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Nine months out of the year, Caribbean islands are a postcard-ready panorama of blue skies, swaying palm trees, and cocktail-sipping, hammock-lounging bliss. But from September to November (as in, right now), they are associated with another thing: hurricanes. As we speak, reports are showing that the season’s first tropical storms are already forming.
But for those willing to roll the dice, hurricane season can also yield up some incredible bargains. Flights, cruises, and hotels often go for a fraction of their peak season rates, at a time when most travelers are too spooked by the thought of having their trip washed, blown, or flooded down the drain.
And if you’re worried about showing up to a ghost town, rest assured: of the 25 million tourists who visited the Caribbean in 2012, roughly a fifth of them were brave enough to travel between September and November, the peak of hurricane season.
To give you a head start, we logged onto Expedia and CheapCaribbean and chose some hotel-and-flight packages for a range of dates in late October and mid-November. All packages are priced per-person, based on double occupancy, with flights from Miami. Other departure cities are usually available for more.
Clearly, none of the following destinations can provide guarantees on anything weather-related (otherwise they wouldn’t be offering the deals in the first place!). But with prices this low, you can afford to have your trip cancelled and still have extra cash lying around to re-book the whole thing from scratch. Now, get out those bathing suits! Read more
Timing, as they say, is everything. It’s true of romance, successfully poaching eggs and, of course, booking travel. That’s why it’s important to know that it’s currently shoulder season in the Caribbean. The interim period between peak winter and low summer travel months, shoulder season is the perfect time to visit the region without counting dollars or dodging crowds.
Better still, a number of major carriers are celebrating new routes to hot Caribbean locales with killer fares. From unstoppable rates to Colombia’s sexy seaside city, to the first-ever direct flights to Martinique, here are the season’s best new ways to save. Read more
Stumped on holiday gift ideas? Here at ShermansTravel, we’re always focused on travel: taking trips, planning trips, and finding the best deals for the next trip. So our vote, of course, for those of you unsure what you get your nearest and dearest, is to treat them to a vacation this holiday season. Below are a few outstanding travel deals that are sure to make anyone excited to get away, and affordable enough that you won’t be regretting the purchase come your January credit card bill.
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.
With temperatures soaring across most of the country, it’s hard for some of us to think about baking in the Caribbean sun. However, cold weather will be here before you know it, and with it a slew of new flights from the East Coast and Midwest to take advantage of tropical destinations.
Booking now for new JetBlue service from D.C. to San Juan (daily) and JFK to Samana, Dominican Republic (twice weekly) will score you big savings. Launching August 23, one-way fares on the San Juan route will be as low as $129 for travel through November 14 if you book by July 13; this will be the only non-stop flight between the U.S. capital and the Puerto Rican capital. Similarly, book by this Friday to secure one-way fares to Samana starting at $169 for flights from the November 14 launch date through February 9.
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.
For all you early planners, and especially for those with romantic beach holidays on your mind, Couples Resorts Jamaica is offering unbelievable deals if you book your future travel by April 17. All-inclusive rates for travel between December 26, 2012 and December 25, 2013 at the four Couples Resorts Jamaica start at just $169 per person, per night, with savings up to 57 percent off their published prices. A three-night minimum stay is required for the 2013 Early Escapes deal, but all service charges, taxes, and gratuities are already included.
Couples Resorts Jamaica consists of four resorts: Couples Tower Isle and Couples Sans Souci, both in Ocho Rios, and Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away, both in Negril. At all of them, you’ll enjoy beachfront properties set for romance – the resorts are adults only – with all-inclusive additions like scuba diving, reef snorkeling, and sunset cruises and excursions, as well as amenities such as access to multiple pools, beach butler service, and gourmet dining. It’s all included in the nightly fee, no extra taxes, tips, or dining surcharges.
To enjoy your all-inclusive romantic retreat and great savings, book the 2013 Early Escapes special online. Plus, if you stay at least seven nights, you’re eligible for extra bonuses like a $300 resort credit or the seventh night free, depending on your travel period. Learn more about date restrictions here.
For many Caribbean destinations, spring is the perfect time to visit – the high season crowds start to depart and hotel prices begin to dip, yet the weather remains balmy and hurricane season is still just a blip on the horizon. A boon of new routes this year from the East Coast will get you to that sunny vacation even faster.
Launched March 2, Delta now takes New Yorkers from Laguardia to Nassau, Bahamas. JetBlue has three new routes with deals to match:
- Newark to San Juan, PR: starts April 25, from $163 one-way
- Fort Lauderdale to Kingston, Jamaica: starts April 30, from $107 one-way
- West Palm Beach to San Juan, PR: starts May 15, from $113 one-way
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights.
Nothing staves off those post-holiday, cold-weather blahs quite like planning a beach vacation. Breezes Resorts and Spas is offering savings of up to 55 percent off at six of its properties in the Bahamas (Breezes Bahamas), Jamaica (Breezes Runaway Bay, Breezes Grand Negril, or Breezes Trelawny), Curaçao (Breezes Curaçao), and Brazil (Breezes Búzios) for travelers who book by February 15 for travel between May 1 and October 31. The chain’s all-inclusive rates include accommodations, all meals at multiple dining venues, unlimited premium-brand drinks, numerous land and water sports offerings, entertainment, and more.
THE VALUE: Savings range from 25 to 55 percent off of rack rates, working out to as low as $68 per person, per night. You’ll secure the most highly discounted rates by booking ahead for travel in August or September.
THE CATCH: A minimum 3-night stay is required.
THE DETAILS: To book, visit www.breezes.com or call 877-273-3937.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
Sail away on a 6-night getaway to top destinations in Southern Florida and the Western Caribbean, including quirky Key West, gorgeous Grand Cayman, and fun-in-the-sun Jamaica. The spacious, 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom embarks on February 19 from Fort Lauderdale, with discounted rates – reflecting savings of up to 73 percent – starting at just $409 for inside cabins, and $519 for ocean-view upgrades, when booking through CruisesOnly.com. Expect onboard diversions like a kids’ club, spa, fitness center, casino, mini-golf, and much more to easily fill up the two days spent at sea.
THE VALUE: This high-season sailing during a peak holiday break represents a rare 73 percent savings off of the brochure rates of $1,519/person, working out to as little as $409 per passenger, or $68/night. What’s more, book through CruisesOnly.com and get a complimentary upgrade, too.
THE CATCH: We’ve seen airfare to Florida during this peak holiday break spike considerably, so be sure to factor in the cost of your flight before booking the sailing to ensure overall value.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.cruisesonly.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more travel deals. For general trip-planning information, see our Caribbean Cruises 101.
Bring the whole family to an all-inclusive beach resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, this holiday season. The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay is offering stays from $72 per person, per night – a savings of 65% on current rates.
Stay now through December 24. These rates include all meals and snacks, resort activities and entertainment, non-motorized water sports, and free in-room WiFi. Plus, two children per booking stay for free.
Located directly on the beach, the expansive SunSpree also offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, a full-service spa, and plenty of sports, swimming and activity options for the whole family, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, and lounges.
THE VALUE: Save 65% and receive all-inclusive amenities at this family-friendly Montego Bay resort.
THE CATCH: These rates are only available through December 24.
THE DETAILS: Visit the SunSpree Montego Bay or call 888-288-6006 to book.
This Jamaican gem has long been luring discerning travelers to its tucked-away location amid the island’s Blue Mountains, a secluded oasis perched at 3,100 feet, overlooking verdant tropical forests (some 26 endemic bird species make it a bird-watcher’s paradise), coffee plantations, and Kingston’s twinkling city lights. Guests of Strawberry Hill can enjoy the sweeping panoramas from one of the dozen 19th-century Georgian-style cottages, exotically landscaped grounds, or from the resort’s infinity-edge pool, tropical drink in hand.
The freshly revamped luxury lodging was unveiled on October 18, following a 6-week closure and an extensive refurbishment that included the installation of upgraded hand-dyed linens, a revamped menu at the onsite restaurant (offering savory Jamaican cuisine that plays up the island’s diverse cultural heritage), new musical playlists for the hotel’s public spaces, and full restoration of the property’s antique furnishings (including canopied four-poster beds and mahogany desks). Read more
These six sexy properties have played home away from home to everyone from the Obamas to Madonna, providing the perfect respite for royalty, rock stars, and heads of state. So, whether you are looking to globe trot, celebrity spot, or simply live in the lap of luxury, you may want to hunker down in one of these world class properties for otherworldly accommodations and simply the best spa treatments on the planet. Enjoy…
Take to the warm, tranquil waters of the Caribbean this winter aboard the Carnival Freedom as it sails for six nights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Choose the January 22, 2012 departure and book a balcony cabin for just $529 per person! The Freedom calls to port in some of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations, including a stop in Florida’s own back yard, Key West. The ship then heads south to Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica before returning home. While at sea, guests will enjoy four restaurants, four pools, a casino and 22 lounges for adults at night, and a teen club with an arcade and dance club for the kids. Other sailing dates are available at an additional cost.
THE VALUE: The balcony cabin comes out to just $88 per person, per night!
THE CATCH: Gratuities and taxes not included.
THE DETAILS: To book your balcony cabin on the Carnival Freedom, visit www.cruisesonly.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Take a look at our Caribbean Travel Guide to plan your time in port!
Don’t live in Florida? Find low rates on flights to Fort Lauderdale using our Travel Search price comparison tool.
Summer is off-season in the Caribbean and Mexico – so it’s the perfect time to score a great rate (starting at $230/night) at a five-star resort you might otherwise not be able to afford. Yes, it’s hotter and more humid at this time of year, but you can generally expect good weather for at least the next eight weeks, as hurricane season doesn’t typically kick into gear until late July. Here’s a sampling of what’s being offered at 10 luxurious resorts ideal for a honeymoon, anniversary, or special romantic getaway.
Four Seasons Resort, Nevis: With the “Stay Longer – Third Night Free” package (valid until September 30, 2011) at this newly renovated 196-room resort, set on Pinney’s Beach (shown above at left) on tranquil and historic Nevis, room rates begin at $345 per night for a king-bedded Deluxe Mountain-Side Room (that’s just $230 a night after the free night is applied). Rates on Deluxe Ocean-Side Rooms are $545 per night, or $363.33 per night with the free night applied. The resort also features four restaurants and a relaxing, colonial cottage-inspired spa.
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