My husband and I are planning our first Couples stay for this December (binational US/Fr couple, 34/39). The problem is we can't decide where to stay, which is not too bad a problem to have! While we're definitely beach people and love to swim/snorkel, we prefer an intimate, laid back atmosphere, which is why we've narrowed it down to CSS or CTI as opposed to CSA or CN. I don't need miles of beach for walking, but I enjoy a scenic beach for swimming and sunning.
I've read through several CSS vs CTI threads so I'll try not to repeat the same old questions. However, I was wondering if one had more of a "harassing you into group activities" vibe than the other. I look forward to meeting new people and socializing, but I also really need some quality R&R time. Also, which is better for ocean swimming? My main questions are for those of you who have stayed at CSS and/or CTI over Christmas. I've read that Couples does the holidays justice, but I'm curious about specifics. What did you like best? Is there a preference for resort with regard to celebrating the holidays?
My wife and I have spent the last two Christmases in Jamaica and will be there again this year. In part, we go at that time to get away from the over-commercialization here in the States.
We spent Christmas 2012 at CSS.
The resort puts some decorations out. Classy Christmas tree in the lobby. Nothing over-done.
A day or so before XMas, the photographer was taking pictures of folks in Santa hats he had with him. XMas eve was the same set-up as the beach party. There was a choir that started to sing carols as part of the show, but unfortunately they got rained out. Christmas day I was down with food poisoning (Margaritaville I suspect did it) so was in the room all day but the Sax player was wandering around playing Christmas music. Overall the XMas vibe is there, but is nicely reserved.
We never felt harassed into doing activities in 11 days there. You may be asked polity if you are in the vicinity of the activity, as in if they're doing trivia at the pool bar, and your at the pool. On the beach you're pretty well left alone except the spa ladies will hit you up sometimes. I think about once every other day they approached us, otherwise we were never bothered by anyone.
CSS Main beach is OK for swimming, but not great. There is some grass that turns some people off. At Christmas, I'd say around 5% of the ocean bottom in the swimming area had some grass in it. Not a big deal, but I know some don't like it. If you intend to wander int he water to cool off its perfect for that.
We haven't been to CTI so can't comment there for you, but we'll be back at CSS this year for Christmas so obviously we like it.