Caribbean Weddings

September 20, 2012

Few spots in the world are more beautiful than tropical islands, and Caribbean wedding vendors are well aware that their magical locales are perfect for memorable weddings.  When you’re planning the perfect wedding, it’s wise to consider the Caribbean.  Wedding vendors know that the idyllic combination of warm blue waters, sparkling white beaches, and endless days of sunny weather make for a wedding experience that is unforgettable.  The happy couple as well as their lucky guests are sure to enjoy all that this paradise has to offer.  The Caribbean is a collection of islands tucked off the eastern side of both North and South America.  Resorts, hotels, vacation rentals and private villas are all available for your wedding and with the bounty of the sea at hand as well as the nearby large cities on the mainlands it’s easy to have fresh, delicious food and flowers for your event no matter which island you choose.   Caribbean wedding services don’t stop at food and flowers though.  There are so many different ways that these skilled professionals can make your day special, from helicoptering your guests in to remote islands for a private wedding on the beach to providing accommodations for all your guests with ocean views.  Be sure to check out the wedding options that abound here in the Caribbean.

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Arguilla-Feeling is Believing

September 19, 2011

By Richard Earls

Who comes to love Anguilla? Much is made of the rich and famous who come to this island haven to hide in plain site, to mingle undisturbed. But for every celebrity there are the thousands of visitors every year who come for the warm hospitality of the people, the brilliance of the beaches and the quiet, idyllic return to a more elegant, simple yet rich existence.

Anguilla is the northernmost of the Leeward Islands. It is situated 146 miles east of Puerto Rico and eleven miles north of St. Martin/St.Maarten. The island is sixteen miles long, and three miles wide at its widest point. In total, the land mass measures 35 square miles (91 sq km). There are more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline on which its many spectacular beaches are situated. Anguilla is a mostly flat island, with its highest point at 213 feet above sea level. The island does not have any natural rivers, streams or lakes but several large salt ponds dot the landscape.

The sea and boating have naturally played an important part in the island’s culture and traditions. Numerous fishing villages, like the ones at Crocus Bay and Island Harbour embody centuries of Anguilla’s maritime history and nautical traditions. So ingrained is the love of the sea that boat racing is the national sport. The unique Anguilla boats and boat racing extravaganzas are the product of a bond with the sea that is as deep as the waters that cover the ocean floor.

The island is largely Christian in denomination. English holidays such as the Queen’s Birthday, Whit Monday and others are celebrated, but English speaking Anguilla maintains a unique balance of all the historic influences that make this island a truly individual nation.

Anguilla’s fortunate location in the Leeward Islands means that for much of the year there is a constant breeze cooling the air and affording very little rainfall or humidity. The subtropical climate and temperature tends to be constant year round, averaging 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Annual rainfall is typically 35 inches, with the “rainy season” running August through November. As a location in the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons in Anguilla are the same as in the United States: when it is winter in the United States, it is winter in Anguilla. However, the difference is that the temperature and rainfall in Anguilla is nearly constant year round. When there is snow on the ground in Boston, it’s a wonderful 80 degrees in Anguilla! Winter is Anguilla’s high season. As the temperatures fall in the United States and Europe, tourists travel to the island’s warm tropical beaches. When the busy winter (November – May) travel season is over, savvy travellers know that the best days to travel are just ahead. The period April to November is referred to as the Summer Season. During the summer, the island experiences a true value season as hotels and tour operators provide special programmes and rates for couples, families, and groups, etc., to accommodate the smaller number of visitors.

Anguilla is an easy island to explore. One major road runs from the East End to the West End, with smaller roads branching off. Whether seeing the island by taxi, bike, scooter or car, there is always a beautiful beach; a restaurant, café or barbecue with sumptuous fare; art gallery, museum or boutique; a harbour dotted with brightly coloured ‘Anguilla’ boats; a breathtaking vision of architectural resort styles that include Moorish, Mediterranean, and modern designs just ‘up the road’ from charming and, colourful West Indian hotels, resorts, and private homes.

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Travel to Cuba is Now Open …and I Dont’ See a Catch

September 2, 2011

By: Joe Pike

With three tour operators making announcements to start sending U.S. clients to the once-forbidden destination of Cuba, it’s safe to say the news agents have been waiting to hear for decades has finally arrived. You can send your clients to Cuba. Your clients do not have to be a certain age, do not have to have family in Cuba and do not have to be students.

And the catch isn’t really a catch at all.

A trip there needs to be set up through an operator who’s been approved through either the People to People education program or an operator who’s been approve to conduct religious education tours. The People to People initiative requires Americans to take part in various cultural experiences in Cuba, essentially, as the name implies, putting them in direct contact with the people of Cuba with hopes of learning about the way of life in the country.

But one can argue that these are usually activities a client visiting a country for the first time wants to do anyway. Now, you won’t be allowed to just sit on a beach sipping Mojitos for the entire trip, but how many of your clients do you think are going to want to do this anyway? Will they use their opportunity to visit a country they were never able to visit before just to do the same daily activities they could have done in other Caribbean islands for years?

And from reading most of the itineraries from the three operators who have already announced tours to Cuba, the cultural mandates seem to be very loosely interpreted. You won’t have to take classes there or dig ditches for a day. Instead a cultural experience can mean anything from meeting farmers who grow tobacco to driving to dinner in a 1950s classic American car.

With help from the Center for Caribbean Religion and Culture, for the first time, Globus will present travelers a rare opportunity to experience the enduring faith, colorful history and lively culture of this captivating nation with its new itinerary for 2012: Cuba: A Spiritual, Historical and Cultural Journey.

Insight Cuba got the tour operator ball rolling when it announced in late June that it was reauthorized by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to send Americans to Cuba.

Abercrombie & Kent will be offering trips through the People to People program, which was implemented by President Clinton in 1999 and suspended by President Bush in 2004 before President Obama resurrected the program this January.

Island Escapes-Jamaica

April 18, 2011


As the third largest Caribbean island (after Cuba and Hispaniola), Jamaica has hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline. The beaches of Jamaica are some of the finest in the Caribbean. Some Jamaica beaches are lively, fun-filled places, packed with young sunbathers listening to loud reggae music, other beaches in Jamaica are serene, secluded stretches of white sand perfect for relaxing and unwinding.

There are top Jamaica beaches in or near all the major resort towns. The long, crescent-shaped Turtle Beach in Ocho Rios is one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica. Like many other Jamaican beaches, it is now surrounded by hotels and resorts. For a more secluded beach in Ocho Rios, try the in-town Island Village Beach or nearby Reggae Beach, a few miles east of town.

Runaway Bay is most famous for its great scuba diving, but the town also has some good Jamaican beaches. Most Runaway Bay Jamaica beaches are owned by resorts, but the Cardiff Hall Public Beach is free and open to the public.

The area around Port Antonio in northeast Jamaica is known for its great natural beauty. Frenchman’s Cove, San San Beach, and the Blue Lagoon bring this beauty right to the sea; they are some of the prettiest beaches in Jamaica. Nearby Boston Beach is the place to go for authentic Jamaican jerk chicken.

Montego Bay has some of the most famous beaches in Jamaica: Doctor’s Cave Beach and Walter Fletcher Beach. They are both divinely beautiful stretches of white sand, but because they are located in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, they can be some of the most crowded beaches of Jamaica. The crowds have an upside, though: Montego Bay Jamaica beaches have an almost permanent party vibe.

Seven Mile Beach (or Negril Beach) in Negril is the longest of all beaches in Jamaica. With crystal clear waters, sugary soft white sand, and swaying palms, Seven Mile Beach is known as perhaps the most beautiful of all Jamaican beaches. There are several other good Jamaican beaches near Negril. Bloody Bay Beach to the north of town is a good place to go if you are looking for a little more isolation than offered by Seven Mile Beach.

Most visitors to Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, go there not for the beaches, but for the vibrant nightlife or cultural sites like the Bob Marley Museum. Nevertheless, there are great Jamaican beaches even near this busy city. Hellshire Beach and Fort Clarence are the closest beaches the city. Fort Clarence is one of the best-known beaches in Jamaica, famous for its regular reggae concerts.

No vacation to Jamaica is complete without a few afternoons spent lounging on Jamaican beaches. Enjoying the beaches of Jamaica is as much a part of a Jamaican vacation as eating jerk chicken and listening to reggae.

Jamaica has long been a great destination for weddings

November 21, 2010

Jamaica has long been a great destination for eloping, destination weddings and honeymoons. Why? In a word – beauty. The sunsets, the beaches, the pampering. It all adds up to one incredibly romantic destination. Although you may not want to leave your resort, there are a great deal of outdoor activities to keep the newly-married couple busy. For instance, those who have their weddings in Jamaica have some great adventures awaiting them, such as:

1. Swim with the Dolphins

Swimming with the dolphins is available at Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, next to Dunn’s River Falls. While there, check out the Jungle Trail, which is populated by exotic animals and tropical birds.

2. Swing among the Trees

Where else can you tour a rainforest above the trees but in Jamaica? On the Chukka Caribbean Adventures tour, you and your new husband or bride can glide among the trees from platform to platform by utilizing a system of harnesses and pulleys. A totally unique way to experience the rainforest.

3. Explore a Cave

Be sure to check out the limestone caves and tunnels near Discovery Bay, once used as hiding places by pirates. But, the big draw is the underground Grotto Lake, accessible by boat.

4. Visit the Blue Lagoon

Considered the most romantic spot in Jamaica, The Blue Lagoon is near Port Antonio, and, according to legend, has an aphrodisiac effect on those who swim there. Enough said.

5. Raft through the Tunnel of Love

What better way to celebrate your wedding than to take a rafting expedition on the Rio Grande — the longest river in Jamaica, where you, your loved one and a guide take a two-hour float, including passing through the “Tunnel of Love,” a limestone cave where kissing the bride is strongly encouraged

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