By Danny Almon, Travel Columnist
It’s a bit hard to be thinking about a vacation in cold, snowy January or February when the sun is shining and temperatures are high in August.
But that, actually, is the best time to be thinking about organizing your winter vacation.
Someplace warm: that’s a no brainer!
But should that be on a sunny, sandy, warm-water beach in the Caribbean or should you consider a Caribbean cruise? Let’s look at some of the benefits /drawbacks of each.
Caribbean cruises can be divided up into three areas: Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean and Southern Caribbean. Eastern and Western Caribbean generally embark and disembark from a southern United States location. Southern Caribbean often embarks and disembarked from Puerto Rico, which from Nova Scotia usually requires a flight with a connection intron tour Montreal (a concern at time of year when winter storms could affect our Halifax departure as well as a Toronto departure…)
A cruise can be nearly all inclusive: all your meals are provided at almost any time of day at included restaurants (there are usually many more added-cost specialty restaurants). You get an opportunity (at extra cost) to do coach tours in each of the ports that you visit. Depending on cruise line and individual ship, there is high quality entertainment on board, included in the cost of your cruise. Th ere are also many “nooks and crannies” around the ship where you can fi nd solo entertainers: singers, musicians, perhaps magicians, etc. that you can enjoy. Many ships come complete with one or more small swimming pools, often with Jacuzzi close by, free of charge.
Alcohol will be at additional charge and that includes wine with meals. Sometimes soft drinks are included but may also be at additional charge. Specialty restaurants can come with a charge that could be as much as $60.00 per person. Shore excursions can be a significant cost at $60.00 and more per person. Top quality spas are also available at additional significant cost and ought to be booked ahead of time, especially for the days at sea.
A resort stay, on the other hand, is a true all-inclusive vacation. Packages include flight (preferably non-stop), transfer to and from the resort and the seven (or more) day stay at the resort. All meals, at almost any time of the day, are included. Some resorts are adopting the cruise line policy of extra cost specialty restaurants, but in most cases, there will be an abundance of included restaurants with differing world menus. At some resorts, you are required to make reservations, though the higher category of room (i.e. more expensive) often allows you the ability to more easily book reservations.
Depending upon the country and resort that you are staying in, you may be limited to 3 a la carte restaurant reservations. Alcohol is freely available: again, if staying in a higher category room or at top-of-the-line resorts, premium alcohol may be available at no extra charge. Excursions off the resort, if you want to experience the culture of the location, are an additional cost. And often there is good quality local evening entertainment available.
However, you could conceivably not spend another penny by doing a basic all-inclusive resort vacation.
So it depends upon the experience that you want to have: both cruises and resort stays are wonderful options when considering an escape from the cold Maritimes in winter. Visit https://www.almontravel.ca/blog/ for a series of travel webinars from coach tours, to ocean and river cruises, resort stays and miscellaneous travel. Also to be sure to sign up for an extensive line-up of travel tips. And if I can help you with any of your travel plans, please write at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902 431 4932. Happy Travels!
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