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  1. #1

    Default We're newbies - So many questions!

    Hi all! My hubby and I just booked our first trip to CSS for February, 2014 and we are super excited! I spent a full two years researching where to go. It will be our 25th anniversary and we have never taken a vacation like this, even as a honeymoon, so I want everything to be amazing. I just found these forums yesterday and I'm so glad! I have tons of questions about what to expect:

    About fishing - we love fishing so we were wondering what the options are. Can you fish at the resort? If so, is tackle provided? What about deep sea fishing or fishing excursions on the river? Any suggestions? What if you catch fish? Will someone at the resort prepare it for you? What do you do with the rest (assuming you've had lots of luck!)?

    About nature and wildlife - what kinds of native wildlife might we see during our stay? Are their hiking trails on the resort property or nearby?

    Dunn's River Falls Tour - many people have recommended bringing water shoes for this. Are sneakers just as good or do you actually walk in the water? Is it necessary to bring cash along?

    Scuba - my husband has always wanted to try scuba diving. Should he become certified before the trip or can you do that while at CSS? I am not interested in diving. If he goes, would I be allowed to come along and stay on the boat? How does it work if one is more adventurous than the other?

    Comfort items - I saw mention of hammocks and floats. Are there a lot of hammocks? Are they usually in great demand? Does the resort provide floats or do you have to bring or buy your own?

    Miscellaneous - Is there a bonfire at the beach party? How about photographers? Someone mentioned being able to purchase pictures taken during your stay. Souvenir shopping? Is there a gift shop at the resort? What if you forget something like toiletries, sunscreen etc. Is there a place to buy necessities?

    I can't wait till February. Can you tell I'm excited???

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggirl40 View Post
    Hi all! My hubby and I just booked our first trip to CSS for February, 2014 and we are super excited! I spent a full two years researching where to go. It will be our 25th anniversary and we have never taken a vacation like this, even as a honeymoon, so I want everything to be amazing. I just found these forums yesterday and I'm so glad! I have tons of questions about what to expect:

    About fishing - we love fishing so we were wondering what the options are. Can you fish at the resort? If so, is tackle provided? What about deep sea fishing or fishing excursions on the river? Any suggestions? What if you catch fish? Will someone at the resort prepare it for you? What do you do with the rest (assuming you've had lots of luck!)?There is no fishing from the beach, but there is a gentleman who sits with his boat at the end of the beach by the dive shack. He will take you out fishing or you have the option of booking a trip with the front desk. I was there in 2009 and the cost for the fisherman on resort was around $200. If you catch anything the resort will fix it for you and if there is extra they will offer it to other guests.

    About nature and wildlife - what kinds of native wildlife might we see during our stay? Are their hiking trails on the resort property or nearby?There is a large pond behind buildings A and B, You will see all sorts of birds, fish, and turtles. At the resort there is also a cage with a parrot named Crackers.

    Dunn's River Falls Tour - many people have recommended bringing water shoes for this. Are sneakers just as good or do you actually walk in the water? Is it necessary to bring cash along?You will be walking the falls up in the water. I don't suggest tennis shoes as they will not dry before you get home. Water shoes really are best. You will need some money to tip your guide who shows you how to get up the falls. There is a craft market at the exit to the Falls if you want to bring some money for that.

    Scuba - my husband has always wanted to try scuba diving. Should he become certified before the trip or can you do that while at CSS? I am not interested in diving. If he goes, would I be allowed to come along and stay on the boat? How does it work if one is more adventurous than the other? He has the option of getting certified at the resort. He could also do the book work at home and do his dives at the resort or just do the resort dive to see if he likes it and then he could get certified. You won't be able to join him on the dives. Only divers are allowed on the boat as it is usually filled with divers and there isn't a lot of extra room for other passengers.

    Comfort items - I saw mention of hammocks and floats. Are there a lot of hammocks? Are they usually in great demand? Does the resort provide floats or do you have to bring or buy your own?Hammocks are spread throughout the property. I never saw a high demand for them. The resort supplies wonderful floats, no need to bring your own.

    Miscellaneous - Is there a bonfire at the beach party? How about photographers? Someone mentioned being able to purchase pictures taken during your stay. Souvenir shopping? Is there a gift shop at the resort? What if you forget something like toiletries, sunscreen etc. Is there a place to buy necessities? There are resort photographers who wander the resort. If you would like a specific picture, just ask. They are happy to accommodate. There are vendors who set up on the beach each day selling their wares. Mainly wood carvings and beaded jewelry and straw weaved items. There is a store onsite with typical tourist items for souvenirs. There is also a wonderful jewelry store on property for those really special souvenirs! The main store has items in case you left things at home. There is also a shuttle that goes into town a couple days a week and will take you to a shopping mall.

    I can't wait till February. Can you tell I'm excited???
    YES! And you should be excited, You guys are going to have the time of your lives.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  3. #3

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    Congrats on 25!

    Fishing - they actually had a fishing contest while we were there out at the pond. Nothing you would keep, but challenging in that you had to avoid catching turtles. At CTI they had a boat come in to take us out on a half day trip and I had heard that the chefs did prepare a meal if you caught a fish, but I cannot verify that. I'm sure you could find a way to go out of SSB

    Nature - its everywhere - you'll be amazed at what is natural on the resort. The whole resort is a hiking trail - you'll see when you get there. The pond area is loaded with birds, fish, turtles.

    DRF - bring shoes you can wear in the water that will not be slippery. You have to have something safe on your feet. Bring cash to tip the guide and driver and if you want to purchase items at the end.

    Scuba - have not done at either CSS or CTI. My guess is if the captain stays on the boat, you can too as long as it is not crowded. You can become "certified" there, but would be better to be fully certified before arriving. I would recommend going on the snorkeling trips if you have not before. They can be very interesting as you see a wreck and you go over the reef. Other than having to stay close to the surface, its can't be that different.

    Comfort items - don't bring a hammock. I don't remember seeing more than a few. but they'd be difficult to carry with you. The cushions on the chairs act as floats, no worries there.

    Not sure about the bonfire - don't remember there being one. There are always photographers around and you can purchase photographs and albums next to the area where you check in. There is a jewelry shop and a gift/necessities shop at the entrance of the resort. Try not to forget the sunscreen.

  4. #4

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    People on here are so helpful and friendly, and your story sounds very similar to ours! We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary (never had a honeymoon) in Oct. this year at CSS. I researched for a loooong time, narrowed it down to Couples and let hubby pick the resort (with my fingers crossed as CSS had stole my heart from the beginning) and he chose CSS.

    When we booked we had like 258 days in our countdown or something like that! Head over to the "Meet Up At " forums and you can "hook" up with couples going the same time you are.

    I have a notebook full of things /information about the resort and what we want to do. We have made several good "friends" on this site who graciously shared their pictures, experiences, memories etc. with us, I am sure they will help you too.
    If you have any questions that don't get answered before we go in Oct., e-mail us and we will try to figure it out while we are there for you.
    One of the things I have gleaned from these message boards that will be invaluable to me is .... when I step off the plane, I am in Jamaica, on Jamaica time ... and our resort's staff has a "No worries mon" motto .... so I know in advance ... leave my fast paced, hurry up, fast food life at home and come expecting relaxation and a slower pace.

    Since I haven't been yet, I don't want to "step on toes" by answering questions I have no real experience with, but it's my understanding that there are several hammocks located in various areas on the property and you can probably find one to relax in, and that each lounger has a floatie on it, so everyone gets to use one.

    Brenda & Andy
    CSS Oct. 2013
    ridgways@mac.com .... if you think of questions I might be able to help with.

  5. #5

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    Thank you so much! Brenda, I hope you will post a detailed report of your trip when you get home! 186 days for us! :-)

  6. #6

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    Lol, I mixed my numbers up, it was 528 days ... I was so excited when we finally got under a year away! And yes, I will post a review,

  7. #7

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    Hello! Just returned home from trip #7 to CSS! You have chosen a great resort to celebrate your anniversary! For Dunns, you will definitely want water shoes and not tennis shoes. As for fishing, SSB is right next door to the White River and fisherman go up and down all day. I'm sure you could barter an authentic fishing adventure or you could go through the Tour Desk and book a deep sea fishing trip! There are quite a few hammocks spread across the resort, and CSS provides floaties, so no worries there! Just come to Jamaica with an open heart with the person that you love and you should have a wonderful time!!! I also count Ms. Brenda as one of my friends! She is a wealth of information--even though she hasn't been to CSS yet!!! I too can't wait to see the resort through her eyes!

    One Love!
    suzyQ

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