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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beaches Offering Up to 60% Off

We've received word that Beaches is extending its 60 percent off and up to two night free promotions; you've now got until March 31, 2009 to book your family vacation and score the discount.

The Sale: If you book a minimum three-night stay by March 31, 2009, you'll get up to 60% off if your travel is between:
  • April 17- June 5, 2009 or
  • September 1 – December 19, 2009
One Night Free: At all four Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, guests who book a minimum seven-night stay by March 31, 2009 can receive their first night FREE in all room categories if your travel is between April 20, 2009 and June 12, 2009 . For guests traveling to the all-new Italian Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos, they’ll receive their first night free on bookings made now through March 31, for travel through August 31, 2009.
More Free Night Dates: The one night free deal is also available during a second set of travel dates for families vacationing at Beaches Sandy Bay or Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club this year. Guests who book a minimum seven-night stay at either resort by March 31, 2009 for travel between August 24, 2009 and September 30, 2009 are also eligible to receive their first night FREE in all room categories.

Two Nights Free at Beaches Turks & Caicos: To celebrate the completion of the resort's 162-family suite expansion, The Italian Village, you can get up two nights free by booking a seven-night stay at the new Italian Village by March 31, 2009. You'll receive your first and second nights free if your travel dates are:
  • between April 20, 2009 and June 5, 2009 or
  • between September 1, 2009 and October 31, 2009
Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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SuperClubs Offering Discounts Including Family Resorts

Ready for a vacation? With travelers watching their budgets more than ever before, SuperClubs is now offering vacations starting at just $71 a night for adults and $50 for kids!

Starfish Trelawny

This Jamaica all-inclusive offers daily activities on and off the beach including miniature golf, ice-skating, rock climbing, beach volleyball and karaoke. The Kids Club features a full menu of daily supervised activities.
Price: Rates at Starfish Trelawny start at $71 per adult, with kids 2-13 years old starting at $50 per night. One child per one paid adult is allowed. This promotion can be combined with the "Single Parent" promotion (this waives single supplements).
Breezes Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino

Breezes Curaçao, the first Super-Inclusive resort in the Southern Caribbean, is home to a 1,500-foot private white sand beach and offers a full menu of water sports.
Price: Rates at Breezes Curaçao start at $114 per person, per night. Parents can combine the promotion with the "Kids Stay Free" and "Single Parent" offers.
Deadline for booking: March 25, 2009

Travel Dates: To get these special rates, you'll need to travel anytime between April 13 and August 31, 2009.

The Fine Print: Prices are per person, per night, based on double occupancy; a four-night minimum stay is required at both these resorts.

For more information:
Photo courtesy SuperClubs Resorts

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Princess Cruises Offers New Arts Program for Kids

Princess Cruises has long been a top choice with families because of its kid-friendly programs but we've just received word that they've added another bonus for kids. Teaming up with Klutz®, a publisher of children's activity books, Princess Cruises will now provide high-quality arts and crafts projects for young passengers and their families while onboard. Klutz and Princess Cruises have collaborated to develop custom-built kits designed to engage young cruisers in fun and creative activities.

The Activities: Kids will have the chance to join in up to seven Klutz activities during their cruise:
  • build their own storybooks
  • create lanyard bracelets
  • make “picture tags” for charm bracelets, luggage tags, or pet I.D.s
  • create fuzzy masterpieces with Velvet Art
  • make craft paper flowers
  • weave friendship bracelets
  • make Thumb Doodle thumbprint art
These new Klutz activities are offered for young passengers of all ages, and are scheduled during the youth center’s regular activities or during the ship’s family fun fair in the atrium.

More Kid-Friendly Fun: Princess Youth and Teen Programs offer supervised fun for ages 3 to 17 in threeage-specific programs – Princess Pelicans (ages 3-7), Shockwaves (ages 8-12) and Remix (ages 13-17). Each group features an age-appropriate schedule, often with separate facilities. The program includes a number of special features, including Science on the Seas activities from the award-winning California Science Center, Yoga for Kids, and a Jr. CHEF@Sea program.

For More Information:
Photo courtesy Princess Cruises


Sunday, February 22, 2009

State Department Issues Mexico Travel Alert

Always a popular spring break destination, Mexico has been in the headlines lately due to increased violence from drug cartels. Much of the violence has been along the US border but the US Department of State issued a new Travel Alert on Feb. 20, 2009 for all of Mexico that we wanted to pass along to our readers. Although much of it speaks to border cities such as Ciudad Juarez, the alert notes:
Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico. Many of these cases remain unresolved. U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican officials and the nearest American consulate or the Embassy as soon as possible, and should consider returning to the United States.
The alert remains in effect through August 20, 2009. For the full text (and a link to a special spring break in Mexico publication issued by the State Department), visit:


Guadeloupe, Martinique Rocked by Unrest

Guadeloupe and Martinique have been rocked by unrest the last few days with streets blocked by riots and many services closed. The US Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for both Guadeloupe and Martinique, effective until May 13, 2009. According to the alert:

Due to ongoing labor strikes, riot police from mainland France are now stationed in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Most commercial activities have ceased, and there are mounting shortages of food, water, and power on both islands.

In Martinique, strikes and large-scale street protests continue. Gas stations, stores, the port, and banks remain closed. There are continuing interruptions in power and rapidly dwindling water and food supplies.

In Guadeloupe there are reports of increasing tensions, with armed gangs blockading routes and targeting residents and tourists. There have been no reports of U.S. citizens being specifically targeted. The government is reportedly mobilizing the police and armed forces to address the possibility of severe civil unrest.

To read the entire text of the travel alert, visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4432.html.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Divi Resorts Provides 60% Sale

Many Caribbean resorts maintain high season rates through mid- or late April but we've received word that the Divi Resorts has cut rates starting March 1--in time for spring break. Look for savings of up to 60 percent.

Dates: Valid for travel March 1, 2009 through December 23, 2009.

Sample Rates:
  • Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, Aruba – studio suite from $139 per night
  • Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort – studio suite from $179 per night
  • Divi Dutch Village Resort, Aruba – studio suite from $125 per night
  • Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, Barbados – studio suite from $153 per night
  • Divi Heritage Beach Resort, Barbados – studio suite from $99 per night
  • Divi Flamingo beach Resort, Bonaire – hotel rooms from $127 per night
  • Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten – hotel rooms from $148 per night
All-Inclusive Option in Aruba: Divi Village Golf & Beach has an all-inclusive stay option where kids 17 and under stay and eat free and adults get unlimited golf after 3:00 p.m.! Guests can stay in new golf villas large enough for the whole family and overlooking Aruba’s only manicured golf course. The Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort is located across from three other Divi resorts, and this all-inclusive option allows guests access to the nearby Divi properties.

For more information:

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Wyndham Sugar Bay Offers March Madness Special

Thanks to spring break, March (and the surrounding weeks) is a top time for families to head to the Caribbean. We've just received word of a new package offered by St. Thomas' Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa: the March Madness package. The package is aimed at the all-inclusive visitor.

Dates: The March Madness package is valid February 22, 2009-April 19, 2009.

Price: The cost per room, per night begins at $461 for a double room, and represents a savings of 40 percent. Kids 3-12 are free; for kids 13-17, there's an additional $95 per child, per night cost.

Minimum stay: The minimum length of stay is three nights.

Why Families Love It: Located on over 31 acres on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa offers 300 accommodations including seven one-bedroom suites. The resort offers six restaurants and lounges as well as the Journey's Spa, three lagoon-style interconnecting pools, beach water sports, catamaran cruises, diving, a fitness center, supervised kids' club, bumper boats, miniature golf, and the Ocean Club Gaming Center.

For more information:


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

JetBlue Offers $99 Fares to Bermuda

If you're looking for a good deal (aren't we all these days?!), here's one that just came across our desks: JetBlue is offering a $99 one-way fare special from New York's JFK Airport to Bermuda. The sale, in honor of Bermuda's 400th birthday, is a great way to hop to Bermuda, just under a two-hour flight from NYC. (Don't forget: this is Bermuda's low season so, unlike the Caribbean, you'll find cheaper hotel rooms right now. Bermuda's high season is in the summer.)

Dates: Book your flight now through March 31 for travel between JFK and Bermuda from February 23 and May 21, 2009.

Added Value: Hold on to your ticket stub! Once you arrive in Bermuda, present your JetBlue ticket stub to any of the restaurants listed below and you’ll receive 15% off of your bill of $20 or more. You can take advantage of the offer as many times at as you want during your stay! (The discount only applies to the person’s who name is on the ticket stub, not the entire party. Gratuities on the bill would be based on the original bill, not the discounted bill. The offer is valid for the duration of the JetBlue $99 offer and your ticket stub must be presented at the time of seating.) This restaurant offer is valid at:
· Barracuda Grill
· Latin
· Hog Penny
· Pickled Onion

To Book:


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sonesta St. Maarten Offers Spring Equinox Specials

Spring is just around the corner and we've just received word of a great way to celebrate the new season: a Spring Equinox package at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Sonesta Great Bay Resort & Casino. The package is available through April but there's a special bonus if your stay includes the night of the spring equinox (March 20): that night is free!

The Package: The Spring Equinox package at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino includes:

• Complimentary room upgrade
• Welcome amenity
• $20 match play at resort casinos
• Sonesta Maho: 20% discount at The Good Life Spa
• Sonesta Great Bay: 20% off watersports and daily breakfast
• Visit either resort on March 20, 2009 (day of spring equinox) and that night’s stay is FREE!

Dates: Valid for travel through April 30,2009. A minimum four-night stay is required to qualify, blackout dates apply.

Price: Starting rates for both resorts begin at $199 per night for stays through April 11, 2009. Rates are based on double occupancy, are room only and are subject to 21% tax and surcharge. All-inclusive rates are also available.

Why Families Love These Resorts: We've stayed at both resorts, both located in Dutch St. Maarten, and they're both tops with families. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino is a 10-acre, 537-room beachfront property is just minutes from the airport (perfect for a short getaway) and includes two outdoor pools and beach; three restaurants; a promenade of 40 boutiques and restaurants; four tennis courts; the Good Life Spa, fitness center and a casino for Mom and Dad.

The smaller, quieter 257-room Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is located on St. Maarten’s one-mile stretch of soft white sand near the historic capital of Philipsburg (perfect for a beach stroll into town). This four-star property offers three swimming pools, three restaurants, four bars, the Golden Casino and the Vitality Oasis health club and spa.

The Fine Print: Sonesta St. Maarten Spring Equinox free night requires full prepayment at time of booking. Once booked, room and tax for the entire stay will be charged to the credit card used to confirm the booking. Offer not available to groups. Reservations must be booked via Sonesta.com prior to arrival. Subject to availability. Offer is not combinable with any other promotion and subject to blackout dates.

For more information:


Friday, February 13, 2009

Grand Velas Riviera Maya Opens

On Mexico's Riviera Maya, the all-inclusive Grand Velas All Suites & SPA Resort is now in its preview opening season with a grand opening scheduled for March 2009. The 493-suite resort includes a 76,640 square-foot spa with 40 spa treatment rooms and suites, 12 food and beverage options, 24-hour in-suite dining, dedicated butler concierge services, waterfront plunge pools, indoor whirlpool bathtubs, a children’s activities programs and more. The resort is located 35 minutes from Cancun airport.

Jungle Family Package

Active families will be interested in the Grand Velas Jungle Family Package which includes:
  • Master Suite accommodations
  • an $80 resort credit per adult
  • kids 12 and under stay free.
    Price: This special package is offered at $390 USD per person, per night, based on double occupancy.
For more information:


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

St. Lucia's Villa Beach Cottages Offers Adventure Tours

Does your family love to get out and explore a destination? Check out the menu of tours St. Lucia's Villa Beach Cottages, recently renovated, can arrange for families:

  • Jeep Explorer Rainforest Adventures or ATV Paradise Tours – explore untouched areas of St. Lucia on an ATV, including a banana plantation and old growth rainforest. Enjoy authentic St. Lucian cuisine and a swim on a private beach.
  • Zip Lining – Treetop Adventure Park offers adventure courses, including one specifically designed for younger children. Zip along cables high above the trees from platform to platform for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
  • Deep Sea Fishing – Try your hand on a chartered boat or tour at catching sailfish, blue marlin, tuna, dorado and many others, or join a dolphin or whale-watching tour.
  • Kite surfing – This extreme sport combines the skills of paragliding, wakeboarding, surfing and windsurfing and can be mastered by most in a series of 4 to 10 lessons.
  • Horseback riding – Take a sightseeing tour on horseback through banana plantations, across pasture lands, along a natural forest trail to Cas en Bas beach, one of the most picturesque, wild and deserted beaches of the St. Lucia's Atlantic coastline. You can enjoy swimming with the horses in the sea.
  • Mountain Biking – Explore 12 miles of bike trails amidst tropical vegetation and historical remains of an 18th century plantation, with courses designed for beginners, intermediate and experienced riders.
  • Scuba, snorkeling and “snuba” tours - Choose from scuba or snorkeling excursions, or try your hand at “snuba” diving – a less intense form of scuba easily accessible to couples, families, children over 8 and seniors.
  • Gros Piton Nature Trails – Enjoy a hike through the Pitons, iconic symbols of St. Lucia, and enjoy majestic views and breathtaking scenery. The first half of the trail is moderate and can be enjoyed by everyone, while the second half involves a steep accent to the summit suitable to the more adventurous hiker.

  • Why Families Like the Resort:
    You'll find 20 villa suites at the resort, all part of the recent expansion and renovation which added 10 new villas to the property, including 6 deluxe one-bedroom suites and 4 deluxe two-bedroom suites. These self-contained villas feature four-poster beds, living and dining rooms with indigenous designer furniture, fully-equipped kitchens with marble countertops, including full-sized appliances, and large balconies with teak furniture and steamers overlooking the Caribbean. The deluxe one-bedroom suites also include bathrooms with his and hers pedestal sinks and in-room Jacuzzi tubs with an ocean view. All of the new villa suites feature state-of the-art room amenities such as LCD flat-screen TVs, DVD and CD players, and high-speed Internet access.

    The resort's new restaurant, Coconuts, offers Creole and International cuisine, while the new mini-mart Koko’s offers on-site shopping. Other amenities include: two swimming pools, including one featuring a natural stone waterfall, heated Jacuzzi and attached sundeck made of white stone and tropical hardwoods; Internet café; coin-operated laundry; and free book and DVD library. Guest services available to visitors include a meet and greet service; airport transfers; daily maid service; water sports (kayaking): babysitting services; in-room or beachside massages; car rental services; and the Dining Around service for restaurant reservations and recommendations.

    Location: The resort is located on the northern edge of St. Lucia, four miles from the capital of Castries and three miles from the airport.

    For more information:


    Monday, February 09, 2009

    Update on Westin Roco Ki in the Dominican Republic

    We know some of you are eagerly awaiting the opening of Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, to be located 19 miles from the Punta Cana airport. The family-friendly resort, one of the first internationally-branded, non-all-inclusive resorts in the DR, is now scheduled to open in time for winter 2009-2010 season.

    What It Will Offer: The 337-room resort will include:
    • a Nick Faldo Legacy golf course with its signature 16th hole (already opened)
    • humpback whales visible seasonally just 100 yards offshore
    • a two-mile-long beach
    • 10 restaurants
    • 24-hour room service
    • Westin Kids Club®
    • arts, crafts and game room
    • spa with 15 treatment rooms
    For More Information:


    Sunday, February 08, 2009

    Jamaica's Starfish Trelawny to be Breezes Trelawny

    Recently SuperClubs announced that they'd be realigning some of its resorts under the Breezes brand. In Jamaica, look for a change on November 1, 2009 when the popular family resort Starfish Trelawny becomes the new Breezes Trelawny.

    The family favorite, which now operates with a more limited all-inclusive package than other SuperClubs resorts, will become a Super-Inclusive property!

    You're probably already familiar with another family favorite in the Breezes line: Breezes Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino, located on the southern Caribbean island of Curaçao.

    For More Information:


    Two Barbados Resorts Extend Reduced Child Rate

    Conscious of the current economic climate, Elegant Hotel Groups have extended their reduced child rate from age 12 and under to age 16 and under. A bargain for families enjoying vacation breaks in Barbados, the Turtle Beach Resort now offers child rates starting as low as $100 per night, per child, while child rates at the Crystal Cove Hotel begin at $164 per child, per night, which makes for a 30% savings on a stay for families. Available at both sites, the first child stays for free.

    Parents staying at the Turtle Beach Resort or the Crystal Cove Hotel can sign children age 3 - 11 up for the Tommy Turtle Kids Club. Open from 9 a.m. to 9.p.m., youngsters can enjoy beach activities, creating arts and crafts projects and movie nights.

    For more information:

    • visit www.eleganthotels.com


    Friday, February 06, 2009

    Air Jamaica Unveils New Schedule

    Air Jamaica has unveiled a new schedule that focuses on core routes in the U.S., whether your family is headed to Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados or Grenada.

    Starting February 26, 2009, the airline’s new schedule will offer four daily flights fromort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Jamaica.

    The new schedule will also include the only daily non-stop flights from New York to Jamaica, with two flights to Kingston and one to Montego Bay every day.This new schedule will also give New York travelers a chance to wake up in Barbados or Grenada with two non-stop flights each week to both destinations.

    The new flight schedule offers 218 weekly flights with service between Jamaica and Toronto, New York (JFK), Chicago (O’Hare), Baltimore, Philadelphia, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Curacao and Nassau, as well as service between New York and Barbados and New York and Grenada.

    For more information:

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