Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Gert van Dijken, Editor


Caribbean Travel Roundup
Gert van Dijken, Editor
Edition 141
January 1, 2004

Last Update January 12, 2004

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A/ FEEDBACK, PRESS RELEASES AND OTHER NEWS

- Mexico: American Airlines establishes new Dallas flight to Isla Cozumel, Mexico
  • By: Marcia Rowland
  • Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 12:19:12 -0500

COZUMEL, Mexico (Dec. 2, 2003) - Isla Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, announces a new American Airlines daily non-stop flight from Dallas/Fort Worth-to-Cozumel, beginning Jan. 31, 2004.

Service on the new route will be available through Sept. 7, 2004. The Dallas/Fort Worth flights will be operated using 128-passenger boeing 737/800 aircraft. Serving 42 destinations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, American Airlines continues to expand its presence in the region with the addition of the new Cozumel route.

"We are very excited about the new service American Airlines will be providing to Cozumel," said Gaston Cantarell Diaz, president of the Isla Cozumel Hotel Association and private sector representative for the Cozumel Trust Fund. "The addition of the new flights to our island illustrates our growing popularity as a preferred destination for travelers."

The added airlift will provide Cozumel with the opportunity to host even more visitors, including golfers visiting the island to play at the Nicklaus-design Cozumel Country Club golf course, honeymoon couples traveling to Cozumel to enjoy quiet beaches, colorful reefs and romantic hotels on the island, and divers choosing Cozumel to experience the world famous reefs and dive sites.

Named "Cuzamil" by the Maya who inhabited it more than 2,000 years ago, Isla Cozumel or "land of the swallows" is located in the state of Quintana Roo, east of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel, approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, has an international snorkeling and diving reputation with the world's second-largest reef network featuring limestone caves, tunnels and rare black coral. Cozumel Reefs National Park, a protected 30,000-acre national area covering 85 percent of the island's dive sites and embracing the southern section of Cozumel, was created in 1996 for the purpose of conserving, monitoring and researching the reef formation and its natural habitat. In 2002 a U.S. News & World Report Travel Agent Survey recognized Isla Cozumel as the North American/Caribbean destination offering the best vacation value. Visit Cozumel on the World Wide Web at www.islacozumel.com.mx.


- Mexico: Isla Cozumel Chosen As Top Winter Vacation Destination in Money Magazine Survey
  • By: Marcia Rowland
  • Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 15:51:51 -0500

COZUMEL, Mexico (Dec. 16, 2003) - Isla Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, has been recognized by a Money magazine survey as one of the top six winter vacation destinations of the year. The survey results, highlighted in the November 2003 issue of the magazine, reveal that among the travel agents, tour operators, frequent travelers and enthusiasts polled, Cozumel provides the perfect winter escape with its easy accessibility from the United States, great vacation value, and diversity, offering different experiences for every traveler.

Rich in history, culture and natural wonders, Cozumel is home to the largest reef system in the Western Hemisphere, the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio, the ecological parks of Chankanaab and Punta Sur and the island's very first eco-golf course, the Nicklaus Group-designed Cozumel Country Club golf course. Cozumel provides travelers with experiences from culture and ecology, diving and snorkeling, beach going and golfing, to dining and shopping.

"We are delighted to be named as a leading vacation destination by Money magazine and happy that travelers view the island as a close and affordable winter haven," said Gaston Cantarell Diaz, president of the Isla Cozumel Hotel Association and private sector representative for the tourism foundation. "It's also exciting to be recognized for the Island's diversity. We are proud that Cozumel attracts all types of travelers including families, honeymooners, and divers."

Named "Cuzamil" by the Maya who inhabited it more than 2,000 years ago, Isla Cozumel or "land of the swallows" is located in the state of Quintana Roo, east of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel, approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, has an international snorkeling and diving reputation with the largest reef network in the Western Hemisphere featuring limestone caves, tunnels and rare black coral. Cozumel Reefs National Park, a protected 30,000-acre national area covering 85 percent of the island's dive sites and embracing the southern section of Cozumel, was created in 1996 for the purpose of conserving, monitoring and researching the reef formation and its natural habitat. Visit Cozumel on the World Wide Web at www.islacozumel.com.mx.


B/ JOURNEYS FOR JANUARY 2004

- Barbados: Bougainvillea Resort
  • By: Robert Mosenkis
  • Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 15:15:25 -0500

My wife and I have spent a week each of the past few winters on Orient Beach, in St. Martin, and will do so again.  However, when US Airways Vacations offered some special deals through early December, we decided to try 4 nites in Barbados.  From the web, we chose the Bougainvillea Resort.  We understand that it has both timeshare and regular hotel facilities.  It's on the South Shore, quite close to the airport.

Our suite was very spacious, with a separate bedroom, and a furnished kitchen/living area with a sofa bed.  The rooms were spotless and the furnishings were adequate (although more light and a TV in the bedroom would've been nice).  The hotel grounds were beautiful, with dozens of varieties of labeled flowering plants and trees, and an attractive free-form pool.  The beach was large enough for the hotel, and we had access to the much quieter beach at the smaller Sand Acres, next door (same owners).  It was a short cab ride into St. Lawrence Gap, with an extensive choice of restaurants for dinner.  We ate at Pisces and Josef's, both of which were excellent, and at David's, which was overpriced (their menu prices don't include the 15% VAT) and didn't live up to Fodor's review.  We also had a wonderful dinner at the Water's Edge restaurant, at the Sand Acres.  We were impressed at the friendliness and helpfulness of just about everyone we encountered on the island.  Here's an example:

Checkout, on our last day, was at 11, but we weren't going to the airport until 2.  So we took our luggage to a storage room and, still in bathing suits, went back to the beach.  The hotel has a comfortable lounge, where guests can shower and change on their last day--a very nice touch.  After we changed, we went to lunch at the hotel's beachside restaurant.  At about 1:30, a chambermaid called to us from the beach, "You left your cellphone in the room safe!"  She handed me a phone, which I recognized as mine.  But I knew that I had given my wife a cellphone when we emptied the safe (lighting wasn't too good in that part of the room).  Turns out that it was similar to mine, but clearly wasn't; I have no idea how I got it.  The chambermaid said that she had checked the luggage room, saw that we were still there, and started looking for us all over the beach.  I couldn't believe that a hotel employee would be that conscientious as to track us down, when she could have simply turned the phone into the lost & found (which I did with the other one).

I'd recommend the Bougainvillea Resort to anyone visiting Barbados.

Bob Mosenkis


- St. Lucia: The Inn on the Bay
  • By: Derek Waldron
  • Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 12:26:30 -0000

We now know what paradise looks like!  

Kathy and Derek WaldronOur holiday at Marigot Bay was undoubtedly the best ever thanks to Normand and Louise and of course, the other guests staying at
The Inn on the Bay.  The views from the Inn were fantastic, and the accommodation excellent.  Our host's hospitality, attention to our every need and the chauffeur service to the bay really made our holiday.

We will never forget morning breakfast spent talking with the other guests.  Enjoying the excellent selection of fruits, homemade bread and all the other items too numerous to mention.  But also the humour.  Normand's jokes really set us up for the day!

We are constantly looking at the photographs of our holiday, the sailing, snorkelling and the Island trips continue to bring back very happy memories.  Also, remembering the great time we had relaxing around the pool with Sandy and Jerry, Richard and Sylvie, Dave and Sharon, Jerry and Chris.  Happy days!

Kathy and I wish Normand and Louise every success for the future and we look forward to returning to THE INN ON THE BAY for that promised reunion.

Kathy and Derek Waldron - Buckinghamshire, UK

 


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