Blog Archives

St. Croix: Fantastic Flight Promotion

For an affordable getaway on a beautiful island…St. Croix is a deal! No passports required for U.S. Citizens!

Promotion Includes:

  • $500 Instant Credit Per Booking
  • $50 Dining Certificate
  • $50 Retail Certificate
  • $50 Activity Certifcate
  • 6th Night Free

Package must include airfare. Book by October 31, 2011 for travel August 22 to December 15, 2011 {as with all promotions, restrictions apply).

Anguilla’s: CuisinArt Resort offers “Cuisine Complete” Packages

CuisinArt Resort & Spa located in Anguilla is featuring a “Cuisine Complete” package featuring five nights in luxury beachfront accommodations, three daily meals at CuisinArt’s signature restaurants, including the AAA Four-Diamond al fresco eatery, Santorini; airport transfers; unlimited Internet access; unlimited fitness classes (including yoga, Pilates, body sculpting); use of the resort’s tennis and bocce courts and non-motorized watersports. Packages are valid for travel through Nov. 22, 2011.
CuisinArt Resort features what is described as the world’s first resort-based hydroponic farm, which sources 90 percent of the fresh vegetables and herbs utilized in its culinary program. CuisinArt Resort & Spa also offers specialized cooking lessons, pastry classes, beginner and advanced wine-tastings, and intimate “chef’s table” dining experiences. Package rates start at $3,700, double occupancy, and apply to new bookings only.

How Cruise Ships Avoid Hurricanes |

Cruising during hurricane season? Here’s what you need to know prior to your cruise vacation.

by Alyx Kaczuwka

Photo by: Thinkstock

A common concern when booking a cruise during hurricane season (officially June 1st through November 30th, with peak storm activity from August through October) is the weather, and how it might affect your travel plans. In an average year, there are eight to ten named storms, about two thirds of which will develop into hurricanes. Unless you’re planning a cruise outside the hurricane belt, it’s possible there might be an active storm during your trip – but it should be reassuring to know there is a significant amount of planning on the part of the cruise lines to ensure it has little to no impact on the enjoyment of your vacation.

The primary tool the cruise lines have when it comes to dealing with storms is information. In addition to all the precautions that will be taken to ensure your ship won’t cross the path of a storm before you even leave your home port, they will monitor radar changes on the fly with modern satellite equipment, and make changes to an itinerary whenever necessary.

In most cases, the ships will simply change their itinerary to avoid a storm. These diversions may be focused on avoiding the path of the storm – thus keeping you and your fellow passengers out of harm’s way – or avoiding the aftermath of the storm, for example, if a location has been left without electricity. It is not uncommon that the ship will divert and skip a particular port of call for these reasons. The ship may dock in another location. You’re probably familiar with the expression “any port in a storm” – so you may find yourself checking out another city where their port had availability! Alternately, the ship may stay at sea, anchored in calm waters.

There are also times when ships may choose to cruise in a reversed itinerary, if this option will allow them to avoid the storm’s path. And, some will change the itinerary entirely, for example, embarking to Western Caribbean destinations like Cozumel and Riviera Maya instead of Eastern Caribbean destinations like the Bahamas (or vice versa) if the storm is expected to traverse a large path during the cruise’s schedule.

It’s also worth knowing that even if the storm makes a sudden change, modern boats can easily get out of its way. A typical hurricane will putter along at a speed of about ten knots, but cruise ships can easily move at twice this pace.

Overall, if you are flexible, booking a cruise during hurricane season may work out to your advantage. Travel deals often abound during peak season, and while you may end up visiting different ports, or a slightly different order of ports, than you originally planned, it should have little to no impact on your enjoyment. And if you’re still concerned, there’s always the option of purchasing travel insurance, so that you’re covered – just look for a policy that covers weather-related events.


St. Croix’s Buccaneer Resort: Offers a Treasure Trove of Savings this Summer

This summer and fall, St. Croix’s Buccaneer resort offers a treasure trove of savings to delight the inner buccaneer of its guests. Offerings include a generous 20% off published daily rates, 50% of a second room for the kids, the $100 Buccaneer Treasures package (valued at $300), the luxury 2011 Summer Family Vacation package and complimentary Kids Camp! The resort is the longest running resort in the Caribbean, and a member of Historic Hotels of America, a division of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Buccaneer is a destination beach resort, family-owned and operated since 1947.

This summer and fall, St. Croix’s Buccaneer resort offers a treasure trove of savings to delight the inner buccaneer of its guests.

Savings begin immediately with a generous 20% discount off published daily rates, extending through December 16, 2011. For example, a rate of $360 is now $288. Traveling with family? Add a second room for children 18 years and younger and take 50% off the published rate.

More savings are offered by the $100 “Buccaneer Treasures” package for two people staying five nights or more. Valued at approximately $300, it features a 2-day Hertz car rental or a guided island tour; welcome amenity, and each guest’s choice of a 25-minute spa treatment, 18 holes of golf, three hours of tennis, or a sunset sail. Stay seven nights, and a $100 dining credit is applied to the room.

Time for a family vacation before school starts?

The luxury 2011 Summer Family Vacation package, available thru August 31, 2011, includes connecting oceanfront rooms, kids club, sunset sail, and a car for the entire stay to explore St. Croix. The rate for two adults and up to four children under 18 is $2,753 for four nights; $3,441 for five nights; $4,130 for six nights and $4,818 for seven nights.

Year-round, kids in the four-to-12 year-old range enjoy their own resort experiences with the daily complimentary Kids Camp. Activities include beach and pool games and races, nature explorations, treasure hunts, soccer games, sandcastle building, and tug ‘o war to name a few. A dedicated Kids’ Camp clubhouse is stocked with games, movies, and arts and crafts materials, offering a respite from the heat of the day.

All guests of The Buccaneer enjoy breakfast buffet each morning, welcome cocktails, welcome cocktail party at the Sugar Mill with steel drums and Mocko Jumbie stilt walkers (Tuesdays), introduction to SCUBA lessons, snorkeling, kayaks and floating mats at the beach, free resort-wide wireless internet access, twice-daily housekeeping, and live musical entertainment in the evenings.

For more information and reservations visit or call 800.255.3881.

Top Luxury Resorts in the Dominican Republic –

From urban-chic decor and fine cuisine to over-the-top pampering—these 7 luxury properties in the Dominican Republic cater to your every need. 

Sun-lovers have long sought out the Dominican Republic for its silky strands, its friendly residents and its affordability. Now they can add high style to the list of attractions. From shore to tempting shore, resorts have been upping the ante in terms of design. Suave decors with fine amenities are all the rage now, treating visitors to a splash of panache as they sip their rum cocktails in the comfort of a chaise lounge.

As the Dominican Republic matures into a full-service vacation destination, its portfolio of accommodations expands. Now the most discriminating travelers have ideal retreats thanks to Xëliter Serviced Residences, a recently introduced brand by the respected CHC – Coral Hospitality Corp™, which strives to provide discreet, anticipatory service in private, convenient destinations. It features in its portfolio three properties in the Dominican Republic, two of which are located in Cap Cana — an exclusive private community where luxury blends in perfect harmony with the paradisiacal surroundings.

Golden Bear Lodge is so pampering that it quickly earned recognition as a Preferred Boutique™ and a member of the Preferred Golf Program. It is inspired by the life and lifestyle of the legendary “Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus, and it is perfectly situated between two of his signature championship golf courses. This 91-suite property offers guests sumptuous accommodations complete with chic furnishings, marbled bathrooms and impressive views of the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea.

Caleton Villas is definitely one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the world for its harmonious blend of renewing comfort, pampering services, gracious elegance and world-class golf. For those who seek the highest standards of luxury, this exclusive boutique hotel offers stunning villas with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and the famous Jack Nicklaus Punta Espada Golf Course.

In up-and-coming Samaná, Vista Mare is a stylish enclave with only 87 chic residences, where clean lines and white leather dominate the décor.

Situated on a hill overlooking a secluded bay, Vista Mare is a world within itself. A restaurant, a mini market, a fitness center, a bar and beach club complement the two beaches and the swimming pool. Guests windsurf, sail, snorkel and ride mountain bikes, for starters.

Whichever Xëliter property you choose, you can arrive knowing you’ll be treated like royalty and will be lodging in a contemporary facility in a beautiful locale. 877-859-4575,

It’s not that you won’t be privy to classic Dominican vacation highlights like dancing to merengue on the beach, or that you won’t have the time of your life during those classic activities. But at the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, the offerings are so hip, so happening, so over-the-top in-the-now that you’ll experience this burgeoning Latin-Caribbean destination in a whole new way.

Take the spa. Sure, you can get an incredible massage or body wrap elsewhere. But a choice of countless treatments in 35 spa suites, each a chic retreat? And what about the hydrotherapy center? The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana has the most complete one in the entire Caribbean. Imagine a cutting-edge ice room along with a clay steam room, color therapy steam rooms, lagoons, whirlpools, a sauna, a sensory expertise pool, a hydroreflexology area and even a “food creek pathway.” Now that’s a spa. The fitness center, exercise classes and salon services are just as spectacular.

If the spa sizzles so grandly, you can bet the casino is just as mega-fun. The largest gaming empire on the island, this 48,000-foot wonder is a spirited sensation of excess. You’ll find casino games, sure – 40 gaming tables, 450 slot machines, high-limit poker games in the Salon Prive — but at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, the casino is an integrated experience. Smack in the center, you will soon be able to dine on fine foods prepared by chef Kerry Simon, a celebrity cuisinier recognized as the “Rock ’n Roll Chef” by Rolling Stone. When the mood strikes, take a break from baccarat for a spin on the dance floor at Oro Nightclub, a VIP hot spot with electrifying entertainment. You can always return to Sports Book and weekly promotions like Random Hot Seat. This casino invites you at all hours.

Urban panache on a prime stretch of beach. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. 888-ROCK-002,

Talk about the sizzling Dominican Republic’s new styles! Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, a remarkable serene haven, takes the lead. This adults-only, Unlimited-Luxury® resort opened in May 2011. You’ll be among the first to stay in this pampering contemporary-Caribbean paradise, where every meal, every cocktail, every room service delivery is included.

The style is refreshing. Incorporating the colors of its island surroundings, guest rooms invite relaxation with clean lines and splashes of tropical hues like vibrant orange and palm green. You’ll be guaranteed a personal whirlpool tub for two on your furnished terrace or balcony, ideal for romantic evenings with a bottle of bubbly. You’ll be welcome to dine in the three restaurants, each a beautifully themed escape with expertly prepared foods. Every bartender at each of the five lounges will be quick to pour premium beverages at your request, day and night. And the spa – indoors or out, in solitude or together, you can indulge in the wonders of massages, facials and more (fee-based).

Service is doting, as it is at all award-winning Secrets Resorts & Spas. And the amenities seem endless, from soft bathrobes and comfortable slippers to afternoon hors d’oeuvres and nightly shows. As for the striking design elements – they’ll just make your stay that much more special. Guests have access to a variety of daytime and evening activities including land and water sports, daily special events such as movies on the beach and dance classes, and nightly shows and entertainment.

Should you desire a change of scenery, you needn’t wander far. On the same day in May, the adjoining Now Larimar Punta Cana debuted next door. Stroll over to the new family-friendly sister resort. Dine in its six a la carte restaurants and toast your luck in bars and lounges. Bowling, billiards, tennis, sailing … you’ll find a load of ways to love your days. 866-SECRETS,

You crave adult-only time on the beach and by the pool, yearning for the tranquility of a kidfree restaurant along with luxurious lodgings and pampering service. Book yourself a room at The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium and live your dream. This upscale all-inclusive resort caters to discriminating members of the over-18 set seeking a serene escape, yet its guests are free to use all the facilities of three adjacent sister hotels in Punta Cana’s Grand Palladium complex. There, water polo, mini golf, soccer and windsurfing are among the diversions. Sophistication when you want, coupled with an abundance of activities when you prefer a bit of action.

Everyone who stays at The Royal Suites Turquesa receives VIP treatment. Butlers are on call to assist you 15 hours a day. And room service is on the menu around the clock. Those who opt for the Swim-Up Suites experience bliss of another level. In these suites, a door opens directly to a tempting meandering swimming pool so you can go from bed to lounger to refreshing water in a few short steps. Should you feel thirsty and not feel like helping yourself to the complimentary beverages in your minibar, a server will scurry over to your private terrace with the cocktail of your choice. Like all The Royal Suites Turquesa accommodations, Swim-Up Suites include a sitting area, a hydromassage tub, memory foam mattresses, bathrobes, a pillow menu, a plasma-screen TV, DVD player and – should you want the ultimate in privacy – a discreet pass-through window for room-service deliveries, and many other exclusive amenities.

To round out its exclusivity, The Royal Suites Turquesa has its own a la carte French restaurant plus five bars and seven swimming pools. Grand Palladium’s seven additional restaurants, casino, disco and spa are always available. 888- 237-1226,

The clean lines. The suave feel. The sophisticated service. The creative cuisine. You’ll feel like a jet-setter at Sivory Punta Cana, a resort designed to wash your worries away. Situated on a blissful stretch of palm-studded golden sand in a coveted nook of Punta Cana, the Sivory functions in harmony with its natural surroundings. Well-being is the goal, and the resort delivers, from the restaurants to the guest rooms to the spa.

You’ll lodge in a spacious 650-square-foot suite stocked with all the essentials. Your minibar will hold complimentary soft drinks and beer. Your bathroom will have both a soaking tub for two and a couples shower with double shower head. Sundries by ETRO, a flat-screen TV with DVD player, a balcony with chaises, even a wine cooler supplement the inviting suites.

Spend your days lounging by the pool and on the beach. Kayak, windsurf and snorkel every day. Dine in three exceptional restaurants, whether you opt for a meals-included plan or choose a la carte service. At Tau, you’ll be one of only 20 guests for whom the chef creates Asian delicacies. For the ultimate in gourmet cuisine, opt for Gourmond, a fine dining enterprise with 8,000 wines on the menu. For a more casual meal, choose Laveranda, where Mediterranean foods and cool sea breezes create a magic experience. End your day relaxing with a cigar in a special lounge billed as “art for smokers.” Or listen to live music in Sybbar.

When you’re ready for a splurge, indulge in massages, facials and hydrotherapy treatments at the Aquarea Spa. You’ll enjoy the CV Primary Essence essential oils produced in Spain. 855-748-6790,

When you’re seeking a splash of suave with your sun-and-sea getaway, select the Dominican Republic. A luxury boutique hotel where exclusiveness is felt in every detail. Located in Punta Cana, Sivory’s concept breaks away from the existing selection of hotels in the Dominican Republic. Set in fascinating natural surroundings, guests will enjoy the intimacy of 55 suites with personalized 24hour service, a private beach, a superb range of cuisine in three a la carte restaurants, the Caribbean’s most selected wine cellar and our extensive Aquarea Spa & Wellness center. Katarzyna Schubert • Tel.

When you’re seeking a splash of suave with your sun-and-sea getaway, select the Dominican Republic.


Author: Vanzellini