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.

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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2 tanks Boat Diving in Antigua

2 tanks Boat Diving in Antigua

Today I went out with Jolly Dive for a couple of tanks. The first dive (Dive 1) was at Cades Reef - a firm favorite here as it provides a good dive almost every time. My dive was no exception - Nurse Shark, Octopus, Ray, and then some smaller stuff flamingo tongue - sea slugs. Paul took the effort to point out the various unidentifiable for me using his slate. The purple patches of Sargent Major eggs for example that the other fishes were taking bites out of ! The vis was good but apparently it wasn't I was told we could see 20ft ! A good torch and the ability to look into all the crevices pays dividends here and at this Paul and Connie the dive masters are excellent.The second Dive (Dive 2) was a shallow 30 ft max dive on Bluff Cut. The vis was again not to the normal high standard for Antigua and this was due to slightly wet weather systems around. I am always confused as to the poor reviews given for Antigua Diving and I have to imagine that is is the first impression of steep dropoffs or walls isn't there - but the diving and fish life are equal to many other islands. See the videos here on this site for tiger sharks !The weather is a bit off and on this time of year but it was in fact very enjoyable for us in total for 2 weeks there may have been 3 hours of rain at the most and it was refreshing along with the ever present winds.

Related Links and further reading

Book Tours in Antigua and Barbuda

 

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Formula 3 Freediving - What is it ?

What is formula 3 Freeding ?

In short a race underwater using powered scooters and no underwater breathing aparatus. Racers must navigate a course and pass through hoops. Looks like this series is worth watching if you are into any kind of diving.

Day 1 F3F Caymans 

Day 2 F3F Caymans

Day 3 F3F Caymans

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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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