Aruba — Dutch flavor in the Caribbean

A gleaming white sand beach that rims the azure sea is set off by an explosion of scarlet, purple and other vivid colors of lush tropical foliage. Nearby, stretches of rocks and pebbly soil interspersed with cactus comprise a very different bleak, desert-like terrain. The extraordinary variety of landscapes that visitors to Aruba discover is […]

Caribbean cruises: US citizens should get a passport!

Are you a US citizen thinking about taking a Caribbean cruise without having a US Passport as identification and proof of citizenship? Ned Levi suggests that would be a mistake, and that you should get a passport, even for a short WHTI country exclusive cruise.

Cruiselines — Hidden fees and unbundled services

Many cruise lines don’t inform passengers what services and features for which they charge fees are included in their cruise ticket price. Ned Levi explores what these hidden fees entail and how much they can add to the cost of a cruise.

Agony on the Ecstasy

The DeBorde family of Galveston, Texas had high hopes for their first-ever cruise vacation – a four-day sailing on the Carnival Ecstasy from their hometown to Mexico. According to the DeBordes the cruise didn’t live up to what was promised in Carnival’s brochure or website and they wanted the line to own up to its “Vacation Guarantee” so they could get off the ship and get their money back. There was just one big problem – they didn’t tell Carnival they wanted to leave.

Life is a Dream on Carnival’s newest ship

Last week, Carnival Cruise Lines christened its newest, largest ship the 3,646-passenger, 130,000-ton Carnival Dream. It boasts such features largest water park at sea, new family cabins with two bathrooms, a nighttime poolside laser show, and what the line is calling “the most elaborate” children’s facilities at sea.

When the wind blows: A cruiser’s guide to surviving hurricane season

It’s two months into 2009 hurricane season and the first tropical storms and major hurricane are impacting a number cruises in the Caribbean. Last weekend, Tropical Storm Ana doused much of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Hurricane Bill became the first hurricane of the season, and is currently a Category 4 storm.

Aye, aye, captain! You can’t refuse these cruise bargains

Anita Dunham-PotterHave you been pinching pennies, hoping to save up for a great vacation? Want to take a trip that feels decadent but in reality is a very savvy deal? Get ready to say, “Aye, aye, captain,” because cruise lines are offering a buffet of amazing deals that are hard to pass up.

Belize on the Caribbean

structureb4Vicki Andersen after exploring the western side of Belize, heads to the Caribbean side of the country. Here she finds toucans, jaguars and a Jesus Christ lizard and thousands of other birds and creatures. Plus, she discovers almost undiscovered Mayan ruins.