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  1. #1

    Default A first timer at CSA - any tips?!?

    Hi all,

    We will be travelling from England to Couples Swept Away in November for our honeymoon. We are so excited and cannot wait! I am spending most of my time on these message boards!

    We are booked into a beachfront suite.

    As a first timer, does anybody have any tips for us? I know there are so many threads on here but I wondered if anyone had any 'must knows' or great tips. ( either must do, must eat, must pack etc)

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    Amy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

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    My best advice is to keep looking.

    Explore the grounds, on both sides of the road, they are beautiful and full of surprises. Bring your camera. Watch the ocean, not just at sunset. Go out early and take in the calm of morning as the sun comes up over the hills behind you as you face the beach and the ocean. Look at the shadows of the palm trees on the sand during the day, fascinating organic patterns that change constantly. Walk in the sand barefoot and feel the warmth of the sun and the cool of the ocean (no hot-foot to worry about). Find a spot to watch the rain, it will rain some time while you are there. Talk to the staff, most have a great sense of humor. Especially the bar tenders, they are a riot. Smell the air, watch the clouds, take a float out into the water and loaf for a while. Try different foods, don't drink too much, don't sleep too late or go to bed too early. Observe, take pictures and remember. There are very few places like CSA in the world so have fun but don't let it slip past you by just partying your time away.

    I hope you love CSA as much as we do (going back for our eighth visit next summer).

    Have a great trip!
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  3. #3

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    Great advise from dirtleg

    I tend to plow through a new resort like mad to get fully oriented
    Sign up for whats on my "To Do' checklist right away
    Check out all the menus of the various restaurants and prioritize which ones I want to eat at
    Spend time with the Front Desk/concerige folks for off site tips
    Then head to the beach....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,326

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    Carrierbag, are you a letter carrier? We are both usps employees. Anyway, I echo everything dirtleg says. There is a resort tour daily, twice I think. Csa us large so you don't want to miss anything. We, love csa (got married there in 04) and trip #6 booked for April. Yay! If you'd like a few pics to see what you're in for, email me at clemonssara40@gmail.com
    I hope you love csa as much as we do

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,140

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    Amy,

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon!! The best thing to do at CSA is whatever makes your trip special. Don't be in a hurry to do everything but relax and enjoy it all! If you're into snorkeling you'll find some great opportunities (bring an underwater camera) including a night snorkeling excursion that's not included but relatively inexpensive. One of our highlights from visits to CSA is the catamaran cruise (sign up early). Be sure to experience room service by ordering breakfast in a few times so you can enjoy it on your balcony/patio as you gaze out on the ocean. Don't forget to sign up for "Romance Rewards" so that you can reap the rewards of any future trips you might make to a Couples Resort. If you do this then you can take advantage of doing the "Trading Places" visit to Couples Negril during your November stay at CSA and see another wonderful Couples Resort.

    Have an awesome honeymoon!

    Bart & Bug

  6. #6

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    Try and adjust to island time quickly...Typically most of us are on a "go.go.go.go." routine. Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean are not - so it's time to relax. Book a few things, like Feathers, golf, catamaran, etc. but I would suggest you leave most of your time open to do what you want when you want to.
    Explore the resort, there is lots to see and enjoy all of the staff - from the folks that rake the beach to the guy that makes you a tasty beverage - they are all interesting folks with lots to share about the resort, the island, and who knows even a few life lessons here and there.
    We're beach folks, so we tend to get stuck on the beach which is understandable once you experience the beach.
    Enjoy the different foods - like I had never ever never thought I would be able to say that curried goat is tasty. But I can. Or Oxtail soup! YUM. Granted there are a few things that we'll just chalk up to a culinary experience that I don't intend to repeat, but that's really the minority....Of course the Jerk is just awesome.
    Must pack - Sunscreen. and then pack some after sun lotions if you are fair to assist in not becoming a human torch. They are available on site, but of course they are pretty pricey. We bring SPF 30 / 15 / and a bottle of 8 and we bring a good "fake bake" tan with us. 1st time to JA I burnt my shoulders in 15 minutes after arriving late in the afternoon. I figured it's late in the day (arrival day) go walk on the beach (FRIED). Since then it's always been to visit with a base tan in place.
    Breakfast on the verandah. We really dig it. We are always up way before most folks and get an early time for our breakfast. Nothing like sippin some coffee on the verandah looking out on the beach/ocean to start your new day in paradise.
    Enjoy the honeymoon. Even if you take zero advice (sans suntan lotion advice) provided you will STILL have a great time. Those that say, "it was ok" have some other kind of issues or conflicts. It's a great resort and you will enjoy if you can sit back, relax and be with the one you love.

    Dang, that sounds good - can I get a "woo hoo" here?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1

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    Eat the soups every day. Try the meat patties at the grill; try the hot tub behind the wedding arbor early morning and in the evening . Drink the dirty bananas, the martinis above the Palms. Make a reservation for Lemongrass when you arrive; eat on the beach one night. Try the foods at Seagrapes the are great. Nap in a hammock on the beach. If you think you would like to venture out, take a cab to Xtabi and have dinner outside on the cliffs. Try a massage from a hut "off campus" for $30-$40. Make sure you eat at Patois ( breakfast and dinner). Eat the pastries at the Palms even if you do not eat there. Remember the dress code for Feathers. Sail on one of the Hobie Cats and float on the floats in the ocean. Pack- suntan lotion, bug spray, hat, attire for Feathers, gym, beach. Take a bag to carry things to the pool or beach. You see everything at dinner; I prefer a nice pair of shorts, polo, sandals or nice loafers. There are irons, hair dryers, bath robes and beach towels in the rooms. This will be our 7th or 8th trip 8-31-13. Also for 128.00 you can fly from Mobay to Negril (10 minutes) and CSA is 5 minutes away from the airfield ($ 7.00 cab)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    62

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    Don't be afraid to leave the resort, even if it's just a walk down the beach. CSA is just a microcosm of Negril and Jamaica - it would be a shame to go all that way and stay in a fishbowl, though a mighty fine fishbowl it is.

    If you're a drinker, take the One Love Bus Bar Crawl to town, or head to the cliffs area for dinner and a sunset one evening. Mingle with the locals. Stretch out and embrace more than just the resort!

    Congratulations and enjoy your trip!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    151

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    If this is your visit visit, I suggest you take the orientation tour the 1st day you are there (or morning if you arrive at night). It only takes about an hour and you WILL learn alot.

    Also, as others have suggested, take some time to explore off the resort. You can start by just walking the beach towards town. There are lots of neat little bars and restaurants along the way. You could also spend an afternoon/evening on the cliffs and visit Rick's Cafe (for the cliff jumping) and have a nice dinner at one of the cliffside restaurants.

    Last piece of advice.....just relax and enjoy yourselves. You may experience "sand gravity" which will make it difficult for you to want to get out and explore. Nothing wrong with that. Just go with the flow, and once you go...you know.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    470

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    This is a cut and paste from an answer I gave to some honeymooners a while back..... I edited it a little to take out the most of the honeymoon references:


    I'm sure that you will get lots of folks telling you about all the wonderful things you can do and enjoy at CSA. Trust me there is plenty!! The following advice is aimed at helping you get the most enjoyment, relaxation, and great memories you can while in paradise. We went for our Honeymoon in 2006 and have been back every year since. Yep, it's that good.


    Don't try to plan a bunch of excursions and set out to try to do everything. Its best just to chill out. there is plenty of time and opportunity to set up excursions once you're there if you feel like it. Over planning is the biggest mistake I think peoplemake. I speak from experience.

    Take a good attitude. The staff reflects what you give them. Give respect, graciousness and cheerfulness, and you'll get it right back, along with extraordinary service. Respect, basic decency, and manners are all a huge thing in Jamaica. Be rude, and you will be actively avoided. Read the reviews on other travel sites, and its not hard to see between the lines the differences between the good reviews and the bad reviews. The difference often comes down to the reviewer's own behavior and attitude. Be a good guest to your hosts.

    Jamaicans don't have a huge invisible social wall between the guest and the staff that we seem to have in North America or Europe. The staff (and others) treats you like your'e a guest in their house. That makes them more friendly, more frank, and more likely to just chat enthusiastically with you. To the point, that initially, it can be a bit startling. Go with it. Its one of the reasons we all love the place. Re-read above statement about having a good attitude.

    Island time is a very real thing. Accept it. Every single thing will take about ten minutes longer to happen than you think it possibly could. Accept it. Any effort to resist is futile. Sometimes resistance will actually make the situation go backwards, and take even longer. Accept it. It will make you happier. Trust. See above statement about having a good attitude.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    223

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge View Post
    Don't be afraid to leave the resort, even if it's just a walk down the beach. CSA is just a microcosm of Negril and Jamaica - it would be a shame to go all that way and stay in a fishbowl, though a mighty fine fishbowl it is.

    If you're a drinker, take the One Love Bus Bar Crawl to town, or head to the cliffs area for dinner and a sunset one evening. Mingle with the locals. Stretch out and embrace more than just the resort!

    Congratulations and enjoy your trip!
    Even if you are not a drinker do the One Love Bus Bar Crawl. My husband and i went and I drank mostly water and had a blast!

  12. #12

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    Thank you all so much for your responses! They are very helpful and exactly the sort of info / tips we were hoping for! Looking forward to it even more now!! Thank you all again

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