The kids are grown and now it's time to have some fun. Looking for any and all advice to a 1st time couple to CSA. I have a Beachfront suite booked and just paid my last payment. I have gotten a lot of advice from an experienced CSA poster but just looking for other ideas/advice. Thanks.............
Enjoy the view of the ocean from your porch/balcony...especially relaxing in the morning and having breakfast and watching the world move slowly by. Go for a few nice, long walks on the beach. Speaking of the beach...lay there and enjoy having your favorite drinks delivered. There is just so much to do, or not, at CSA. The key is figuring out what you want to do and being willing to adjust as you go so you can enjoy your stay. The thing to remember is that you won't be able to do it all on one visit so will need to plan on many returns.
Congrats on making it to the island. ( I saw you're from the KC Metro area. We went to Tower Isle last year for Christmas and NY) For your first time, please remember that while some consider it a nuisance, one in ever 4 jobs in Jamaica is tourism related. So have some tip money ready for the porters at the airport and for the drivers taking you to the resort. They do not work for the resort and you are a source of their income. A buck or two per bag is customary. If we have three bags, they get a five. For the Shuttle Driver, I usually tip 10 per person. They are entertaining you on the way there, and also keeping you safe to the resort and handling your bags. (I'm spending thousands of dollars to visit their island. Their service is not a time to get stingy)
When you pack, take a swim suit, a and a days change of cloths in your carry on along with any medications. Baggage does and has been delayed. Granted the Airline will deliver the bag to the resort if it didn't arrive, but that way you aren't waiting on it to have a good time.
I tend to bring quality chocolate (such as Dove 'Promises' with me on my trips as it's not something that's readily stocked in the hotel sundry shop. I've not seen anyone shy away from accepting a gift of a few pieces of chocolate for their services while on the resort property.
Jamaicans are a very proud people, you offer your respect them, look them in the eye and engage them, they return that respect to you. It's a refreshing change from here in the states where you'll provide that to people and they are too caught up in their own lives to simply return the gesture.
Don't be afraid to engage the staff, I've never met anyone that was not friendly and answered any questions or didn't want to engage in conversation. The more people you know by name, the better your stay will be. IE - you remember them, they'll remember you.
When you're at CSA, get up and enjoy the morning air, and the gentle waves lapping on the beach. The resort is on the west side of the island so rough waves are all of 1.5 feet in height when you can see rough seas on the horizon. The water sports team will be raking the beach each morning. I recommend to stay away from the sand for a couple hours after they do this as you may attract Sand Fleas otherwise. After the sun comes up, over the hills and it warms up a bit, they scurry down to the damp sand so you won't have an issue in mid day and afternoon.
Don't forget Patois Patio for breakfast. Many people think 'The Palms' is the only place available for breakfast and it was always much quieter at patois. Also, don't be afraid to try different things. When we were there in 2010, I saw someone drink Miller Lite the entire time while everyone around him was checking out the drink menu. Same goes for food. Try the soups, try the different salads, try the fruits (including breadfruit), they taste different. Definitely try the national dish Ackee and Salt Fish, try Callaloo, try the sausage and bacon, (the best bacon I've ever had in my life), in the afternoon, go to the Beach grill and get some jerk chicken, also try a Beef Pattie, another traditional Jamaican snack, they only have so many during the day, so once they're gone, they're gone.
Decide what restaurants you want to visit on what nights and after you check in, have Resort services make the reservations. This will save you from not being able to get in somewhere and just eating at the Palms each night.
Take the nature walk one day while you're there. You'll learn about the native plants and see many varieties and learn about different Palm species. Also, you'll never see Crabgrass as a weed again.
If you like alcohol...pace yourself. Enough Said.
Keep in mind the sun in Jamaica is more direct than it is here in the KC Metro area. Take sunscreen and keep it with you, re-apply. We usually tan a bit before we go so we don't bake while we're there. If you want a decent spot on the beach, you can throw a towel on loungers to hold them. We never found it was much of an issue, but its an accepted practice. Seven Mile beach where CSA is located is a public beach. Vendors will go up and down it all day long, selling anything for cigarettes, to art, to reggae music. Do not be surprised if a Mento band comes to the beach and plays for tips. If anyone asks if 'you like to party' that's code for offering you an illegal substance referred to as Ganja in Jamaica but has been recently voted to be allowed in Colorado and Washington St. (You should know what this is by now). IT IS ILLEGAL IN JAMAICA. Please keep that in mind.
Take a camera, the sunsets are to died for. Every night. If you can, linger near the beach well after dark. Step out away from the buildings and sidwalk lights and look up. Not only will you see more stars. If you let your eyes adjust long enough (and the moon isn't out) you'll be able to see the gas clouds that are part of our galaxy. If it's offered, go to the bonfire one night. It's really frackin romantic.
Expect that a few days you'll get afternoon rain, between 2 to 4 usually. You're down far enough that the wind comes from the east, up over the mountains and then warms back down on your side of the island.