Shermanstravel Blog

Caribbean

stluciaIt’s a problem nobody really minds having, but picking a Caribbean island for your vacation can be tough. The dozens of islands scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea offer diverse experiences for visitors; from diving to fine dining, or just lying on the beach all day. Here are a few tips to make sure that you find what you are looking for on your next Caribbean getaway. Read more

alcohol - caribbean - flickr-vox efx - 620Ever wanted to bring back a favorite rum you discovered on vacation – but hesitated because you thought it was pricey or likely to lead to a suitcase of alcohol-soaked clothes? We’re here to help.

First things first. Bringing alcohol into the country is completely legal. You will have to be 21 years of age, of course, but the U.S. Customs and border protection says that “U.S. travelers to the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) countries are allowed a $800 duty-free exemption on their return to the U.S.,” for up to two liters of alcoholic beverages as long as one of the liters was produced in one of the CBI countries.  If you’re returning from the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can bring back up to $1,600 worth of goods.

It’s important to know that different states have different laws about the amount that you can bring back, and even whether you can ship alcohol to your state, so learn your state’s laws at the Alcohol and Tobacco and Trade Tax Bureau site. Then, with little forethought and planning, the rest shouldn’t be too difficult. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting a good deal and how to get your purchases back home.

Read more

holland-america-68-night-south-america-cruise-620

Ever wanted to see all – and we do mean all – of South America’s coastline? Holland America’s newest Grand Voyage for 2015 will let you do just that. The 68-day journey will make a complete loop around the continent from Fort Lauderdale, with a few additional ports of call in the Caribbean, Central America, and, weather permitting, Antarctica.

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

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.

Read more

CaribbeanIf there’s one thing the Caribbean has plenty of, it’s beaches. And when you consider that every beach has a multitude of enticing bars all clamoring for your attention, choosing the best one can become a nearly impossible task. Everyone you meet will wax on about their favorite drinking spot, but there are a few standouts that demand a secure place on every Caribbean traveler’s to-do list. These five are legendary. Bottoms up!

Read more

If you’ve ever dreamed of splashing around with dolphins, Flipper-style, singing with crabs like a certain redheaded mermaid, or simply like the sound of “sleeping with the fishes,” then here are eight epic hotels that bring you as close to the deep blue as you’ll ever get.

Pemba Island, Zanzibar

the manta resort 1

What if you could book your own, private island? Well… you can, kinda. Essentially a three-story, private, floating island in the midst of the Zanzibar archipelago, The Manta Resort (from $900 per night) features everything from a perfect sunbathing deck, open-ocean swimming, and a bedroom submerged 13 feet below the ocean.

Read more

CuracaoHome to more than 35 alluring beaches, pristine diving and snorkeling sites, and with a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, Curaçao is one of the most captivating islands of the Caribbean. And, given that the island is situated on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt and temperatures hover in the mid-80s all year, almost any time is a good time to visit. Read more

MSCDivina2

The Easter holidays are coming up, and if you’re searching for a budget-friendly family getaway, take a look at this offer from MSC Cruises, the only cruise line in which kids sail free year-round. Read more

With freezing temperatures across the country and what seems like an endless amount of snow this winter, it’s high time you treated yourself to a warm-weather escape at a reasonable price.  Swap the white snow for the white-sand beaches of the Bahamas, unwind under palm trees on a week-long sail to the Caribbean or Mexico, traverse the famous Panama Canal while visiting tropical Aruba and Curacao, or island hop through Hawaii, all for under $1000. If slow cruising in luxury is more your speed, travel through the translucent waters surrounding the Seychelles on a yacht, visit ancient Mayan ruins on a cruise to Central America and the Caribbean, or drop anchor in exotic marvels of the South Pacific.  So dig out of that snowbank and try one of these 10 warming cruises this season:

 

boat being built by hand with petite martinique in backgroundThink you’ve seen everything the Caribbean has to offer? Thankfully, 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting (and change-filled) year for this blockbuster destination. We already told you about what’s new in Nassau. Here’s more of what’s on the horizon… Read more

BodyHolidayIf you’re reading this site, chances are you love travel. And along with the obvious perks of roaming the globe (experiencing other cultures, trying new foods, scouting awesome souvenirs to bring home) there is the inevitable wear and tear on the body that  comes from being on the road. To that end, we wondered: what steps can be taken to ensure optimum health during travel?

A few days ago, we shared advice on how to avoid catching your seatmate’s germs on a long-haul flight. Here, we chat with Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Center Director at The BodyHoliday, a health and wellness resort in St Lucia, about the benefits of travel, the “right” way to drink, and other useful travel health tips. Read more

620x400_CobblersCoveBarbadosKnown for warm weather and beautiful beaches, Caribbean resorts aren’t usually thought of as true foodie destinations.  Discerning travelers, however, are increasingly demanding good cuisine, and tropical resorts are happily answering their culinary prayers. From cooking classes to bespoke menus, these Caribbean hotels go beyond conch fritters and strawberry daiquiris, offering true tastes of their respective regions.

Read more

620x400_HyattZivaThings change. Those words are particularly apt when talking about the current hotel expansion happening in the Caribbean. On Wednesday, we showed you photos of the still-in-construction 1,000-acre mega resort Baha Mar, set to open on New Paradise Island in the Bahamas in late 2014/early 2015. Of the resort’s four hotels (totaling 2,200 rooms), one will be flagged as a Mondrian, the design-forward brand normally associated with urban destinations like New York and Miami.

With its trendy cocktail bars, pool cabanas, and “Sunset Strip vibe,” the Mondrian will be specifically targeting fashion and nightlife crowds. This signals a 180-degree shift from the Caribbean’s usual family-oriented, mid-range hotel offerings. But this could be just the tip of the iceberg. Read more

Ah, those pesky resort fees. We’ve all encountered them in our travels, lurking on our hotel bills.

They’ve been around since the 1990s when they were generally utilized to pay for the upkeep of high-end facilities at upscale resorts; the beach clubs and tennis courts, for example. However, in the last five years or so, more and more hotels have been tacking on these annoying – and often spendy – extra charges for considerably lower-end facilities. For example, almost every explanation of these fees we’ve encountered includes such uninspiring “perks” as a newspaper and local phone calls.

According to research by Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management at New York University, the U.S. hotel industry collected approximately $1.55 billion in fees and surcharges in 2009. Not all of which were resort fees, but you can see how fees and extras add up. Here’s a breakdown of these fees, how they work, when they’re charged, and how you can avoid them. Read more

Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals