Category Archives: St. Croix

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).

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.

The Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from Each Divi Island

best caribbean souvenirs from each divi island

When you’re dreaming of a past vacation, the easiest way to relive it is to bring out a few mementos. Souvenirs can help you recall the good times and the great stories from your trip. The best souvenirs communicate something about the spirit and the personality of the place you visited. We gathered a few suggestions of great souvenirs you can bring home from the Caribbean. Each of these islands is home to at least one Divi Resort—we hope you have an opportunity to check them all out!

aruba aloe

Courtesy of Aruba.com

Aruba: Aloe products

Aruba Aloe is the oldest aloe company in the world. Founded in 1890, it’s also the only aloe company in the world that grows, harvests and manufactures its products right on-site. Its products are sold pretty much everywhere in Aruba. You can also visit the Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory Store.

Barbados: Pottery

Earthworks Pottery is worth the short trip to the Edgehill Heights section of the St. Thomas parish. Everything at this workshop is authentically Caribbean, handcrafted by local artists. It offers a range of plates, bowls and vases, available as unique pieces or as part of beautiful sets. Earthworks is also happy to ship fragile items back home if you’re worried about their survival in your suitcase.

bonaire cactus liqueur

Bonaire: Cactus liqueur

Cadushy Distillery, located in Rincon, is the only distillery on the island of Bonaire. It’s most well-known for Cadushy of Bonaire, a cactus liqueur with a cooling lime taste, the earliest entry in the distillery’s Island Liqueurs line. Sign up for a tasting and learn first-hand how the spirits are produced. Don’t forget to bring home a few bottles of your favorite flavors.

st. croix crucian love bracelets

Courtesy of GoToStCroix.com

St. Croix: Crucian bracelets

When you visit St. Croix, you’ll notice many local women wearing a unique type of bracelet. The St. Croix Hook or the Crucian Hook is a band-style bracelet with a horseshoe-shaped clasp. This clasp (or “hook”) represents true love on St. Croix. These bracelets come in a wide variety of styles, and you can find them in most local jewelry shops.

St. Maarten: Guavaberry liqueur

Although the wild-growing guavaberry can be found elsewhere in the Caribbean, locals speculate St. Maarten is the only place it truly thrives. It’s a central part of local folklore and traditional cuisine. The juice of these berries (no relation at all to guava) is mixed with rum and sugar and then aged to create guavaberry liqueur. Sample the sweet, light concoction and bring home a few beautiful bottles from Ma Doudou, a small shop just off Front Street in Philipsburg.

 

Witness “Mango Melee” on St. Croix This Month

mango melee st. croix

If you’re visiting St. Croix in July, you’re in luck. Every Saturday during the month of July, St. Croix locals celebrate tropical fruits (especially the mango) during the Mango Melee. This festival at the St. George Botanical Garden educates the public on home growing techniques and the many ways to use this special fruit. You can even taste the winning recipes from a culinary competition.

To get into the mango spirit, try mixing up this mango mojito recipe from Cruzan® Rum, the major rum producer that has called St. Croix home since the 1800s.

Cruzan® Mango Mojito

Ingredients

1 part Cruzan® Mango Rum
4 chunks of fresh mango
A dash of fresh lime juice
A splash of simple syrup
4-6 mint leaves
Club soda

Muddle mint and mango chunks with simple syrup in a tall glass. Add lime juice, Cruzan® Mango Rum with ice. Stir and top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Top Caribbean Summer Destinations for 2017

As you plan your summer vacation, don’t forget about the Caribbean! It’s beautiful part of the world year-round, including in summer. You’ll find all the familiar things you love about the Caribbean—the amazing beaches, cooling tropical breezes and delicious food—and fewer of the things you love a little less. The crowds are thinner in summer, and seasonal hotel rates are lower. Check out a few of the best Caribbean destinations for summer travel, as recommended by the Caribbean Journal: Barbados, Aruba, St. Maarten’s French side and St. Croix.

We love traveling in the Caribbean during summer. It’s the perfect time to take your kids, since they’re out of school. And with the reduced crowds, it can be that much easier to score a palapa on the beach for a day.

Is it time for your family to think Caribbean? What do you enjoy about the Caribbean in summer?