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  1. #1

    Default 2nd and 3rd Opinions Please re: flights to CSS

    Ok, so the trip is aways away, but I am obsessive with details and I would like some feed back on the airline situation please. My hubby's attitude is as long as I am happy he is happy.

    It looks like we have a choice (flying from Detroit to MBJ) there is a 6:30 am flight that puts us in MBJ by 11:45, so figure 1 hour for customs, 2 hours for shuttle puts us at the resort around 3pm give or take, in which case it sounds like from these boards the room will not be ready, we could explore a bit if it's not, but we'd also be there in time to attend the 5pm orientation (something I want to do, the orientation).

    The other option I am looking at is a 7:45 am flight with a slightly longer connection, so arrive in MBJ about 2pm, adding the times mentioned above puts us at the resort 5pm or so, in which case the room should be ready, we could go right there and unpack, and grab a bite to eat at the no reservations restaurant.

    If we do the 6:30 am flight we'd miss the "free" breakfast at the hotel the night before we take off and it means being up earlier in the am, but we get to the resort sooner, however we are NOT the kind of people who would swim etc. without having unpacked first (I have a touch of OCD and I have to do things in a certain order, please don't judge me, but swimming before I could have access to a shower is not an option), so what else would we do, just walk around the resort? Maybe play pool in the lounge area?

    If we leave at 7:45 am then we can sleep a little longer, eat the breakfast and arrive with a room (fingers crossed) ready for us, which allows me to unpack ~ which for me is when the vacation in Jamaica would really start~ as soon as I unpack. We would then do the 10am orientation the next morning.

    I am sorry this is so long, I feel weird asking others about this, but I am hoping for a little "insight" from some of you who have been to CSS before ...

  2. #2


    I always go with getting to the resort earlier.

  3. #3


    CSS is a great choice, I'm sure you'll love it! We always like to arrive as early as possible because there's always the possibility of delays. We generally arrive at the resort around lunchtime and of our 5 visits to Couples, we have only had to wait twice for our room so there's always the possibility your room will be available. On the times we've waited for the room, we've had lunch and taken a stroll around and sent an email back to our kids to let them know we've arrived safely. I'm sure you'll have know problem finding things to do. Enjoy!

  4. #4


    imho, I think you are leaning towards the 7:45 a.m. Getting the ''free" breakfaast would be a plus since you'd have to pay for any food at the airport. Also, might not be a bad idea to have a little more time between flights just in case. Later sounds more stree-free for you.

  5. #5


    Get there the earlier the better, I think. If you miss your free breakfast you can grab something at the airport after you're through security. It would be better I think to arrive at CSS around 3 and get a bite to eat then at 5:00. By that time you're well past lunch, but too early for dinner. Then you have time to unpack before dinner.
    We usually take the red-eye out of SEA for our vacations, then take the earliest morning flight out of Charlotte, Atlanta or Houston (which ever route/airline has the best deal), just so we can arrive as early as possible. For our CTI/CSS split our room was ready at 2:30 when we got there. When we transferred to CSS even earlier it was also ready. Maybe we're just lucky because we have beach stuff all ready.
    But we're always hungry, so we just dop the luggage and go and eat first. By the time we have a late lunch we find that it's too late to hit the beach anyway, other than maybe a quick swim to cool off. So we unpack before dinner and feel settled in. It works for us.
    When we went to CSA we got there late after driving in the dark. We were past dinner and had to eat at the grill. Sure, our rooms were ready, but the whole day was gone and we were tired and hungry. Then we wasted some of the next morning unpacking. I hope not to have to do that again.

  6. #6


    We always go for the earliest flight. We've never had an issue at CSS with a room not being ready. there are showers on the beach if you need one.

  7. #7


    We were at CTI last September and we flew out at 6-6:30am and landed about the same time as your earlier flight. My opinion is to get to the resort as early as possible, an extra 2-3 hours of resort time more than makes up for the loss of an hour of sleep or the hotel breakfast. When we arrived, we were escorted right to our room without waiting and I believe we were there before the stated check-in time - worth the gamble in my opinion!

    Since you are a bit OCD and would not swim without being settled, you could quickly kill an hour or two by grabbing something to eat, walking the resort, or even sit on the beach to look at the ocean.

  8. #8


    This is the same flight we always fly from DTW to MBS. No question, go for the 6:30am, connecting in Atlanta. You are right, after customs etc. and the bus ride, you will get to the resort between 2:00 and 3:00. We have been several times, and our room was always ready. When you check in at the Couples desk at the airport, they notify the resort that you are on your way. If you take the flight that arrives at 2:00, you are at the resort by 6:00 or so. After you unpack, and get settled, the night activities will be in full swing and you will be exhausted. In both cases, it is assuming that everything is on schedule. If you happen to miss the earlier connection in Atlanta, you have the option of catching the later flight. Not sure if there is another flight after the second one. The breakfast is no big deal. Lots of places to grab something at the airport.

  9. #9


    We've made it to CSS as early as 1 PM and as late as 3 PM. At the earlier the room wasn't ready...but we were prepared for that. The later time has resulted in the room being ready upon arrival. Depending on the day of the week it can take 30-60 minutes to get to the Couples lounge at the airport from the plane. Also, depending on whether they stop between the airport and the resort, the drive can take 1.5-2 hours.

    Once you get there you can eat, wander around the property, have a drink or do just about anything you'd like. If you pack a suit in your carry-on then swimming would even be an option.

    We usually prefer to get there as early as possible just because we're so ready to relax and begin our vacation. The sooner we get there the sooner we can begin the de-stress. The other nice thing to do is catch the sunset on the first day...which might be missed with a later flight.

    Hope this helps with your decision,

    Bart & Bug

  10. #10


    I would take the 6:30AM flight, which may have you arriving at CSS between 2 and 3PM. Go for it! When we arrive we check in and head to the Grill for lunch and a Hummingbird if the room isn't quite ready. My thought is to get there as soon as you can and start your vacation in paradise!!
    Trip #3 coming in October!

  11. #11


    I would check with your hotel as far as your "free" breakfast. We also had a very early flight (out of Minneapolis). For those who were doing the "Park & Ride" (stay the night, leave your car & ride their shuttle) they provided muffins, juice/coffee, etc. so that nobody missed breakfast. This was a Super8. Personally, I would want to spend as much time as humanly possible at the resort. The little bit of sleep - if I COULD even sleep that morning, that I would miss could be made up on the plane. We've been to CSS twice, getting there once in time for the 5pm orientation, and our room was ready for us. Even if your room isn't ready, go explore the resort! Even if you're doing the orientation. It's beautiful!! We wish we were going back! I hope this helps - ENJOY!!

  12. #12


    We get to Couples as early as possible and just pack our bathing suit/coverups in our carry. Sometimes our room is ready, sometimes it is not. If it's not, no worries we just change and go grab a drink/lunch and head to the beach.

    I vote for the earlier flight.
    Honeymoon @ CSA 2010; CSS 2011 & 2012; CTI June 2013

  13. #13


    Take the early flight. There is a very good chance that your room will be ready when you arrive, and if not, shortly thereafter. BTW, your OCD is showing (from one to another!).

  14. #14


    If it were me, I would definately take the earlier flight, have layed out enough information about yourself that has changed my advice..... For you, you should take that later flight, things will be more organized and systematic...that should work for you.......on a side note, if there is a long delay in getting through customs and you see you won't get to the resort until 6pm or later. I would definately recommend taking TimAir..... its a local puddle jumper that is at the terminal....the flight is 15 minutes and the view is fantastic....the cost is about $100 pp one way...... you don't have to make reservations, there is a stand very close to the couples lounge.........enjoy yourself and let things go a little, everything will work out fine....remember things are a little slower in relax and enjoy the ride that life is!

  15. #15


    My choice is always for the direct flight when available just to be able to avoid a problem with weather/equipment problems en route, plus we always wanted to get there ASAP.

    But, with your stated issues, you might just want to do the connection. It sounds like it to me at least.

    Either way you choose to travel, you will have a wonderful time at Couples.

  16. #16


    I'd rather get there sooner than later. There is tons to check out if your room isn't ready yet. If you choose the earlier option--which you should--you can ask the hotel if they have a to go sack breakfast. Some of the hotels do this now because they know people have to leave early. Also, your travel time is less with the earlier option. Good luck deciding. You are going to love it!

  17. #17


    .... and this is why I ~love~ this message board! I didn't realize that there were showers near the beach, nor did I consider missing a connection! So, with that being said and further discussion with the hubby we will take the earliest flight offered. Hubby agrees that we can sleep on the plane and he said he will help me to "organize" the room once we get there! Thanks for your advice and opinions, hearing from people who have "been there /done that" helps.
    Thanks again!
    CSS Oct. 2013

  18. #18


    I would go with the early flight. If your room is not ready, and you don't want to swim, you could still grab a drink, eat, or do a little exploring on your own before the tour. CSS is a large (and beautiful) resort and there is a lot to discover. There are plenty of things to do besides swim.

  19. #19


    I sound like you'd be much less stressed going a little later. But, if you're arriving on a Friday go early! The gala is amazing and you want to have enough time to get ready beforehand! ENJOY!!!!

  20. #20


    We take a 5:25 am flight out of Columbus Ohio to get to Jamaica at 10:50am, with a quick plane change in Charlotte. We get to the resort early knowing the room will probably not be ready, but that is ok we have prepared for that. We eat lunch at the buffet and onto the beach or bar or both. When we get to our room we then clean up and enjoy the night and usually end up in be around midnight, almost 24 hours after we got up for our flight. In February we slept so well, that we woke up after they had quit serving breakfast, we have never done that, but it was all good mon. Get there early and enjoy it, you will be sad when the go home bus comes and they make you leave early. I would rather have the few extra hours up front, so much that we are taking TimAir the next time.

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