Tag: Caribbean TravelView All Tags
A tipster recently returned from Grand Case on the French side of St. Martin with a rather gloomy report.
He opined that while the restaurant scene is still among the best in the Caribbean, there is an obvious high presence of security and a “definitive edginess about it we’ve never experienced before.” Likening it to the vibe in parts of St. Thomas, this tourist said he didn’t feel safe and will likely not return, although the island had previously been among his favorite spots.
We’ve had our own experiences in Grand Case. When we first visited in 1998 to obtain scuba diving certification, it was delightful. The Hotel L’Esplanade was the perfect boutique accommodation--and we understand it still is. We returned in 2004 hoping for the same magic. While the hotel was still top notch as was the food, something was amiss. Cars seemed to “cruise” around, we saw multiple car windows that had been smashed and we found ourselves being less carefree and more cautious.
We recently gave our favorite list of beach bars in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands as well as some must-dos in St. John. Your humble correspondent thinks it’s the best island in the Caribbean. Feel free to debate me. This week we list some things NOT to do in St. John. We don’t want you to waste one precious moment in paradise.
1. Don’t go shopping on St. Thomas. If you want to buy Louis Vitton or Gucci on vacation, go to Beverly Hills. Or Paris. St. John has many charming shops that should appease your appetite to spend. Head to Mongoose Junction for unique boutiques carrying beachwear, gifts and art.
St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is only accessible by ferry – and thats a great thing. The fewer people landing on its shores the better for those of us who love it. But if you do go, don’t leave the island without experiencing these 6 things:
1. Hike down to the remote Honeymoon or Salomon Beaches: On occasion we've had them all to ourselves – or you can be a lazy ass and commandeer a dinghy there. There are several companies in town that let you play captain for the day including Calypso Charters. Pick a model with a built-in cooler and pack it with Pirate Piggy sandwiches (slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and homemade mustard) from the North Shore Deli and locally made St. John Brewer's Ginger Beer Soda. Our other favorite beaches include Hawksnest and Maho Bay.
Every winter, the
nauseating infamous Beach Boys song, "Kokomo" enters the minds of Caribbean vacationers with that first line crooning, "Aruba, Jamaica, oo I want to take ya", but our contributing editor Will McGough lists what you should really know about one of Jaunted's favorite islands.
Aruba's resort-focused tourism approach tends to keep travelers quarantined in the northwest corner of the island in either the "low-rise" or "high-rise" hotel zone. As a result, while most people can tell you all about the beautiful beaches, they won't have a clue when it comes to local culture. Below, we've put together five things to help you appreciate Aruba beyond its beaches:
The Island Has Its Own Language
Although most children grow up learning Dutch, English, and Spanish, Aruba also has its own native language called Papiamento. A pidgin mix of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch, all Arubans know it and speak it between themselves. It is also the native language of nearby Curacao.
Caribbean Travel / USVI / BVI / Beach Bars / Caribbean Bars / → All Tags
The U.S. Virgin Islands and the nearby British Virgin Islands are made for island-hopping via ferry, sailboat or private charter. But oftentimes, island-hopping in these parts is really just code for bar-hopping. #dontjudge
Here's a list of our favorite beach bars to hit. Some are oldies but goodies, while others are a bit newer to the scene.
Owned by Foxy’s oldest son Seddy, the sign outside reads “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Clothes, No Problem,” which pretty much sums up Jost Van Dyke, dubbed the Barefoot Island. Seddy woos customers with his magic tricks while his wife Raquel tends bar. Open until sunset, the clientele can move over to dad’s joint for after-dark fun.
Petit St. Vincent
Each year, thousands of people head to the Caribbean to complete their scuba certification. There are endless islands to choose from, some cheaper than others and each known and regarded for different types of dives and scenery. Because of that, which destination you choose depends largely on your specific tastes and interests. And, of course, recommendations from people you trust.
If the son of the world’s best known ocean explorer falls into that latter category for you, then the brand new dive center on the tiny island of Petit St. Vincent might be right up your alley. Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the famous Jacques Cousteau, opened Jean-Michel Cousteau's Caribbean Divers in November.
Island Travel / Caribbean Travel / AUA / Aruba Travel / Airports / Airlines / Prime Planespotting / AvGeek / Plane Spotting / Caribbean Airlines / Private Islands / Hotels / → All Tags
It's paradise, pure and simple. A deserted beach of white sand gently melting into clear, azure water. The waves are mere ripples, the water is of that desired "bathwater" warmth, and airplanes whizz directly overhead in the sunny sky. Welcome to one of the best, most undiscovered plane spotting locations in the Caribbean: Renaissance Island, Aruba.
It's no St. Maarten Maho Beach, but the experience will appeal to dedicated plane spotters who prize unique locations and a range of aircraft for indulging their hobby. Even sunbathers should make the easy nature walk from the Renaissance Island's developed beaches down a path to this spot, which we discovered this month while on a trip to the Southern Caribbean.
Pack your swimsuit, camera, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and footwear a little more substantial than flip flops, and let's go...
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With the holidays approaching, Saint-Barthélemy is about to become a hotbed of celebrity activity, with one exception. St. Barth regular Steve Martin will likely be vacationing somewhere else this winter.
The funny man listed his island home, Villa Au Soleil, for the second time in two years (his first try was last summer, but he was also open to $28,000 per week rentals.
The asking price is $9,015,012 and you'll find the house located in the hills of the exclusive Lurin neighborhood. Inside is a gourmet kitchen, formal dining room, a large living room with a media area, multiple terraces, and en suite bathrooms off of each bedroom.
Caribbean Travel / Perfect Weather / Winter Travel / Weather / Aruba Travel / AUA / Island Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
Google Aruba's average weather and you'll quickly learn two things:
1. Aruba is pretty much an ideal 84 degrees every day, year round.
2. Aruba lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.
Both of those statements are music to the years of travelers in the mood for "anywhere sunny, with a beach," but there are reasons outside the weather why you may or may not want to head down to "One Happy Island."
To make sure you book that dream trip and have the best possible time, we've got some recommendations for when to go to Aruba.
Jaunted Interviews / Cruise Travel / Ships / At-Sea WiFi / Quantum of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Travel News / WiFi / Travel Tech / Technology / O3b Communications / Allure of the Seas / Anthem of the Seas / Oasis of the Seas / Caribbean Travel / → All Tags
"This changes everything."
That's the boasty slogan of ads on TV commercials and even plastered on bus shelters around NYC, referring to the newest cruise ship now sailing: Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas.
The Quantum calls itself a "Smartship," deploying fresh technology from bow to sternin some cases, technology that's never before been seen on a cruise ship, including at-sea WiFi faster than the usual slower-than-stalagmites connection and dedicated apps to help plan your cruise time in real-time.
Between riding the North Star and peeking into multi-level suites, we managed a moment with Bill Martin, Chief Information Officer for Royal Caribbean to discuss faster speeds, better satellites, and what all this means for the bottom line of your cruise folio:
Travel Contests / Jamaica Travel / Bahamas Travel / Grenada Travel / Barbados Travel / Caribbean Travel / Free Stuff / Lists / Travel Contest Roundup / → All Tags
We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!
Here are six vacation contests to enter right now that will get you some island fun in the sun:
The folks over at Copa Airlines want you to check out the Bahamas, and to do so they’re giving away a four-day and three-night trip over to Atlantis on Paradise Island. Swim with the dolphins, enjoy the water slides, and soak in the sun—just enter today, as things close to entries on October 17.
Ever been to Grenada? If not, enter for a chance to win a trip to the island thanks to the folks over at Sandals LaSource Granada. They are picking 25 lucky winners, and if you’re one of them you’ll be enjoying seven nights in one of the Skypool Suites—enter by November 30.
Flight Deals / New Routes / JetBlue / JFK / Curacao Travel / Caribbean Travel / CUR / → All Tags
JetBlue's Terminal at JFK
Flights will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays, departing New York at 9:00 a.m. and arriving on the island at 2:30 p.m. Return flights will depart Curaçao at 3:30 p.m. and arrive at 7:14 p.m.