Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter: February 27, 2003

WITH THE THREAT of war causing apprehension among travelers, SuperClubs introduced a revised cancellation policy that is a departure from the series of recent cancellation policy revisions of many cruise lines and hoteliers. Consumers can take advantage of SuperClubs' revised policy only once the bombs start falling over Iraq or a terrorist incident takes place in North America. In the event of such incidents, SuperClubs will allow clients at any time prior to travel to postpone and reschedule their travel for up to 12 months without incurring a $250 per person cancellation fee. The policy applies at SuperClubs' 12 resorts in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Curacao, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Agents' commissions are protected; agents will collect their commission after the client travels. "We felt a need to recognize the obvious concerns among travel agents and travelers. Agents can reassure their clients that their travel plans are safe in these uncertain times," said John J. Issa, the company's executive chairman. SuperClubs' standard policy -- in effect while there is no conflict in Iraq or terrorist incident -- requires 21 days' advance notice to cancel; if a cancellation occurs less than 21 days before a trip, a $250 per person cancellation fee is charged.

VACATION EXPRESS has added Newburgh, N.Y., to its charter route, effective March 6. Before continuing on to its Caribbean destinations, the Vacation Express aircraft will stop en route in Baltimore. Onward destinations include (depending on the day of week and time of year) Aruba; Cancun, Mexico; Costa Rica; and the Dominican Republic. For reservations, visit www.vacationexpress.net.

AIR BYTES
• Continental Airlines and Cape Air will launch a code-share agreement March 8 on selected Cape Air flights from San Juan and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, linking Continental's routes from New York/Newark, Houston and Cleveland. Continental will code share on Cape Air flights from San Juan to Ponce (Puerto Rico); St. Croix and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. From St. Thomas, code-share flights will include St. Croix and Tortola.
• Seaborne Airlines, based in St. Croix, added more flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas during peak morning departure times and readjusted schedules so that more flights operate on a daily basis at the same time each day. On-time departures will be "an even greater priority than in the past, due to the tighter operating schedule," according to Omer ErSelcuk, chief marketing officer. Seaborne also added a daily morning flight from St. Croix to Old San Juan as well as an afternoon departure on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations, call (888) FLY-TOUR.

LODGEPODGE
• Beaches Sandy Bay in Negril, Jamaica, waived the blackout date restriction for bookings on the Beaches is for Everyone package between April 18 and 23. In addition, the $95 per person, per night surcharge has been eliminated during the same time period.
• Sandals added new non-refundable fees for weddings and vow renewals, due to an increase in administration and mandatory government processing and license charges. Effective March 1, the fee for weddings at Sandals' resorts in Jamaica is $150; weddings in all other destinations, $225; and renewal of vows at all destinations, $100.
• Minneapolis-based Prestige Resorts & Destinations will manage the 67-room Hotel Kura Hulanda in Curacao. Prestige also manages properties in the Bahamas, Barbados and Puerto Rico.

PENCIL IT IN
• Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange, April 10 to 12, Barcelo Bavaro Convention Center, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

For details, visit www.drdate.net.
• Solar Energy International Workshop, April 28 to May 9, Maho Bay Camps, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. For details, visit www.solarenergy.org.

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