Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor


Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 77
September 1, 1997

Final update 30 Aug 97 1300ET

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JAMAICA: SAN SOUCI RETURNEE REPORT BY DEBBIE HOFFREN

We  got  up at 3:45 and finished getting ready and then left the house 
at  just  after  5 a.m. We got to the city lot at the airport and rode 
the  very full bus to the Sun Country (Funjet) terminal. We got to the 
desk  at  just  after  6 a.m. The line was not too long. We boarded at 
6:40.  The flight was to leave at 7 a.m. but left at 7:20. They flew a 
slightly  different  route  to  save  time,  so  we  ended  up with an 
excellent  aerial  view of Cancun and the entire Yucatan Peninsula and 
Cozumel.  They  fed us a hot breakfast with egg and Danish and muffin. 
They did several beverage services, but only soft drinks were free. 

  We  arrived  at  Sangster at 10:12. An Air Jamaica flight arrived in 
front  of  us, so lines were long. Things were easier now that we have 
passports.   After   claiming  our  bags,  the  Funjet  representative 
directed  us  to  the  Superclubs desk (Braco still had its own desk). 
They  checked  our  travel vouchers and told us the bus would leave in 
15  minutes.  We  both  visited the restroom, and by then, the bus was 
ready  to  go.  We  left  at 11:05. The driver stopped in Rio Bueno 65 
minutes  into  the  ride  after  just  passing  Braco.  He asked the 6 
passengers  if  anyone  wanted  to stop. All said "no", but he stopped 
anyway. We were there for 15 minutes. 

  We arrived at SSL at 1 p.m. We were greeted with, "Welcome home," as 
in  our  previous  visit. We were brought into the lobby for check-in. 
They  brought us a drink. I had champagne. Todd had a dirty banana. We 
were  given  three forms to fill out, and they took our hotel voucher. 
We  were  given two room keys and a safe deposit box key (safe deposit 
boxes  have  been  added  to  rooms  since  our last visit). Our rooms 
weren't  ready,  so  they  invited  us all to lunch at Palazzini after 
giving us an orientation. 

Room 
On  arrival  day,  we went to lunch at Palazinni since our room wasn't 
ready.  After  lunch and a drink at the beach bar (followed by dipping 
our  toes  in  the  water), we went back to the front desk to check on 
our room. By then, it was about 2:30. 
  The  room  was  ready. They loaded our bags and us in a mini van and 
drove  us part of the way to our room. They are now using mini vans to 
do  much  of  the delivery on the property. I had booked an oceanfront 
Jacuzzi  suite.  We  were  pleasantly  surprised  to find that we were 
upgraded  to  the  Bryan Adams Penthouse Suite, room D21. The room was 
wonderful.  It  was  about  twice the size of the Jacuzzi suite we had 
last  time  (which  was  plenty big). The living room was spacious. It 
had  a  couch with coffee table and end table. It had two comfy chairs 
on  wheels.  Located  near  the  chairs  were  a table with teakettle, 
coffee  maker, ice bucket, cups, glasses, and various items for coffee 
and  tea.  In  the  living room, there was also a mini bar (located in 
all  rooms)  with  Pepsi, 7-up, Diet Pepsi, and Red Stripe. No mineral 
water,  but  every  other  day, they brought some. After about 2 days, 
they  ran  out  of  Diet  Pepsi and Red Stripe and began bringing Diet 
Coke  in  cans  and Miller Lite. There was a bottle opener on the side 
of  the  mini bar. There was a large double window over the two chairs 
and  French  doors  off  the right of the living room that opened onto 
the balcony. 

We  had  a  breath-taking  view  from  our  room. We were on the third 
floor.  The  balcony  was much bigger than in the brochure. There were 
French  doors  from the living room and French doors from the bedroom. 
Both  had hooks so they could be opened. Each room had its own digital 
(20  degrees  Celsius and up) remote-controlled air conditioner, so it 
was  possible to open up the French doors in the living room and close 
off  the  bedroom,  while  keeping it cool. The balcony surrounded the 
suite  on all sides. The view was spectacular. We were able to see the 
wedding  gazebo,  ocean,  gardens,  and  beach bar, etc. Two cushioned 
lounge  chairs  and  a  table  and  chairs  were outside. There was an 
enormous  amount  of  room  to  locate them anywhere desired. We could 
always  get  sun or shade, whichever we preferred. We often lay out on 
the  patio  reading or watching the ocean. It was possible to walk all 
the  way  around  the  suite on the balcony. The backside also crossed 
the  entire  suite and was about 5 feet wide. The other side was about 
8  feet  wide.  The other side could also be reached by exiting a door 
in the hall. 
  The television was located in the bedroom and had satellite channels 
such  as  Primetime  24  (networks),  CNN,  ESPN, Disney, TBS, etc. No 
guide was provided. 
 
The room had two closets, a smaller one in the living room and a walk-
in  in  the  hall.  That  one  had  about  15 hangers, a shelf, safety 
deposit  box,  iron,  ironing  board, and a suitcase stand. There were 
extra pillows on the shelf. 
 
The  bathroom  was  tan marble. It had twin sinks. The Jacuzzi was big 
enough  for  two  with a seat at the middle, making it sort of clover-
leafed.  The control was outside the bathroom. The shower was separate 
and  large  with  only  a curtain (no door). Shampoo, conditioner, and 
lotion  were  awkwardly  located  between  the  tub  and  the  shower, 
unreachable  from  either location. Mouthwash, bubble bath, and shower 
cap  were provided. A hair dryer and two outlets were high on the wall 
by  one  sink.  There  was  a  candle in the bathroom and a plant. The 
toilet  had  a  handle  that  pushed  in  and was difficult to work at 
times. 
 
The  bedroom  had  a  stellar view from the bed or off the balcony. It 
was  great  to  just  leave  all  the  curtains  open.  The  room  was 
positioned  to  where  no  one could see in. We had a good view of the 
wedding  gazebo.  The  room  had a ceiling fan. There was a king-sized 
bed,  two  nightstands,  a  phone  with  convenience buttons for front 
desk,  room  service,  spa,  etc.,  a  radio  alarm,  a dresser, and a 
comfortable chair. 
 
Room  service  menus,  laundry  tickets,  postcards,  stationery,  and 
comment card were all provided. 

 Grounds 
The  resort  looks  inviting  upon arrival. Everything is decorated in 
pink.  The  first  encounter  is with the bellman. The bellman station 
places  designs  on  the  wall  and a shelf with quite a few plants. A 
parrot  sits  outside  his  cage greeting guests with such phrases as, 
"pretty  bird".  Off  to  the  left is a short footbridge seen in many 
photos.  It  crosses  over  a small pool of water that houses a little 
waterfall. 
 
The  lobby  has  cherry  furniture. There are lots of couches, chairs, 
etc.  The  front  desk has been modernized with a hidden computer that 
gives  lots of information on guests. Phones are programmed for guests 
to  have  personal  mailboxes.  Anytime  you call the front desk, they 
know  who  you  are.  This won't happen anywhere else on the property, 
though.  The  Casanova  French  restaurant  is off the west end of the 
lobby.  Usually,  the menu (constant) is outside. Outside the lobby is 
La  Terraza  restaurant.  On  buffet nights, that becomes Cafe Lido. A 
library  with  books  in  several  languages, a pool table, and TV are 
inside  a  room off La Terraza. There is almost always an attendant in 
there. 
 
Steps  are  never far away anywhere on the property. Down the steps on 
the  west  side  is  the  Balloon  Bar  and  Terrace. Nightly cabarets 
(except  buffet  nights,  Tuesday and Friday) are held here. The shows 
can  be viewed from the bar or terrace. There is a pool with a manmade 
waterfall  there.  The  bar has restrooms. It also has 5 slot machines 
and  Pac  Man  downstairs.  Down the east steps from La Terraza is the 
bird  aviary.  There  were  always  rolls there, so you could feed the 
birds.  Saw  a few varieties of birds, and it was entertaining to stop 
by,  but  there  were not hundreds of birds. If the back door was open 
to  the  aviary, you could take the steps down to the lower level. The 
lower  level could also be reached by taking stairs and then a winding 
path  surrounded  by  gardens. On the upper level east of the lobby is 
the  beauty salon. Manicures and pedicures are included in the package 
and  arranged  there.  Down  the  path from there is the elevator that 
leads  to the lower level and paths that lead back to lobby or down to 
hidden rooms of the spa. 
 
The  lower  level  of the main facilities houses Charlie's spa, sauna, 
Charlie  the sea turtle, Jacuzzi (now with a nice platform with chairs 
and   decorated  railing--spa  always  the  right  temperature).  Also 
Charlie's  bar  (serving  smoothies,  fruit  drinks,  and bar drinks), 
mineral  pool  with  bar service, outdoor chess set, swings, hammocks, 
Pavilion  workout  area,  indoor  gym,  mineral  grotto,  and  wedding 
gazebo.  The  mineral  grotto had less fish than before, but they were 
bigger.  Todd  really  enjoyed feeding these fish. The first few days, 
we  were  sticking  our  feet  in the cool water there, but we started 
seeing  a  couple  of huge eels--one striped and one solid black-so we 
quit  putting  our  feet in there. Todd also liked to feed the fish at 
Charlie's  spa.  I  enjoyed  feeding the minnows off of the new little 
pier by the grotto. Sometimes the tide was too high, though. 
  Up  the  stairs from the wedding gazebo is more hammocks and a great 
view.  Down  a  path, then down a lot of steps is the beach. The beach 
area  has  quite  a  few  lounge chairs. It was easy to get floats for 
swimming  or  lounging. Towels were near bar, at the watersports area, 
and  at  the  mineral  pool  but  weren't  always easy to get. The bar 
opened  around  10  a.m.  The  beach  grill  opened  around noon. Wait 
service  sometimes  occurred on the beach from around 11 a.m. into the 
afternoon,  but  they  only  came around about every 30 minutes, so it 
wasn't  always  convenient, but nice when offered. There was a Jacuzzi 
on  the  beach  with restrooms nearby. These Jacuzzi was always either 
not  warm  enough or just the temperature that you could sit in it for 
hours.  There  were  several  covered  areas at the beach, including a 
cabana.  There is an outdoor stage. Beachfront rooms aren't that close 
to  the water, but are very convenient. A block of rooms overlooks the 
ocean  directly,  and  other  blocks spread around the main facilities 
have garden or partial ocean views. 
 
The  Palazinni  restaurant  that serves breakfast and lunch is located 
near  the  beach.  Many  sit  outside  under  ceiling fans to view the 
ocean.  An  outdoor  stage is used for fashion shows, entertainment on 
buffet   nights,   etc.  Near  the  stage  is  shuffleboard,  croquet, 
horseshoe,  etc.,  equipment.  Down  the back path from the beachfront 
rooms  are the duck pond and tennis courts. Near this area will be the 
areas  mentioned  in  the expansion portion of this report. There were 
also some hammocks on the lawns. 

Expansion 
They  are  building  a new block of either 33 or 36 rooms to be opened 
on  November  1.  These  rooms  are where the tennis courts used to be 
(now  relocated  past  the  duck  pond down the jogging track). SSL is 
building  a new pool (already under construction), which will cater to 
the  nude  clientele.  A  new  beach with a beautiful view all the way 
down   to   the   cruise  ships  and  Jamaica  Grande  is  well  under 
construction.  Some  staff  are  calling  it  the  second beach, pool, 
Jacuzzi,  etc.  Others  are  calling it the nude pool and beach. There 
are  plans  for  a  beach  bar  down there. These facilities are being 
built  down  the  back  path used for jogging, reachable by minivan or 
car.  The  rooms  to open November 1 are between the current beach and 
the  new  beach. Other future plans are to build more rooms down there 
and  probably  another restaurant after that, as those facilities will 
be  well  isolated from the other dinner restaurants. Currently, there 
are  111 rooms with occupancy in the 80 to fewer than 90 percent range 
and  a staff of nearly 300. They staff to guest ratio will undoubtedly 
go down after the first expansion. 
 
Other  Superclubs  planned  expansions  include building of a new golf 
clubhouse  at  Breezes  in  Runaway  Bay  (renamed to Breezes Golf and 
Beach  Club),  since  the  old  one burned down and the addition of 69 
Jacuzzi  suites  which  will be beachfront. GL Braco will open as Lido 
property  on  November 1, and the nude side should be done by then and 
should  be  huge,  as  the  current  nude  side will be prude, and the 
nearly  complete  Pebbles  will  be  turned  into  the nude side of GL 
Braco.  A  Japanese  restaurant  will  be  built.  The  rooms  may  be 
redecorated.  Twenty-four  hour  room  service  and other GL amenities 
will  be  added. A spa (probably not free) will probably be added, and 
the village will start out open and operate on a "wait and see" but-I-
wouldn't-hold-my-breath-on-it-staying-basis.   Prices  will  skyrocket 
from  Braco Village rates to Lido rates for the next winter season. GL 
Negril  is  adding  more  rooms and building a spa next to the current 
workout  room,  but  they  probably  won't  be  free.  Construction is 
planned  for  a new Hedonism at Runaway Bay, a huge Breezes in Negril, 
and  a  breezes  in  Southern  St. Lucia, all to open ("soon come") in 
1999. Theme seems to be, "we're fruitful, so let's multiply". 

Clientele 
San  Souci  was not as quiet this visit. On our last visit in November 
of  1994, the guests were 85 percent Japanese, 10 percent European and 
5  percent  North  American. Even when we visited the property briefly 
in  December  of  1996, the mix was similar. Recently, the resort lost 
one  of  its two big Japanese markets. It has been replaced, but those 
groups  aren't  booked  until  later  in  July  and  further  on  out. 
Consequently,  the mix was about 85 percent North American, 10 percent 
Japanese  and 5 percent European. On our last visit, the resort was 50 
percent  full.  Now,  percentages  run  in the 80s. The mix was mainly 
ages  30-60.  The guests were mainly upper-middle class types and some 
honeymooners.  There  were about 3-4 weddings a day. Some single women 
were  there  for  the  spa and were in the 35-55 range. Saw one single 
guy.  Most  people  were  fairly  quiet. Those who wanted to chat with 
others  hung  out  at  the beach bar. Nightlife mainly ended by 11:30, 
and  usually  the  entertainment  was  attended  by 10 or less people, 
except on the buffet nights when it began earlier. 

Spa 
The  spa is a great benefit of the San Souci experience. Schedule your 
four  half-hour  treatments  with  Maggie, the spa director as soon as 
you  can  after your arrival. She may call you. Otherwise, press "spa" 
on  your  phone  during  the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or go by the 
office.  The  manicure  and  pedicure  included  in  your  package are 
arranged  at  the  beauty  salon.  Maggie or another staff member will 
generally  schedule  your  appointments  for  one  a  day,  if you are 
available  at  the  times  they  have  open.  After  that, I recommend 
calling  the  spa  in  the morning to find out if any appointments are 
open  for  seconds  at  any of the treatments. This will be a pain but 
can well pay off. 
 
Up  at  the  spa  where the big rock used to sit by itself, a new room 
was added for massage. The rock sits adjacent to that room. 
 
Below is a description of our spa experiences: 
On  Saturday,  I  went to schedule our appointments with Maggie at the 
spa.  She  had  left  us a message the night before. Our light was on, 
but  I was not able to retrieve the message. She asked if I would stay 
for  a  reflexology  appointment  in  3 minutes at 8:30. I did. It was 
given  out by the water and lasted about 25 minutes. The treatment was 
lovely.  The girl powdered each foot, massaged the toes and feet, then 
lotioned  each  foot  and leg and massaged up to the knee. It was very 
relaxing.  Todd  had  the  same  treatment  at  5:30. He had a similar 
experience. 
 
On  Sunday,  we both had a massage a
of  the rooms over the ocean. Mine was upstairs i a room with an ocean 
view,  but  no  ocean noises due to the room being shut because of the 
air  conditioning.  The  massage was full-body on the backside. It was 
very  nice but seemed short. It was very relaxing. Todd's ended within 
one minute of mine. 
 
On  Monday,  I had a facial at 1:30. Todd had one at 5 p.m. The facial 
lasted 25 minutes. It was very nice. 

JAMAICA: SANDALS ROYAL JAMAICAN BY CECILE ELFMAN

Our  trip  starts  on  July  5 with getting the five girls off to YMCA 
Camp  Onyahsa  (third  oldest camp in the nation) located on beautiful 
Lake  Chautauqua  in  western  NY.  For  those  interested in the camp 
please  email  me you won't regret it! Children around the world go to 
this  camp  and  the  price  you  wouldn't  believe! Even hard working 
people  (such as our selfs) can afford to send there children and know 
there  having the time of there lives. Now were off to the Holiday Inn 
in  Toronto  Canada to start our Sunquest Vacation. A three hour drive 
from  Jamestown  NY  and  a  Thousand  dollar  savings  by  booking in 
Canadian  funds. The Inn has a park up to 30 days and ride the shuttle 
to  the airport for staying only one night. No extra charge. It worked 
out to be about $45.00 US. 

We  left  the  Inn  at  7:15am to be at the airport two hours early as 
requested.  Our  flight  was  at  10:00am which left right on time. We 
flew  Royal  Canadian Airlines. This was a straight through charter to 
Montego  bay  on  a  757.  No complaints on food, drinks or movie (all 
included).  Plane landed at 12:25 Jamaican time with lots of clapping. 
This  seems  to be a custom of the returning Jamaicans glad to be home 
and  the  rest  of  us glad to be there! We were routed to immigration 
with  singing  Jamaicans in full costume welcoming us, then off to get 
baggage.  This  was  the only long wait as we were the first to get on 
the  plane  and our bags were the last to get off. We went through the 
"nothing to declare" and then out to main lobby. 

We  were  met  by Sunquest Sandals rep instantly and taken to the bus. 
No  one  tried  to  our  grab bags. We were prepare to be hassled, but 
that  never  happened. The bus driver offered drinks and whatever else 
you  might  want,  but  John made it very clear he was in the Navy and 
was  never  asked  again.  Now  were  off  the  to  SRJ  dropping  off 
passengers  to  SMB  on  the  way. We were greeted at the entrance and 
from  there  in  we  never  lifted  a  bag (thats a big no no, your on 
vacation  Mon).  We  did  the checkin while drinking Champaign in very 
comfortable  chairs  in  the  lobby  and  were given some instructions 
about the resort. 

We  were  taken  to  our room shortly after that with no delay. I then 
went   and   made   our   dinner  reservations  knowing  exactly  what 
restaurants  I  wanted and for what night with all the help I got from 
reading  the  Sandals  boards.  Some  of  the  people  that  paid  for 
Concierge  service  didn't  get  the  times  and  restaurants  we did. 
(Months  of  research!)  We  only  booked the standard room, but as we 
soon  learned  it  was  just  has big as most other rooms but over the 
lobby.  It  didn't  have  a balcony or padio. It didn't bother us, but 
the  only  problem  was  that night the slates in the bed kept falling 
out.  The  next  day  we  were  in  a Grand lux, rm 32 across from the 
bridge  that  leads  to  the main pool and events. Thank god for those 
lose  slats.  The  room  was  the  same as some of the suites with the 
exception  of  no fridge. It was beautiful! I was happy with the first 
room,  so  this  was just icing on the cake. John golfed the first day 
while I changed rooms. 

Don't  make the mistake I did and get caught carrying a bag. The staff 
will  be  all  over you, telling you your on vacation and not allow to 
carry  a  thing!  We made friends instantly and soon everywhere I went 
it  seem  people  knew my name. I guess if you wanted to stay secluded 
you  could,  but thats just not us. We are very social people and love 
to  laugh  and party with others. This was the perfect place for this. 
You  can't  help  but  get involved in the games. Its just plain fun!! 
The  week we were there allot of British were there and it was kind of 
us  against  them,  but  us  Americans and a few Canadians were always 
losing  (except  Norman  and  Shari  (NorShari) were on there team for 
Jeopardy  and  smoked  us!).  Finally we got the right idea and joined 
their  team  at  least  once  or twice so we could join in the winning 
circle.  Its  was a real hoot! John and I gave out coosie mugs with "I 
love  you man! sayings on them to the best male and female playmakers. 
The  winners  were Omar and Jinese. They went crazy over them, running 
around  and  waiving them in the other playmakers faces. It was really 
funny! 

All  the  staff was great right down to our maid Panzie, who we put in 
for  a  special award. She would put flowers in our room every day and 
brought  me  breakfast  from  here  home. She even dragged John to the 
nurses  station  (literally)  when  he was not feeling well. The nurse 
gave  him  medication which took effect immediately. A special note is 
to  the night cook who always let us partake in the food he cooked for 
the  staff.  Not everyone got to sample his fine fare and it gave us a 
true  taste  of  Jamaican  cuisine.  The first part of the vacation we 
spent  trying  to win our sandals which we both did and a key chain to 
boot.  One  more  day  and  we  would have had the T shirts. John also 
golfed  every  morning.  He  loved having his own caddie (the same one 
everyday)  and  learned  alot  from him. He had a regular foursome who 
got  up  at  the  crack  of  dawn every morning to golf. Sandals Royal 
Jamaican  is  the only Sandals allowed to play at Ironshores the other 
resorts  must  use  the  Sandals Country Club to play, but if your not 
staying  in  Ocho Rios or Dunns river its a two to four hour drive and 
a  costly taxi ride. This was one of the reasons we decided to stay at 
the SRJ. 

We  did  go  on  some  excursions  such as the Jamaican Queen. A booze 
cruise  that takes you snorkeling and on to Margueritaville. There you 
can  ride  the  110  foot waterslide. We also went horse backriding. I 
thought  I  would never see the day my hubby got on a horse, but there 
he  was  in  the lead. I was the only won who new how to ride so I was 
taken  ahead of the group for a little more speed. We rode down to the 
ocean  and then up in the mountains for a true look at the country and 
how  alot  of  the  Jamaicans  live.  Our next outing was with another 
couple.  We rented a taxi for the day (recommended by our maid Panzie) 
through  the resort. We paid $70 US a couple and he drove us in an air 
conditioned  mini  van  to  Dunns river all the way telling us stories 
about  things  we  saw  along  the  way. He then took us shopping (our 
choice)  and  then  off  to Sandals Dunn river for a swim and lunch. I 
recommend  doing  this  and  you  can stay as long as you like at each 
place. 

Another  trip we took was through the resort to Sandals Negril for the 
day  for $35 US each. We fell in love with this area and would love to 
stay  there  on  our  next  visit. So lush you thought you were in the 
Pacific  Islands  only  calmer  water.  The  calmest I have ever seen! 
Sandals  Negril  had  a  free  shuttle  several times a day to Sandals 
Beaches  (the family resort). If only they had golf there! Soon come I 
hope!  After  a  relaxing day there we were taken to Rick's Cafe. John 
dove  off  the  cliffs  like an old pro. The place look right out of a 
movie  set.  Unbelievable!  Then  back  to  the resort. Well worth the 
$35.00.  Now  I know alot of you are worried about the drive. Well the 
roads  weren't  as  bad  as  some  here  after  the snow melts and the 
drivers  know  what  there  doing.  On the long drives most of us just 
fell  asleep  waking  only to a bump in the road now and then. Not the 
scary  drive  I  have read about. Oh and NEVER did I see a machine gun 
or  any  kind of a weapon anywhere! We were only asked a few times and 
very  discreetly  if  we wanted something more than drinks. We did not 
partake.  Now John did smoke a few Cuban Cigars while there. Do go out 
across  the street or down the road if you want to buy one as they are 
$25  US at the resort and only $8 US outside. Cigarettes were $4 US at 
the resort and $2.50 outside. 

When  shopping  for  crafts be aware that most everywhere its the same 
old  stuff.  You  can wait to buy from the venders that come on to the 
resorts  for  that kind of stuff. If you like Massages, do get one! We 
only  did  30 mins and that was plenty! She will find every sore point 
of your body believe you me! You will be happy you did it. 

For  those  that  are  interested  I  have  a  print out of the weekly 
activities  for  SRJ.  This  will  let you know what night is dress up 
night  and  so  on  forth  so  you can plan what night you want to eat 
outside  the  resort  and what nights to stay. Also all the activities 
of  the day. You don't have to do a thing but you will want to do some 
of  it.  I  know  you  all  want to atleast come home with one pair of 
sandals.  If  your active you can earn them in one day and some events 
will  earn  them  immediately. Even the Piano bar was delight! Another 
first  for the hubby. I have heard him sing in the shower, but infront 
of  others!?  Take a close look and JohnO the bar tender there. Let me 
if  Eddie  Murphy comes to mind. You know you just can't help but have 
fun.  For  my  thoughts on the resorts that I visited you can email me 
or for anything else feel free. 

This  was  our  first  trip  and already planning the next. Hope I was 
helpful  to  some  of you. There is so much more to tell but all I can 
say is I had a most Irie time.

Sandals Royal Jamaican
Weekly Activities

MONDAY KARAOKE NIGHT

7:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic 
Tennis Courts
8:00 
Power Walk

Fitness Centre
8:30
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
9:00
Beginnering

Main Beach

Competition
2:00
Board Games Extravaganza
Jamaica Coffee




Room
3:00
Pool Volleyball

Main Beach
4:00
Pro Rules Beach Volleyball
Main Beach
5:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
6:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar
7:00
Reflections Band Plays            Almond Terrace 7:00
Jazz Interlude

Piano Bar
9:00
Showtime: Cabaret Artiste       Almond Terrace 10:00
Jeopardy Challenge
               Almond Terrace 10:30
Disco Blasts Off

Warp Zone
11:00
Sing A Long With Our Pianist
Piano Bar

TUESDAY CARIBBEAN NIGHT

7:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic 
Tennis Courts
8:00 
Power Walk

Fitness Centre
8:30
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
9:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
10:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
10:30
Aquacise


MainPool
10:30
Jungle Rules Volleyball
Main Beach
11:30
Learn to Speak Jamaican
Piano Bar
12:30
Bocce Ball Contest

Main Beach
2:00
Find Your Mate

Main Pool Deck
2:30
Reggae Dance Lessons

Main Pool Deck
3:00
Pool Volley Ball

Main Pool
4:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
4:00
Pro Rules Beach Volley Ball
Main Pool
5:00
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
5:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
6:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar
6:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
7:30
Reflections Band Plays
Almond Terrace
8:00
Reggae Video With

Warp Zone

Bob Marley
8:30
Fashion Show

Almond Terrace
9:00
Showtime: Cabaret Artiste
Almond Terrace
10:00
Randolf Troup

Almond Terrace

Dance Up a Storm
10:30
Disco Blasts Off

Warp Zone
11:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar

WEDNESDAY TALENT NIGHT

7:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic 
Tennis Courts
8:00 
Power Walk

Fitness Centre
8:30
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
9:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
10:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
10:30
Aquacise


MainPool
11:00
Royal Olympic Tournament
Main Beach
12:00
Olympic Table Tennis

Main Pool
1:00
Olympic Shot-Putt

Main Beach
2:00
Olympic Push Up & Squats
Main Pool Deck
2:30
Olympic Swimming

Main Pool
3:30
Olympic 2 Person

Main Beach

Beach Volleyball
4:00
Olympic Free Throw

Basketball Court

Competition
4:00
Olympic Doubles Tennis
Tennis Court
4:00
Guests & Staff Talent

Almond Terrace

Show Rehearsals
4:30
Olympic Dart Tournament
Windsor Lawn
5:00
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
5:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
6:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar
6:00
Olympic Singles Tennis
Tennis Court  7:00
Reflections Band 
               Almond Terrace 9:00
Showtime Caberet Artiste        Almond Terrace 10:00
Guests & Staff Talent Show     Almond Terrace 10:30
Disco Blast Off

Warp Zone
11:00
Sing A Long With Our Pianist
Piano Bar

THURSDAY GRAND CASINO NIGHT

7:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic 
Tennis Courts
8:00 
Power Walk

Fitness Centre
8:30
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
9:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
10:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
10:30
Aquacise


MainPool
10:30
Jungle Rules Beach Volleyball
Main Beach
11:30
Giant Pictionary

Main Pool Deck
12:30
Horseshoe Throwing

Main Beach

Competition
2:00
Nature Walk

Starts at Lobby
2:00
Take A Chance

Main Pool Deck
2:30
Beer Drinking Competition
Main Pool Deck
3:00
Pool Volleyball

Main Pool
4:00
Pro Rules Beach Vollyball
Main Beach
4:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
5:00
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
5:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
6:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar
6:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
7:30
Reflections Band Plays
Almond Terrace
9:00
Showtime: Cabaret Artiste
Almond Terrace
10:00
Grand Casino

Hampton Court
10:30
Disco Blasts Off

Warp Zone
11:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar

FRIDAY KOKOMO KARNIVAL
BEACH BASH

7:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic 
Tennis Courts
8:00 
Power Walk

Fitness Centre
8:30
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
9:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
10:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
10:30
Aquacise


MainPool
10:30
Jungle Rules Volleyball
Main Beach
11:30
Canival Drinks Mixology
Main Pool Bar
2:00
Soca Sizzler

Main Pool Deck
2:30
Soco Dance Class

Main Pool Deck
3:00
Pool Volleyball

Main Pool
4:00
Guest Vs. Staff Pro Rules
Main Beach

Volleyball
4:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
5:00
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
5:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
6:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar
6:30
Dragon Boat Departs

Watersports

For Kokomo
7:00
Steel Band Plays

Kokomo
7:00
Scavenger Hunt

Kokomo
8:30
Showtime: Billy Vernon
Kokomo

Klash of the Kokomo Revellers

Prince Akeem - Fire Dancer
10:00
Dragon Boat Departs
Kokomo

For Main Land
10:30
Disco Blasts Off

Warp Zone
11:00
Sing A Long With Our Pianist
Piano Bar

SATURDAY RAZZ MATTAZZ NIGHT

7:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic 
Tennis Courts
8:00 
Power Walk

Fitness Centre
8:30
Aerobics


Fitness Centre
9:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
10:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
10:30
Aquacise


MainPool
10:30
Jungle Rules Volleyball
Main Beach
11:30
Darts Contest

Windsor Lawn
12:30
Trivial Pursuit

Main Pool Deck
2:00
Board Game 
             Jamaica Coffee Rm.

Extravaganza
2:00
Table Tennis Tournament 
Tennis Table
3:00
Poll Volleyball

Main Pool
4:00
Advanced Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
4:00
Pro Rules Beach Volleyball
Main Beach
5:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
6:00
Sing A Long With our Pianist
Piano Bar
6:00
Beginners Tennis Clinic
Tennis Courts
6:30
Mystic Marching Band
All Round 




Property
7:30
Reflections Band Plays
Almond Terrace
8:00
Giant Pictionary

Almond Terrace
9:00
Magician Performs
               Almond Terrace 10:00
Showtime: Jamaican
             Almond Terrace

Cultural Group
10:30
Disco Blasts Off

Warp Zone
11:00
Sing A Long With Our Pianist
Piano Bar



 
SUNDAY FORMAL NIGHT

9:00
Non-Denomination

Hampton Court

Church Service
10:00
Orientation


Piano Bar
10:30
Jungle Rules Beach Volleyball
Main Beach
11:00
Wheel of Fortune

Main Pool Deck
12:30
Darts Competition

Main Pool Deck
2:00
Horseshoe Throw






NOTE:

Thursday is Lobster night at the Main Dinng Room

Oleander  at  SMB:  Men  must  wear  long pants and closed toe shoes - 
Tennis shoes OK

Golfers:
Do  bring  your  own  clubs - your bag will be checked comming through 
Immagartion on way back.

Woman:  Bring  at  least  4  Summer  Dresses  for evening. No Nylons - 
Tooooo Hot!

Money:
Bring  $1.00 bills for tipping outside the resort and bus drivers - Do 
not exchange money, they likeours! Don't tip more than $2.00

PUERTO RICO BY KATHY BARAKS

(Ed Note: This file is Copyright 1997 by Kathy Baraks and used in the CTR with her permission.)

Mon,  Jul 28 - Our 5 year old godson, Ricky, flew with us and made the 
four  and  a  half  hour  flight  much more enjoyable for me while Jim 
watched  the featured film. I had filled a knapsack with games to help 
keep  him  entertained.  We  twisted  pipe-cleaners into the shapes of 
animals  and  flowers  which also attracted the attention of the other 
children  sitting  near  us  on the plane. Upon arrival and seeing his 
mother,  Ricky  ran  to the glass window separating those waiting from 
arriving  passengers  and  placed  a  big  kiss squarely on the glass. 
After  renting  a car, we drove to the northwest corner of the island, 
Aguadilla,  where we would be staying for four days. We were delighted 
with  the accommodations at Hotel el Faro and believe it is one of the 
best  values  we have stayed at in western Puerto Rico. They also have 
two  fine restaurants there, so after unpacking, a nice meal and a dip 
in their pool we retired for the night. 

Tue,  Jul  29 - We went to Crash Boat Beach just a small distance from 
our  hotel.  We were looking to set up a dive and had tried to set one 
up  from  the states but without success. We had been to Crash Boat on 
another  trip  and  I remembered seeing Scuba classes there so that is 
where  we  began. Luckily for us there were divers there and it turned 
out  that  a  family  from Utah were there visiting their Puerto Rican 
relatives  and  one of them was a Dive Master. We couldn't believe how 
they  adopted  us  and  invited  us  to join them on a dive around the 
corner  from  Crash  Boat.  We met at a Dive shop to get our air tanks 
and  weights. (we had all our other gear) While we were waiting to get 
our  tanks a man from an ice cream shop next door came out and offered 
to  Jim  and I ice cream bars gratis. Our dive was our best shore dive 
ever  with  at  least  5 moray eels, several different colors of angel 
fish,  a  couple of flounder and huge barrel sponge. When the dive was 
over  we  tried to tip the young man, Heri, but he refused it. Yes, we 
were  glad  to  be  back in Puerto Rico, we have always met the nicest 
people  there.  After  our shore dive, we drove around Ramey Air Force 
base  to  look at the golf course and as we left Gate 5, we saw a dive 
shop.  When  we  went  into Aquatica we recognized the owner, Jose. He 
had  taken  us  on  four  dives  on  two previous trips to P.R. We had 
always  met  him  at  the dock in Joyuda, so were surprised to see him 
here in Aguadilla. We set up a dive to Desecheo Island for Thursday.

Wed,  Jul  30 - We traveled to the Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park near 
Utuado.   Highway   10  from  Arecibo  to  Utuado  has  been  recently 
reconstructed   and   has  made  the  trip  inland  to  visit  several 
attractions  much  easier.  The Taino Indians some 800 years ago built 
at  least  ten  bateyes there surrounded by stone monoliths, some with 
petroglyph  carvings  in  them.  Bateyes  are rectangular courts where 
they  played  a  game similar to soccer and held religious ceremonies. 
This  is  the  largest  group  of Taino bateyes in the Caribbean. They 
have  a  small  museum  there  with no admission fee but donations are 
welcome.  While  we were there, I overheard someone say that there was 
an  Indian  Cave on the ocean in Arecibo, but because it was dangerous 
they  believed  it  was  closed to tourists. They said there were many 
petroglyphs  and that they were much better than those in the park. On 
our  trip  back  to Arecibo we stopped at Lago Dos Bocas and enjoyed a 
free  ferry  ride  across  the  lake. After visiting the lighthouse in 
Arecibo,  with  its beautiful view and museum, I asked for information 
to  help  us  find  the  Indian  Caves,  Cueva de los Indios. Finally, 
driving  east  along  the shore from the light house we saw a sign and 
stopped  to explore. A couple who lived there with a little food stand 
offered  to  send their son to lead us to the caves. Richard was about 
14  and  knew the area very well, as he had grown up playing along the 
very  jagged  petrified  sand  castle  cliffs  of  this  area. Richard 
thought  this was caused by a huge Marimoto or tidal wave around 1923. 
(I  didn't check that out) He was a great guide and led us down into a 
hole  where  we saw the ocean below us. It was incredible!! The finest 
examples  of  Taino  petroglyphs  that  I  have  seen  anywhere on the 
island.  One  circular  room which was probably a religious ceremonial 
room  had  carvings of Tainos all the way around and it seemed that we 
were  not  alone  with  so  many  curious onlookers. Sadly, there were 
three  large squares where pirates had chiseled out and stolen some of 
the  carvings. It was a little difficult to climb out of the cave, but 
Richard  was  very  helpful.  We  gave him a good tip and went back to 
Hotel  el  Faro happy and very exhausted. Jim has been kicking himself 
ever  since  that he didn't take his video down with us. I took photos 
but in the dim light I m not sure what I'll have.

Thu,  Jul  31  -  We drove to Joyuda to meet Jose for our dive. In the 
group  of  divers  were  a  German,  Belgian,  Indian from London, two 
Puerto  Ricans  and three from the US, so it was comical that the only 
language  we  could all communicate in was English. Our first dive was 
called  Candy  Land  a  coral trench with nice sea life. After a lunch 
and  rest  our second dive was into a cave Tornado Cave where we saw a 
wrecked  PT  Boat  and  the incredible beauty of Caves so close to the 
surface.  Before  going  back  to the boat I happened to find the most 
incredibly  huge  lobster  I had ever seen. Some of the divers said we 
could  have  all  had  enough  to eat with that one. I appreciate that 
Jose  is conscious of the environment and discourages taking sea life. 
They  were  a  great group of divers and were going again the next day 
but  Jim  for  the first time that I can remember had experienced some 
panic  on  that  dive  so  did  not  want to go again so soon. We were 
pretty  exhausted  after  arriving  back  at Hotel el Faro, so after a 
nice  evening  meal  we  returned  to  our  room to rest where we were 
surprised  to  get  a phone call. Some friends, Pastor Abraham & Hopi, 
had  just  arrived  and  were in the lobby. Abraham told us that years 
ago  his  father  had  owned  the land on which the hotel is built. He 
said  of  course  then  it didn't have the same value as it has today, 
but  I  am  sure  the  family probably regrets losing such a beautiful 
piece of land.

Fri,  Aug 1 - We had to leave Hotel el Faro due to a convention coming 
in,  so  we set out to find J. B. Hidden Village in Aguada, just south 
of  Aguadilla.  We  were early so drove to town to do some sightseeing 
and  have breakfast. The town is very nice and clean and not nearly as 
congested  as  many.  They  even have a newly constructed parking ramp 
where  we  easily  found  a place to park. We found a very nice bakery 
panaderia  where  we  had something to eat and asked directions to the 
Parador.  When  we  arrived  our suite was flooded. So management sent 
someone  to  look  and  told us the toilet had overflowed and they had 
taken  care  of  it. We told them we could spend more time in town and 
would  return  later. When we returned the water on the floor was even 
more  than  the  first  time,  so  another trip to the office. We left 
again  and  the  third  time upon our return the water was surrounding 
the  bed.  Anyway, they gave us a newly completed room, a super-suite, 
with  a  Jacuzzi. We were the first to use either the room or Jacuzzi. 
Needless  to  say,  we  were  pretty  tired  by the time this move was 
accomplished  and so the hot tub was a great way to relieve the stress 
of  the  day. I had wrenched my back before leaving the states too and 
had  not  slept  well  the  first four nights so the two days we spent 
with  the  Jacuzzi were very beneficial in helping my back to relax so 
I  could enjoy the rest of the trip. That evening we drove to Mayaguez 
to  visit  our friends in the church that he pastors. They had a guest 
speaker and a nice service. 

Sat,  Aug  2 - We visited the Bella Vista Adventist Church in Mayaguez 
where  we  always  enjoy  the  Bible  class in English, while Jim wore 
headphones  for  the sermon. After church we went to Abraham & Hopi s, 
where  we  had  been  invited  for  lunch.  Each  time we have been to 
Mayaguez  we  spend  a  few hours visiting with them in their home and 
they  always  make us feel very welcome and comfortable. We ate a very 
nice  meal of rice, beans, potatoes and some other native Puertoriccan 
foods  and  fruits.  Mmmmm, Hopi is such a good cook!! It was our best 
meal  on  the  island.  We enjoyed our visit. I like to go where I can 
practice  my  Spanish,  but we did spend a fair amount of time talking 
in  English  for  Jim  s sake. We talked to them about our trip to the 
Dominican  Republic  where we would be visiting for the first time the 
following  Wednesday.  (You can read about it in my Dominican Republic 
Journal.)  Hopi  is  Dominican and they had just taken a trip there in 
June  so the advice they gave us was very sound and am sure it was one 
factor  that  helped  prevent us from having any bad experiences while 
we  were  there.  Abraham  was also familiar with the Indian Caves and 
the  Aguada area and told us a little about it. Before heading back to 
our  Parador  we stopped and ate a Rex Cream, ice cream made of frozen 
fruit  whirred with sugar and invented by the Chinese. Mmmmm!! We were 
also able to find Rex Cream in Aguada. 

Sun,  Aug  3  - We were moving to Isabela, just east of Aguadilla, and 
did  not want to return to Aguada so packed everything into our rental 
car  and  headed for Arecibo, this time to see the Observatory and the 
world  s  largest  radar  telescope  covering 20 acres and set between 
three  mountains. We had been there a few years ago, when after a long 
and  winding  trip through the mountains there was not much to see. As 
I  said, Highway 10 has been reconstructed and is now a fine four lane 
highway  and  the  distance on the smaller roads takes much less time. 
So  we were delighted to see a newly constructed hands on museum where 
one  could  easily  spend  many hours. The museum had just been opened 
seven  months  earlier  and  included  a movie theater where they were 
showing  a  very  timely  movie  which included shots of previous Mars 
landings.  All  of the displays are in English and Spanish. There is a 
very  steep hill that leads to the museum that you have to walk up, so 
for  the  elderly  and  those carrying small children it can be tough. 
Hopefully  this will be resolved. Then we returned to find our Parador 
at  Isabela,  Costa Dorado Beach, where we had a wonderful ocean view. 
We  were  very  happy with the beach access and shower for rinsing off 
both  of  us  and our snorkel equipment right at the gate so we didn't 
have  to  take  sand  up to our room. There was also a nice clean pool 
with  a  casual  restaurant  next to it. We walked a short distance to 
the  beach  and  enjoyed  the Atlantic Ocean with many others escaping 
the  heat.  Since it was pretty crowded we decided to wait until early 
morning to snorkel. 

Mon,  Aug 4 - Monday is a day when many of the tourist attractions are 
closed  so  we  planned  to spend it enjoying the beautiful sand dunes 
and  beaches  of the Isabela area. There is a big surf on the northern 
coast  so  you  have  to find good protected areas to swim or snorkel. 
The  area  close  to  our  hotel  was  perfect.  We  were  up with the 
fishermen  to  go  snorkeling  and were the only swimmers for a while. 
The  water  was  much clearer since there were no swimmers stirring up 
the  bottom.  We  took  a  pineapple  that we purchased the day before 
along  Hwy  10 and set it on a rock with our towel and gear bag. After 
snorkeling  for  an hour we used our dive knife to carve pieces to eat 
for  our  breakfast.  It worked so well to cut the salt taste from our 
mouths  that  for  the  next two days every time we went snorkeling we 
took  a  pineapple  with  us. The fish were smaller in general in this 
protected  cove  as  it provides a good place for smaller fish to grow 
unmolested  by  many  predators.  We saw some real beauties, but there 
was  one  in  particular that really caught my eye. It was a jet black 
french  angel  fish  with bright gold stripes. After a while I noticed 
another  snorkeler  there with us and it appeared that he was catching 
fish  with  a  small  bucket.  When we were walking back to the hotel, 
after  snorkeling,  the other young man showed us the fish that he had 
caught.  I  was  little chagrined to see the little french angel along 
with  about  a  dozen other french angels in little cups in his truck. 
Apparently,  these  are quite sought after for aquariums in the states 
and  bring a good price. He said one of these french angels would help 
to  sell  50  other  fish  and  that  he had to catch 30 a week. As an 
environmentally  conscience  person,  I  was sorry that he shared this 
information  with  us.  After cleaning up, we spent some time visiting 
shops  in  Isabela  then  drove along the beaches west of our hotel to 
find  another  good snorkeling site. There were many surfers along the 
beaches  and  it was fun to watch them. Finally, we found another good 
site  for swimmers and snorkelers. It was a little hard to find as the 
area  where  we  parked  was filled with litter and just a narrow path 
alongside  of  a  building led to the site. But it was worth the trip. 
Again  we  found  a  clear  pool filled with beautiful small fish in a 
natural  aquarium.  I was happy to see several french angels there, so 
hoped  they  would  survive.  Again,  we  ate  a small pineapple after 
snorkeling  and  drove  west  some more until we found Jobos Beach. We 
were  pretty  burned out on salt water for the day so decided to leave 
this  one  for  our  next trip though it was beautiful. This is a very 
popular  site for surfers. We headed back to the hotel and after doing 
some  laundry  and  cleaning  up  we  went  into  Isabela  to eat at a 
Panaderia on the square that offered great sandwiches. 

Tue,  Aug  5  -  This would be our last full day in Puerto Rico and we 
would  be moving to the North East corner so we could visit El Yunque, 
their  world  class  rain  forest.  But  we planned to go early to the 
beach  to snorkel again before checking out. We were glad that we went 
because  we  got  to  see a small octopus, only the second one we have 
seen.  We  found  snorkeling  to  be  even better than Scuba diving to 
observe  the  behavior  of some varieties of fish because you can just 
lie  there  quietly  above them without moving and you are not limited 
in  the  time  as  you  are with air tanks. It was very relaxing and a 
great  way  to  begin  the  day.  After packing up and checking out we 
headed  for  El  Yunque,  the  only  tropical  rain forest in the U.S. 
National  Forest  system.  We  literally went from the seashore to the 
mountain  top  in  a  few hours. That is one thing I like about Puerto 
Rico,  it  is  so small that you can get to almost everything quickly. 
We  had been to the rain forest only once before on our first visit to 
the  island  with a taxi driver. Since we were on the clock, we didn t 
really  get  to  spend  much  time  there.  I had read there was a new 
museum  and  so  El  Portal  was  our  first stop. It is a magnificent 
structure  that  blends  in  well  with  the  forest.  It  is  located 
conveniently  before  you get too far up the mountain. First opened in 
1996,  it  provides  many  wonderful  hands on exhibits to learn about 
rain  forests.  This  rain forest has been very useful in providing an 
education  on  rain  forests  in general that has benefited other rain 
forests  throughout the world. Since there are no dangerous animals or 
snakes  in El Yunque, it is a perfect rain forest environment to learn 
in.  Although,  it  is  not  without  danger. Just the Friday before a 
professor  from a Bowling Green affiliated college stumbled out of the 
rain  forest  onto a road after being lost for 12 days and presumed to 
be  dead  after  extensive  searches. He had survived by eating leaves 
and  snails.  It  is  important for visitors to abide by the signs and 
only  use  designated  paths  that are open to the public. Most of the 
museum  s displays were in Spanish and English though there were a few 
in  Spanish  only. They also had a very nice movie theater and offered 
a  film introducing you to the rain forest and its many plants, birds, 
reptiles  and  paths.  We  chose  a  path  to explore which led to the 
bottom  of  a  waterfall,  La Mina Falls. I only regret we didn't take 
the  time  to  change  and  put  our swim suits on under our clothing. 
There  were  so  many people sitting in the water and it was certainly 
refreshing  after  a  hot  and  humid walk down the trail. We took our 
shoes  off  and  at  least  cooled  down enough before taking the long 
trail  back  up.  It  was a rare day on the mountain as it didn't rain 
and  we  could  actually see the top of El Yunque Peak. Unfortunately, 
the  view  from  the Yokahu Tower was obscured by the ash spewing from 
the  volcano on Montserrat. It was still beautiful, but reminded me of 
the  Midwestern  haze  which  you  never  see  in the Caribbean. After 
leaving  the  rain  forest  we  drove to Ceiba to find our last hotel, 
Ceiba  Country  Inn,  a  kind of Bed & Breakfast. There wasn't much to 
see  in  Ceiba  and I was a littlroom had no TV and there was no pool. 
They  did  have  a  TV  in the bthose who enjoy them. But we needed to 
have  everything  ready  for  our  departso  we drove around Fajardo a 
while  then  after  packing  up  everything  for  ouearly. We would be 
leaving Ceiba at 6 am so would miss the delicious breakf

Wed,  Aug 6 - We drove the hour and a half to Carolina to drop off our 
rental  car and catch the shuttle to the airport. As we lifted off the 
ground  and  headed  toward  La Romana, Dominican Republic, I tried to 
follow  the  northern coast and see some of the places we had visited. 
Because  the ash from Montserrat caused a haze up to about 10,000 feet 
it  was  difficult  to make out the land below, but I did see Lake Dos 
Bocas,  the  beautiful  shores  of  Isabela and Desecheo Island though 
barely.  I  said  farewell to Puerto Rico but promised to return again 
after  our  5  day  trip to Dominican Republic but only to spend a few 
hours  and  catch  our plane home. Copyright 1997 by Kathy Baraks. All 
rights reserved. 

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