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  1. #1

    Default trouble deciding...please help!!!

    OK...I know this is a question asked over and over but..

    We are decided on Ocho Rios and now can't decide between CTI and CSS

    We like mountains, coves and beaches with waves...that's why Ocho plus the activities are important..Dunn's River, horseback riding, catamaran cruises, bobsled, dolphins...

    So what we want from the resort is a great room (preferably remodelled) a touch of nightlife, great food but room service is not important.

    Au natural beaches are not a priority either...I have read (on trip advisor) that CSS has great grounds but the rooms are dated and in bad condition? Is this true?

    I do like the activities at CTI but some have written that it's not important because they get filled up so quickly that I won't be able to take advantage of them?

    Beautiful, romantic, setting is important..are their enough restaurants at CSS? Are the grounds at CSS superior to CTI?

    How do I make sure of booking restaurant and excursions before they are filled?

    Would it be a good idea to split the week and stay half time at CTI and half at CSS?

    Thank you...this is driving me crazy since I have my flights booked but no place to stay!!!

  2. #2

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    Calm down! Don't worry about it! Either resort will be perfect. You might as well just flip a coin. You are going to get several responses recommending each of the two resorts. You really can't go wrong with either. You will not be dissapointed!
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  3. #3

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    We stayed at CTI in July and we no problems with excursions. We booked them the day before.

    We booked the restaurants in the morning before breakfast of the day we went, never a problem.

    The buildings at CTI has just been redone. Everything is new and clean.

    CSS grounds are very nice and big. They do have a lot of steps. My option is that the grounds at CSS are nicer that CTI.

    In my option the Staff at CTI are more friendly, helpful, and the service is better than CSS. The staff at CSS just do not have the happy faces and glad to see you attitude like CTI at least during our Trading Places visit.
    Irie Mon

  4. #4

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    Sounds like CTI is a better fit for you. CSS does not have horseback riding or the catamaran cruise. I have not heard of people having trouble getting into the excursions especially if you are there for a week. You can always sign up for the Romance Rewards and do a Trading Places day at CSS to check it out.

    Amy

  5. #5

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    Go to CTI, it's just had a 30 million dollar remodal and it has the cat cruise. CSS doesn't. We have never had issue booking activities or restaurants at CTI. We prefer CTI to CSS, I say go to CTI, you wont regret it.

  6. #6

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    Hi there,

    Having stayed at both, as have many people, I feel I can provide a balanced view. I am pretty sure you are going to get a lot of responses from like-minded people!

    If you are really undecided, then split your stay, however, if you want a refurbished room, then it will have to be CTi.

    CSS have GREAT gardens and general setting - superior to that of CTi, in my opinion.

    You will get equal 'service' from both resorts and the same will apply in respect of choices of restaurants.

    CSS has rooms service and all rooms are suites, however if you want a suite, you will have the opportunity to book one at CTi

    The choice is always going to be difficult and everyone has their 'favourite' for 'their own personal' reasons. I can promise you, you will NOT be disappointed whichever one you choose.

    I genuinly think the difference between the 2 is CTi is 'new' and CSS is 'not new' - that is not to say CSS is 'old', it is just 'not new'! Some of CSS suites ARE dated, but still have some great features, whether it be the view or the location.

    Depends what you value most! If you are still in turmoil, split your stay - they are really not far apart, that way you will get the best of both worlds!

    We are going back to CTi, next year, but it was a tough choice as we loved CSS, however wanted to see the new-look CTi. Having said that, we are still going to be doing a 1-day trip over to CSS!!

  7. #7

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    CTI and CSS are very close together..I would split them..Both "must" be visited as both are outstanding and we love each of them.
    Last edited by Tommywommy; October 6th, 2009 at 04:25 PM.

  8. #8

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    I would say CSS. I haven't been to either, but have read about both for over a year. CSS has the most gorgeous grounds and all these alcoves and special places that you discover daily. Just ask the CSS vets which room would be the most updated and you will have exactly what you want. Good luck deciding.

  9. #9

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    If the catamaran is important than you need to go to CTI because it is not available at CSS.

    I have never heard or experienced guests having problems getting signed up for stuff. Be flexible and you will be able to do everything you want to do.

    CSS is very lush and CTI is completely redone with a 30 million dollar make over.

    If you are only staying a week I don't advise splitting the week.

    Just continue to gleam all you can from the MB and pictures and the right resort will start to sing to you.

    Good luck, and whichever resort you choose you won't go wrong.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  10. #10

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    I've never ever had a problem with activities filing up and not being to take advantage of them at any Couples. Go for 10 nights and stay 5 at CTI first then CSS. Book a ocean view deluxe at CTI and the one bedroom ocean suite at CSS. We have done the CTI/CSS split several times and it's our fav Couples vacation.
    Shari & James
    Members of the 4 for 4 club

  11. #11

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    I think I'm going with the majority here in that if it's feasible to do so and you don't mind splitting your trip, then book both. This way you have the best of both worlds. However, if it turns out that for whatever reasons you'd only prefer to stay at just one, then based on the criteria you laid out, it sounds like CTI would be the choice. It just seems to feature a bit more of what you're seeking than does CSS.
    Ron

    Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.

  12. #12

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    Go to CTI!! It has the most excursions. We have been there four times, our fifth is coming in January, and we have never had a problem utilizing everything Couples has to offer.
    Kristen

  13. #13

    Default RE: trouble deciding

    Thank you to everyone for all of your help...this is a fantastic message board!
    We will be staying at CTI and visit CSS.
    My travel agent is throwing me a loop and telling me to check out "S" Dunn's River!!!
    Thanks to all again..

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozy07 View Post
    My travel agent is throwing me a loop and telling me to check out "S" Dunn's River!!!
    Thanks to all again..

    Do not do it. The "S" place is a class system resort, the higher the price you pay, the better the service you get. Reservations just get lost or misplaced sometimes for people that book the lower cost rooms, but the high cost rooms with butlers never have a problem no matter when they make the reservation. They will closed a part of the resort at the drop of a hat, (Island and the restaurant on it at RC with us) to everyone for the day after a group of us were already on it sunbathing for a new unplanned wedding. They even took reservations for dinner at the island restaurant in the mid morning and did not inform anyone that they cancel them. Anything for extra $$. They just walked up to us and told that we have to leave the island NOW for a wedding. It was only 10:00am. They treat you like once you are at the resort, they have your money, so there is not much you can do about it. They do not seem to care a lot about building a repeater base.

    Couples is not that way, everyone receives great service from a very friendly staff no matter what room they book. This is also why Couples has a very large group of repeaters.
    Irie Mon

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozy07 View Post
    Thank you to everyone for all of your help...this is a fantastic message board!
    We will be staying at CTI and visit CSS.
    My travel agent is throwing me a loop and telling me to check out "S" Dunn's River!!!
    Thanks to all again..
    Wouldn't be a bit surprised if your agent is mentioning the Evil Empire because she/he is likely to receive a bigger commission by steering you there. Trust the folks on this great board. Your instinct has already told you to book with Couples - trust your instinct.
    Ron

    Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.

  16. #16

    Default Don't Do it!!

    My travel agent is throwing me a loop and telling me to check out "S" Dunn's River!!!
    Thanks to all again..[/QUOTE]


    Been there done that....The "S" resorts do not hold a candle to Couples. Headed back to CSS in October for the third time. Did the "S" thing once.......you couldn't pay me to go there again. If your vacation time is important to you, never settle for okay when you can have fantastic!

    My Gosh! The above post got me to post again... 2 posts in 2 days after years of just reading them. Yep...need a Rum Cream. (PS Tell your travel agent YOU deserve the best.)

  17. #17

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    Wow...great advice..thanks!

    We will have a car...I think CSS is only about 15 mins. away from CTI...is this true?
    At CSS will they allow us to just tour the grounds if we drive their to check it out for a future visit?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozy07 View Post
    Wow...great advice..thanks!

    We will have a car...I think CSS is only about 15 mins. away from CTI...is this true?
    At CSS will they allow us to just tour the grounds if we drive their to check it out for a future visit?
    No, they will not let you in the gate. You need to first, sign up for Romance Rewards before you go. Then after you get to CTI, sign up for the trading Places to CSS. They leave at 10 AM and return at 4:00 PM. They go on Mon, Wed and Fri only and limit the trip to 10 couples, so sign up as soon as you get to the resort. Wear swim wear and a coverup and take your CTI beach towel!

    On a side note, I think you are crazy of you try to drive in Jamaica. They drive on the left side of the road and are crazy, reckless drivers. There are goats and people everywhere on the roads. Forget the car! Just my opinion.
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  19. #19

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    Hey Cozy07,

    Take a deep breath and relax!! Here's some responses to your inquiry from folks that have stayed at both...

    We like mountains, coves and beaches with waves...that's why Ocho plus the activities are important..Dunn's River, horseback riding, catamaran cruises, bobsled, dolphins...
    - CSS does not have horseback riding or catamaran cruise offered as part of the inclusive excursions but there are horseback riding excursions and others (dolphins, zip-line, etc.) that you can purchase. But CSS does have a beautiful beach and cove as compared to CTI's, which is smaller.

    So what we want from the resort is a great room (preferably remodelled) a touch of nightlife, great food but room service is not important.
    - You'll find a great room at both CSS and CTI and both have had remodeling done. You'll like the nightlife at both as well as the food. We prefer the coziness of CSS which has excellent room service.

    Au natural beaches are not a priority either...I have read (on trip advisor) that CSS has great grounds but the rooms are dated and in bad condition? Is this true?
    - CSS does have the better grounds. CTI is a high-rise resort on a small property. CSS has many places to walk so that there's an adventure at every turn on this larger resort. The rooms may be dated but they are certainly not in bad condition. CSS has been doing updates on their rooms and they are very nice and all suites.

    I do like the activities at CTI but some have written that it's not important because they get filled up so quickly that I won't be able to take advantage of them?
    - We were there in April and, while there were not a lot of people, had no problem signing up in the morning for activities we wanted to do that day.

    Beautiful, romantic, setting is important..are their enough restaurants at CSS? Are the grounds at CSS superior to CTI?
    - If you're wanting beautiful, romantic settings then CSS is the place to go. There are 3 restaurants on CSS and 4 at CTI. In our opinion the grounds at CSS outshine CTI by a long shot. There are places you can go and just get away with your spouse and feel like you're the only people on the resort.

    How do I make sure of booking restaurant and excursions before they are filled?
    - We've been able to book restaurants and excursions the same day but would recommend scheduling them a day in advance if possible.

    Would it be a good idea to split the week and stay half time at CTI and half at CSS?
    - We did the split stay between CSS and CTI last April and would not recommend it. If you stay a week you'll find that as you're settling in to one resort you have to move to the other. Now, if you stayed 10-14 days it might be worth it.

    You mentioned in a follow on question about staying at one resort and touring another. You are brave if you're going to rent a car. They drive pretty radically in Jamaica! The "trading places" option is for repeat Couples guests in the Romance Rewards program. If you are a first timer you may not be able to stay at one and investigate the other.

    Thank you...this is driving me crazy since I have my flights booked but no place to stay!!!
    - You're welcome and hopefully the information we've passed has been helpful in your decision process. If you'd like to take a look at both places click on this link to see some pictures we've taken of CSS and CTI: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecsimson/

    Enjoy your stay!!!

    Bart & Bug

  20. #20

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    Well...we may now be booking CSS. My partner does not want to move from one resort to another and the grounds at CSS appeal to him. He feels we will simply purchase the additional excursions as we need.
    CSS does include Dunn's River Falls (?) - does anyone have info on which days and times are scheduled for this excursion?
    Is the snorkel tour similar to the catamaran cruise? Or can we book a catamaran cruise separately also?
    Does anyone have a recommendation on a good horseback riding tour?
    We would love a room with a nice ocean view, don't really like a pool view and the room being updated and clean and remodelled is more important then having a large room...just a little apprehensive because I've read that some of the rooms have mould on the furniture...
    I really appreciate all the help and advice from this message board...simply wonderful!!!

  21. #21

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    Cozy07,

    We have been to CN twice (toured CSA) and stayed at CSS in 08 and are heading back to CSS in 2010.

    CSS to us is the most romantic of the 3 we have seen. The grounds are incredible, it is an adventure to explore them as there are hidden surprises around every corner.

    The rooms have all been recently rennovated in 07/08. I agree with Shari that our favorite room cateogry is 1 Bdrm w/balcony suite, the rooms are very large, the bedroom separate, and the balcony is quite large!

    We loved the feel of CSS, but realize the horseback riding and Catamaran cruise are not included at CSS.

    ALL rooms at CSS include an ocean view, all rooms at CSS include room service all 3 meals, all rooms at CSS include mini bars.

    Realize that JA and Couples resorts are more of a laid back Caribbean elegance, not marble, glitz and opulence like some resorts in Mexico etc. The rooms are sizeable, clean and very comfortable, but the service, food, drinks, grounds and the vibe cannot be duplicated!

    Have a wonderful trip whichever resort you choose, you cannot screw up here, you really can't!

  22. #22

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    We have been to CSS 1x CSA 3x and we're going to be at CTI in 33 days. (Yahoo). Let me just comment on what other posters have said about the car:

    I have driven in some pretty crazy places: New York, Boston, San Francisco (OK, the drivers in SF aren't crazy, but the hills are) and there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I would drive in Jamaica. It's not expensive to hire a car for the day/week and personally, I think more interesting to have your own private driver to take you around. Unless you have been there before and know your way around (I have a friend from Kingston who drives when SHE is there), I would stick with the resort transportation and a private taxi/driver.

    Whichever resort you choose, however, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Couples.

    Oh -- and the Trading Spaces is for Romance Reward members, but you can take advantage of it on your first visit. You do not have to be a repeater to use the program. You CAN only take advantage of it once per trip, though, from what I'm told.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozy07 View Post
    Well...we may now be booking CSS. My partner does not want to move from one resort to another and the grounds at CSS appeal to him. He feels we will simply purchase the additional excursions as we need.
    CSS does include Dunn's River Falls (?) - does anyone have info on which days and times are scheduled for this excursion?
    Is the snorkel tour similar to the catamaran cruise? Or can we book a catamaran cruise separately also?
    Does anyone have a recommendation on a good horseback riding tour?
    We would love a room with a nice ocean view, don't really like a pool view and the room being updated and clean and remodelled is more important then having a large room...just a little apprehensive because I've read that some of the rooms have mould on the furniture...
    I really appreciate all the help and advice from this message board...simply wonderful!!!
    Hi Cozy07,

    Yes, CSS does include Dunn's River Falls. There is an excursion in the morning and in the afternoon. It's good to look at the cruise ship schedule and plan on going when they're not in port. You'll set up all your excursions at the tour desk in the lobby. They are very knowledgeable and helpful in planning your events off the resort.

    The snorkeling tour is not the same as the catamaran cruise. On the catamaran cruise you go out for a few hours and enjoy seeing the Jamaican coast from "the blue" while enjoying rum punch. Then you drop anchor in a cove and play in the water before heading back to the resort. This excursion is not available at CSS. They do the snorkeling and scuba diving trips twice daily (weather/water permitting) as well as a glass bottom boat trip (like snorkeling but without leaving the boat). If you've never tried snorkeling you should really give it a try!!

    We did the horseback riding through "Hooves" and enjoyed it immensely. It's a very relaxing plantation ride down to the ocean. Then you get to run the horses through the surf (really gerat!!). We liked it better than its Chukka counterpart because bicycle helmets were not required when riding.

    We stayed in G block on both visits and loved it! It sits high up on the resort and the balconies face west. The view is magnificent - to include sunsets. We have never found mould in our room. The housekeeping staff do a wonderful job keeping the room immaculate!

    Glad to be able to help. Enjoy your visit to Ocho Rios and your stay at whichever Couples resort you choose.

    Bart & Bug

  24. #24

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    All responses have given me the feeling that I've definitely made the right choice. Thank you so much!

    One more thing to choose...our room category. We won't be getting a penthouse suite so that's one eliminated.
    What we would like is a view of the ocean with foliage rather than resort and pool.
    Don't mind stairs to climb, so higher levels are OK. Separate tub from shower, doesn't have to be jacuzzi, nice balcony or patio with views...maybe a corner suite? Do any suites have 2 bathrooms? The blue and white rooms look very nice...are they the updated ones?

  25. #25

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    Cozy07,

    We went with a one bedroom Ocean Suite in G block and loved it!! There is only a shower...no bath, but the view is beautiful. G block balconies face west so you can see a great sunset right from your room. It is near enought to the lobby, Balloon Bar, etc. but not near enough that you can hear everything going on. Not sure if G block has been updated.

    Bart & Bug

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