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Archive for the ‘Caribbean Vacation’


A Senior Couple Before The Start Of Their Cruise

Despite the spate of cruise disasters that have hit the headlines in recent years, Brits still love a cruise. In fact, according to The Guardian, “the cruise market has never been healthier, and it is British holidaymakers who are at the forefront of an extraordinary rise in bookings. More than 1.7 million British holidaymakers took a cruise in 2012, making it the biggest cruise market in Europe.”

So what makes a sea-bound holiday so appealing? Apparently it’s in the variety with “niche cruises aimed at special interest groups also fuelling growth.” While the tattooed metal fan Barge From Hell or on-board sky-diving simulators might not be your thing, there are a growing number of specialist cruises exploring remote waters like the Arctic or the Galapagos. As the cruise liners grow larger and more varied, it’s harder to tell which one is right for you. For anyone over 50, bungee-jumping and boozy weekenders aren’t ideal, so here are some great ideas for the more mature cruise-lover.

Mediterranean

Cruiseship in the Med

There’s a multitude of lovely destinations to choose from in this region, with areas to suit all tastes. One of the most popular options is a Greek Islands cruise, taking in that island popularised on thousands of holiday postcards, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, and Rhodes, home to the wonderful car-free village of Lidos with its own Acropolis. Note that during peak season, some stop-offs may be very congested.

Other Med cruises worth considering are routes exploring Turkey, Croatia, Italy, France and Spain. The Med. offers a great mixture of opportunities for absorbing culture and revelling in relaxation; abounding with beautiful beaches, chic cities to explore in unique ways like Venice’s gondolas, ancient sites to visit, and of course an abundance of wonderfully fresh food from the area known for one of the healthiest diets in the world. Cruising inside the euro zone also makes it easier for carry currency, simply load up a prepaid card with euros and you don’t have to worry about exchange rates and rip offs. Will Thomas from Tuxedo Money Solutions says, “prepaid travel cards are like the next generation of traveller’s cheques. They have the same level of safety and security without all the hassle. Once you’ve bought your euros or dollars, you can relax knowing you’re not going to suffer exorbitant forex fees and the volatile money market. It works like a credit card but it won’t cost as much to use.”

Caribbean

Cruiseship in the Caribbean

With over thirty islands to choose from, there’s far more to enjoy than just the sunshine and the laid-back vibes. They may all share similarly spectacular weather, but beyond the blue skies and white sand beaches each island has a unique flavour. Whatever your tastes, you’re guaranteed to find one that feels like a second home – and encounter welcoming, friendly people known for their easy-going attitudes.

Popular places to visit include Dominican Republic, The Cayman Islands, St Lucia, Aruba, St Barts and Jamaica to name a few – it’s well worth taking some time to research what each has to offer and choose a cruise which incorporates your intended islands. With historical settler communities including the British, French, Dutch and Spanish all leaving legacies, you’ll discover diverse architecture, culture and cuisines. It’s not all beaches – seek out bustling markets and verdant tropical forests full of wildlife.

Baltic

Cruiseship in the port of Kiel / Germany

The Telegraph claims that a “Baltics cruise is an excellent alternative to the Mediterranean, especially during the summertime” and include countries like “Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. Ports of call would potentially include: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Gdansk and St Petersburg.” Holidaymakers visiting the Baltic area have almost thirty ports of call to choose from, most steeped in rich history with culture abounding. Whilst perfectly pleasant, the typical climate suits those who don’t like getting too hot and bothered and would prefer to get out and about rather than simply soaking up rays. Many cruises start or end in Copenhagen or Stockholm, meaning you can build in time to explore the cities before or after your seabound trip.

Popular places to visit include Oslo, Riga, Talinn and Helsinki. Be prepared to encounter pretty high prices when you disembark – these countries aren’t cheap. But they’re worth visiting for the rich culture and awe-inspiring architecture – walk Riga’s Old Town, and discover the history of St Petersburg. The area also boasts some underexplored areas only now emerging as tourist destinations, so you’re sure to discover some unspoilt wonders.

Canary Islands

Cruiseship by the Canary Islands

The seven islands that make up the Canaries enjoy wonderfully temperate weather year-round, ideal for some winter sun. The volcanic island of Lanzarote is one of the most fascinating, featuring over 300 volcanoes whose eruptions have yielded strange, beautiful alien landscapes. The island was also home to artist Cezar Manrique, whose Gaudi-like legacy is felt island-wide. Tenerife is the largest island of the group and boasts a collection of mysterious pyramids to explore. Also worth discovering is the Tenerife town of Puerto de la Cruz. For the adventurous, a camel ride in Gran Canaria is a must.

Red Sea

Cruiseship in the red sea / Egypt

A variety of cruise destinations and itineraries allow passengers to get to grips with the complex history and mystery of the Red Sea. Explore the ‘lost city’ of Jordan; discover awe-inspiring Egyptian archaeology and unravel lore and legend in Cairo and Luxor; and soak up the sunshine and opulent luxury of resorts like Sharm-el-Sheikh. The Nile forms the ‘backbone’ of Egypt’s transport system, and its busy waterways are endlessly fascinating. If you want to take a break from huge ships, board a smaller boat and enjoy a sight-seeing ride on a traditional felucca. The climate makes Red Sea cruises the perfect destination for winter sun-seekers, as summer temperatures can really soar and make travelling uncomfortable and unpleasant. For the adventurous, the Red Sea is a great place to try out diving.

Photos Source: http://photodune.net/

Sarah Thompson loves writing about two things finance and travel and how in an increasingly difficult economy, you can make the two worlds collide. With years of experience as a lifestyle journalist, Sarah is drawn to writing about how to get the best out of life for the least amount of money. You can read more of Sarah’s articles in a wide variety of blogs and websites. Sarah is also a lover of brogues, vintage dresses and trips to Paris – and the occasional glass of red wine.

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As more and more people enjoy luxury Caribbean holidays English is fast becoming the predominant dialect of the region.

However, whilst English is now accepted as the first language of many Caribbean nations there are also hundreds of different regional dialects that are used across the region.

These dialects and the characteristics therein are usually passed down from generation to generation and it is often seen as a way of keeping the history of the islands alive for future generations.

With this in mind it’s not surprising that, unlike in other parts of the world, local dialects continue to thrive, and even when English is used you will often hear words spoken with a local twist.

Needless to say there is something quite soothing to sit in a local bar and hear the native tongue spoken in full flow as regulars tell tales over a glass of the local rum.

Here we take a look at some of the more popular dialects used across The Caribbean…

 

Antigua

The local dialect here is Antiguan Creole, a Caribbean vernacular that somewhat resembles broken English. Often Antiguans will switch between traditional English and Antiguan Creole midway through a conversation… which leads to a great deal of head scratching amongst tourists who will often be seen scrambling for their guidebooks.

Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Antigua are:

Eh Tase Good – It Tastes Good

Ah wha g’wan – What’s Up

Ah good/tek dat – That’s good for you/take that

Antigua
Photo By andy_tyler

 

Jamaica

Jamaican Patois, known locally as just Patois is an English inspired language with West African influences. Such is the popularity of Patois that the New Testament has been painstakingly translated from the original Greek to the local dialect… “The Jamaican New Testament” now translates to “Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment”

Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Jamaica are:

Wha’appen?What’s Up?

Walk Good – Goodbye / Take Care

Seen – Yes it’s ok, I understand

Jamaica
Photo By gailf548

Barbados

The land that bought us R&B sensation Rihanna also brings us one of the most colourful dialects of The Caribbean – Bajan Creole. This dialect is the Caribbean Creole with the closest grammar to Standard English however it still maintains a creative, and not to mention fast paced, Caribbean twang which is somewhat hard to keep up with unless you are native to the island.

Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Barbados are:

Sweet fa so – Very Nice

Lime – To Hang Around

Sea Bathing – Swimming

 Barbados
Photo By Sandman5

Dominica

A French twist on the Caribbean language is found on the island of Dominica which speaks the dialect of Creole French. This vernacular is derived from Antillean Creole and, despite being French actually offers more English loanwords than other versions of the Creole language 

Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Dominica are:

Sa ka fete? – How are you?

Bon Jou – Good Day

Sa ki non w? – What is your name?

Caribbean
Photo By llee_wu

To plan your trip to The Caribbean speak to Blue Waters

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Many travelers rush to the Caribbean during the holidays to escape the hustle and stress of the season (not to mention the frigid temperatures).

If you’re headed down south this year, pay attention to the following tips in order to get the most out of your Caribbean vacation.

Villas and Condos Versus Hotels

Even in the off season you may find the hotels on most Caribbean islands to be on the pricey side. Fear not, however; you don’t have to choose between beachfront property and affordable pricing. Rather than staying at a hotel, consider renting out a condo or a villa. This is an especially affordable option if you’re traveling with multiple groups or families, as many villas can sleep up to twelve to fifteen easily.

With the rise of the Internet it has become relatively easy to bypass the tourism industry and find locals willing to rent out their condos while they’re away. The trade off is you lose the amenities hotels have to offer, such as concierge service and dining options. However, most condos and villas have a full kitchen, meaning you can save even more money by cooking at home.

Image of Vacation Villas and condos in the Caribbean

Be Water Conscious

It’s a no-brainer to keep your drinking water limited to the bottled variety when travelling abroad, but there are other safety concerns to think of when in the Caribbean. For example, when you first arrive at your accommodations, it’s a good idea to let the showers and faucets run for at least five minutes while unpacking. This will allow any spores that might be growing in the plumbing to be flushed out. These spores could possibly lead to Legionnaires Disease, a nasty condition that can cause hospitalization and even be fatal. The bacteria that causes the disease thrives in the water systems of tropical climates. Even after flushing out the water system, you should still be vigilant about swallowing water during your bathing routine. A simple fix? Keep mouthwash in your mouth while showering.

Check Out the Sunday Markets

If you’re looking for souvenirs, skip the stalls that line the streets and wait for the Sunday markets. Here you can find seafood buy the pound and enjoy relatively cheap feasts on the beach. Scores of unique artwork, artisan goods, and exotic spices can be found from local purveyors at these markets. Spend some time perusing the different offerings, and if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen, stock up on local ingredients so you can eat deliciously at your home away from home.

Pack for the Atmosphere

Many people pack light for their Caribbean vacation, expecting to spend most of heir time in their swimsuit, frolicking in the ocean or sipping a margarita at a beachfront cantina. However, there are some essentials you should not overlook when preparing for your vacation.

For one, don’t neglect your rain-wear. You don’t have to pack full battle rattle, but a simple poncho and maybe a small travel umbrella would be a good idea. Some Caribbean islands are so small you’ll end up traveling by foot everywhere, and wouldn’t it be a drag to get caught in the rain holding all your shopping bags?

Also be sure to bring protective footwear for the beach. The sand often hides jagged pieces of coral and scores of crabs, all looking to dig into an unprotected toe. The water’s not a safe place for feet either, with jagged rocks lying in wait just below the water’s surface.

Ride Around On a Scooter

When deciding how best to travel around your island, you have several options. However, none are as efficient, as practical, and as affordable as a scooter. Renting a car can be expensive and difficult as a majority of nations in the Caribbean drive on the left, which can be hard to get used to. Taxis sometimes have fixed fares, but you’ll still end up spending a pretty penny if you rely on them everywhere you go. Finally, some islands feature bus routes as public transportation, but they don’t travel everywhere and then you’re bound to their schedules. Scooters are fast and easy to maneuver, and most hotels offer daily rental services. If you’re renting a villa, there are still many places around town that rent scooters by the hour, day, or week.

Author Bio – This article is written by Dillon Michaelson working for Insanely Cheap Flights. If you’re looking for cheap airplane tickets to various destinations like Orlando, Las Vegas, New York etc., do check out his travel portal today.

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