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Looking for an Alternate to Hawaii. Can we find it in the Caribbean?

Looking for an Alternate to Hawaii. Can we find it in the Caribbean?

Old May 14th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 270
Looking for an Alternate to Hawaii. Can we find it in the Caribbean?

We are a family of 4 (2 kids: 8 & 10)and have gone to Hawaii a number of times. We are thinking about trying something different next year, and am wondering if there is something in the Caribbean that we would enjoy.

For background, DH and I have been to USVI, PR, and BVI (sailing). These trips were all before kids. Now, when we go to Hawaii we almost always go to the Grand Wailea on Maui because of the gorgeous hotel, fabulous beach and great pools (water slide, floating river, etc). Above all else, that is what we are looking for. We want our beach vacation to be relaxing and easy. Pack up the swimsuits and sunscreen and go!

Flying to Hawaii and staying at the Grand Wailea has gotten very expensive, so we are starting to think of alternate destinations.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the Caribbean? We want to stay in a nice place with a great beach and pool, good kids program. Our budget is $400/night.

We've even thought of AI's. We have not done those before, but I picture a cruise ship experience (mediocre buffets, cheesy activities/entertainment, average service). Am I wrong? No offense to cruisers, that's just our impression after one cruise. Although the kids loved it, my husband and I would prefer to keep on land. Not ruling out AI's, just would need to know that we won't be cringing at the thought of another buffet by day 4!

Sorry for the long post, but would appreciate your expertise and ideas.

Thanks much.
issy is offline  
Old May 15th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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Check out the Hyatt at Grand Cayman - they have a kid's program. The island is safe & fun to explore. Also check out Red Sail Sports on the Hyatt website - it is the Hyatt's water sports center.

The Atlantis in the Bahamas has many fun onsite things to do & has a kid's program (click on Atlantis Navigator to get to Just for Kids).
Old May 15th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 270
Thanks for the tips. I'll look into them.

I have heard and read that the Atlantis is very crowded and the service is often lacking. Do you have any personal experience with the resort?
issy is offline  
Old May 15th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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It's been about 3 years since we were there & it was in February - we did not find it overly crowded. The beach & pool are not secluded but we never felt crowded. Of course, I like to get to the beach/pool early so we had our pick of chairs, etc. We stayed in the Towers (where the bridge tower is). Don't know if it is still true, but, only people who were staying there could get into that area. Also, only people staying at the Atlantis could gain access to the beach & pool. Cruise ship people & others could get into the casino & shopping areas.

I think there is a lot of things there your kids would love. The slides are a blast. I forget how many pools there are but there is also a floating river & a lagoon. I believe there is also fun educational things for them to do.

We did not have any service issues. Not sure if the price meets what you are looking for.

The Hyatt is on Seven Mile Beach in GC. The pool is not as exciting but the island is great. I would rent a jeep & go around to different places. There is fantastic snorkeling right off the beach everywhere but especially at a public beach a short distance from Rum Point, the Atlantis submarine, and snorkeling with the StingRays.

If the choice is between Mom & Dad laying on the beach at the hotel while the kids do fun things close by - I would probably go with the Atlantis.
Old May 15th, 2006, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
I've had several friends stay at Atlantis & none of them would ever go back...so I doubt that I will ever feel the need to visit myself. By several I mean 6-8.
SAnParis is offline  
Old May 15th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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I liked the Atlantis but we like to explore islands, etc so I probably would not go back either. The outer islands of the Bahamas are Ok but Nassua/Paradise Island are NOT the kind of place I like to go.

However, I do think the Atlantis has a lot of fun things for kids right on the grounds. We did not take our kids but we had a blast with some of the things the kids would love.

What time of year are you going? Aruba is out of the hurricane zone so you may also look in that direction. I am not familiar with "kid friendly" resorts there.
Old May 15th, 2006, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 241

Check out the Dreams Resorts or Sunscape Resorts - they are all-inclusives in Mexico and Dominican Republic. They are family-friendly, lots for adults, beautiful beaches, lovely accommodations, great kids programs. These are some of the newer all-inclusive resorts in those areas and the Dreams Resorts would be close in quality and experience to the Grand Wailea. Lots of people are returning to these resorts and referring them to their friends and family.

Have a great day!
juliaelzie is offline  
Old May 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Thanks everyone. We will be traveling in April (Easter week for spring break), if that makes a difference.

I think we should really give the all-inclusives a serious look. I am worried about the food, though. I hate the idea of spending the money to eat in buffets and marginal restaurants for a week. Is that a legit concern?

issy is offline  
Old May 15th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
2 great suggestions
Hyatt regency Aruba is a great resort super family friendly yet still upscale W/a great multi level pool and a huge slide ,swim up bar and just steps from beautiful palm beach ,the resort's gardens/landscape are among the finest in the entire caribbean.
another suggestion is Westin St John incredible landscaped gardens & a huge 1/4 acre pool with waterfalls & palm tree islands however their beach is nothing special but you are less than 2 miles away from trunk bay arguably the prettiest beach in the caribbean ,kids have plenty to stay busy with a multitude of water sports ,snorkeling

asp1 is offline  
Old May 15th, 2006, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 102
I had the same AI food fears before our family reunion at a Club Med.
The food was above average.
I have no personal experience with Club Meds in the Caribbean, but wanted to toss that our there as they are known for their activities and family atmosphere. Maybe investigate the one they have in Cancun? It's on the Caribbean, though not an island.
Peterman is offline  
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