Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: July 28, 2005

AIR JAMAICA will suspend its four weekly flights between Boston and Jamaica Sept. 9. The service began in February 2001. Passengers who have been ticketed for travel from Sept. 9 onward will be accommodated on Delta and US Airways. According to Tom Hill, Air Jamaicas chief revenue officer, the suspension of service is part of the ongoing restructuring effort to improve the airlines financial viability. The Boston route now is very costly to operate, and these costs are set to increase even further in the coming months, he said. Since the airlines restructuring began nearly seven months ago, several routes to/from Jamaica have been cut, including St. Lucia, Antigua, Manchester (U.K.) and Houston. In-flight amenities also have been trimmed, and fees added for in-flight alcoholic beverages. Air Jamaica also announced that it would close its Atlanta sales office July 31, although it will continue to offer daily nonstop service from Atlanta to Jamaica. The office opened in April 1988. Air Jamaica now serves 10 U.S. cities, seven Caribbean destinations as well as Toronto and London.

SANDALS RESORTS has broken ground on its $65 million, 180-suite Mediterranean Village addition to Sandals Antigua Caribbean Village & Spa on Dickinson Bay, Antigua, scheduled to open in November 2006. The Mediterranean Village is on six acres of land adjacent to the existing resort. Facilities will include a 15,000-square-foot pool with a swim-up bar, whirlpool and cabanas, 9,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, an Italian restaurant, a Cricketers Pub serving local and imported ales, retail space, personalized butler service and separate check-in areas. The suites will range from 11 one-bedroom villa units with private pools to 21 one-bedroom penthouse suites, 14 executive suites and 134 junior suites. The 193-room Sandals Antigua resort recently added private plunge pools to its 10 garden suites. For details, visit www.sandals.com.

SONG, Delta Air Lines low-fare air service, launched weekly nonstop service between New York (JFK) and Aruba July 23. Songs Caribbean routes from JFK include nonstop daily service to San Juan and Nassau. For details, visit www.song.com.

LODGEPODGE

" The Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino in the Bahamas will introduce daily live poker play Sept. 1, according to Baha Mar Development Corp, the hotel group that recently took over ownership and management of the Wyndham, along with the Radisson Cable Beach Resort & Golf Club and Nassau Beach Hotel. Games will include Texas Hold'em and Seven-Card Stud. The 35,000-square-foot Crystal Palace Casino is undergoing a $6.75 million renovation, set for completion in October. For information, visit www.cablebeachresorts.com.

" Musha Cay, a private island resort in Exuma, Bahamas, offers agents a one-time bonus of $10,000 that can be applied to the clients stay or used by the agency. Booking deadline is Dec. 15 for four nights or more. Musha accepts reservations from only one party for up to 24 guests at a time. The island rental fee per day is $24,750. For parties or eight or less, there is no additional charge. From parties from nine to 24, there is an additional daily charge from $1,150 per person. For details, visit www.mushacay.com.

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