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need help quick!

Old Apr 19th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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need help quick!

since my boss knows I love to travel, he asked for some advice for an upcoming trip his family and several other families want to take in early August.

I want to get all of your advice as well before I give him my recommendations (which he needs by 5:30 today since he is meeting with everyone tonight to make a final decision).

Here are his specs:

- needs a short or direct flight from DC
- hotel room, no condo because they don't want to cook (or even have a kicthen)
- not super expensive
- there will be kids age 6 - 12
- needs kids activities or programs
- gambling
- snorkeling and good beach

Boss's family has 3 kids so they will need eitehr 2 rooms or a pull out couch or something to accomodate everyone.

His original ideas were Bahamas, St. John or Aruba. Of thos, Aruba and Bahamas seem to fit the bill the best. What do you guys think? Also, any other islands you can think of that would work?

they are also considering a cruise...

Thanks for your help...I want to give him great ideas so he has a good time,and hopefully gives me a big raise so I can go on more trips!

Kristen1206 is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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I would suggest St John over Aruba anyday.Aruba is expensive and not a good island for snorkeling.It is also very flat and dry.

St John has some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean..also is a 20 ferry ride to St Thomas if they would like more shopping and nightlife.
Have heard great things about the Westin Resort on StJ.

Trust me..I have been to Aruba with my husband and I am so glad that I did not take the kids as it was one party island..too much I thought for kids.The people of Aruba are very friendly but that is about all.

Go with St John!!
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Also check out Bonaire or Curacao.Of the ABC islands..I would go to either of these two over Aruba.

Another thought would be Negril,Jamaica..not anything like Montego Bay.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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Kristen, Aruba's Palm Beach was actually named "Best Family Beach" by the Travel Channel recently. It's not a party place like Cancun, but they have tons of fun things for the family. Only thing is that the snorkeling isn't that great. Lastly, the flight to Aruba would probably be the longest of the Caribbean islands since it is so far south, but for me the 1/2 hour extra in the plane is worth it. Also, look into Provo. It might be a little too quiet for children unless you stay at Beaches. I have never been to St. John, but that is next on my hit list. I've been looking into it and it looks amazing.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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The Bahama's would be close. Have you looked at Atlantis? I don't know about the cost, but I know they say there's tons of stuff to do. We stayed at the Sandals and so I know there is gambling on the island and our beach was ok. Otherwise, one of my nieces took her family to Beaches in T&C. I don't know about the prices, but that would also be close.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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hi, Kristen--it's good to see your name here again. hope all is splendid with you these last couple of weeks before the big day arrives.

Does your boss know about the risks of traveling during hurricane season? Even though it's a longer flight, I would think the Marriott on Curacao would be perfect for both children and adult activities. The island provides a little more international culture than Aruba, and it's far south enough that it's a safer bet than the Leeward or Windward islands. KNow don't about flights from DC.

I'm pretty sure that there are nonstop flights between DC and Barbados, but it does lack casinos. I don't know much about Barbados, other than the place we stayed. which would be too quiet, remote, and probably out of their price range with that many kids in the room.

Let us know what he decides--and please keep us posted with your news!
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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You really can't beat a cruise, it will be a lot easier to please everyone and also for people to go their separate ways if they want. We have taken our kids, ages 8 and 12 on a number of trips including Aruba, Hawaii, a Western Caribbean cruise, Puerto Rico, Florida, etc. Aruba was their least favorite. They loved the cruise, especially all the kids activities. The cruise is the best value for a large group. It's really hard to find a destination with all the things people want.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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From DC there are direct flights to Bahamas. I would go between Cable Beach in Nassau, and Freeport. Nice beaches, reasonable accomidations, casinos, short flight from DC. Aruba too far for a short trip, and it connects either Miami or Puerto Rico.
St John's is spectacular, but still have to connect from DC to get there. (Miami or Puerto Rico) then take ferry over. The Westin there with kids would be a good choice. No casinos, but great snorkeling, and even island hopping.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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For once, I do not suggest St. John. With your boss' criteria, he is better off going to Grand Bahamas with plenty of beach, kids activities, gambling, (they can stay right in a casino) and the prices are competitive. Paradise Island is more expensive from what I hear.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 03:52 AM
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NYgiants-I watched that show that named Palm Beach the Best Family Beach and I cannot believe that it was voted the best.When I was in Aruba..I did not see that many families..but did see a bunch of partiers.I can say that the people in Aruba were very friendly and the food was excellent.I did not like the fact that my husband was approached numerous times to buy drugs.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 04:58 AM
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Christie, I remember your posts about that. I was shocked as were a few other posters about the numerous offers to buy drugs. It's a shame that happened but unfortunately drugs are everywhere. If it is of any comfort, I've been a Aruba a few times and never offered any even though I'm a young male(their target buyer). Just out of curiousity, when did you go to Aruba and at which resort did you stay? I have stayed at the Radisson and all it ever had was couples and families. From walking along the beach, the vast majority of the vacationers were couples or families.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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Thanks for your help!!!!

Emily...I am doing well..thanks for asking. A little less than a month to go. I am ready now though!!
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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NYgiants-we went to Aruba April 28th of 04.We stayed at The Renaissance in Oranjestad.We did go to Palm Beach and Eagle's Beach.I thought that the hotel was a great midway location to the beaches (Eagle,Palm and Baby at the other end)I'm sure that part of why this happened to us is because of were we stayed.After our trip..I read on the internet that druglords use the Renaissance to smuggle in there drugs.

Overall,I liked the hotel itself and the service there was wonderful.The bartenders were great and very friendly and helpful with the best restaurants to go to.

I guess that I just prefer mountainous islands..with good snorkeling.(I think that Kauai spoiled us.)

I think that what goes on when you are on vacation can make you either like it or not.It sounds like you have had good experiences with Aruba.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 04:39 PM
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NYgiants--are you out there???
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 04:46 PM
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Hey Christie. I totally understand what you mean because I had a similar experience while in Jamaica for a very short time. But, it left such an impression on me that I don't want to go back even though there are many other parts to the island and many people who enjoy it. I totally understand where you're coming from.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 04:57 PM
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Cool. I would like to go to Negril or Treasure Beach Jamaica..oneday.I do not know if I will be able to talk my husband into going.He knows too many people that have had bad experiences there.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Sorry, don't ask me to convince him. haha
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 05:15 PM
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My observations of Palm Beach in Aruba is its very family oriented, so much thats what totally turned me off...tremendous amount of activity. Kids would love it, mine are grown, when we travel now its not our cup of tea. Only reason we do Aruba is to break up the sometimes bad connections to Bonaire.

For flights, I beleive United now flies nonstop from Dulles to Aruba which makes it possible for a somewhat quicker jaunt. Would take about the same time as flying to Nassau with a connection for example.

Happy travels all.
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