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Showing posts from January, 2009

Hands across Caribbean

BostonHerald.com: "I recently had the grand opportunity to visit Cuba - legally, thanks to some old college friends involved in humanitarian projects there. Unless you are informed by personal experience, forget everything you think you know about Cuba.

Cubans do not treat us as their enemy. Most of them are extremely friendly to Americans, despite official U.S. policy intended to punish and degrade the Castro regime. Nor is Cuba unsafe. Nor are visitors restricted as to where they can go or what they can do or see."

Luxury Caribbean Beach Villa Vacation Now Affordable

SYS-CON AUSTRALIA: "The economy has most Americans cutting back, but one activity that has not been cut from the budget is a vacation. The Travel Industry Association of America reports that Americans are still on the move -- but they are looking for the best possible deals. Discerning travelers looking for a winter escape can take advantage of a get-acquainted offer at La Perla del Caribe Resort a private beachfront villa enclave located on the sought-after island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. Belize has emerged as a choice destination for celebrities -- Leonardo Di Caprio purchased an island near Ambergris Caye and Francis Ford Coppola frequents the country too."

Trinidad goes all out for Caribbean-style carnival and Mardi Gras

The Canadian Press: "PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Mardi Gras in the U.S. means New Orleans. In South America, it's Brazil and, in Europe, it's Venice.

But in the Caribbean, Trinidad is the place to be for carnival, with a celebration of culture, calypso and cuisine, complete with parades, elaborate costumes, bands and masquerade balls.

Carnival events begin in the days leading up to Mardi Gras, which falls on Feb. 24 this year. Festivities include Kiddies Carnival, where children and teenagers dress up and dance; the Panorama steel pan competition; a themed Masquerade Band of the Year contest with elaborate costumes and dancing; and Kings and Queens Costume Competition, where costumes of dragons, butterflies or insects can weigh up to 90 kilograms and are usually attached to wheels for mobility, with special effects like fog, light shows and fireworks to impress the judges."

Soak up the Caribbean sun this winter!

Charlotte Travel Examiner: "Head for Port of Spain, Trinidad for exceptional birdwatching or some of the most delicious shark fin sandwiches in the world. The island’s spectacular new Hyatt Regency is a business traveler favorite, but has introduced one of the most organic and well-balanced spas in the Caribbean luring tourists from around the world. In fact, each treatment was designed by experienced spa therapists with scientific backgrounds. Sip a daiquiri by the infinity pool or sup by the water at the open-air lobby bar and café. The Hyatt is the city’s best base for visitors looking for a home during Trinidad’s world-famous Carnival that takes during the last week of February and first week of March."

Caribbean island with something for everyone

Ourtribune.com: "Trinidad is the larger island of the country of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island of the Caribbean and lies a mere 7 miles off of the cost of Venezuela. Trinidad isn’t known for its tourism yet, but their government is making steps to let the beauty of the island and its culture be more accessible to tourists by helping larger hotels come in and increase their cruise stop business. The Trinidad and Tobago government actually owns the mixed-use waterfront esplanade that is being overhauled. When completed, it will include new office towers, retail space, gardens, terraces and the Hyatt Regency Trinidad which opened in late 2007. Although more of a business traveler destination, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad is only 30 minutes from their international airport and is located on the water of the capital, Port of Spain."

Plan for an all-in-one wedding in Anguilla

Star-Telegram.com: "Are you getting married soon and not particularly looking forward to the stress that goes with deciding who is invited, who is in the bridal party and what is being served at the reception? Then you might want to plan your escape to Anguilla, in the British West Indies, where you can tie the knot and honeymoon all in one. The island getaway is offering a 'Wedding OFF the Rocks' package through March 31 that includes a wedding ceremony, wedding cake and one free night at one of the 14 island properties."

Caribbean Resorts Ready to Deal

NYTimes.com: "THE Caribbean is on sale. Beachfront rooms from $78 a night. All-inclusive vacations at 70 percent off. Five-night cruises for less than $250. These are just some of the deep discounts on offer as the islands attempt to attract penny-pinching travelers with cut rates and islandwide promotions amid the depressing economy."

Affordable Caribbean - Trinidad and Tobago

NYTimes.com: "Tobago is cheap by Caribbean standards. Beers are typically under $2, seafood is plentiful, and guesthouses cater to weekenders from Trinidad — its industrial sister — rather than well-heeled tourists from Europe or the United States. As long as you avoid the fancy resorts and use common sense when it comes to walking alone and wearing jewelry (crime remains a problem), you’re free to enjoy this dusty little island just north of Venezuela, with its colorful reefs and precious birds."

Get your own piece of the Island

Get your own piece of the Island: "The Caribbean Islands are undoubtedly among the world's most sought-after holiday home and investment destinations.

Their beauty has made them a favourite of the rich and the famous for more than a decade. But for the most romantic island of all – St Lucia – the real estate boom has only just begun.

The island nation, tired of living in the shadow of the likes of Barbados, has transformed its policies in the new millennium to focus on improved tourism and the provision of high-quality lifestyle homes."

Rebirth at Tobago's Coco Reef Resort and Spa

Our feet hurt. Our heads hurt. We hadn't slept in days. In short, Carnival had been wonderful.

For the past four days, we'd been experiencing Trinidad's Carnival, a pulsating heartbeat of humanity that winds through the streets of Port of Spain. We'd chipped, we'd shuffled, we had lost ourselves in the pounding rhythm of the Caribbean's largest annual celebration that for many serves as an annual rebirth.


But now, frankly, we were tired. After such a strenuous awakening, there must come rest. For most travelers, that means a quiet getaway with the quick trip from frenetic Trinidad to placid Tobago, known for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere--an atmosphere so quiet that Trinidadians say it's for "the newly wed and the nearly dead." For us, it meant a few days at the Coco Reef Resort, a luxury hotel on the southwestern coast.

We'd visited T…

St Lucia resort launches Grand Spa Package

St Lucia resort launches Grand Spa Package: "The Landings, St Lucia’s newest five-star hotel, is offering guests in need of some new year rejuvenation a thousand dollars worth (£680) of spa treatments at its luxurious RockResorts Spa as part of a special ‘Grand Spa’ package, if they stay for seven nights or more. Rates start at US$270 (£185) per night in a spacious harbour front villa suite for two people."

St Lucia reveals new branding-20 January, 2009

St Lucia reveals new branding-20 January, 2009: "St Lucia Tourism revealed its new branding strategy at a gathering of more than 500 dignitaries on the island for the Caribbean Marketplace.

The new brand is part of an ambitious strategy to significantly strentghten St Lucia's position, as the country evolves its tourism and economic appeal to both vistors and investors."

JTB, Air Jamaica Collaborate for Winter Rescue Promotion

Jamaica Information Service: "As part of its Jamaican Winter Rescue Programme, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has collaborated with the national carrier, Air Jamaica, to provide New Yorkers a chance to win a tropical getaway to the island.

This exciting promotion encourages individuals to look out for taxicabs bearing special Jamaican advertisements, throughout the month of January. When a cab is spotted, New Yorkers can log onto WLTW-FM's website, enter when and where they spotted the cab, and then enter the sweepstakes to win a trip to Jamaica courtesy of Air Jamaica, and Riu Palace Tropical Bay."

Romantic Caribbean Valentines Day Tips

Caribbean Travel News: News for travelers visiting the Caribbean: "With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, couples might look to the Caribbean for a romantic, sunny escape.

Whatever your interest, there is a Caribbean destination that is right for you and your loved one. First, you and your partner need to realize what your ideal Valentine’s Day Caribbean escape includes: action, adventure, seclusion, or classic romance."

Caribbean reigns as world's top cruise destination

Postbulletin.com: Rochester, MN: "There are many reasons why the Caribbean is and has been for years the No. 1 cruising destination in the world.

The primary reason, of course, is the region's warm climate. Year-round cruising is possible there, and that's not in the cards for many other also-popular but more seasonal itineraries, such as the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Alaska, the British Isles, and major areas in South America.

The price is usually right for a Caribbean cruise, too. Because cruising is popular all year, there is a plethora of competitive pricing among the 25 to 30 ships that ply the warm waters of the region."

Frugal brides and grooms still walk Caribbean aisles

USATODAY.com: "The dour economy is not stopping brides and grooms from the USA from saying 'I do' on Caribbean sand.

Many hoteliers expect to handle about the same number of destination weddings this year as 2008, despite a drop in overall bookings. A 2006 survey estimated that 16% of U.S. unions took place in a destination setting, which also saves money by combining the ceremony with the honeymoon."

Why Dominica is an island apart

The Observer: "........The small Caribbean island of Dominica is full of such surreal experiences. It is a place defined by its natural extremes. Here you will find lakes filled with boiling water and rocky valleys punctuated by the eruption of mini-geysers. There are geothermic rock pools that belch forth sulphurous fumes in the heart of the rainforest. Black sand beaches lie smudged along the coastline in long charcoal sweeps and there are sheer cliffs, steep hills and giant waterfalls. Everywhere there is a verdant lushness, a windblown beauty that lies almost untouched, as if standing at the very edge of time. Because, while Dominica might possess many astonishing attractions, it lacks the one thing you might expect - tourists."

Seven affordable, under-the-radar beach destinations

USATODAY.com: "Unlike its metropolitan and party-hardy big brother Trinidad, little Tobago is content to be a laid-back and natural Caribbean beauty. With the western hemisphere's oldest protected rainforest, marine parks, and secluded white sand beaches, Tobago has been recognized by World Travel Awards as the World's Leading Green Destination, a status it was given in 2007. What's more, whether you come here for a quiet beach honeymoon or an active adventure vacation, you can generally do it pretty cheaply.

Whatever your style, it's worthwhile to experience both Tobago's beaches and its wild interior. Tobago was purportedly the inspiration for 'Robinson Crusoe,' and even though the deserted beaches described in the novel were based on observations made almost 300 years ago, you can still find such beaches on the island today. Try going to Pirate's Bay, which was used in the 1954 film version of the novel. You should also plan on a snorkeling trip …

St Lucia savings for singles

easier.com : "Singles can save a whopping £860 on a seven-night holiday at four-star BodyHoliday at Le Sport on St Lucia - where Amy Winehouse was recently frolicking in the sun - courtesy of specialist operator, Friendship Travel.

Throughout February, a week's holiday with the singles specialist now costs £1,480 per person inclusive of return flights from Gatwick, transfers, all-inclusive accommodation in a spacious single 'garden' room and daily spa treatment.

Guests can also enjoy a wealth of complimentary land and water-based activities such as water skiing, scuba diving, golf and yoga."

Cobblers Cove, Barbados

"One of the most exquisite of Caribbean hotels, small, low key and extremely elegant, 40 suites hiding in enviable tropical gardens at the northern end of Barbadoss West Coast..."http://www.definitivecaribbean.com/accommodation/CobblersCove.aspx

Half Off at Almond Resorts

Half Off at Almond Resorts: "Almond's properties in Barbados and St. Lucia have slashed their rates by 50% when travelers book by Feb. 9 for stays between May 1 and Dec. 20.

All-inclusive rates for a three-night stay start at $300 in St. Lucia and $460 in Barbados. Discounts are available at:

* Almond Beach Club and Spa, Vauxhall, St. James, Barbados
* Almond Casuarina Beach, Christ Church, Barbados
* Almond Beach Village, Heywoods, St. Peter, Barbados
* Almond Morgan Bay, Choc Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
* Almond Smugglers Cove, Cap Estates, St. Lucia" More information

Escape to Barbuda's pink beach

NY International Travel Examiner "Not many people go to Barbuda; in fact, not many people know much about the little leeward island. It’s out of the way and extremely quiet, but yet accessible to those who make the effort. The fine, white beach with pink specks stretches for 11 unbroken miles. This unspoiled, low island is yet another destination purely for escapism and perfect for pondering. Unwinding is a pastime here and entertainment is found in hiking and scuba discoveries. For people who appreciate solitude, Barbuda is a marriage made in heaven.

To say Barbuda is remote and laid back is an understatement. There are three arrival options: air, ferry or sail. The quickest and easiest is a scheduled charter flight on Carib Aviation, which has daily 20 minute flights from Antigua -- Barbuda’s sister island. The second option is Barbuda Express, a catamaran ferry service, which makes the three- hour trip seven days a week. Last, but not least, arrive on a private or chartered s…

Almond Resorts Offers 50 Percent Off at All Properties

MarketWatch: "Almond Resorts is pleased to announce 50 percent off all of its properties when booking from now until Feb. 9 for travel from May 1 - Dec. 20, 2009. Located on the islands of Barbados and St. Lucia, the all-inclusive experience is available starting from $300 for a four-day/three-night stay in St. Lucia and $460 in Barbados.
Almond Resorts boasts five all-inclusive properties that are located on Caribbean coasts fringed with palm trees and hugged with gently lapping waters. The all-inclusive price provides for unlimited food and beverage, with a choice of a la carte or buffet-style dining in a relaxed or upscale atmosphere, as well as room service and activities for children from newborn to teenager."

Whale watching in Dominica

Whale watching in Dominica: "The island of Dominica is known as the whale watching capital of the Caribbean. It is the only country in the world to have sperm whales resident in its waters all year round; and twenty-one other species of whale and dolphin have also been spotted around the island. Tour operator Out of the Blue is offering a brand new trip to see these incredible mammals in 2009."

British Airways predicts good year for St. Kitts, St. Lucia

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "CASTRIES, St. Lucia (CMC) – The Caribbean’s tourism industry did relatively well last year despite a slowdown in the global economy and two emerging markets in the region can look forward to growth in 2009, a senior airline executive has said.

Richard Tams, head of UK and Ireland Sales at British Airways, identified St. Lucia and St. Kitts as two leading long haul destinations for British travellers and predicted that arrivals to those countries should increase this year.

“It’s not all doom and gloom for travel in the current economic climate, as destinations such as Dubai and the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and St. Lucia continue to experience growth and investment, so we anticipate greater numbers of customers wanting to travel there,” he said."

LGBT-Friendly Caribbean Resorts

Caribbean Travel News: "Although in the past the Caribbean hasn’t been recognized among gays and lesbians as a major vacation destination, the region has experienced a steady rise in the number of LGBT-friendly resorts.

Unlike Fort Lauderdale, Ibiza and Puerto Vallarta, the Caribbean islands offer a unique culture, personality and topography. Travel from one island to the next to realize the true Caribbean flavor.

Explore these six LGBT-friendly Caribbean retreats:

Calibishie Lodges, Dominica
Calibishie Lodges is located on the mountainous island of Dominica and is more inclined to attract budget-minded travelers rather than luxury seekers. The retreat includes six furnished units on a bluff surrounded by gardens and sea views. Let the staff arrange diving excursions, hiking trips and sea kayaking."

Celebrities Retreat to Caribbean Islands In Droves

Caribbean Travel News: "Hollywood stars including Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Daniel Craig, Richard Gere and Jon Bon Jovi find solace and sun in the Caribbean.

Beyonce and hubby Jay-Z were seen on their waverunners off the coast of St. Barts before New Years. The couple spent their time yachting on the 50 ft. luxurious “Galaxy.”

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon enjoyed the sunny days at Nikki Beach Resort in St. Barts."

Spirit Airlines expands in Caribbean

MiamiHerald.com: "Spirit Airlines said it is further expanding its Caribbean route network with new service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Beginning June 18, Spirit will offer four weekly flights to Santiago, D.R., from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood. The new flights will complement Miramar-based Spirit's current service to Santo Domingo and seasonal service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic."

Caribbean's all-inclusive vacation resorts take a turn for the luxurious

Dallas Morning News: "Order breakfast while you're still in bed at the new Aura Cozumel Wyndham Grand Bay. You'll have just enough time for a dip in the private plunge pool above your third-floor suite before room service delivers smoked salmon, fruit and coffee.

Check into a suite at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica and head straight to the sand while a butler unpacks your luggage and presses your clothes."

Deals roll in from Caribbean resorts

Houston Chronicle: "SuperClubs offers rates as low as $86 per person, per night, at its all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica. Prices start at $139 per person in the Bahamas. Travel is allowed through Aug. 31. And guests get the fifth night free in Jamaica, the fourth night free in the Bahamas. The catch is that these discounted rates must be confirmed by Jan. 31.

Savings are available, too, at the company’s upscale lodgings. Prices at Jamaica’s Grand Lido Negril and Grand Lido Braco — think complimentary manicures, pedicures, laundry and dry cleaning — start at $199 and $189 per person, per night, respectively."

Plant treasures of the Caribbean

Telegraph: "Last year was one of the most eventful in the 14 years since Her Majesty opened Grand Cayman's Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park – the 65-acre conservation site on the largest of the three low-lying isles south of Cuba that bask in the Caribbean sunshine and make up this popular British Overseas Territory."

Caribbean Seafood Dishes

There's curried shrimp on the barbie since Cayman style food may help cure cabin fever during the winter months, says Chef Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin.

Caribbean a hikers' delight

TheStar.com "It's all a matter of perspective: glutton for punishment or cardio-tourist.

Challenging terrain offers a special mojo for tourists who prefer to ditch the lull of the hammock and look for activities that push heart rates into the red zone. Several Caribbean islands make the grade – thanks to millennia of geologic instability when volcanoes were thrust up from the depths of the sea, creating a string of mountainous islands."