Just back from our 6th trip to CSA. Once again we had a fabulous time but we did notice a few things that have changed. Our arrival into MBJ was by far the smoothest yet! Imagine our surprise when we turned on to the ramp at the airport expecting the line to start there to find there was absolutely no line! And this was at 2:30 in the afternoon. Total time from deplaning to Couples Lounge--20 minutes. This was fantastic. About 1/2 hour later we were on the shuttle and on our way!
The ride to Negril was about the same as always. Driver stopped once about half way even though there were a few on the shuttle who asked for a beer stop about 5 minutes into the drive. We were so relieved when this was ignored as we were getting a little nervous that is was about to be a long, loud drive not that we begrudge anyone getting their Red Stripe but we really want to get "home" as quickly as possible. Check in was a breeze. I was a little concerned when I first saw our Atrium suite location--ground floor right next to the Palms but decided to give it a try. Was worried that there would be a great deal of noise but we really didn't notice too much. We are early risers anyway so the morning noise didn't bother us. Our very first time with a ground floor room and while we still prefer an upper floor it wasn't too bad. Much less privacy though!
We were so happy to see all of the dear staff who we have come to consider our extended family and once again the service was second to none. They really are the reason we keep returning. Special thanks to Kurt at the Sunset Bar, Cean Stashi, Racquelle and Orrin at Feathers, Clayton at Watersports, Shelley Ann the Operations Manager, Skippy the Entertainment Manager, our dear friend Ultimate Chocolate, and so many others for once again making us feel so special!
Food was fantastic once again and we will have to spend some time working off the extra pounds we brought back with us. Hubby always says they should weigh you at check in and again at check out and charge you accordingly!
We find that the beach gravity gets us every time and we always have great intentions to participate in more activities but find we can't tear ourselves away from that amazing beach. The resort was at full capacity and we never had a problem finding a great spot to park ourselves. We did go out snorkelling, on the Catermaran, and on a Hobie Cat this time so didn't do too bad. Still couldn't tear ourselves away to do the Trading Places visit to CN.
We also had the opportunity to visit the children at Mount Airy School again this year to personally deliver our school supplies. This is always such a highlight for us! Shelley Ann was such a great help in arranging this for us again, and once again we were lucky enough to have Super as our driver. We always learn so much about the area from him.
We did find there seemed to be a greater number of "groups" this year which often made for a loud environment. Not sure why this was but it does take away from the romantic atmosphere for sure. It was Super Bowl weekend so not sure if that had something to do with it. Some guests were quite rude and on more than one occasion we observed people being less than courteous to staff. We certainly didn't like this as these people go above and beyond at all times! We also had the misfortune of our sandals being taken while we were out snorkelling. We have always left our footwear at the Watersports hut while out snorkelling with no issues, so were disappointed to discover them gone this year. Another guest's footwear was also missing. There seemed to be many people who were not Watersports staff around the hut that afternoon. Sure made us less apt to leave things unattended from that point on!
While we love CSA, we are strongly considering a trip to the new Couples Barbados for 2014. Maybe it is time to try something new. We will make our decision over the next few months. It won't be easy to think we won't make our annual journey to our second home but kind of exciting to think we could visit somewhere new and yet still be confident that the Couples level of service will still be there!