BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- The Morale, Welfare and Recreation InfoCenter at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda, Md., offers several support and leisure services to active duty military, their families, Department of Defense civilian and contract employees, military retirees and other eligible participants.
"The purpose is to provide programs and services in what we call the 'ABCs' of recreation on board the base," said Bob Killion, NSA Bethesda's quality of life director. "Category 'A' program would be the gym and fitness center and the Liberty Zone. Category 'B' activities we have would be the CDC (Child Development Center) and the ticket and tour center. Category 'C' would be business activities that are required by law to make a profit or break even. An example of that would be our 20-lane bowling center, which has a snack bar in it."
While economic times may be difficult, and operational tempos have increased, the need to have fun has not decreased. Bethesda's InfoCenter has a variety of benefits for its customers, offering discount tickets for cruises, movies, tours, attractions, concerts and sports events in the local community.
"If you go to the InfoCenter and look at the price list, we put the MWR price, what's its going to cost you at the gate and what you save," said Killion. "We sell a standard ticket or ticket package for everyone at a reduced price."
The InfoCenter is located in Building 2, Room 1402C. With its colorful chalkboard writings and the display of different pamphlets to numerous attractions all over the world, the center possesses a wealth of recreational information.
"We call it that [the info center] because we have a couple of computers in there where people can go in and check their own personal email accounts," said Killion. "They can find out about all the area attractions, Disney and Universal studios, the Baltimore Aquarium, Colonial Williamsburg and anything in this area. If we have a serious demand for it, we try to stock the tickets and things we don't carry, we can special order."
For those looking for this year's hottest commodity with huge savings, InfoCenter's ticket seller, GiGi Layug, holds that answer.
"Florida attractions are selling the most because of the great promotion for the Disney 'Armed Forces Salute,'" said Layug. "Sixty percent discount on admission tickets alone and 40 percent discount on their resorts. Normally, we sell four-day tickets for $219; right now it's only $97."
Theme parks, surrounding attractions and sporting events are often extremely busy and crowded; however, in January 2010, the InfoCenter added another option to their list of services, which has less people and more privacy.
"We are offering cruises and offering trips to different places. You can leave out of Baltimore, Florida, you can leave anywhere you want - worldwide. We will book your cruises for you and get the best price we can."
"The Caribbean and Bahamas are our most popular cruises," said Kumi Phelps, the InfoCenter's leisure travel specialist. "You can book cruises up to a year in advance. With most cruises, final payment is due 45 days before departure. So you would have a whole year to pay for it. And here in the office we don't charge an agency or cancellation fee. It's basically a free service."
When work and traffic stress gets to its peak, or when simply planning a vacation, the MWR InfoCenter has several options.
For more news from National Naval Medical Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/nnmc/.