Escape Winter Blues With Balmy Caribbean Cruise

Icy Winter Weather Conjures Dreams of Warm Getaways

NORWALK, Conn., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Winter has the country firmly in its frozen grasp and Americans are anxious to spend some time where the only ice for miles around is in a frosty beverage glass. There’s no better way to find total relief from winter weather than on a vacation to the Caribbean or a relaxing repose to a Mexican resort, where sparkling beaches and sun-kissed tropical islands await.

Countless Caribbean cruise options are available, from three- and four-day Bahama cruises to weeks spent visiting tropical ports of call from one side of the Caribbean to the other. All major cruise lines and airlines offer a number of travel packages to destinations throughout the region.

American travelers are warming up to winter travel in record numbers, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. U.S. travelers are expected to take more than 251 million trips this winter (December-February), according to TIA, an increase of 2 percent from last winter.

“Vacationers can definitely beat the cold winter blues with an adventurous tropical cruise,” said Julia Ryan, vice president of Travelers Advantage and Travelersadvantage.com. “Basking in the Caribbean or chilling out in Mexico is the perfect remedy for snowbirds seeking sun and fun. An escape to the tropics can melt away your winter worries in no time.”

Travelers to the Eastern Caribbean can relax on white sand beaches and shop the unique straw markets in the Bahamas; tour historic cities in Puerto Rico; play golf on St. Thomas; sample chocolate and cheese in the Dutch-ruled side of St. Maarten, then travel to the French side of the island and buy fine perfumes; and snorkel among the colorful reefs off Tortola. Sail to the Bahamas from New York this spring or summer on the Norwegian Dawn or Norwegian Spirit from $679 for a 7-night sailing *.

Longer Southern Caribbean routes take travelers to the breezy island of Aruba, British-influenced Barbados and Guadeloupe, where Jacques Cousteau originated scuba diving. Grand Cayman features the idyllic white sands of Seven Mile Beach. Among the highlights of both Martinique and St. Lucia are lush tropical rain forests.

The most popular region of all, the Western Caribbean offers a broad spectrum of attractions and activities, from swimming with dolphins in Jamaica to snorkeling with sharks off Belize. On land, visitors can explore ancient Mayan ruins in Progreso, Mexico, and shop in the colorful markets of Cozumel. Sail to the Western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas from $489 for four nights. Also available is a 4-night sailing on the Carnival Cruise Lines Inspiration, visiting the Western Caribbean from $499 out of Tampa*.

The Caribbean is a playground for vacationers of all ages. Most cruise lines, airlines and resorts have special programs for children, designed to make the trip unforgettable for the entire family.

* All rates are cruise only, per person, double occupancy and do not
include non-commissionable fares and $19.95 processing fee.

About Travelers Advantage

Members of Travelers Advantage (http://www.travelersadvantage.com/ or 1-877-841-1335) can save money on air travel, cruises, car rentals and accommodations, as well as earn five percent cash back on eligible travel booked with preferred providers through the service. Travelers Advantage is offered by Affinion Group, a leader in the membership, insurance and loyalty marketing businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

About Affinion Group

Affinion Group is a leading affinity direct marketer of value-added membership, insurance and package enhancement programs and services to consumers. With more than 30 years of experience, Affinion Group currently offers its programs and services worldwide through more than 4,500 affinity partners. Its diversified base of affinity partners includes leading companies in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, retail, travel, telecommunications, utilities and Internet. Affinion Group also has a growing loyalty solutions operation which administers points-based loyalty programs. Based in Norwalk, Conn., Affinion Group has approximately 3,600 employees throughout the United States and in 13 countries across Europe.

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