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December 21st, 2013, 10:27 AM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
Our review of CSA- this side of heaven.....Long....
Well our trip to CSA has come and went and we are now back in snowy, cold Michigan....sighhhh. I will break up review in sections for easier reading.
Arrival/departure at Airport: We gambled and didn't use Club Mobay and it worked for us. There were about 75-100 people in line for immigration. It went really fast and we got through in 10min. Next to baggage pickup. We didn't find out bags on the conveyor it was suppose to be it- we found it on another. I noticed Club Mobay person with customer waiting and not finding her bags. I walked over and told them to check the other conveyor and Voila' there they were..To Customs- went fast as well, maybe 5 min. Then to Couples Lounge where we had time for a drink and one for the road- left in 15min for CSA.
Departure was quick and I am so appreciative of the help from Delta folks for helping us scan our passports and move us through the lines, etc. Great customer service. The line moved fast and had plenty of time to shop at duty free shops before our flight.
The road to CSA was beautiful and sad simultaneously...saw goats, unfinished houses, poverty, beautiful lakes, mountains, etc. Trip was about 1 hour, 20min. Our driver was friendly and informative. We were greeted with Champagne and cold cloth. When checking in, wish it was more private- we overheard couple next to us having their card declined which would be embarrassing. But CSA representative just said no problem, just give us cash deposit of your choosing (they gave 100.00) and told them they would have to make additional deposit if they went over that amount. Handled very professionally and they work with folks if CC is declined or no credit card, they will take cash FYI.
Escorted to our room, when I walked through it to the balcony and the view- I cried, it was "the other side of heaven". I had put in comments when registering online what we would like and understood that if not, it was ok. We got the room we requested. Corner room, 3rd floor, room 4313, building 12, Ocean Verandah. We truly did have a Ocean view. I will forever remember our mornings and evenings on our Verandah.
There was one night where I was woke up by "partying folks". I had heard a woman scream several times- I got up and walked down to the Patois area and was stopped by a male employee who asked if everything was ok My lady ( I love how they say that- blush). I explained what I heard and told him I realize now that it was a pre-wedding party going on in Patois and that is what I heard from my room. I went back to room and then, no more sounds of partying. I suspect the employee went and said something to Patois folks. Building 12 is right next to Patois and swim up bar, just FYI so you might hear partying going on.
That first night in our room, I heard the tree toads singing all night and didn't sleep very well. After that, I got use to it and was able to drown them out. I am a light sleeper and tend to hear everything....
The beach was amazing. We didn't go out and 'save our chairs' like many folks did- we tended to stay in the back in the shade and sunned ourselves using the floats in the water. Smokers were very few and between- the ones I did see stayed in the back away from folks. They had a table with ashtray next to them, letting folks know, hey were smokers so if you sit by us, don't complain type of thing. We saw several sting ray float on by and husband found two star fish a baby and an adult.
Activites: We had Omar, master sailor take us out on a hobie cat- that was wonderful and he explained about Bloody Bay, Captain Morgan, showed us where Issa brothers live, etc. Glad we had someone take us out that day it was a bit windy and I know we would have tipped the hobie for sure having never been on before.....He showed us a Island where folks go to party....he also showed us a place where you can get lobster from the local folks if we wanted, he was willing to take us there another day. We never did do that....We did the Catamaran cruise and that was great, we had a fun group on board...and there was lots of kissing going on with a group there for a wedding...We were having so much more fun then the Wild thing party boat from Hedonism. They all looked bored as we passed them....guess that Hedonism isn't all that eh <smirk>. We did the Love Pub Crawl which was amazingly fun...went to many places up in Negril in the Cliffs. We stopped at caves place for incredible views of the Cliffs, caves, other resorts there, etc. One place we stopped there was kids there selling their bracelets...it broke our hearts, we bought some of their bracelets but more and more kids came begging, please My lady, but from me. I had to have several beers after that heart breaking experience. Should we ever go back I will bring school supplies or toys....lastly, the Glass bottom boat. Oliver was our Captain and quite the comedian, he made this so much fun....didn't realize that they want Lionfish caught and killed as they are deadly predator to other fish.
Bathroom Issue: Yes, no slant in the shower to allow water to drain fast enough. We put heavy bath mat down and they stopped the water from flowing into bedroom. The glass wall should be wider, it's too narrow. I loved the shampoo/conditioner and body wash they supply. The rain shower head was great...The pics posted here are exactly how it looks. The toilet paper roll is placed in bad place, tight next to toilet and paper falls down on to floor- and even rolled out into bedroom...I had to rescue husband one time and fetch the paper that rolled into bedroom <eeee gads LOL>. Lightening not the best for make up, but they do have a makeup mirror and light attached to the wall that helped.
Noseeums/ Mosquitos. Never had a problem, no bites at all. Never used our bug spray, no need for us. But we didn't walk the beach at night. I did see ants, red ones in the sand but just kept my feet up off the sand. No problem.
Beach bars/swim up bar: We loved the Bamboo bar and met a wonderful worker named Trishanna- she always had a smile on her face and was very attentive to everyone. The other bars were ok....didn't find them as friendly especially swim up bar. We went there twice. The first time I asked one of the workers what should I order, this was our first time and she shoved a menu in front of me and walked off. Second time, no conversation just gave us our drinks. Never went back there. Same thing with Martini Bar- we must have hit them on bad nights. Twice we went to Martini and workers served us and then went back to their conversations with each other. The swim up bar is really small and the pool area as well. You can only get about 4 floaties in the pool before it becomes crowded. Nice hot tub there though....
Hot Tub Center area: I wish CSA would turn down the temperature, ourselves and few other couples talked about how scalding the water temp is in that hot tub....
Security was awesome: I bought a bracelet and security was right there making sure we weren't be harassed to buy something, etc. The Vendors pretty much stayed at water line but on a few occasions some did approach loungers when security wasn't there. We left the resort and walked down the Vendor way--security took our names and room numbers checked us out and in. That was a nice walk...vendors were nice and respectful when you said no thanks.....There was a Jamaican couple walking the beach at CSA, gal was young and in a tiny bikini, very pretty. Husband was walking to water and stopped to talk to them...he told me when he got back that he must be getting old- that he didn't realize what was being offered at first but then caught on- his ego had a big lift that day thinking this gal thought he was a handsome stud and she wanted to spend time with him...we talked to security and they were all over it-and told those folks to go to Hedonism to sell their wares. Kudos to great security handling!
Food: Was awesome with so many choices. I loved the soups, the entree's, the appetizers and tried many new things. I did take a bite of jerk chicken and found it too spicy for me. Husband ate it for lunch and then had indigestion later in the day- and he loves hot and spicy food. We did order their pizza, shrimp pizza was amazing. We ordered a pizza after dinner to take up to our room for a late night snack. FYI you can do this- it was no problem mon....
Feathers/Palms/Patois: Feathers was good- service was great. There was an incident there with a fellow from Quebec. He was irate at his table and told the waitress she had insulted him and his friend. Long story short his friend was not dressed right and was told so- this was offensive to the Quebec fellow. Finally the other gent came in with proper shirt and then they got special attention after that with wine, service, etc. At Patois for breakfast two mornings in a row, gal forgot to bring us our potatoes...then one night, gal couldn't remember what we ordered and that took a long time, like an hour or so to finally get our meal. Other times were great service. Palms was great, omelletes awesome. One night for dinner, fellow had a sleeveless Tee on and manager told him he had to have sleeve shirt. They left and came back. I understand their policy but I found the women were allowed to wear bathing suit T's,halter tops, sleeveless tanks, short shorts, yoga attire, etc for dinner. I found this more "unclassy attire" for dinner then men wearing sleeveless T's. Just seems a bit unequal for men's attire then women.
We met quite a few folks from the board at CSA: Lincolnbunny and his wife, Jenn, Driverlady, tennisplayers from California- and few others that were on the plane down to CSA. Great folks who made our time down in CSA so wonderful and memorable.
Last day: This was hard for me- knowing it was ending and we had to go back to reality- but I longed for home on this day, perhaps my way of handling saying Goodbye to CSA....I also felt that you can only do so much laying on the beach and floating in the water, drinking, etc. I wanted to get back to my home and family. I know this is probably odd, but when something is near the end, this is how I feel....I read my book on the beach and found that consoling.....then we spent the evening on our balcony and again got up real early to enjoy the amazing morning view and drink the delicious coffee...
We did meet a couple who was spending two weeks at Couples first week at CN and second at CSA. They were irate at CSA, said they had 3 different rooms before they were happy. The regretted time at CSA and will not come back. Having never been to CN, not sure why this was better for them then CSA...but CSA for us was great.
Tips: should you find the need to buy cigarettes or other items there is a mini mart across the street near the gift shop, photograph area....Hubby and I are not big smokers and usually just smoke on vacation but we did bring a few packs with us to enjoy with our drinks and we ran out...and they carried the brand we like. We didn't see many smokers out and about and the ones we did stayed back from folks- thought everyone was respectful to non-smokers. Just my observation from our stay.
One thing I did notice that many folks were not on their balconies at various times of morning, afternoon and evening. I know folks here have said they didn't use it because of the smell of smokers, etc. I didn't see hardly anyone out on the balconies from our side- where we had the view of four buildings. Just found this odd....We spent lot of time on our balcony as we can't take all day sun and went to our room to recoup from the heat and sun....we retired to balcony in early afternoon and we were up late on balcony and up early in the morning, like 5-6am daily...Just surprised the balconies were not used more where we were....
I imagine we will come back to Jamaica and Couples at some point. We do have many more places to go one being Nova Scotia...I doubt that we will be the type to come back every year for next 20 years like some folks. Nothing against Couples it's just we went to see and experience other places.....We did love the Cliffs area and would like to spend a couple days there at some point and then make our way back to Couples...perhaps try CN next time. This was a trip to the other side of heaven and we will always remember the friendliness, the respect, the welcoming feel that CSA gave to us....Until we meet again...Goodbye...to CSA's side of heaven....
Last edited by Ironbutterfly; December 23rd, 2013 at 03:28 PM.
December 22nd, 2013, 08:18 AM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
Great review, Butterfly!! Glad you all had such an awesome stay!
December 27th, 2013, 01:22 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
After experiencing a few years of financial hardship, I cried like a baby when I first set foot on CSA grounds and then again when I got to the beautiful beach. I will never forget Tamara hugging me and telling me, "Look Girl, you made it!" She, along with many others, gave us an experience of a lifetime! CSA has become our other side of heaven as well!! I can't wait to return to the place where I let go of years of worry and strife...288 days until we return to our new home away from home!