Caribbean Blogs

Caribbean Blog

Welcome to the Caribbean an amazingly untouched beauty awaits. Welcoming people and amazing activities to transform you in mind body and spirit.

Scuba Diving Masks for Big Noses

I had a lot of success with my post on swimming goggles for big noses that today while diving and wondering why my dive this morning wasn't quite perfect that I had no room at the end of my nose pocket. There must be a lot of us finning around finding it hard to steer that I hope if you too have a big nose you might share this blog post and indeed be able to share your wisdom so that I might save some dollars and buy the right mask for my big pointy nose.

So please share some diving humour today and help us big nosed divers out !

I did a quick search to save you some time and found these also helpful links:

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40442

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/fins-masks-snorkels/244222-masks-people-big-noses.html

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Achieve A Lifelong Skill During Your Gap Year

Achieve A Lifelong Skill During Your Gap Year

One of the biggest regrets you hear from people who have completed their gap year is that they wish they had something to show for it, some kind of achievement. Now we know that a gap year is all about enjoying yourself and exploring the world, but we have the perfect solution for those of you wanting to achieve something while on your adventures. Why not gain a PADI qualification in the Caribbean ?

The Caribbean is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, above and below the water. The archipelago is made up of islands that are all unique and distinctive in their own rights with different landscapes and individual cultures and histories. One thing that they all have in common is that the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea surround them. The whole area is rich in marine life and offers some of the best diving in the world. All of the islands offer dives of varying degrees of difficulty making it the perfect place to learn, and then progress with your new-found diving skills. Not only will you feel a sense of pride and satisfaction for having done something worthwhile with your gap year, as opposed to constantly bumming around on the beach, but if you enjoy diving then you can use your PADI qualification on future holidays without having to waste precious time off work learning the skills first. The benefits of diving on your gap year are numerous.

Here is a look at what we think are the best three locations to gain your PADI qualifications in the Caribbean.

Variety and choice

If you're looking for a wide choice of dive sites with an impressive mix of difficulty levels that are all easy to reach, then Grenada is the island for you. The island's waters contain wrecks, reefs in abundance, a volcano and even an underwater sculpture park. When you are learning to dive the last thing you want to do is spend hours aboard a boat travelling to and from dive sites. To make the most of your valuable diving time, and to spend the maximum amount of time actually in the water, give Grenada a go.

A choice of shallow sites such as MV Veronica, Dragon Bay, Flamingo Bay and the underwater sculpture park at Molinere Bay mean that you will never get bored as a learner diver. There is also a huge range of dive schools to choose from. The majority are based on the island's famous Grande Anse Beach.

Easy access

The island of Bonaire is blessed with an almost continuous reef surrounding it. In many places this reef is only a few yards from the shore meaning you can simply wade out to experience some fantastic shallow diving. Bonaire is also well set up for visiting divers. Yellow markers along the coastal road indicate where the dive sites are. All you have to do is park up and walk out to the relevant site.

As you progress with your diving skills there are also some great off shore sites to be reached by boat as well as the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire which also falls under the protection of the Bonaire National Marine Park.

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These waters you see in the video are the shallows of half moon bay - now you can begin to see why its real easy to learn to dive ... Read More
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 15:46
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10 Best Islands in Caribbean

10 Best Islands in Caribbean

There are many Caribbean islands to choose from and you can find one that is just right for your vacation and budget. Apart from going on a vacation, any person interested in theatredeals can also dream of living in the Caribbean and they can find an island paradise that they can relocate to. These are wonderful islands that have a lot to offer. The following is a list of some of the best islands that you can find in the Caribbean. 1. St. Martin If there is any complaint about this island that is filled with resorts, restaurants and nightclubs is that there is too much of everything. However, the construction boom has slowed down because of global economic meltdown. The activities that a visitor can enjoy include going on a hike and diving in the marine park. 2. Aruba Luxury hotels, designer boutiques and glitzy casinos are concentrated in the western edge of this island. Spectacular sunsets can be enjoyed and even if you are not a morning person, you can rise up early to enjoy a street party called Carubbean Festival that is held every week. 3. Bahamas This island is ideal if you would like some bit of solitude. Proximity and peace are directly related and the further one travels, the quieter it becomes. 4. US Virgin Islands There are three islands to choose from and they include St. Croix, St. John and St. Croix. The most remote island is St. Croix and it is also less developed compared to the other two. If you are a sports enthusiast, this is a perfect getaway for you. 5. Puerto Rico The Vieques National Wildlife Refuge is very impressive and it is not as crowded as the other beaches in the island. The laid back personality of the island is what draws tourists and even celebrities. 6. Bermuda In the Atlantic Ocean, you will find this island sitting all alone. Its architecture, customs and foods are more British colonial that a tropical paradise. Even though the island is pricey, visitors can find reduce golfing fees, lower airfares and cheaper hotels. 7. Cayman Islands These islands are synonymous with wealthy pursuits and they are offshore banking and deep sea diving. It is rare to find an affordable hotel in these islands. However, a hotel that is recommended goes by the name Sunshine Suites. 8. Dominican Republic Affordable, all inclusive packages are available especially in Punta Cana. The Residencial Casa Linda Villas are more like your local neighborhood as opposed to a resort. Daily housekeeping services are available and a two bedroom villa can cost $100. 9. Jamaica This is an island that caters for every kind of traveler. A honeymooner can find an ideal package while the island is also family friendly. Ocho Rios is an ideal location for a cruiser. 10. Trinidad and Tobago Tobago is just like the backyard of Trinidad. This 116 square mile haven is just a twenty minute flight from Trinidad. You can find restaurants and nightclubs here and you can find peaceful accommodation at the Gloucester Place Guest House.

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Belize mentioned in a best dive spots in the world article.

Here is the article from Lonely Planet Best Diving Spots in the World.

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Hospitality at its best at Resorts And Hotels At The Bay Islands

Hospitality at its best at Resorts And Hotels At The Bay Islands
Hospitality at its best at Resorts And Hotels In The Bay Islands One of the most perfect destinations is Roatan in the Bay Islands. Besides this you can also find some great accommodation facilities at the other islands like Utila, Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos. You can get cozy rooms to stay and privacy can be availed at the cabanas. Air conditioning, (excellent room service ?), telephone, television, tea + coffee makers, refrigerators and lots of other facilities are provided in the ultra clean rooms often with tile or wood flooring. Most of the hotels and resorts in the Bay Islands are well maintained and pretty. A feature of resorts in fact for many of the rooms is also to have a hammock and patio assuring every guest a great relaxing time. Just make sure to get your insect repelant as a hammock can contain no-seeums the sand fleas that will bite you ! Not fatal of course but it leaves a most unsightly red mark and bump.Finest Services ?Why do I keep adding the question markas against the service levels here. You will get ultra friendly service but its often slow and thats just the way it is when comparing it to US standards. Typically the following is the same for all hotels and resorts in the bay islands. The reception teams are warm, friendly, always smiling and very informative. They  take great pleasure in showing the guests around. Tourists can have an amazing time and hang out at any of the laid back ‘resorts’. Many of the resorts provide the ‘island’ feel you prefer. At every kind of accommodation whether it is the hotel type larger accommodation or the Caribbean type smaller accommodation, there are private gardens found at the Bay Island Resorts.Beautiful Beachfronts To AccessThe crowds are existant only on west bay in Roatan (the most popular island) during public holidays but their is still space to be found. Otherwise beaches are  not crowded and you could be the only ones especially if on the remote cays of Utila or the smaller islands. But crowds too can be great fun (make new friends playing beach volleyball). At the resorts, diving centers are also available you can find a list of them on this site Caribbean Diving. Delicious food whether it is international cuisine or the local cuisine, are served at the hotels and resorts at the Bay Islands resturants - the smaller ones will do local only food. Water taxi services are also available from many of the beaches on Roatan which are worth using since its a fun inexpensive way to save time in the heat. Scuba diving, snorkeling and other water based activities can also be enjoyed at various resorts like other of the Caribbean Islands but perhaps the tourism in the Bay Islands has grown from this industry mostly. Dive professionals are also available who help to make the diving experience most enjoyable for tourists and experienced divers alike. Again research our specific scuba diving guides per island on this site.Find A List Of Recommended Resorts And Hotels

In gorgeous garden settings or by the pool or in air conditioned restaurants you can find time to let time pass. A good place to watch the sunset is in the west end village in Roatan there head for sundowners or the blue marlin.

Those who do not wish to go diving can relax on the beaches and enjoy the nice warm sun a plenty otherwise there are many land based activities like horse riding or ziplining. A good idea would be to first look up the internet to get an idea of some exclusive resorts and hotels at the island you wish to visit. You will find a list of a number of recommended hotels and resorts where the best of accommodation, drinks and food is served.

Check The Weather Chart Online To get an idea of the climatic or weather conditions at the preferred Bay Island, you can always look up the weather chart on the internet before planning a trip to the islands. If you are looking for particular resorts only then you could even look up rankings of various resorts on the web and accordingly make a decision on the type of resort you want to stay in on reaching the Bay Islands. Once you make the first trip to any of the islands in the Caribbean you are sure to make many more annual trips to the beautiful island in the future too. With increasing numbers getting attracted to the region, there are now many hotels and resorts of your choice to access at the Bay Islands and that too at rates you can afford.
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Dreams Come True At Guanaja Island In The Caribbean

Dreams Come True At Guanaja Island In The Caribbean
Dreams Come True At Guanaja Island In The CaribbeanWhether it is Utila, Cayos Cochinos, Guanaja, Honduras or Roatan in the Caribbean you can make your dream come true with a memorable cruising experience. In the Caribbean is located a beautiful bay island called Guanaja, around 70 kilometers off Honduras’s northern coast. From Roatan it is located at a distance of 12 kilometers. There are a lot of waterways that run through Guanaja island, due to which it is densely populated. Savannah Bight and Mangrove Bight are the two main settlements on the island. Both Savannah Bight and Mangrove Bight towns are linked by one single small road. Water taxis are the main mode for transportation.Things To EnjoyThe small and beautiful resorts cater to adventurer travelers, snorkelers and divers. Thousands of people visit the island to enjoy the clear, fresh and warm waters, the wide open spectacular beaches the extensive and magnificent coral reef on all sides and waterfalls at the island. There is a beautiful rock peak, coral reef and lots of water based activities for tourists to enjoy at this island. Shrimping and fishing are the primary activities and source of income for the Guanaja islanders. Pine and conifer trees are largely grown at Guanaja Island. The islanders speak mainly English. Most of the people live at the Bonacca Cay which is located at a distance of 300 meters off the main island.Incredible Rock PeakGuanaja Island is popular for the Michael Rock Peak that stands at a height of 1350 feet making it the tallest peak in the Bay Islands. Tourists in thousands visit this incredible rock peak for hiking and viewing the beautiful Caribbean Sea. It is the seclusion feature that makes Guanaja a special island. Tourists can make the most of the dedicated and upscale hotel resorts and dive resorts located at many of the isolated destinations around Guanaja island. Boats can be used to access the resorts. Once your reach the island you can feel assured of a unique relaxing and private experience at the exotic island. A lot is offered at the island in terms of activities.The Mestizo ReefThe Mestizo Reef that has been newly inaugurated, the wrecks, the healthy reefs, volcanic caverns and the pinnacles are various things you can enjoy at the dive sites of the island. Mestizo Reef is a new site for diving located at around 65ft water. A 16th century bell, Spanish cannons, various objects, vases and genuine artifacts, a partial wreck of a ship, life sized statues of a local Indian chief, Lempira and Christopher Columbus surround this reef. Ancient Mayan artifacts, huge waterfalls, bars and restaurants in island style etc can also be enjoyed at this destination. Scuba diving is a great experience to have at Guanaja island. The marine life, sponges and corals are simply amazing.Diving And CruisingDivers from across the world come to the island to see the huge whale sharks. If you do not like diving then off the beach, a numbers of snorkel tours are also arranged. Kayaking, hiking, fishing, exploring and diving are the other activities tourists can enjoy at the island. Those looking to learn diving can also take up a one day diving course with many of the diving instructors available at the diving resorts at Guanaja. Many of the cruise ships stop at the ports of the Bay Islands, including Guanaja, Honduras, Roatan, Cayos Cochinos and Utila to enjoy the natural scenic beauty. In the Caribbean these are the favorite destinations not only for diving and other water based activities but also for cruising. Tourists are given ample time to go around sightseeing and shopping around the islands.
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Enjoy the super scuba sensation

Enjoy the super scuba sensation

An article looking at scuba diving, enjoying the sport whilst on holiday, how beginners can start and how experienced divers can develop.

Many people enjoy an adventure and at some point most of us will travel for a holiday   whether it's abroad or in our own country, we like to see new things, take in new sights, explore new destinations. But there is a whole world out there that many of us never even think about, let alone visit. The world under the sea. When you've been on holiday you've probably enjoyed taking a dip in the sea. There's nothing like the warm waters of the Mediterranean or the Caribbean for helping to float your cares away. Perhaps you've also tried snorkelling and seen some of the beautiful wildlife beneath the surface of the water. But to really get an idea of marine life below the sea then you need to give scuba diving a try. Under the sea If the thought of being under water without access to air is frightening, then that's a very understandable but unnecessary fear. For most people, the first time they go scuba diving can be a little unsettling and learning how to breathe from an oxygen tank can seem peculiar to say the least. Whether it's a one-off experience or you are taking a course of lessons, make sure you are with a reputable diving school. When you're underwater there are other considerations than just breathing to think about too! You will be weighted to make sure you're not rolling about all over the place underwater   so you need to give your correct weight to the instructor. It can be tempting to knock off a few pounds when you're telling someone your weight, but this won't do you any favours as you won't be weighted properly and could end up in some discomfort. You will also be taught how to equalise properly. This will help you counter the effects of the water pressure, otherwise you could end up with an uncomfortable sensation in your head and sinuses. Again, a reputable school will tackle all this. If you are an experienced diver, then you might want to book a specific diving holiday. Destinations like the Red Sea in Egypt, the Maldives and the Philippines are very popular with divers. There are some fantastic hotels in these regions which act as a great base during your break. Some hotels also offer lessons in their own swimming pools, which are great if you have never tried diving before, or perhaps if you are travelling with more seasoned divers and would like some practise in a pool before you move onto diving in the sea. Once you have started to dive you're sure to become addicted. Being up close to the wonderful marine life is life changing and you will be amazed to discover the world under the sea. Whether you learn to dive in a swimming pool in the UK or the Mediterranean Sea, it is an experience not to be missed.

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Exploring The Caribbean From The Sky, Sea And Land

Exploring The Caribbean From The Sky, Sea And Land

Baloon Tours Caribbean

The Caribbean Islands are amazing places and they are worth exploring from all angles. Floating over picturesque Caribbean islands offers an amazing perspective.

If you are looking for a unique, special experience for your next holiday, why not try a ride in a hot air balloon. Whether a fan of photography, nature, architecture or adventure, hot air balloon flights have lots to offer. Imagine passing over ancient ruins, tranquil jungles, or beautiful beaches, seeing an entire island from the sky.

If you don't feel like taking to the skies for balloon rides, consider visiting during the Caribbean Hot Air Balloon Festival, which takes place each year on Antigua during the last week of November and the first week of December. This festival is amazing to watch, even from the ground, as you see hundreds of brightly coloured balloons flying by, filling the sky with a rainbow of colours.

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Caribbean Travel Trends

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Essential Packing Tips for Going on Your Caribbean Cruise Ship Holiday

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The Caribbean is a delightful location – a selection of white sand beaches; palm trees; holiday resorts; and nature reserves. It's islands vary in size and makeup, but the laid-back attitude is common to all. It’s where you go when you want to get the benefit of sun, sea and sand without the crowds or the overt tourism.

Clearly there is tourism in the Caribbean, of course – it’s just of a slightly different order. Where mainstream package tourism is often crowded and not very relaxing, the price mark-up on a Caribbean tour ensures that a higher level of service and experience is usually achieved.

If you’ve never been on a Caribbean cruise before, you’ll need some packing tips. You’ve got a smart luggage set; you’ve got the guide book – now, apart from that guide book of course, what do you put in your cases?

Packing for the Caribbean

Let’s start with the basics. Sun cream (sun tan lotion), after sun cream, and mosquito and insect repellent. Don’t underestimate the power of the tropical sun, which can have you blistered in less than an hour. If you’re British, you’re not used to it for sure. Take sun cream with a factor around 25% stronger than you think you need. SPF50 and above should do the trick. You can start to reduce to 30 and 15, don't risk just 30 initially.

After sun lotion is an absolute lifesaver in the tropics – particularly when you are so near to the sea. On and off your ship, you’re likely to be buffeted by gentle sea breezes most of the day – very pleasant indeed, until you realise they’ve been tricking you into feeling cooler than you actually are. When you inevitable burn your forehead or your ears, after sun lotion can take the heat and pain away in seconds.

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Hello!!! Top tips for packing...... Tip 1: Pack your carry-on bags wisely. Tip 2: Know the dress codes. Tip 3: Consider doing lau... Read More
Saturday, 14 September 2013 08:05
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The most romantic Caribbean destinations

The most romantic Caribbean destinations

There are many romantic places on earth, but it seems that their concentration is highest in the Caribbean region. It comes as no surprise that the travel destinations there are among the most sought after by couples in love, newly-weds and families. So, let us check the places that all those in a romantic mood want to visit. The first spot on our list is the island of Barbados, which has an interesting British atmosphere. Thus, one can expect afternoon tea and garden parties, left car driving and games of cricket. One of the most pleasant places here is the Bathsheba Beach, which must be visited for a great romantic walk. Expect nice places for dining out and luxurious accommodation spots with spa procedures. 

The second romantic spot on our list is the French island of St. Barthelemy. This trendy place is preferred by the rich people and one can find famous faces here. The beaches here are fabulous, the cafes are trendy, the restaurants are fantastic and the hotels are exclusive, luxurious and expensive. Thus, if the couple is on a budget, this is not the place to go to.The third place that deserves to be mentioned is the island of Saint Martin, which is one third Dutch and two-thirds French, so the couple can experience both atmospheres. The beaches here are incredible, the best of them being Dawn Beach, Grand Case, Longue Beach and Orient Beach.  

If the idea of the couple is to have a romantic, but also a relaxed holiday, then Jamaica is the place to go. The reggae music, the dances, the options for diving are just ideal if you dream about real recreation. Another fantastic place with reasonably priced resorts is the Dominican Republic. This destination is perfect for those who love adventures, as there is plenty to be done here. The couple can go hiking and scuba diving, snorkeling and windsurfing. In addition, one can try sailing with humpback whales. Among the finest spots to be checked here is the Cabarete bay, which is great place for windsurfing. For those couples in love that secluded beaches and beautiful scenery, the place to go is the island of Anguilla, which is appreciated by many famous artists and singers. This is a fantastic spot for those who love snorkeling and also for the food connoisseurs, as there are plenty of restaurants with various types of cuisine. 

If the idea of the holiday is to lay on the beach and get great skin complexion, then the couple should head towards Antigua. It is famous for its long sandy beaches, many small and secluded beach zones and great options for watersports. The place though is not very suitable for kids. In case you want an active holiday with parties, shopping, and watersports, then the place to go is Aruba. The island is great for kite surfing, scuba diving and also wind surfing. If diving is the passion of the couple, another great destination for that are the Cayman Islands, which are famous for the crystal water, the great diversity of fish and the tales for the Sunken City of Atlantis.

 

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Dive in to Holidays with the Luxury Touch

So you've got your PADI, you've checked out a few of the world's regular diving hotspots but now you've really caught the diving bug. If you're keen to plunge ocean depths in style, there are some great ways to do this with a luxury edge.

Resort Diving

There are many exclusive five star resorts across the world that count among their offering scuba diving courses and facilities. You can choose your destination based on the kind of diving you are interested in. Grenada for example is one of the key locations for wreck diving, so if you fancy exploring sunken treasures this could be the place for you. If you're looking for sea life on a large scale, Mozambique could be a good choice. It's famed for year round sightings of stunning Whale Sharks and Manta Rays. Whatever your choice, diving breaks with a base in a luxury resort offer the comfort of a five star hotel by night and the freedom of the waves by day. Some would certainly consider this the best of both worlds.

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It can be amazingly expensive to take on a luxury room in the Caribbean but thankfully there are many that come under this level t... Read More
Thursday, 11 July 2013 19:53
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Worlds most dangerous shark 500 injured and 98 dead!

On another subject, the most number of people injured by one single shark was in

Madagascar, Feb. 1997, 500 injured and 98 dead!

What happened was that a fisherman caught a shark, cut it up for sale in the market,

500 people who ate the shark meat ended up in the hospital with ciguatera fish poisoning

and 98 of those died!

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A good Learning to Dive Video in Jamaica

This is the kind of thing you can expect when learning to dive in Jamaica, the line allows for a safe descent and the dive is shallow - you will have been taught a lot in the pool or confined safe water area at this point and you will never go outside your comfort zone !Learning to Dive in Jamaica at Sandals !

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Underwater Sculpture News Diving in Mexico

timebomb

From the underwater artist Jason De Caires Taylor himself we present some recent updates for you to share.

 

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The Sandals Advantage

Why Choose the Sandals Difference?Are you vacationing to the Caribbean? Experience the Sandals Difference – our hassle-free Luxury Included® vacations include an unparalleled array of amenities for you to enjoy during your tropical getaway. Whether you’re vacationing in Jamaica, St. Lucia, the Bahamas or Antigua, our luxury all inclusive Caribbean resorts offer a variety of quality amenities, superb service and lavish accommodations – we offer more inclusions than any other resort in the world.Top-Notch DiningSandals Resorts are renowned for offering their guests an array of gourmet dining choices to enjoy during an all inclusive Caribbean vacation – we provide up to 15 unforgettable restaurants per resort, including at least one authentic island dining experience. Sandals offers over 50 specialty restaurants, with fine dining selections from all over the world, including authentic Japanese sushi, fresh seafood, brick-oven pizza, classic French, British pub fare, Thai, contemporary Caribbean, Bahamian, Italian and light and healthy choices for health-conscious diners. The ambiance is as varied as our dining selections – enjoy romantic dinners by candlelight, dine on the beach, or enjoy a hearty meal at a pub – it’s your choice!

Top-Shelf Drinks

What would an all inclusive Caribbean vacation be without premium top-shelf drinks? Sandals all inclusive luxury vacations provide unlimited top-shelf drinks at no extra cost – our Luxury Included® vacations offer drinks 24/7, served throughout the resort. There are as many as 12 bars to choose from per resort, each staffed by friendly, experienced bartenders.Don’t want to leave the pool? Sandals’ signature swim-up pool bars are innovative, convenient and fun! Want to enjoy top-shelf drinks in style? Our Caribbean luxury resorts offer chic piano bars and unique themed bars, depending on your location – and if you don’t want to leave the white, soft sand of the Caribbean beach behind, enjoy unlimited premium-brand drinks and fine Beringer wines at our beachfront bars. There’s something for everyone at Sandals all inclusive Caribbean resorts.Luxurious AccommodationsSandals provides the finest, most luxurious rooms and suites at our all inclusive Caribbean resorts – we offer an array of accommodations to appease any type of traveler. Do you want to swim to your room? The swim-up suites of Sandals Negril makes it easy to go from the pool to your private sanctuary in no time. Each of our Caribbean luxury resorts offers something unique and special - enjoy a cliff-top sanctuary with a 180-degree view of the Caribbean sea in St. Lucia, enjoy enchanting seaside villas at Emerald Bay, relax in the privacy of our Mediterranean Plunge Pool Villa suites at Sandals Grande Antigua and more. No matter which accommodations you choose, Sandals’ all inclusive Caribbean rooms and suites include a variety of extravagant amenities to make your stay as luxurious and relaxing as possible, including daily turndown service, satellite TV, pillow menus, Egyptian cotton linens, plush robes and even iPod docking stations – just ask us to see what your accommodations will include. Upgrade to our top-tier all inclusive Caribbean suites and experience premium personal butler service from a butler who is trained in accordance to the standards of the Guild of Professional English Butlers.EntertainmentYou’ll never be bored at our all inclusive Caribbean resorts – there are endless activities to enjoy, day or night. Whether you’re in the mood for a live show, an extravagant beach party, a costume party, karaoke or talent shows, we’ve got an array of entertainment for you to choose from.

Dress up and sip a top-shelf cocktail at one of our elegant piano bars, or enjoy the delicious food and drinks at one of our weekly beach parties while watching exciting fire eaters and limbo dancers. Sway to the steel drum band under the stars or dance the night away in one of our discos or nightclubs – you’ll never run out of things to do at our Caribbean beach resorts.Beautiful Wedding Themes

When you book a honeymoon at one of our all inclusive Caribbean resorts for six nights or longer, we’ll provide you with a free Beautiful Beginnings wedding, ensuring that your special day is entirely hassle-free. Our wedding themes are known for elegance and simplicity, featuring a charming white fondant cake, a personal pre-wedding planner, a dedicated resort wedding team, assistance with marriage document preparation, pre-recorded music, sparkling wine and a hors d’oeuvres cocktail reception, and even a mimosa breakfast in bed – we’ve got it all!And if the Beautiful Beginnings wedding isn’t your style, you can apply the value of this wedding towards a theme of your choice – Sandals Luxury Included® Resorts offer six exclusive pre-designed themes to meet the needs of any bride. What’s more, brides-to-be can use our Sandals Destination Wedding Designer tool to completely customize a dream wedding from scratch – no other resorts in the world provide you with so much!Sandals Luxury Included® Caribbean ResortsOne could spend an endless amount of time explaining the top-notch amenities, services and accommodations available at Sandals all inclusive Caribbean resorts – including an unlimited scuba diving program, access to the award-winning, world-class Red Lane spa, or trips to Sandals exclusive offshore islands, just minutes away from the main resort. But talk is cheap – experience for yourselves why Sandals Luxury Included® vacations represent unparalleled relaxation, perfection and elegance – you’ll get more for less.

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Copyright

© Copyright © 2012 Sandals.com

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Caribbean Vs The Red Sea - Diving Holidays

You may be based in Europe and fancy doing a diving holiday. I am in such a position and have the valuable hindsight to help me out. I have dived Sharm El Sheikh and various places in the Caribbean.

And I can help you decide which is the better option for you.

We need to clarify that value for money is not meaning the cheapest here. Without doubt flying from European Gateways such as London Gatwick Stanstead or Luton for example or from France Italy or Germany etc then without doubt and ALL INCLUSIVE SHARM EL SHEIKH diving holiday will be cheaper.The problem I have with Egypt diving vacations is multifaceted. SO lets jump right in in and go there:

The problems with diving in Sharm El Sheikh

The Dive Operators are real factories and have largely lost sight of the customer as an individual diver. I'm not going to name any individual operator they are all pretty alike in that they are there for the money. You will see this in the low prices initially rising with addons such as afternoon dives or excursions to best dive sites such as the Thistlegorm. There is nothing wrong in this IF this is clearly stated and simple to understand. In the larger operations you will not find the divemasters and instructors hanging out after the day is out unlike in the Caribbean, that's fair enough as well - I'm not complaining just trying to get across the fact that diving is different here. You will get buses to the dock and have to wait while getting processed to the boats passing the metal detector. This gets fatiguing and after the diving day you might have to walk back the last 75m to the shop after the bus doesn't go all the way back.If you are part of a group the above isn't really that much of a deal - but for the lone traveller you will find the dive shops largely lonesome places. And this continues into the evening. Thank god I met some students going  for their IDC and their Instructor in my hotel to make things more interesting. I have travelled the world alone and some countries are more for the lone traveller than others. If you are part of a group then you will enjoy what is good about Sharm El Sheikh..

The restaurants and Nightlfe in Sharm is disappointing. Hassle from the locals to be expected and really not too bad if you accept where you are

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Cruise the Caribbean

graffiti-puerto-rico-web

I have to say that when I get the time I'm certainly going to go for what would have been the unthinkable a few years ago ! As a hardcore backpacker going on a cruise was something that didn't sound right to me. 

A few things are different now !

1) Cruising has changed and the quality of the whole experience has improved. Take for example the dining now you can choose from a massive variety of restaurants and the cruise ships are listening to the passengers.2) I'm looking for a more relaxing time away. Yes my own goalposts moved and I am no longer content to share a sweaty dorm room with the unrecognisable backpackers of today (was I ever like that ?)

3) Cruising is for the retired - Not any more ! With great entertainment bars and clubs to suit your mood and your age group. No they won't likely be the sweaty tawdry pubs of the X in Sydney!

4) I'm now a parent and this is perhaps the fastest growing market for cruising- yes families are very well accommodated by the cruise ships.

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Underwater Sculpture News from JT

November 18th saw Jason De Caires Taylor add three new sculptures to MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) in Mexico.Please comment on the photos and what they mean to you.

Time Bomb (Mine):Depth 4m, Size 1.5 x 1.5m 

Time Bomb (fuse) : Depth 4m, Size 2.5 x 3.5m

Holy Man : Depth 4m, Size 1.6m x 1m

Time Bomb depicts a collection of bombs and mines designed to support marine life whilst symbolizing the critical future of our reef systems and the countdown of time we have to reverse the increasing worldwide decline. The works also portray the irony of weapons of destruction being used to support and nurture life. The various strata and textures of the constructions are designed to provide habitat space and protected areas for crustaceans and marine species.Holy Man situated 4metres below the surface is propagated with over 150 fragments of Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis). The coral colony was initially grown from a rescued fragment on "The Gardener of Hope" sculpture and then divided and transplanted onto the Holy Man, which is hoped will increase its coverage and overall biomass of the species.

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Learn to dive video series.

Here is an absolutely wonderful series of videos that will help you prepare for your PADI open water diver course ! Use this if you like as an additional primer to your course.Here are the links (if you have any comments or questions please leave them at the end of the relevant video)Episode 1. Introduction to Scuba Diving

Episode 2. About a SCUBA Certification Course

Episode 3. SCUBA Gear Intro

Episode 4. SCUBA Gear Assembly and Notes

Episode 5. Underwater Skills and First Lessons

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