Caribbean Honeymoons: Tips from a Travel Pro

David Seeberger, one of the top Caribbean travel specialists at TheBigDayTravel, gives the inside scoop on Caribbean travel in the following interview.

What's the best time of the year to go to the Caribbean?

The Caribbean has become a year round vacation destination. The peak travel season is December to March. This time frame has the highest prices and coincides with the worst weather back here in the mainland US.

The official Caribbean hurricane season is June 1 to November 30. Many resorts offer hurricane rebate guarantees and many tour operators require travel insurance purchase during this time. The travel insurance will insure a refund in the rare event of a hurricane hitting your destination during that time. Your travel agent will have the most up-to-date travel-protection ideas for your vacation. Many travelers don’t realize how massive the Caribbean region is, and it is highly unlikely that a single hurricane will devastatingly impact a large area of the Caribbean. If a hurricane is headed to your vacation island, the airlines will generally suspend additional travel to the area and evacuate as many vacationers as possible before the hurricane arrives.

If you’re going to be honeymooning during hurricane season, and can’t take the chance of being visited by a hurricane on your vacation, there are some wonderful islands like Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao which lay beneath the traditional hurricane belt, and are rarely, if ever, touched by hurricanes.

Best rates for travel generally occur during the low season, (June to November), but some properties close some of their facilities during that season. Working with an agent who specializes in the Caribbean will help you pick accommodations that will provide the best experience for your holiday. Legend has it that “once you visit the Caribbean, you will return again and again.”

What's special about the Caribbean, compared to Hawaii or Mexico?

The most important difference is air distance -- clients just don’t want to fly as far as they used to. The natural travel market for the Caribbean region is the midwest and east coast of the U.S. The southern states’ natural travel market is Mexico, while the west coast loves to visit Hawaii.

Like Mexico and Hawaii, the Caribbean is predominately known as a sun and sand destination. The Caribbean provides a close-by destination to allow travelers to experience different cultures, history, and sometimes even different languages--although in most destinations English speakers are easy to find. The Caribbean has a wider selection of accommodations to choose from, than does Hawaii or Mexico. They range from small guesthouses, to moderate and world-class all-inclusive resorts, to world-class best-of-the-best luxury villas. The Caribbean also provides more gaming and duty-free shopping opportunities than Hawaii or Mexico.

Where do the stars go?

Celebrities flock to the Caribbean for the same reasons we all do- SUN, SAND, RELAXATION AND RENEWAL. Many celebrities have homes in the Caribbean. Some of the more recent celebrity hangouts include St. John where Kenny Chesney makes his home. Another popular celebrity hangout is at Paradise Island in the Bahamas where Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods and many other celebrities have homes.

Current hot celebrity island destinations include St. Barts, often referred by Hollywood as St. Tropez in the Caribbean. David Letterman, Uma Thurman and many others favor St. Barts.

Anguilla contains the Cap Juluca resort, a 179-acre celebrity favorite. It is a dramatic, white Moorish-style resort totally devoted to romance and luxury. Sandy Lane in Barbados is also known for its celebrity clientele. Tiger Woods rented the entire hotel in 2004 for his wedding.


> Next page: When to honeymoon in the Caribbean, Hidden gems, Getting the most for your money