FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Soldiers and their families are invited to soak up the sun this summer with MWR Central day trips, beginning with a trip to Shipwreck Island in Panama City, Florida, June 2.

Deaunqua L. Bryant, MWR Central business manager, the trips are designed to appeal to a wide age range, from youth to adults.

"MWR Central offers a variety of day trips, such as deep sea fishing, Shipwreck Island, white water rafting and more," she said. "The trip includes roundtrip transportation from Fort Rucker and cost of entrance to the event. Prices, number of seats and restrictions vary according to trip details. Please stop by our office for updated information and availability."

Individuals interested in the June 2 trip to Shipwreck Island are urged to stop by MWR Central, located inside the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 130, soon to register. Cost for the Shipwreck Island day trip is $55 per person.

"Shipwreck Island has a large selection of water slides, pools, lazy rivers and tipping buckets that helps it to cater to [visitors] of all ages," she added. "This particular day trip also includes lunch. What better way to kick off summer than spending a fun-filled day, soaking up the sun while splashing your way through Shipwreck Island?"

According to Bryant, participants should pack their swimsuit, a change of clothes for the ride home, sunscreen, sunglasses, towel and sandals, and money for any extras they would like to purchase.

"Also, for the families with little ones, please remember to bring snacks, age-appropriate drinks and swim diapers," she said. "Outside food is not allowed inside the park, other than for the smaller kids."

Aside from the convenience of having professionals plan the entire trip, MWR Central's day trips also provide savings for participants, according to Bryant. Those same savings can also be obtained by individuals seeking help with vacation planning.

"Patrons can expect at least a 10-30 percent discount in price and feel confident that they are getting the most for their money," she said. "Our staff is constantly being updated from many different companies on military savings. Also, the amount of time one can spend on making travel arrangements can be overwhelming. Our staff strives to get our patrons their requested quote within 24-48 hours, while planning their vacation right down to the last detail.

"The MWR staff has a supplier list, which the average traveler may not be aware of," she added. "We are able to provide quotes for and book most cruise lines, amusement parks, local attractions, hotels and all-inclusive resorts. We can include air fare and rental car fees when creating a destination package and this is just a short list of what we are able to do.

"Unfortunately, if a family comes in and only wants to book airfare we are not able to do that," she added. "However, we have a resource at SATO travel we refer them to use. Our staff makes every effort to create the perfect vacation, according to the patrons' needs and wants, as well as giving them additional information to complete their dream vacation."

The next day trips on the calendar will be two deep sea fishing trips June 9 and 28 in Destin, Florida. Cost is $78 per person. The fee covers roundtrip transportation to Destin, a fishing license, bait, rod and reel, 10 hours on the water, a tip for the boat crew, and cleaning of the fish for participants to take home and enjoy.

The deep sea fishing day trips are popular, according to Bryant, and anyone interested in climbing aboard should visit MWR Central soon to secure a spot.

"As of right now, we have a few slots open for these trips, should someone like to join us," she said. "These trips do tend to fill up fast, so please don't wait to reserve your spot. The party boat offers you the opportunity to fish, drink and spend the day out on the water.

"For those who want to have a guide to teach them the ropes of deep sea fishing, we are offering a private fishing charter on the June 16," she added. "This is a great opportunity for a family or a smaller group of friends to spend the day out on the sea with a more personal touch. The cost of the private fishing charter is $178 per person."

For more information, call 255-2997 or visit http://rucker.armymwr.com/.