Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Cuba Option Denied to Most Americans

Travel Deals: Arthur Frommer’s bargain holidays

Published on Tuesday October 02, 2012

October and November are “slow season” months to virtually everywhere in travel. In both the tropics, and in overseas destinations in Europe and Asia, bargains abound, as witness the following:
(1) Cuba, from Toronto, at a remarkable price: $495 to $635 per person (depending on date), in all but one week in October and November, including air, room for seven nights, all meals and drinks, all taxes and fees. This must surely be the cheapest all-inclusive vacation in the entire Caribbean. On SunWing Airlines ( www.sunwing.ca), you’ll be flown round-trip to Manzanillo de Cuba and housed for seven nights at the beachfront, mountain-backed, 283-room Club Amigo Marea del Portillo, where you’ll also receive three meals daily and unlimited drinks, in a resort equipped with five restaurants and six bars. Departures are on Tuesdays Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 from Toronto (at $495 per person), on Wednesdays Oct. 17 and 24 (for $515 per person), on Wednesdays Nov. 7 and 14 (at $615 per person), on Wednesday, Nov. 21 (for $635 per person) and on Thursday Nov. 29 (at $595 per person). Only the departure of Oct. 31 is priced at an overly high $915 per person). A possible reason for the usual low price: a departure ti me of 6:15 a.m. from Toronto, good for early-risers only. Contact Sunwing Vacations (sunwingvacations.ca, or phone  416-620-5999 or  800-668-4224).
(2) Upscale Cuba, throughout October and November: $718 to $973 per person. A special promotion of Air Canada Vacations places you for seven nights of accommodations, all meals and beverages, at the glamorous, four-star Melia Las Dunas Resort, with its six restaurants, two cafeterias, five bars and breathtaking beaches near Santa Clara, Cuba. Normally too expensive a hotel to be the subject of a bargain-priced package, this one is priced at a uniform $718 per person (including all taxes and fees) for the Saturday departures of Oct. 6, 13 and 20 - a remarkable rate for quality of this level. The price then goes up to a still-reasonable $879 for the Saturday departure of Oct. 27, and to $973 for all Saturday departures in the month of November. Contact Air Canada Vacations at www.aircanadavacations.com or phone  866-529-2079.

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