Arrived at the airport at 12:15 pm. Cleared immigration and customs very quickly, grabbed a beer at the Couples Lounge and our shuttle was already rolling by 1:15. Reached CSA by about 2:30 and checked in immediately. Our room was a premier beachfront, 1128, but since it wasn't quite ready we grabbed some food at Sea Grape and immediately saw a staff member we knew. Checked back and the room was ready. All our vouchers, Romance Rewards stuff, was ready. We'd been in our room less than 15 minutes when the minibar was stocked, exactly according to our pre-checkin instructions. That became a common theme during the week.....CSA efficiently delivered on promises. Our room was really great....if someone said you can have it every visit, I'd take them up on that deal. Every thing worked, the plumbing, all the lights, fans, room safe, air conditioning, all of that. The shower produced ample hot water, no matter when we wanted to use it. The minibar was restocked, correctly, each day. The grounds and beach were well-kept, as was the room. We were there for 8 days and we really didn't have a problem with anything, which is really commendable. We've been coming to Jamaica since 1988 and I can't think of very many times I've been able to say that.
We've always liked the staff here, but they seemed more friendly and cheerful than even last year. Maybe they all just got a raise? Even at Palms, which in the past seemed to be the one place where staff appeared a little more taciturn and stressed was much better in that regard. Things also seemed to run more smoothly at Palms than in previous visits. We enjoyed Feathers as always, and liked our meal at Lemongrass better this year than last. We liked the food choices for lunch at Sea Grape, and there too, it seemed like the service was faster and more attentive than in previous years. The Red Stripe self-service tap even worked well every time, a first. I think relocating the ice cream machine was a good move and improved traffic flow.
One impression we had was that it seemed security on the beach was much more visible. I appreciate the security folks, but my feedback is that they're right near the border of where the security presence can become oppressive. For whatever reason, I noticed them and the accompanying radio traffic much more this year than ever before.
On a related note, I didn't miss the jet ski operators at all.
Departure went smoothly. With the vouchers, we spent on what we wanted and at the end, we owed $18. Pretty sweet.
Bottom line, we had a very nice experience, and I felt like we'd made easily the right choice by making it CSA again.
Irie, funny that you mentioned the self serve tap at Seagrapes. I don't think I've ever seen it on here before, but it sure will be nice to actually get a glass of beer, instead of a glass of FOAM!!
You can still get a glass of foam. I figured out how to avoid it. Just have the tap opening as far inside your glass as possible. Initially it foams a bit but stops as soon as the beer level reaches the tap opening. Then it's all beer, my friend!