Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter July 31, 2003

GOGO WORLDWIDE VACATIONS' fall Caribbean sale features package savings of more than 50% at 220 hotels in more than 20 Caribbean destinations for bookings made by Aug. 22 for travel Aug. 18 to Dec. 14, the company said. Air-and-hotel-package rates start at $429 per person, double, for a five-night stay at Gran Ventana Beach inclusive resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, with air from Miami. Gateway cities also include New York and Philadelphia; departures are available from other cities as well. Rates cover roundtrip midweek air, accommodations, transfers, taxes and service charges. Shorter and longer stays can be arranged; rates at inclusive properties include meals, tips and more. For details, call (866)229-4999.

LODGE PODGE
• Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica named Tricia-Ann Bridge to the new post of tour operation relations manager. Bridge, formerly with Air Jamaica Vacations, will work with operators in the U.S., Canada and Europe "to generate a greater awareness of the resort through sales and marketing efforts," according to Myrtle Dwyer, director of sales.
• The 72-room Fairmont Royal Pavilion Barbados reopens Oct. 1, following extensive renovations to public areas, guestrooms and restaurants. In-room amenities include Internet access, DVD players, 27-inch flat-screen TV sets and private balconies. For rates and packages, call (800) 441-1414.
• Effective Jan. 1, Royal Plantation Spa & Golf Resort by Sandals in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, will only accept bookings made by travel agents through a select group of six operators, which include Air Jamaica Vacations, Classic Custom Vacations, Gogo Worldwide Vacations, Mark Travel, Travel Impressions, and Air Canada Vacations. The policy change is "a new marketing strategy designed to attract an affluent niche market," according to a spokesperson. For details, visit www.sandals.com.
• The 88-suite Carlisle Bay resort will open Nov. 15 in Old Road Village on Antigua's south coast on the site of the former Carlisle Bay Club. Facilities will include a spa with six treatment rooms, an infinity pool, water sports, nine tennis courts, two restaurants, a small cinema, a library and gardens. Rates through Dec. 19 start at $595 per room, double, with breakfast and afternoon tea. For details. visit www.crownluxurytravel.com or call (800) 628-8929.

AGENTS EARN up to 17% commission on US Airways Vacations' air/hotel packages booked at www.vaxvacationaccess.com by Aug. 8 for travel Aug. 14 to Dec. 14 to specific resorts in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Cancun. Commission is 15% for GDS bookings and 10% via the call center at (800) 455-0123.

PENCIL IT IN
• Coral Sex, Aug. 16 to 23, Anse Chastanet Reef near Anse Chastanet Resort, St. Lucia. Great opportunity to observe and photograph annual spawning of coral and marine life. The resort has a seven-night scuba package from $1,575 per person in conjunction with the event. For details, visit www.ansechastanet.com or call (800) GO LUCIA.
• Epicurean Escape, Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, Grand Lido Negril, Jamaica. Foodies' extravaganza with guest chefs, winemakers, cooking demos and classes. For details, visit www.superclubs.com.

OOPS!
• While the euro has been approved as an accepted form of payment in Aruba to facilitate European visitors, the Aruban florin (AWG) and U.S. dollar will continue to be accepted forms of payment, as well. [We reported otherwise in the Caribbean E-letter 7/24/03]. When Europeans pay in euros, change initially will be given in AWGs until a reserve of euros is accumulated. Once a supply is on hand, merchants will give change in euros for payments made in euros. The same holds true for the current situation with the U.S. dollar: If a merchant has enough cash on hand to return change in U.S. dollars, he does. If not, the change is given in AWGs.
• Grand Bahama Vacations' getaway packages booked by Aug. 5 for travel Aug. 1 to Sept. 20 start at $169 for roundtrip air from Cincinnati; Richmond, Va.; Cleveland; and Memphis. Hotel rates start at $59 per person, per night for a three- or four-night package. For details, call (800) 545-1399. Incorrect pricing was given in last week's E-letter.

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