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  1. #1

    Default Live from CN: April/May 2019

    A little premature...but today is the day. It is 3:00 a.m., getting ready to leave for the airport. Hopefully travel goes smoothly and we will be at CN for lunch. Cheers!

  2. #2

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    So far, an excellent travel day. Up at 2:00 for a 6:25 a.m. out of JFK, our flight took off on time and landed at MoBay 45 minutes early! We were in the Couples lounge by 9:20.

    After a nice bus ride with Bruce, we were on the beach, cocktail in hand and having a conversation with our friend Donnavon before noon. We said “hello” to our friend Andre, ran into our old friends Rodney & Rene (actually, our young friends...I guess I am the most well seasoned of the group), visited with Jodi in the gift shop, had lunch (chicken korma was delicious) and now in our room waiting out a (hopefully) brief bit of liquid sunshine. Not bad for a travel day...and it’s not yet 2:00.

    Suggestion: if you have thought “not much happening on the Couples page”, make a comment, say hello or start a thread next time you are here. I hope to share more observations over the next week. Big ups, my friends!

  3. #3

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    Looking forward to reading about your stay.

  4. #4

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    Day1 during late lunch it started raining. No worries - used the time to go back to the room and unpack. The rest of the afternoon we were on the beach, ending with a great sunset. Heliconia dinner followed by Donnavon in the Piano Bar. It was a highly productive arrival day with lots of fun.

  5. #5

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    Wednesday: in a word, awesome. Early in-room breakfast then exercise. Walked the beach then breakfast #2 (any day that includes breakfast #2 is a good day). I got to play Cigarette On The Beach with Donnavon and Andre which is always fun.

    Beautiful weather all day (might have been hit with almost 100 rain drops...no impact in our day).

    Lyche dinner was great, followed by Paul Tucker Piano Bar singalong (I successfully avoided embarrassing myself by not singing).

  6. #6

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    Bert: So nice to read and thanks for sharing.

  7. #7

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    Bert & Linda, hope that you are having a blast at CN. Does the pool look different since the renovation? We normally see you in May but this year we are going in June, arriving 6/5. Have fun and maybe we will see you in May 2020. Mike & Caity

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tropical_cpl View Post
    Bert & Linda, hope that you are having a blast at CN. Does the pool look different since the renovation? We normally see you in May but this year we are going in June, arriving 6/5. Have fun and maybe we will see you in May 2020. Mike & Caity
    The pool looks no different to me...but we are mostly beach people (though we will occasionally pull up a chair at the pool bar before 11:00 - before it starts getting too energetic for us)

    Likely will miss you next year, too. I think our dates are in April.

  9. #9

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    I hope all goes well with you. I hate having to get up early in the morning to do this. Don't try to to do too much the first night and you'll be amazed how much you'be been recharged the next morning. DON'T set an alarm the next day, but let yourselves drift into Island time. You'll be just fine.

  10. #10

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    Back to CN...
    One of the highlights was getting to play "Cigarette on the Beach" with both Donnavon and Andre. I will have to see if I can post it to youtube to share. We saw Donnavon twice in the Piano Bar, once on the main stage and I think 4 times on the beach. He is such a joyful man. Andre ("cigarettes, cigars, it's gonna be a hot, hot, hot night") is another great guy. Both men show everyone great respect and earn respect in return. I feel privileged to be able to spend time with both, even for just a few moments on the beach.

    Walking: many people talk about preferring Long Bay beach (the portion of 7 mile beach where CSA is) because they like the longer beach. Bloody Bay (where CN is...also part of the 7 Mile Beach) affords a very nice walking area. We took a leisurely stroll on the beach most days. If you walk to the very end of the beach, turn and walk to the other end, then return to your starting point, it is about a 2.7 mile walk (6835 steps on my wife's fitbit, just over an hour) - plenty long for a good walk.

    On the recommendation from some CN friends we walked to to the blue tarp Beachmart and found Wayne's Bar. While it is not much to look at, Wayne is a very nice man. He sells bottles of Red Strip for $4 - not a bad price for a vendor on the beach. And the best part is that he isn't trying to sell 10 other things. He is happy selling beer. (I beware of vendors who try to sell me everything) A visit with Wayne is likely to be part of future trips.
    Last edited by Bert; May 9th, 2019 at 04:35 PM. Reason: typo

  11. #11

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    [QUOTE=Bert;319099]Back to CN...
    One of the highlights was getting to play "Cigarette on the Beach" with both Donnavon and Andre. I will have to see if I can post it to youtube to share. We saw Donnavon twice in the Piano Bar, once on the main stage and I think 4 times on the beach. He is such a joyful man. Andre ("cigarettes, cigars, it's gonna be a hot, hot, hot night") is another great guy. Both men show everyone great respect and earn respect in return. I feel privileged to be able to spend time with both, even for just a few moments on the beach.

    Walking: many people talk about preferring Long Bay beach (the portion of 7 mile beach where CSA is) because they like the longer beach. Bloody Bay (where CN is...also part of the 7 Mile Beach) affords a very nice walking area. We took a leisurely stroll on the beach most days. If you walk to the very end of the beach, turn and walk to the other end, then return to your starting point, it is about a 2.7 mile walk (6835 steps on my wife's fitbit, just over an hour) - plenty long for a good walk.
    ******
    Bert: thanks for the mileage on beach walking. I try to walk 3 miles per day at home, so this will be perfect.

  12. #12

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    Overall, the food was very good (as always). We ate at all of the restaurants, Heliconia our favorite. The Repeater Dinner was fun. We sat with the HR manager (sorry, I can't recall her name). It seemed like a shorter dinner than in the past (a very good thing). The HR manager did tell us that the CN staff is about 400 people! (note: that's why the "no tipping" policy is so important - it is not fair to tip the 5 or 10 staff members who may be visible to us while there are 400 behind the scenes making it all work...they all do a great job and I am thankful that Couples includes tips in our rate to reward them all)

    The new Operations Manager Gordon Douglas (I think...or is his name Gordon Edwards?) is very nice. He is always around, very accessible and welcoming. I only met the new General Manager, Caroline Cousins, for a brief moment. She seems like a very nice lady and seems to really value her great staff (of 400 mentioned above).

  13. #13

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    Bert: is Lychee restaurant any good, or did you two just like the beach atmosphere/location/staff of Heliconia better ?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by foreverbarefootSXM View Post
    Bert: is Lychee restaurant any good, or did you two just like the beach atmosphere/location/staff of Heliconia better ?
    We were at Lychee in April and it was noisy and we had an obnoxious group sitting next to us talking about how to butcher hogs. There was also another large group across from us that were very loud. Not the atmosphere that we usually enjoyed at Lychee's. Not sure we will ever go back to this restaurant and this was our 5th trip to CN. Heliconia was wonderful.

    As for the pool. They just replaced tiles and re-painted. Looks the same as before.

    Life is good

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach-bum View Post
    We were at Lychee in April and it was noisy and we had an obnoxious group sitting next to us talking about how to butcher hogs. There was also another large group across from us that were very loud. Not the atmosphere that we usually enjoyed at Lychee's. Not sure we will ever go back to this restaurant and this was our 5th trip to CN. Heliconia was wonderful.

    As for the pool. They just replaced tiles and re-painted. Looks the same as before.

    Life is good
    Thanks for the tip. We just booked CN for September 9-15. Only time we could squeeze in vacation. Hope the hurricanes stay away from Negril side. But storms are a chance wherever we travel of course.
    Thanks for all your posts.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by foreverbarefootSXM View Post
    Bert: is Lychee restaurant any good, or did you two just like the beach atmosphere/location/staff of Heliconia better ?
    We like Lychee. We go there at least once per stay. But Heliconia is our preferred due to setting and menu. Don't get me wrong, Lychee menu is good, but we generally don't need it more than once in a week stay. Generally 1 Otaheite, 1 Lychee, 3 Heliconia, Repeater Dinner (now at Heliconia)...that takes care of a 6 night trip. Cassava is fine, but I prefer not to do buffet for dinner (though they are a la carte some nights).

  17. #17

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    Bert: thanks - sounds great

  18. #18

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    Shame on me...I didn't update my own thread (because I was having such a great time). Some quick observations, then will share more when I think of them...

    We really had great weather. While the weather apps were calling for full clouds/rain on a few days, the morning and early afternoon tended to be quite sunny before the clouds rolled in, very little rain. So yes, while you just might get rain during your stay, don't be overly concerned about what the weather apps say.

    We did a Swept Away trading places day and enjoyed it very much. We had done a trading places to CSA once prior and did not care for it...so immediately changed trip we had booked to CSA to CN. Eventually, we did stay at CSA and had a great time (though CN remains our favorite by far). The trading places during this trip was a good reminder of all the things we enjoyed about CSA. The point? Don't put too much importance on a trading places day. It is a good peak into the property, but nothing beats staying there to get a feel.

    One CSA observation: Elvis (beach vendor) is a nice guy, treats people with respect and gets respect in return. A vendor calling himself Captain Kirk (I don't think he is the same as a business Captain Kirk Tours) is a different story. He seemed to me to be a real jerk. As we were walking the beach, he was getting off of his boat calling "wait - I want to talk to you." I told him "no thank you, we don't need anything" and kept walking. He replied "wait - respect! I am not going to hurt you, I just want to talk to you." (I HATE when they use the "I'm not going to hurt you" passive-aggressive nonsense). Against my better judgement, I stopped to engage him. He then proceeded to offer so sell me anything and everything. When I declined his offer, he got angry with me and tried even harder to sell me anything. I thanked him and said "We are just going for a walk, we don't need anything" and walked away. Well, for the next 5 minutes, he followed me, literally less than 2 feet behind me. It made my wife very uncomfortable. If I were slightly more aggressive, there would have been trouble on the beach that day. My point: avoid Captain Kirk at all costs. He shows no respect, earns no respect in return. </negativity>
    Last edited by Bert; May 13th, 2019 at 01:02 PM. Reason: typo

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