Alright, so I've started sorting through the 1000+ pictures from our vacation and have been thinking about how to review the trip in a less "cookie cutter" fashion, so I'm soliciting input about what YOU want to know about in addition to the generalities I'll likely type up.
So; ask your questions, tell me what you want to know, and I'll make sure to include these things in the review.
For now, a very, VERY tiny sample of pics are on my Flickr, but the uploader was giving me issues over the WiFi, so it's only a day or so worth.
I can't believe your back already. What I want to know is... is the September company as good as the October? LOL. Also... how sick are you that we are all still counting down to October and get to go real soon (21 days)? We hope you had a really fantastic time and if you haven't booked for 2011 already, shame on you.
We are going to CTI in December. Tell us all about what you thought was special. Did you celebrate anything? If you did, what did you do to celebrate it or if Couples did anything for you? Did you visit the island? Did you do any excursions outside the resort, and how were they? I could go on and on :-) but I won't. I just love reading about what I am looking forward to.
Gorgeous pictures!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share!!! I love the pictures of the locals! Did you take your own trip around the island, or did you take one offered by the resort? You have a talent for photography! My co-workers and I all agree, these are by far the BEST pictures we’ve viewed!
Thanks again for sharing!
My one question is, did you feel safe leaving the resort?
Jamie & Craig
Great photos! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more!
I love the idea of a non "cookie-cutter" review. We all know that the service, staff, food, beach, etc. is awesome. How about more details about things people don't think of, and/or descriptions of places/events???
Even with photos I love to see the ones that aren't of the standard beach or pool variety. They're great of course, but there's lots of those. I like to see the ones of rooms and tucked away places on the resorts, (grounds, spa, restaurants, gift shop...??)
I would second the question that asks what type of camera you use...those pics are amazing!!
Also, another question I have is: how are the amenities (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) I generally bring my own, but if it is really good quality, I may reconsider...1st Couples trip over new years this year!!!
Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!
My question is: I am looking into booking CTI for April 2012 for our 10th anniversary. We were married at CSA and will be returning for the 3rd time this Dec, but would like to see "new" CTI. I love ocean views but not too fond of heights and neither is my husband. Are there oceanfront rooms there that are no taller than 2 stories? if so what are they?
The camera is a Rebel T1i, and all shots are with a Sigma 17-70mm lens. Level changes made in Lightroom, along with some white balance changes (I'm a very lazy photographer in that sense...and I can admit it).
Review almost done. Had a jerk chicken/rice+peas cookout that ate away my Sat free time.
I am soo glad that u both had a wonderful time. It shows in your pictures. We have a little under a year to go. We will b @ CTI 09/11/11 to 9/18/11 for our 10th yr. I got to see what we can look forward to. I can not wait for the review.
Part 1 is here. I got carried away. I'll preface this whole thing with this; this was the first year we decided to not plan anything, and just see what happened day to day. After Wed, we actually did very little beyond bake in the sun and enjoy each other's company, so the ending to this review will likely be anti-climactic.
So, this year turned out to be a little different. The leaves aren’t changing, I haven’t pulled a hoodie out of the closet, the air is still humid; how are we possibly leaving this soon?!?
Well, work decided that I’m essential, for some reason, so it was time to take the most unfamiliar, familiar trip we’ve been on.
I won’t bore you with flight details, other than noting that the earlier you arrive, the more likely you can select the upgrade from the little check-in kiosk and get that first class seating. AA has superb biscuits. Other than this, the flight was familiar and uneventful to our final stop in MoBay.
Customs was particularly mellow, as was immigration, and for the first time in 7 trips, we beat our bags to the carousel. Shortly after, I was consuming a not-so-needed, but much appreciated Red Stripe in the Couples Lounge. The faces were all new, but the slideshow on the monitors brought us that sense of familiarity that we long for, and were worried we wouldn’t get as this wasn’t “our time” of year to go.
Time for the shuttle! Some bags are shuffled, some small bills are handed out to the porters, and we’re on our way “home”. I generally like to tune out on the ride, but actually got to chat with some first timers, some repeaters, and some multi-resort vets that put another seed in the back of our minds for CSA. Someday…but it will have to be two weeks and split with CTI. Until then, the West side folks can enjoy their sunsets without some big oaf pointing a lens at every possible angle hoping for the right shot.
A quick stop at a local Jerk Centre about 40mins from CTI, and some of the best dang fritters I’ve ever eaten (Cod fritters) and we’re back on the road. This time I tune out; I need that time to pass just a bit more quickly.
We dropped off our CSS crew and moved on up the road towards home. As we neared the gates, I noticed our favorite woodcarver “Oneie” no longer had a dwelling on the right hand side…man…I hope he’s OK.
We pull in to a very surprised Kirk and Byron waiting for us (well, everybody ) and proceed to chat a bit while attempting to juggle the task of checking into the room, providing Romance Rewards info, etc. We managed this surprisingly well for having been drinking since 7am.
Once we finished up and were on the way to our accommodation for the week, a Premier Ocean room. It seems every year, we move a bit farther down the 3rd floor hallway, but the new view from 3320 was every bit as good as 3310, 3306, 3304, and 3302. Slightly different angle on things; I dig it.
Off to the bar! Did we need to head down? Probably not at this point, but we had to say “hello”. A few odd looks greeted us, we pulled the shades off, and got “I thought that was you guys” and the love we’re accustomed to. Bob Marley shots and beer followed, along with a quick nap before dinner. As usual, we hit 8 Rivers first, since we arrive on Saturday and usually aren’t into the more active International Buffet. The food was stunning, the service outstanding, but I digress as you’ve heard it before. Before I move on, however, if the cous cous is on the menu with a dish; eat it. Fantastic.
We’re pretty tired at this point, so we stop into the Piano Bar to see Kimoni and let him know we’re here for the next week. After this, we retire to our room and sleep. God I love those pillows.
The next morning arrives, albeit a bit too early since SOMEONE *cough* set the alarm, but set it to her watch that was still an hour off. Upset, tired, slightly hungover, I awoke to some amazing pre-sunrise views and immediately put the camera on the porch to acclimate to the humidity. The results are at the photo link and are my favorite sunrise shots in 7 years, especially because we usually sleep right through it. Oh man, where’d I put those birthday cards for Jamie? Gotta find them.
Cards given and opened, we head down to the beach. No, not breakfast; the beach. We love the tranquility before all the people wake from their Aplleton-naps and such, and today we need to meet some friends for lunch. After the swim, we grab a bite, then head back down to the beach to start that slow process of defeating the “Casper effect” (the friendly ghost) that NC winters and summers in an office yield.
Showered, dressed, we head down to Oneies to say hello. We had discovered that he was moved across the road due to a land conflict where he previously was. He’s surprised to see us as well, as he knows we’re usually October folks. We chat for a few, then go to snag our ride into town. It’s Scotchie’s time.
Now, I know many are in love with the resort jerk, but it is way, way too mild for us. Scotchie’s has several spots in Jamaica and truly delivers on the punch with its sauce. We pick up our friend on the way and are waiting in a short line some 15 minutes later. Jerk chicken, jerk pork…whadda ya mean the sausage isn’t ready ()…some festival, jerk fish for our companion, and a few beers. Less than 40 dollars, but priceless for the time we get to spend with folks and the flavor that Scotchie’s delivers. We belly up to the bar under some fans and chat for some time. Sadly, “Jamaican time” doesn’t ever seem to apply to time with friends and we need to head back. First, we snag a jar of their sauce to bring back with us. It isn’t sealed, just poured into a Snapple-type bottle, but we have a plan. We send the bottle with our friends, say our sad goodbyes, take a few pictures, and head out.
Upon our return, we drink and slide into the last slot for Bayside that night. Not much else to report here…pretty standard fare.
6:15 rolls around and we take a stroll down to the Bayside in anticipation of another wonderful meal. We were not the biggest fans of the Italian fare previously, but we love the Asian cuisine. As we enjoy appetizers, the sun is waning and a storm cloud appears above the resort. I position my camera precariously, lens resting on a pack of cigarettes (no smoking out here, but they make a stellar lens brace) and wait to see what comes next. Of course, the food is stellar. A spicy soup and some Pad Thai are soon upon us, and the storm starts with a bit of a light show. I set the shutter on the camera for 30 second exposures and start clicking away. While the shot exposes, we eat with careful aggression…don’t want to upset the makeshift tripod, but can’t get enough of the food into our mouths at the same time. A balance is struck. I get some of my first lightning shots, including a great cloud to cloud strike I’m still boasting about, and we fill up with excellent fare. Perfection. There really isn’t another word more appropriate than that.
After dinner, we cozy up to our favorite seats at the main bar and watch the night pass over Overproof/Ting and Miami Vices. We decide a quick nap will help make the evening last longer for us, but technology strikes again, and Jamie’s IPod fails at alarm duties. Even so, she is still professing this is her best birthday to date.
Last edited by KrisJamie; September 21st, 2010 at 10:33 AM.
Great start to the review! Looking forward to more. Your pictures are all fantastic, but I had to call my husband over to show him those storm ones. Those are truly amazing. I hope you're going to enter them in the photo contest?!!