Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jamaica's FDR Resorts Offers Discount Package

Jamaica's very family-friendly FDR Resorts, with two locations on the island's north coast, are offering a special package to families booking a minimum of five nights now through December 17, 2009.

Families who book a seven night stay will receive US$500 discount per full paying adult, and families booking a five- or six-night stay will receive a US$350 discount per full paying adult.

Both of the FDR Resorts properties, Franklyn D. Resort & Spa and FDR Pebbles Resort offer two bedroom suites, and they are the only resorts in the Caribbean whose prices include a dedicated vacation nanny.

For More Information:


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Single Parent Promotion Offered by Starfish Trelawny

Jamaica's Starfish Trelawny is offering a Single Parent promotion, which waives single supplements for single parents looking to vacation with their children.

Starfish Trelawny is also offering its Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free promotion where children two-to-13-years old can stay free, a savings of US$100 daily for a family of four.

Dates: Both offers are valid for travel May 1 – December 22, 2009.

For More Information:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photo Gallery: Chukka Caribbean

We just returned from JAPEX, the annual Jamaica travel trade show, this year held in Montego Bay. On one day, we had the opportunity to visit several family-friendly attractions on the island's north coast. While headed to Ocho Rios, we stopped to visit Chukka Caribbean.

Once a polo training ground, Chukka (with two main locations in Jamaica) has become Jamaica's largest soft adventure tour operator, offering everything from ATV and bike tours to ziplines and horseback rides. The horseback rides begin with an instructional period (no experience required) and work their way down to the sea for a dip (on horseback) in the Caribbean.

After checking out the horses, we went over to the dog area, home of the Jamaica Dogsled Experience where Paris met several of the dogs:

photo courtesy Eleanor Wilson, publisher, TripsandTrends.com

The sled experience begins with a video about the operation including commentary by Jimmy Buffett, the "godfather" of the Jamaica dogsled team:

The Dogsled Experience is a unique one in the Caribbean. The sled dogs are rescues primarily from Jamaica's shelters. The crew has formed a dogsled team which was the subject of a documentary, Sun Dogs; we met one member, Newton Marshall, who starred in the documentary and had just returned from the Yukon Quest:

Children age 6 and over can take part in the Dogsled Experience and the Horseback Ride 'n Swim.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beaches Resorts Celebrates with Mother's Day Package

This Mother’s Day, Beaches Resorts is celebrating Moms with the exclusive ‘Mom & Me’ package available for guests who book a minimum 3-night stay during the month of April for travel during the month of May. The package is available at all Beaches locations in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica.

The Package: The "Mom and Me" package features:
  • A complimentary bottle of sparkling wine so hardworking moms can unwind
  • An intimate Mother’s Day brunch with Bellinis all-around
  • An exclusive $50 resort credit for extra pampering
  • A Keep the Memories family photo session with complimentary 5x7 portrait
  • Two crystal champagne toasting flutes by Marquis by Waterford
The above is all in addition to the offerings of the Beaches Resorts Luxury Included® Family Vacation which includes accommodations, gourmet dining, wine and premium spirits, a wide array of watersports, entertainment for family members of all ages, airport transfers and more.

How to Book:
  • Call your favorite travel agent or 1-800-BEACHES and refer to promo code: MAMA09
Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jamaica's Half Moon Offers Spring Break Package

Still looking for a spring break getaway? Check out Jamaica's Half Moon. They've announced a spring break package especially for families.

The Package: Stay a minimum of five nights and receive:
  • daily breakfast
  • round trip airport transfers
  • kids under 12 stay free with daily breakfast when sharing room with two parents (maximum of two children)
  • nanny service daily for up to five hours (5 nights only) for two children under 4 years in a room
Booking Code: The code for this package is FBW09.

Dates: The spring break package is valid through April 19, 2009.

Half Moon has a huge menu of family-friendly offerings from horseback and pony rides to dolphin swims, all right on property. You've also got a number of accommodations offerings from villas (great for families and multi-generational families) to cottages (our favorite thanks to the beachside location) to traditional hotel rooms.

For More Information:


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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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:


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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Friday, January 30, 2009

Two Jamaican Resorts Offer Getaways for Families Traveling with Grandparents

Offering a getaway for all generations, Jamaica's Franklyn D. Resort and Spa and Pebbles Resort strengthen family ties with their current Bring Your Own Grandparent promotion. Available through February 12, 2009, grandparents traveling with their children and grandchildren stay for free and receive an automatic upgrade to a larger suite. (Families are required to book a three-night minimum stay.)

As families are the focus of both retreats, the Franklyn D. Resort & Spa and Pebbles Resort always offer the option of a vacation nanny for parents with small children, and a 50% Special Needs promotion allows for half off both resorts' published rates for families with special needs children.

For more information:

• visit www.fdrfamily.com


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chukka Caribbean Celebrates Father's Day

For fathers with a sense of adventure, here's a fun package in Jamaica: a Father's Day program offered by Chukka Caribbean Adventures.

First, Dad will zip through the trees on the Chukka Canopy Tour, a zip-line experience near Montego Bay.

Next, Chukka will put Dad on an ATV and send him for a rugged adventure ride through Jamaica’s hills.

Dad’s special gift from Chukka Caribbean Adventures is a commemorative Father’s Day t-shirt.

Price: The Chukka Canopy Tour is US$88, and is appropriate for kids 10 years and older. The ATV Safari is US$75 for ages 16 and older. The offer is valid for bookings made on the Chukka Caribbean Adventures website.

For More Information:
• visit www.chukkacaribbean.com

Photo courtesy Jamaica Tourist Board


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beaches Celebrates Father's Day

Family travel is great for all its together time...but a little time away from the kids can make everyone enjoy the family time even more. Recognizing that fact, Beaches Resorts (with locations in Jamaica and the Turks & Caicos) is offering the When We Were Two package for families celebrating Father’s Day with the family but looking for a chance to slip away for a few hours of romance.

The Package: The package includes:
  • a 50-minute couples’ massage at Red Lane Spa
  • Champagne served with chocolate-dipped fruit during a romantic sunset on the beach
  • a private, four-course candlelight dinner with personalized menu
  • Champagne
  • souvenir photo
  • complimentary Ultra Nanny babysitting services (up to three hours) for children 12 and under
Price: Rates start at US$2,188 per family of four (two adults, two children under 16) over Mother’s Day and US$2,496 per family over Father’s Day for a minimum three-night stay that also includes all meals, drinks, transfers between airport and hotel, entertainment, and more.

For More Information:
• visit www.beaches.com

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beaches Announces Single Parent Fun Months

Beaches Resorts, with locations in the Turks and Caicos and Jamaica, have announced sixth annual Single Parent Fun (SPF) months.

Dates: For travel between May 1 – May 31, 2008 and August 17 – October 31, 2008

The Promotion: The SPF program waives the single supplement fee (of up to $190 per night) for single parents at all four resort locations in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

The program also features activities and events such as Single Parent Welcome Receptions, Social Cocktail Receptions, Kid’s Movie Nights and more.

Fall dates: The second set of travel dates fall on Beaches Resorts’ WonderFALL Celebration, a new annual season of events and activities designed expressly for parents with young children.

Taking place during the months of September and October at all four resort locations, highlights of the upcoming WonderFALL season include:
  • savings of up to 45 percent off regular rack rates
  • a special welcome gift pack
  • new exclusive Sesame Street Stage Shows
  • parenting seminars hosted by Sesame Workshop
  • the arrival of Abby Cadabby
  • nighttime dive-in movies
  • poolside dance parties
  • a live show with Gordon and Elmo (limited three-week run in September)
  • specially-themed arts and crafts activities
Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Friday, April 11, 2008

SuperClubs Offers Family Promotions

If you're watching your budget these days (what are we saying...who isn't?!), here's a good family package we just received: the family-run Caribbean resort chain SuperClubs Resorts is offering a "Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free" promotion starting May 1 at two of its resorts; children ages 2-13 stay completely free, a daily savings of $100 for a family of four. And for single parents, the usual single supplement is waived at three SuperClubs properties.

"Budget, destination and timing are the three biggest priorities for families today, and finding options that will please working parents, grandparents with time and money to spare, college-age kids, and tiny tots can be challenging," said Zein Nakash, SuperClubs‚ vice president of marketing, who is also a mother of two, a twin sister, full-time working executive, and daughter of John Issa, who introduced the first all-inclusive resorts for the American traveler more than 30 years ago. "All-inclusives are always a solid value for families, especially when they are true all-inclusives that fix costs before you even get on the plane, and offer a wide array of activities for all age groups and interests without charging extra for them. This summer especially, we've got the best vacation values for families."

Here's a look at summer SuperClubs offerings:

Starfish Trelawny (Jamaica): This resort offers teens a private island hideaway just a short swim away, windsurfing and flying trapeze lessons. At the Kids' Club, supervised, age-specific programs keep toddlers entertained, while adult pampering is available at the Blue Mahoe Spa. Nightly rates start at $74 per adult; $50 per child (age 2-13). No single supplement.

Breezes Curaçao. Fresh from $1.3 million in renovations and upgrades, this resort offers a 12,000-square-foot Kids' Club . Rates start at $129 per adult, per night. No single supplement.

Breezes Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. While kids lose track of time at the Mini-club, parents and grandparents can lose their stress knots at the revamped Lighthouse Spa, the largest in the Dominican Republic. Rates start at $60 per adult, per night. No single supplement.

Dates: SuperClubs‚ family promotions run from May 1 through December 22, 2008.

Restrictions: A two-night minimum booking is required; all rates are land only.

For more information:
• visit www.superclubs.com
• call 1-800-GO-SUPER (800-467-8737)

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Beaches Resorts Offers First Night Free Promotion

Here's a good deal we've received from Beaches Resorts: families can enjoy their “1st Night Free” promotion during select 2008 dates at all four resort locations in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

The Details & Dates: Families who book a minimum seven-night vacation by April 30, 2008 for travel between April 26, 2008 and June 5, 2008 receive their first night free!

This offer can be combined with Beaches Resorts’ consumer savings promotions for 2008, Single Parent Fun Months, Sandals Select Points and Free Weddings.

Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Beaches Turks & Caicos Adds Custom Catamaran

If your family likes to get out on the water, check out Kitty Katt, the new catamaran at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa.

The only catamaran of its kind in the world, it was custom-designed for Beaches Resorts, especially with families in mind. Engineered to the highest safety standards, it includes:
• a fully stocked kitchen for preparing meals and snacks by professionally trained chefs
• a kids' soda and juice bar and kids buffet
• space to accommodate special appearances by Sesame Street characters
• an eight-foot tube slide off the stern, so guests can splash down into the sparkling Caribbean Sea
• a live video feed to plasma-TV monitors located right inside of one of the pontoons
The live-feed offers amazing up-close-and-personal underwater views of the deep blue sea and all its inhabitants.

Custom-designed catamarans will soon be delivered to select Beaches Resorts locations in Negril , Jamaica. You'll book your voyage on the Kitty Katt through the resort’s Tour Desk.

Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Complimentary Dogsled Tour for Kids

The Jamaica Dogsled Encounter at Chukka Caribbean Adventures is home to the only dogsled team and dogsled tours in the Caribbean. Children aged between 6 and 12 years enjoy a complimentary Jamaica Dogsled Encounter, with one child free per paying adult. The tour includes a visit to Dunn’s River Falls, and to Island Village for shopping, plus complimentary lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

Dates: This package can be booked now through June 30, 2008, for travel May 1 – August 31, 2008.

Price: Rates for the Jamaica Dogsled Encounter are US$85 for an adult, US$68 for a child, starting from Montego Bay; US$65 for an adult, US$48 for a child, starting from Ocho Rios.

For More Information:
• visit http://www.chukkacaribbean.com


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Starfish Trelawny Offers Family Rates

Jamaica's Starfish Trelawny has a full menu of activities to keep the busiest families happy: scuba diving and snorkeling, mini-golfing and ice-skating. The Kids Club offers age-specific programs and even after-hours babysitting for parents looking for a quiet romantic rendezvous.

Price: Rates start at US$99 per adult, per night; land only; US$50 per child (ages 2 – 12 years), per night, sharing the parents’ room; land only.

Dates: These prices are valid for travel from May 1 – December 22, 2008. A three-night minimum booking is required.

For More Information:
• visit www.starfish.com


Friday, February 29, 2008

Beaches Resorts Thinking Ahead to Fall

It's not too early to start planning next fall's family getaway! Beaches Resorts is offering the Sesame Street WonderFALL package:

• Receive 2 free nights when you book 7 nights or more at any Beaches Resort this fall.
• In addition, get up to 45% off published rates at Beaches.

Booking Dates: through 11/04/2008

Travel Window: 09/01/2008 – 11/04/2008

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Beaches Resorts Named World's Leading Family All-Inclusive

At the annual World Travel Awards, this year held in the Turks and Caicos, Beaches Resorts came home with several impressive family travel awards:

• World’s Leading Family All-Inclusive – Beaches Resorts (10th year)
• World’s Leading Family Resort – Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa
• Caribbean’s Leading Family All-Inclusive – Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa (2nd year)
• Turks & Caicos’ Leading Resort – Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa (3rd year)

This year’s voting campaign reached a total of 167,000 travel professionals worldwide, including 110,000 travel agents in over 200 countries around the world.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

POTD: Fire Eater in Jamaica

Fire eating/fire breathing shows aren't quite as common across the Caribbean as they seemed to be when we first started visiting the region but still show up at special events and some resort shows. This fire eater show took place at Jamaica's Half Moon Village just outside Ocho Rios. Definitely a time for that "don't try this at home" talk with the kids!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jamaica to Star in New Beacon Street Girls Book

KINGSTON, JAMAICA - December 4, 2007 - The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and B*tween Productions have partnered to create the latest Beacon Street Girls® special adventure book, Katani’s Jamaican Holiday. Scheduled for release in May 2008, the fictional story, the latest in the successful book series, teaches tween girls to nurture their own family roots while they learn about Jamaica, its rich history, culture and lifestyle.

A Powerful Role Model

Set in Jamaica, the story targets a readership of tween girls aged 9 to 13, offering a powerful role model in one of its main characters, Katani, whose roots are Jamaican. Readers will be drawn into an authentic Jamaican experience as Katani explores the island. In search of a truly appropriate and knowledgeable author, the JTB and B*tween Productions sent out a call for submissions to children’s book authors throughout Jamaica. The author selected is Hazel D. Campbell from Kingston; Ms. Campbell has five published children’s books to her credit and has an intimate knowledge of Jamaica.

“We’re thrilled the Beacon Street Girls have chosen to make Jamaica a part of their world,” said Basil Smith, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Jamaica offers a fascinating range of historic sites, including our forts, plantations and grand estates that all reflect the rich Jamaican heritage. The Beacon Street Girls team has gone to great lengths to present an accurate portrait of Jamaica today while immersing readers in our history, our traditions and our lifestyle. And the book is a smart way of addressing difficult issues that young girls face today.”

Chance to Win a Family Trip

A series of special in-store promotions, online and live book release events is planned to build excitement for Katani’s Jamaican Holiday. In the months leading up to the release, fans can enter an online sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Jamaica. The winners and their families will visit Jamaica together and sample the nation’s top family-friendly attractions. A special travel package is also being planned.

“The essence of a Beacon Street Girls book is to portray real-life experiences and issues through a rich, exciting story with realistic characters and authentic details,” said Addie Swartz, CEO of B*tween Productions. “Girls everywhere will be able to experience the real Jamaica through this story. As an added bonus, some lucky girls will have a chance to visit the destination.”


Monday, December 03, 2007

POTD: Prospect Plantation

Located just east of Ocho Rios, Prospect Plantation offers jitney tours of an authentic plantation where fruit trees are labeled and identified, perfect for first-time visitors. At one point on the tour, visitors get out and sample a variety of Jamaican fruits grown at the farm. Camel and horseback rides are also available here and there's also a small butterfly aviary.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Abby Cadabby Arrives at Beaches Resorts

The popular fairy muppet, Abby Cadabby, has made her debut at all four Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos this month. Joining the rest of the Beaches Resorts’ Sesame Street gang, which includes Elmo, Zoe, Grover, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, Abby will participate in the pirate-themed Treasure Caravan parade at Beaches Turks & Caicos and join the rest of her furry friends during the Sesame Street parades at all four resort locations. Abby will also perform her new show, “Magic in Me,” during Beaches Resorts’ exclusive Sesame Street stage shows.

“The response to Abby Cadabby has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Shawn DaCosta, Director of Resort Product for Beaches Resorts. “Abby is the first major female muppet to be introduced to Sesame Street in more than a decade. The fact that our guests have personal access to her is huge. It’s like vacationing with your favorite celebrity. They’re absolutely thrilled and so are we.”

To celebrate her debut and add a little magic to the holiday season, Beaches Resorts is now offering travelers up to 45 percent off regular rack rates for travel between November 2007 and January 2008. Black out dates apply.

Beaches Resorts is a sponsor of Sesame Street, the award winning pre-school series created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization.

For more information:
• call your travel agent or 1-800-BEACHES
• visit www.beaches.com

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Jamaica Adding Waterpark Near Ocho Rios

Jamaica will be the home of a new waterpark in May 2008. Mystic Mountain will be located near Ocho Rios and will offer a waterpark, bobsled coaster ride, an aerial tramway canopy tour, a Jamaican athletic heritage museum, and more. We'll keep you posted on this new attraction as we get more details!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

POTD: Somerset Falls, Jamaica

You and the kids can grab a ride on a small rowboat at Somerset Falls, located just west of Port Antonio, Jamaica, and literally ride under the falls into a small cave.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

POTD: Haunted Rose Hall??

Jamaica's most famous greathouse is Rose Hall, a place where mistress Annie Palmer was said to have murdered three husbands and numerous slaves. Guided tours here take a look at the historic home and tell the tales of Annie. Tours may be a little too scary for younger children but older kids and teens enjoy the haunted stories including the one about this portrait. The children in the photo have never been identified but some people believe the girl in the red dress is Annie, whose eyes are said to follow you as you walk around the room. (We tried it and it really does seem to happen!)

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

POTD: Caribbean Crafts Markets

A visit to a Caribbean crafts market like this Jamaican market can be a highlight of your family trip--or a time to pull your hair out. Be sure to have some preset spending limits for each member of the family before you head off for the market. Also, do a little research and find out the practices of the market before you go. Will bartering be expected or will prices be set? What are the best items to buy on that particular island? Is there a best time to shop? (Early mornings are often best for bargains as are days when there are no cruise ships in town.)

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Photo of the Day Feature

Today we're starting a new feature on CaribbeanFamilyTripper: Photo of the Day (POTD). In our blog, check for a daily photo from the Caribbean, ones to remind you of a past trip or inspire you for a future trip!

Today's shot comes from Jamaica. This shot comes from poolside at Rooms on the Beach, Ocho Rios, a property that's owned and operated by SuperClubs but operates as (like the name suggests) as a rooms-only property without an all-inclusive plan. The hotel is located on Turtle Beach with a great view of the very popular cruise terminal:

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Jamaica Now Free of Malaria

We answered a reader question here a few weeks ago about malaria in the Caribbean; at the time, malaria was a problem in the La Altagracia region (near Bavaro) of the Dominican Republic and the Kingston area in Jamaica.

We're happy to report that Jamaica is now malaria-free. The Jamaica Information Service is reporting that no new cases have been reported in three months. Malaria was never a problem in the resort areas.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jamaica's Sunset Resorts Offers Single Parent Promotion

All too many packages offer discounts for children staying in a room with two parents so we're happy to see the new Single Parent Vacation Promotion is available at Sunset Resorts. These family friendly all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica include Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, Montego Bay and Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios.

The Package: The Single Parent Vacation Promotion features a 50% discount off the double occupancy published rates when accompanied by one to three children under the age of fifteen in the same room. Children under the age of 15 pay the regular child supplement.

Dates: The promotion is valid for reservations booked between now and December 15, 2007 for travel from November 1 through December 22, 2007 at Sunset Beach Resort and now through December 22, 2007 at Sunset Jamaica Grande. Offer is based on availability, restrictions and blackout dates apply, and all travel must be completed by December 22, 2007. Blackout dates include November 21 to 24, 2007. This offer is not valid at Sunset at the Palms in Negril.

Price: All-inclusive rates per single parent, reflective of the 50% savings, range from $140 - $250 per night at Sunset Beach Resort & Spa and from $162 - $287 per night, at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa. Rates are valid for travel from now through December 22, 2007. Children up to the age of 15 are $55 per night. Maximum three children per room with one adult.

What It Includes: Rates include accommodations with a private balcony, all meals, bar beverages, wine by the glass, non-motorized water sports, tennis, entertainment, taxes, and gratuity.

Why Families Like It: Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay is home to the Pirate's Paradise Water Park, which has twists, turns, rides and slides for all ages. Blackbeard's Lazy River takes guests on a slow trip around the park. The Caribbean Pirate's Paradise Fort features an exciting 40-foot high Pirate's Plank Bridge and two rooftop Jacuzzis. Two shooting waterslides send guests on a zooming good time. Children age 2-12 flock to the Pirate Ship, which boasts a kid's section with their very own swimming pool and slide. A large Jacuzzi offers respite for the older set. The Pirate's Cove Teen Center offers arcade games and pool tables. Parents can pamper themselves with indulgent Jamaica themed spa treatments at the spa or enjoy non-motorized water sports.

Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa in Ocho Rios features five pools wandering through this beachside complex, featuring waterfalls, plunge pools, a meandering river, hot tubs, swim-up bars and a swaying rope bridge. The new Lighthouse Waterslide is architecturally designed like a traditional lighthouse, and features two separate, full body water slides--one enclosed and one open. The lower level of the Lighthouse includes an air-conditioned arcade featuring a variety of video games. Parents can drop the children off at the resorts fully-supervised kids clubs; Club Mongoose offers non-stop fun for younger kids including indoor and outdoor areas, a splash pool for tots and gentle 'water jet' area so little ones can cool off. A tween club, 'Jamstone' features pool tables, foosball, and video games for the older set.

For more information:
• visit www.sunsetresortsjamaica.com
• call 800-234-1707


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beaches Adds Abby Cadabby of Sesame Street

If you've got a Sesame Street fan in the family, there's another good reason to head to Beaches Resorts: Abby Cadabby, the first major muppet introduced on Sesame Street in over a decade, joins Elmo, Zoe, Grover and the rest of the gang at the resorts this fall. The daughter of Fairy Godmother and a fairy-in-training herself, Abby will be sharing her passion for magic, numbers and letters with guests of all ages beginning this September.

Abby won't just be on vacation at the resorts; she's working: look for her to be participating in Beaches’ pirate-themed treasure caravan show at Beaches Turks & Caicos to joining the rest of her furry friends during the Sesame Street Parade at all four resort locations in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

Abby Cadabby will also take the stage during Beaches’ exclusive Sesame Street Stage Shows, featuring live song and dance numbers. Debuting this fall is a new show, where Abby will showcase her music chops while performing “Magic in Me.”

Sandbox Savings Package: Beaches is having a fall sale with its ‘Sandbox Savings’ package. Families who book now for travel from now through October 31, 2007 can enjoy up to 45% of regular rack rates. Rates begin at $159.50 per person, per night with a three-night minimum stay. The package includes enhanced preschool entertainment and activities for island-hopping tots, through exclusive partnerships with Sesame Workshop and Crayola, as well as romantic retreats and nanny services for parents.

For more information:
• call 1-800-BEACHES
• visit www.beaches.com

Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Reader Question: Which of Jamaica's Beaches Resorts is Closest to the Airport?

Dear CaribbeanFamilyTripper,

I'm looking at the Beaches resorts in Jamaica but can't figure out which is closest to the airport. I have a 10-year-old who won't mind the drive but a restless 3-year-old who will! Thanks, Christine B., Philadelphia

Dear Christine,

Thanks for your email. The Beaches resorts in Negril are a shorter drive from Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport than Beaches Boscobel, which is located east of Ocho Rios. We'd estimate just over two hours for the drive to Beaches Boscobel and about an hour and a half from the airport to Negril, which is home of both Beaches Negril (which is larger and has a waterpark) and Beaches Sandy Bay (where you can hop a free shuttle and use the facilities at the larger property).

In Jamaica, you can also hop a small plane to connect from Montego Bay to either Negril or Boscobel but these are charter flights. Time-wise it's worth it to Boscobel but, to be honest, by the time you get your bags and check back in for your charter flight, you might as well hop on the free shuttle and enjoy the drive to Negril. Happy travels!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Two for One Sale at Chukka Caribbean in Jamaica

We've received word that Chukka Caribbean Adventures, the top nature tour provider in Jamaica, has extended their Buy One Get One Free sale for their tours in Jamaica.

To qualify for this limited time offer, you'll need to make all bookings at http://www.chukkacaribbean.com now through September 30, 2007. Tours must be taken between September 1, 2007 and October 31, 2007.

Your free tour must be of equal or lesser value than the tour purchased and must be offered at the same location. This offer applies to tours in Jamaica that are booked online and does not include Polo Collection Tours.

Chukka Caribbean has a huge assortment of family-friendly tours in Jamaica ranging from canopy (zipline) tours, to horseback rides (that includes swimming with the horses in the sea), safari tours, kayak adventures, tubing down Jamaica's rivers and more. We've had the pleasure of taking Chukka Caribbean tours and can say firsthand they're an excellent outfitter.

For More Information:
• call 1-877-4-CHUKKA
• visit http://www.ChukkaCaribbean.com


Monday, August 20, 2007

Hurricane Dean Updates

We've been receiving word from Jamaica all day in the wake of Hurricane Dean, and we're happy to say the news has been good. The North Coast, where most of the resorts are located, received a fairly light blow from the storm and most damage on that side of the island was cosmetic. We've already heard from several of the family resorts: all the Sunset Resorts and Beaches Resorts are reporting that they're fine and, if not receiving guests right now, will within a day or so.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

September, October Sale at Beaches Resorts

While most families don’t want to think about the end of summer, right now is the best time to scoop up exclusive fall travel deals to the Caribbean.

For families traveling this fall, Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos is offering travelers up to 45% off regular rack rates. Rates begin at $159.50 per person, per night with a minimum three-night stay. Non-stop fun awaits family members of all ages at Beaches’ Pirate’s Island Waterparks, exclusive Crayola Art Camps, Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street, Sesame Street Stage Shows and more!

Parents will particularly enjoy Beaches’ exclusive Red Lane® Spa or the “Parents Night Out” bundle which includes a 50-minute Couples Massage for Mom & Dad, sundown champagne and a chocolate-dipped tropical fruit treat on the beach, a private four-course candlelight dinner, complete with private white-glove service, personalized menus, champagne and 5x7 resort photo. Of course, this deal wouldn’t be complete without three hours of private nanny services with activities for kids 1 – 12 years old.

For More Information:
• visit www.beaches.com

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jamaica's Sunset Resort Offers Passport Promotion

Sunset Resorts announced the new Passport to Jamaica promotion. For each booking at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa or Sunset Beach Resort & Spa January 8 through March 31, 2007, guests that can present a new US Passport (with Jamaica as the first entry stamp!), along with application cost receipt, will earn up to $200 in resort credit, which can be used toward spa treatments, sightseeing, room upgrades, and other hotel extras.

A minimum stay of five nights is required. Resort credit has no cash value and refunds are not permitted.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Passport Promotion at Jamaica's Sunset Resorts

Sunset Resorts announced the new Passport to Jamaica promotion. For each booking at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa or Sunset Beach Resort & Spa January 8 through March 31, 2007, guests that can present a new US Passport (with Jamaica as the first entry stamp!), along with application cost receipt, will earn up to $200 in resort credit, which can be used toward spa treatments, sightseeing, room upgrades, and other hotel extras.

A minimum stay of five nights is required. Resort credit has no cash value and refunds are not permitted.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jamaica's Sunset Resorts Offers Babymoon Package

Have a new family addition on the horizon? Before your Caribbean getaway becomes a Caribbean family vacation, there's a chance for a Babymoon Getaway, a growing trend. Jamaica's Sunset Resorts has launched its Sunset Resorts Babymoon Getaway package starting at $629.00 per person for Summer rates and $729.00 per person for Winter rates.

The Package: The Sunset Resorts Babymoon Getaway offers 5 days and 4 nights at Sunset Beach Resort & Spa and Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa. Babymooners enjoy a sensuous couples massage at the spa, especially great for mom-to-be's sensitive muscles. Afterwards, they can dip their toes in the blue Caribbean waters or enjoy a host of all-inclusive couples' activities. Including all food and beverages, the Sunset Resorts Babymoon Getaway also includes a souvenir photo and a special gift for baby.

Prices: Rates are as follows: Winter rates; $729.00 per person at Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, $779.00 per person at Sunset Jamaica Grande valid January 1 to April 8, 2007. Summer rates; $629 per person at Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, $699.00 per person at Sunset Jamaica Grande valid April 9 to December 22, 2007.

For more information:
• call 800-234-1707
• visit www.sunsetresortsjamaica.com



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