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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
If a change of scenery is the goal for your next getaway, these stunning shores along the Caribbean Sea ought to fit the bill. Try a cruise stop-off in the Dominican Republic’s dreamy Samaná Bay, or spread out along a 2,000-foot long coastal stretch in Anguilla; wherever you go, plan on letting out a great, heaving ‘Aahhh’ as soon as your toes hit the sand. Here are ten of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean to visit now.
The twelve days of Christmas have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there’s no more excitement to be had in December. In fact, for travelers, end-of-year sales and promotions can yield some of the best finds of the whole season. The tricky part? Finding them. But luckily for you, we’ve gone and done all the hard work to bring you the best last-minute travel deals available this week. Consider it our Christmas present to you… Read more
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