Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Caribbean Islands
Reload this Page >

Best Vacation Destination For Our 9 and 7 Year old.

Best Vacation Destination For Our 9 and 7 Year old.

Nov 28th, 2004, 08:27 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Best Vacation Destination For Our 9 and 7 Year old.

Dear Forum,

I need your help. My wife and I are trying to coordinate a spring break trip for our 9 and 7 year old children. They love big pools, big beaches, outdoor activities and other kids. We usually take them to Florida but, this year we were thinking a 4 or 5 star Mexican or Caribbean resort. Money is no object in considering a location.
I have alot of travel experience and have been to many resorts. However, never with my own children. Based on the above criteria I was thinking Mexico (Cancun or Riviera M), Bahamas, Bermuda Virgin Islands, etc.
I would even consider a cruise if the forum think it would be best. Again, this vacation is all about them and not so much us. The only worry I have is that we have never taken them outside The U.S. and we just want them to have fun and be safe.

Any suggestions or input would be much appreciated!!

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Frank
frank444 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 10:21 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 125
Check out the Westin Resort on St. John
USVI. Very family oriented place. When I go to St. John I rent a private villa but my brother and other people I know go there because they have kids and love it
jofus is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 02:26 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Will do Jofus.

Thanks for your suggestion!
frank444 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 02:41 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 125
No problem. I don't know if you've ever been to St.John but it's very beautiful,friendly and safe and it is a U.S. territory so you don't have to worry about having your kids out of the country, however... while not required having a passport for ID makes things go smoother. I even used my expired passport last year but I would suggest valid ones...that way if you want to "day-trip" to the BVI's you can. Have fun where ever you decide to go but there's nothing not to like about St.John!
jofus is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 03:03 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 450
frank444, It also depends how easy flight you want to be. There are some charters from major USA cities which are nonstop, smaller islands are harder to get. For example, to St. John, you need to fly to St. Thomas and take a ferry.

We also went to Beaches Turks and Caicos, and it is a good family resort.

For nonstop flights, in Mexican Riviera, you might want to look at Riu Palace, or Iberostar Costa Lindo.

In Jamaica, Beaches Negril. Or Beaches Turks and Caicos, they are all-inclusive. Other high-end resorts are Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia but I think beaches are nicer in Turks and Caicos. Bermuda is OK in summer, not in winter but no all-inclusives there and only few large resorts have kids programs.

We have compiled listing on family resorts.
http://emcoinc.com/travel/html/Caribbean/family.htm

sophia
emtravel is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 05:52 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Thanks sophia and Jofus,

Jofus,

You are correct about St. John's. It is great! I have been to both St. Thomas and St. John's before. Although, it was more than 20 years ago. Therefore, I'm sure much has changed since then. We stayed at The Marriott Frenchman's Reef Hotel on St. Thomas and Ferried to St. John during the day. St. John is much prettier than St. Thomas. Therefore, I agree that this would be a better choice for stay if we chose The Virgin Islands. When I was there we spent a day at Trunk Bay (is this the correct name?)and followed the underwater museum. What fun My first underwater camera was purchased in St.T and used in St. J to photograph a large Barracuda. wow, that was cool! Unfortunately, at that time there were no major chain hotels on st. John's.

Sophia,

My wife and I both have Passports and I have been to Cancun at least a dozen times for business. So, for us it is no problem knowing the do's and dont's. However, because we have never taken our kids to Cancun or PDC Mexico, what would be required for their entry and exit? For example, birth certificates, S.S. cards, etc..?

Tks.

Frank
frank444 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 06:06 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 348
I would also recommend the St. John Westin. We just returned from there with our 3 sons, 7,7 & 9. We rented on of the hillside villas, which I did not like at first, because it is so far from everything. But I came to appreciate the quiet. Also, having a kitchen was a plus. My kids get tired of restaurant food, so eating a few "home cooked" meals was actually a treat for them. They loved the pools and the beaches. The women who ran the kids club were always around to engage the kids in beach and pool games. We are planning to go again.
scarboroughmom is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 07:54 PM
  #8  
droolpatrol
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You can't go wrong with St. John, Maya Riviera or Bahamas. However, I would knock Bermuda off your list for a spring trip. If you want swimming, Bermuda is a summer destination.
 
Nov 29th, 2004, 04:51 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 459
Scarboroughmom,
How far are the villas from the beach? I don't know if you've been to the Caymans, but is it as far as the the villas at the Hyatt, which are across the street from the beach.
meta is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 05:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 38
me and my family went to the jalousie hilton on st lucia last spring break..my kids are 7 and 9 and they had a great time...lots of families there that time of year..there was snorkling right off the beach and other water sports included..beautiful location,good food...some people find the food expensive but i didnt..thought it was a great place
joe555 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 05:41 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 450
Frank,
In Mexico, I would recommend Playa del Carmen (Mexican Riviera) as opposed to Cancun.

The entry requirements for Mexico are:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/mexico.html
No passport required however, I strongly recommend it.

In addtion to document, if kids travel without one parent,
then a letter of consent from another parent is required.
http://travel.state.gov/family/abduction_mexico.html

sophia
emtravel is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 03:11 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Thanks Everyone!

All suggestions and advice so far have been great!

Thanks again.

Frank

frank444 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 03:18 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 348
I have never been to Cayman. The villas are about a quarter of a mile from the beach. There is a shuttle that runs all over the property, so you never have to walk. There is a small pool in each little section of the villas. My kids really enjoyed this. Usually, no one else was in it, so it seemed like their own private pool. While the pool at the Westin is great, the beach is only mediocre. There are fabulous beaches on St. John, and it is easy to rent a 4WD to visit them. There is a Jeep rental place on the property. We used them and were satisfied. THere is also a place in Cruz Bay, the name excapes me, but they will let you use their parking lot when you are in Cruz Bay. Since parking is really terrible in town, this would be a big plus. They had a 3 day minimum, and I only wanted the car for two, so I used O'Connors at the Westin. The Westin will stock the villa according to your shopping list. They will also pick you up at the aiport and take you via their own ferry, to the dock right at the resort. The have a bellman waiting to take you right to your room. St John is a beautiful island. I do ramble, but if you have any more questions, just ask.
scarboroughmom is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 04:21 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4
If cost is not a factor, check out Caneel Bay Resort on St John, USVI. I see you have already gotten many positive comments about St John. If your kids like to snorkel & you want a more quiet ( & cushy) retreat, I think Caneel Bay would satisfy even the adults! This can be an educational & interesting trip for all.
charcay is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 04:20 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 929
Hyatt Hacienda Del Mar/Dorado/Cerramar in Puerto Rico. Spacious 2 br condos, four golf courses, world's longest river pool with great water slide, kids club, several restaurants and beaches to choose as it is three resorts in one. We have vacationed at a number of highly rated resorts and this one is still my kids' favorite.
eileen is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 07:30 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 217
We have just returned from Beaches Negril Jamaica. I can not say enough about the resort. They have a kids camp from noon to five each day. My granddaughter is 9. She loved the camp. Took tennis leasons, went snorkling, sailing, played beach volley ball and football. It was the best with kids. Adults could still relax and the kids had a ball.
herself is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 03:35 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 125
Hi frank444, I didn't recommend Caneel Bay Resort because from what I've read here and heard from friends who've stayed there, the service and food aren't worth the cost. Apparently you're paying for the beauty of the grounds and private "access" to beaches. The Westin has a huge pool and kids club. I've heard the beach is a let down and man-made but you've got about 30 others to choose from on the 20 sq. miles of St.John. Rent a 4wd jeep and get the National Geographic Virgin Islands National Park map(I got every map of St.John that I could find before I went there for the first time and that was the best by far for both roads and hiking trails)and explore the island....check out the beaches off the beaten path. My husband & I fell in love with Little Lameshur Bay on the south shore...small but secluded I don't think we ever saw more then 10 people there during the high season in Feb. and the snorkeling off the left side of the beach was great, definately worth the 4WD "path" to get there. If you and your kids are the outgoing adventurous sort you'll have a blast beach-hopping and exploring the island. A 4X4 is a MUST for access to all areas!
jofus is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 05:47 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Thanks again everyone for sharing all of your experiences and recommendations. Fodors proves it's worth again!!!

Best Regards,

Frank
frank444 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 09:28 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 932
Frank,
You have the absolute wrong mindset for planning a vacation....where you certainly want to have your kids enjoy the trip IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT THEM! Trust me here, we first started travelling with ours at around ages 4 and 5, now they are adults. They loved every place they went, never a complaint...didn't necessarily have BIG POOLS, LOTS OF SPORTS, ETC but had an experience unlike home and loved it. Today they both travel on their own and seek the untraveled. Just my take on things. Enjoy wherever you go!
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2004, 06:12 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,211
Frank,
We travel alot with our children which are now 10 and 12. For spring break last year, we went to Aruba and had a great time. Aruba is a safe destination and has clean drinking water from the tap. The Marriott, Hyatt, and Radisson are very nice hotels. We took them to the Atlantis in the Bahamas and they loved the pools, etc... I would not recommend Jamaica, or mexico. This is just a mom speaking. I find Jamaica is often complained about for being unsafe and people constantly approach you to sell you stuff. (that includes drugs). We have been to Mexico without kids and I wouldn't bother taking the kids there. The reason is the water issue. Who needs to worry about your child getting the runs during vacation. It is not worth it. We did not get sick in Cancun, but I was so careful. I doubt I could spend the whole trip telling the kids not to drink this or that. I hear cruises are great family trips. I also am interested myself in taking the kids to the virgin islands. St.John is supposed to be the safer, more relaxing island. I have also thought about going to the Westin there. Another place I have looked into is Grand Cayman. Right now, I am not sure what shape the island is in because of being hit badly by the hurricanes. Bermuda is great, but a summer destination only. We went in May and found the water cold. June through Oct is really the time to go there. Hope this helps.
girlonthego is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:14 PM.