Archives for November 2016

Destinations: Hawaii vs. US Virgin Islands


Yesterday on Instagram (be sure to follow us!), we posted a photo of our recent trip to Maui.

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The folks at St. John Fun commented on the photo of the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, asking us how Hawaii compares to the US Virgin Islands. Although we’re far from experts on either destination, we’ve had the good fortune of spending a fair amount of time exploring Hawaii (Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kaui and Lānaʻi, as well as the 3 main islands of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.

So how do they compare? there are some similarities; both destinations are warm and tropical and US Citizens don’t need a passport to travel to either location. And, both destinations are comprised of several different islands to choose from – each with it’s own personality and attractions. But, both Hawaii and the USVI have their differences and their own distinct vibe. We love both destinations, but which one would suit you better?

In considering the two, remember that Hawaii is a 4-5 hour flight from California, so the travel time is shorter from the Western US. The USVI (St. Thomas), on the other hand is less than a 3 hour flight from Miami, making a shorter travel time for those in the Eastern US – not that travel time should be the sole reason to consider each destination.

Here are a few other things to consider though, and we’ve listed them as the things we love about each of the destinations. See if any of them match your interests!

Maui, copyright Rum TherapyMaui, Hawaii

What we love about Hawaii
Flowers & Foliage – from the lei you frequently receive upon arrival to the airport or hotel, to the lush and aromatic landscaping, Hawaii is known for its beautiful and proliferous flowers.
Surfing – let’s be honest, the North Shore in the winter rocks for surfing. Also being honest – we prefer to watch!
Coffee – Maybe it’s the tropical air, or that coffee beans are just happier in the Aloha State, but coffee grown in Hawaii is delicious. Kona Coffee is exclusively grown on the big island, where the rich volcanic soil is abundant. Tour a coffee plantation and find out how the beans are harvested and processed. If you love it, be sure bring a bag or two home.
Waterfalls – Spectacular waterfalls, made even more spectacular after a good rain, can be found on many of the islands. Some of the most spectacular we’ve seen are on the island of Kauai – one of which, Wailua Falls, was used in the filming of the opening scene of Fantasy Island.
Golf – Hawaii could be described as a golfer’s heaven. With more than 70 courses to choose from, there are plenty of options – some with spectacular signature holes that hug the rugged shoreline. You may want to bring some extra golf balls.
Humpback Whales – We only spotted one on our recent trip, but apparently during the height of whale season, there are hundreds of whales swimming, breaching and playing in the waters surrounding the islands. One local on Maui told us it looks like whale soup!
Rugged scenery – because the Hawaiian Islands are volcanic, much of the topography is rugged, severe and extremely scenic.
Volcanic Mountains – go from a warm sunny beach to the summit of  a mountain in just a few hours – and yes, they do get snow occasionally in Hawaii!
Pineapple – a symbol of Hawaii, pineapple is still grown on several islands and can even be found in the landscaping in areas. Take a tour of a pineapple farm on Maui or Oahu and taste it fresh from the field.
Abundance of fresh seafood – from Ahi to Uku, and from upscale restaurants to food trucks, you will find deliciously fresh seafood everywhere.
History – Hawaii became a US state in 1959, but its history dates back centuries to when the first Polynesians set foot on Hawaii. You can feel the Polynesian influence everywhere and learn more about it at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu and experience Polynesian traditions during an island luau.

St. John - copyright Pamela OttSt. John, USVI

What we love about the US Virgin Islands
Boating & sailing
– the USVI and BVI are a playground for those who enjoy boating and sailing. With fairly calm waters and a variety of islands in close proximity, you can easily explore multiple islands via excursion or by chartering a sailboat or catamaran for the week.
Island hopping – the ferry system in the USVI and BVI also provide excellent opportunities for island hopping. From St. Thomas, it’s only a short ferry ride to St. John and a car barge is also available. There is talk of re-starting the ferry from St. Thomas to St. Croix, but at this time, we recommend taking the short hop over on a seaplane!
Beaches – the beaches of the USVI are top notch. Each of the US Virgin Islands has its share of beautiful, white sand beaches with St. John having more than its fair share! Oh and that water…turquoise, clear and warm…ahhh…
Rum – Rum is king in the VI and bottles can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Take a tour of the Cruzan Rum Distillery on St. Croix (with a tasting bar at the end of the tour!) and experience the Captain Morgan Visitor Center (also on St. Croix) for a historical overview of the rum industry – and more rum tasting, of course!
Beach bars – beach bars abound in the USVI and offer a great relaxed place to enjoy the sunshine, some conversation, live music at times and a Painkiller or frosty Bushwacker or two..
Caribbean lobster – ohhh….the buttery taste of fresh Caribbean lobster! Delicious, but only served in lobster season – between November and June each year.
Hiking – while some people wouldn’t think of hiking as an activity to embark on during a tropical vacation, it’s a great way to experience the USVI – especially St John, where a National Park covers approximately 60% of the island which is crisscrossed with great hiking trails.

What do you love about Hawaii or the US Virgin Islands? Leave a comment for us below! If you have an specific questions on each destination, feel free to contact us at [email protected] and we’ll try our best to advise.

For more information on these and other island destinations, be sure to 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

Humpback Whales in Maui

Every year, thousands of Humpback Whales migrate 3,000 – 4,000 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to the Hawaiian Islands to mate and birth their calves. Their annual visit occurs during the months of October – April, with the prime viewing season reported to be late January to early March.

In Maui, one of the best places to spot the whales is in the shallow channel (500 – 600 feet) between Maui, Lanai and Molokai where locals report that at times you can look out from your hotel room and see dozens of whales frolicking and breaching!

We are headed to Lanai next and will be taking the ferry over. Although it’s early in the season, we have our fingers crossed that we will get to experience on of the beautiful creatures while making the journey. There are also several tour companies that will take you out on the water where you might get a closer glimpse and some even guarantee a whale sighting (during certain months) during your excursion!

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For now, the only humpback whales that we have experienced (in Hawaii) are the ones depicted in some of the stunning artwork found on island. Our favorite so far – the incredible blown glass sculptures created at the Makai Glass Maui in Makawao – which also happens to be right next door to the Hali’imaile Distilling Company where Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum is made.

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Have you experienced the Humpback Whales in Maui? Tell us about it!

To see more island posts, 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

2016 Holiday Gifts for Island Lovers!


Do you have an island lover on your list that has been especially “good” this year? Or, are you in need of something tropical to fill your stocking? Well grab a glass of good rum and check out this list of Holiday Gifts for Island Lovers! (and use code HOLIDAY10 at checkout for 10% off your order)

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Deck your tree with our Santa Enjoying a Little Rum Therapy or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere ornament!

rum-therapy-hats-600-oRum Therapy Hats! Pirate Bones, Island Girl & Rum Therapy Cures What Ails Ya Pigment Dyed or Distressed in lots of great colors.

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Sarongs and Batik Headhuggers! Headhugger in 4 colors, Full Length Hand Stamped Batik Sarong in Gift Box and Mini Sarong.

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Brand new Rum & Cigar Club Tee! Sips and Sticks baby…

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Men’s & Women’s Life Is Short Tees! Men’s Tee, Women’s Tee, Women’s Tank
Check out our other Men’s Tees & Women’s Tees too!

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Beautiful Caribbean colored Fire Opal Jewelry Sets! Choose from Palm Trees, Starfish & Dolphins.

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Anklets & Toe Anklets! Beautiful around the pool and on the beach. Check our anklets and bracelets here!

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Got a pirate on your list? Our Skull & Bones Bracelet, Pirate Bones Tee and Pirate Bones Hat will bring them “arrrrs” of enjoyment!

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Beach Inspired Necklaces! Salt In The Air, Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses, Sea Turtle & more.

Want to see more? Be sure to check out the Rum Therapy Store, and use code HOLIDAY10 at checkout for 10% off all purchases until November 24!

While you’re at it, check out our Blog Directory by Island for ideas of what to see and do on your next Island Adventure and our Rum Recipes!

And if you haven’t already, be sure to JOIN us on Facebook  for a daily dose of island fun!

Happy Holidays!

Presidential Election Cocktail Menu at Bolongo Bay

This presidential election season, the Caribbean’s most entertaining Super PAC (Party Action Committee), Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, is letting constituents vote with their taste buds. Located in the US Virgin Islands, St Thomas is a US territory. While citizens of the US territory don’t have the right to vote, they still have the right to assemble. In island tradition, that’s still a great reason to party. Lobbyists and pollsters can stay back on the mainland because Bolongo Bay’s mixologists have created a ballot of campaign cocktails for all to enjoy.

Bolongo Bay Cocktail

Available now through Election Day, this special menu lets guests rally for their favorite affiliation, the Cocktail Party. Bolongo Bay will host an Election Night Party on November 8, 2016, featuring all-American food, Presidente beer buckets, live music and its widescreen televisions tuned in for results. Once the president-elect is announced, Bolongo Bay will continue to serve his or her “namesake” beverage through Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

Bolongo Bay’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Cocktail Menu includes:

  • Trumpical Punch: This swirl of controversy mixes up USVI strawberry and raspberry rum, topped with a comb over of cranberry juice. Served on the rocks, it’s going to be “huuuuge” and “make America great again.”
  • Chillary: Coconut rum, blue curacao, splash of pineapple juice and coconut cream become “stronger together” when shaken. Unlike 33,000 emails, this is served uncharacteristically straight-up.
  • Rum for the Border: Can’t handle the craziness? Start a new life with this mix of coconut, pineapple, citrus and banana rums and fruit punch for the win.
  • Screw’d Either Way: If the final two candidates lack “ap-peel” let this mix of orange vodka, orange juice and a splash of Sprite drown the sorrows. Served on the rocks…with a chaser of “hard place.”
  • Server Dilemma: The secret is out…banana liquor, blackberry brandy and pineapple juice with a splash of grenadine. Served on the rocks, it can only be ordered through Iggies private email server.
  • Under Audit: The ingredients are under audit. Happens every year. Surely everyone understands. While this information is classified, Bolongo Bay is willing to release them, but only to guests who visit.

    Known as the Caribbean’s most entertaining beach resort, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St Thomas offers 365 days of fun, sun and rum year round. Find out more on the Bolongo Bay website.