first Caribbean trip with kids

Oct 21st, 2015, 11:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
first Caribbean trip with kids

We want to take a family vacation in April to a tropical location. It will be the first time our two kids, ages 8 and 10, will have been to a place like that, so we would like a place that has good beaches, clear water, in short, what you think of when you think the Caribbean. We will be using Marriott points, so that limits destinations. We're not into big resort-y places (hard to avoid with a Marriott, but still), and would ideally like a place where we could explore nature some. Kid-friendly snorkeling is also a must. We would consider a mainland place like Costa Rica if it had everything we wanted. Oh, and one child is allergic to peanuts, so good communication with people is key. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
jw71 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2015, 05:45 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,216
We used points at Marriott Aruba and Marriott Grand Cayman. Marriott Aruba is a large scale resort and has everything and then some. Lots of pool areas, watersports, activities, etc.. Aruba has great dining choices and you will find both upscale restaurants and kid friendly fare almost everywhere. Marriott was great, but if during spring break (we have done this week, twice), it will be crowded. Since the Marriott hotel also has two timeshares attached,the whole resort is quite busy. They do have a kids club that we used one night as we were traveling with another couple and their kids and all our kids were around your kids' ages. They had pizza and watched a movie while we went to a fancy restaurant on property and gambled for a little bit.
Marriott Cayman is also very nice but a lot smaller. Pool is small, but we go to the islands to go to the beach. The only gripe is the beach is narrow by the Marriott, but I loved the Cayman. It is a lot more low key vibe. No casinos. More each bar atmosphere. Lots of good restaurants and great food. We went with the same family and our kids were then in middle school. Great watersports available, prettiest water I have ever seen. We went in June and it was hot and rather humid. I am guessing April will be nicer weather, less humidity. I would highly recommend GC for a family and it felt very safe, people were friendly, etc...

There is also a Marriott Puerto Rico that we just stayed at over New Years break with our now one out of college and one in college aged kids. Marriott is on a beach with lots of waves, you have to watch the kids in the ocean here. Puerto Rico has many activities and things to do including a rainforest.
For your family, lower key pretty island with great water sports, Grand Cayman. For a busier island with nice big resort, Aruba.
girlonthego is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2015, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,365
Based on your criteria I would pick grand cayman. Great snorkelling, wonderful beach, turtle farm, gardens, and wonderful but exp restaurants
mnag is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2015, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,128
I love Aruba and have friends who go to the Marriott every year for sometimes 2 weeks in a row. It is a gorgeous resort, and there is a place at the other end of the island called baby beach which is ideal for snorkeling. Kids would love it. (You would need to go on a tour to get there.) All that you are looking for I think you might like Grand Cayman best as it is a smaller resort. This would be the only thing that would put it over Aruba for me.

Restaurants are the best in Aruba and far more reasonable then Grand Cayman. I think it is more pricy there in terms of restaurants.
diann24 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2015, 06:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks everyone. I should have mentioned that we went to Aruba on our honeymoon and loved it, but were not impressed with the snorkeling, and overall would just like to try someplace new. Grand Cayman sounds good. Has anyone been to the Curacao Marriott?
jw71 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2015, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2
We go to the Grand Cayman Marriott about once a year. We just got back from the Marriott Grand Cayman. My wife usually post on TripAdvisor actually she just posted a review. My email is [email protected] if you need further advice.
AGP1021 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2015, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2
Peters is our review on trip advisor
AGP1021 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2015, 06:18 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,216
Snorkeling is 100 times better in GC than Aruba! And it is also a much lower key island.I think it will be perfect for your family!
On Curacao, we never went to that Marriott, which looks great in pictures because it was too hard to get to Curacao from Richmond, VA. There were never any flights through our typical hubs, Atlanta or Charlotte. So it got scratched. I still think GC will have better snorkeling than all the islands mentioned.
girlonthego is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2015, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
I've heard that there's not much of a beach at The Marriott Curacao. Grand Cayman Marriott is OK, but as mentioned above, the beach there is very narrow and in season it's wall to wall people. However, since you've already been to Aruba and are interested in decent snorkeling, Grand Cayman may be your best choice.
WWK is offline  
Oct 24th, 2015, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,693
The Grand Cayman Marriott beach would be a good place for your kids to learn how to snorkel. We went in March/April a couple of years ago and the beach was packed with lounge chairs, but we just put our towels down in the sand off to the side. I don't think most of the sunbathers even went into the water so it wasn't an issue for us.

Your kids would love the turtle farm. My then 15 year old and I went while my husband was diving and we enjoyed it.
wtm003 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2015, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Try Beaches Resorts it has a mini-waterpark, an xbox lounge, a spa and watersports!
Chigg is offline  
Oct 27th, 2015, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,128
Beaches resort in T&C is a great idea. My husband and I were there many years ago w/o kids, empty nesters. Kids did not bother us as we got a great deal and commented on how kid friendly it was--they can snorkel right off the beach if that is till there? Only they requested a Marriot location. This of course is not but still a great idea.
diann24 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2015, 09:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks for all the input! We booked at the Marriott on Grand Cayman. Probably not the island we would have chosen if Marriott wasn't a factor, but I'm sure we'll have fun. Kids are getting snorkel masks for Christmas
jw71 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2015, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,551
You will have a great time!
Sassafrass is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Caribbean Islands
May 31st, 2011 03:36 AM
Caribbean Islands
Jan 6th, 2008 10:03 AM
Caribbean Islands
Aug 23rd, 2007 04:14 AM
Caribbean Islands
Apr 1st, 2006 05:09 AM
Caribbean Islands
May 22nd, 2004 02:33 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:19 AM.