BEACHES RESORTS chairman Gordon
"Butch" Stewart announced that, starting in January, the firm's 16
all-inclusive properties will be branded as either Classic or
Signature to distinguish the levels of services and amenities
available. Among the new amenities offered will be Butler Service
to guests booking the highest level of suites at the 12 resorts in
the Signature Collection and three of the Classic properties
(Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Ocho
Rios, all in Jamaica). The butlers, trained and certified by the
Guild of Professional English Butlers, will provide in-suite
check-in, unpacking and packing luggage, drawing baths and arranging in-suite
dining. Each Signature resort will have a five-star restaurant and
offer champagne breakfasts, poolside wait service, a late-night
buffet twice a week and themed evenings.
Beaches in St. Lucia, an $80-million, 300-room resort, which will soon begin
construction, will be added to the Signature Collection and will be
the fourth resort in the Sandals family on St. Lucia.
RESTRICTIONS to Grand Cayman
will be lifted on Nov. 20, allowing all categories of air travelers
to enter the island. Restrictions, which have been in place since
Hurricane Ivan in September, limited air travel into Grand Cayman
to Caymanian residents, Caymanian passport holders and relief
workers. Guests are advised to travel with return tickets or
receipts for return E-tickets plus confirmation of accommodations
arrangements; those visiting friends and family must have the names
and street address of their hosts. According to the Department of
Tourism, the island will have 529 rooms available in its hotel
inventory by Nov. 20 as well as 75 restaurants. All hotel rooms,
restaurants and attractions will have passed an inspection process,
conducted by the Dept. of Tourism.
GRENADA welcomed its
first mega-cruise ship on Nov. 9 when Norwegian Cruise Line's 2,000-passenger Norwegian Spirit pulled into the capital of
St. George's. The ship, which was the first large ship to call
since before Hurricane Ivan on Sept. 7, anchored outside the harbor
and the passengers were tendered in to a red carpet welcome that
included steel band music, decorations and a student chorus. Tour
buses and taxis shuttled cruise passengers to several sites on the
island that had been inspected and certified as ready to accept
visitors. Hapag-Lloyd's 420-passenger MS Columbus visited Grenada
Nov. 10. Tourism officials are optimistic that cruise lines now
will resume service on a regular basis.
" Cape Air will launch
scheduled service from San Juan to Vieques, Puerto Rico, with four
flights a day on Dec. 15. One daily flight will serve Vieques from
St. Croix. The new service can be booked through major GDSs.
" The Caribbean routes
of the latest reincarnation of Pan Am, based in Portsmouth, N.H.,
are "on hold," according to a res agent at the carrier's call
center. The line's Caribbean routes included service from Florida
to to San Juan and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico as well as Santo Domingo
and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
DELTA, which offers daily
nonstop service on CRJ-700 aircraft from Atlanta to Providenciales,
Turks and Caicos, will upgrade its Saturday flight to a 757
aircraft during the winter season. An item in the Nov. 4 E-letter
did not clarify the equipment change on Saturdays.