf. This gave me a lot more room. I rested the shelf i took out right next to fridge all week and they did not try to put it back in, and followed my lead when restocking all week.

    This combined with using the door (assuming yours wont be broke too) may help you with bubbly and water storage.

    Rachel

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimandGary View Post
    Thank you sooo much for your reviews. I'm certainly enjoying reading them and you have answered questions I didn't even know I had. Such as the clothes line in the shower - that will come in very handy and now I know to bring some clothes pins.
    You are very welcome!

  16. #41

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    Do you rmember what the room number was you stayed in? we're going down on our honeymoon next week and staying in a GVS.

  17. #42
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenewlyweds View Post
    Do you rmember what the room number was you stayed in? we're going down on our honeymoon next week and staying in a GVS.
    We were 2102, the first building next to the lobby, on the side going towards center of resort.

    Our first trip we were in building on other side of lobby, going towards palms. That was probably even quieter and more private...but a few more steps to beach.

    I would suggest requesting buildings and not specific room numbers. We just asked for ground floor close to lobby.

  18. #43
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    Apr 2013
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    We were at CSA just a week ago. Our pre-order was delivered 2 hours after we arrived. On the standard items that are stocked, I believe they are automatically refilled daily assuming they have stock. A couple times our OJ was not refilled. I left several notes to see if I could get lite beer instead and apparently the answer was no cause I never received. On our next to last night, i did request vodka on the refill list, and never received that either. Dont know if it was just missed, or they knew we would be leaving in 48 hours, but I was kinda irritated by that.

  19. #44
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    Mar 2011
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    Part 7: Activities, Excursions, and One Love Bus Bar Crawl

    Somehow although we were at CSA the longest this trip, yet we did fewer activities. We just don’t want to leave that beach! And by “fewer” I mean “none”.

    In previous years we always did the Catamaran Cruise. This year we planned to, but as the days went on we just didn't, and then decided not to. But speaking from experience it is a blast, and swimming in the caves is an experience you will never forget. The salt content is so high in the water, it keeps you floating. But the water can be rough, so if you are not a strong swimmer use your judgment if you need a life vest (they have them on the cruise).

    The Cruise is not Couples owned/workers, so you can tip. We brings dollars to tip the bartender (they serve red strip and rum punch) and tip the boat (they collect as you depart) $10 or more (depending how good it was).

    Something new, which may have replaced the trip to Ricks, is a complimentary bus to Push Cart on Saturdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 5pm. Pushcart is a restaurant on the cliffs, at the <very beautiful and equally expensive> Rockhouse resort. Great place to watch a sunset while having dinner. I have heard reasonably priced too. All week I meant to go ask about this to find out more information but I never did. If you have never been to the cliffs before, GO!

    Other off property complimentary tours: Golf daily at 8:05a and 1:05p; Shopping Trip Mon and Fri at 2p and Wed and Sat at 10a; Margaritaville Wed at 5p (fyi you can walk the beach to this on your own schedule, not worth it in my opinion but it may be your thing).

    At checkin you will get a print out of the activity daily schedules – things like volleyball, cooking, making hats, basket weaving, history, ping pong, dancing…the list goes on. ALWAYS something going on.

    And of course a ton of water sports, which I can not speak on as I am way too lazy to ever participate in. Sorry!

    Our one activity (if you can call it that) that we left the resort for was the One Love Bar Crawl. We participated in this last year, but seems like word has really spread. Last year they did it once per week, now they are doing it 3 times per week.

    You get picked up (usually around 2:30 at CSA) and are taken to 7 – 9 bars, mostly on west side, ending with the last bar at sunset. After sunset you are taken back to resort. Depending how many people they drop off before you, you will be back around 630 – 7pm.

    No charge to board bus. Just tip the driver ($10 per person is common) and of course buy your drinks and/or food along the way. Depending how much/what you drink/eat, you could spend anywhere from $50 to $100. All places will take US dollars, but if you do that bring small bills. Many places will give you back Jamaican money. We ended up last minute exchanging money (upstairs lobby at CSA) about $50 and think we made out a bit better for those bars that just round up to US exchange (I did see some bars with calculators figuring out exact exchange).

    ***FYI CSA does still have the ATM (american dollars) and Money Exchange desk both upstairs from the lobby. I think I read in a previous post that this was gone, it is not as of April***

    Lenbert will start picking up passengers on the east end of Negril and make his way west. So while you are waiting for the bus at Couples (btw pickup at lobby) you may seem him go by but he will come back for you on his return. Last year we had 9 people on our bus, this year over 20. Maybe even 30. In fact, they ran 2 buses on our day because the Negril.com message board regulars were having their annual meetup/boardie bash.

    The bus only sits 15 or so people, so many were standing. I actually prefer this year with more people, and will sacrifice a seat for the fun times. By the second or third stop you are friends with everyone, and by the last stop you are dancing on the bus.

    Lenbert rotates each day what bars he takes you to. So this trip we got to experience some of the same as last time and a few new. Most of the places you go are small, and it is very likely you will be only customers in that bar. The bars start inland, working your way out to cliffs. As I said previously, this is great experience if you have never been to cliffs. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but the vibe is very cool and different from the beach. We really enjoy it so next year we are going to start with a few nights at a cliff resort.

    A few tips: It is VERY hot when you are inland and not on the water. So dress in shorts and tees/tanks. Ladies, I suggest tying your hair back, or at least bring something to do so. I also bring tissues and hand sanitizer for the bathroom. All of the bathrooms I used this trip were very clean, but I know from last year one of the places I had to use wasn't. If Rob and/or Lisa join your bus, take the time to chat with them. They own/run Negril.com, and own/are affiliated with the bar crawl bus. They are ex-pats who moved to Negril and are on a mission to show people the real Negril.

    To sign up email Lenbert at bananaznegril@hotmail.com to sign up and/or ask what days he has available for your trip. Don’t wait until last minute as they will fill up during busy seasons.

    Just a few topics remain…until then….

  20. #45
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    Hi Rachel ~ Loved reading your review as it will be our first visit to CSA. My request for additional information is directed mostly at the spa. Any thing you can give me.........would love to do a massage (maybe even couples massage) at least my birthday. What is teh 1 Love Bar Crawl? I saw someone else post this as well. Minibar and housekeeping. I guess I wanted more information than I thought! I just want to make sure we make the most out of our first trip.

    Also, one more quick thing.......the only 'sandals' I'm finding are more of the flip flow variety. Are those going to be okay. Not really sure after reading the restaurant dress requirements.

    Thanks for all the insight!!

    Karyn

  21. #46
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by bzlynchmob View Post
    Hi Rachel ~ Loved reading your review as it will be our first visit to CSA. My request for additional information is directed mostly at the spa. Any thing you can give me.........would love to do a massage (maybe even couples massage) at least my birthday. What is teh 1 Love Bar Crawl? I saw someone else post this as well. Minibar and housekeeping. I guess I wanted more information than I thought! I just want to make sure we make the most out of our first trip.

    Also, one more quick thing.......the only 'sandals' I'm finding are more of the flip flow variety. Are those going to be okay. Not really sure after reading the restaurant dress requirements.

    Thanks for all the insight!!

    Karyn
    Karyn,

    Did you have specific questions about the Spa that I didn't cover in my review?

    If you wear flip flops, you will not be able to go to Feathers, which I highly recommend. I would urge you to keep looking, as you should be able to find sandals (that are non-flip flop) pretty easily. I have gotten great wedge sandals in past month at both Target and Famous Footwear.

    Rachel

  22. #47

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    I just wanted to mention about the soup, I always wondered why they would have so much soup available in a hot climate? Other than it tastes good I think I figured something out. I always try to drink enough water, especially when you are out in the sun, and drinking alcohol. But I noticed one day that I was actually feeling worse after drinking water, which I could not understand. Then once I had cup of soup while waiting for a late lunch one day and felt incredably better.
    I started to think that maybe I was losing salt, and that was why I felt so bad. Then felt so much better after having some soup.
    That is just my idea that I came up with, but I started my husband on the soup too, and he said he felt excellent after having it as well.

  23. #48
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    Mar 2011
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    242

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    Part 8…Leaving

    Couples now delivers eviction notices 2 days prior to leaving. This was a sad reminder our trip was coming to an end.

    Previous trips our flights were at 3pm and we were on the 10am shuttle. This trip our flight was 4pm, and we were on the 12pm shuttle. Checkout was at 11am, as was our luggage scheduled to be placed outside our room.

    Couples offers “express checkout”, which means the night before you can settle your charges. I did this last year, and WISH I would have done it this year. Instead the morning on our departure I had to wait in lobby, which was filled with new people, so I found myself again waiting in a sea of people and not knowing if anyone even knows I am there. I was there for at least 20 minutes before someone helped me.

    Speaking of settling charges, I experienced something this year I hadn't before. As usual, a $300 hold was placed on my credit card at check in. Towards the end of the trip, I had already spent $300 (I guess they don’t apply resort credits until end). So when I got my pedicure, I needed to sign an authorization form for $10, the amount I was over. Then the next day I had a small purchase of less than $20 in the gift shop and I had to sign an authorization again. So that time I authorized $100 instead, so I wouldn't have to keep filling out these forms if I had a few more small purchases. Looking at my credit card bill today, I only have 1 charge for the total final amount I actually owed (after resort credits applied). So all these “authorizations” were not really charges, must have just been holds.

    Getting out of room by 11, but shuttle not until 12, we headed to sit on beach for our last hour at the resort. At a few minutes before 12 we headed back to lobby. We probably didn’t get on the departure bus (aka sad bus) until 12:15ish. Each year the departure bus for us has been different sizes. The first year, there were 2 very large coach size buses (both packed full); last year a very small almost mini van type car (only us and one other couple), and this year a mid sized van with about 14 people. No doubt the size will depend on amount of passengers.

    The ride to the airport was uneventful, getting there sometime around 1:30. Don’t forget to tip your driver, and then have a tip ready for the porters who will grab your luggage and take it to your airline check in area. Departing on a Saturday, I was afraid the airport would be a zoo. It was really not that bad. Looks like a lot of flights before 2pm, so maybe it was just a timing thing.

    We purchases 2 passes for Club Mobay at CSA (they offer a reduced rate). BTW we waited until day before checkout to purchase, and we got the last 2 for that day. It is capacity controlled, so signup early if you want to buy tickets.

    Club Mobay has a separate entrance at security, but it’s really at the same place everyone enters security. So only if the standard security line is WAY backed up, is the Club Mobay entrance a time saver. We were through security in about 10 minutes, and followed signs to the Club Mobay lounge.

    You take an elevator (or walk up) to enter their lounge. As soon as you enter you are warmly greeted. They take your flight information and explain to you the facilities. They have a “family” room (ie people with kids) and an adults only room. I didn't go in the family room, so I cant confirm if it’s the same as the adults only room. But the adults only area was full of couches, TVs (with remotes), tables, chairs….a bar you can walk up to…also a cocktail waitress comes around…and food table.

    Drinks and food are included with your ticket price. We also tipped a few dollars with every round of drinks and they were on top of us getting us refills. Their drinks were great, even the wine I thought was really good, and all served in nice glassware.

    The food is self serve, and included a variety of patties, mini sandwiches, a soup, little appetizers, bags of chips, and pastries. We considered this our lunch and were plenty full from what we ate. If you wanted an actual meal, they have a menu (from a restaurant in the airport) you can order from and they will deliver the food to you. You are then paying the restaurant directly for that food.

    The wifi was great, and easy to connect to. We heard they have a smoking area upstairs as well (we didn't go). The bathrooms were very clean, even had showers. On my way back from bathroom I saw they had a masseuse for an additional cost. I wish they would have told us this when we first got there, I would have done that.

    They make announcements when flights are boarding, so you can then leave to directly board your flight and not have to stand around the gate waiting.

    Overall, I thought the value for Club Mobay was great. For $30 per person we ate, drank, and were relaxed. We would have spent at least that and probably more at an airport restaurant, and not in such a plush environment. We will definitely do this for departures on our future trips.

    Up Next….Changes since our last trip

  24. #49

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    [QUOTE=radioop;214706]I just wanted to mention about the soup, I always wondered why they would have so much soup available in a hot climate? Other than it tastes good I think I figured something out. I always try to drink enough water, especially when you are out in the sun, and drinking alcohol. But I noticed one day that I was actually feeling worse after drinking water, which I could not understand. Then once I had cup of soup while waiting for a late lunch one day and felt incredably better.

    I love when anybody mentions the soups! I am a soup fanatic and the soup is one of the many things I look forward to while at CSA! I pray Seagrapes is still serving the chilled gazpacho? By far my favorite for lunch. 160 days to go!
    There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage ~Mark Twain

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13

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    Thanks Rachel ~ Somehow I must have missed your post on the spa, etc. I have gone back and read them. Got it!

    PS: I did find a pair of sling back sandals Didn't want to miss Feathers.

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