live blog: tanning update

As if to prove yesterday’s point,  I opened Thursday’s NY Times – how last century, I know – and found an 8-page supplement of Caribbean deals and discounts.  I love it when I’m right.

But more interestingly, it got me curious about just how much prices have changed in a year. So I did a quick search of deals at the five resorts I had mentioned in 2009 and the results surprised me.  Far from coasting back to normal, it seems like the travel industry continues to take some serious knocks – especially down among the islands.  Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Bermuda are being particularly aggressive in introducing credit and cash-back schemes to encourage travelers.  So too are the huge cruise liners that depend on volume.  Even tiny Anguilla, an upscale island that’s suffering through an expansive development push that coincided with the real estate bust, is reaching out in search of travelers with cash to spare.

I wonder when we’ll hit the proverbial bottom?  Until then, however, nobody can really be faulted for taking advantage of the steals that are there for the taking.

You think the discounts at Marley Resort & Spa were good?  Book your trip through www.bahamas.com and you can get an air credit of up to $400 per person.

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort has a 5-night package available through American Express Vacations for an unbelievable $515, including a $250 resort credit.

Plan a stay at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino by April 8 and room rates – good through the end of 2010 – start at just $183.75.

Every third night is free at Radisson St. Martin Resort, Marina & Spa.  Plus they’re also tossing in free daily breakfast and in-room internet.

Surprisingly, Tides Riviera Maya doesn’t seem to be suffering like the rest of the region.  The website lists only a 10% for stays booked 30 days in advance – a far cry from last year’s free airfare.

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