ENTRANTS in the hurricane protection policy lineup are
Expedia.com and Spirit Airlines, joining firms such as Club Med,
Sandals, and SuperClubs, which have had such plans in place for
several seasons. Expedia.com will waive its cancellation fees and
advocate on behalf of clients for travel partners to waive fees for
any hotel or flight affected by a hurricane watch or warning. The
Hassle Free Hurricane Promise applies to customers who have booked
hotels, flights or vacation packages on Expedia.com to any North
American destination (including Mexico and the Caribbean) affected
by hurricane-related problems during the time of travel.
Expedia.coms traveler alert page will now provide more hurricane
reports and offer hotel-by-hotel damage assessments. For details, visit www.expedia.com/hurricanepromise. Spirits Hurricane Buster fare protection program
waives the penalty fee for reservations changes if a hurricane
watch is in effect at customers' origin or destination airports
through Nov. 15. Spirit also negotiated a special rate of $12 per
person for customers who want to purchase Travel Guard insurance to
cover their non-air travel needs. Details can be viewed at www.travelguard.com/partners/spiritairlines.
For air reservations, visit www.spiritair.com.
ORIENTAL, Grand Cayman, the first Caribbean project for
the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, hopes to break ground later this
year in Grand Cayman -- but not on Seven Mile Beach, the islands
most popular and populated stretch of sand. Instead, the 114-room,
$45 million resort will sit on a 10-acre site that features a
950-foot stretch of sand called Barefoot Beach on Grand Caymans
northeastern coast, 35 minutes from the airport and George Town.
Included in the development, which is scheduled to open in 2007,
will be 37 private residences that will be part of the 114-room
count when the owners are not in residence. Oversized guest rooms
and suites, set in low-rise buildings, will fuse Caribbean and
Asian designs. Each unit will offer a balcony or patio with ocean
views and state-of-the-art in-room entertainment systems. Six
restaurants and bars will offer alfresco dining and contemporary
cuisine. Facilities also will include two pools; tennis courts; a
fitness center; an 18,000-square-foot oceanfront spa, with 11
treatment rooms; and a water sports center with a full roster of
activities, including windsurfing, kayaking, diving and snorkeling.
Deep sea fishing, boat rentals and parasailing tours and golf will
be nearby. Mandarin Oriental currently operates 21 hotels with
seven more under development. For details, visit www.mandarinoriental.com.
* United added winter season flights to St.
Thomas from Chicago and Washington (Dulles), effective Dec. 17. The
line will offer three weekly flights from Chicago and four weekly
flights from Washington. United also is adding new service on the
same date from Washington to Nassau, from Washington to Montego
Bay; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and has expanded its
Washington-Aruba service. For details, visit www.united.com.
Sun launched two daily roundtrip flights Aug. 1 between
St. Thomas and St. Maarten. For schedules, visit www.flycsa.com.
" The St.
Kitts Tourism Authority launched its new website at www.stkittstourism.kn that includes 360 virtual
tour photos of island attractions, the option for live chats with
tourism professionals and a booking engine. Information about
hotels, restaurants, events and news also is featured.
destination Web site for Trinidad & Tobago [www.visittnt.com] now features a North American
travel agent finder facility that allows clients to search for a
Trinidad & Tobago Agent Specialist nearest their