Shermans Travel » Blog » Caribbean
People travel for myriad reasons: to see new places, to conduct business, to escape wacky family members. More often than not, people venture out into the world for a respite from their everyday lives. A break from the daily grind is always welcome, and most vacationers are happy to escape to a realm of peace and tranquility.
Of course, in today’s tech landscape, where many of us have our smartphones fused to the palms of our hands, that can be nigh impossible. Even in the most remote corners of the Earth, you can still hear the faint buzzes, bells, and whistles of your or your neighbors’ electronic devices. We’re all guilty of giving in to technology in times when we should log off – checking our work email on vacation, or wondering which Instagram filter will get your sweet landscape photo the most likes. For those of us who need the internet pried from our cold, dead fingers, some hotels are taking a more forceful route.
Recently, my friend and I took a girls’ getaway to St. Lucia. We were both excited to get away from the office for a week; we planned on unwinding at the beach on Sunday – the day we left New York – then spending six days swimming, sunning, and sleeping.
Then we looked at our plane tickets. Yes, we were leaving Sunday morning and returning Friday night, but we actually had just four full days in St. Lucia – and eight hours in the San Juan airport in both directions. While more and more direct routes to smaller Caribbean islands are becoming available, the cheapest flights still require layovers, and often long ones, in the Puerto Rican capital. Read more
Like snowbirds, cruise ships migrate south for the winter, repositioning from San Francisco to Sydney or Vancouver to Miami, among other seasonal switch-ups. In search of aquamarine water and swaying palms, these cities at sea ply the open ocean offering sun seekers a taste of the good life, complete with Broadway-style entertainment, umbrella drinks, chocolate fountains, and a bevy of stops along the way.
Working on a cruise ship, and then cruising on a variety of vessels as a passenger, I’d say I’ve earned my stripes at sea. Not only do I suggest packing Breton stripes and boat shoes, I’ve assembled a fleet of other fashion-meets-function essentials worth stuffing into your suitcase.
Here’s how to make the gangway your runway: Read more
In a tough economy, it becomes more difficult to sneak away from the office, but also less realistic to spend your savings on a big vacation. Given the constraints on travelers’ time and checkbooks, few options are as ideal as a quick jaunt to the Caribbean – direct flights are readily available from most East Coast airports to most island hubs, and the variety among the islands means there’s a destination for everyone – from the nature enthusiast to the luxury-demanding mogul. Unfortunately, no destination is without at least one drawback, and in the case of the Caribbean, this drawback is hurricane season. Typically running from June 1 to November 30, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has been known to put quite a damper on many vacationers and cruisers on the Caribbean islands. On the other hand, the unpredictability of the hurricane season also means there are great deals on travel to the Caribbean during these months. While there is no guarantee that any destination will be totally safe during the season, the editors at VirtualTourist have put together a list of “5 Caribbean Islands less likely impacted during Hurricane Season.” Read more
Music, partying, and sports features heavily on the Jamaican psyche, and Jake’s on Treasure Beach is taking it to the next level with their Countdown to Jamaica’s 50th special, featuring hotel deals, food and spa vouchers, and other festivities in anticipation of Jamaica’s 50th independence day on August 6.
Starting from August 4, celebrations at the boutique hotel include a beach bonfire party playing hits from Jamaica’s rich musical culture, a beach soccer tournament involving 18 teams, and the premier of One People, a documentary capturing what Jamaica means to the rest of the world. And when you have to stumble back to your room, Jakes is offering 20 percent off their usual rates, starting from $94 a night. Choose between 49 of the hotel’s wildly colorful rooms, many of which face the Caribbean, its 31 cottages with antique furniture and louvered windows, or the establishment’s three eclectically decorated villas. To keep your focus purely on relaxation, most rooms are not equipped with televisions or telephones, but the hotel offers picnic baskets for excursions and tour guides for day trips to surrounding villages.
The dog days of summer may be upon us, but RockResorts is looking to cool you down with its winter getaway deals featuring savings of 25 to 50 percent, and rates starting at $85 per night at locations around the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Already dreaming of snow? Book now for the lowest rates at The Arrabelle at Vail Square or The Lodge at Vail, RockResorts’ establishments near Vail, Colorado, where you’ll find excellent back-country skiing and snowboarding. At nearby Beaver Creek, the group’s Osprey and The Pine Lodge also offer activities like snowshoeing, dog sledding, sleigh rides, and hot air ballooning. Read more
Let’s be clear, everyone wants to bask in true luxury while on vacation. The problem is that we don’t all have the expendable income to be royalty of leisure and relaxation for a week. But, traveling to the 5-star CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, now through November 20, with the “Stay 7 nights, pay for 5” deal will land you an average nightly rate of $315, a substantial drop from the winter rates of $815 and up.
While saving over 60 percent, guests will be in chic accommodations that feature a marble bathroom, walk-in closet, and a private terrace overlooking the infinity pool, with serene ocean views just beyond. On the property lies an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course, 27,000 square foot spa, and a half-acre hydroponic farm that make the resort a true Caribbean standout. Read more
For travelers looking for great travel deals, the summer months offer lots of discounts in the Caribbean and Mexico, because summer generally means hurricanes and risky weather. But the Weather Channel has just issued its forecast for the 2012 hurricane season, and the weather looks promising for those tropical Atlantic travelers.
The experts predict 11 named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) for the 2012 season. The prediction is for storms in the Atlantic Ocean, not necessarily storms that make landfall. These numbers are well below the averages for 1995-2011, which had, on average, 15 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes. However, it should be noted that these are just predictions: in 1992 only six named storms were predicted, one of which was Hurricane Andrew, one of the most devastating hurricanes in recent history.
Be sure to check out our Top 10 Travel Emergency Tips for advice on how to handle hurricanes and other disasters.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.
With summer — and school break — just around the corner, it’s time to start planning a great getaway for the whole family. These money-saving deals are suitable for a group, whether you’re taking the kids to Orlando for some theme park hopping, planning your next family reunion on a cruise, or hiding out at a Caribbean resort where little ones stay free. We found those deals and more, good for travel throughout summer and fall, starting from just $87. Book soon to lock in the best savings.
I’m getting married in less than three weeks [hold for applause]. It’s a destination wedding, which probably merits its own blog post at some point. However, since wedding planning has rendered me unable to put together a string of coherent thoughts, it’s best if I focus on the honeymoon in this post since, well, that’s way less stressful.
Selecting a honeymoon destination requires looking at the trip from several different angles. As you begin to discuss where to decompress after months spent selecting tablecloths and entrée choices, you want to make sure you reach the decision that makes both of you happy. Ultimately, there are only three types of honeymoons. Once you pick which is right for you, the decisions get a lot easier. Read more
Explore the lesser-known Southern Caribbean island of Bonaire, home to world-class scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling. Stay at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino from now through December 21 from just $129 per night — a savings of 30% on this hotel’s seasonal rates.
Situated on the Caribbean, the Divi Flamingo Resort serves as the perfect base for both an exciting scuba trip or a relaxing beach vacation. The Divi Dive Bonaire, a PADI five-star dive resort, is located directly on the property, and guests can book dive excursions 24 hours a day through the Flamingo front desk. Further excursions like guided snorkeling, kayaking, and sunset sails are also available.
For those more interested in kicking back, the Divi Flamingo features beach access, two freshwater swimming pools, a casino, and a spa and salon. Rooms offer garden or oceanfront views and private balconies.
Book online at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino website or call 800-367-3484. This offer ends May 31.
While local economies in our favorite travel destinations may still be feeling the pinch of the global recession – especially in international locales – the hotel industry continues to bounce back (though prices have yet to reach pre-recession levels). According to the annual hotels.com Hotel Price Index the cost to book a room increased by 4 percent worldwide from 2010 to 2011, with the biggest jumps in the Pacific (8 percent) and North America (5 percent).
What really struck us about this year’s survey, however, was the comparison of what different nationalities tend to pay for a hotel room in their own countries versus what they shell out while abroad. Turns out Americans are the second thriftiest when it comes to what they’ll plunk down for a hotel in the U.S. – paying an average of $120/night – while at the same time splurging when traveling outside the country, where they pay around $171/night. (Only Australians, the Japanese, and the Swiss pay more.)
Appealing to today’s more value-conscious upscale traveler, luxury line Crystal Cruises has added all-inclusive amenities to their standard pricing. These new benefits began with Crystal Symphony‘s first transatlantic voyage from Miami to Lisbon on March 19 (the next all-inclusive sailing will be the Crystal Serenity‘s trip from New York to London on May 8).
The new all-inclusive pricing includes prepaid gratuities for housekeeping, butler, and dining staff, an impressive selection of fine wine and premium spirits in the restaurants, open-bar service throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, and more.
As repeat passengers, my husband and I anticipated exceptional cuisine and a world of imaginative itineraries when we had the pleasure of taking an 11-day cruise through the Panama Canal in January. It was the perfect time of the year to sail from Costa Rica into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, stopping at the colorful ports of Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas before arriving in Miami.
Unfortunately, it was too soon in the year for us to take advantage of Crystal’s all-inclusive pricing – but there’s always a next time. Read more
As the Caribbean heads into its shoulder (April-June) and low (July-November) seasons, the region’s resorts are offering up some romance packages that are a great value and full of fun extras. So if you’re planning a just-the-two-of-you escape over the next few months, here are four options worth considering:
Curacao Couples Getaway Package: If you’re looking to try a new island, I can recommend colorful, cultural Curacao, where this five-night package from the Lodge Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino (shown above at left) is a great value. It includes five nights’ accommodation in an Oceanfront Studio or Oceanfront One-Bedroom Suite, a three-hour romantic snorkel trip to a nearby reef, a poolside cabana couples massage, buffet breakfast daily, complimentary transport to sister property Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino (in photogenic Willemstad), and taxes and service charges, from $1,450 per couple. Valid April 8 to October 31, 2012.
Booking a summer vacation is so satisfying. Even more satisfying? Saving hundreds of dollars on it. Our deals experts have been scouring the internet in search of the hottest summer deals to help you save. Here’s what they came up with, from an incredible suite in Vegas to a cool Bahamas getaway to a 5-star Spain package. For even more deals, check out our weekly Top 25.
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