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The Mature Traveler

Holiday Cruising to the Caribbean, South America

July 26, 1987|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests.

Membership in the American Assn. of Retired Persons (AARP) has grown to 25 million. During the same time, AARP's Travel Service--provided by Olson-Travel World--also has flourished.

The organization offers many benefits for $5 annually. For membership information, write to AARP, P.O. Box 199, Long Beach, Calif. 90801.

Several special cruises are scheduled for the Caribbean and South America; one will take place over Christmas and New Year's, the others early in 1988.

The Amazon Christmas cruise is a 15-day trip aboard the Stella Solaris, which sails from Miami and makes seven Caribbean stops, including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Barbados and Tobago.

Up the Amazon

Then you sail up the Amazon River in Brazil to Santarem, a city that was settled by Confederate refugees who fled the United States during the Civil War.

The cruise continues on the Amazon, ending at Manaus. After two days there you fly home. Throughout the cruise there is a continuous program of activity, with special Christmas and New Year's festivities.

Prices for the cruise package begin at $4,105, including round-trip air transportation from West Coast cities to Florida and return by air from Manaus.

You can obtain a brochure describing the above cruise, plus a February, 1988, cruise to South America and two Mayan cruises next spring by calling (800) 448-7010. Or write to AARP Travel Service, 4801 West 110th St., Suite 200, Overland Park, Kan. 66211.

Retirement in Mexico

A sprightly newsletter on retirement and travel in Mexico, called AIM (Adventures In Mexico), states that its purpose is "to portray intriguing Mexico as it really is today . . . its places, living costs, adventures and fun . . . lightly salted with practical tips on how to cope for a week, a month or the rest of your life."

Aside from an occasional (and expendable) attempt at humor, AIM seems to be an informative and accurate source of the whys and wherefores of visiting and living in our neighbor country to the south.

It's obvious that the authors know their subject well. While most issues are devoted to a particular geographic area of Mexico, the current (June-July) issue is a grab bag of questions and answers on food, finance, customs, driving, rents, medical and dental, shopping and other matters.

AIM is published six times a year and the subscription rate is $12. However, for a sample copy, send $2 and order the June-July issue, which is mostly about retirement, or you can request a back issue about a particular area. Personal checks OK. Send to AIM, APDP 31-70, Guadalajara 45050, Jalisco, Mexico.

Best Place to Live

Bermuda Village is in a part of North Carolina that a survey by Rand McNally, the atlas company, named as the best place in America to live. Bermuda Village is a vast and luxurious condominium complex adjacent to Bermuda Run Country Club, where the Crosby Celebrity Golf Tournament is held each year.

To persons 55 years and older, Bermuda Village offers vacations that include its Lifefit Program. Package vacations for eight or 15 days include a suite, several days of golf at Bermuda Run, three meals daily (either gourmet or low-calorie) and use of recreational facilities, including tennis courts, swimming pools and spa facilities such as steam room, sauna and indoor pool.

This program includes fitness seminars, body shaping and exercise, nutrition consultation, weight control counseling and body massages. Women receive a beauty makeover that includes a facial, manicure and pedicure. Men and women both get a shampoo, cut and blow-dry.

Each guest unit has a sun room, living room/dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and two baths. The price for the eight-day/seven-night package is $995 per person. The 15-day/14-night package costs $1,995 per person.

There is also a "sampler" package of four days/three nights for $395 per person. Valet parking, 24-hour concierge and daily maid service are included, as are all gratuities. Transportation is not included.

Illustrated color brochures with full descriptions of package components are offered free. Write to Bermuda Village, P.O. Box BVI, Advance, N.C. 27006. Or call (800) THE LIFE.

Mature travelers concerned about their security in foreign countries can call the Citizens Emergency Center, U.S. State Department, for up-to-the-minute reports covering all countries. Call (202) 647-5225, advise them of your destination and learn if there is any danger or problem in that area.

The center also provides what it calls "welfare whereabouts," which allows families in this country to contact a traveling relative or friend during emergencies.

The center is open from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. (Times are for the East Coast.)

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