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  1. #1

    Default CSA - First Timers Perspectiive

    Since this was our first trip to CSA, I followed the message board religiously. I read alot of repeater comments on this forum, so here are commnets froma first timer. My wife and I just returned from our first trip to CSA. I’ll preface my review by saying we have stayed at numerous all-inclusive resorts in the Mexico, Bahamas and Aruba. We were pleasantly surprised with our experience at CSA. After reading numerous reviews on TA, I was a little nervous about CSA.

    Club Mobay – I reviewed the flight schedule for arrivals on the day we arrived (Sat. 11:20 AM). There were 8 flights arriving within a half hour of our flight so I booked Club Mobay. It actually only saved us a little time since the regular line was not that long. We got through C & I in about 25 minutes. We had friends who arrived at 2:20 PM the same day and the line was out to the ramp by the plane. They were thankful they purchased Club Mobay.
    Tip: Whether you use Clib Mobay or not bring a Tervis cup as you can also fill it up with your favorite beverage at the Couples Lounge for the 1.5 hour bus ride. All the bars will also fill up your Tervis cup with your favorite beverage.

    Room – We stayed in the Great House Veranda Suite, room 5206 (third floor). Nice room with a great view of ocean. As others have said, very plain and rustic. If we go again, I would stay in the Ocean Veranda Suites (about $200 more).

    Beach - As it has been said many times, BEAUTIFUL. Water was clear blue and very refreshing. Plenty of lounge chairs and floats. Vendors were a little bothersome and annoying. Yes they will go away if you say “No thanks” but I got tired of saying it so I floated in the ocean and they don’t bother you.
    Tip: Bring towels from your room since they are not available on the beach. CSA is still having troubles with their laundry service.

    Food - Surprisingly it was very good. We enjoyed the Pad Thai at Lemongrass and the buffets at the Palm. Patois had excellent pizza and chicken kabobs. The burgers and jerk chicken at the Cabana Grill were also very good.
    Tip: The menu at Feathers changes on Thursday. Don’t miss the beef tenderloin!!

    Entertainment: Overall very good. Singers perform every night . Don’t miss the Silver Birds show!!

    Activities: The Catamaran cruise is a must. I also snorkled and took out a Hobie Cat. Both were fun and enjoyable.

    Misc. - We were disappointed n the swim up bar. It was small and the pool looked a little dirty (needs a paint job). Seemed to be monopolized by the same group of people.

    Room service is only available for a continental breakfast.
    They serve half and half for coffee if you ask.

    Bottled water is only available in your mini bar but there are water cooler available at the bars (we filled our empty water bottles there).

    Tipping: Although strongly discouraged, it can be done discretely.

    Overall, we had a great trip and would go back. The place kind of grew on us. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,272

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    Nice review, except tipping isn't just discouraged it is against the rules and can cost someone their job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    337

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    red... right on the $

  4. #4

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    I'm with redinthehead on this one...nothing else to say.
    CSA 2010, 2013
    CTI in the future but too many days to count...who's kidding, 2015 here we come!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

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    The tipping police aren't gonna stop people from doing it. If it was so bad that they could get fired the employees would say no. It's very hard for people to understand the no tipping policy because nobody explains it to you at the resort.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    135

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    It will never cease to amaze me that people feel it is ok to put an employee in this potentially life changing (losing a highly sought after job) situation over a few dollars... I am very glad you enjoyed your trip and felt that the service you received was deserving of a tip... However since you mentioned that you "followed the message board religiously" I wonder why you would have risked the tipping and then posted about being able to do so on a Couples moderated MB?!?!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfhary20 View Post
    It will never cease to amaze me that people feel it is ok to put an employee in this potentially life changing (losing a highly sought after job) situation over a few dollars... I am very glad you enjoyed your trip and felt that the service you received was deserving of a tip... However since you mentioned that you "followed the message board religiously" I wonder why you would have risked the tipping and then posted about being able to do so on a Couples moderated MB?!?!
    Surfhary,

    I never said I tipped. I commented it could be done discretely (as I observed). I think the CSA repeaters should spend less time worrying about tipping and influence CSA management to get towels for the beach!! I have never been to a resort that didn't have towels avaiable all day at the pools and beach.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    191

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    Glad you enjoyed CSA! Hubby has always wanted to tip, but once i explained the ramifications involved he understood it's a no-no There are other ways to show appreciation and the best, as far as Couples is concerned, is with the comment card. Looking forward to trip #4 in August...mmm can almost taste that Hummingbird and pattie now! 101 days...woo hoo!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    454

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspclusew View Post
    Surfhary,

    I never said I tipped. I commented it could be done discretely (as I observed). I think the CSA repeaters should spend less time worrying about tipping and influence CSA management to get towels for the beach!! I have never been to a resort that didn't have towels avaiable all day at the pools and beach.
    Agree with Surfhary 100000%, and as for towels, they're available all day at both ends of the beach. Big deal you have to walk a few steps to get them. The only time they're out for a couple of hours is if there's been a big rain and everyone leaves their towels on the beach... Causing the staff to have to not only retrieve the hundreds of towels, but also to do extra laundry.

    If the response is gonna be "we didn't see that", take it from one of the dreaded repeaters...this is the case always

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

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    Whoa, this thread certainly has taken a contentious turn.

    Thanks for a thorough review, you sees what you sees. Respect to all, let's try to play nice.
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzi View Post
    Agree with Surfhary 100000%, and as for towels, they're available all day at both ends of the beach. Big deal you have to walk a few steps to get them. The only time they're out for a couple of hours is if there's been a big rain and everyone leaves their towels on the beach... Causing the staff to have to not only retrieve the hundreds of towels, but also to do extra laundry.

    If the response is gonna be "we didn't see that", take it from one of the dreaded repeaters...this is the case always
    Suzi,

    The response is we were at the beach at 8 am every day and there were never any towels on the end of the beach by the swim up bar. We spoke to management about it and their response was they were having trouble with the laundry service.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    78

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    Until somebody finds this MB or talks to a repeater on resort they likely would have no idea that tipping could cost an employee their job. I wish that the no-tipping policy would be explained to people better at check in. We travel to Mexico every Oct and Couples every Feb. At the resorts in Mexico when they say tips included this really means tipping optional. I tipped for a couple of days on our first trip to Couples 6 years ago until a fellow guest saw me tip and was kind enough to explain that no tipping actually meant no tipping here. Due to my ignorance I wasn't even being discrete but nobody turned down the tips.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    135

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    Inspclusew,

    After re-reading my post I do apologize for coming across so angered... My stance is just with Couples on this one... How many people would really think to tip the gardener that is raking the gardens each day? He is equally responsible for my amazing trip, IMHO, as he maintains the beauty of CSA. Are the bartenders more interactive? Yes, of course, but again I don't feel they alone make my trip and are therefore worthy of receiving all of the monetary thanks... Couples has a profit sharing program that all employees are included in to ensure equal distribution of "tips/bonus" funds. Also one of the main attractions to Couples is that ALL PARTIES are treated equally!!! If you start to allow tipping then a game of "favorites" begins. I am sure that many fellow MB trollers can attest to being at other all-inclusive resorts and felt that if they didn't tip they would not be attended to. We were at a very nice resort in Mexico a few years back and I went to the bar to get our 1st drinks, a little while later I went up for a refill and despite being 1 of 3 people at the bar I was ignored for over 10 minutes, I could only assume for not tipping the 1st time... Once I realized this was the case I returned to our chairs to get a $20 to tip. I was then well taken care of by that employee, BUT, once his shift ended I found myself in the same boat...

    As dirtleg said, Respect to all! I honestly did not mean to turn this into a heated debate… Over the years we have made friends with many staff members that we keep in contact with between trips and they have shared stories of friends being let go for this exact situation… When it is mentioned on the MB I tend to get a little miffed since the mere mention of it only re-surfaces the issue and even unintentionally encourages it at times… If you were in those shoes can you honestly say the temptation might overcome you in the moment and you would accept the $ and put your employment, in turn your livelihood at risk?

    Again, one love and respect to all!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    608

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    Inspclusew - thank you for your review! I'm in agreement with dirtleg that unfortunately, this particular thread has taken a contentious turn in response to a very well written review. This will almost always happen when the dreaded "t" word is mentioned, and will very frequently happen when a professed newbie makes a negative comment about something at the resort. I truly believe that your experience with towels is accurate - just because other people have had other experiences doesn't make yours false.

    Thank you again for your review!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    764

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    Inspclusew...I enjoyed your review of CSA.

    Hugs
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