Caribbean Blue Waters

There are several places in the world that can be said to have wonderful ocean views. The number of places that claim to have Blue Waters on their doorstep is staggering. Blue Waters have become synonymous with the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Ocean but it is just as true that most water is, in fact, blue.

The term Blue Waters then perhaps refers to a broader concept, like as in, “Blue Waters and fair sailing.” Most often we find that this refers to calm and serenity rather than the physical qualities of the water.

It is amazing though how we automatically associate crystal clear waters with the warmth of the Caribbean Ocean and not the cold depths of the Antarctic Ocean. I think it is human nature to be drawn to the warm azure blue rather than to the inky blue of the Antarctic. Perhaps there is also an element that allows us to associate the Caribbean Ocean more readily with rest and serenity that the Antarctic Ocean. Let us face it; most people would rather holiday in the Caribbean than in Antarctica.

For all its rugged beauty, Antarctica can hardly be described as a welcoming environment like the Caribbean can be. Antarctica is a downright hostile environment. That said it is one of the last great unspoiled wildernesses in the world and should feature in the traveler’s consciousness. It is, after all, one of the most alien landscapes on the planet earth and certainly classifies as a holiday experience that is extremely different to any that have gone before it.

For all that, however, I personally would probably go choose to go to the Caribbean before I chose to go to Antarctica. I would, intellectually, like to go to Antarctica but in my heart I know that I will battle to cope with the sub-zero temperatures and the life aboard ship.

I love the great outdoors but feel that Antarctica is too great for me – at least at the moment. In fact, for now, I am happy to see my Blue Waters just like almost everyone else does – as a Caribbean blue. For me a holiday is about being warm and having fun in the sun. The Caribbean offers that in spades. With lots to do and lots to explore and warm weather to boot, the Caribbean beats Antarctica hands down. It is always possible that I will change my mind later but, for now, it will have to be the Caribbean.

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Staying At Luxury Hotels In The Caribbean

There are plenty of luxury hotels in the Caribbean that can make for a great vacation spot for you and your loved one or even the whole family. Many of these places are great for special events, such as a small, elegant wedding, family reunions, honeymoons or just a much needed vacation. Whatever the reason is, you will find luxury accommodations that will be very appealing with the many features and amenities that they have to offer as well as tons of activities that the whole family will enjoy. Lets take a look at what you can expect at these resorts to get you started in the right direction.

For one thing, you can expect to be surrounded by a beautiful scenery with white sandy beaches, palm trees, and clear blue water that you may be able to see the bottom of the ocean. No matter what, you will find many of these resorts that have a unique design to them, more amenities than you can imagine, the best food, and much more. In order to find a variety of luxurious hotels that have a lot to offer, you may want to search the Internet. There are plenty of websites that can give you plenty of information about different accommodations right at your fingertips.

There are sites that only specialize with excellent hotel locations to make it very convenient for many people. There will be plenty of photos and detailed information about the different amenities that are offered along with a huge list of things to do within the resort or nearby. Some sites may offer other things that you might like such as the temperature to give you an idea what the weather is like, different restaurants and other things. In addition, you may be able to make your reservation right on that particular website to make it even easier to make your reservations.

You will feel the calm and quietness that surrounds you during your stay. There are some great amenities that are offered at these resorts. This can include an excellent view from your room to look at the magnificent mountain peaks to the sparkling ocean. You can also find some great amenities in your room, such as a great entertainment system, more room than you can imagine, a bathroom that has everything, room service and other features. If you want to find some activities, you will definitely not be disappointed.

This can include swimming pools, restaurants, lounges, a spa, fitness center, windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, snorkeling, tennis and much more for hours of entertainment. Regardless, once you find a great luxury hotel in the Caribbean, you will not be disappointed.

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Jamaica Hotels and Retreats

Jamaica is a legendary island in the Caribbean with more beauty than you can image. Visiting Jamaica retreats is one extremely relaxing way to experience the island.

Jamaica Hotels and Retreats

Jamaica is an island destination known for its relaxing and romantic atmosphere. What better way to enhance your vacation here than to go to one of the great Jamaica retreats? The retreats on Jamaica are prepared to pamper you while taking full advantage of the great island, beach and ocean atmosphere.

One of the Jamaica retreats you’ll be sure to enjoy is the High Hope Estate, located near Ocho Rios in Jamaica. This inn has only five guest rooms, assuring that your vacation and stay here will be intimate and romantic. The rooms themselves are furnished with beautiful English and Jamaican antiques. The clinic at High Hope Estate offers such varied services as massages and the pampering Milk and Honey Wrap, sure to relax and rejuvenate even the most tired traveler.

Another of the great resorts and Jamaica retreats is the Half Moon Rose Hall, in Montego Bay. This resort houses the Bodywork Spa, which has many different treatments and packages to indulge your senses. Their menu includes wraps, manicures, pedicures, facials, rejuvenation day packages and couples packages to create your own relaxation getaway. The Half Moon Rose Hall resort itself has many other amenities, such as an 18 hole golf course and shopping, even a children’s center!

There are many more Jamaica retreats to discover, including those at all-inclusive resorts. The Couples Resort in Ocho Rios, for example, offers many different treatments to their guests. Some of these include aromatherapy massages, Swedish massages and body polishes. There are also salon services available at the retreat for both men and women, making it so you never have to leave the resort for all of your rejuvenation needs!

Another all-inclusive resort chain, Sandals, has seven different resorts located on the island of Jamaica. Most of them, such as the Sandals Negril Beach Resort, include rejuvenation clinics right on the resort property. The Red Lane Retreats, as the retreats at Sandals are known, offer such diverse treatments as the Salty Margarita Scrub and the Java Jive Scrub, along with massages and other usual treats.

Jamaica is a great place for a vacation, and it’s made even better by a trip to one of the Jamaica retreats that are available in the area. You can relax on the beach and then relax with a massage or facial, all at one location. Best of all, the variety of retreats here means that everyone can find a spot in Jamaica to suit their tastes.

A Quick Guide To Venice

Is Venice the most romantic city in the world? It’s certainly hard to beat, especially when you’re staying right in the centre of things.

Where is it?

Venice is a city built on water – just off the north east coast of Italy, facing the Adriatic Sea – and is famed for its canal network, opulent palazzos and beautiful religious buildings and art. It has an airport on the mainland but from there, you need to take a water bus to reach the city.

Where can I stay?

The best way to experience Venice is in a cool, quiet and sophisticated hotel. These small but beautifully designed hotels offer you respite from the tourist throng and the sort of service you would expect from much more expensive locations. Try Ca’ Pisani, a small palazzo that has been sympathetically renovated and decorated to provide a haven of tranquillity, or the Ca Maria Adele, an eclectic boutique hotel in one of Venice’s most exclusive quarters.

What can I see?

For a relatively small city, there’s a lot to pack into a short visit. The central area of St. Mark’s Square with the Doge’s Palace and the Campanile is a great place to hang out and soak up the atmosphere, although bars and cafes here can be expensive. Instead, visit the churches, galleries and restaurants that are slightly off the beaten track, where atmosphere and tradition are still rich. If you have time, visit the nearby islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello, all historically and culturally worth a visit.

How do I get around?

One of the beauties of Venice is that it has no road network. Most tourists use the waterbus (Vaporetto) system, which is regular and fairly cheap. Those who are looking for romantic Venice can hire a gondola at a greater cost. By far the best way to explore the city, however, is on foot. This way, you can reach the parts of the city that most waterbuses don’t travel to and discover architectural and shopping delights along the way.

Cancun, Mexico – A Little Something For Everyone

A sleepy island area in the 1970s, Cancun has been transformed into a mega tourist destination. Located on the Caribbean side of Mexico, this resort area has something for everyone.

Cancun

Make no mistake, Cancun is a very tourist friendly destination. Located on the Yucatan peninsula, Cancun is populated with mega resorts and over 20,000 hotel rooms. The economy is based on tourism and the people go out of their way to show tourists a good time.

Cancun proper is actually two distinct areas. Cancun City is located on the mainland and Cancun Island is just off the coast. The island is the stuff of legend.

Cancun Island the classic example of Caribbean beach paradise. Incredibly blue water laps slowly onto insanely white beaches. Light breezes roll in off the water as you lounge on a beach chair and contemplate important things like what you will eat for lunch.

One of the slight downsides of Cancun involves beachfront hotels. They tend to be a bit possessive about the sand in front of them. Put another way, you better be staying at the hotel if you intend to plop down in front of it. Hey, it can’t all be great!

Getting To Cancun

As with any mega resort area, getting to Cancun is very easy. Most major airlines fly into Cancun City and the airport is very modern. You are required to have a passport and must fill out a tourist card at customs. The customs agents are easy going and I’ve never heard of anyone having any problems with them.

If you want to experience a beach vacation in Mexico, you can do worse than Cancun. You will not get much feel for the local culture, but you will definitely enjoy yourself.

A Stay at Old San Juan in Puerto Rico

One of the most used departure ports for cruise ships in the Caribbean is San Juan in Puerto Rico. We decided to arrive a day early to San Juan in order to see some sights before our cruise ship departure. San Juan, known as ‘La Ciudad Amurallada’ (the walled city), was founded in 1521 and is the oldest city under the US flag. During the 16th century, the Spanish used it as a point of departure for expeditions to the New World. Fortifications in the Old San Juan section of the city repulsed numerous attacks from the English and the Dutch during those years. Today, Old San Juan is a charming seven square block commercial and residential area with cobblestone streets.

The cruise ship terminal is actually located near the south side of Old San Juan so instead of booking a hotel in the beach resort area of San Juan, we decided to book one right in the old section for close proximity to the terminal as well as the local sights. The $17 US taxi ride from San Juan’s airport to Old San Juan was about half an hour. During the ride, I was impressed by how developed the city was compared to many other cities I’ve visited in the Caribbean. The beach high-rise hotels along the north side of San Juan were visible from the highway. Our stay for the night was at the Hotel Milano which is right on Calle Fortaleza, which is one of the major commercial streets in Old San Juan. The hotel was clean and comfortable but not luxurious which was okay with us as the price was very affordable. Its quality was probably comparable to a Travelodge or Days Inn. A very pleasant surprise was the free continental breakfast at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant. It gave a nice view of the neighborhood from the top.

We spent the day and evening walking the many cobblestone streets and alleys in the area. There are over 400 restored colonial buildings from the 16th and 17th century here. There were also several plaza squares and parks. One of the nicest services offered in Old San Juan is a free shuttle bus which covers two different routes through the district. There was a bus stop about 1/2 block away from our hotel which was very convenient. Riding on the shuttle buses through both routes gave us a good overview of Old San Juan. We were able to stop off at several points of interest including the huge El Morro fort. After our visits to each attraction, we just had to
wait for the next bus to come by to continue our tour. In the evening, we did get lost while walking since many of the streets look very similar. But with our map, we eventually found our way back to the street where the Hotel Milano was. We decided to dine at one of the nearby restaurants for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine and were not disappointed. My lady especially adored the two different plantains we ordered.

When it was time to go to the cruise ship terminal, we just took a short five minute ride from our hotel. Our short stay in Old San Juan was definitely worthwhile and hassle free. A stay in Old San Juan is highly recommended for those who will be taking a Caribbean cruise with San Juan as the departure point. The only disappointment I had with San Juan was that I was hoping to do some scuba diving in the area but from the reports I read, the waters off the city are quite murky with limited marine life to see. This is likely the result of San Juan being such a busy port. The decent scuba diving sites are about 2 hours east of San Juan. So perhaps in a return trip to Puerto Rico, I will plan to make a trip to the east part of the island.