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Help ! - vacation destination for family with two teens

Help ! - vacation destination for family with two teens

Aug 10th, 2007, 05:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,065
Help ! - vacation destination for family with two teens

I found out that my 18 yo will have the same spring break as my 17 yo. This will never happen again so I want to choose a fabulous vacation destination.
Priorities are:
Lots of water activities such as jet skis, snorkeling, sailing, water skiing
Hiking and other land activities
Tennis, golf, beach volleyball and mountain biking would be a plus but not high priority

We have never tried an AI and would be willing to do so but would rather avoid someplace massive. My concern is that we would be stuck with mediocre food. We usually like to try locally owned restaurants.

Cancun is OUT, OUT, OUT. Spring break. I've looked at Playa del Carmen but the resort area looked so crowded.

Considered Costa Rica but didn't think we needed to travel so far (from Virginia) for a great beach vacation.

I think the Caribbean is the place for us.

The number one, most important necessity is availability of beach chairs. I HATE an early morning scramble for beach chairs.

Thank you great Fodorites.
Birdie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Consider the recently renovated Breezes in Runaway Bay. It has been a big facelift, does not accept young kids and has lots of options for activities and food for a very reasonable price.

kfusto is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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kfusto - Thank you for the response. I looked into Breezes on TripAdvisor. It does sound like a fun place with beach chair availability! I think my 18 yo might enjoy the numerous drinking games mentioned. I don't know whether I want to encourage that, though.

I had been looking at Almond Morgan Bay in St. Lucia. Any thoughts? One concern that has been mentioned is the cloudy water.
Birdie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Last Christmas break we took our 2 teens (15 & almost 18) to Playa Del Carmen. Yes, it was crowded, but not overwhelming. We rented a condo in a complex a couple of blocks from the main town area. The complex was on the beach and had a pool. Most of the activities you mention are nearby (within walking distance). My kids liked the freedom of being able to go into town on their own (which they usually did around lunchtime). ALso PDC has a wealth of restaurants, and not just Mexican food, but just about everything imaginable. Also the Cozumel ferry is right there if you want to check Cozumel out (lots of good snorkelling there).

Being a condo complex there were lots of families around. My son joined in some beach games with other groups. Nothing was formally organized, it was more 'pick-up' style.

We've done the AIs when the kids were younger, and it was easy and convenient, but the food tends to get monotonous after the first few days, and the constant organized activities at the poolfront we rarely would partake in and would just tune out after a day or 2.
MFNYC is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Thanks, MFNYC. Do you remember the name of the complex?
Birdie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Xaman Ha condos. they are privately owned but there are several services that rent them out. They are listed in tripadvisor.
MFNYC is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I know it's far from Virginia, but after reading your list of "to dos" I couldn't help but think of hawaii. Maui or the Big Island if you want jet skiing. I don't think it's allowed on Kauai. I haven't not been, but I've heard Barbados is fantastic. Not sure it has hiking?
teaforwendy is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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check this website which has xaman ha condo listing, as well as other condos and villas. http://www.playadelcarmenvillas.com/escape.htm

CLick on condos for the website menu bar.
MFNYC is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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OK I have completely eliminated AI's.

MFNYC - I looked at Xenan Ha and it is in the running. Can you sit on the beach or are you limited to the pool which, I realize, overlooks the beach? I notice there aren't palapas. Can you rent umbrellas?
I am also looking at Shangri la Caribe. There was a report on theft in rooms on another forum, though.

On one hand I like the idea of being near town for restaurants etc on the other I wouldn't like someplace too commercial. We are not Ocean City, MD people.

I am looking at Barbados. I like Settlers Beach but it is pricier. I looked at Accra too.

In St. Lucia, I am considering Windjammer Landing and Bay Gardens Beach Resort.

Any other ideas?

Doug Stallings, any thoughts?
Thank you.
Birdie is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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From a fellow Virginian, if you don't like OC you won't like PDC. We tried an AI there last year with small children - they had a blast. The AI was so easy with kids. Plenty of beach chairs, but we were shoulder to shoulder on the beach. Most of these AI places are huge, dumping 1000+ people onto limited beachfront. My husband called it a cruise ship on land.

Check out Turks and Caicos. It's a short flight from here and not too overdeveloped, but still enough to do. Super snorkelling. Lots of condos w/kitchens to rent.

Freeport, Bahamas is also a short trip (and cheap via AirTran). The market has bands and dancing outside at night and lots of restaurants. There might be spring breakers at the Sheraton, though, so check it out.

surfermom is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 05:10 AM
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there are no palapas or unbrella rentals at xaman ha. the beach is smallish but seems to vary. when we were there, there was enough room to play games in the sand, and you can bring a chair down from the pool, but not all that much sapce. We lounged by the pool, and just walked over to the beach to go in the water.

There are some smallish hotels in town on the water. Xaman Ha itself was pretty quiet becuse there are no facilities as far as gyms, bars, restaurants,e tc. There is a snack bar in the pool area, but that's it. Services are available through the property management by services o nthe premises is limited.
MFNYC is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Thank you kfusto, MFNYC, teaforwendy and surfermom for all of your suggestions. They were very much appreciated.

After hours and hours of research,we have decided to go to The Buccaneer in St. Croix. While the island is a little more Americanized than we would like, the resort and island have everything we were looking for and a good range of room rates. I was finding that Easter/Spring break prices were too high or that the destination would be overun at that busy time.
Birdie is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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We are going to The Buccaneer in April. You might want to check out the following for your teens:

lovethecape is offline  

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