Nuptials in Nassau Resort wedding packages offer sun...

TRAVEL SMARTS

April 07, 2002|By Tricia Bishop

Nuptials in Nassau

Resort wedding packages offer sun, sand and good deals

Looked at any bridal magazines lately? A lot of them suggest that couples budget about $25,000 for the big to-do, which makes the increasingly popular (and comparatively inexpensive) wedding / honeymoon packages available throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere all the more attractive. Here are some of the possibil-ities available in Nassau:

* Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and Spa (800-726-3257): Couples staying at least five nights can take advantage of a free wedding fete that includes: document preparation, marriage license, legal fees, a justice of the peace, witnesses, taped music, decorated wedding site, announcement cards, a coordinator, champagne, an hors d'oeuvres reception and flowers. Choose from a gazebo, beachfront deck or garden for the actual ceremony. Five-night stays start at $2,345.

* SuperClubs Breezes Bahamas (800-467-8737): A three-night stay gets you access to various packages, including a snorkeling underwater wedding, a ceremony held in front of a waterfall or nuptials on a white-sand beach. Minister, license, witnesses, cake, champagne, flowers and music included. Prices start at $972.

* Radisson Cable Beach Resort (800-432-0221): The free wedding -- with a three-night stay -- comes with a minister, champagne, coordinator, marriage license, cake and flowers. Radisson also throws in a honeymoon room upgrade and a reception. Prices begin at $930.

The weddings and honeymoon section of Nassau's Ministry of Tourism offers planning assistance. Call 888-687-8425 for information. At least three weeks' advance notice is required, and make sure you both bring your birth certificates.

-- Tricia Bishop

TRAVEL PACKAGES MIX FUN, STUDIES

The American Institute for Foreign Study offers trips with a twist: you not only travel with a guide, you also take classes at your destination while you're there.

AIFS offers study-abroad programs in various countries, including the Czech Republic, England, France, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Holland and Australia.

Art lovers, for example, can take sculpture and painting courses in London during the week and tour museums in Brussels and Paris on weekend getaways. If you're interested in becoming bilingual, try the Spain language vacation. Multicountry tours are also available, such as the "Introduction to Environmental Conservation and Eco-tourism" course held throughout Central America.

The trips last from three to 12 weeks and are all-inclusive: Airfare, meals, dorm-like housing, social events, excursions and classes are all included in the fee, which ranges from $3,799 to $7,499. For a catalog, call 800-727-2437, Ext. 5163, or see www. aifsabroad.com. -- T.B.

Ready to toss you around

Kings Dominion, near Richmond, Va., opened for weekend business recently (the daily season starts May 27) with a couple of noteworthy additions: Ricochet is the park's 12th roller coaster and features hairpin turns, stomach- turning bumps and a 50-foot drop likely to make some riders a bit queasy. There's also the Triple Spin, a dizzying ride of spinning cars.

For more information about the park's at-tractions, admission and directions, visit www. kingsdominion.com or call 804-876-5000. -- T.B.

Sweet deal on suites

Travelers can really clean up at Homewood Suites this month. The all-suite hotel chain is offering a spring-cleaning promotion that gets guests a 40-percent discount on room rates (prices start at $69) and an e-coupon for $25 off maid service from Merry Maids. To take advantage of the offer, you must book online at www.homewood-suites.com. For information, call 800-225-5466. -- T.B.

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