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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default 1st Timers Booked CSA for honeymoon!

    My FI and I are so excited, we just booked CSA for a week in May for our honeymoon! This will be our first time to CSA (and our first time to any all inclusive resort, first time in Jamaica, etc). I have been researching (aka stalking) the couples resorts for over a year and could not be more thrilled that CSA is where we finally decided to book! I have been researching the message boards, but I am interested in advice from seasoned Couples veterans. What to pack/bring, what are must do activities, anything else we should know about/plan for! TIA!!!

  2. #2

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    We just came back less than 30 days ago. I am writing from a guys perspective, but these are the things we agreed on.

    Must have lots of swim wear, cover ups, etc.
    Sunscreen, its crazy expensive at resort. Take aloe too.
    Bug spray and something to take the sting out of bites.
    Workout gear, CSA has a 10 acre fitness facility that is incredible, we used everyday.

    We were under the impression that both Lemongrass and Feathers has a dress code. Only Feathers required long pants for the guys and a collared shirt. I took too much of these types of clothes. When we did "dress up" we immediately changed after dinner anyways. Lemongrass was fine w khaki shorts and a decent shirt. Sandals were also fine at Lemongrass.

    Schedule activities early, you may get a rain out and have to try it again. Try all the soups, you wont understand what they are by the name they call them, but they are all excellent and I am picky.

    The dinners are meant to be at in courses. If you dont eat like this then consider ordering two appetizers or double entree. The portions are sometimes small if that is all you intend to eat.

    Have fun and relax, try new things! Get up early, the mornings are beautiful!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,432

    Default

    You guys are in for a great time! Sign up early for the cat cruise, it fills up fast and a must do. Try all thr restaurants, take your floaties out with a drink anf float around in the ocean. Definitely take the resort tour as it's a pretty big place. Walk Long bay for some shopping and to get a little Negril vibe. If you'd like some pics of your future home, email me at saraclemons19@yahoo.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,177

    Default

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon! CSA is a wonderful choice of Couples Resort to enjoy your honeymoon. When it comes to packing...bring only half of what you think you'll need (clothing that is). On our first visit we brought 1/2 of our clothes home unworn. We spend most of our day in swim suits so typically bring about 3 (wife brings a few wraps and I bring print t-shirts for going to lunch/transit to/from the beach). Because dinners can be somewhat more formal (Feathers) or casual (The Palms), along with the beach party, we bring clothes that can be intermixed (i.e. shorts/pants and shirts - for guys and sun dresses and shorts/skirts and shirts - gals). Also be sure to bring gifts for those staff that make your stay wonderful as Couples has a no tipping policy (there are plenty of threads with suggestions). Also be sure to bring thank you notes to go along with the gifts. Enjoy all the activities that you like on the resort. Those we never pass up are the catamaran cruise, sing-along with Ultimate Chocolate, disco at the Aura Nightclub and snorkeling. Also fun is the basket making and learning to cook Jamaican activities. Have a super stay at CSA!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Try to wake up early and watch the sun rise / moon set over the water. This is our favorite part of the day.

    You can usually get coffee as early as 5:30AM at The Palms. They'll give you a carafe and some milk and you can enjoy the early morning from your verandah or the beach.

    Take long deep breaths when you go outside (especially evening and early morning). The smell of the flowers and the beach is something really special.

    Learn to sail a hobie cat.

    Go snorkeling.

    Take a nap.

    Take a walk along the beach - and you'll see that CSA is located on the absolute best section of 7 Mile Beach!

    Meet Elvis.

    Slow down and allow yourself to succumb to sand gravity and get on "Island Time."

    Enjoy the vendors (they're just trying to make a living, and will leave you alone with a polite "no thanks" and a smile).

    Don't forget the sunscreen! Apply more than you think you should, and apply OFTEN!

    Try not to overdo too much in the food / alcohol department - just because it's all inclusive, doesn't mean you have to eat / drink it all in one day!

    But do try a taste of everything! You can ask your server for "just a bite" of whatever looks interesting, and they will indeed present you with a bite sized taste on a plate.

    If it rains, sit in the hot tub or go for a dip in the ocean!

    But most of all, enjoy being with your loved one in Paradise!!

  6. #6

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    Congrats on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon! CSA is so beautiful. I definitely overpacked my first time. Follow the tips above for packing and you will be fine. I definitely recommend the catamaran cruise it was so much fun. Also a honeymoon couples massage at the spa would be divine!

    We will be there in May also. Add your name to the May 2014 list and see if you can connect with other couples that will be there at the same time. http://couples.com/mb/meet-up-couple...-2014-a-23560/

    Enjoy!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3

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    Thanks for the suggestions! Keep them coming! I have a CSA note on my ipad and I'm taking notes (even though our trip is over 7 months away lol).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,177

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    Never too early to start planning. Here's the catch, we've done all that and then found that we couldn't do everything. At that point we took some wonderful advice...throw away (delete) the list, relax, do whatever sounds good and enjoy being on "Jamaica Time".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    49

    Default

    We were at CSA in Sept of this year. It was our first trip to the Negril side of the island. Two trips to Ocho (CTI & CSS) and one to Montego Bay (Sandals). My favorite thing about Jamaica is the whole laid back vibe. I have never felt so relaxed............my best memories of our trip are snuggling on our verandah with my love. We had a beach front verandah # 3301 ( I believe) it was tucked away in a corner with lots of flora for privacy but still a view of the beach. I loved the first level because we could enter our room through the verandah doors and hardly ever used our card key or the hallway. I would also suggest a tutorial on the Hobie cats. After you learn the basics, you can take them out on your own. And it is sooooooooo relaxing to be sailing , just the two of you, on the Caribbean Sea. We took part in some group activities. Sunset cruise is a must!! ( we went twice) Yoga on the beach was a wonderful torture. and we met lots of great couples at the swim up bar. But the most important thing to remember is......do what you feel. My hubby played a lot of beach volleyball while I just read on my lounge chair.
    Okay.....my MOST IMPORTANT TIP!!!!!!!!!!
    DEEP WOODS OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got ate up by bugs..sand fleas. No see ems. Whatever they were. By the time you notice......it's too late.........luckily it was on our next to last day, but it was so miserable. I'm talking 100's of incredibly itchy red irritated little bumps. So bad I wore long pants and sleeves on our trip home. Please research and do what you have to do to avoid this. I have been to the Caribbean a dozen times and never had a problem before. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention.

  10. #10

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    I agree with everyone's comments so I will say that the one thing we did the year we were married is have dinner on the beach ! Very romantic especially if you are celebrating your marriage. For us it was well worth it. Enjoy and congratulations.

  11. #11

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    Bugs love me, but I had no problems at CSA in May 2012. At CN in May 2013, I got eaten alive. I would bring the bug spray though. Actually, what I'm doing for next weeks trip to CSS is bring one of thos Off brand insect repellant fans. I HATE going to sleep in bug spray, so that will work much better.

    I also agree with bringing half the clothing you think you will need--especially daywear. For our first trip to CSA, which was 10 nights for our weddingmoon, I brought about 6 pair of shorts and at least that many t-shirts. I didn't wear them even once. I spent all day in a bathingsuit or bathingsuit with a cover-up dress. The only time I wore shorts, was workout shorts and tank tops at the fitness facility. Then I would change into a dress for dinner.

    Do not drink 6 grey goose martinis in an hour on your first night.
    CSA - May 2012
    CN - May 2013
    CSS - October 2013

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    15

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    Hi mmr66! My fiancé and I are also going to CSA from 25th May - 8th June 2014 for our honeymoon. We are both so excited, and after reading the message boards are sure we have made the right choice. We will be staying in an Ocean Verandah Suite.
    This will be our first time to Jamaice/Couples and our first time at an all inclusive. The main reason why we chose couples was the huge choice of activities to keep us entertained, as we are quite outgoing and couldn't spend a full fortnight lying on a beach doing nothing (although the option is there if we need it). Hope you have an amazing time! What dates will you be there?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3

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    We will Be there may 17-24, 2014! We are getting so excited!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    177

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    First off, We want to say congratulations. We hope you have a happy life together.

    You picked a nice spot. CSA was the first Couples Resort we tried. You go there once, you'll usually go there twice. We did. So far we feel the Couples Resorts that we have tried are equal but a little different in their own way.

    There is so much to do both on and off of the resort. Pace yourself.

    You will get a schedule of events when you arrive. Use it to help plan your stay.

    There is an office on the resort where you sign up for the tours. Find this office the first or second day you are there to see what they have to offer and sign up early. One of the down sides of Negril is that many of the off resort excursions take a while to get there. Some are as far away as Ocho Rios, about 3 hours away. But these are still an experience of a lifetime.

    Some of the cool things we did.

    Duns River Falls - Ocho Rios. You literally climb a water falls.

    River Raft tour. Between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Just the two of you and your guide on a bamboo raft down a lazy river.

    Dolphin Cove. Ocho Rios. Kind of expensive but one of the coolest things we ever did. Think of it as a Sea World type dolphin show with you in the water participating. Swimming with the Stingrays was also cool. We didn't try the sharks.

    Horseback Riding. Between Negril and Montego Bay. A horseback ride through the mountains and countryside. The end of the trip was very cool. You take the horse into the ocean for a swim. You are deep enough that the horse is swimming.

    I thought the shopping trips were just OK. We felt like we were herded to certain shops. Lots of the same trinkets over and over.

    Some people say Rick's is cool, but we never went.

    Some of the resort stuff is well worth it.

    The Catamaran Cruise. Sign up for this upon your arrival. Essentially a booze cruise with plenty of Rum Punch and Red Stripe. The catamaran we took had a big slide off the back. We would stop so we could go swimming. Caution. Get wet before taking the slide. You used to be able to do cliff diving, but the owner of the property put a stop to this.

    We like to go snorkeling. We go every chance we get. Sign up at the water sports shack on the beach.

    The glass bottom boat tour is pretty cool. For one thing, they will tell you about a lot of the things you will see when you go snorkeling.

    You will definitely want to to the beach bonfire. Picture this. The two of you, snuggled up in a chair on the beach in a chair by a bonfire, a guitar player playing soft music in the background. Dancing on the beach. Something we look forward to.

    They also offer Scuba Diving and Golf, but we did not take advantage of these activities.

    In addition to what the others told you to bring, don't forget some lip balm. Bring something with the highest SPF rating you can find. More than once we have burned our lips in the sun.

    Bring some smaller bills for tips, 5s and 10s. You will need this for when you go off the resort. You don't need any cash while on the resort including tips. You don't want to get a Couples employee into trouble by offering tips. But if you go off the resort tipping is expected. Your bus driver, your tour guide, etc. It is kind of up to you how much to tip.

    We bring a couple of disposable waterproof cameras for taking pictures while snorkeling, on the beach, etc. This way we don't put our more expensive camera at risk.

    Enjoy your stay in paradise.

    For us, only 97 more days until CTI.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    347

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    This is something my wife and I do every time at Swept Away. Walk into the water and don't turn around. Walk to about chest deep, hold hands, and turn around. You won't believe what you're looking at, and, where you are! Gotta walk all the paths on the property and check out all the plants and flowers. You're there at a great time. Find Seagrapes, have the smoothie of the day and order the fish tacos. If it's not taco day, still try the fish. Walk slow. Walk slower than you normally do, and before you know it, that'll be your new pace, atleast while you are there. Take a couple of deep breaths while you are in the water looking back. Slow in through the nose, and out through the mouth. You picked a place you will never forget!!!

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