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  1. #1

    Default Newbie Deciding Between CSA and CN - a few questions

    Greetings all! I'm so excited to have found this forum as I am researching for our next vacation. A little background on me: DH and I are 40s/50s, just celebrated anniversary #22 earlier this month Normally we try to do 1couple vacation and 1 family vacation each year. We've spent a lot of time at different AIs along the Mexican Riviera with our favorite area being south of PDC. We've also done lots of cruises as well as some trips to Europe (Italy and Ireland). Probably our most favorite place has been the VIs where we've chartered a catamaran and then also have enjoyed staying on St John. Oh, and we've also spent some time in the Grenadines and St. Lucia. We love to snorkel, but never learned to scuba. We live in a golf community but don't golf!

    Typically we do our our couples vacation May/June around our anniversary but we got off track this year so looking at a week in early November. I've always considered Jamaica a cruise ship stop vs a destination. However the Couple Resorts caught my attention as I was researching for our upcoming trip.

    I'm thinking SA or N would be the best fit for us. I was leaning towards SA until I read about the kitchen renovation and now that has me concerned. Any suggestions from you experienced patrons to SA as to whether this would negatively impact your stay? Should I just go with N this time?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions but first need to decide on the resort This board is a wealth of information!

  2. #2

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    We were at CSS last year during some major renovations. No problem, didn't interfere with our vacation at all. We have been to CSA many times, prefer this resort...will be returning in early August. I don't anticipate any problems, as the staff plan for any disruptions in routine, and compensate well. I would even bet that most of the renovations are complete by November when you arrive.

  3. #3

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    Honestly, there are only a couple major differences between CN and CSA.

    CN: More secluded in Bloody Bay with about 2 miles of beach to walk off-resort that only consists of some beach vendors and a couple other resorts. CN is also more compact with rooms on the outer edges and all of the restaurants, bars, shops, pool/hot tubs, and other activities in the center. This makes it much quicker to get around, which is one reason we, personally, like it there. CN is about half the overall size of CSA. Also, there are truly only two room types at CN, Deluxe and Suite. The locations can affect pricing, but that's the only difference between one Deluxe or another, and the same goes for the Suites. The biggest issue right now, which wasn't a big deal for us last November, is that they are building a monster resort next door, so there is definitely some construction going on to the south.

    CSA: Situated on Long Bay, which is where there is about a 4 1/2 mile stretch of resorts, shops, bars, and restaurants. It is a much more active beach with more foot traffic. CSA has more room types, and they are not all the same, like at CN. The layout is different as well. CSA has most of the restaurants, bars, shops, etc. on one end or the other, with most of the rooms in the middle, so there is a lot more walking to get around. The other major difference is that CSA has a sports complex across the road with more sports courts than CN, a track, etc. As active as my wife and I are, this was never a big selling point, because we prefer the ocean side of the road. the main issue at CSA, as you pointed out is the upcoming kitchen renovation. Not sure how disruptive that will be, but it is scheduled through early December, so it will definitely coincide with your November time frame.

    Other than that, the Couples brand, activities, drinks, food, etc, are generally consistent across both resorts.

    I also wanted to touch on the curious statement about your prior thoughts about Jamaica being a "cruise stop". Jamaica is the 4th largest island in the Caribbean, has nearly 3 million citizens, has a clean public water system, and the GDP is $25bil with an economy primarily covering sectors like mining, manufacturing, agriculture and financial services. Of all the major cities, only the MoBay/Falmouth area serves as a major cruise stop, and in 5 trips to Negril, we have never seen a single cruise ship on that side of the island. It just made me laugh, because when you think of the VIs, St. John, St. Lucia, and other areas like that, to me, those places serve more as cruise stops. Jamaica has a very deep, rich culture that has actually influenced the cultures of many of those other islands. It's the birthplace of Marcus Garvey, jerk chicken, and Rastafarianism, and Ian Fleming even wrote the James Bond novels on the island. I can assure you this country is much, much more than a cruise stop. Good luck with the planning, and enjoy your trip!
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013, 11/2015, 11/2016, 11/2017, 11/2018

  4. #4

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    "dank120", that was a very good response to the question without trying to oversell your resort of choice. By the way, CN is my choice also.

  5. #5

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    Another major difference for many is that CN has a au naturel beach and CSA doesn't.

  6. #6

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    Janintx, if interested in some pics of our favorite and the best imo, csa,email me at clemonssara40@gmail.com . We are going in October and while I'm disappointed that the Palms won't be running as usual, I'm very sure that couples has a good plan.

  7. #7

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    It's a bit out of date, but I think it still applies. Here's our comparative review of CN and CSA:

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...h_Jamaica.html

    We returned to CSA last Spring and I think the review still reflects a comparison of the two resorts. We'll be heading back to CN next February.

  8. #8

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    Dank120's response is pretty much spot on, and I particularly liked the commentary regarding cruise ships and Jamaican culture.

    Location, property size, room choices, and the Gym are the primary differences.
    My wife and I happen to be split. She prefers CN primarily because of the location and size of the property. I prefer CSA because of its location, the Atrium Suites and the Gym. My wife could sit in a lounger and read all day long, I like to wander off property hit local places for lunch and drinks.

    We do agree both resorts are wonderful so, we are going back to CN in September for her birthday week, but she's allowed me to tack on 3 days prior to CN at a small resort in the middle of Long Bay...It's all about the compromise, she gets 7 days of lounge time and it get 3 days to explore. We both also feel as if CN is a bit more social with perhaps slightly more attentive service; this is largely due to the size of the property.

    If you want a smaller property with rooms that are a bit more hotel like, great pool bar, on a smaller quiet beach prime for relaxation then CN is probably a good choice.
    If you want greater room selection, a larger gym, more active beach with bars and restaurants off resort accessible by foot then perhaps CSA is a good choice.

    If you were leaning towards CSA but are worried about the kitchen reno in the Palms it sounds like they have a pretty solid plan, this wouldn’t stop me from going:
    http://couples.com/mb/showthread.php...vation-project

    Both resort are awesome…Have fun deciding!

    T-minus 71 days…
    "Love is the only thing we have to share"

    CN 2011, 2016
    CSA 2013, 2015

  9. #9

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    Nice post dank120!

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011
    CTI 2017 [50th birthday & 23rd anniversary], 2019 [25th anniversary]

  10. #10

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    Sorry, it looks like the link I posted is broken. Try this:

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...h_Jamaica.html

  11. #11

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    My wife and I have been to CN twice and a third time later this week . Last time, we took advantage of the trading places and went to CSA for several hours. With all due respect to CSA, we definitely prefer the quieter CN. Maybe it's an age thing?? I don't know. I will admit, CSA seemed like a more "fun" or "party-like" atmosphere, but we just love CN.

    Funny thing is, I'm sure CSA fans would feel just the opposite and view CN as boring.

    Fact is, you really can't go wrong.

  12. #12

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    inthesun, what a great comparison between CN and CSA. That should be helpful to a lot of newbies trying to decide which resort is best for them. BTW, it's CN for us. We only visited CSA on a trading places day, but the vibe there was just not for us.

  13. #13

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    This question has been asked over and over again for years and it is a very good question too.
    Both CSA and CN are outstanding guests pleasing resorts.
    So for it appears CN has the edge.
    CN is the most UNIQUE and SPECIAL of the two for us.
    CN's layout is totally wonderful.The rooms wrap around the lobby and restaurants and all activities.
    CN has the larger,not longer,beach.CN's beach has more depth,palm and seagrape trees with more shade.
    CN has probably the very best swim up bar and pool in JA.
    Being at CN is like being on your very own South Pacific Island.It is a true Jamaican resort.
    BOTH you will NOT gone wrong with either one.

    Hugs from Tommywommy

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  14. #14

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    The only thing nicer at cn is the pool , period. That's it.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by softail19 View Post
    The only thing nicer at cn is the pool , period. That's it.

    Many people prefer different resorts for different reasons...all personal opinions rather than etched in stone truths. Some things I prefer about CN vs. CSA:
    -beach: I prefer the depth of CN, the large grove of shade trees in the middle
    -vendors: much less aggressive at CN. "No, thank you" did not seem to be sufficient at CSA, to the point where we avoided most of the beach and stayed all the way back near the sidewalk. Even then, vendors would call to me to come talk with them, I would say "no, thank you" then they would continue to try to talk me into going to them. I do not care for the fact that the vendors negatively impacted my stay (I understand they are trying to make a living...they did not seem to understand that I was trying to be left alone). Having my pleasure of relaxing on the beach negatively impacted was a huge bummer.
    -Donnavon Dalrymple: by far my favorite beach performer I have seen at either resort. The man is joy personified.
    -layout: I love the central layout of CN, no room too far from the action. I also like the fact that there are essentially 2 room types...makes booking a trip pretty easy.
    -restaurants: I prefer the restaurants at CN (though I do give a nod to the ala carte breakfast at Patois Patio)
    -treehouse massage...I don't recall that being an option at CSA
    -AN beach: not my thing, but not a CSA option
    -Bloody Bay: I find the shelter of the bay/calmer waters more conducive to water sports activities and leisurely floating with a cocktail.
    -Lobby: the view upon entering is magnificent!

    I like all of the resorts (confident that I would enjoy CTI if we ever get there) and would love to stay again at CSA. But CN is the place that continues to call us home. Of course all of the above is my opinion based upon my personal experiences...your mileage may vary.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Many people prefer different resorts for different reasons...all personal opinions rather than etched in stone truths. Some things I prefer about CN vs. CSA:
    -beach: I prefer the depth of CN, the large grove of shade trees in the middle
    -vendors: much less aggressive at CN. "No, thank you" did not seem to be sufficient at CSA, to the point where we avoided most of the beach and stayed all the way back near the sidewalk. Even then, vendors would call to me to come talk with them, I would say "no, thank you" then they would continue to try to talk me into going to them. I do not care for the fact that the vendors negatively impacted my stay (I understand they are trying to make a living...they did not seem to understand that I was trying to be left alone). Having my pleasure of relaxing on the beach negatively impacted was a huge bummer.
    -Donnavon Dalrymple: by far my favorite beach performer I have seen at either resort. The man is joy personified.
    -layout: I love the central layout of CN, no room too far from the action. I also like the fact that there are essentially 2 room types...makes booking a trip pretty easy.
    -restaurants: I prefer the restaurants at CN (though I do give a nod to the ala carte breakfast at Patois Patio)
    -treehouse massage...I don't recall that being an option at CSA
    -AN beach: not my thing, but not a CSA option
    -Bloody Bay: I find the shelter of the bay/calmer waters more conducive to water sports activities and leisurely floating with a cocktail.
    -Lobby: the view upon entering is magnificent!

    I like all of the resorts (confident that I would enjoy CTI if we ever get there) and would love to stay again at CSA. But CN is the place that continues to call us home. Of course all of the above is my opinion based upon my personal experiences...your mileage may vary.
    Yup , it is my opinion. I felt we were cramped on the cn beach. On one end is the nude beach (which we had no desire to see or even walk by).
    The water at csa is like glass Alot. The sunsets are directly in front of csa, unlike at cn where the sun is of to the side. Just ignore the vendors, they will leave you alone. I just think csa is a much prettier resort. Yes its my opinion. I've got the pictures to prove it.

  17. #17

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    It's correct to say that this is all a matter of opinion. I prefer CSA over CN for the following reasons:

    - Rooms. CN has more of a hotel feel than CSA does. Every room at CSA has a large veranda and the Atriums (our favorite) have a hammock.
    - Layout - I love how the rooms are situated in the resort and the paths that wind through the tropical fauna. Even better at night with the lighting.
    - Beach - Because I can get restless and like to wander, it's awesome to be able to walk down the beach from CSA and hit up all the locally owned bars and eateries that dot Long Bay beach. You don't have that same option at CN.
    - Food. Between the two, CSA is the only one to have an ala carte breakfast menu.
    - Nightlife - While the nightlife can be hit or miss depending on the guests that are there at the time, CSA has the advantage because they have a nightclub and CN does not.
    - Fitness center - No contest, CSA by a mile. Might be the best fitness center in Western Jamaica.

  18. #18

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    Kitchen renovation is not at all a problem here. Trust me, they have everything covered. I'm here now. Not missing anything. In fact I like it better now.

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