Caribbean for kids and folks?

Sep 23rd, 2007, 01:24 PM
  #1  
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Caribbean for kids and folks?

Hello,

We are new to the forum and would like to thank anyone ahead of time who may respond to us.

We are looking for a Caribbean destination for our family of 4(40's parents, 10 and 7 year old children) and my hubby's folks(70's, but like to venture out). The 6 of us will go during spring break in March 08.

Some of what we would like: pool for kids, maybe all-inclusive(or meal plan), beaches close by.

What we are trying to avoid: mega-resort/cruise feel/spring break crowds, roughing it(due to kids and folks ages, Jamaica.

Any help on destinations, places to stay (or not stay) would be ever-so-helpful.

We are getting a bit concerned due to the time crunch and spring break.

Thanks to all of you knowledgeable travelers!

col4ever
col4ever is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 01:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Sounds like a condo-style might be good for a group like yours. All the islands have these accommodations for families like yours. They allow you to eat-in if you like to save a few bucks, rest for the kids, etc. You don't say where you are flying from but Aruba comes to mind (LaCabana). As I said, all islands have something along these lines.
Cissy is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Try Beaches Resort in Turks & Caicos.Super resort for everybody!
Kimberly is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 05:06 PM
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what do you want to do? dive, snorkel, golf, beach time, shopping, casino, hiking, historical sites??? do you want lush and tropical? can inlaws get around well - go up/down steps? is great dining important? nightlife?
where are you coming from?
are kids self entertaining or in need of Beaches/Atlantis type stuff to have fun? or could you do a villa?
and an idea of your budget. some islands are more expensive generally than others.
some take a full day to get to, even from fla.
some lush/green. some flat/scrubby. some know for food. some for fun.
virginia is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 06:30 PM
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I would recommend Aruba or Grand Cayman for families. Both have great dining and are family friendly. The waters are warm, aqua and white sandy beaches.
We went to Marriotts on both islands. The Marriott in Aruba is large scale with timeshares next to it. Big pools, so mega resort type. The marriott in GC is smaller scale but large enough. One pool that is not too big.
We enjoyed both places with our kids. Watersports galore in both places. We found the dining to be good in both places as well as some cheap kiddy options if you are interested in that as well. (fast food)We didn't bother with the fast food because I like nice food on vacation. But we did go to the grocery stores and pick up light breakfast items for the family.
I found GC to be friendlier in every way and quieter. There is no real nightlife after dinner. That was fine for us. Aruba has gambling.
Spring break is a popular time so all of the resorts will be crowded. The two islands I mentioned are not typical teen spring breaks. I would avoid mexico-cancun area during that time.
Many of the islands have cruise ships. We aren't big shoppers so this did not effect us.
girlonthego is online now  
Sep 24th, 2007, 03:30 AM
  #6  
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Cis, Kim, Virginia & girl-

Thanks for the info..will check on your spots today.

Virginia- snorkel, beach, small hikes, little sight seeing, nice beaches, lush. in-laws can do stairs and short hikes. Food just needs to be edible, maybe one nice dining experience. No nightlife necessary, nor shopping.(in fact, our past vaca spots nighlife was a bother due to proximity of our room with the kids) Coming from NJ, can fly out of PA, NYC or Newark. Kids just need water time daily, some entertainment good. We did a condo in HI and liked it- clean, bfast in condo, car to tour island mixed with daily swims. Fun ranks higher than food or nightlife. Budget travelers, between 7-9K if possible for the 6 of us, March 21-30th time frame.

Our past vaca were Waikoloa, HI, Xpu-Ha(Mex), cruise (Belize, Costa Maya, Bahamas& Cozumel). HI was best...condo, pool, toured island, swimming everyday. Great balance.

Hope this helps to bring in more suggestions. Thanks so very much! You are all so kind to take the time to help.

col4ever
col4ever is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 05:17 AM
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Take a look at Windjammer Landing on St. Lucia. I think it might provide everything you are looking for. Or otherwise Discovery at Marigot Bay. St. Lucia is one of the most lush islands in the Caribbean. The beaches aren't powdery white sand, but they are still pretty good (but don't expect crystal clear water because St. Lucia is a volcanic island). Nevertheless, I think St. Lucia offers everything you are looking for.

I'm not sure why you want to avoid Jamaica. It's wonderful, and there are many places on the island that would meet your needs, especially in Negril.
doug_stallings is online now  
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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my vote is Turks & Caicos, Aruba or Grand Cayman.
great beaches, great restaurants & very kid friendly, nice locals.
check out the Hyatt or Radisson Aruba, Westin or Hyatt GC OR for an AI option Beaches in T&C. non AI options, The Palms, RWI or the Sands on Grace Bay.

those will be your best bets IMO.

patsfan1 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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hi girlonthego, we are thinking of going to GC next June with our 2 daughters (7 & 9). What kinds of things did you do with your kids while you were there? How was the kids program/activity if any at the Marriotts? Where did you go for food? Thanks
helenmandy is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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helen mandy :Never used the kids program so I am not sure if they have one. Our kids are early teens and we had friends meet us there with their kids. Everyone was entertained.
My kids went snorkeling daily, one went parasailing, one went scuba diving. My husband took them out on jet skis. We did a snorkel cruise through the Marriott to stingray city. It was fun. Your kids would enjoy that. The other watersports may be a lot. My girls are 13 and 14 years old.
Dining is very good on the island. Most places offered kid fare if you wanted it. My kids dined off the adult menu most of the time. But some nights, we went to a mostly fish restaurant, they would go straight to the kids menu and the chicken fingers would be ordered!
The Marriott has a breakfast buffet that is very good. Your kids would be half the price of the adults. My one daughter and I were having breakfast and the waitress asked how old she was and she said 13. (she had just turned 13). The waitress told her you are 12 today and every day that you eat breakfast!
The food was good for lunch as well. Most lunches we ate right on the beach. The waiters will come up with menus. They have kid fare here as well. You may have to ask for it. Dinners we went all over the area every night. Most nights, we cabbed it to the restaurant and would walk home down the beach. Everyone walks the beach at night. (so very safe).

Bring water shoes for them. The sand is very soft, but has little rocks that will bother the feet.
There are convenience stores and grocery stores on the island that are easy to walk to and pick up snacks, breakfast items, drinks,etc... We did this a few times.

It is humid in June. I was surprised at the fact that it was humid. (no real breeze). It rained a couple of times, but not for very long (an hour or maybe just 10 min sometimes). It was mostly good weather.

The people were the friendliest of any island. The water is beautiful. The food was good and there is fast food (a wendy's right down the street) if you need it. Our friend's teenage son walked up to Wendy's about 10 times just to get a burger during the day. He is about 6 feet and ate constantly. I think they were happy about having a Wendy's so close!
The marriott has just been refurbished in the last year or two. It is a nice hotel. It was not on a grand a scale as their aruba property, but also not as crowded. We went the last week of June this past summer and it was not crowded at all. It had people walking around and most chairs filled up, but not so bad that we couldn't always get first row each day on the beach.
I definitely enjoyed our trip there.
girlonthego is online now  
Sep 28th, 2007, 05:03 AM
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Helen mandy,

We stayed at the GC Marriott last June also and I can say that they do have a kids program that they call "Camp Coconuts Kids Club". However, we did not use it so I can't comment much on it, other than what I read about it on their Activities Schedule. One day they went to Boatswain's Beach and Turtle Farm, one morning was a "Beach Day", they had "pajama parties" with movies, etc. two evenings and went to the Butterfly Farm one morning.

We went with our 9 year old daughter and thought it was a great family place. The area in front of the Marriott was a great place for my daughter to get used to snorkeling. We saw many fish there. Getting her first experience there helped her enjoy our snorkeling tour to Coral Gardens, the Barrier Reef and Stingray Island. She was a little timid about the stingrays right at first, but warmed up quickly and LOVED the whole experience.

Other things we did on GC included Boatswain's Beach and Turtle Farm and the butterfly farm. The highlight of our trip for our daughter was Boatswain's Beach. We did the "wet package" which is expensive, but was worth it to us because she had so much fun.

There are lots of good places for food, but our favorite was the Wharf. We all really enjoyed out seat by the water and watching the tarpon feeding. We also enjoyed Macuba at the Cracked Conch and Paradise by the Sea.
travelerfromtx is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Thanks girlonthego & travelerfromtx for your info. They are very helpful.
helenmandy is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Your welcome. I just want to add that we enjoyed these restaurants:
Ragazzi-italian
7 prime cuts-upscale steakhouse at the Ritz (but just a little more $ than some of the smaller restaurants)
Deckers-more seafood type food, but has lots of choices.
I am not a seafood person, so I did not eat seafood in any of the restaurants. My DH did and he loved his fish.
We did not like the Wharf, but everyone else here has. So, I am guessing we just had a bad night. Or maybe it was because I didn't eat the seafood?
Anyway, enjoy!
girlonthego is online now  

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