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winter caribbean trip for family with older teenagers

winter caribbean trip for family with older teenagers

Apr 13th, 2003, 09:31 AM
  #1  
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winter caribbean trip for family with older teenagers

Any advice for a fun family trip to the Caribbean with 2 teenagers (18, 15) next winter? Loved the all-inclusives, but would prefer not to be around young families. Would like availability of water sports, good beaches, snorkeling, evening entertainment, etc. etc. Thanks!
jgs121 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 01:41 PM
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There are lots of hotels in Jamaica that offer an all-inclusive option without being an AI per se. Negril would be a great location for two teens, as there is lots of activity both on and off the beach. What is your price range?
ejcrowe is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 02:11 PM
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thanks for your reply. Price not a problem.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 03:35 PM
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There seem to be many of us here with the same question. Please let us know what you decide (and why!). I'd love a trip report post once you return.
Dreamer2 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:40 PM
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Shall do! Do you have any places you might recommend?
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Apr 14th, 2003, 05:58 PM
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Right now I'm look at Beaches in T & C, but I'm sure there are plenty of younger children there, as well. I also think Jolly Beach Resort in Antigua could be a good choice, but haven't really researched it yet. Hoping to check into whatever you come up with!
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Apr 15th, 2003, 05:31 AM
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I don't know about its entertainment offerings during high season, but Peter Island in the BVI might be a good option for you, too.

Personally, I would advise someone to stay just about anywhere besides the Jolly Beach Resort on Antigua, but it's a question of personal preference.

Though not AI, I would recommend a place like Charela or White Sands on Negril beach. They are reasonably priced options and they front a beach with loads of activities. There's also a placed called Idle Awhile, whose guests are able to share the facilities at Swept Away, so that might be an option, too. If you're really interested in Negril, check out www.negril.com for lots of activities and options. And despite my last posting to the contrary, the more I think about it, the more I realize that Breezes Runaway Bay or Beaches Grande Sport might be just right for you and your two teens.
ejcrowe is offline  
Apr 15th, 2003, 12:14 PM
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Wow, EJC, you are really definitive about Jolly Beach! Is it the resort itself, or the entire island that's a no-go? What did you experience there?! Are your Breezes and Beaches recommendations both on Jamaica?
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Apr 15th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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If price is not a problem, then I suggest that you stay at one of the
higher end non-mega resorts that
do not accept children under 12
(a few have a cut-off of 16, but if
one child is 18 and the other 15, I
don't think any questions will be asked). FYO, I have travelled to many
locations in the Caribbean with my
teenaged daughter. I agree with
the other reply suggesting Peter
Island. The water sports, beach,
excellent snorkeling, etc. make it
an excellent choice. I think the BVI
are hard to beat. The nice thing about Peter Island (as opposed to
the very nice other resorts on neighboring Virgin Gorda), is the free
boat shuttle several times a day to
Road Town. I loved Biras Creek, but
think it might be too remote for teenagers with little entertainment.
Antigua is another good option,
but only if you choose a smaller,
more upscale property (lots of package tours at many places), such
as Galley Bay or Curtain Bluff. These
resorts do get families with older children, food is good, and there is
a lot to do on the island, including
many water sports options. Beaches
are nice, but not as nice in my opinion as BVI. I have not been to
Grenada, but my husband has, and
it is getting more popular. Some nice properties there, too. I also
like Barbados, but the classier resorts on the west side e.g. Coral
Reef, might be a bit too traditional
(read stuffy), although I like the English country house ambience.
The beaches on Anguilla are terrific,
and the island is not too overrun with
zillions of tourists, but it is fairly quiet,
and you might have to create your
own fun. Hope this information is
useful.
Boonie is offline  
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:12 PM
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Another options would be to choose a more pristine and tourist-free place, and your kids would learn to entertain themselves. The Abaco Island outer cays in the Bahamas don't have jet skis, banana boats, or hang-gliding behind a motor boat, but plenty of pristine waters to snorkel in. You could see a free-roaming pod of wild dolphins instead of ones that do tricks for you in captivity. You get into town by golf cart or bicycle, and "Happy Hour" is watching the sunset. Just a thought, but many people learn how to unwind and entertain themselves in the Abaco environs.. Robert
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Apr 15th, 2003, 04:44 PM
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Thank you all! Robert, if you're still there, do you have any specifics re: Abaco Islands? Place to stay? How's the weather there? I found April in the Bahamas to be "iffy" ... I appreciate your input! Thanks!
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Apr 15th, 2003, 04:45 PM
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For Dreamer2: I LOVE Antigua. I think it's a great introductory island for those people who have never traveled to the Caribbean before, and I think it has lots to offer the traveler who is looking for something a little off the beaten path as well as for those who want to be near the action.

I love it for its beautfiful beaches, water, and people. I love that it offers more hotels that are NOT AI/chain resorts than are. It also has three top notch places to stay--Galley Bay, Curtain Bluff, and Jumby Bay--as well as small hotels like my personal favorite, Long Bay (20 rooms, 5 cottages).

My issue with Jolly Beach is mostly its size and the feeling that once you cross the threshold, you're no longer in Antigua. You're in some Americanized twilight zone for folks who want a tropical locale but don't want to leave behind their comforts of the US.

Breezes Runaway Bay and Beaches Grande Sport are both in Jamaica. I've not been to either one, as I do not care for that type of AI, but I think they would fit the bill for jgs121 if s/he is looking for constant hustle and bustle.

i personally prefer the more intimate and individual atmosphere of places like Galley Bay (Antigua) or Jamaica Inn. They may offer an "all-inclusive" rate, but in my book they are not in the spirit of the Sandals/Beaches/Breezes/RIU/Allegro breed.

I agree with previous poster that Biras Creek might not be good for active teens. But I also think that as wonderful as Curtain Bluff is, it may also come across as "too stuffy" for young folks these days.

It basically all comes down to the top 3-4 things you and each of your kids are hoping to get out of your vacation. Talk to them, give us your feedback, and we'll better be able to narrow down your options: beach, food, water sports (both non-motorized and motorized), nighly entertainment, number of children on premises, local historical sites, shopping, etc.
ejcrowe is offline  
Apr 16th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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Thank you EJC. Your reply really helps me get a feel for the different atmospheres. I'm also glad to see your recommendation for Antigua in general. I appreciate your help!
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Apr 16th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Keep in mind, if you go to a resort during any type of school vacation (President's Week, Easter Break, Spring Break, etc) you may have a hard time avoiding kids.

I think the Out Island idea is excellent. Make sure you rent a boat for the duratiion of your stay!

Have you thought about chartering a sailboat?
 
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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jgs; I forgot you're going in the winer. The Abacos are usually warmer than Florida in the winter, but it can get chilly at night and the air is cooler when you get out of the water. I've snorkeled with a half wetsuit on all day long there during December/January. The dive ops take you out for snorkeling tours, too. You may want to take some large towels to dry off. Still, winer is fun there, and the daytime temp was high 60's- mid 70's everyday. Robert
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Apr 16th, 2003, 02:36 PM
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Thanks, for all the info. It's a tough call. We definitely want temps in the 80's +. We have long, cold winters and at this point in my life (!) I need hot weather for swimming! We don't know the hubbub of an AI a la Breezes, Sandals... but want to have access to a variety of water sports with minimal fuss. Our favorite vacation was in Hawaii: huts on the beach, no TV, no radio, no fax machines, no video games (!), very low key... Peacocks roaming the premises during the day; manta rays coming to the shore at night. If I could replicate that in the Caribbean, it would be heavenly!
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Apr 16th, 2003, 03:52 PM
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After reading your last post, I have one more suggestion. Based on your favorite vacation in Hawaii, I would suggest that you look at Petit St. Vincent resort in the Grenadines. www.psvresort.com

It's very relxed and lowkey. the individual cottages are upscale without being frilly, and very private. You can have a cottage directly on the beach, or on a remote bluff with your own staircase down to the water. There are no phones or tvs. you communicate with staff with a flag system: yellow flag up means you want something: lunch served on the beach, a pina colada, freshs towels, whatever. Red flag means do not disturb.

It's not an AI, but all meals are included in the package price. You pay extra for drinks and excursions. Some watersports like snorkeling are included. It's very gorgoues and untouristed. You can read an extensive travel report on Scubamom's website by following the Caribbean links. www.scubamom.com
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