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Desperately seeking ideas for my mom's 80th b-day next XMas - someplace warm w/nice beach - traveling with 4 others (son, daughter, spouses)

Desperately seeking ideas for my mom's 80th b-day next XMas - someplace warm w/nice beach - traveling with 4 others (son, daughter, spouses)

Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:33 PM
  #1  
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Desperately seeking ideas for my mom's 80th b-day next XMas - someplace warm w/nice beach - traveling with 4 others (son, daughter, spouses)

My husband and I just booked our annual vacation for next Dec (2006). We like Mexico. But I just remembered that will be my mom's 80th birthday, and I cannot leave her alone. My brother and his wife may join in too. I just checked out cruises - that's really the best way to travel with my mom, but the prices were too high. A week before Christmas, the prices are about half, and I refuse to pay the Christmas rates. So where, or where would you recommend? My brother and his wife are from San Diego and we're from Washington State. We've done Whistler before, but with the Olympics, I imagine things will be crazy. Plus, we do prefer a nice, warm destination with clear water. Hawaii is pretty risky weather-wise. We could do a cruise out of LA, but that wouldn't be on the top of my list because of the water, beaches. Also, I'd like to find a place that doesn't have loads of kids. My mom does love cruising. We like house rentals or some other form of land vacation. Is there a place that meets all our needs? Bahamas? Caribbean? Florida?
Thanks much!
Caroline
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Downtown St. Petersburg is nice along the waterfront. Possibly stay at the Vinoy. Or a downtown condo. There are some museums, gardens, a zoo and aquarium in Tampa, and the beaches.

Naples would be nice too.

Anybody out there know anything about Naples? Patrick?
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 03:08 AM
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I know what you mean about Christmas week vacation pricing. I work in the public schools and it always riles me that if I could travel the week before or after, I could save about $800 per person! However, life is short and we just go for it. Your mother will only turn 80 once. If she loves cruising, keep looking and see if you can find any deals. Don't go directly through the cruise lines. Find a good travel agent. The bigger agencies buy blocks of cabins on the cruises and can get some good rates.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 03:50 AM
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As far as a place without a lot of kids - Christmas week that will be difficult. Depending on exactly when her birthday is, could you do the cruise the week before Christmas and then stay an extra day or 2 at a hotel to finish celebrating her birthday?
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:13 AM
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I wish we could book a week prior or after Christmas, but I'm a teacher too, so we're set on our dates (Dec. 21-Jan 2). We do have reservations (still) at our favorite (kid free) place in Mexico, but my mom worries so much about the food and water in Mexico. Plus, it would be more stress for my brother and myself just making sure she's okay. There's not as much to do there anyway (that's why we love it), but it may not be a place for my mom. The weather in Mexico has always been fantastic, so I'm rather bummed that it won't work out.
When I figured out the cost for the cruise we'd all love, it came to about $4,000/couple - that's too much.
Is St. Petersburg a warm destination? I haven't heard of it, but I'll check into it. Thanks so much for the suggestions. Keep 'em comin'.
Caroline
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:03 AM
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What do you mean <Hawaii is pretty risky weather-wise?> It is a great time to visit Hawaii and you can a few different island on a cruise or just stay on one island
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 07:49 AM
  #7  
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What about renting a houseboat on Lake Mead or Lake Powell (maybe even Lake Havasu) in Arizona? It's kind of a compromise between a cruise and a house rental, but I don't know if it would be warm enough for you.

I've read about some cruises in the Gulf of California that sounded fantastic, but that's Mexico so it may be out of the realm of possibility for you.
 
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 08:02 AM
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I think at 80yrs. your mom should have concerns about Mexico because the little bugs that the rest of us can cope with, can end up being quite serious for someone older. Especially since it's her birthday I think the Caribbean might be good for all of you.

A property that we really liked was the Marriott in Curacao. Even though it was not strictly "kid free", most families go to the Breezes so it was fairly quiet, with no issues of health or safety whatsoever.

There's a car rental on the property which is really convenient if you want to tour the island, visit some other beaches (great for snorkeling), especially if your mom just wants to relax and read by the pool. There is a twice daily shuttle into Willemstaad too which we used one day.

The week we were visiting, a family with 3 sisters (one pregnant) who lived in different parts of the country were there with their parents and spouses. It seemed to fit everyone's needs and their age range was late 20's to 70's.

The beach is a little rocky in spots (I used water shoes) but the rooms, the hotel staff and the resort itself was lovely.

I've seen reasonable prices and packages advertised for the Curacao Marriott, I think even for Christmas, so maybe have a look and see what you think?
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 08:15 AM
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A nice house rental in Hawaii would be wonderful. But I've had friends who visited last year and had rain most of the time. Other friends have been rained out too. But it is worth considering even so. Where would you recommend in order to lessen our chance of rain? Actually, this is sounding better the more I think about it.
Thanks much!
Caroline
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Tobie,

What little bugs are you talking about? I have to ask because I was thinking Mexico would be perfect for the birthday gal - especially since the OP and her husband enjoy it as well.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 09:46 AM
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dcsam, you have a lot of options. Let me also suggest Miami. Florida will not be as warm as Hawaii and you might have some rain as well but it is generally only a day followed by sunny weather.

For what you might do in St. Petersburg, there is the Salvador Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Sunken Gardens, the Pier and Baywalk (shopping & restaurants), and the Gulf coast beaches, and in nearby Tampa, across the bridge, is Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and Lowry Park Zoo. For a place to stay I'd suggest the Vinoy Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg or the Don CeSar hotel at St. Pete Beach.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 02:07 PM
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If you pick Florida, at that time of year you must hit very southern part of state if you want really warm weather.

What about some all-inclusive in Caribbean where there is less concerns about the water quality. I am sure prices will be higher over vacation - the places I have seen advertised that are the most inexpensive are all places where I might worry about the water. Might provide some of the same things she likes about a cruise.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Hawaii was what came to my mind first... I'm not sure about the risky weather, I thought it was nice that time of year? I go in February and it's been sunny and gorgeous (ok maybe with a few showers now and then) on both Oahu and Maui. You could pick one island or look into a cruise of several.

I love Mexico for myself but would not choose it to take my parents.
Generally speaking I find travel there a bit "rougher" than Hawaii. Including but not limited to language, currency, water, etc. etc.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:21 PM
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hawaii as opposed to the caribbean should save you considerably on airfare. which would mean more for a ritzier resort.
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Old Nov 24th, 2005, 04:50 AM
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dscam, if you stay on Kauai on the south side (Poipu area) you will have a woderful weather. Another place is Kona area on Big Island. We stayed in Kona at least five times in December and never had a rain. But if you get tired of such weather on Big Island you can take drive to Hilo and exprience some rain there.
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Old Nov 24th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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Thanks everybody for the helpful information. I'm now narrowing the search to the Kona side of the Big Island. Seems like there may be more things to do there. We aslo have friends in Hilo, so I know we'd have plenty to do. So, if anybody can suggest a beautiful house rental for less than $3,000/week, that would be great. Looking for 3 or 4 bedroom; view or beach; pool; open and airy.
Okay, so I'm picky, and I doubt such a thing exists for the price I'm after. Condos make me feel confined, so I'm really leaning towards a house. Thanks again for all your terrific suggestions!
Caroline
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Old Nov 24th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Try a search on vacationrentals.com or vrbo.com.
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Old Nov 24th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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dcsm,

http://www.hawaiioceanfront.com/index.htm

http://www.vacationbigisland.com/default.aspx

-Bill

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