Thursday, December 18, 2014

Splashdown Grand Turk NASA Exhibit

Aside from the islands excellent soft sand beaches, snorkeling/diving/kayaking, horseback riding, dune buggy safari's and deep sea fishing, there's one more interesting thing to see while visiting Grand Turk. 


Cruisers visiting the island have probably seen this exhibit as it is located on the south end of the cruise terminal, however land vacationers may not be aware the first manned orbit capsule splashed down near Turks & Caicos.

Take time out for a quick visit, and the opportunity to capture a moment of NASA space history in the Caribbean.


Splashdown Photo Credit Travel USA Today by Andy Newman

In 1962 astronaut John Glenn and Scott Carpenter orbited the earth three times, and the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule splashed down a few miles off the coast of Turks & Caicos. 

The free exhibit features amazing replicas unique to the Mercury space program, including a scaled 20-foot-tall Atlas rocket and a full-size, three-dimensional replica of astronaut John Glenn in spacesuit, and a detailed replica of the Friendship 7 capsule. 

And there's also a replica of the Friendship 7 capsule located at the entrance to the Grand Turks Airport. 

Happy Travels,
Linda

Read the account of Joseph J. Frasketi, Jr., who was located on Grand Turk Island where the U.S.A. had a Project Mercury tracking station - The Grand Turk Island Connection with The Project Mercury/Glenn Flight 

Need more suggestions for Turks & Caicos? Here's a list of the top 50!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blogging the Caribbean



Travel to Haiti: First Impressions


Haiti Tap Tap Bus Photo Courtesy of Uncornered Market

Haiti is complicated. Even Haitians will tell you that. Each time we thought we grasped something about Haiti, another event would intervene that would help us realize we had only just peeled back one layer of our understanding of the Haitian cultural onion. And that’s what makes Haiti so fascinating: it tempts one to question, to experience, to learn and to re-learn – an invitation to penetrate as closely as a visitor might to its innermost layers. http://uncorneredmarket.com/haiti-travel/


3 Locations Every Couple Should Add to their Bucket List 


White Island Photo Courtesy of GrenadaGrenadines Blog

It is said that “every great love has a story.” Here's three captivating places (Sandy Island, White Island, Oyster Beds) that you and your sweetheart should add to your bucket list to fuel your love story. Grenada-Grenadines Blog


Exploring the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad & Tobago


Agouti photo credit: The Constant Rambler

The agouti looks like a huge rat with course hair, walks on its toes, and is one of the oddest animals I have seen in the Caribbean  . . . 

Aside from Carnival, the nature center is my most memorable experience while visiting Trinidad - it's a must do for nature lovers. Read full post at  The Constant Rambler


St Martin is the Caribbean Paradise You’ve Overlooked


Marigot St Martin - Travel 2 the Caribbean

How much do you know about the island of St. Martin? Have you ever considered it as a luxury vacation destination? If you’re unfamiliar with the vacation opportunities in St. Martin, it’s might be because it’s one of those amazingly beautiful destination that, luckily for you, is flying a bit under the radar. Single Travel Guide


ANTIGUA: PHOTO TOUR – NELSON’S DOCKYARD


Nelson Dockyard photo courtesy of Uncover Your Caribbean

Antigua is a popular and beautiful sailing and yachting destination. The island even sets the stage for this picturesque activity, with its soft mountains and glorious waters. It is also home to the famous Antigua Sailing Week which is normally held in the Spring and is regarded as one of the top regatta events in the world. 

On this picture journey we are going to take you on a short tour of Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua. http://uncoveryourcaribbean.com/antigua-photo-tour-nelsons-dockyard/



Happy Travels,
Linda

FYI - Last Blogging the Caribbean was posted on Dec 5, 2014
Click here if you missed it

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LIAT - A Failed Caribbean Regional Lifeline




On more occasions than I care to remember LIAT planes have been late on arrival causing me to miss ferry connections. 

And twice I have had to secure additional overnight stays in a layover destination after being stranded at the airport with no other flights available until the next day. 

That pretty much sums up my experience with the regional carrier, however you should hear the travel stories from Caribbean locals to get the full picture.  

Over the years consistent complaints from Caribbean Prime Ministers across the region, along with the angry voices of Caribbean locals and tourists, have had little impact on the carriers performance and maintenance. 

Evidently management believes the same failed business practices will magically produce different results - or maybe they believe the shareholders will keep funding their poor service.  Who are the shareholders? That would be the (4) shareholder governments of Antigua/Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Speaking of money, LIAT seems to always be in a financial crisis of some sort. They secure multi-million dollar loans which get sucked into the big black hole of past due multi-millon dollar debt. Little of the funding is left over for day to day operation, maintenance and training. On time performance is a big deal, however lack of maintenance and training is damn scary!

Bottom line, the region has to have a carrier for business and pleasure travel. The question is how long will the shareholders keep funding a failing top management team? As for that next incoming LIAT flight, good luck!  Linda 

Now on to the latest crisis with the pilots . . . 


 ****************************************************************************************  

Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, met with the officials over the weekend “following public concern as to a possible breakdown of regional air services over the Christmas period”.

Earlier this month, LIAT rejected claims by the union that it acted illegally in respect of court orders and appealed to its pilots not to take industrial action as being planned for later this month.

The pilots had threatened to take industrial action if the airline failed to meet their demands by December 10th, and the pilots state a continued deferral of salaries, the recent dismissal of two of their colleagues and other longstanding issues are among their main grievances they want addressed by the company.

They also want the implementation of a 2010 arbitration tribunal award and a new contract to fly the ATR aircraft being operated by LIAT.

Source: Read the full article at Caribbean 360

Happy Holidays,
Linda


Monday, December 15, 2014

Eat, Drink and Discover Authentic Bites of Nassau


When images of Nassau, Bahamas come to mind, many travelers feel they have been there, and done all there is to do on the island. 

No doubt you have marveled at the clear blue waters, spent time on the beaches, visited the straw market, seen a few historical sites, shopped in the downtown area, and perhaps taken the ferry over to Paradise Island. 


However that's not all Nassau has to offer . . .


All Bahamian Food Photo's Courtesy of Tru Bahamian Food Tours

On your next visit, take 3 1/2 hours and discover the Tru Bahamian culinary delights from real locals. This tour promises visitors a brand new appreciation and perspective of the Bahamas largest city. 




You will dine on authentic local food items, along with learning the stories and traditions behind these foods. 




The guided foodie tours are available Monday - Saturday, and offer six diverse food and drink tastings. 



And sample delicious deserts!



The "Bites of Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour" will take you deep into the heart of old Nassau’s historic commercial and political center and through its charming, tree-lined streets. 



Along the way there are built in breaks where the tour guides will give insights into the islands unique culture, historical sites and colonial architectural.  



After taking this tour you will have the knowledge to explore Nassau’s Downtown neighborhood, and take advantage of the recommendations from your local guide on the area’s full spectrum of cuisine, restaurants, entertainment and cultural offerings.

Head over to the site for pricing, more info  - and (ˆ◡ˆ) Special promotion this week! 20% off Gift Certificates for #bitesofnassau tour until Friday, December 19, 2014 - Use code HOLIDAYS2014 for the discount.  

http://trubahamianfoodtours.com/



Happy Travels,
Linda

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tread Carefully on the Sea Novel

The real pirates of the Caribbean flourished in the 18th century as merchant ships were easy game. Pirates were the muggers of the sea lanes and life was fragile – with violence and disease never far away. 



A new novel, Tread Carefully on the Sea by David K. Bryant, relies on the historical background of this era, and takes readers on a voyage from Jamaica to the "New World" of the American colonies.

The novel begins in 18th century Jamaica with the kidnapping of Jessica Trelawny, the Governor of Jamaica's niece, on her 21st birthday, and results in a sea chase across the Caribbean Sea. She hates the conformity of 18th century society, and puts her rebellious nature to work against the pirates. 

Jessica’s maid Libby becomes a prisoner simply because she is with her mistress at the time of the kidnap. She plays a major role in the fight-back against the pirates.

Captain Flint is a lonely man. His education, intelligence and wit leave him isolated among the pirate crew who sail with him. He feels more affinity with the hostages who are brought aboard his ship, but becomes trapped by the need to escape the consequences of the kidnapping and the challenge to his leadership from one of his officers. 

Other central characters include Patrick O’Hara who began his life in the squalor of the Irish famine, and by a fluke becomes an officer in the Royal Navy - and the historic figures of Queen Nanny, a national hero of Jamaica, who led a runaway slave revolt against the British, and the real-life governor Edward Trelawny. 

The Walrus, a huge black galleon stolen by Flint from a Spanish captain, has a pivotal role in the narrative and a heart-rending demise. 

Amid the conspiracy, murder, disease and a devastating storm, there is the chance for all the main characters to reveal the better or worse sides of their natures. 

www.davidkbryant.com

Purchase Tread Carefully on the Sea at Amazon 




I’ve written an escapist yarn in the tradition of high adventure but in much more user-friendly language than the old classics,” says author David K. Bryant.  

It’s exciting, involving, a bit tear-jerking and is pure adventure and romance.”

Author Bio

David lives in Somerset, England with his wife Stephanie, they have been married for 40 years, and have two children. 

Bryant started writing fiction after retiring from journalism and public relations. He states the books waited their turn during all the years of writing articles, features, speeches and promotional material for other people. His career included running a district office for a daily newspaper, helping introduce PR to the British police service, and promoting a major Parliamentary Bill for Margaret Thatcher’s government.


Happy Travels,
Linda





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sandals Foundation “High Five” Annual Toy Drive

Tis the season for giving and Sandals Resorts International is giving everyone who loves the Caribbean a chance to join them in giving back to the Caribbean. 



The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, is gearing up for the holiday season and collecting generous donations for its annual Toy Drive, which will benefit underprivileged children in the Caribbean. 

The Foundation has partnered with Hasbro Inc., one of the world’s leading branded play companies. 

Through this campaign, when consumers donate $25 to the toy drive by December 24, 2014, Sandals Resorts International will in turn enter you in a chance to win a 4D/3N trip* to Sandals Resorts!

Donate here

View the latest travel specials from Sandals Resorts

Happy Travels,
Linda








Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Celebrating Christmas at the Avila Hotel Curacao

All hotel photo's courtesy of The Avila Hotel

As one of the most popular luxury hotels on the island of Curacao, The Avila Hotel offers a timeless elegance, with an attentive dedicated staff, and six decades of island history. 

Christmas at The Avila Photo Credit: Travel Research Online

The hotel's chef has prepared Holiday Season menus for both on-site restaurants. Blues and Belle Terrace restaurants have scheduled special activities throughout the season, starting with a Christmas Eve Pincho buffet at Blues restaurant.  

On Christmas day an elegant 5-course Taste of the region menu will be featured at Belle Terrace restaurant. Ring out the old year on the Grande Terrace with a Fabulous Las Vegas & Around the World buffet and start the year celebrating with champagne at midnight.


The Avila Hotel features 150 rooms divided into three different wings, and this beachfront resort is just a short distance from Curacao's historic capital Willemstad. 

Avila Hotel offers two private beaches

The hotel has six decades of rich history on the island. While still containing elements of a bygone era, this fine property now delivers a modern experience with contemporary styling.  



On-Site Facilities:

  • 2 restaurants, numerous bars and gourmet coffee cafe - restaurants offer a variety of quality, fresh food at every time of the day and night
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in all hotel rooms, lobby, conference & banquet rooms, bars and restaurants
  • Free mini-van shuttle service to and from the capital Willemstad 
  • Two private beaches
  • Santai Spa 
  • Wellness club featuring the latest TechnoGym equipment
  • Lighted tennis court
  • Octagon Museum
  • Avila Boutique
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Shakira Hair & Beauty
  • Tour Desk


Visit the site http://www.avilahotel.com/about-the-avila-hotel/


Happy Travels,
Linda


Monday, December 8, 2014

Spring Break Jamaica Will Be Sweeter in 2015

Suite Spring Sale at Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort


The all-inclusive Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay is promoting a new Suite Spring Sale with savings of up to 50% off published rates

Adult Pool

The promotion is available for KidSuites® and One-Bedroom Suites between February and April 2015. The Suite Spring Sale is valid on bookings made by April 29, 2015 for resort stays between February 1 and April 30, 2015. 



There are no blackout dates and a minimum night stay of three nights is required for resort stays taking place February 12 – 17, 2015, as well as March 30 – April 5, 2015. 


As an added value, free Wifi Internet service is accessible in all rooms and suites, and all kids 12 and under stay, play and eat free when sharing accommodations with parents. 

Group bookings are ineligible and revisions on current bookings are not permitted. Savings of up to 50% cannot be combined with any other promotion or consumer savings and can be withdrawn at any time.

Visit www.caribbeanhi.com/jamaica or call 1-888-288-6006


Happy Travels,
Linda


Sunday, December 7, 2014

San Juan's Cool Water Beach Club Hotel


Located on an exclusive corner of the famous Isla Verde beach, the 80-room and suites San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel is the ultimate adult playground. 


The historic Old San Juan, shopping in Condado, and sizzling nightlife, are all within minutes of the hotel.


Famous rooftop lounge Mist at the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.


This stylish boutique hotel's signature is a swanky aquatic theme with neon blue lights; an elevator with a glassed-in waterfall and open ceiling; soothing walls of cascading waters and music that follows you everywhere. 


In 2014, both the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel and their Zest restaurant received the prestigious "Certificate of Excellence 2014"award by TripAdvisor in recognition for providing their guests an exceptional customer experience. 


The San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel was named to the top ten list of "The Best Hotels in the Caribbean & Atlantic" by Condé Nast Traveler's 2014 Reader's Choice Awards. 

"We're honored to be selected among the best hotels in the Caribbean & Atlantic by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler," said Carlos Rodríguez, general manager of the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel. "At the Water Club we embody everything that's trendy and stylish while providing an outstanding customer experience and personalized, friendly service delivered with the trademark Puerto Rican charm and hospitality that makes our guests feel at home."

In 2014, both the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel and their Zest restaurant received the prestigious "Certificate of Excellence 2014"award by TripAdvisor in recognition for providing their guests an exceptional customer experience. 

www.waterbeachhotel.com


Happy Travels,
Linda