Monday, November 2, 2009

Island Routes launched in Jamaica, pt.1

"What A Party That Was..." -Vivian Stanshall, 'Big Shot', 1967

October 4 through 6, Island Routes, a new 'Luxury Adventure' tour company was launched by the Sandals organization in Ocho Rios. Actually, Island Routes is already booking over 80 tours in Jamaica, and is soon to begin booking in St. Lucia, Antigua, TCI and the Bahamas. I was there covering it all for Modern Bride Magazine -which folded during the trip.

I've done a lot of this stuff -bamboo rafting a la Errol Flynn (in my case on the Great River), river tubing, YS Falls, Blue Mountain biking, meeting the 'crocs' in Black river, canopy zip-lining, riding with the Jamaican dog-sled team and the pilgrimage up to 9 Mile (birth/last resting place of Bob Marley) with Chukka Cove -and think they're all fantastic experiences. Exciting even. Jamaica is like that -a lot to offer. It can only help to have this wealth of attractions marketed (that sounds so business-like) by a company with a reach that small outfits just don't have on their own. Having someone reliable (alright -big)like Sandals behind it, Island Routes is positioned (how do you like that term?) to keep standards up, you know safety and stuff like that, provide snazzier transportation and besides, has a staff in decked out in cute safari outfits and pith helmets. If it's good for Jamaica, and in turn for the visitor, I'm all for it.

Big kid -courtesy of Mystic Mountain Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica

After checking into Sandals Dunns River, the press (the term reminds me how the 3 Stooges try to sneak into a racetrack as newsmen by using knobs from a bathroom as badges -Moe "press", Larry "press", Curly "pull") and guests were ski-lifted over 700 feet up Mystic Mountain to try out the Jamaican Rainforest bobsled ride (fast, faster and fun -even for a coot like me) and dinner in their new dining room that overlooks the twinkling lights of Ocho Rios.