The winter season may mean wrapping up warm in the UK but across the Caribbean the sun is shining and there are a host of brand new resorts, spas and bars opening up across the region for those on a cruise to experience.
With more frequent and brand new flight routes, plus a full calendar of festivals and events to look forward to, there’s never been a better time to visit these beautiful islands.
Dave Mills from IgluCruise is looking forward to new Cuban itineries running throughout 2011 – ” Cuban itineries are a relatively new developement for Caribbean cruising and opens up a really diverse and unique destination – well worth a look. Fred Olsen feature calls at Havana in 2011 which have been very popular already.”
He is also looking forward to Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas : “There’s a big buzz around the Allure of the Seas launching soon and sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries throughout 2011. This new class ships are absolutely awe inspiring and Allure promises to delight all who cruise on her – the Central park and aquatheatre alone are amazing innovations and perfectly suited to cruising in the Caribbean. ”
New hotels and resorts
Buccament Bay, St Vincent and the Grenadines
The five-star resort is the ultimate amusement resort for families and couples, boasting a Liverpool FC soccer school and a Pat Cash Tennis Academy, as well as an Island Sanctuary Spa and a Diving and watersports Centre.
Renaissance St Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa, US Virgin Islands
The newly refurbished Renaissance St Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa has a private beach, spa facilities and plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
Five-star boutique hotel, Eden Roc Luxury Beach Resort and Spa is set to be popular with those opting for a luxurious Caribbean break. It opens in October 2011, and features 37 spa-villas, each with their own swimming pool.
New waterfront villas at Nonsuch Bay, Antigua
Five new villas are opening in Nonsuch Bay, and they’re among the most affordable in the Caribbean. The resort boasts three infinity pools and the nearby Green Island Reef Marine Reserve makes it perfect for sailing enthusiasts.
The St Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Located beside the El Yunque National Rainforest, The St Regis Bahia Resort offers an exotic escape complete with a golf, course, luxury spa and legendary butler service.
New over-water suites at Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa and Beach Resort, St Lucia
The Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa and Beach Resort’s over-the water suites are built with clear glass floors, gigantic hammocks, jacuzzis and the option to light the water for night-time viewing. All you need for the perfect honeymoon.
Sugar Ridge, Antigua
Sugar Ridge resort is launching a wellness programme in November 2010 for those in need of a health kick. Catering for all levels of fitness, the retreat offers daily activities, specialist treatments and healthy eating cookery classes.
Bequia Beach Hotel, St Vincent and the Grenadines
The newly-opened Bequia Beach Hotel boasts a private plunge pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi, private dining facilities and a grand terrace for gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean.
Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia
The aptly named Hotel Chocolat is built within a cocoa plantation in the heart of the rainforest. Guests can watch cocoa being processed and more importantly, sample the goods.
Set in lush tropical gardens, Goldeneye resort is where Ian Flemming wrote all 13 of his Bond novels. With 11 new luxury cottages, six new lagoon sites and a private beach, Goldeneye offers an idyllic setting for some privacy.
The Sandpiper, Barbados
New for the winter season, Sandpiper has built a new beachfront villa, “The Beach House” with a fully fitted kitchen, three large bedrooms and a vast terrace onto the beach and it is ideal for families or groups of friends.
Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados
The extensively renovated Fairmont Royal Pavilion has benefited from its makeover of upgraded rooms and new junior suites with full butler room service.
For an offer of seven nights from £1,850 per person in an oceanfront deluxe room, room only, including flights and transfers, visit www.itcclassics.co.uk
The Jewel Dunn’s River Resort and Spa, Jamaica
For service that’s hard to beat, consider Jewel Dunn’s River Resort. The newly furbished luxury all-inclusive resort features a concierge service as well as romantic poolside movies and candlelit dining on the pier.
Adults only at the Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba
The secluded Bucuti Beach Resort is introducing an adults-only policy in December 2010. Hidden away across 14 acres of white sand, this resort is the ultimate couples retreat.
British Airways offers increased service and new route to the Caribbean
From 27 March 2011, BA will be increasing its flights to the Caribbean, as well as launching a new service from London to Puerto Rico on the 28 March 2011. This will boost BA flights to the Caribbean to 63 a week across 15 destinations.
New Ferry Travel
A new ferry service to connect the Caribbean
A new daily ferry service that will connect Barbados, Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Grenada, and St Vincent is currently being developed by BEDY Ocean Line.
New cruise port at Falmouth, Jamaica
A new port terminal is being built on Jamaica’s North Coast in Falmouth, which is due to be completed by the end of 2010. The port is expected to open in January 2011 and it will have shops, restaurants and a residential area where fly-cruise visitors can spend time before or after their cruise.
Dominica plans the Caribbean’s first long-distance walking trail
The first and only long-distance walking trail in the Caribbean, the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica will open at the end of 2011. The unique trail will take two weeks for hikers to complete, with homestays with local families as an accommodation option. Each route of the trail offers awe-inspiring views of the island, including mountains, waterfalls, lush forests and even a boiling lake.
Bars and Restaurants
Nikki Beach, Dominican Republic
This stylish beach club has become a celebrity hotspot. It was visited by Richard Branson when it first opened this year and is the place to go for a sophisticated evening in the Caribbean.
The Meliá Buenavista, Cuba
A five-star resort opening in time for the 2010-2011 winter season, the Meliá Buenavista All Inclusive Royal Service and Spa offers a secluded spa experience complete with chalet-style accommodation, full butler service and a private pool jacuzzi.
Almond Resorts re-launch across Barbados
Almond Resorts will be re-launching their spas as ‘Praana spa’ across all Barbados resorts, and will be the first authentic destination spas to be introduced on the island.
Hotel Guanahani and Spa reopens in St Barts
After major renovations, Hotel Guanahani and Spa will reopen in mid-December 2010. There will be a new luxury suite, ‘The Admiral Suite’ which will be villa style with a private beach and lagoon views.
For an offer of seven nights at Hotel Guanahani and Spa from £2,215 per person on a bed and breakfast basis, including flights and transfers, visit www.leguanahani.com
Read more in our Caribbean Cruise Guide