1. Yes, it's a whole new look! Have questions or need help? Please post your question in the New Forum Questions thread Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Seeing tons of unread posts after the upgrade? See this thread for help. Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
    Dismiss Notice

Need Advice Caribbean

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by Chase, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Chase

    Chase New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    We're thinking about going somewhere in the Caribbean for Thanksgiving. We'll probably stay 5 nights. We have a 9 yr. old and 4 yr. old. Does anyone have any suggestions for places that are family friendly, nice, and not too expensive?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,512
    Likes Received:
    19
    I don't have a recommendation but I will remind you to make sure you have passports for the kids. We went to the Cascades post office to get one on August 14 and the passport for our 4-year-old arrived at our house on August 21st. We did NOT request expedited service and were not expecting it to arrive until the end of September! So the good news is that we have it now and if you don't have one for your kids it may not take long.

    Check out the State Department website for information on obtaining passports for minors.
     
  3. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,795
    Likes Received:
    9
  4. krmckee

    krmckee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm from Puerto Rico, there I recommend Wyndham El Conquistador Hotel on the East side. It's beautiful and great for kids - they just opened a new water park. Bonus - no passport required to travel to PR. I would also recommend Costa Maya, Mexico in the Western Caribbean. Finally, a cruise would be a lot of fun for all of you - they have a lot of activities for the kids as well. We recently took the Carnival Legend from Tampa to the W. Caribbean and had a blast! Enjoy your trip!
     
  5. amye

    amye New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    St. Thomas is a good choice. Aruba is also nice. There seem to be family-friendly resorts on just about all of the islands, but I haven't personally experienced any of them. Puerto Rico may be a good choice, if you don't have passports. We have quite an adventure doing the bio-bay at night -- a definite once-in-a-lifetime experience!
     
  6. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    5,192
    Likes Received:
    228
    If you are going to do only 5 days, I would concentrate on easily reached islands to maximize your vacation time. Look for the islands with direct flights from Dulles or the other nearby airports.

    You have lots of choices so do some research and use a site such as www.tripadvisor.com to help your decide. Also, it is more $$ if you actually want to travel the week of Thanksgiving.
     
  7. Audrey

    Audrey Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    906
    Likes Received:
    11
    I recommend looking at Apple Vacations or Funjet Vacations for Riu Tequila Resort in Riviera Maya, south of Cancun. For the specials and for kids it is great value. We loved it so much we went twice. Everything is included: flights, ground transportation, food, drinks, kids club. Kids stay play and eat free, so you just pay airfare for them. Riu Tequila is one of three adjacent Rius, two on the beach and this one a 5-minute walk under an arch of greens & flowers. Walking to the beach is no big deal, and they have golf carts constantly shuttling, but the resort is prettier and I think less expensive because it's not on the beach. The food is good and there's a huge selection at every meal. If you have extra spending money, a day trip to Xel-Ha (sort of a huge bay park for snorkeling, tubing, biking etc) is worthwhile and you can also see Mayan ruins about a 30-minute bus ride south at Tulum. The beach is nice at Riviera Maya - the kids splashed in the waves, swam around a little farther out, and we also did a little kayaking (included).

    Anyway, good luck planning your trip!
     
  8. christinaandrob

    christinaandrob New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    0
    i'm with t8erman - look for direct flights. we took a mini-vacation last year for 3 days and considered the riviera maya, but it would have taken too much time to get there and back.

    so we ended up going to ft. lauderdale and it was honestly wonderful! we were shocked that the water was even so blue - lol. you simply can't beat the airfare for the direct flight from dulles to fort lauderdale for the price. i think our flights were $120 each? i think we left here at 8 am and were on the beach by 11 am. the resort we stayed at was fabulous (the acqualina) but definitely not what i'd recommend for kids.

    i'd also recommend looking for deals on travelzoo.com. that site is great and has saved us a ton of money. they frequently have deals for the caribbean too. also cruise specials if you prefer. you can cross reference with trip advisor.

    have fun!
     
  9. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    5,929
    Likes Received:
    69
  10. Chase

    Chase New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the great suggestions! We got passports for our kids last Dec. and had the same experience - they arrived weeks before we expected them. We went to Puerto Rico for spring break and stayed at the El Conquistador. The kids loved it - the pool is amazing!
     
  11. docsaba

    docsaba New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Concur with tripadvisor.com - - really helped on all our trips. Our two girls were a little older but the family preference list is as follows (I am a Marriott frequent stayer so these are all Marriott hotels)

    1. St. Kitts - newest, wild monkeys running around, rain forest hike, no a lot of cruise ship dorks, great beaches, friendly and safe
    2. Aruba - amazing beaches, nice town, great food, horseback ride was a blast
    3. Curacao - not many Americans so it was like going to a foreign island, great beach exploring, sailboat ride to off island, great food
    4. Turks and Caicos - getting a little over built, great snorkeling just offshore, swam with wild dolphin, good snorkel sail cruise
    5. St. Thomas - over touristed, too many cruise dorks, nice aquarium, good shopping, very American

    Tripadvisor has great rankings of hotels, food, activities. We always rent a car so we can really see the island.
     
  12. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    5,929
    Likes Received:
    69
    tripadvisor IS great for real reviews- i love and use it! and i must point out, your #1 and #2 are my mom's birthplace and then where she was raised... :)
     
  13. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    5,192
    Likes Received:
    228
    Aruba is long flight, My wife and I love Aruba but it is a very long flight. We have always said that if you could take the people from Aruba and put them on Jamaica, you WOULD have paradise.
     
  14. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,795
    Likes Received:
    9

    I agree, but would add that it is very in-your-face with people trying to sell you stuff, unlike Aruba where the shop owners let you walk freely in and out of their stores without bugging you to buy something because, "for you, it's on sale today!"
     
  15. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    5,192
    Likes Received:
    228
    Curacao also has numerous topless beaches. :D
     
  16. Steve Campot

    Steve Campot Broadlands Real Estate Broker

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    20
    We went on a Disney Cruise and everyone had a great time. The ships have more on them than most resorts and you get to check out three Islands for the day. Plus 24 hour babysitting!
     
  17. tiff78

    tiff78 Broadlands Resident

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    at what age do the kids require passports?

    i've got a 2.5 year old and a 10 month old

    We're thinking of going to New Zealand
     
  18. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,512
    Likes Received:
    19
    All children are required to have passports - including newborns and infants. Also be aware that both parents must be present when obtaining the passport and you will need certified birth certificates for both children that include the names of the parents.

    http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html
     
  19. krmckee

    krmckee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    6
    Chase-Ha ha, what a coincidence - I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Obviously, I am biased but it truly is beautiful and El Conquistador is my favorite of all the resorts. Try the Western Caribbean and Riviera/Costa Maya in Mexico - I have heard wonderful things and the color of the water in that region (a deep turquoise) is my favorite in the caribbean.

    No one has mentioned the Atlantis in the Bahamas but I hear once you're there it is really expensive so beware....

    To those who have done a Disney cruise, I would love to hear more about your opinions, recommendations, is it worth the higher price???
     
  20. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    5,192
    Likes Received:
    228
    Atlantis is expensive but there is plenty of diversity for adults and kids.
     

Share This Page