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Thread: CSS or CTI

  1. #1

    Default CSS or CTI

    I am booking a trip for my husband and I as a surprise to him for Christmas. I am trying to decide between CSS and CTI. Any recommendations for one over the other? Thank you in advance for your input!

  2. #2


    We have been to CSS 5 times and CTI just once, and if you search the message boards, you will find many threads of pros & cons. I think this advise is also repeated often - Choose the first one that appeals to you. So watch each of the videos, check out the pages and there must be one or two reasons you are leaning in a particular direction. Our favorite by far is CSS, but here are some of my thoughts for your consideration:
    We opted to try out CTI because of the restaurants and the Cat cruise, and both lived up to the hype. We booked a Jr. Suite and it was truly phenomenal. I miss that bathroom every day. The resort does have more of a hotel-like feel and we felt a bit crowded on the beach. It was very social, lots of activity at all the bars both during the day and evenings. We were red-flagged every day, so our experience was not quite representative as we are big watersports lovers.
    At CSS, the tension of life just melts away instantly for us. It is the lush tropical foliage and expansive grounds that do it for us. We love to walk, hike, bike and boat, so the spacious nature of the resort is very conducive for those types of activities. Because it is so spread out, you often feel like you have the place to yourselves. You can find the social scene at the bars, but it is also really easy to find solitude for real R&R.
    I can't compare the A/N facilities as we don't participate, but I do appreciate that you can go to Sunset Beach at CSS dressed in the evenings to check it out. I was disappointed we couldn't do the same for the island at CTI (but again, being red-flagged didn't help that much).
    I went to both spas and they are each great in their own way. The Buddha pool and hot tubs at CTI were awesome, but I love the private huts /treatment rooms on the cliffs at CSS where you can hear the waves during your massage.
    The inclusions of Couples are very comparable, Dunn's River, food & drinks, watersports, mini bars - bonus to CTI that you get a water bottle and have fountains to fill it up throughout the resort.
    I hope this helps your decision!
    CSS 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    CN 2012
    CTI 2013

  3. #3


    We just got back from a split stay - cti for 3 nights, css for 7 nights.

    We loved both and had a really good time at each resort.

    Food, rooms, water sports, beaches, pools, spas, value, staff, location - all very equal between the resorts.

    The biggest differences are in what you want to get out of your vacation.

    Cti moves at a very fast pace and feels like a south beach / key west party vacation. Lots of fun, lots of drinking & socializing, very good entertainment that lasts well into the night, piano bar and of course the an island!

    Css is very intimate, relaxing and moves at a much slower pace. Lots of beach time, lounging by the pools, reading, swimming & just enjoying each other. The only nightly entertainment is at the balloon bar and it dies down pretty early. Ssb is fantastic!

    Css is huge with very lush, tropical vegetation with walking trails and rocky cliffs so it feels like your living in the jungle!

    cti is literally right over / on the beach and has a nice dock to sit / walk on so you feel more like you're at the ocean.

    We love both resorts and it looks like we'll be doing split stays in the future too.

    Cti is a great start as we're usually very, very excited by the time we go and cti always leaves us wanting more

    But css is where we're at home to recharge, relax, and forget about everything else so it was a fabulous way to end our vacation.

    If you can't decide - flip a coin, you can't go wrong for your first trip!

    And then "Trade places" so you can see the other resort too.

    For those that are wondering - it was a pain in the butt to pack all our stuff, check out, wait in the lolobby for the bus, then check in all over - but it was worth it to experience both resorts.

  4. #4


    I can finally answer - yea! We've been to CTI 3 times now for a total of 35 nights. We finally traded placesto CSS our last trip (beg of Oct) and were pleasantly surprised. We love CTI, its more modern and compact. We loved the tropical and romantic feel of CSS and liked their beach better. CTI has an amazing swim up bar, and a catamerran cruise. CSS does have a lot of steps. We are contemplating splitting our stay next time. Go with the one that speaks to you through the pictures.

  5. #5


    Excellent review. Thank you for the knowledge and for setting expectations. My wife and I will be doing a very similar split-trip this summer... 4 nights at CTI and 7 nights at CSS. My only concern is your last sentence. I hope the check-out, check-in process is not a hassle for us. But then again, you set the expectation so perhaps we can plan and minimize the pain!

  6. #6


    Check in / transfer / check out wasn't bad enough to regret our decision.

    And I just booked the same trip for October 2014 - it was that much fun :-)

    Mostly it just meant we had to plan the transfer day and had to follow someone else's schedule

    Check out time is 11:00 at cti - the bus to css leaves at 1:00

    They will let you check out at 12:00; if you ask

    We got up early and hit the beach then ate & packed - we knew our room would not be ready at css so the hardest part was figuring out what to put in our pool bag so that we could ditch the rest of our stuff and have fun while we waited for our room.

    Once at css we checked in - they gave us our keys and took our luggage but our room was not ready - no problem as we just grabbed our pool bag and went straight to ssb after first stopping by water sports for towels

    Much later in the day we went to our room, keys worked fine & all our stuff was in the room including our pre-check in and mini bar items

    The only thing I would consider doing differently is staying at cti a bit later in the day and pay for a cab ($20) to take us when we were ready.

    The only reason for that is we speant time getting cleaned up/dressed from the beach at cti, only to get messy at css all over again.

    Instead I would pack the night before, hit the beach early, check out by noon, then hit the beach again till about 3 or 4 and head to css, as is, in beach wear

    This way you won't feel rushed like we were and Your room should be ready by then so it should just feel like a long walk to your room :-) (no waIting at all like we did)

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