Wow! We just got home from the most amazing vacation we have ever had! We went to CSS to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We might have called it a second honeymoon if we'd ever had a first one, so maybe a delayed honeymoon? Well, it was worth the wait!
We arrived Sunday afternoon and had purchased Club Mobay so we looked for the sign with our name on it as soon as we deplaned. A friendly Mobay representative greeted us and looked over our immigration forms to make sure we had filled them out correctly, then led us straight to immigration and then to the Couples lounge. We could have gone to the Mobay lounge next to it (which had lots of food) but we were eager to change out of our winter clothes and have a Red Stripe. We weren't there very long before we were escorted to a shuttle. Somehow we ended up being the only passengers and our very animated driver was happy to share his knowledge about his country with us. It was a fun ride and we laughed a LOT!
Upon arrival at Couples, we went to the front desk and were told our room wasn't quite ready, which was fine with us. We were just so happy to be there. She directed us to another desk to make dinner reservations, after which, we decided to go get something to eat. This part was a little confusing, and probably would have been easier if we had opted for the orientation tour, but we found our way to Bella Vista and decided to eat there. After hearing about Jerk Chicken, I wanted to try that first. It was good but I was not expecting it to be spicy, so I dipped the chicken into the extra sauce and had a bit of a wake-up call! Good stuff, though. I had more of it during our stay.
When we returned to the lobby, we were escorted to our room, G-5. It was close to the lobby but an uphill hike from the rest of the resort. That was ok, we got a good workout and had a really nice view. I will say the view was partially obstructed by the elevator tower and there was a walkway right in front of our balcony that led to it. We would have enjoyed a little more privacy but we loved the huge balcony so I wasn't about to complain!
If I had taken better notes, I'd be able to give the order of everything we did, but I'll just have to put it in categories instead:
Food - we ate at every restaurant and took advantage of room service a bit as well. We loved everything but I think we agree that dinner at Bella Vista later in the week was the best meal and dining experience. We sat right by the beach with tiki torches next to us and the stars above us. Gorgeous! The beach party on Tuesday and Gala on Friday were fun events with lots of great food also.
Activities - we had so much fun at the resort that we had no desire to leave so we didn't do the customary Dunn's River Falls or Trading Places or anything like that. We took the paddle boats out one day for a bit, went snorkeling one day, and did the scuba diving one day. My husband had always wanted to try scuba and I was going to try it just so we could have the experience together. We both breezed through the swim test - a down-and-back lap of the pool - and watched a 20-minute video. Just the video had me anxious already so by the time we got in the pool to learn to use the gear, I had pretty much already talked myself out of it. Putting the heavy gear on and going under water, breathing through a regulator was just too much for my claustrophobia to handle and I backed out of the lesson. Our dive master (Patrick?) tried to help me overcome the fear but I wasn't having any part of it. My husband on the other hand, picked it up easily. Patrick said he was a natural. As it turned out, we were the only ones signed up that morning, so Patrick invited me to come along and snorkel while they dove. I was thrilled! I know they normally can't do that, so I really appreciated his kindness. Not only that, but we had bought a GoPro Hero 4 underwater camera for just this purpose and he was not allowed to let my hubby use it because it was his first dive. So Patrick filmed it for us. We have some GREAT video of the entire thing, including video of me above them snorkeling and watching them from the surface. It was an amazing experience for both of us. We also took part in the fishing tournament at the pond and had a lot of fun.
Spa - we hadn't planned on taking advantage of the spa, but I had a lot of knots in my shoulders and decided to do a half hour stress relief massage. Kenneth did a great job and the location on the cliffs was spectacular. I would definitely like to do that again someday.
Layout/Environment - Sure there are a lot of stairs but the layout of this place was amazing. We loved going on the different walkways looking for hidden treasures - hammocks, Jacuzzis, great photo spots, etc. We looked for the little critters everywhere because that's what we are into. We saw lizards, geckos, tree frogs, and doctor birds. We got some great photos of nature - one with a tiny lizard who climbed up my arm and onto my ear lobe, where he looked like an earring! We also visited Crackers the parrot and got photos and video with him. In one video he actually said his name, which we weren't expecting. He was so cute! The weather was perfect. It rained a couple of times but never disrupted our plans, and apologized with a rainbow every time, which made for beautiful photos to bring home.
The people - the staff was fantastic. Everyone was so friendly and cheerful and seemed to enjoy making our stay memorable. I loved the way they called me "Milady" and how they were always asking if everything was good. We have a difficult time sitting still and a few times a staff member would say to me "slow down Mon!" I'm going to say that myself when I start getting stressed at home. It's good advice. We met some other couples who were very nice and enjoyed seeing familiar faces in various places around the resort.
Overall, this was the perfect place for us. We don't like crowds and we found a place that wasn't crowded, even at the gala when most guests were present (in peak season, no less). It was quiet and peaceful, but still offered lots of fun things to do. We love nature and CSS is full of lush greenery, beautiful flowers, intriguing wildlife, and paths to explore and discover. We like to do things together and Couples is all about couples spending time together.
The morning we left to come home, it was raining and I told my husband Jamaica was sad we were leaving. The atmosphere in the full shuttle to the airport was subdued. We had Club Mobay for departure as well and enjoyed the lounge. They had a buffet and open bar and announced flights when it was time to board. It took a lot of stress out of our airport experience with both the arrival and departure service so we will definitely do it again.
Really enjoyed your review - we're going for our first CSS visit in 2 weeks and counting down the days to get away from a dreary UK winter. With a 10 hour flight to Montego Bay we opted for the Club Mobay arrivals/departure service for peace of mind so nice to hear it runs smoothly.