|Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
|Caribbean: Terrifiv Family Vacations - Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, and Negril.
The islands can be delightful for families in the summer months. The water is warm the crowds of snowbirds have gone and the pace is easy. The daily mid afternoon summer rains that occur on many islands are welcome, especially for children.
Here's the scoop. There is a catch however; not all places in the Caribbean welcome children. We have assembled a list of places we know to be child friendly either because one of us has been there or we have received a recommendation from a family.
Antigua, Sunsail Beach Club.
Sunsail Vacations one of the world's largest yacht rental companies. They also have club locations on the shores of some of the most exotic waters on the planet. So is it possible to combine exotic and family and come up with a vacation? Yes. Sunsail has a land based resort called The Sunsail Beach Club or Club Colonma. If your family loves sailing and water sports this is a perfect match. On the premises they offer sailing instruction for all levels. Even though it is called a club it is not a members only place. The club is located about four miles from Antigua's capital St. John's. On site they have rooms, suites and multi bedroom villas ideal for families. Cribs, portable cribs and strollers are available for the use of guests. As you might expect they offer a range of sailing and water-sports and also have a freshwater pool has two private white sand beaches and sailing instruction for all levels and ages. Need to know. The resort has an organized children's program six days a week. They provide services and activities for children from 4 months up to 16 years. Sunday is relaxed with no official program. Guests may use the state-of-the-art sailing equipment available for no extra charge choosing from Topper Breeze, Buzz, Spice, Sport 16, Topaz, Laser 1's and Dart 16 catamarans. Additional water-sport activity options include: wind-surfers, dinghies, day cruising yachts, water skiing, inner tube rides, scuba and snorkeling. Dry land choices include a freshwater pool, tennis, beach volleyball, table tennis. Bonus points:
Guests also may choose to split up the vacation between time at the resort and a sea sailing experience. They even have an interim sailing option that allows for boats to be part of a flotilla so the sea adventure has a direction. If you want to holiday in the Caribbean before the last day of June there are often deals for families. (1-800-327-2276 or www.sunsail.com
Aruba: One cool family place.
In spite of the recent bad press, Aruba remains a beautiful place for a family vacation . Not far from the coast of Venezuela is an arid and peaceful, small and safe island called Aruba. These qualities make it a nice choice for families. Best of all the island wants vacationing families. To entice them there is a comprehensive family program on the island. Dubbed "One Cool Family Vacation" it has the potential to do be just that. Need to know:
About a dozen resorts are participating in the program designed to provide families with vacation benefits. While the details vary by resort most provide free breakfast for kids less than twelve years of age. All provide discounts to island attractions and discounts for organized children's activities. There is even free diving for a teen when a certified mom or dad purchases a dive. www.family-aruba.com
or 1-800-TO-ARUBA. Editor's Note:
We love this island. The combination of the arid landscape and the sea is dramatic. The residents are friendly. The sound of papiamento, the island language, is exotic adding to the atmosphere. One of the biggest benefits is the cheese.
Negril, Turks and Caicos: "Beaches" for Families.
Beaches Resorts operate several all-inclusive resorts, all in the Caribbean and they like families. Beaches Resorts have two new facilities with top-notch accommodations located along expanses of white-sand beaches. Each new resort offers complimentary children's programs. The Negril location has three freshwater swimming pools, a state-of-the-art Sega Centre for teens and a supervised "Kids Kamp". Room options include suites and all rooms have space for a crib.
The Turks & Caicos location is located on Grace Bay in Providenciales. The highlight of this resort is the new water park called Pirates' Island. The entertainment complex features two waterslides and a kids-only pool with a swim-up bar. On dry land there is a high-tech Sega Centre, teen disco and a kids-only diner. There are plenty of water-sport options for adults and or teens. Bonus points: The Kids Kamp's Nursery Program available at each location allows little ones from age of 3 months until pre school. They have a certified Ultra-Nannies program to ensure the best care for the youngest guests. Babysitters are available in the evening on an individual basis.
Another option, the all-inclusive Beaches Inn (formerly Poinciana Beach Resort) also on Negril, Jamaica. It is suited to budget-conscious families. It is located on Negril's seven-mile beach in Jamaica. Need to know:
These resorts offer Blue Chip Ultra Hurricane Guarantee. It works like this: In the unlikely event of a hurricane affecting your vacation at one of the Beaches Resorts, FREE replacement vacation, including round-trip airfare, to be taken at any Beaches Resort of the your choice, Beaches Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, Beaches Negril, Jamaica and Beaches Inn, toll-free 1-800- BEACHES (1-800-232-2437) or www.beaches.com
Barbados: Almond Beach Village.
Almond Beach Village has family guestrooms and all-inclusive packages with three meals per day; golf; water sports; entertainment; beverages; gratuities; fitness center; disco and airport transfers. The resort also has Family Entertainment Center. Don't be put off by the honeymoon spirit at their website families are welcome. Depending on your room selection there may also be savings with the resort's Family Plan. The first child (under 16) is free when traveling with one or more adult. All others (under 16) are US $50 per child per night. Bonus points:
The children's programs include a nursery is for ages 0-2 1/2 and the Mini-Club is for ages 2 1/2 to 4 1/2. The child to care giver ratio is 3:1. Private baby-sitting is available. For older children scheduled activity choices include lessons in Bajan culture, water sports, arts and crafts, treasure hunts, nature walks, movies and Super Nintendo. There are ten freshwater swimming pools and a mile long beach to choose from at The Village. Toll-free 1 -800-4-ALMOND or www.almondresorts.com
Information compiled by FTF. Images by properties. Copyright 2010.