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Sapphire Beach Resort And Marina, St. Thomas

Contributing editor Laura Sutherland grades a popular family resort that has changed management on their effort and accomplishments, and notes what needs improvement. Located at the east end of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as far from the hustle and bustle of shopper frenzied Charlotte Amalie as you can get, is the Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina, formerly known as the Doubletree...

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San Vicente, Forever In My Heart

San Juan, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, California, Guatemala City, Guatemala, I've been to all those amazing places all that share a special memory in my mind. But they were all vacations taken for pure pressure. I never found myself being the kind of person to change the world or even have a major impact on it. I have also never found myself the kind of person that can be thrown completely...

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My First Missionary Trip To The Dominican Republic

I never expected that a beautiful country such as the Dominican Republic could have such poor living conditions and lack basic infrastructures.  I was completely culture shocked when I realized that not everyone in the world lives as Americans do and everyone is not as fortunate as I am.   My parents are Christian missionaries.  They often travel in order to bring assistance to...

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A Summer In Mexico

Of all the trips I have ever been on, the one that I hold most significant would be my journey to Mexico in the summer of 2006. That summer was a summer that had loomed long and unexciting during the school months prior. With no tropical vacationing excursion to look forward to and no plans to go to summer school, I felt driven by an antsy urge...

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Jamaica; not a beautiful place at all.

"Whoo-hoo!" I finally get to go out of the country on my own, meaning no family members tagging along. I was thrilled. It was finally time for a change in me, the people, and the world. I arrived to Kingston Jamaica where the humidity felt like 100 degrees. Being in a sweater and sweatpants made me feel like I was about to have a heat stroke, especially because where I came from had 0 degree...

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Tragedy Can Happen When You Travel

"That could never happen to me!" Probably everybody, of any age, has uttered this saying at one time or another. But a heartbreaking news story released by Travel Weekly is a harrowing reminder that this belief could not be more misguided. Earlier this week, a group of friends on a snorkeling trip in Cancun were told to jump into the water when the catamaran they were on began to...

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Teens and Hotels: What Do They Really Want?

There are many things that a hotel should have to appeal to a teenager. Here are a few amenities that make my time in any hotel more enjoyable.  My Top Five Requirements: 1. A TV with full cable and VCR or DVD player and a video game system that you don’t have to pay to play (or you pay a small one-time fee.) 2. A swimming pool or multiple pools with...

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My SCUBA Class

SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (and a great time as well!) My first (and hopefully not last) experience occurred during my 1999 vacation to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. The resort I went to, called Beaches, was an “all- inclusive” and they were offering a How To Scuba Dive ‘resort...

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Dreaming of Exotic Islands: Puerto Rico

One of my dreams has always been to travel to an exotic island. I thought Puerto Rico would be an ideal place. A commonwealth country of the U.S., I pictured it to be similar to Miami with Spanish-speaking people. So, for my first trip out of the country, I went to San Juan in 2001. It was more beautiful...

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Boscobel Beach Resort, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

When my family and I ventured off to Jamaica to take a 10-day holiday in 1998 we chose the Boscobel Beach Resort so that there would be plenty for my sister and I to do and my parents could have the opportunity to lounge by the pool and soak up the sun. If you have active older children as both my sister and I were, they can hop down to the beach to learn how to water ski one day, sail the next,...

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