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You’ll always find positive vibes in the Caribbean, but the celebratory mood is nothing short of infectious during big hooplas like Carnival. If the crowds scare you, though, we have good news: There are a handful of lesser-known but just as amazing festivals across the islands. While most happen over summer, there’s one coming up in the not-so-distant future this fall.
Sinking your toes into pearly sands and sipping on a festive cocktail qualify as essential ingredients for enjoying a beach bar. But Caribbean joints require an extra component: music. After all, lounging beachside in the Caribbean isn’t quite complete without languid reggae rhythms, upbeat dancehall, or punchy cumbia notes — and all that music, more often than not, inspires some fun dance moves for a night. Here are the bars to hit up for the liveliest dancing.
You might have heard this recent story: Several airlines have repeatedly denied a woman’s request to bring her pet hedgehog inside the cabin. In fact, this has spurred a Change.org petition urging air carriers to change their stance on pets. According to CNN.com, the passenger was told that Heloise the hedgehog could chew its way out of the container or cause other passengers to have an allergic reaction.
If you’re looking to bring your fur baby on a plane, the rules can be complicated. We took a look at carry-on policies by airline and collected them here, in one easy reference. Some rules, however, are universal: Passengers flying with pets must make reservations over the phone and check-in must be done at the airport counter. All pets (one per passenger) must be transported in a carrier that is leak-proof, escape-proof, provides ventilation on at least two sides, and fits under the seat in front of you – the carrier also counts as one of your carry-on items. Don’t forget to ask the airline the maximum size carrier it allows onboard when making flight arrangements.
Fido must stay in his carrier from gate-to-gate, and is required to be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down in a natural position inside it. Airlines are not responsible for the well-being of pets, and if there is an emergency in the cabin, oxygen won’t be administered to your pet. Also, your airline reserves the right to deny boarding to pets if they are ill or aggressive towards your fellow passengers. As a precaution, make sure you have vaccination certificates and identification tags when appropriate.
Here’s a quick look at the individual carry-on pet policies of 11 airlines…
Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.
If you know who Lady Mary, Tom Branson, and the Earl of Grantham are, read on. Crystal Cruises has taken the wraps off a two-night, post-cruise trip to the land of Downton, themed after the popular series about early 20th century English aristocrats. It’s an extension of the luxury line’s 17-night cruise departing July 8, 2015 from Reykjavik to London. Cruisers, who will pay $4,600 per person for the land tour (we never said it was cheap), will live like royalty while visiting Highclere Castle, the fictional home of the Grantham clan. They’ll arrive in vintage 1920s cars (chauffeured, of course) and be guests of honor at a private champagne reception and tour, among other Downton-related activities. Cruise fares on this itinerary — which crosses the Arctic Circle on its way to London — start at $1,730 per person if booked by January 2.
If you’re yearning to flee the coop this winter for a little heat, Apple Vacations wants to help you out. Its Winter Super Sale kicks into effect for select packages in various sunny locales — shaving close to $300 off busy season prices from booking air and hotel separately. The sale encompasses three-, five-, or seven-night trips between December 18, 2014 and April 30, 2015.
Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? We’ve got the latest on luxury sales, a great idea for crowd-funding your next vacation, holiday itineraries, and more.
Now here’s a great idea for newlywed travelers: Rather than asking for home appliances, why not have friends and family contribute to your post-nuptial trip? Princess Cruises‘ Honeymoon Wishes Registry allows others to chip in for everything from cruise fare and shore excursions to specialty dining and drinks by the pool to relaxing spa treatments. All gifts are applied as an onboard credit to the couple’s stateroom account to use during their honeymoon cruise, and the bride and groom can create an accompanying website to share wedding details and personal photos.
Taking a vacation in Jamaica doesn’t necessarily mean napping in the sun for a week. Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more vacations that include fitness classes, adventure treks, dance lessons, and other kinds of physical activity. For a week of soothing, and highly focused fitness, check out this beautiful yoga retreat that we recently discovered.
Southwest Airlines have been a major player in the U.S. market over the past few decades, but today it takes its first step into the big, wide world. As of July 1, Southwest has begun service to Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Orlando. In the coming months flights to the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic from other gateways will follow.
It’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
Ever 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
Deciding to vacation in the Caribbean is easy, but choosing your accommodations, particularly beyond the traditional hotel set-up, can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. For those who enjoy having more space and more amenities, we recommend staying in a villa. It’s a great choice for groups, families, and those who want to save on dining. And it doesn’t always cost as much as you might think. These five villas will make travelers itching for an island vacation feel at home without breaking the bank:
Jamaican 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.
When visiting the Caribbean islands, odds are the restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors are peddling snacks and dishes you’ve never heard of, let alone eaten. But don’t avoid them because you’re nervous. After all, exploring the local cuisine could become the highlight of your trip. Here are the items you’re most likely to encounter, plus info on how much they typically cost, and how to order like a local. Now, dig in!
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
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