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  1. #1

    Default Tips--not the $$ kind

    We will be heading to CSA for our honeymoon in August - I thought it would be fun to have a thread dedicated to giving tips/advice to first timers (like ourselves). What are your top 3..4...80.. tips that you have for new people - maybe some things you wish you would have known the first time you went?

    It is my first time - but my #1 tip is to check this site out on Wednesdays for their deals...we missed a pretty great one by one day! Oops!!

  2. #2


    Hmm let's see, I have a few tips.

    1) Always take the resort tour. We are repeaters and still take the tour just to see if there is anything new and it's fun to meet new people as well.

    2) Don't book a dinner reservation for the night of the beach party (buffet). We got to go for a little amount of time before our reservation and I would have rather stayed at the beach party.

    I'm sure I'll have more but that's it for now.


  3. #3


    1. Skip the shopping excursion.
    2. Buy your alcohol souvenirs at the airport.
    3. Try every soup offered at Patois!
    4. If taking cash, make it in small denominations so that you don't get a lot of Jamaican money as change for a large bill.
    5. Make sure to visit the Martini Bar at least one evening.
    6. Relax and force yourself into Jamaican Time as soon as possible for ultimate enjoyment!

  4. #4


    Relax and don't try to plan out every minute. Just go with the flow. Your in paradise, enjoy it.

    Don't worry if something takes a little longer than back home, You are on Jamaican Time now. Enjoy the nice ocean view and breeze.

    And yes, try all the soups!!!


  5. #5


    Make sure you visit the wonderful Ultimate Chocolate and his piano.

    Most of us cannot stress this enough, TRY ALL THE SOUPS. I also like the Thai tasting platter for two at Lemongrass.

    Enjoy the beach, it's spectacular. Wear sunscreen.

    If you drink alcohol, try a lychee martini at the martini bar located above the Palms restaurant.

    Start saving for your next trip, because there will be one.

  6. #6


    Don't forget to try the pizza at Patois! It's the best. Especially the pulled pork.

  7. #7


    Take small bills:
    $50 in ones
    $100 in fives
    $150 in tens
    $200 in twenties

    Take the shuttle bus from the airport to Couples. Then on the way home fly TimAir. You'll get two more hours on the beach.

  8. #8


    The soups are to die for and I'm not a big soup person.


  9. #9


    I will be at CSA July will be our first time but, from what people have been telling me, MAKE SURE you bring bug spray

  10. #10


    I never would have thought to bring bug spray! hmm I thought i was getting away from bugs! Land of 10,000 lakes makes the mosquito our state 'bird' Thanks for the advice!!

  11. #11


    Walk the beach! Facing the sea, take a left and walk as far as your legs will carry you. Seven Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful in the world. Meet the locals, try some jerk at the shacks on the beach. Don't worry, it's safe. There are loads of vendors selling everything from t-shirts to trinkets to sea shells to... well, use your imagination. Say "no" to them once and they will leave you alone. But if you want a real taste of Jamaica, this is the best way to get it.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    On the web, always open

    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)

  12. #12


    The menus change at CSA once a week (I think it was Monday or Tuesday in 08)...try to plan your trip so that you can span that time frame in order to try some of the menus when you first get there & then you can try some of the new menus at the latter part of your stay.

    Did not know about the soups...will have to try them more!

    AVOID Margaritaville both on 7 mile beach & in the airport. Not worth going (& the one in the airport is AWFUL).

    It's not worth going on the shopping trip to the "shantyville" (or whatever it's called). You can find the same stuff (and I found some stuff cheaper) at Time Square and you won't get hassled.

    I reiterate WALK THE BEACH! We didn't really do that & I'm looking forward to it this time.

    Try all of the alcoholic drinks involving coffee if you're a coffee person....totally YUM!!!!

    If you're a coffee person, you can go to the beverage bar at the sports complex to get "real" espresso drinks (or at least that's what I was told). I didn't partake of that, but I intend to on our next trip. The "espresso" bar at the Palms is instant, and that just doesn't cut it.

    Bring a celcius to fahrenheit conversion chart if you're not used to reading celcius temperatures. The a/c's in the rooms are all on celcius, and we didn't have a clue what to set it at.

  13. #13


    Set the room air to 22. That is 72 F.

  14. #14


    This will be me and my husbands 16th or 18th stay at CSA. Here are a few things i would suggest....

    1. bring a swimsuit and change of clothes in a carry on bag
    2. Bring bug spray
    3. WEAR sunscreen!!!! Even if you don't burn easily!! I cannot
    tell you how many times we have seen couples hiding under a palm tree in misery on the second day!!
    5.Shop at the airport. There are a ton of stores for gifts and booze and you will have plenty of time to shop
    6. Skip the shopping excursion
    7. Try all the soups
    8.See ultimate chocolate
    9.Try out the spa and everything the sports complex has to offer
    10. Remember your on Jamaican time!!Slow down and enjoy!
    11. Try the rooms without the TV.
    12. Watch what you pack!!We have mastered packing for a whole week with just 2 suitcases, however, we have been nailed several times with a $50 fee for a suitcase over the 50lb weight limit. Keep it simple. Ladies you do not need as much as you think you's hot and your in a swimsuit most of the time.
    13. Bring cedar hangers...we have discovered that we return with small holes in some of are cotton shirts.
    14. Have a BLAST and start planning for next year!!

  15. #15


    [QUOTE=jwplane;8485]This will be me and my husbands 16th or 18th stay at CSA. Here are a few things i would suggest....

    10. Remember your on Jamaican time!!Slow down and enjoy!

    I would LOVE to do this but we got a free upgrade to a room with a TV.. I'm 100% not a TV person. Are the TV's covered or out for all to see and tempt my amazing husband??

  16. #16


    that quoted wrong..

  17. #17


    1. Make sure you bring some Gas-x, you'll need it due to all the extra fiber you will be taking in from all the amazing fruit and fruity rum drinks!!!!!
    2. Take lots of light weight cotton/rayon clothing.....nothing in a jersey or matte, it doesn't breath!
    3. If you are fortunate enough to have a beach front room, ask for something above the first level so that you can leave the french doors open while you sleep to enjoy the sounds of the tree frogs and the ocean. Nothing like waking up to the sound of the ocean and the breeze in the morning. No need to wory about univited guests.
    4. Take a late night dip in the ocean, preferably naked.
    5. Enjoy Seagrapes, they can make a juice that can cure anything!
    6. Get over to the sports complex, there was hardly anyone ever there....and there is nothing like the infused water.
    7. Talk to people, listen to the staff, ask lots of questions, get off the resort! The Jamaican people are truley one of a kind, and are full of really good life lesson if you take the time to listen!!!!!

  18. #18


    What time does the beach bar close? Can you drink on the beach late at night?

  19. #19


    SheridanLove - the beach bars close at sunset. However, if you have a room with a mini-bar, you can always grab a drink and take it on the beach. Also, you can always order a drink at Patois or The Palms and carry it onto the beach.

    Other tips - there are some beautiful koi ponds located throughout the property. The ponds near the Great House are lovely with bridges crossing over. We love to go there after breakfast with a stale piece of toast and feed the fish. It's all about slowing down, relaxing, and being together.

    Take advantage of the snorkeling, especially if you have never snorkeled before. It's free, and you might love it. The snorkeling is not Great Barrier Reef quality, but there is certainly a nice variety of fish, the water is relatively shallow, and they take you to several different dive sites, so you can see more than one site.

  20. #20


    Beach bars close at sunset, when the bar action moves to the restaurants. Nothing stopping you from bringing your cocktails onto the beach!

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"

  21. #21


    Now that we're back.. here's my list
    1. Bug spray and anti-itch cream
    2. Bring sunscreen -- it's very expensive at the resort
    3. Buy alcohol at the airport - it's less expensive and you don't need to lug it around
    4. Try everything at the resort that's free.. all the restaurants, activities, etc!!
    5. The zip-line tour was a blast. We'd highly recommend it.
    6. You WILL get asked to buy drugs - just say no to them nicely..they're humans -- we chatted with some people for awhile and they helped us find some other things we were looking for!
    7. Leave your phone off the whole time
    8. Bring a small (cheap) watch to carry around with you. I know you're on vacation but it REALLY would have helped us. There are events that happen at certain times and you don't want to be stressed out thinking you'll miss them.
    9. Leave your rings behind on the catamaran (3 guys lost their rings the week we were there.)
    10. Try the reservation restaurants early in your stay and book your fav. your last night-- we loved lemongrass so it was a great send off.
    11. DO go to the piano bar -- SO much fun!
    12. ORIENTATION.. go to it. We had countless couples telling us that they wish they would have gone to it - they missed out on a ton because they didn't know it was there
    13. Enjoy-- Relax-- Afterall.. you're in jamaica mon - paradise.

  22. #22

    Default Tips from Boston

    1. Horseback riding with your honey
    2. Use the beach drinking flag often
    3. Make a fool out of yourself and sing at the piano bar
    4. Be thankful for the opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful island and beautiful Jamaicans

  23. #23


    bring formal attire so you can eat at feathers and lemongrass. Don't forget to make reservations but don't overlap your reservations with the beach party as thats a lot of fun. Go to the watersports shack daily and plan some acitivies, like snorkling, skiing, sailing, paddle boating.

    You need a credit card to deposit as the resort is cashless. Bring some $1 bills to tip drivers or people carrying your bags.

    Horseback riding with Chukka at the location 15 minutes from Couples Swept Away is great. My guide was named Roger and he was amazing!

    Go to the Martini Bar by Lemongrass and have a few drinks with Kurt & Romaine! Those guys are the best!

  24. #24

    Default Thanks

    Glad you posted this. Was looking for a question on things to bring, and what to expect.

  25. #25


    Something to add, if you're doing any water sports such as Snorkeling; you might want to bring a waterproof camera or disposable waterproof camera.

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