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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,299

    Default Returned from CSA 2/5 - answers to recent questions from MB

    We returned last night after our 8th trip to CSA, 9th to Couples. We stayed from 1/25 - 2/5 in room 4224 (last BFVS building before the Greathouse. Instead of writing a review, I thought I would reply to some of the recent questions/concerns I have seen on the MB and Trip Advisor.

    Renovated bathrooms - not in our room. We still had the tub/shower combo which was OK with me. I did not hear any other guests complaining about the new zero entry showers, but then again, I didn't really ask about it. It is amazing that the two light bulbs in the bathroom have no cover and are just bare CFL bulbs. I don't think I had noticed that before, so I can't say it's a big deal, but I was trying to get a feel for whether or not the bathroom lighting was inadequate since many on the MB had mentioned it. For me, the light was sufficient, but I also don't wear makeup on vacation.

    Buffet nights at Palms - to our surprise, at least when we stayed there, they had four buffet nights. Sunday was Meditteranean night, Monday was the International Buffet, Wednesday was Italian night, and Friday is the beach party. We did not eat at Palms for any of the dinner buffets so I can't comment on quality.

    Jet Skis and roped off area - CSA has taken the initiative and strung out a second rope line beyond the original roped off swimming area. We really did feel a lot safer with this buffer zone. However, as others have noted, jet skis disappeared from the area shortly after our stay began due to the jet ski accident.

    Paddle boards - plenty of stand up paddle boards. A friend of ours used one and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Chairs and chair saving - there were SO MANY CHAIRS. Although in the past we have been known to save a chair or two, we only did so once on this trip. And that was when our friends came over on a trading places pass and we needed four chairs. On most days, we would not actually get to the beach until noon (we spend a couple of hours at the fitness center in the morning and then do the 11:00 snorkel trip). We never, ever had a problem finding chairs. And since we had a BFVS room, I saw many empty palapas and shade sails even late in the morning.

    Wine - the wine in our mini bar was an Italian brand called "Tavernello". We drank the vino rosso and it was certainly OK. Both Lemongrass and Feathers offered a choice of chardonnay or sauvignon blanc for white wines. We did not drink much red wine besides what was in our mini bar. We just find white wine more refreshing in the heat.

    Loud music at night on the beach - we like to sleep with our verandah doors open at night. I would say on 9 of the 11 nights, music could be heard from way down the beach until at least 1:30 in the morning. Nothing CSA can do about this. Since I love listening to the waves, the music was a slight distraction.

    Number of entrees offered - a couple of reviewers have said only three entrees were offered on the ala carte menus. Perhaps this is true during some times of the year. But when we were there, at least five entrees were offered for dinner at every restaurant (we ate at every restaurant for dinner: Palms 3 times, Patois 3 times, Lemongrass and Feathers twice each). For Lobster night, the Palms offered Lobster, chicken, steak, vegetarian dish, and pork chops (not to mention the pasta bar). Patois had the same number of entrees, and that doesn't even count the pizzas. Same with Feathers (which also had several specials, including lion fish and steak to add to the five entrees).

    Private cruise offered through CSA - we loved this so much the first time, we booked it for a second time with our friends who came over on the trading places. The first time we got the dive boat. They provided beer, champagne, water, soda, sandwiches, fruit, and cheese. They asked us where we wanted to go. We ended up going towards the cliffs and snorkeling in the caves. If you have your own snorkel equipment bring it; otherwise, you are allowed to use the gear from the Watersports team. A member of the watersports team goes with you on the cruise along with the Captain. The second cruise we had the small catamaran. Again they asked us where we wanted to go. We went way out past the light house on this trip (the weather was better) and snorkeled the caves again. You can use the resort credit to pay for these. Thank you Ricardo, Julian, and Dermond.

    Weather - Captain Oliver from watersports is blaming the Polar Vortex, but I have to admit I've never seen it rain that much during the dry season. It rained every day but one, always in the afternoon. Most mornings were beautiful and sunny. But it rained buckets and buckets on several afternoons for several hours. Of course, who knows how long this weather pattern will continue. And there's nothing like sitting in the jacuzzi in the rain. Certainly didn't bother us. Lots of rain = lots of mosquitos. I covered myself in Off every evening and still got bitten, though (as usual, I got bit A LOT; Bob got maybe one bite).

    Feathers dress code - we saw one guy asked to leave who came in with a collared shirt and dress shorts. They certainly are enforcing the dress code. He did return wearing slacks. Guys can and do wear dress shorts at Lemongrass.

    Smoking - there were small "no smoking" signs posted at all the bars. There was an ashtray with matches on the table on our verandah, so it was pretty clear that you could smoke on your verandah. As long as the area wasn't under roof, you could smoke. I did, sadly, personally witness many smokers putting their butts out in the sand and leaving them there. Not nice. There were way too many cigarette butts in the sand.

    Club Mobay - we booked the full package - $160 for arrival and departure. This was our first time arriving on a Saturday, and I was simply afraid of the amount of people that might be in immigration. To be honest, the Club Mobay line for immigration was probably LONGER than the other immigration line since our plane was the only one that deplaned around 12:30. However, we spoke to people who got there around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and they said the wait at immigration was over 2 hours. It certainly gave me peace of mind knowing that I didn't have to worry about waiting at immigration when we got there. And I've always wanted to see my name on a paddleboard at the airport. The Club Mobay departure lounge was very nice, although exceptionally crowded when we were there yesterday as there were numerous delayed flights from the east coast storm. They didn't make any money on us, since I think we managed to snork down several complimentary beers and rum punches.

    Timair - we did Timair round trip. It does not save a lot of time, but the flight is beautiful and Captain Frazier (who someone said is the owner of Timair) was very good. We didn't leave the resort until 12:45 for our 3:25 flight on USAirways, so that gave us time to enjoy our last morning on the resort thoroughly.

    Reservation Restaurants - I have seen many complaints on Trip Advisor about it being impossible to get a reservation at Lemongrass or Feathers. I simply don't get it. After we checked in on Saturday, we went to the concierge and booked Lemongrass for 6:30 on Monday, and Feathers for 6:30 on Tuesday (our preferred times). Just a reminder that you can book either of these restaurants up to three days in advance. You can't book another reservation at Feathers or Lemongrass if you have an existing reservation. I did witness several people walk up to the concierge late in the morning and ask for reservations that same evening at both Lemongrass and Feathers. In one case, the 8:30 seating was available. But to say it's impossible to get reservations is simply not true. I don't know what the people who say that are smoking.

    Couples Lounge operating hourse - I can now officially confirm 24/7 because we ran into a couple from Auburn, Alabama whose flight was delayed due to the southern ice storm last week. Their flight did not arrive into Mobay until 2:00 a.m. They actually OPENED immigration and customs for them. The Couples lounge at the airport was ready and waiting for them. They were thrilled.

    Service - we ate 34 meals at CSA on this trip. We had ONE meal that had a problem. And it wasn't even the entire meal. The salad, soup, and appetizer were all served promptly. But the entree came over 1/2 hour after the salad. Our server and the manager both apologized. Apparently, the chef was having trouble with the chicken. Whatever that means. Then when it did arrive, the chicken was not very good (think Lean Cuisine). I only bring this up to point out that yes, a bad meal can happen. But our overwhelming experience was positive. Drinks were refilled quickly, service was prompt, the food was almost always delicious. I loved trying new things on the menu (Lion Fish yum!). There were plenty of old favorites, but also lots of new choices. The tuna wrap at Sea Grape was delicious.

    Spa - love that buddha pool. We got the complimentary couples massage and upgraded to 50 minutes (it was $110 to upgrade for both of us). Bob was so relaxed that he fell asleep. And this from a man who claims not to like massages. I also had a facial which was very nice.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. We also used the fitness center every day, but I haven't seen any questions about the fitness center, so if you do have any questions let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    338

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    Great review

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Thanks for all the updates!! So disappointed to read about people putting out their cigs in the sand. I hate that!! So glad you had another great trip

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    I should have added this photo showing the view from our room to the reivew.Name:  CSA 2014 view from 4224.jpg
Views: 1452
Size:  296.0 KB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    16

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    Thanks for the great review!

  6. #6

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    Thanks so much. Looking forward to returning the end of the month. I was wondering about the buffet nights at the Palms as
    not a big buffet lover.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    366

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobandJudy View Post
    Couples Lounge operating hourse - I can now officially confirm 24/7 because we ran into a couple from Auburn, Alabama whose flight was delayed due to the southern ice storm last week. Their flight did not arrive into Mobay until 2:00 a.m. They actually OPENED immigration and customs for them. The Couples lounge at the airport was ready and waiting for them. They were thrilled.
    Boy, if that doesn't sum up the Couples experience.........

    Great write up. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    9

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    Very helpful, thanks for writing up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    788

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    How big is the beach?

    Nice review.

    Life is good

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17

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    I had a question about the Club Mobay. We are headed there in less then 2weeks and we booked both arrival and departure. When would you head to the couples lounge to let them know you've arrived? And my next question would be for departures when would you make your way to the lounge? As soon as you get dropped off?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimpat1 View Post
    Boy, if that doesn't sum up the Couples experience.........

    Great write up. Thanks!
    That was a lot of great info for our May trip. It will be our first to Couples and Negril. I think you hit on everything !

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    612

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    Thank you so much for the awesome review! We currently live too far from Jamaica to visit CSA (our favorite vacation spot in the world), and the beaches where we live now more often than not have trash in the water and polluted beaches….so it's always nice to read an in depth review and remember our wonderful times in Jamaica.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    2

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    What is the "complimentary couples massage" mentioned?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    242

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    i apologize if this is a repeat post. I attempted to respond earlier on my phone and typing too fast i must have hit the post button.

    Anyway, first, thank you for the great review. Excellent to hear from a repeaters view!

    Second, I am so excited to hear we can use resort credits for private cruise. We met someone last year who told us you couldn't, so we didn't pursue. We will look into this in April. How much did it cost? Where do you book this?

    Lastly, Tim Air...we are thinking of trying this for first time. What is wait time from getting to couples lounge to actual take off?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    64

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobandJudy View Post
    Private cruise offered through CSA - we loved this so much the first time, we booked it for a second time with our friends who came over on the trading places. The first time we got the dive boat. They provided beer, champagne, water, soda, sandwiches, fruit, and cheese. They asked us where we wanted to go. We ended up going towards the cliffs and snorkeling in the caves. If you have your own snorkel equipment bring it; otherwise, you are allowed to use the gear from the Watersports team. A member of the watersports team goes with you on the cruise along with the Captain. The second cruise we had the small catamaran. Again they asked us where we wanted to go. We went way out past the light house on this trip (the weather was better) and snorkeled the caves again. You can use the resort credit to pay for these. Thank you Ricardo, Julian, and Dermond.
    How much does the private cruise cost?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

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    When you arrive at Club Mobay do you have to check in at the Couples lounge or do they do it for you?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonegril View Post
    Thank you so much for the awesome review! We currently live too far from Jamaica to visit CSA (our favorite vacation spot in the world), and the beaches where we live now more often than not have trash in the water and polluted beaches….so it's always nice to read an in depth review and remember our wonderful times in Jamaica.
    Where do you live that you can't fly to Jamaica? Wherever it is, i would move!
    Is this Love that I'm feelin'?

    CSS March 2013, April/May 2014
    CN April 2014

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,299

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    Thank you for all of the kind words.

    As far as Club Mobay, on arrival they meet you on the ramp heading into immigration. After you clear immigration and customs, they take you to the Couples Lounge (which is right next to the Club Mobay lounge) where we checked in. We went next door to the Club Mobay lounge because they had complimentary rum punch (Couples only has beer, water, and soda). On return to the airport, the Club Mobay lounge is located in the gate area (near Gate 9). They will give you a ticket to enter Club Mobay. So after being dropped off at the airport, we had to check in with our airline, go through the metal detectors, and then head to the lounge.

    The complimentary couples massage is a 1/2 hour massage given to Romance Rewards members at the Passionate Love level.

    The private cruise was $300 for up to 4 people; $75 per person after that. So it was the same price when just the two of us went and when our friends went with us. We did get two different resort credits - one for being Passionate Love level and one for an early booking promotion, so it is possible that one type of resort credit is not valid for the cruise. We booked the private cruise with the concierge in the lobby.

    It's always a crap shoot with Tim Air. After we checked in with Couples, we had to wait about 10 minutes for the Tim Air rep to walk us down to the "Domestic" terminal. Then we checked in with Tim Air, which took a few minutes, then we had to wait 15 minutes for the other passengers to arrive. We were on a 8 seater which I had not seen previously on our trips with Tim Air. So it probably took at least 35 minutes from the time we got to the Couples lounge to when we took off with Tim Air. It didn't save a whole lot of time on the arrival. But Bob gets a little motion sick in the bus, so it saves us that issue.

    I would have to say the beach was as big (wide) as we had seen it and we have been going to CSA since 2005.

  19. #19
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    Jun 2009
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    788

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    The beach looks great. Thanks for the info.

    Life is good

  20. #20

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    GREAT post as 'usual' Judy! So informative & spot on! There really is no other place quite like CSA, is there? It was WONDERFUL seeing you & Bob & hope we meet again NEXT YEAR! We're booked already! I'll save you a lounger on the beach- JUST Kidding! LOL! cool: Cindy

  21. #21
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    Jun 2009
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    1,299

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    Hi Cindy - it was great seeing you and Todge also! Couldn't believe that the Super Bowl party got rained out again. And we did try the red hot dogs! Bob really enjoyed the tequila that you shared with us. Hope that you guys have avoided the snow in Delaware. Judy

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    20

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    [QUOTE=BobandJudy;237356]Reservation Restaurants - I have seen many complaints on Trip Advisor about it being impossible to get a reservation at Lemongrass or Feathers. I simply don't get it. After we checked in on Saturday, we went to the concierge and booked Lemongrass for 6:30 on Monday, and Feathers for 6:30 on Tuesday (our preferred times). Just a reminder that you can book either of these restaurants up to three days in advance. You can't book another reservation at Feathers or Lemongrass if you have an existing reservation. I did witness several people walk up to the concierge late in the morning and ask for reservations that same evening at both Lemongrass and Feathers. In one case, the 8:30 seating was available. But to say it's impossible to get reservations is simply not true. I don't know what the people who say that are smoking. CoQUOTE]

    Is the three day in advance only after you have checked into the resort?

  23. #23
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    Jun 2009
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    Katrina - you need your room number in order to make a restaurant reservation. So, yes, you need to check in before you can make a reservation. From what I've read on this MB, there was a short time last year when Couples experimented with letting people make restaurant reservations prior to check-in. I think that experiment lasted less than a week. You can, however, reserve the private dinner on the beach before you check in (that is an extra cost).

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Can you tell me what rooms have screens and not glass?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Thanks for the great review! I've been a bit out of touch and hadn't heard there was a jet ski accident? I'm so sorry to read that bit of bad news... Glad you had a great time. Respect, Razzl

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