From the Miami Herald by Jay Clarke: "It's no secret that Caribbean vacations cost a lot less in summer than in the high-season winter -- typically 30 percent, sometimes as much as 50 percent less. Bundling transportation, lodging and even meals into a package can save even more.
But what may not be so well known is that temperatures are not that different in summer -- only around 5 degrees warmer, maybe 10 on a really hot day. True, the sun's rays are more direct, the humidity's higher and it rains more. But there's almost always a breeze.
Those are good reasons to check out Caribbean vacations in what is traditionally its low season.
Below is a sampling of Caribbean packages offered to summer travelers.
Unless otherwise stated, quoted prices are per person double occupancy. They may or may not include hotel and departure taxes, security and fuel surcharges, gratuities and service fees, which can add up to a considerable amount. Most do not include air fare. Packages are subject to availability; prices and terms may change without notice.
All-inclusive usually means the package includes lodging, all meals, all drinks (alcoholic included), activities, nonmotorized sports and entertainment, but this varies with each resort.
â€¢ Anguilla: A seven-night Island Adventure package at the Arawak Beach Inn starts at $699 per person June 1 through Oct. 31. Included are daily breakfast, four special dinners at the inn, private day excursion to a secluded beach on an uninhabited island, three-day car rental, full-day trip to Marigot on French St. Martin, airport transfers. 877-4ARAWAK, www.arawakbeachcom.
â€¢ Antigua: The Jolly Beach's Honeymooners package is restricted to couples married within past three months of their stay (marriage certificate required). All-inclusive price is $160 per person, to Dec. 20. Included are a bottle of champagne, bottle of massage oil and $50 voucher per couple for a sail. 268-462-0061 or 866-905-6559, www.jollybeachresort.com or www.caribbean-weddings-honeymoons.com.
â€¢ Bahamas: Three-night packages at selected hotels in Nassau/Paradise Island are priced from $199 to $575 per person, depending on hotel, and include roundtrip midweek air from Fort Lauderdale on American Airlines, and airport transfers. All-inclusive prices are $575 at Riu Paradise Island and $525 at Radisson Cable Beach. Packages valid to Dec. 15. Liberty Travel, 800-764-1000, www.liberty travel.com.
â€¢ Bonaire: A seven-night package at the Golden Reef Inn provides unlimited shore diving, weights, belts, tanks, air and taxes. Also included are studio or one-bedroom condo apartment, daily continental breakfast, lunch and dinner, pickup truck including taxes and CDW insurance. Cost is $915 or $788 without daily lunch. 866-790-7333, www.goldenreefinn.com.
â€¢ Curacao: Breezes CuracÂ¸ao, a SuperClubs All-inclusive resort offers Kids Stay Free and Single Parents Special programs (these are combinable), valid through Dec. 24. Children 2-13 years stay, eat and play free (one child per paying adult). Single supplement is waived for single parents traveling with kids in the same period. Price is $106 per adult per night; three-night minimum. 800-467-8737, www.breezes.com.
â€¢ Dominica: Jungle hikes, excursions to waterfalls and hot springs and mountain biking are some of the activities included in the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa's Jungle Spa Adventure package. Also includes all meals, airport transfers, half-hour daily spa treatment and Yoga classes. Price: $199 per person per night through July 31, $179 from Aug. 1 through Oct. 31. 767-446-1789, www.junglebay dominica.com.
â€¢ Dominican Republic: Three-night all-inclusive package at the Sun Village Resort-Cofresi Beach in Puerto Plata runs $297 per person to June 30, $363 July 1-Aug. 31. Seven-night package run $693 and $847 respectively. MK tours, 888-441-7600 or 305-441-7600, www.mktours.com.
â€¢ Jamaica: A three-night all-inclusive getaway to the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay is $589 per person, including roundtrip flights from Miami or Fort Lauderdale on Air Jamaica, through Aug. 31. Prices are slightly higher in July and August and on weekends and holidays. 800-622-3009, www.airjamaicavacationscom.
â€¢ Nevis: Four Seasons guests get a $500 airfare credit under the Discover Nevis promotion for visits to Dec. 15. Rates begin at $325 per room per night with a five-night minimum stay. 800-332-3442, www.fourseasons.com.
â€¢ Puerto Rico: The Town and Country package offers three nights at Old San Juan's El Convento and three nights at Copamarina Beach Resort. Included at El Convento are afternoon wines and hors d'oeuvres. Copamarina is an all-inclusive. Four days' use of economy car is provided. Rate per person per night is $152 to Nov. 30. No charge for children under 13 in room with parents. 800-468-2779 or 787-723-9020, www.elconven to.com.
â€¢ St. Barts: The Hotel Guanahani's Spree package provides five nights lodging, breakfast daily, lunch or dinner daily, five-day car rental, tax and service charges, roundtrip airport transfers and two activities. Prices start at 2,875 euros per couple for an oceanview room, but the hotel will accept a one-to-one exchange rate ($2,875 in this case, instead of $3,627) for all summer packages prepaid in U.S. dollars. (011-590-590) 276-660, www.leguanahanicom.
â€¢ St. Kitts: Rates for the St. Kitts Marriott's Escape! all-inclusive package start from $446 per night to May 31, $321 June 1-Aug.31 with five-night minimum stay. Kids 12 and under stay free with an adult, eat free from children's menu. 888-727-2347 or 869-466-1200, www.stkittsmarriott.com or www.paradisebymarriott.com.
â€¢ St. Martin: The Grand Case Beach Club offers a Honeymoon Magic package through Dec. 21 that includes lodgings, daily continental breakfast, one-day car rental, casino vouchers for use on Dutch side of the island (St. Maarten), non-motorized water sports. Prices are $430 per couple for three nights, $1,050 for seven nights. (011-590-590) 875-187, www.gcbc.com.
â€¢ St. Thomas: Looking to pop the question in the Caribbean? Bolongo Bay Beach Resort's Perfect Proposal package provides five nights' lodging, a secluded surf and turf dinner for two on the beach, in-pool scuba lesson, use of sports equipment and hotel tax and service charges. Rate is $925 per couple, July 1-Aug. 3l. Must book by June 30. 340-775-1800 or 800-766-2840, www.bolongo bay.com.
â€¢ Turks and Caicos Islands: At Beaches Turks, a Sandals all-inclusive resort, guests pay $288 per adult per night and $63 per child per night (kids under 2 are free) from June 1 to Dec. 22. In September, rates drop to $169 per adult and $40 per child, a good deal if a hurricane doesn't come along. A three-night minimum stay is required. 888-BEACHES, www.beach es.com."