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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    51

    Default CSA First timer review 4/26-5/3/13

    We arrived in Jamaica around noon on Friday, along with a lot of other planes. It ended up taking about an hour and a half to make it thru immigration. We were travelling with my sister in law and brother in law. After locating our luggage, we made our way to the Couples lounge to check in and grab our first red stripes. After we checked in the Couples agent told us that he was going to be calling a bus of CSA, but he had a bus just for the four of us. Archer, our driver pointed out various attractions along the way, even though I was easily entertained by the little goats along the way. When we arrived at the resort we were greeted by cold towels and champagne. The mood changed as we went to the desk to check in. The pregnant girl who was helping us had to be the rudest person we encountered the entire stay. It was so much that it felt as if we were bothering her just by being there checking in. Very uncomfortable! After we handed her back the paperwork she got the map out, showed us our building on it and pointed out into the lobby and said the bellman will take you. All while we are hearing her coworker go over the map and point out things in a little more detail to our family. Iím kicking myself that I didnít jot her name down to write it down on the comment card.
    Our bellman, I believe it was Marco Dan, was hilarious, and definitely lightened the mood. After getting our bags to the room he pointed out some features prior to leaving (the air remote, fridge and request cards for drinks/breakfast). I requested a few items for our fridge online prior to check in and they werenít in there when we got there but a few hours later our requests were stocked.

    Garden Veranduh Suite: We were on the second floor of building ten. I have to agree with the lighting issues in the bathroom. It isnít the brightest in the evening, but it is manageable, even using the magnified mirror with light. The room wasnít in perfect condition, but what room ever looks brand new. It could use some updating, but I wasnít bothered by it. The nightly turndown service was a nice surprise coming back in the evening. The deck was my favorite spot to relax in the morning. There was one night we had to play capture the crab. Somehow a crab managed to get into our room and was hanging out in the door jam. My husband caught him in one of the sanitary napkin bags and carefully released him back onto the grounds.

    Resort Orientation: Went on the tour a few hours after we checked in. Tamara was so energetic! Being first timers it was nice to see where everything was prior to getting lost in the dark.

    Bars:
    Piano lounge- only went there the during Casino night. Service was a little slow
    Sunset/Bamboo Bar- we loved the specials of the day. Beach service was always quick. Staff was very friendly
    Swim up bar- went a few times to grab a spot in the water in the shade.
    Palms bar-only ordered a few drinks from here because of proximity to the martini bar. The beer was always cold and the Black Russians were a great after dinner drink!
    Martini Bar-Donít let them turn the Bob Marley into a flaming martini! I swore the guys were going to puke! Their chocolate martinis were delicious, but my favorite was the Key Lime martini. I had more of these than any mixed drink.

    Restaurants:
    Cabana Grill-The food was always served pretty quickly when we were there. Finding a place to sit was usually the problem. I loved that we could snack on nachos until the food was ready. My favorites were the jerk chicken and the turkey/guacamole sandwich.
    Patois-Service here was pretty slow. I think that breakfast was worse though. Dinnertime the appetizers and salads would come out pretty quick there was just a delay on the entrees. They apologized for it taking so long, but made up for it by making sure the drinks were full.
    Palms-I am not a big fan of buffets, but we ate here a majority of the time. The variety of items at each meal were great. The fruit and salad bar were a frequent stop. It made it easy to keep coming back. I was able to try so many things that I wouldnít have just ordered off the menu by reading its description. I did still enjoy the nights that were ordered off the menu. The beef carpaccio and smoked marlin carpaccio were two of my favorite appetizers! I liked the variety of mini desserts.
    Feathers-Never ended up eating here. Two out of the four in our group do not eat seafood. The night we were supposed to go there was only one entrťe that did not have seafood in it. It was very disappointing, so we ended up cancelling and going elsewhere.
    Sea Grapes: My afternoon snack stop. The sweet potato chips with various dips were delicious. We would often get a fruit plate or the calaloo stuff coco bread. The fish tacos were good here. You have to try the fresh coconut water. It will rehydrate you!
    Lemongrass- It was my favorite place at the resort. I loved all of the appetizers. My entrees were always good and I never wanted to put my fork down! Service was pretty quick and the staff was spot on. I loved the night that we sat outside.

    Watersports: We loved this place. Between the four of us we tried everything! Three different times we had a staff member take the four of us out in one of the hobie cats. It was a great way to get to know their staff. The ocean was so beautiful. One of the days a few in our group saw a dolphin while sailing. The glass bottom boat made me a little green. I snorkeled for the first time here. My husband and brother in law did the night snorkel for an extra $35. They said it was freaky, glad they did it, but probably wouldnít again. Their guide brought up a sand dollar, white sea urchin and a sea turtle for everyone to see. Of the time that we were there we only spent maybe a half hour in the pools.

    Resort Activities: We tie-dyed, basket weaving x2, hat making, jewelry making (all great ways to bring home souvenirs), casino night, managers cocktail party, steel drum band and the staff/guest talent show.
    Sunset Catamaran cruise- I was not a fan of this. I guess I didnít know what to expect. I guess I assumed we would sail down there instead of smelling the diesel fumes of us driving down there the entire way and back. The cliff diving was neat, from what I could see through the boats anchored in that cove.

    Beach and Grounds: The beach itself was amazing! The beach chairs lined back up every morning looked so refreshing. The grounds were always being attended to. I just wish there was a little more lighting along the paths in the evening. I think there were a few crabby fatalities from not being able to see them. I would also find glass occasionally on the beach. Iím not sure if it was from the sand being raked often or not.

    Staff: There were so many staff members that went above and beyond during our stay to make it so memorable. Iím very grateful to get to know the people we did. The entertainment coodinators: Alex, Andre, Kevin, Tamara, and Tomeka, Watersports: Clayton, Seymour, Eton, Desmond, Clyde, Darryl, Oliver, Photographer: Keathon, Patois: Shane, Lemongrass: Nicole and Favion, Sea Grapes: Gawaine. I know that I am missing some other people, but there service and hospitality made up for our rude check in. I believe that staff can make or break the resort.

    Seven years ago when we stayed at a different chain in Montego Bay. We hated it so much we swore we would never go back, and this resort changed us. We didnít want to leave and canít wait to come back. Thank you so much for everyoneís reviews, hints, and tips on CSA prior to us leaving. It was greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by LakeH2O; May 13th, 2013 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,301

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    Kari ( I think)! So glad you had fun, hope you get back to paradise soon. Sara -softail 19

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16

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    Thanks for posting your review! I really want to take advantage of the watersports that are offered as well (although I'm not the best swimmer!) As long as they have life vests, I guess I'll be good to go!

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