caribbean family trip with teens

Old Jul 6th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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caribbean family trip with teens

need suggestions for great family trip to Carribean with 14 and 12 year olds,in late December or early January.
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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Your question is to vague. The Caribbean is a big place offering lots of different experiences and no two islands are alike nor does one island "have it all". In order to be helpful we really need a little more information from you. What are your likes and dislikes? What type of island do you want to visit? There are big islands & small islands, islands that are flat arid with long stretches of white sand beaches and little natural vegetation, there are mountainous islands with volcanos, lush rain forests and smaller dark sand beaches, there are hilly islands that are not as lush as the volcanic islands but offer lots of flaura & fauna. There are islands that offer great diving and snorkeling sites while others are scattered with old ruins and forteress to explore. There are islands with great shopping, others have casinos, some have lots of night life while others are laid back and quite. Some have a definite American feel, while others are European and still others have an old world Caribbean charm. Do you desire access to gourmet dining or would prefer the comfort of Fast Food chain restaurants? Do you min taking one or more connecting flights (often in very small planes) and/or ferries to reach your destination or do you want someplace you can reach non-stop from your nearest gateway city? What type of accomodations are you lookig for? Do you have a budget for hotel, airfare and food? Do you want to stay at a beachfront resort or do you prefer a place in the mountains? Do you want access to extensive watersports?

Make a list of the 10 or 15 things in a vacation that are inportant to you and then it will be easier for us Fodorites to offer suggestions.
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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thanks for the suggestions. We would prefer an island with some nice beaches, but with some lush growth. We want to have access to good snorkeling and other water activities. We are not at all interested in fast food, we enjoy food with local character and variety. Our daughter will enjoy some shopping. We do not mind a ferry ride or connector to the island. Looking for a vacation that will seem exotic to the kids, give us plenty of activities we can all enjoy together, with comfortable accomodations and good food.
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 09:07 PM
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Tortola in the british virgin islands. Decent beaches and very lush, exotic/not americanized, hiking, and you can take the ferry over for day trips to Virgin Gorda or Jost Van Dyke.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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I agree with mnag - given your criteria, Tortola would be a perfect fit. It has everything on your list - access to very good snorkeling, plenty of watersports, good beaches, decent shopping in Road Town and you can easily take day trips to nearby islands.

FYI - If you are US citizens and you are planning to be travelling after December 31, 2006 you will need passports for everyone in your party to enter the BVI's and to return to the US mainland.
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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The Cayman Islands is a great place for families.

Grand Cayman has great snorkeling,The Turtle Farm,The Butterfly Farm,Skateboard and Surf Park,Rum Point,Parasailing,Atlantis Sub,Blow holes and Stingray City (a mustdo,you swim with tame stingrays).
It is also a very safe destination.We went this past May and my family of 5 really enjoyed Grand Cayman.

Rent a beachfront condo.We stayed at www.discoverypointclub.com.

Christie
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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This message is for Christie who stayed at the Discovery Point Club. I looked at their websites - they seem very nice. I have never been to the Caymans. Are the condos near grocery stores, shopping, and nightlife?
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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The end of December is the busiest time down here so book as early as possible.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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blondiepopo, Discovery Point in Grand Caymans is located far from most restaurants, grocery stores, etc. Its down the end of the island and you would need a rental car if staying there. The best beach area is Seven Mile beach of course but down by Discovery Point there are lots of rocks in the beautiful ocean. The middle of Seven Mile beach is the best, no rocks, beautiful white sand and the prettiest water I have ever seen! (and we have been to Hawaii). We stayed at Plantana in 2003 (condo on the beach) and loved it! Our sons were age 17 and 14 at the time and said it was our best vacation ever. We are heading to Aruba in November, staying at the Hyatt. It will be our first time to Aruba, hoping it's as nice as GC but we will miss having a condo on the beach.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Re that last post, Discovery Point is no more than half a mile down the beach from Plantana, the last poster made it sound like the ends of the earth

I would agree that Cayman is a great place for kids that age, but note that, in common with most of the Caribbean, rates at end Dec / early Jan are at their highest, and availability at many condos is very limited at this stage (many are booked a year out), so start looking seriously right now.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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Ok, don't think I said that but to answer the question, some condos are near the grocery stores but Discovery Point is not one of them. Either is Plantana so you would need some type of transportion to get around at either. Some of the condos are located in walking distance of the shopping area, this would be south of Plantana.
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