Category Archives: Divi Carina Bay

Team Member Spotlight: Patricia Fiske

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An event manager at a busy resort has plenty to keep on her plate. When many of those events are weddings, the job gets even more complicated. We recently chatted with Patricia Fiske, Catering Sales Manager and Wedding Coordinator for Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort on St. Croix, to learn more about what she does and what makes it all so rewarding.

How long have you been working for Divi?

I started with Divi back in 1999, when we first opened, as a bartender, a job I really loved. Meeting our guests on a daily basis was a great experience. I left the island after the events of 9/11 because, as you can imagine, we had virtually no tourists here for a long time. I moved back in 2006 after my first grandchild was born – nothing could have kept me away! The position of Catering Sales Manager was open, and seemed like a great fit for me, I’m highly organized and love working with people and that is definitely a requirement for this job!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Weddings are the most challenging aspect of what I do, because they have to be perfect – no room at all for error! We do a lot of destination weddings, but I have to say we’re also among the favorite locations to get married for the local brides and grooms of St. Croix and the USVI. Building trust is so important for destination brides trying to plan their dream wedding when they’re so far away, so keeping the lines of communication going is crucial. For our St. Croix and USVI locals, they know our beach is picture-perfect, and we can accommodate large and small groups.

We’re also popular for business groups, special honeymoons and anniversaries.  People simply love the convenience and price point of an all-inclusive resort, plus our banqueting facilities are the largest on the island.

Is planning a local wedding much different than planning a destination wedding?

The local weddings require much less input from me. The local couples usually have their own friends and family to fill the roles that I typically fill with a destination couple. They often have their own photographer and their family minister, and they may choose to bring their own flowers, cake, DJ and so on. For those couples, who know the island well, the resort’s East End location offers a spectacular beach setting for the ceremony and convenient banquet rooms for the reception. Local wedding couples appreciate the air-conditioning in the banquet rooms, and don’t care that much for an outdoor reception, whereas Stateside couples enjoy a tented poolside location or receptions on the beach.

What does Divi Carina Bay offer for weddings that no one else on the island can deliver?

We offer a truly affordable wedding package that starts at $530. Couples can customize with several add-ons, but the most popular addition, one hour of professional photographer, brings the total to just $1,056. When you consider the high cost of airfare, our price point makes Divi Carina Bay a very desirable destination wedding option for couples on a budget. Of course, St. Croix is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, so American family members don’t need passports to attend. When you consider that we’re also the only all-inclusive resort on the island, and one price really means all the food and beverage and entertainment is taken care of for their guests during their stay, it really makes sense that we’re such a popular destination wedding venue.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

When we put on a perfect event – especially a wedding – it’s really satisfying. I also became a minister of the Universal Life Church about five years ago, and performing wedding ceremonies is very moving for me. I become so attached to my brides that I miss our emails when the wedding is over. Vow renewals are also really special – I did one recently for a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary, and their son organized the whole thing as a surprise. Mom cried like a baby!

Divi Resorts Ditches Straws to Reduce Pollution & Promote Eco-friendly Efforts

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Divi Resorts is getting rid of plastic straws at all of its Caribbean resorts on Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Maarten & St. Croix, as part of its “Divi Green” initiative.

According to National Geographic, Americans use 500 million straws daily and 8 million tons of plastic trash flows into our world’s oceans every year. While plastic drinking straws are not the top contributor, these tiny tubes are unnecessary and have become a huge problem for the beautiful Caribbean islands and the creatures that call them home. Their size makes them one of the most insidious polluters because they entangle marine animals and are consumed by fish. Divi Resorts hopes to curb this pollution by removing straws from all of its resorts, effective immediately.

“Our goal is to take an active role in protecting and maintaining the beauty of our tropical islands and the creatures that call them home,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “We’ve always been focused on green initiatives, through our Divi Cares program, and searching for ways to improve our sustainability, so this is just another way we can do our part to help the environment.”

Divi Resorts has been embracing the green movement on its Caribbean islands for years, with initiatives such as water conservation, energy management and waste management programs created to save valuable resources, reducing energy usage and efficiently recycle waste. In addition, Divi Resorts staff participate in workshops and seminars conducted by environmental committees, local government organizations and non-governmental environmental organizations to increase awareness and spread the word about sustainable living. These programs have earned Divi Resorts many awards and recognitions including the Barbados Environmental and Sustainable Tourism Award.

“We’re proud to say we’re putting our best foot forward when it comes to ‘going green’ on our resorts,” said Galaverna.

Travelers looking to stay at Divi Resorts can find information on great Caribbean vacation deals at www.diviresorts.com and also enter to win a free Caribbean Summer Vacation (contest ends April 11, 2018).

Divi Resorts Assists Hurricane Irma Relief FEMA Workers in St. Croix

As the Hurricane Irma clean up process begins in The US Virgin Islands, representatives at Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort & Casino in St. Croix are lending a helping hand by providing housing and meals to relief workers.

Divi Carina Bay and the island of St. Croix escaped Hurricane Irma’s damage mostly unscathed, allowing the resort to reopen for business mere days after the storm. Due to its close proximity to St. Thomas and St. John, St. Croix has quickly become the command center for the recovery process on those islands.

“After Hurricane Irma hit nearby islands, we knew we needed to do our part to help in any way possible,” said Divi Resorts President & COO, Marco Galaverna. “Whether it’s a place to stay or a full belly to start the day, we’re happy to open our doors to these brave men and women, while we continue to host guests.”

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Bartlett, mission commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing force from Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, says the outstanding support he’s received from the Resort has been invaluable to his team and their recovery efforts.

“Divi’s help has ensured that our force has adequate rest and nourishment as we aggressively work to help our fellow Americans and neighbors impacted by Irma’s devastation,” said Bartlett.

The 72 Airmen on site are assisting those in need by providing capabilities such as search and rescue and personnel recovery, airlift of humanitarian supplies, medical care and aeromedical evacuation – capabilities Bartlett says wouldn’t be possible without Divi’s help and hospitality.

“We would be unable to provide this support if it was not for Divi Resorts and its staff allowing us to get the rest we need to continue to do this work every day that we are here in St. Croix,” Bartlett explained.

Galaverna added that Divi Resorts provides a 20% military discount to all members of the military throughout the year.

“Divi proudly offers one of the largest military discounts in the industry, 365 days a year,” Galaverna said. “Active or retired, and we extend our offer to firefighters and police officers, too.”

Divi Carina Bay Resort remains open for business to guests and will be on hand to help as needed while cleanup continues on St. Croix’s sister islands.

Dive on St. Croix: Introducing All-Inclusive Dive Packages

dive on st. croix

Dive on St. Croix. Courtesy of SnorkelingDives.com/Flickr.

You can dive on St. Croix and get a luxe all-inclusive experience—you don’t have to choose! Discover the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation when you book one of our brand-new five-night or seven-night dive packages at Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort.
St. Croix is a diver’s dream, with many beaches, vibrant coral reefs, shipwrecks, river canyons and plenty of crystal blue water to explore. Dive the famous Cane Bay Wall that runs about 7 miles parallel to the northern shore of St. Croix. It’s rated as one of the top dive spots in the Caribbean with its beautiful, living coral garden home to an enormous variety of tropical fish and other aquatic life. The year-round water temperature averages around 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and visibility ranges from 60 to 100 feet.

Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort is the only all-inclusive on St. Croix, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a little bit of everything—from indulgent amenities to exciting activities. Divi Carina Bay features one of the only casinos on the island, three restaurants with bars, two freshwater pools, tennis courts, complimentary mini golf, kids’ club, non-motorized water sports, nightly entertainment, Wi-Fi and much more.

Our new all-inclusive dive packages, rolled out this summer for the first time ever, offer the best of all worlds for you to enjoy:

5-Night Dive Package

-Includes 5 nights accommodation, unlimited meals and beverages, 6 tanks, 6 boat dives, 3 days diving transfers, round-trip airport transfer

-2017 rates start at $1,275 per person*

7-Night Dive Package

-Includes 7 nights accommodation, unlimited meals and beverages, 10 tanks, 10 boat dives, 5 days diving transfers, round-trip airport transfer

-2017 rates start at $1,819 per person*

To book one of these packages, call 1-800-338-3843 or email info@canebayscuba.com. Dive on St. Croix with the best!

*See our website for details.

How to Experience the 2017 Solar Eclipse in the Caribbean

2017 solar eclipse in the caribbean

Partial solar eclipse, 2012. Image courtesy of Takeshi Kuboki.

In case you haven’t heard, the first total solar eclipse since 1918 to sweep across the U.S. is coming up on August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse happens when the moon temporarily blocks any part of the sun—solar eclipses only last a few minutes, but are spectacular to watch. What if you live outside the path of this year’s eclipse, though? Accommodations inside the path are growing increasingly rare. Rather than fighting for the last room at a roadside motel, you might consider watching the 2017 solar eclipse in the Caribbean. You’ll find fewer crowds, more little luxuries and, well, we have beaches—when’s the next time you’ll be able to view a stunning solar eclipse on the white sands of a beautiful beach?

The direct path of the eclipse passes just north of the Caribbean as it leaves the U.S. The northern Caribbean islands will all experience a solar eclipse at a magnitude around 0.8—the scientific way to say the moon will cover about 80 percent of the sun in those locations.

Our best-positioned resorts are Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten and Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort on St. Croix.  They’re the closest to the eclipse’s direct path. August 21 is approaching fast, so be sure to make your reservations soon! Viewing the 2017 solar eclipse in the Caribbean is sure to be unforgettable. We’re excited to share this fascinating, unique experience with you and your loved ones.

Remember: you should never look directly at the sun. Even during a solar eclipse, the sun can permanently damage your eyes. Space.com recommends buying a pair of eclipse glasses for each person in your party, or creating a pinhole camera (easy instructions are here).

Exploring Buck Island from St. Croix

exploring buck island

St. Croix’s Buck Island, USVI. Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library.

Just off the coast of St. Croix lies Buck Island, a small, uninhabited patch of land that also happens to be a national monument. The National Park Service protects the island and the surrounding reef, which sees about 50,000 visitors per year. Snorkelers enjoy exploring Buck Island and swimming its underwater trail—one of only three in the United States. Turtle Beach, on the west end of the island, has picture-perfect white sands and turquoise waters, perfect for relaxing. It was voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic readers.

Exploring Buck Island can be difficult to do on your own. In order to preserve the vibrant marine life of its coral reef, it is only accessible by boat. If you’re staying at Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort on St. Croix, however, this natural wonderland is just a short boat ride away. Family-owned and -operated Buck Island Charters is the only chartered tour company that takes visitors to Buck Island on sail power alone, and it’s been doing so since 1968.

exploring buck island

Sun on the water off Buck Island. Photographer Ellen Sanpere. Courtesy of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

It’ll be smooth sailing aboard one of their two trimaran sailboats, the Teroro II or the Dragonfly, with Captain Carl or Captain Heinz at the helm. They’ll treat you to a personalized tour of Buck Island National Monument that includes sailing, snorkeling and hiking.

The half-day trip aboard the 42-foot Teroro II departs the Green Cay Marina at 9 a.m., returning by 2 p.m. at the latest. The cost is $75 per person; for children ages 11 and under, the cost is $55 each. Children ages two and under are free.

“Weather permitting, we sail to the underwater trail first and spend an hour there snorkeling,” says Captain Carl. “We provide all the snorkel gear and excellent instruction with a guided tour through the marine garden and time to do your own exploring. We then sail over to Turtle Beach and spend about one-and-a-half hours there. You can go on a self -guided hiking and photo tour, or snorkel some more, or just enjoy the beach.”

The 38-foot Dragonfly is also available for private charters, for those interested in a more customized experience. The Dragonfly can accommodate groups of up to six people, with a charter rate of $570.

Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit, beach towel, sunscreen, hat or cover-up, water shoes, camera, bottled water and anything else you’d like to eat or drink during the trip.

Captain Heinz and Captain Carl are a father-son team that have been sailing the St. Croix waters for more than 30 years. They enjoy sharing their local knowledge with visitors and would love to have you aboard!

To reserve your spot on Captain Heinz or Captain Carl’s next excursion, call 340-7218-3161 or email teroro@msn.com. Both are U.S. Coast Guard certified and National Park Service approved. For more information on Buck Island Charters and exploring Buck Island, visit www.gotostcroix.com/heinz. Rates and trip details are subject to change.