I have a feeling this blog will just be the first of many on this topic. As the peak of hurricane season closes in on us, we're likely to see more and more Carib discounts, especially if a storm hits and scares everyone.
As for whether or not its wise to travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season, its something I've done in the past with no ill consequences.
The fact is, even during the most volatile seasons, the chances of being in the direct path of a storm are relatively small. The likelihood goes way up if one goes to the Bahamas rather than the Caribbean (the area that's historically gotten the most storms) and drops to virtually nil if you visit such islands as Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao or Margarita, which are considered to sit outside the "hurricane belt". Get insurance as soon as you book and then have a great time. Even better, book at the lowest rates for a November or early December trip, when the peak of hurricane season will have passed, but the hurricane pricing still remains in effect.
Onto the discounts. The first two that have caught my eye are from the "super-inclusive" resort chains of SuperClubs (which includes the Hedonism properties and the Breezes resorts) and the Sandals chain (Beaches, Royal Plantation and Grand Pineapple). At the first, discounts hit 55%, at Sandals the savings go up to 65%. But those figures don't tell the entire story, as SuperClubs is much less expensive to begin with. You might pay as little as $72 a night at a Superclubs property with this deal, while with Sandals you're more likely to pay $165 or more. Prices are based on double occupancy; expect to pay significantly more if you're traveling alone.
At both, a promise is made (and generally kept) that you won't have to open your wallet once you're on vacation. All meals are included, as are gratuities, transfers from the airport, liquor (even top shelf), activities (including the ones that incur extra charges at other resorts) and entertainment. Perhaps most impressively, you can get married for free at these resorts and many choose to do so, saying their vows in the sand, just like the happy couple in this photo.
As I said, this will be my first, but not my last Caribbean blog, so watch this space if this sort of vacation interests you.
(Photo by Rodney Hargnis)