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  1. #1

    Default Help with Past Experiences - positive and negative

    In 2004 my wife and I had a wonderful experience at CN and got married at the time. Everything about that trip seemed perfect. So perfect, that we went back a 2nd time exactly 1 year later. While the trip was good, it didn't seem quite as good as expected. Service seemed "off" a bit from the standard we received the year before. We agreed that it might have been in part because we had set unrealistic expectations.

    So fast forward to 2007. We decide to go away again,(of course Jamaica), and decide that all of the hype surrounding CSS is worth checking out. We book our trip in late August and eagerly anticipate our trip. A couple of weeks later a severe hurricane damages the mineral pool. It is promised that it will be back in action long before we arrive. It wasn't, and it was far from even 1/2 way complete. This pool was a major reason we chose this resort.

    So the date of our travel finally arrives. We had booked an extra couple of days to really relax. Our Air Canada flight is actually on time. I suffer from minimal car sickness on the way out to Ocho Rios. All things look favourable. We get to the resort, and it starts to rain. We check in, only to find out that our room we had booked is not available, and they've upgraded us to one of the older rooms. We reluctantly agree to come back and see the lobby staff the next day and get our room changed to what we had ordered. We get our requested room the next day, but I notice that it seems damp. I figure it just needs a day of AC to dry it out. It never dries out, and we come home with clothes that smell damp. We don't complain because we already kicked up a fuss about the original room.

    To top it off, the constant daily torrential cold rains (1 day out of 10 it didn't rain). the constant lack of dry beach towels, the construction, all made for a somewhat miserable experience. To top it off, some of the staff were down right rude, and I'm sorry, but being Canadian doesn't mean we want to smoke weed.

    That said, 2 years later and we want to go back to Jamaica for our 5 year anniversary. We're playing with the idea of CSA. Our concern is that we were perhaps expecting too much from CSS? Are we jaded in part because of a seemingly few negative aspects and a weather tainted experience? Can anyone comment from a similar experience, but went back anyway and were positively surprised?

    Please let us know that we'll make the right decision to book at CSA.

  2. #2


    Sounds to me like a lot of the troubles you had were weather related and not much in the control of the CSS staff. Seems to me anyway! We are going to CSS in three weeks and we can hardly wait. We have been to CSA several times and never had a bad trip. But I am the kind of guy that you can be standing on my foot and I would not say any thing to you about it. I take what I get, and make the best of it!!! I'm just that way.

  3. #3


    You are in a tropical climate, things are damp, it's humid, and it rains. You may have a week with little rain, or it could rain your entire trip. Depends on when you go and the luck of the draw. Vendors walk up and down the beach in front of CSA all day long, so if that is something you think will bother you, you might want to rethink CSA. It doesn't matter if you are ninety and in a wheelchair, somebody is bound to offer you weed. We love CSA and can't of anywhere else we would rather spend our vacation.
    There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage ~Mark Twain

  4. #4


    WOW, that trip seemed like a nightmare, and doesn't reflect Couples image at all. Not all of the resorts will fit into one's ideal thoughts, and maybe the weather compounded everything. I am SO glad that you are contemplating going back to Couples though. From everything I've read about CSA, it is a beautiful resort and the fitness center is second to none. (If your into that) CSA does not have an AN section though, so if you are wanting that, then CSA is not for you. 7 mile beach is beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful trip if you decide on CSA.

  5. #5


    Our experience was somewhat different. In Dec. 2006 (to celebrate my 60th birthday) we went to CSS. We loved everything about the resort so much so that we planned a return Couples trip for the following Dec.(to celebrate our 40th anniversary). Because we decided to bring our 3 adult children and their spouses we thought that perhaps CSA would be a better fit. When we checked in we received two out of the four rooms we booked. We had wanted to have everyone together on the "old" side of the resort but now two of the rooms were at the complete opposite end (Garden Veranda). I was very upset and this was not a good start. From there things just didn't live up to our time at Sans Souci. We had a theft issue among other things and were treated badly at one of the reservation only dining options.
    We visited CN while at Swept Away and decided to give it a try the following Dec. even though we were so disappointed with CSA. We really enjoyed our time at CN and had no complaints what so ever. This Dec. we will be at CTI.
    So I guess my point is that you can never predict what your experience will be. I hope your stay at CSA will be everything you hope.

  6. #6


    I would try CTI, it is all new and the staff are great.

  7. #7


    Wow I applaud you for hanging in there and trying again.

    Here is what I can tell you from our own experience. The first time we visited CN was in August 05, we had a wonderful time. It was so good that we decided to go back the following year. For us August 2006 was just as good as 2005. Now maybe it was because we met some wonderful people, one couple in particular that we are still very good friends with and have traveled with many times since. But it was a great trip. So much so that when we decided to get married we returned to CN in December 07 and for the first 5 days of our trip had family and friends with us as well. We are headed back in just 23 long days for 8 nights.

    Each trip has it own highlights, I can honestly say there really has not been any really low lights. Having said that I think your second trip was not as perfect simply because the magic of getting married was not there, that does change things I think. Especially if it was your first marriage, there is a certain romance and wonder that surrounds that event, everything seems perfect and that perfection builds in your mind. Which may be way your second trip was good but not as wonderful.

    I can not speak for CSS, but it sounds like it was just bad timing due to the hurricane and bad weather, both of which sadly the resort can not control. And weather has a big effect on a vacation, if the weather is really bad you are stuck in your room or in the covered areas of the resort and while they try to keep everyone entertained it is hard. Add to that you are thinking of all the dollars you spent just to sit in the rain.

    So yes, I do think that you might be a little tainted. I think you should give it another try, personally I would return to CN, where your journey together and your love for Couples and Jamaica started. There is a sense of familiar that greets you when you arrive and you know going in that you will not be able to re-capture the magic of your wedding and honeymoon but you will be able to generate a new magic because that is where your journey together started.

    If you do book for CSA then go into the trip with a completely clean slate as if you are going to a resort that you have never been to before and have no expectations of other then the hope of having a good time.

    Which ever you choose, I am pretty sure that Jamaica and Couples will weave their magic.

  8. #8


    What new rooms come to CTI , the sand is alittle coarse ,not as fine as the Negril beach. But all new.

  9. #9


    Looks like the weather put a big damper on the situation. Just having come back from CSA, I can tell you, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. You can't go wrong.

    Rain in Jamaica is a given. Usually it will not rain like that. Maybe some brief afternoon showers, but then the sun comes right back out. The times you booked are in the middle of hurricane season. Hurricane pop up quickly and leave just as fast. Usually not as powerful because they have not had time to build up strength in the warm waters of the Gulf.
    Rain is very common during these times.

    I am not from Canada and was asked about weed 3-4 times daily. Especially when you leave the resort. It's a huge part of their culture and a way to make money. It's something you have to deal with. Usually a simple "No, thanks" works fine.

    Like I said, you can't go wrong with CSA. If you liked CN, you will like CSA. It's huge! Don't be jaded about the weather tainted experience and give CSA a shot.
    CN-July 2006
    CSA-July 2009
    CSA-July 2011

    Eat, Drink, and be Merry for tomorrow you may die.

  10. #10


    Every trip to every Couples resort has been great rain or shine. One of the most fun times was a rainy hot tub party at CTI. Went to CSS while the mineral pool was under construction, had some rain and still had a great time. CSS has been the most outstanding of the four when it comes to special requests for us. Just depends on how you look at things. Glass 1/2 empty or 1/2 full.
    Shari & James
    Members of the 4 for 4 club

  11. #11


    Relax & maybe try some of that weed & stimulate the local economy. Enjoy the rain & the room. Your happiness is what YOU make it.

  12. #12


    We got married at CSA and have been back twice.We tried the secret Rendezvous to save some money and we got CSS.We have been spoiled in the past with great weather in Negril and we had a lot of rain in Ocho Rios.We still had fun, just not as much.We spent a lot of money on a cruise once and it was nasty 5 out of 7 days.If you travel to the caribbean enough you will get some weather and you just have to make the best of it.My hubby still cringes when I bring up that cruise and last year at CSS.CSA is the place for us, I hope you give it a try,and love it as much as we do.I hope you have great weather wherever you go.

  13. #13

    Default Thanks!

    I appreciate the feed back. I know we were jaded by the weather. It was staff that were offering Ganga... Fine by me if you want to smoke... but don't make assumptions.

    We also found much of the water sports equipment to be in substandard equipment. It never was that way at CN. Stuff was well maintained there.

    I appreciate the feed back, and I'm sure we'll be headed to CSA later this year (I need the vacation... haven't had a full week off in over a year).
    Ride and Smile!

  14. #14


    Five trips to Couples so far and it's all been great. Expectations need to be controlled and if something isn't the way you like it speak up - Couples listens and more importantly responds - happily.

    You can't control the weather and we have been fortunate enough to have always had reasonable weather.

    Hot tubs in the rain are the best! Or a nap in the room? Or a moment with the significant other. Get the picture? You're in Jamaica Mon! Chill!!!

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