Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

How to Sink into an Island

Nothing is quite like walking into a huge, open air lobby of a Caribbean all-inclusive resort for the first time.

The wonderful trade winds wash through. The colors of the lobby decorations are bright and uplifting. The friendly resort staff provides easy guidance through checking in and leading visitors off to the the building on the resort complex that contain their rooms.

Walk under palm trees, past curving pools and waterfalls, around open-air restaurants and sometimes forget to pay attention to the sidewalk.

Change quickly into resort clothes or bathing suit and find a beach with amazing white sand and emerald ocean water beneath more palm trees. If handled right, it guarantees a week of relaxation with everything packaged into one convenient vacation.

The alternative is the unpackaged hotel experience. Choose a hotel and have the freedom to walk the streets of a city or village, picking a restaurant on whim that may or may not be great. The spontaneity makes for great moments when a couple sits at a table by the ocean and eveything seems to sparkle in a dream.

Unlike the controlled pace of a cruise, a stopover vacation is best suited for travelers willing and having the time to do a little research into the best hotels and locations and who can take some time to decide exactly what kind of vacation feels right -- slow and easy, highly active, spontaneous, big on shopping or big on recreation, etc.

The top 10 stopover vacations in the Caribbean are:
Great beaches and all-inclusive resorts, light on things to see outside of resorts.

Lush vegetation; fascinating people, dialect and culture; famous excursions such as Dun River Falls and Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios.

Just hang out in party for people who love everything in one location.

Easy and convenient access off the coast of Florida. The visit most likely to be used for a short hop over a long weekend.

A place to spend time for a few days before or after a cruise out of the port of San Juan to the western or Southern Caribbean.

The top choice to go to avoid hurricanes during the hurricane season. Some Dutch culture adds distinctive flavor to people staying at hotels in the capital of Oranjestad.

The shopping mecca of the Caribbean.

An up and coming resort destination.

High on Caribbean French culture and lush, beautiful landscapes.

More French and Dutch culture packed into two sides of one small island.

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