Shermanstravel Blog

All Inclusive

Grenada

Last week we gave you the low-down on the new Sandals LaSource, the all-inclusive brand’s first venture into Grenada. While it may be tempting to while away all your time on the resort, and on Pink Gin beach, you shouldn’t miss getting off the property for a day of exploring. Here are a few highlights of this manageable and easygoing “spice island”:

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Guy FieriIf you’ve dreamed of dining at Nobu in Vegas, or Todd English’s acclaimed Food Court at the Plaza in New York City, you may not have to visit either city to make your dream come true. A number of cruise lines have teamed up with celebrity chefs to bring their restaurants to sea. Forget uninspired buffets from faceless onboard restaurants. Today, specialty restaurants are the new wave, and in some cases, the eateries are included in your cruise costs. (Others require a reservation and a modest additional fee.)

We’ve even done the math and it can, in fact, be cheaper to sample a celebrity chef’s menu while you’re sailing, rather than paying more for the brick-and-mortar experience. Check out the popular celebrity chef restaurants on these seven cruise lines: Read more

Bushwacker USVIEver had a Dirty Banana? Can you handle a few Painkillers? They’re both related, but not how you might think. See, when you belly up to a Caribbean bar, chances are these drinks will appear on a cocktail menu. Sure, you’ll see some familiar­ mixes like mojitos, piña coladas, Cuba libres (aka rum and coke), margaritas, and daiquiris, but this is a chance to sample the more unusual island drinks. Read more

SandalsExterior

One of our favorite off-the-beaten-path Caribbean islands just got a lot more accessible, thanks to the recent opening of Sandals LaSource Grenada. The brand’s first outpost on Grenada, the resort brings 225 guestrooms to the island; not to mention increased, and more competitive, flight options which are highly likely to follow.  Read more

RouletteWhile Pennsylvania awaits a verdict on the state’s proposed second casino, a recently-added feature at the ever-popular Valley Forge Casino (about 30 minutes northwest of Philadelphia) is making poker chip-wielding travelers around the country take note. Announced early last month, a new “Points for Miles” program offers gamers the chance to redeem casino player points for – get this – airline miles with US Airways.

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Atlantic CityOn the first of this month, United Airlines gave Atlantic City a leg up by launching daily service out of Atlantic City Airport to Houston and Chicago. The airport, which was previously only served by Spirit Airlines, lies just twelve miles from the Boardwalk. This makes it even easier for people from the Midwest and the south to get a first-hand glimpse of the waterfront casino town. Here’s how to do this city on a budget this summer: Read more

Grand Bahama - Gold Rock Beach at Low Tide - 620x400The Bahamas is often synonymous with Nassau’s bustling casinos and the sprawling Atlantis resort – a great vacation for those looking for a mix of partying, gambling, and sun. However, if you’re opting for a crowd-free beach retreat and outdoor activities, look 55 miles east of Florida to Grand Bahama Island. I discovered this tranquil paradise first-hand on a recent trip courtesy of the Grand Lucayan Resort. Here are seven ways for you to do the same.

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Wild DunesYou put in an order weeks ago to make sure mom gets flowers on Mother’s Day.  We even did a roundup of great travel deals, so you can whisk her away on vacation. But what about Dad? The latter holiday, which falls on June 15, tends to get lost in the shuffle between graduation season and the beginning of summer. This year, take advantage of off-season travel deals to take Dad on a trip he’ll never forget. From a beachside resort in the Caribbean, to a golf-themed southern getaway, here are five affordable itineraries you can book right now:

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SilverseaA few beads of moisture had collected on a marble tabletop at the outdoor Panorama Lounge aboard Silversea CruisesSilver Spirit. Seconds later, a waiter appeared out of nowhere with a white rag. “Here, madam. Let me just take care of that,” he said, wiping away the droplets. That’s one example of the service level passengers can expect on a luxury ship like this. On the Silver Spirit, there is one crew member for every 1.4 passengers – that’s half the ratio offered by most premium-category ships.

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JamaicaJewelJamaican charm hits you the minute you land in Montego Bay and, if you’re staying at the oceanfront Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort on the island’s North Coast, the all-inclusive ambiance kicks in, too, the minute you arrive following a 45-minute ride from the airport. The best part? This 4-star resort is offering some solid deals that will let you visit for less this year.

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(See the full slideshow: Hadahaa, Maldives)

Traveling to the Maldives from the U.S. is a serious endeavor, no matter how you plan it. The entire trip takes about two days each way, and it’s certainly not a budget vacation. But that shouldn’t dissuade you from a trip to Hadahaa, a tiny island in the southern Maldives that requires a 55-minute flight from the nation’s capital of Male, followed by a 35-minute speedboat ride from the isle of Kooddoo. It’s a lot of effort, but this is the ultimate destination for peace and serenity.

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Mexico Riviera MayaAll-inclusive resorts are great at keeping their guests busy. Included yoga classes and dance lessons are a fun way to spend a less-than-sunny day, and free-to-use kayaks and snorkeling gear can get you away from the pool and into the ocean. But many resorts also offer additional activities and day-trips that aren’t covered by the basic all-inclusive rate. (Usually the division between included and not lies with the type of activity. If the activity is “non-motorized,” it’s probably included. If it requires a ride off the property or a heavy piece of equipment, it probably requires an additional fee.) The good news? In many cases, that additional fee is worth it.

The eight itineraries listed below will give you a sense of what’s available, and how much these day-trips cost. And keep in mind that these are just examples to show you the breadth of resort offerings. There are many other resorts that offer similar excursions.

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BahamasThose seeking a quick, affordable tropical getaway often look straight to the Bahamas — and with good reason. With some good planning, you can bounce to the Bahamas without breaking the bank. Here’s how… Read more

Chesapeake Bay

Depending on the size (or existence) of the check coming your way post taxes, you could be looking at extra vacation money. And if you’re anything like us, money like that burns a deep, deep hole in your pocket. We thought you’d appreciate a few tips on ways to blow your tax refund on a trip in late April/May. Consider it a reward for getting them done in the first place. Read more

hyatt regency waikiki beach 2 - 620

Between the killer waves, unbeatable seafood, and lush landscapes, the amazing islands of Hawaii manage to captivate pretty much every traveler who visits. If you’re considering a repeat visit of your own, now’s the time to start planning – each May, a tiny tourism lull between the end of winter and the start of busy summer means a significant drop in hotel rates. Our advice? Snap up one of these eight great deals, catering to a range of budgets, while you still can:  Read more

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