Advice on which resort to book the weddingmoon?
We're planning a wedding for somewhere between March and May of 2012. He's 41 and I'm 39 and it is a second marriage for both of us. We're shooting for 9 or more nights. We will probably have a few people come for the wedding. I know my sister and her husband want to go. I'd be surprised if we had more than 6 or 8 people come though.
I've been endlessly reading the boards and I've read the descriptions of all of the resorts on the website, but I thought I'd get some advice from people who have been there. I've seen people say that either CSS or CSA are the most romantic and that CTI is more hotel-like. That's the kind of this I'm interested in hearing...the overall vibe of the different resorts. Laid-back, party atmosphere, quiet, etc....
I've been to Jamaica twice on cruises (Ocho Rios only) and stayed at Sandals in Ocho Rios with my ex-husband. (I'm trying not to let THAT influence my choice. lol) I figured I'd lay out some of our likes and dislikes to make it easier to get advice.
1. We are both beach bums and like uncrowded beaches and pools. I've been to resorts (and on cruises) where there weren't two lounge chairs to be found together and HATE that!
2. We love water sports (water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving). Though, we generally like individual sports...we're not into volleyball or poolside games.
3. We like walking on the beach, but it's not like we're looking for a half marathon or anything. ;-)
4. We generally like quiet. That's not to say that we wouldn't like a party at night, but we prefer the option for seclusion.
5. We want a romantic atmosphere more than a party one. We're not anti-social people, but we have work schedules that don't allow for us to spend a lot of time alone together, so we look for that in a vacation.
6. Food...Well, I'm a foodie and quite an excellent cook myself...he's a power lifter/bodybuilder and eats constantly. Though, from what I've been reading, it doesn't sound like any one resort really stands out for having the best food. I do enjoy dressing up for dinner, so if one resort has more *formal* restaurants, that would be good to know. Also, we both eat very healthy (at home we eat all organic and no refined carbs) and are looking for lots of protein & fruit/veggie options. That's not to say we won't be eating some late-night nachos or something (after the wedding), but that kind of food isn't a big consideration for us.
7. Neither of us are interested in AN sunbathing, so that's not a consideration at all.
8. As for the room, we will probably go with the highest available category at whatever resort we choose. A jacuzzi would be wonderful.
9. BUGS...I need to know about the bug situation at the resorts. Bugs LOVE snacking on me! I don't mind having to wear some bug spray occasionally at night, but I'm also not interested in covering myself in it 24/7. :-)
10. Beach vendors don't bother me at all. I have a beautiful dolphin painting hanging on my wall from a beach vendor in Jamaica and some great sarongs from one in Mexico.
11. We would definitely pay the extra money for a private dinner on the beach, so if one resort has more options for that, I would be interested in hearing about it.
Also, how long of a trip would people suggest for staying at two resorts instead of one? I know there are some benefits when you stay 7 days at one resort (resort credit specials and such). So, would 7 night at one resort (where we would have the wedding) and then 3 or 4 days at another resort be advisable?
Thanks so much for any input!!