GETTING THERE: Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport, which sustained major damage, has restored most operations and officials expect it to be fully operational by next month. U.S. Immigration and preclearance for United States-bound fliers resumed operations in early November. Planes are arriving daily from cities along the East Coast. The best deal we found for coming weeks was AirTran's $295 round-trip nonstop fare from BWI to Freeport. Other mid-December examples: $239 on Delta from BWI via Atlanta; $342 on American from BWI via Miami.

DEALS: About two-thirds of Grand Bahama's 3,000 hotel rooms are expected to be available by mid-December. The island is far enough along in its clean-up efforts that it hasn't posted as many crisis bargains as other stricken areas. Here are a few:

* Through Dec. 23, the Sheraton at Our Lucaya (877-687-5822, is offering a buy-one-night-get-one-free, based on a three-night-minimum stay. Rates begins at $149 a night. Ask for promo code X4P.

* The Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach (800-996-3426,, which is scheduled to reopen Dec. 18, is advertising a "second-guest-free" offer for every guest paying the all-inclusive rates, which start at $160 per person per night.

* The Pelican Bay at Lucaya (800-852-3702, is offering a fourth night free for its boutique suites. Through Dec. 20, stay for three nights at rates beginning at $220 and get the fourth night free. The hotel is also offering a 30 percent discount on a second, adjacent suite when a first is booked at the $275 rate, through Feb. 19. Standard guest rooms begin at $130, or $165 after Dec. 20.

* The Port Lucaya Resort & Yacht Club has standard rooms available through Jan. 8 at $80 a night, based on availability. Book through 800-435-3760, (hotel info: 800-582-2921,

INFORMATION: Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, 800-448-3386,

-- Steve Hendrix