Family of 32 at Christmas

Old Sep 30th, 2006, 01:20 AM
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Family of 32 at Christmas

My Mom is taking the whole family to the caribbean Christmas 2007. We are now trying to narrow down which island to go to.
We will likely go with an all-inclusive. We are a fairly active bunch with 18 kids ranging from 4-21, a bunch of adults in their 40s and Grandma. There is some concern with drinking water amongst the parents with the youngest kids. Snorkelling, a good beach, lots of activities like tennis are important. I doubt a kids club will be a big deal. We likely don't want the most expensive place however we will definitely want it to be a nice area. So far Barbados and Jamaica have been suggested as possibilities.
Any thoughts on which island would be best?
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Good luck with this but you're starting late for Christmas week. It books up very fast.
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Halfmoon, just outside MoBay, in Jamaica can handle 32 with ease -- and meet your criteria. Wherever you go in Caribbean for Christmas/New Year's, tho, expect limited availablity/high
price airfare as well as premium rates
for accomodations that are higher than regular winter rates. Since you can book air in groups of 8, there can be
possible discounts.
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 05:53 AM
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The Riviera Maya (outside Cancun) in Mexico has a LOT of great AI resorts. We really love the Iberostar Paraiso complex. It includes four hotels---the Beach, Del Mar, Lindo and Maya. They have tennis a loads of activities all through the day to keep everyone busy. Or else you can just lay on their great beach or by one of their beaituful pools. You can get great information on all the Iberostar resorts at
http://www.iberostar-board.com/boards/index.php
Folks read carefully--they're looking at Christmas 2007--they have plenty of time.
The previous poster was right however. Expect prices to be almos double of what they'll be before or after Christmas week.
Alos, have you considered a Caribbean cruise? Working in a school I often have to travel at holiday times and have been on several Christmas cruises.
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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I think you have some good suggestions.

Schmerl: did you ever have trouble with the water in Mexico? I have thought about trying one of those resorts in the mayan riveria.

I also think a cruise could be fun with a large crowd.

The Dominican Republic has some reasonably priced all inclusive resorts as well.

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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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girlonthego,
The bigger resorts have their own water pufification systems. We drank bottled water, but brushed our teeth with the tap water with no problems at all.
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Thanks Schmerl. I have heard of the Iberostar resorts. Is there one in particular that is better than others? We would most likely be traveling with our daughters.
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Sorry, didn't notice 2007. A cruise wouldn't be a bad idea if that appeals to you. Lots of activity or inactivity if some want to be lazy.
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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girlonthego,
There are two Iberostar complexes in Mexico. One is the Tucan/Queztel. They are sister hotels and share all the facilities. They are about a five minute ride from Playa Del Carmen and the beach and water are lovely.
Then there is the BIGGER Iberostar Paraiso complex. That includes the Lindo/Maya which are sister resorts that have the run of all the bars and restaurants at the Paraiso---then there are the Del Mar/Beach right next door. They can not get food or drink at the Lindo/Maya side, but all four hotels share the same beach. The beach is also great there, but the water can be a little more rough. We loved the Paraiso complex. They run a free shuttel to Playa del Carmen throughout the day. There are also Iberostars in the Dominican Republic and many other places. For great Iberostar information, go to
http://www.iberostar-board.com/boards/index.php
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Old Sep 30th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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Thanks for everything so far. Yes we are talking 2007 so we can't even get prices yet. Our original thought was a cruise however we held a vote and resort won.
I'd easily head to Mexico however I'm afraid my sister would veto it. Too many rumors of bad water. I've been there before and had minor issues however it may have been the open bar and not the water!!!!
I went to DR a couple years ago and there were some serious health issues at our resort so I think even I would veto DR.
Keep the ideas coming and thanks.
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Thanks Schmerl for the response.

Nukesul: Aruba is an island with lots to do and great food and clean water to drink. I wouldn't recommend the all inclusives because the restaurants are very good there. But they do have some all inclusives there. There are a ton of watersports right in front of the hotels. We stayed at the Marriott and I do believe you can get a meal plan there. There are also numerous size accomodations there because there is a timeshare resort adjacent to the hotel.
Good luck!
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