This fabled sea, covering more than a million square miles and 7,000 islands with diverse languages, cultures, and ecosystems, has become probably the planet's premier vacation playground. Here it's all about its regional issues and allures.

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On Aruba's De Palm Island, fun both above & below water

De Palm Island   I’ve always envied my scuba-diving friends who describe their magical underwater world full of coral reefs and colorful fish. I’ve snorkeled aplenty but it’s not quite the same. Now, although I remain uncertified as a diver, I have an idea of what the majesty is all about thanks to my SNUBA experience at De Palm Island, an islet just down the coast from Aruba's capital Oranjestad.   read post  

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Malliouhana, an Auberge Collection Resort

Malliouhana created the Anguilla "brand" and even changed the definition of a Caribben resort when it opened in 1983/4. Instead of faux Colonial-style design, it was updated Mediterranean in its look. And while there were still luxury resorts in the islands that served Sanka and instant potatoes, Malliouhana's founder declared that a high-end resort should offer sophisticated cuisine, so he hired Jo Rostang, a Michelin-starred chef. Other resorts that opened in Anguilla followed this model,…

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  • Too many Caribbean islands succumb to the allure of cruise tourism, but Anguilla is a notable standout, citing its negative environmental impact. Of course, it's easier for them, since they make more from their exclusive, high-end brand of tourism. But commendable nonetheless! https://www.express.co.uk/travel/cruise/1669741/caribbean-cruise-sh...
    Stunning Caribbean island bans cruise ships - 'Not debatable'
    A CARIBBEAN island has said that cruise tourism is not worth the environmental impact. The Government has said it doesn't want to encourage cruise sh…
  • Several months ago, Porthole, a magazine devoted to cruising, ran a piece about what makes St. Kitts particularly special - worth a read! https://porthole.com/what-makes-st-kitts-so-unique/
    What Makes St. Kitts So Unique? | Porthole Cruise and Travel News
    Cruise guests have looked to St. Kitts as one of their favorite destinations to step ashore for an all-inclusive experience.
  • Of course the Caribbean's number-one draw is its beaches and limpid waters, but currently those throughout the region are enduring a rise in a smothering golden algae called sargassum, and it's affecting both health and tourism in various countries: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/8/11/2115737/-Caribbean-Matte...
    Caribbean Matters: A stinky 'golden tide' of Sargassum seaweed strangles the Caribbean
    The environmental threats faced by both island nations in the Caribbean Sea and the mainland Caribbean basin are not limited to just hurricanes. Curr…
  • The Miami-based website Caribbean Journal recently featured a cool tiki bar in Kralendijk, opened at the end of 2020 and called Tiki & Co. (https://tikiandco.nl/), which it says is a great example of how Bonaire is expanding beyond diving and snorkeling to also become increasingly known for its hot dining and mixology scene: https://www.caribjournal.com/2022/02/18/caribbean-bonaire-tiki-bar-...
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  • A good look at St. Barth in the off season, from TheObserver.com: https://observer.com/2022/07/st-barthelemy-travel-guide-le-toiny-ho...
  • This past February, the British travel site Wanderlust.co.uk ran a piece called "Discovering the Real Haiti" in which it claims "It seems that, from the (now mostly cleared) rubble, a new Haiti is emerging." Well, we've heard this kind of thing before, but writer Phoebe Smith says that this time evidence includes: "chain hotels are springing up; flights from Latin America are launching, making Haiti a viable add-on to a South or Central American adventure; the diaspora in the USA are beginning to take vacations in the coastal resorts of Côte des Arcadins; and whispers abound of more cruise-ship visits – currently only one boat docks here, and that’s on a local-free private beach." Read about it for yourself: https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/discovering-the-real-haiti/
  • St Lucia is an irresistible draw for travel writers for a good reason - here's the latest example, by a freelancer for Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adammorganstern/2022/02/25/10-amazing-...
  • At the end of this past year, Lonely Planet came out with this article from its Cuba guide writer about pandemic-era travel to the island, which has had a low number of COVID cases and the world's second highest vaccination rate. Interesting reading; check it out: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/what-its-like-to-travel-to-cu...
    Cuba reopens to tourists: what you need to know before you go - Lonely Planet
    Lonely Planet's Cuba travel expert visited the country in December as it reopened to visitors. So how did he find restrictions, or was it business as…
    • Heavily focused on the logistics of the COVID issue ins/outs, and skirts the issues of cost effectiveness. Whether you're going for leisure or work purposes - the latter being people like me - the air cost has skyrocketed since I went there for the first time in 2017. $400 R/T for a 40 min. flight between MIA/FLL - Havana? You can almost get to Europe from here for that. Biden hasn't solved any of that huge upsurge in air cost since he came in. Very disappointing. Glad I went when I did, was in love with Havana and want to see more, but until the logistics and price points in air and accommodation all change radically back to at least near where they were, it's not for me again.
    • Thanks for your observation, Hal. For most of the history of charter and commercial flights between the US and Cuba in the past decades, unreasonably high fares have been more the rule than the exception. I guess like everything else, we'll have to see how this plays out the rest of this year and beyond. But I have a feeling that for the foreseeable future, Cuba is going to take a back seat to more pressing issues in the US, including inflation and other aspects of the economy; the fallout from Russia's invasion of the Ukraine as well as legal/political trauma around Jan. 6 insurrection; the upcoming midterm elections, and more. I hope I'm wrong, but...
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