In Barbados, it’s the Water

The beautiful water of Barbados

Perhaps it’s something in the water – or in the rum. Barbados, a dot on the map between the Caribbean and the Atlantic just above Grenada, is known for more than sun, soak and sand. It’s known for its ability to make babies.

True, romance abounds in these parts and couples from other countries can legally tie the knot at a moment’s notice (or, rather, a day’s planning). But they can also try their luck at the Barbados Fertility Centre, fast becoming the epicenter for affordable and easy IVF treatments and other fertility therapies.

The JCI-accredited clinic runs the gamete, or rather the gamut, of medical procedures, from ovulation induction to donor programs, freezing, fertility therapies and vitrification with overall success rates ranging from 14 percent (invitro-fertilization for women over 42) to 67 percent, depending on treatment and age.

The clinic brings in a staff of islanders as well as surgical practitioners from Ireland and the UK and works out of a plantation-style facility in the south coast town of Christ Church.

Although treatments range between $400 and $8,500 a la carte, (IVF, including embryo cryonics averages around $5,000) full “holiday” packages can be arranged for rates starting at $5,500 per couple, including flights, hotel, transport, treatments and wellness activities through the center. And then there are medical travel middlemen options such as Surgical Escape that put packages together for individuals and couples that take care of all details, from pre-travel doctors visits to full itineraries and follow-ups for one set price.

For people who want manage their romantic ventures through more traditional mores, the rum on Barbados might be a good way to start. So strong is the sugar cane heritage here that a Canivale-style festival swings into action from July 3 to August 3 in celebration of the sugarcane harvest.

Crop Over Festival is Barbados’ biggest, loudest, brashest, boldest and best-loved fest for the party crowd. Hailing from the 1780s when the island was the world’s top sugar state, the last stalks of the harvest have meant the crowning of the king and queen of cane in a flurry of pure flamboyance that continues in an ever-burgeoning blast of glory. The island writhes in a heady mix of music, dancing, carnivals, markets and cultural exhibitions – all culminating on Kadooment Day, August 3, when the costumes come out and rum washes through the streets.

Romancing the rum continues year ‘round for those who manage to stumble onto the Rum Trail. The rum-making tradition here dates back to 1703 and can still be found in four island distilleries that open themselves up for tours. In St. Philip find the Foursquare Rum Factory and Heritage Park; In St. Michel it’s the Cockspur Beach Club and the Mount Gay Rum Distillery and Gift Shop to proffer a proper view of just what Barbadian Water (as it was once called in taverns lining British ports) is all about. And then there are the more than 1,200 rum shops and “tippling houses” that serve glasses and island chats in comfortable, homey quarters.

Mount Gay is the world’s oldest rum (although Cockspur’s Five Star rum is considered to be the finest and Foursquare Spiced Rum the tastiest) and has a “must-do” hourly tour that lasts about 45 minutes, costs about $7 and ends with a tasting. The Mount Gay Rum distillery is found 5 minutes north of Bridgetown, the island’s capital, and offers two expanded tours to serious rum lovers. The first includes lunch on the veranda after the basic tour, for $40; and the second includes a cocktail tour in the afternoon for $30.

While sugar cane thrives across the island’s 166 square miles the rum on Barbados is not a mass-produced commodity. The spirit requires careful crafting, sometimes multiple distillations, and Kentucky bourbon white oak barrels are often used for the aging. Rum can be a complex affair that renders the smoothness of a dexterous Scotch. Seek hints of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, banana and almond in a spectrum of colorful brands.

Whether you go for the beach, the babies or the Barbadian Water, check www.visitbarbados.org for the possibilities.

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Top 10 Spa Experiences

Spa Experience

Relax, Unwind, Rejuvenate

1) Conquer jet lag with an aromatheraphy bath and deep-tissue massage

2) Drift away with a nighttime treatment including in-room massage, turn-down service, and warm tea

3) Bring out your golden tan with a tropical oil exfoliation

4) Hydrate with a luxurious black pearl facial

5) Rejuvenate tired feet with an energizing lemon and lime soak

6) Polish skin to a silk glow with an exfoliating lime and ginger body rub

7) Detoxify with a warm volcanic mud wrap

8  ) Share a romantic beachfront couples massage

9 ) Smooth and shine locks with a lustrous palm oil hair treatment

10) Soothe tired eyes with calming collagen and rice powder

Whatever your idea of the perfect experience, whether for a week or a weekend, there’s a destination to meet your need. So go on, reward yourself!

When you are ready to have a spa getaway, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com

Destination Wedding Spotlight: St. Lucia

Bay Gardens Beach Resort Wedding on the Beach

Come to St. Lucia and it will not take you long to see why the island became known as the Helen of the West Indies – and why the French and British empires spent almost two centuries fighting to possess her. The island’s French legacy can still be heard in the local patois, seen int he many Gallic place-names and enjoyed in the irrestistible French Creole cuisine to be found in hotels, restaurants and bistros.

St. Lucia is large enough to provide visitors with breathtaking contrasts and small enough to ensure that those who want to laze their days away in peace and quiet can do just that. The climate on the island is tropical with temperatures ranging from 70 – 90 Fahrenheit. The rainy season is June – November, but don’t expect a constant downpour; rather, there are numerous short but incredibly intense showers. Trade winds provide breezes year-round, regardless of the season.Perfect for a day at the beach!

You’ll see banana and cocoa plantations, the crater of a dormant volcano, bubbling sulphur springs, mineral springs where visitors can bathe, 18th century forts and sleepy coastal villages. And could you really leave St. Lucia without seeing the Pitons, the massive twin volcanic cones that have become the island’s signature image? Lovers will search out secluded beaches, night-owls will find entertainment in the hotels, and bars, and yacht crews will find dozens of safe harbors, from small coves to an 83-acre marina and the large natural harbor, once the world’s 14th busiest port, which is overlooked by Castries, the lively capital town where French Creole houses can still be seen. Divers, snorkelers, hikers and golfers will all find happiness on St. Lucia.

St. Lucia is the perfect destination for Caribbean weddings and honeymoons. The natural beauty of this Caribbean tropical island seems to have been created for romantics. Palm fringed beaches, elegant old plantation houses, the soft tropical air, hypnotic steel band music, the tantalizing aroma of the cuisine all combined to make weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries popular on St. Lucia. St Lucia offers you the freedom of having your wedding just the way you want it. Wonderful climate, astounding beauty and friendly islanders make St. Lucia simply perfect, Simply Beautiful for your special wedding day.

Here is a list of the documents that you need to obtain a marriage license in St. Lucia:

* Valid Passport & Original Birth Certificate

* Divorce Decree Absolute (if one of the parties is divorced)

* In the case of a widow/widower a Death Certificate of first spouse is required

* If a name has been changed, a Deed Poll is required

* If one of the parties is under the age of 18, evidence of a consent of parents is required in the form of a sworn affidavit stamped by a Notary Public

* Residency requirement of 2 business days unless an express fee is paid

* If any required documents are not in English, an authenticated translation must be available

Now is the time to all Carter Elite Travel to assist in making your Destination Wedding/Honeymoon come true. We are Certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoons Specialists and truly enjoy assisting our couples to make their dreams come true.

Call one of our Romance Experts to get started at 310-722-3099 or send a email to DW@carterelitetravel.com!

Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Specialist

Top 10 Reasons to have a Destination Wedding

Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding Gazebo

1. Save Money – Traditional wedding can cost several times the amount of a destination wedding 

2. Do Something Different – Forgo a typical wedding in favor of a unique and memorable experience 

3. Have the Best of Both Worlds – Combine your wedding and honeymoon into one beautifully planned celebration 

4. Crowd Control – Bring along the whole family for a fun celebration, or make it just the two of you 

5. Stress-Free Planning – Your Travel Consultant will work directly with the resort’s wedding coordinators 

6.  Perfect for Second Marriages – Scale it down the second time around and go somewhere special to wed 

7. Neutral Setting – Instead of getting involved in potential family drama, choose a neutral setting 

8. So Much to See and Do – With the many on-site activities at resorts, plus off-site fun, your guests will keep busy 

9. Celebrate Longer – Traditional weddings last 5 hours while a destination wedding fun can go much longer 

10. Expand on a Theme – Incorporate your love of the beach, the snow, your heritage, or something else special to you 

When you are ready to get started planning your beautiful Destination Wedding, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or send us a email at Info@carterelitetravel

 We are certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists, so we treasure each and every bride we have the opportunity to assist in making their wedding a dream come true! 

Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Certificate

Barbados

Barbados

Barbados invites you to wake up to the rhythm of the tropics and explore a paradise that’s naturally charming, alive with possibilities, and filled with warm and friendly souls who are always ready to greet you with a sincere smile.

Along one of the Caribbean’s most popular islands, Barbados is naturally charming and sophisticated, alive with possibilities and pulsing to the rhythm of the tropics.

Barbadians both venerate their home’s perfect climate and unparalleled natural beauty.

The small but bustling city of Bridgetown is one of the oldest capitals in the Caribbean, teeming with histric sites such as Heroes Square (with its statue of Lord Nelson) opposite the resorted Parliament Buildings, one of the hemisphere’s oldest synagogues, and the 19th-century St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Along with the shops on Swan Street, Roebuck Street, and Tudor Street, there is also a new cruise ship terminal sporting 30 duty-free shops.

Some of the Caribbean’s finest beaches lie along Barbados’ Gold Coast, where you’ll also find some of the most luxurious hotels in the northern hemisphere.

Spectacular stretches of fine coral sand highlight Paynes Bay, Brandon’s Beach, Paradise Beach, and Brighton Beach, all of which are open to the public.

Spectacular diving locations abound in barbados – there are more than two dozen ringing the island’s coasts, full of healthy sponges, thriving corals and plant life, and a kaleidoscope of colorful fish.

There is also an excellent collection of shipwrecks, with over 200 reported in Carlisle Bay alone! Most of the popular sites  are found along the west and southwest coasts. Action-oriented vacationers also dive into snorkeling, parasailing, surfing and windsurfing.

Embrace Barbados, where nature and sophistication mingle in exotic harmony.

Some of our suggestions:

* Almond Casuarina Beach Resort

* Mango Bay Barbados

* Silver Point Hotel

* Coconut Court Beach Hotel

Give us a call today to book your vacation escape to Barbados at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com

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