101 days to go!!! Almost to the double digits! We'll be at Tower Isle in late March, early April, and have a few questions:
We love to snorkel,but I prefer to snorkel right off a beach. Can I do this at the main beach? We were able to last year at CSS and saw a baracuda and stingray!
Do they really only have jerk chicken at the beach grill? My husband loves jerk pork,but we didn't see it on the menu.
If we really want to focus on "just us" during this vacation, would you recommend the repeaters dinner? Is it a social event?
At CSS, the beach dinner had tables set out for large groups. Is CTI the same way? We don't mind meeting new people, and don't want to appear anit-social, but we've had a very, very tough year (I've been dealing with breast cancer), and just want to spend time with each other as much as possible.
Thanks for your help! It's another icy day here in Wisconsin, so all I can think about is a warm beach and some rum punch!
If you skip the repeaters dinner and the beach party I think that Bayside is still an option, you could always book to eat there on your own. We usually do the repeaters dinner. Take your own snorkel gear and you can go off the beach by Bayside or over and around the island.
We just returned from CTI and I tried a bit of snorkeling right off the beach. On the east side of the beach, once past the surf zone, I encountered a zone dominated by urchins and grasses, with little else. A few fish are seen among the rocky areas that occur near the Bayside Restaurant, along the shoreline beyond the eastern end of the beach, but this is a somewhat turbulent area, which tends to bounce you around and cloud up the water. From this one experience, I cannot give snorkeling off the beach at CTI a very strong recommendation. As others have noted in this thread and others, snorkeling off of the island is an option, and I spent part of one morning doing just that with very satisfying results. Enter the water at the stairs along the southeastern margin of the island where there is a small sandy beach area. Swim toward the main beach across a very shallow reef environment (being careful to avoid the rocks and corals) until you reach a point where the water suddenly deepens to a level where you can swim more freely. I went east along this margin, which extends underwater for some distance, beyond the eastern limit of the island itself. The fish are plentiful and varied, and the reef environment along this margin is generally well protected from the wave energy that dominates the outer margin of the island and the open water that extends eastward and back toward the beach. Of course since this area is accessed from the island, this is an excellent opportunity for some AN snorkeling, which some people find to be very enjoyable, but may be a serious deterrent for others. I also made four snorkel trips (and my wife made three) with the Couples water sports guys, including the extra-cost night snorkel trip. They do a nice job, taking you to varied locations along the reef trend. That outer reef trend, and the reef margins that surround Tower Isle can be readily seen on a Google Earth image of this area.
But I thought that I would note that I ate a variety of jerk foods from both the grill and the patio (buffet). Chicken, turkey, pork, jerk burgers, etc.
As for snorkeling, as Mu77tx noted, the snorkeling near the island would be a lot more interesting than in the swim area. The watersports people will ask that you not go near the pier and also the area between the pier and swimming area is where the dive boat parks, so that is another area they want to keep open. Also, the sailboats, wind surfboards, kayaks, etc. all launch from that area, so you could get run over if you are there.
I'd recommend taking some of the snorkeling trips they go to different areas and are done a couple times a day.
As for the beach dinner, I think I saw a variety of table sizes setup there last month... I was at the repeaters dinner, so I just came out to watch the entertainment after.