Archives for November 2013

Rick’s Cafe, Negril, Jamaica

copyright Rum Therapy
One of the best known bars in Jamaica, Rick’s Cafe, is known for it’s fantastic Jamaican sunsets as well as the very brave young men that dive from great heights into the clear, blue water below.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
Apparently visitors can also hurtle themselves off of the cliffs if they wish, and this resulted in numerous belly and back-flops, swimsuit malfunctions and awkward flailing mid-air while we were there. Thankfully, to jump, you must pass the guard at the top of the visitor jumping area and while we were there, he appeared to be screening people and allowing only those that didn’t appear too intoxicated or frightened to make the long jump.

copyright Rum Therapy
Despite the screening, I have heard that there have been some serious injuries to visitors, making us quite content to watch the show and not jump ourselves!

copyright Rum Therapy
As the sun began to set and the diving waned, people began making their way to the bar and the outdoor stage.

copyright Rum Therapy
We found a table at the edge of the cliff and ordered a Red Stripe.

copyright Rum Therapy
As the band played, we enjoyed yet another beautiful Jamaican sunset…

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
To find out more, visit Rick’s Cafe website
, and find Rick’s on our Jamaica Map

To see more posts on Jamaica and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Is An All-Inclusive Caribbean Vacation Right For You?

Is an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation the right choice for you?

Barcelo-Maya-Resort,-Mexico---OLobby of the Barcelo Maya, Riviera Maya, Mexico

With more and more all-inclusive resorts being built or re-modeled into all-inclusives in many Caribbean destinations, we’re receiving more inquiries from our readers on whether an all-inclusive resort would be a good vacation choice for them. After all, vacation dollars are hard to come by and no matter what your vacation budget, you want to choose the best accommodation for you and your family.

Dominican-Republic-Beach - copyright Rum TherapyBeach at the Hark Rock Hotel, Punta Cana

We enjoy staying in all types of accommodations during our Caribbean travels from cruise ships to catamarans, high end resorts to budget resorts, villas to condos, etc., and, all-inclusive resorts. We’ve had the pleasure of enjoying quite a few all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Antigua and even one in St. Croix. So, how do we decide whether or not to stay at an all-inclusive? What are some things to consider prior to booking?

The first thing to know right off the bat is that all all-inclusives are not equal and all-inclusives are not available everywhere. As with other resorts, all-inclusives range from budget to very high end and everywhere in between. Do your research, ask your friends, look at on-line reviews, call the resort with questions and then enjoy what can be a wonderful stress-free vacation! All-inclusive resorts can be an excellent value for the money and an easy way to budget vacation dollars by including all of your meals, drinks and entertainment in one price!

Caribbean-Lobster-at-the-Divi---OCaribbean Lobster dinner at the Divi Carina Resort, St. Croix

 Here are some things to consider when exploring all-inclusive options:

1. Are you a foodie? Be sure to look for the all-inclusives that offer a wide range of dining options, including fine dining. Some offer buffet dining only, but many offer dining at several themed and very nice restaurants on site. In addition to premium dining experiences, some resorts also offer or include premium wine & other liquor options.

copyright Rum TherapySome of the water-sports included at Jewel Runaway Bay, Jamaica

2. Do you just want to relax at the resort all week? Look for a resort that offers the amenities you desire, i.e., a great beach, good swimming pools, golf, tennis, water-sports, nightly entertainment, etc.

copyright Rum TherapySunset by the pool at Jewel Runaway Bay Resort, Jamaica

Hard-Rock-Pool---OOne of the many pools at the Hard Rock Resort, Punta Cana

3. Want to explore the island outside of your resort? Look for a resort that offers good excursion packages, or if you’re like us and like to see what you want without traveling in a larger group, choose a resort that is in good proximity to the sights you want to explore.

4. Want to enjoy some pampering at the spa? Many resorts offer spa services (most at an additional cost) such as a wide range of massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, etc., and some have over-the-top spa facilities offering some of the finest pampering around.

5. Is the resort family-friendly or adult only? There are some terrific all-inclusives that cater to the young ‘uns with resort attractions (lazy rivers, waterslides, kiddie pools), entertainment and dining options. If you’re traveling without children, you may want to opt for an adult-only resorts that offer amenities,  dining options and entertainment geared more for the grown-ups.

copyright Rum TherapyWaterslide at the Beaches Resort, Negril, Jamaica

5. Pricing. There are all-inclusive resorts geared for the budget minded all the way to luxury all-inclusives, and there can be a huge difference in amenities and level of services. If you’re traveling on a budget and don’t require a lot of services or amenities, you might opt for the less expensive resorts. If you want to be completely pampered, there are resorts that can offer that to you, at a higher price, of course. Again, just do your research to make sure there are very few surprises when you arrive.

Divi-Resort-Coffee---OEnjoying coffee on the deck at Divi Carina Resort, St. Croix

6. Transfers. Does the accommodation provide transfers to the facility? This is not a big deal in some cases, but if you will have to travel quite a distance from the airport and are not renting a car, having transfers included in your package can be a big bonus.

copyright Rum TherapyOne of the beautiful and comfortable rooms at the Beaches Resort, Negril, Jamaica

7. Last, but certainly not least – your room. Again, there can be a BIG difference in the rooms provided at all-inclusives – as with other resorts. What are the rooms amenities? Does it include a decent sized safe? Is there a mini-bar (usually included in the price) or refrigerator? In room hot tub? Is it located in a good area of the resort? (Check to see if there is a map of the rooms on the website) Is it size that will comfortably accommodate your party? Is the bed size guaranteed? If you can’t find this information on the website, you might try to call the resort to see.

Hard-Rock-Room---OIn room Hydro Spa at the Hard Rock Hotel, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Negril-Sunset---ONegril Sunset from a cabana at Beaches Resort

Have you enjoyed vacationing at an all-inclusive resort? What did you like the most about it?

To see more posts on Caribbean islands and travel, check out our Island Blog Directory

For helpful travel hints, check out our posts in Tropical Tips & More

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie

We’re BIG fans of apple pie and so when we ran across this recipe for apple pie combined with hot buttered rum, we just had to give it a try! We used a recipe from The Frugal Foodie Mama, made some adjustments and LOVE it! So moist and tasty that I think we’ve got a new favorite Apple Pie Recipe. We’ve included the brands we used too so hopefully you’ll enjoy the same scrumptious results.

Hot-Buttered-Rum-Apple-Pie-(600)-O
Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie
(makes one pie/eight slices)
Adapted from The Frugal Foodie Momma

Hot Buttered Rum Sauce
Ingredients
1 cup of brown sugar (we used dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup spiced rum (we used Captain Morgan)
3 tbsp butter

Pie Filling Ingredients
6-7 apples, peeled, cored, & thinly sliced (we used a combination of Braeburn, Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples)
1/2 cup brown sugar (again we used dark brown sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp flour

Crust
I’m sure a homemade crust would be delicious, but we used a frozen Marie Callender two crust pack (one for the bottom and one for the top)


Directions

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Make the Hot  Buttered Rum Sauce by combining the brown sugar, rum and butter and heating over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Put aside.

Combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour in a large bowl until the apples are coated. Pour the apple mixture into the bottom crust. Drizzle half of the Hot Buttered Rum Sauce over the apples. Cover the pie with the other crust and squeeze the bottom and top edges of the pie together. Using a knife, cut 6-8 slits in the top crust. Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on the top crust.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. We didn’t need to cover the pie, but be sure to keep your eye on it during the last 15 minutes of baking to make sure the crust is not getting too brown. If needed, place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on the top during the last few minutes to prevent over-browning.

Allow the pie to cool for a while, then cut, serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and drizzle with some of the remaining Hot Buttered Rum Sauce. YUM!

 

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

 

Zipline and Boblsed Ride at Mystic Mountain, Jamaica

Arriving at the top of Mystic Mountain, Jamaica via the Skyride, we noticed that there was a more to experience than just the zipline and the bobsled ride…

But before checking the other attractions, we headed straight for the zipline!

copyright Rum Therapy
After getting geared up, we headed down the path towards the first platform.

The zipline at Mystic Mountain offers:

  • Seven platforms
  • Six Zip lines averaging nearly 100 meters in length
  • One 10-meter vertical rappel descent
  • One 25-meter suspension walking bridge

The first 5 lines were a ton of fun! Our guides were great – very attentive and hilarious. Once we got to the 6th platform, we couldn’t locate the next line. Our guide told us that this was where we would be taking a vertical descent – a nicer way of saying a longggggg drop! Most were a little nervous about the drop, but it ended up being easier than it looked.

Mystic-Mountain-24---O
Vertical Rappel Descent (aka: big drop)

Next obstacle – the suspension bridge. A long bridge with a little play led to a little more nervous laughter and the final zip.

Mystic-Mountain-23---O
Mystic-Mountain-22---O
The last zip was the best with a fantastic view of the ocean.

Next stop – the Jamaican Bobsled.

Mystic-Mountain-14---O
Mystic-Mountain-15---O
Mystic-Mountain-16---O
Mystic-Mountain-17---O
Mystic-Mountain-18---O
An exhilarating ride through the rainforest! The only problem? It was over too soon!

Before heading back down on the Skyride, we headed to Mystic Dining to enjoy some refreshment and the amazing view of the port at Ocho Rios.

Mystic-Mountain-12---O
Mystic-Mountain-13---O
Also available at the top – pool with a water slide, lookout tower, hummingbird garden and a gift shop.

Mystic-Mountain-11(2)-O
For more information and attraction prices, check out the Mystic Mountain website.


Find Mystic Mountain on our Jamaica Map

To see more posts on Jamaica and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Mystic Mountain, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

The thought of zipping through the jungle on a Jamaican Bobsled hooked us into booking an excursion at Mystic Mountain near Ocho Rios during our recent trip to Jamaica. Apparently inspired by the movie Cool Runnings, Mystic Mountain offers not only a ride that hurtles you down the mountain in bobsled shaped cars, but a zipline, swimming pool with slide and a restaurant that offers a terrific view of Ocho Rios below.

copyright Rum Therapy
We opted for the “Tranopy” ticket which covered the cost of the skyride through the jungle to get to the top, the zipline adventure and one ride on the bobsled.

Mystic-Mountain-2---O
Just past the ticket office, we boarded the skyride for a scenic 15 minute ride up the mountain.

copyright Rum Therapy

copyright Rum Therapy
Mystic-Mountain-4---O
Slow and smooth, the skyride gives an excellent view of lush foliage and as it moves higher, the cruise ship port of Ocho Rios.

Mystic-Mountain-6---O
Mystic-Mountain-5---O
After a relaxing, sunny and scenic ride, we reached the top, got off the skyride and made our way to our next attraction – a zipline through the jungle!

Mystic-Mountain-9---O
Stay tuned for pictures and info on the Mystic Mountain Zipline & Bobsled!

Have you taken the skyride to the top of Mystic Mountain?

Find Mystic Mountain on our Jamaica Map

To see more posts on Jamaica and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Sea Boss Powercat – A Luxury BVI Crewed Charter

One of our favorite Captains of all time, Darrel Hearne, just sent a link to his new ride, and a sweet one it is.

horizon-5---O
The Sea Boss is a beautiful Horizon PC60 Luxury Power Catamaran and it will soon be available for private charters in the BVI with a professional crew to cater to your every need.

Horizon-1--O
One of the bedrooms aboard the Sea Boss

Horizon-2---O
Lounge

horizon-3-O
Although we haven’t had the chance to experience the Sea Boss yet, we can tell you that Captain Darrel is not only a skilled Captain, but is one of the most entertaining guys we’ve ever had the pleasure of sailing with and can show you the very best that the BVI has to offer! A bartender extraordinaire (and Liar’s Dice Master!), he will mix you some of the best Bushwackers and Painkillers that you’ve ever tasted – although sipping them while the beautiful waters of the BVI probably adds to the experience!

horizon 7 - O
The crew of the Sea Boss, Susanna and Darrel

To follow them on Facebook: Yacht Sea Boss

For more info: [email protected]

Happy Bay, St. Martin

A beautiful tropical beach really does make us happy, so when we heard about a beautiful beach on the french side of St. Martin called Happy Bay, we thought we really had to see it.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
It’s a 15 minute hike to get to Happy Bay from Friar’s Bay, and the day we explored that side of the island we were in flip flops. We thought we’d attempt the hike anyway.

There’s parking for the trail in the lot behind Friar’s Bay and the path to Happy Bay which can be found on the north side of Friar’s Bay Beach Cafe.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
There’s a section of trail that was a little rocky, but then it opens up to a nice meadow. Small signs painted on several rocks indicate where to go.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
There are some nice views of Friar’s Bay and surrounding coves from the trail.

copyright Rum Therapy
A gate mid-way down the trail opens up to a beautiful meadow.

copyright Rum Therapy
Pass under the tree with the beautiful canopy to get to Happy Bay Beach.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
We hear that Happy Bay is usually very quiet with very few people and although there were quite a few people playing in the water and enjoying the beautiful sand while we were there, there were still a lot of quiet spots to enjoy the sunshine and gentle surf. Currently there are no amenities available at Happy Bay, so be sure to bring in any snacks and drinks you might need.

copyright Rum Therapy
Or, just make a stop for lunch and some drinks at Friar’s Bay Beach Bar/Cafe or Kali’s Beach Bar when you get back to Friar’s Bay!

Even if you’re in your flip flops – if you like beautiful, less crowded beaches, the hike to Happy Bay is well worth it.

Have you been to Happy Bay?

Find Happy Bay on our St. Maarten/ St. Martin Map

To see more posts on St. Maarten/St. Martin and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC