My husband and I are headed to CSA for our honeymoon on 2/1. Yay!!! Neither of us have done an AI before. Any suggestions for some newbies? What not to miss? Anything we you learned after your visit that you wish you knew before?
Also, I see tips are not encouraged, but friends who have vacationed elsewhere say they always tip to ensure good service. Thoughts from returning guests? I have no problem tipping for services provided, but don't want to over step if it is not allowed.
Tips are not only discouraged, the employees could be fired for taking a tip. You will get the best service regardless of room, length of stay or anything else. The only tips allowed, are the spa people, they are not couples employees, the catamaran crew and the beach musicians.
We've never tipped( other then spa) and have alway received great service. As smroot posted it could cost them their job. We have seen an employee take a tip only to wink at us as he put it in the trash and tell us $5 isn't worth my job. If you want to reward great service ask them their name and note it on the survey when you check out.
Try any and all soups.
Last edited by redinthehead; January 8th, 2014 at 08:38 PM.
You are not supposed to tip on the resort. I don't think it gives you any preferential treatment while on the resort. Besides, if an employee on the resort gets caught taking a tip, they can get into BIG trouble. I would not want to be responsible for getting someone fired from a good job. However, tipping off of the resort is expected. You tip the person who loads your bags on to the bus at the airport. You tip your bus driver. If any off resort excursions include a tour guide, they get a tip also. Bring plenty of small bills for tips. Usually 5's and 10's.
You may also want to bring some cash for the various vendors who sell items near the beach. On certain days the resort will have a number of vendors near the sidewalk that parallels the beach. Don't be afraid to negotiate. Many will take a reasonable offer for their goods.
Chances are, you will pack too much stuff. We spend about 75% of our time in our swimsuits. Bring more than one swimsuit. They don't dry very well in the damp air. Bring several cover ups. For breakfast and lunch you can wear your swimsuit as long as you wear a cover up and shoes. Your husband needs a shirt and shoes for breakfast and lunch. We don't change into our evening attire until just before dinner.
This may sound a little obvious but take a shower after you are done on the beach. On our very first full day at CSA we didn't do this. We had a wonderful evening and had a little too much to drink. When we woke up in the morning our bed was full of beach sand.
In the evening I generally wear some nice dress shorts and a light shirt with a collar. My wife will either wear a dress or shorts and a blouse. The only time you need to dress better is if you go to one of the special restaurants like Feathers or Lemongrass. You need to dress up a little more for these restaurants. You will also need reservations for these two restaurants. Get these reservations soon after you check in.
CSA is a somewhat large resort. You may want to take the orientation walk on the morning of your first full day to get the layout of the resort.
The last time we were at CSA, they had a bulletin board near the entrance of the Palms restaurant. They will post the daily activities on this bulletin board. Check this at least once a day.
Use lots of sunscreen. We also get some lip balm with as high of SPF rating as we can find and use it often. It stinks to get your lips sunburned while on vacation.
CSA has some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. A great photo opportunity. Make sure you use a flash for these photos. Otherwise you get a beautiful sunset but the people are only a dark shadow. If you see others on the beach at sunset time with a camera, offer to take their picture. Use the flash and explain why.
Pace yourself. You will have the opportunity to have some amazing drinks relatively early in the day. You don't want to become too drunk early in the day and spend the rest of the day sleeping it off.
We like to do the snorkeling as much as possible. Space is limited and you must sign up for this. Get on the list at the water sports shack on the beach.
The Catamaran Cruise is a blast. A nice booze cruise. You must also make reservations for this as space is limited.
Finally, remember that you will be on Jamaica time. Things happen a little more slowly on Jamaica time. Have patience. Relax. There is no need to be in any hurry. Embrace and enjoy the experience.
Something happens when you visit any of the Couples resorts. If you go there once, chances are you will go again and again and again... This kind of says something about Couples. They have LOTS of repeat visitors. We keep an ongoing vacation fund where we put all of our spare money so we can return.
Enjoy your trip to paradise.
Only 39 more days until we return to CTI. Getting a little closer every day.
Props1976, congrats! we are headed back in 99 days(whoo hoo)!! for our vow renewal and 6th trip. We also got married there. Its our favorite place on earth If you'd care for a few pics , email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great trip
There are several long threads here on things not to miss at CSA and hidden secrets of CSA. Seek them out and you will find a wealth of information. The simple answer to all of your questions is to remember that Couples is a TRUE all-inclusive resort. Except for the spa, everything is included. You are going to have an amazing time.
Ricky Ginsburg Boca Raton, Florida
(just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)
We did the dinner on the beach for our honeymoon. Very romantic ! There were no sand fleas, the food was fantastic and our server was very personable. He would serve the food, answer any questions we might have, impart some information about Jamaica and then go sit out of the way so my husband and I could enjoy our time together until it was time for the next course. Loved it !!!
Two years ago we were there for the Superbowl. It's fun watching them set everything up on the beach and then they have pre-game fun to enjoy. My husband did the football toss and I did the obstacle course..........what a riot. They do a wonderful job !!!!!