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Family of 8 looking for kid friendly vacation, really need advice!

Family of 8 looking for kid friendly vacation, really need advice!

Old Oct 11th, 2002, 08:39 AM
Kaley Straatsma
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Family of 8 looking for kid friendly vacation, really need advice!

We have 6 children between age 10 and 17. Looking for a tropical vacation with lots of activites for teens, good food and drinks for mom and dad. We did a cruise a few years ago, but $'s really added up with the cost of beverages and shore excursions. We have heard that there are some great all-inclusive resorts out there that might be right "up our alley". Wondered about The Dominican Republic. Is it safe there? Any other ideas or suggestions would really be helpful to us!
We like the idea of VI, Carribean or even Mexico. We would be going the first part of April 2003. Thanks in advance!
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 09:06 AM
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Don't worry about the Dominican Republic....especially the Punta Cana area. It's a great beach holiday and you'll love the all inclusive part, especially with kids who eat and drink all day long. Go to this website for reviews of DR resorts:
Another good area would be the Mayan Riviera (south of Cancun). I can recommend the Barcelo resort as being great for families (about 15 to 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen). Either destination would be wonderful as a family holiday. From my location, the DR is cheaper and just as nice. For reviews of the Barcelo, go to this website:
For other reviews try this:
Good luck!
Old Oct 13th, 2002, 02:05 PM
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DR might be the way to go since it is very affordable. A number of people I know have been and did not have any problems.

Bucanneer in St. Criox caters to families and children of all ages - very nice resort. Beaches is also a good choices but can be very pricey for a larger family. Other options might be Radission Cable Beach, Riu in Negril, resorts in Mexico (outside of Cancun area - there seems to be a large selection), Windjammer in St. Lucia as well as the Wyndham there.
Old Oct 14th, 2002, 01:23 PM
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Hi Kaley,
We took the family to the Casa Del Mar in Dominican Republic in Feb. The girls loved it,13,16 & 17. We didn't have to worry about them once on the resort. We got adjoining rooms over looking the pool, it was great. Food and drink were excellent. Hope this helps.
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 08:08 PM
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Hey guys! Thanks for your advice and opinions. We made reservations at the Iberostar Punta Cana. We are SOOOOOO excited!! Any tips and advice from our traveling friends would be very welcome. I will be checking this site for any of your recomendations and tips.
Please advise if anyone has good tips about room placement. What floor is the best? What rooms are close together? We ne and and food reservation ideas.
Is there ANY way to be involved in the Iberostar Bavaro portion of our resort?
We thought that this resort was part of our package, but are now hearing a differerent story.
Please give us your expertise.
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 09:13 AM
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Hi Kaley: We went to the Occidental Flamenco Punta Cana in Oct. it is on Bavaro Beach. We walked up to your resort, you will love the area of Punta Cana. We did the Bavaro Runners tour it was all day costly but did give the chance for horseback riding shopping, lunch swimming and the beautiful scenary . We went to a typical home ect. A great day. We found it very safe but don't do anything like walk to town at night ect. Walking in the daylight to the Bavaro Plaza would be ok , they are somewhat aggressive but polite. From the Occidental Flamenco the Plaza was about a 5min. walk from the front entrance of the resort. There is a dolphin park , some free tickets were given out at our resort for audience participation prizes so be on the lookout maybe that would help with costs when you have such a big group. We really enjoyed Punta Cana and are planning on returning. Make sure to remind the kids to drink the bottled water it is really easy to forget especially when taking a pill of brushing your teeth. Karen
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 09:15 AM
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Kaley, two years ago, we stayed at the Iberostar Dominicana and loved it. The food was the best we'd ever had at an all inclusive. You will have access to everything at the Punta Cana and the Dominicana so you really don't need to have access to the Bavaro. You can walk thru it, if you like but you can't use the restaurants/bars, unless things have recently changed regarding that. As for the Punta Cana, it's built perpendicular to the beach so there are very few ocean fronted rooms but the higher up rooms would have a side view of the ocean. I recommend asking for rooms on the upper floors for a few reasons....the first is that the ground floor rooms don't have as much chance for a breeze so they can get a bit musty smelling, the upper floors might have a side view of the ocean, the very top floors have cathedral ceilings so it gives the feeling of more space. I can't remember room numbers...sorry. Also, I recommend that you book the specialty restaurants as soon as you can because they fill up quickly and a family of 8 is large. If you are going at a busy time, you might not get seating at the restaurants you want to try if you don't make the reservations quickly. Have fun!
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 08:39 AM
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I stayed at the Iberostar Punta Cana two years ago with my family and loved it! (I had previously stayed at the Allegro Occidental Bavaro in PC and it was so much better than that.) There are many restaurant choices. Besides the buffets, there is a steakhouse, Italian, Mexican, and one set-menu place that I believe was called La Sibilia. The steakhouse and Italian restaurants were "transformed" at night from the beach buffet restaurants. Definitely reserve early. I believe they only guarantee three nights a la carte for a 7-night stay, but you can reserve for additional nights if you do it day of and there is space available. There is a lot to do at this resort, and your children should be very happy. We had no luck eating at the Bavaro part of the hotel. We did sit down for lunch one day there, and they allowed us to eat the lunch we had taken from the buffet, but we were warned that that part of the hotel was not part of our package. The pool is nice, there is a spa/health club, small casino (drinks here not included), a cute Caribbean street on the property with little shops and a place that does temporary henna tatoos, and another little shopping mall area where the disco is located. I would not hesitate to return there.
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