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  1. #1

    Default Any info very grateful

    Hi

    Im heading to CSA in July for my honeymoon and I cant wait! It will be our first time to Jamaica and wondered if anyone could give some advice on how much money they tend to take for 2 weeks and any advice on must do things. Thanks in advance xxx

  2. #2

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    Let me start out by saying congratulations on your wedding.

    Couples is all inclusive, so it really depends upon how many off resort excursions you will be taking as to how much cash you will need. You can do as much or as little as you like. We have done trips to Couples where we didn't leave the resort once and were completely satisfied.

    We will put most purchases on our credit card and pay up when we get home. This way, you don't need as much cash. A word of caution. On our first trip to Jamaica, another couple traveling with us had their credit card frozen because the credit card company saw a charge outside the country. Fortunately, they had another credit card with them. On our second trip to Jamaica our house sitter received a call from our credit card company every time we used our card. She had to explain to them that we were in Jamaica and that the charges were valid. After that, each time we go to Jamaica I will contact the bank that we have our credit card through and give them a heads up that we will be in Jamaica along with the dates. This prevents credit card issues.

    You will rarely use cash while on the resort. Couples has a No Tipping policy. Please honor their policy and not tip Couples employees. About the only time you will use cash on the resort is if you want to make a purchase from a vendor down by the beach or when they have vendors on the resort for special occasions. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices with the vendors.

    Off the resort is a different story. People will expect tips so bring some small bills with you for this. The porter who brings your bags from the Couples Lounge to your shuttle bus at the airport is not a Couples employee and will expect a tip. Slip him a few dollars before you board the bus. The bus driver is not a Couples employee either and will expect a tip. We usually tip the driver about $10 as we get off of the bus. In very general terms, we will tip depending upon the service. For a short bus ride in town usually $5. A longer bus ride $10. Don't forget money for the captain of the Catamaran cruise. Tour guides on longer excursions usually $10. Sometimes less to anyone who gives poor service. But this has happened only a couple of times.

    There is a tour desk on the resort. We will usually stop by the second day on the resort and get a bunch of pamphlets. Prices vary depending upon the excursion

    Here are some of our more memorable excursions. Most were through Chukka Tours

    Please keep in mind that most of these places are tourist traps and there will be people trying to sell you stuff. Some are rather aggressive but don't be afraid to say no.

    Horseback Ride and Swim, Sandy Bay A horseback ride up a mountain trail followed by a short swim on the horse in the ocean.

    Martha Brae River Rafting - Falmouth A romantic raft trip down a lazy river. Was kind of a long ride to the attraction. We combined this trip with Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. A 600 foot climb up a waterfalls. Not as difficult as it sounds but a lot of fun. Going to both locations took all day. We left early in the morning and didn't get back to the resort until near the end of dinner time.

    Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios. When we did this trip, they only had the attraction in Ocho Rios. Again, an all day excursion. Now the same company has a similar attraction in Negril. Swim with dolphins. Think a Sea World dolphin show only you are in the water interacting with the dolphins.

    Zion Bus Tour. We did this from Tower Isle, don't know if it is offered from Negril. Starts off just outside Ocho Rios. A tour to Bob Marley's birthplace and final resting place. A bus ride up a narrow mountain road. They serve rum punch which helps. We had a fantastic tour guide. They stop for a snack on the way up and a lunch on the way down. People will be smoking once you get to Bob Marley's house if you know what I mean. But you don't have to. We didn't smoke. But can you think of any other place on the planet more appropriate to smoke?

    Some tips.

    Usually on the first day after we have settled in our room and have checked the resort event schedule for the week, we will make our way back to the Concierge Desk to make our reservations. This is where you make reservations for the special restaurants. You will also go here to make your reservations for the Catamaran Cruise.

    You will find a bulletin board at the entrance to the Palms restaurant with all of the activities for the day. This is more up to date than the schedule you will find on this website. It is usually updated in the evening and sometimes in the morning. It will also get changed as needed. Check this bulletin board at least once a day. I usually will check it if we are at the Palms for the evening entertainment or will check it when I go for breakfast.

    We love to snorkel. You can go as often as you like but you must be on a signup sheet as space is limited. They usually go in the morning and in the afternoon, weather permitting for about 30 Jamaican minutes. Go to the Water Sports shack on the beach to get on the list. You can also sign up for the Glass Bottom Boat here if you are interested.

    We like to do the bonfire and the movie on the beach.

    Most people remember the sunscreen. But don't forget some lip balm with a decent SPF rating and use it regularly. On one of our trips we burned our lips so badly it was painful to kiss, ouch.

    CSA has spectacular sunsets. You will see lots of people gather on the beach for pictures. Don't forget to use a flash with these pictures. Otherwise, you will have a picture of a great sunset with a shadow of the person you are taking the picture of. If you see couples on the beach taking pictures, offer to take their picture with their camera. Nice to get both of you in the shot.

    You will find a bulletin board at the entrance to the Palms restaurant with all of the activities for the day. This is more up to date than the schedule you will find on this website. It is usually updated in the evening and sometimes in the morning. It will also get changed as needed. Check this bulletin board at least once a day. I usually will check it if we are at the Palms for the evening entertainment or will check it when I go for breakfast.

    Important. Pace yourselves.You can start drinking early in the day if you like. It is easy to be completely blasted by the afternoon. Who wants to be passed out in bed early in the evening or hung over in paradise? But if you pace yourselves just a little, you can last all day.

    My final piece of advice. Start a vacation fund at your local bank. Go to Couples once and you will want to return over and over and over...

    Enjoy your stay in paradise

    Only 246 more days until we return to Couples.

  3. #3

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    We usually bring around $500. We do a little shopping, usually go have lunch and drinks one day off of the resort, tips for drivers, luggage carriers, etc.,

  4. #4

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    I suggest $500 if not more. I also suggest not leaving the resort unless you are going stir crazy and need to leave for a bit. Everyday different people come to the resort and set up booths with items for sale; jewelry, clothing, amazing wood carvings. That is where I spend all my money. You could never take too much, whatever you don't spend take back home with you. I am going for a week and taking $500. Have fun!

  5. #5

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    oh sorry forgot to comment on things to do. Not sure how sporty you guys are, if so try as many water activities as possible, and TOTALLY snorkel. snorkel as often as you can. I believe you will get an option of a day pass to check out CN, since you are there for two weeks totally take advantage of the day pass, I will be in CN in July! I haven't done the catamaran cruise, but heard it is amazing and plan to do it this time. I haven't done any of the tours off the resorts because it intimidates me to leave, but if it interests you then totally go for it. Don't plan too many things in advance, because I did last time and we barely ended up doing any of them because once we were there we didn't want to leave the beach. I say play it all by ear! Don't forget a ton of sunscreen and bug spray! Have a wonderful time!

  6. #6

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    I only suggest leave the resort, everyday different people come to the resort and set up booths with items for sale:

    clothing
    jewelry

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