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Thread: CSA Review
November 25th, 2013, 10:47 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
Let me start off by saying I have put off writing this review for 2 months now because I was waiting for the right
time to write it. Now that we are pretty sure we will be able to take another trip to Jamaica next year for our 1 year
anniversary we are having SEVERE withdrawals!!!
We flew out on the 6 am flight on Wednesday September 11th and landed in Jamaica sometime in the afternoon (I cant
remember exactly I was just SO excited to be out of the airplane) we made it through customs & immigration in about 2
minutes, no line what so ever. Everyone in the airport was super nice. We found the Couples lounge easily and waited
with our Red Stripe for about 10 minutes before they started leading us to the buses! One suggestion I have for this part
of your trip....if you want to sit by your S.O. get to the front of the pack! We didnt get to sit by each other and it was
a terribly boring ride. We stopped halfway for a potty/beer break and got to the resort in about 2 hours. Have your camera
ready the ride is beautiful!
Once we got to the resort my hubby stayed to claim our bags while I went to the desk and started getting paperwork out of
the way..yay for teamwork we were one of the first to head to our room!! The young man who took our bags for us was really nice
as was all of the staff we had dealt with thus far. Our room was AMAZING we picked the premiere beachfront mainly because it was
our weddingmoon and we wanted only the best although I have to say it was a bit overkill for a simple vacation we would have been
just fine in ANY of the other rooms we saw. The mini bar was stocked with our requests from our pre check in (including water
bottles which I was most excited about because I had read they wouldnt stock water).
Now the best part, the actual vacation. Once we got settled in our room we went straight to the beach for a quick swim. Ahhhh how
I miss that beautiful place. The water was the perfect temperature and there may have been 6 or 7 other couples in the water at this
point. The water was so calm and crystal clear. We havent traveled much, both of us have been to cancun and I have been to Florida a few times but we still couldnt get over how beautiful the ocean was. After our quick swim we headed to the Cabanna Grill. My husband is a very picky eater due to a weak stomach so he wanted to ease into the Jamaican food. We started with the jerk chicken and never looked back! Throughout our stay we ate at all of the restraunts except lemongrass (neither of us care for thai). The Palms was our breakfast spot mostly for the omlets (yuuummmyyy!!!), usually followed by Seagrapes as soon as they opened (fish tacos and hummus with a fresh fruit smoothie (mmmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmm) and of course a stop at the Grill halfway through the afternoon and finishing up either at the palms or patois. We dined at Feathers one night and it was delicious as well, we are big eaters though and enjoyed the variety at the palms and patois a little more. We arent huge drinkers but
enjoyed the Red stripe and mixed drinks from the beach bar.
The only thing I regret from our whole trip was not being Scuba certified beforehand. My husband wanted to dive but I was apprehensive because I didnt think I would enjoy it. Big Mistake. He got certified before our trip so I cant really comment on the dive class but I can say that after watching a few people taking the class while we ate at the palms or laid out by the pool, they do a really good job. He went out on one dive because he felt bad leaving me... by myself...on the beach (sheesh I wasnt complaining ) Anyways, it was his first dive out without someone "holding his hand" so he was pretty nervous. Once
they got out to the spot they jumped in and went down about 60 feet. He took alot of pictures with our underwater camera (a MUST HAVE, very glad we bought it, will never go on another trip with out etc. etc.). They saw a group of dolphins and a 6ft eagle ray of course he forgot how to use the camera because he was so excited, I still dont know if I believe that story I think he talked everyone on the boat into saying they saw them to prove how silly I was in not being Scuba certified! After hearing how awesome his dive was I of course am getting certified before we return! We went on two snorkeling trips one to "Cuba" and one to "Bahamas". Our guides were excellent and both sites were VERY active. We saw a few smaller rays and some different types of fish and way off in the distance we saw a pretty big ray take off as soon as we got in the water. We also took out a Kayak which was really cool to just head out into the ocean. While we were out on the kayak we saw tons of huge starfish and a pretty big barracuda!
On Saturday we got married (awwww). I would not have had my wedding any other way. Thursday we met with the cooridinator and went over the final details which wasnt much. We went with the One love wedding and paid for our 3 guests to take part in the cake and champagne. I got my hair and make up done at the salon and was thrilled with the results! I was a little worried because one of our guests was our 3 year old daughter. I had asked on the board before if anyone had mini guests at their wedding and actually was disappointed with how rude some people were about the situation. I understand its a "couples" resort but having my baby there was most important and I am glad I went with my gut and just had her there. It helped that she behaved very well
but the staff was very good with her. We were able to have some pictures done with our guests and then on our own while she and our other two guests went back to our rooms to wait for us. Keithton did our pictures and i HIGHLY recommend him! He was amazing and made the experice very enjoyable even though i was stuffed in a hot dress with a corset and spanx on (TMI i know but it would have been miserable had it not been for Keithton keeping my mind off of it!) The photoshoot was around an hour and we
ended up with about 350 pictures that I have yet to get printed because I cant pick which ones are my favorite!
After our wedding we went to Ricks cafe and another resort to spend the rest of the day with our guests. We went to Ricks for dinner so we were able to witness the most stunning sunset. The food was a little over priced but it was worth it for the cliff divers, sunset, and live music! Sunday we took the Black River/ YS Falls tour. We left the lobby about 8 a.m. and got to Black River around 10:15. It was about a 5 minuite wait before we got on the boat with other people from other resorts who were not nearly as friendly as the beautiful Jamaican people again if you like your S.O. at that point in your trip try to be one of the first on the boat, we were able to sit by each other but some people were not as lucky as us. The tour itsself was outstanding. Our guide was hilarious, he had lots of stories to tell and was great with the crocodiles. There were probably 6 or 7 different crocs that actually swam up to the boat. Lunch was not that great no offense to the cooks at Black River just not something we enjoyed I was glad we packed snacks for the day. I cant remember what time we left Black River it seems like it may have been close to 1 maybe but the drive to YS Falls wasnt bad at all. If you dont enjoy Black River the views at YS makes up for the entire trip....the waterfalls are absolutely stunning. However, it rained a little every day we were in Jamaica and according to the guides the water was really ugly compared to normal. The tour guides pretty much just roam around the bottom of the waterfall and if they notice you look lost theyll grab your hand and start showing you around. BRING CASH TO TIP. These guys are very good guides and its totally worth letting them show you around the waterfall. Ours took us all the way up as high as we could go and on the way down showed us where we could jump in, took my husband to the rope swing and led me into the middle of the waterfall where I could get a picture of him jumping in, then he took us both to different parts of the waterfall and took pictures of us together. He knew where all the drop offs were and the big rocks so he was able to show us where to step so that we didnt get hurt. Again, take cash and tip them it is well worth it. After our tour we headed to the mineral pools which were much warmer than the waterfall and hung out until it was time to go. Overall I would say the tour is really good however I wouldnt do it again simply because its an ALL DAY affair and by the time we got back to the resort we were exhausted, the sun was setting and we just wanted to eat and lay down for a nap.
Overall we have no complaints that would make us say anything bad about Jamaica or Couples resorts. The staff was increadibly friendly, our room was cleaned every day, we had turndown service every night, our mini bar stayed stocked, the beach was beautiful and clean and not busy at all, the food was outstanding, and our wedding was perfect! I made my husband swear that if we could swing it financially we were coming back next year or I wasnt getting on the airplane to come home! I have thought
about Jamaica every day since the day we left, I even almost cried on the plane on the way home. Jamaica is truly a beautiful place, we did not meet one person who had anything less than a smile on their face. If you are having second thoughts about planning a vacation here dont, I dont know that I could talk myself into going anywhere else after our trip here.
Ive seen alot of posts about what to pack so I thought I would also review our suitcases for you. I am one who wants to make sure I have one of everything for a trip because you never know what situation you might run into. I read all 20 pages of the "I wish I would have thought of that" thread and wrote a list off of that of what I thought we may need. I packed an entire first aid kit and then some haha. We ended up using pretty much nothing out of it. I would absolutely recommend the otc meds like advil, immodium, tums, ect (the basics) because they are way over priced compared to what we are used to. We used 2 bottles of spray sunscreen and 1/2 of a bottle of regular cream sunscreen for our faces, I packed 5, definately overkill. We also did not touch our bug spray but I wish we would have when we did our sunset pictures but I only got a few bites and once we were back in the room I didnt even notice them and we both get ate alive by mosquitos here at home so I will definately be taking some again. We took a small bottle of aloe and it was plenty we didnt get burnt at all. I thought I might read while we were so I took my ipad...I only used it at night while my husband slept and I was wide awake. I took 3 summer dresses 1 nice dress 6 bathing suits 2 pairs of flip flops 1 pair of nice flip flops 1 pair of water shoes 1 pair of shorts 3 cover ups and 2 tshirts. Next time I will take probably 2 more summer dresses 3 more cover ups and a few more tshirts. My cover ups never dried over night and most of my bathing suits didn't dry either. I was really glad I brought several bathing suits. My husband took 2 pairs of linen shorts 2 button up shirts 1 pair of linen pants a few tshirts 4 swim trunks water shoes and flip flops. He also wants more tshirts and shorts. The hair dryer wasnt very powerful but it was enough for me and my hair is really long and thick honestly it was too humid to dry your hair, I left mine either in a bun or let it air dry the whole trip.
I've attached a link to our shutterfly album of our trip if anyone is interested. I included pictures of our room, our wedding, and our excursions! Enjoy!!
November 26th, 2013, 06:55 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Beautiful wedding pictures! LOVE your dress and flowers! I"m so glad you weren't deterred from including your daughter in your day. Pictures and memories to last forever!
Thanks for taking the time to post your review, not only were there some good tips on there for first timers, but your enthusiasm reminded me of my first time to Swept Away. Hope you get back soon!
November 26th, 2013, 10:09 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
Congrats, and welcome to the Couplesaholics. Regularly scheduled return trips are a required part of membership and falling off the wagon is totally encouraged. Glad you had a great time and wedding, sounds to me like you handled the wee one perfectly and no one was put off by it. Some people just don't get it I think. Nice review of a great resort. Is good Mon!
November 26th, 2013, 12:44 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Great review and pictures. Your daughter is adorable!
November 26th, 2013, 02:41 PM #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
Congratulations! Your wedding looked wonderful...full of love...for the 3 of you! Hope you get back to CSA soon.
November 28th, 2013, 09:57 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
Thanks everyone :-)