Filled with great stories, a friendly demeanor, and a laid-back slow-paced attitude, Jamaica is like the wise old man of the Caribbean. But this wise old man has a wild streak, and superb musical taste. From sitting around getting foot massages drinking Red Stripes on the beach to spending nights cruising the reggae clubs to remote inland resorts where unreachable means unreachable, Jamaica remains one of the Western hemispheres top-rated, diverse and most scenic vacation destinations. Book a package now, and pay less. It also has one of the strangest (and most healthy) promotional packages we've ever encountered.
The Grand Lido Negril Resort and Spa (tel. 800/467-8737; www.grandlidonegril.com) has a "Travel Prescription to Good Health" package that includes the all-coveted flu shot. You read right. After last year's shortage of vaccinations, the hotel is offering a special land-only double-occupancy fall special where $249 per night gets you a beachfront suite with in-room Jacuzzi, free reign with the resort's land and water activities, meals, alcoholic beverages (including top-shelf alcohol), airport transfers, hotel taxes, laundry and dry cleaning (talk about all-inclusive), and if you choose, a flu shot administered on resort property by a professional nurse. Mention the "Health Package" when talking to a phone representative or travel agent to book the trip. Travel is good from September 1 to December 20, 2005 but you must book between August 15 and December 15, 2005. Flu educational materials are available as well. Talk about a healthy retreat!
Best Caribbean Tours (tel. 888/362-2378; www.bestcaribbeantour.com/index1.html) has some air/land package deals from the Midwest, specifically Chicago and St. Louis. Starting at $586 out of St. Louis for a seven-night package, the trip puts you in Negril at a choice of hotels and includes air, accommodations, all meals and drink plus airport transfers and hotel and service taxes. The Chicago deal starts at $659. Travel is good through September 26 with a booking deadline by August 25, 2005.
US Airways Vacations (tel. 800/422-3861; www.usairwayvacations.com) has a three-night quick trip with airfare out of Philadelphia to the Crane Ridge Resort in Ocho Rios starting at $479, down from a starting price of $559. Travel is good for Monday or Tuesday departures between November 11 and December 13, 2005. Other departure cities are available. The Crane Ridge Resort is a three-story family friendly resort with two lit tennis courts about a five block walk to the beach.
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