The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare and seven nights' accommodations, from $724 per person—plus taxes of about $69.
When: Dec. 20, 2008-April 19, 2009.
Gateways: Philadelphia; add $363 for Houston, $380 for Miami, $709 for New York City; additional cities are available.
The fine print: The offer reflects a $300 discount off the regular per person price for this package—plus, it includes a free seventh night. Hotel taxes and fuel surcharges are included, but airport taxes and fees are about $69 per person. The rate does not include airport-hotel transfers or breakfast. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $472. To get the discount, use the promotional code STX300 at the time of booking. St. Croix is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, so no passport is required. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: Oct. 31, 2008; afterwards, regular rates apply.
Contact: US Airways Vacations, 800/455-0123, usairwaysvacations.com.
Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest round-trip airfare between Philadelphia and St. Croix starts at $527 (including taxes) for departures in mid-January (multiple carriers). For an additional $266, US Airways covers airfare as well as a seven-night stay at a resort and taxes. Besides, this offer saves you up to $300 off the standard rate for this US Airways package.
Trip details: The package includes round-trip airfare to St. Croix on a US Airways carrier and seven nights' accommodations at the Hotel Caravelle in the historic district of Christiansted, the capital of the former Danish West Indies.
The waterfront hotel has an old-world feel to it. The 43 air-conditioned rooms sport pastel hues and flower patterns and come with either a king-size bed or two double beds, a private bath, a refrigerator, cable TV, and other amenities. Some rooms have a view of Christiansted Harbor and the ocean, while others overlook the boardwalk or the outdoor pool.
As far as good dining options are concerned, you don't have to look far. The hotel is home to the award-winning RumRunners restaurant, which serves a combination of Caribbean and continental cuisine and features outdoor seating by the water.
Water sports run the gamut from sailing to windsurfing to snorkeling. A variety of scuba-diving packages is available, with daily departures from the hotel dock. Kids will love the St. Croix Aquarium, a short walk from the hotel.
Aside from having plenty of fun in the sun, visitors to the island can also add shopping to their vacation to-do list—especially since it's duty-free. You'll find many different types of stores at the Caravelle Arcade and the Pan Am Pavilion, both within walking distance of the hotel.
US Airways is offering similar air-and-seven-nights packages for St. Croix at alternate hotels for slightly higher prices, such as from $878 at the Palms at Pelican Cove and from $961 at the Carambola Beach Resort.
Note that this promotional offer isn't valid for stays that are longer than seven nights, so you won't be able to add additional nights. For tips on what to do in the area, visit the island's official tourism Web site.
Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.