Winter Fantasy: JetBlue and the U.S. Virgin Islands Heat Up a Cold Boston Night
While a chill pervaded the December air and holiday lights twinkled nearby, Boston’s Eastern Standard Restaurant exuded a hot Caribbean vibe as the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism and JetBlue celebrated the kick off of JetBlue’s first non-stop service from Boston to St. Thomas.
Members of the Mom Central team attended the media reception, and we immediately took a deep, relaxing breath as we soaked in the warm, friendly Caribbean spirit, took note of the placards of the white sand beaches of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and feasted on such fabulous Caribbean fare as fried conch, crab dip with plantain chips, jerked goat meatballs, and chicken skewers. Representatives from Cruzan Rum kept the event hopping with festive drinks, including an amazing Christmas cocktail.
A cool steel drum echoed throughout the evening, and talented Caribbean dancers – flown in from the U.S. Virgin Islands for the occasion – added to the festivities with two spirited performances while clad in green and gold sequins and headdresses peppered with elegant ostrich feathers.
Our team mingled with representatives from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, where we learned about the easy logistics of a Boston to St. Thomas winter getaway – did you know you don’t need to bring a passport if you’re a U.S. citizen? And that by leaving Boston in the morning on JetBlue, you can find yourself relaxing on the beach, rum drink in hand, by 3 p.m.?
We loved talking with representatives from some of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ top hotels, resorts, and facilities – including Starwood Resort Collection, Cane Bay Dive Shop, Marriott Caribbean, Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort – who echoed the welcoming warmth seen all over the U.S. Virgin Islands and shared with us details of their properties’ incredible amenities such as ocean-side access, spa treatments, and family-friendly attractions.
The evening also featured the culinary art of Orlando Santos, a contestant on Season Two of Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts. Santos, a St. Croix native, drew upon his island heritage and experiences to develop a dessert showpiece for the event that featured island plantation shutters and a rose-colored hibiscus carved entirely out of chocolate. He later demonstrated how to prepare a dessert – featuring chocolate, almonds, mango, and coconut – that all attendees could enjoy.
But the event’s highlight? Two separate drawings for a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands! And … on the second drawing? Whose name did the representatives from Sugar Bay Resort and Spa draw – but mine! So, sometime this winter – while everyone I know will brace themselves against Boston’s snow and arctic temperatures – I’ll be relaxing on the beaches of St. Croix and St. Thomas, experiencing everything the U.S. Virgin Islands can offer – and more.
Disclosure: Two members of the Mom Central Consulting team were invited to attend the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Winter Warm-Up and won a random drawing of a four-day, three-night complimentary U.S. Virgin Islands trip, with airfare provided by JetBlue.