We are from the UK and going to CSA (and Jamaica) for the 1st time in a couple of weeks. It seems that US$ are widely accepted but is it better to try to take some local currency for tipping or shopping outside of the resort?
I've not seen anyone use Euros or Pounds outside the resort. You are probably going to have to convert your currency into something else - either US dollars or Jamaican dollars. Since there's going to be a charge to convert, choose one or the other. You won't need (nor can you use) cash at CSA other than to tip at the spa, but if you walk the beach or the boulevard and want to buy something, your credit card is not a good idea. You'll also want some cash to tip the drivers and skycaps at the airport. My suggestion would be to use US dollars since you'll be able to use the leftover cash once you get back home. Jamaican dollars have little value once you leave the island.
Hi there..........................US Dollars all the way. These are widely accepted on and off the resort. In our four trips we have never taken Jamaican currency. Just make sure when you arrive you have small notes for the baggage guys and bus driver.
We have only been to CTI but I'm sure you will have a wonderful time at CSA.
We fly from Manchester next week, last year (and this) we took a pre-paid holiday card in US dollars and loaded around 600 USD on it, we use this for security at hotel reception (rather than our bank deit/credit cards) and they debit it for extras like Spas, photos). We then take around 100-120 USD in small denominations 1,5 and 10s for tips (can never get over the fact EVERYONE expects a tip not like here in the UK when no one does). Then if we go on any trips like Dunn's River we use the cash (note the bus driver and guide will want tipping about 30 USD and DVDs are 40 & photos 8 USD each so beware) then once we run out we use the cashpoint in the hotel to withdraw enough dollars to get us through to the end of the holiday (budget around 60-70 USD for a burger and a drink each at airport). Hope this helps and may see you out there, we are easy to spot as there are only usually a few of us Brits there.