Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beaches Turks & Caicos Adding Family Suites

In December, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa will unveil the new Italian Village, part of a $125 million expansion project. Of special interest to families: this village will add 162 two-bedroom “family” suites to the resort’s existing 453 rooms.

Family Suites: The new suites have a beautiful new décor with earth tones, elegant palm tree draperies, seashell throw pillows and some really impressive family features:
  • Separate Kids' Room Features Bunk Beds
  • XBOX 360® Game Console
  • Multi-Function Game Table
  • Nautical Mahogany Storage Wall Unit
  • Vanity Unit with Basin
  • Plasma TV
More Family Features: Along with the suites, the Italian Village will have several other features of interest to families: its own lobby, four new gourmet dining options, retail space and a brand new 45,000-square-foot waterpark, which will be ten times the size of the original waterpark! More family features include:
  • a pirate & mermaid-themed Kids Kamp facility that will cater specifically to kids and tweens (ages 6 – 12). This new themed-area will offer more video arcade games, an expanded Xbox360® Game Garage featuring Xbox 360° game consoles, space for Beaches Resorts’ Beach Science programs, a games area, and space to engage children’s imagination and artistic ability through Crayola® Art Camp activities.
  • bathrooms specially designed for its younger guests, also with a pirate ship theme, which include décor of wood paneling, portholes and lanterns.
  • new nightclub above the waterpark will serve as a teen lounge during the day with internet access and a new game room for teens and tweens with foosball and basketball, all in a retro black light environment.
  • Green Screen – a Beaches Resorts first – at the new photo shop so kids can have their photo taken in front of a variety of backdrops
  • Red Lane “Youth” Spa with treatments and services geared just for teens and tweens, including makeovers and hair braiding.
Price: To celebrate the grand opening of the Italian Village, Beaches Resorts is offering up to 55% off regular rates starting at $720.50 per adult, per night for stays of three nights or longer.

Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Families Get 50% Off Second Room at Little Dix Bay

In the British Virgin Islands, Tortola's Rosewood Little Dix Bay is offering 50% off a second room for the summer season, a good savings for families. Also, kids ages 5 - 11 receive 50 percent off their meal plans when joining their parents' meal plan and kids 4 and under eat free.

Dates: The offer is valid May 1 - December 19, 2008.

Especially for Kids: The Children's Grove features 2,500 square feet of interior space devoted to creative play with distinct island features: a miniature Caribbean chattel house, dress-up parlor, arts & crafts center, "monkey lounge," shipwreck and outside play area. On arrival, children aged five - 12 are greeted with a welcome letter and basket of sand toys, games, books and puzzles from The Children's Grove counselors, inviting them to join the fun.

The program is led by experienced staff who take children on nature walks, shell collecting expeditions and treasure hunts. Many of the program's activities feature the island's history and culture, including mocko jumbie performances, stone painting, Caribbean folk art and literature and West Indian musical instrument crafts.

The full-day program is complimentary and includes two snacks, one of which is the afternoon's "Tea Time in the Children's Grove". Every evening, kids can drop in for theme nights with dinner, including a Pirate Party, Pizza Night and Pajama Party Night. There is a nominal charge for dinner.

The youngest travelers are welcomes with in-room cribs with gender-specific bedding, Lady Primrose baby amenities, a liter bottle of Gerber baby water and a baby tub placed in the bathroom. The hotel can also provide bed rails, baby monitors and bottle warmers and arrange nanny service on request.

For older kids, the resort offers a Teen Room featuring a pool table and a lending library stocked with CDs, DVDs, books and board games. There's also free Internet access from 9 am to 9:30 pm. On the beach, teens have access to complimentary snorkeling gear, Sunfish sailboats and kayaks. They can also hike on two on-property trails, and enjoy complimentary beginners‚ tennis clinics and use of the resort's tennis courts and fitness center.

A children's menu is available at each of the resort's restaurants.

For More Information:
• call 1-888-ROSEWOOD or the resort directly at 1.284.495.5555
• visit www.littledixbay.com


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beaches Announces Single Parent Fun Months

Beaches Resorts, with locations in the Turks and Caicos and Jamaica, have announced sixth annual Single Parent Fun (SPF) months.

Dates: For travel between May 1 – May 31, 2008 and August 17 – October 31, 2008

The Promotion: The SPF program waives the single supplement fee (of up to $190 per night) for single parents at all four resort locations in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

The program also features activities and events such as Single Parent Welcome Receptions, Social Cocktail Receptions, Kid’s Movie Nights and more.

Fall dates: The second set of travel dates fall on Beaches Resorts’ WonderFALL Celebration, a new annual season of events and activities designed expressly for parents with young children.

Taking place during the months of September and October at all four resort locations, highlights of the upcoming WonderFALL season include:
  • savings of up to 45 percent off regular rack rates
  • a special welcome gift pack
  • new exclusive Sesame Street Stage Shows
  • parenting seminars hosted by Sesame Workshop
  • the arrival of Abby Cadabby
  • nighttime dive-in movies
  • poolside dance parties
  • a live show with Gordon and Elmo (limited three-week run in September)
  • specially-themed arts and crafts activities
Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Hotel Marina El Cid Offers Family Adventure Package

Through June 30, the 342-room, all-inclusive Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, located about 20 minutes from the Cancun airport, is offering the Maya Discovery Family Adventure Package. The promotion offers discounts of up to 30% and includes three excursions.

The Adventures: The Maya Discovery Family Adventure includes three expeditions:

• Arrecife Day Trip: This trip takes guests on a sailing cruise to the white sandy shores of Playa Maroma, cited by the Travel Channel as one of the world's most beautiful beaches. Travelers spend the afternoon swimming, snorkeling and kayaking through the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

• Snorkeling Trip: This excursion explores underwater life in the protected Puerto Morelos National Reef Park. Located 500 yards offshore from Hotel Marina El Cid, Puerto Morelos is the world's second largest barrier reef system. Your family will get up-close views of exotic sea life, including brightly colored tropical fish, sea turtles, stingrays, purple sea fans, coral and more.

• Chichen Itza Day Trip: Travelers visit these Maya ruins, recently named one of the wonders of the world. The famous temples and pyramids here are more than 1,500 years old. Chichen Itza's main attraction is the central pyramid, the massive El Castillo (the castle).

What It Includes: Each of the Maya Discovery Family Adventure excursions includes transportation and lunch. The Chichen Itza tour leaves from the lobby, while the snorkeling and sailing tours depart from the El Cid Marina, one block from the resort.

Price: The excursions package is a total of $150 USD per person, including taxes, in addition to the all-inclusive rate, down from $215 per person for these excursions booked separately.

The Maya Discovery Family Adventure Package is valid for guests who pre-book and pre-pay for a junior, one-, two- or three-bedroom suite. It also applies to Platinum Club guests.

For More Information:
• visit www.elcid.com
• call 1-800-525-1925 or 1-888-733-7308


Friday, April 18, 2008

Sheraton Grand Bahama Named as Top Beach Resort

Comparing over 200 resorts, Parents Magazine has named Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort as the number one beach resort for families in its May issue.

The review looked at resorts throughout the US and Caribbean, comparing value, children's programs, family activities, menus, pools, as well as other amenities.

Why Kids Like It: Kids ages three through 12 head out on Bahamian nature adventures and learn local folklore and poetry at Camp Lucaya, Sheraton's acclaimed supervised day-long children's club. Kids and parents alike can take turns shooting down a spiral water slide into the Sugar Mill pool, one of three pools at Sheraton, which also boasts a wading pool for little travelers. There's also a 7.5-acre-long beach; lifeguards are on duty throughout the day beachside and poolside.

For More Information:
• visit www.sheraton.com/ourlucaya

Photo courtesy Sheraton Grand Bahama Our Lucaya


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mother's Day Package at Hyatt Regency Aruba

Here's a package we just received that's a little bit different: they'll only be selling 100 of these packages in honor of the Mother's Day Centenary.

This package is offered by the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, a resort we've enjoyed several times...just renovated, it has a great location right on Palm Beach.

The Package: The Mother’s Day Delight package includes:
• arrival on May 9 or 10 for a five-night stay
• daily breakfast for two
• a $100 resort credit and welcome amenity upon arrival

Price: The package starts at at $385 double occupancy, exclusive of tax.

They're also offering the Mother’s Day Deluxe, with all of the above plus a 100-minute treatment at Stillwater Spa, dinner for two at Palms Restaurant, and a nightly turndown amenity, starting at $460 double occupancy, exclusive of tax

For More Information:
• visit www.aruba.hyatt.com


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aruba's Divi Village Offering Kids Stay Free Promo

As we swing into the summer season, here's a good family package that runs through the start of high season in late December: Aruba's all-suites Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort is offering a kids 17 and under stay and eat free promotion as well as free golf. The all-suites property offers accommodations that are nearly double the square footage of a standard hotel room, so parents have one corner and kids the other, which helps make for memorable, relaxing family vacations.

The Promotion: Through December 23, the all-suites Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort tees up “Free Kids, Free Golf” where kids stay and eat free, and adults get unlimited golf after 3 p.m. (cart included). This is on top of 10 percent off as well as access to the amenities of two nearby Divi all-inclusive properties.

Price: Rates start at $220 per adult per night including the 10 percent discount. There's a limit of two kids free with two paying adults. A minimum three-night stay required for the all-inclusive package. Reservations must be made by May 16, 2008, for the 10 percent discount to apply,

Why It's Fun for the Family: The Divi Village has plenty to keep the whole family busy and happy: three freshwater swimming pools (one with a swim-up bar), lit tennis courts, a beach-side rock climbing wall, water sports center clinics, a waterslide, an air-conditioned oceanfront fitness center, watch movies under the stars, 11 restaurants and more.

For More Information:

• visit www.diviresorts.com


Friday, April 11, 2008

SuperClubs Offers Family Promotions

If you're watching your budget these days (what are we saying...who isn't?!), here's a good family package we just received: the family-run Caribbean resort chain SuperClubs Resorts is offering a "Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free" promotion starting May 1 at two of its resorts; children ages 2-13 stay completely free, a daily savings of $100 for a family of four. And for single parents, the usual single supplement is waived at three SuperClubs properties.

"Budget, destination and timing are the three biggest priorities for families today, and finding options that will please working parents, grandparents with time and money to spare, college-age kids, and tiny tots can be challenging," said Zein Nakash, SuperClubs‚ vice president of marketing, who is also a mother of two, a twin sister, full-time working executive, and daughter of John Issa, who introduced the first all-inclusive resorts for the American traveler more than 30 years ago. "All-inclusives are always a solid value for families, especially when they are true all-inclusives that fix costs before you even get on the plane, and offer a wide array of activities for all age groups and interests without charging extra for them. This summer especially, we've got the best vacation values for families."

Here's a look at summer SuperClubs offerings:

Starfish Trelawny (Jamaica): This resort offers teens a private island hideaway just a short swim away, windsurfing and flying trapeze lessons. At the Kids' Club, supervised, age-specific programs keep toddlers entertained, while adult pampering is available at the Blue Mahoe Spa. Nightly rates start at $74 per adult; $50 per child (age 2-13). No single supplement.

Breezes Curaçao. Fresh from $1.3 million in renovations and upgrades, this resort offers a 12,000-square-foot Kids' Club . Rates start at $129 per adult, per night. No single supplement.

Breezes Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. While kids lose track of time at the Mini-club, parents and grandparents can lose their stress knots at the revamped Lighthouse Spa, the largest in the Dominican Republic. Rates start at $60 per adult, per night. No single supplement.

Dates: SuperClubs‚ family promotions run from May 1 through December 22, 2008.

Restrictions: A two-night minimum booking is required; all rates are land only.

For more information:
• visit www.superclubs.com
• call 1-800-GO-SUPER (800-467-8737)

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Caribbean Cruise Top Prize in YouTube Contest

Want to take the family on a Caribbean cruise? Here's your chance. Enter to win a new contest sponsored by Bahama Breeze restaurants.

How to Enter: Participants will submit a video of no more than two minutes on the theme, "Why I need a Caribbean Escape." The most creative video with the highest viewer rating will win.

The Prize: The prize is an all expense paid luxury cruise to the Bahamas for up to six people. Runners up will also receive prizes, including Flip Video(TM) cameras and Bahama Breeze gift cards.

Dates: The contest ends May 12, 2008.

For more information:
• visit www.youtube.com/caribbeanescape
• visit www.bahamabreeze.com/contest


eCruises.com Offers Disney Cruise Onboard Credit

Disney Cruise Line, the family-friendly Caribbean cruises, now come with an exclusive $100 onboard credit per stateroom for cruises booked through eCruises.com. The offer applies to seven-night Land & Sea Vacations, seven-night Caribbean cruises or three or four-night Bahamian sailings. You'll receive up to $100 onboard credit per stateroom when booked only through eCruises.com by April 30, 2008.

Credit can be used towards onboard ship activities including merchandise, photography, spa treatments, shore excursions and much more.

Details: The onboard credit of up to $100 is per stateroom and applicable for select new bookings made with eCruises.com by April 30, 2008. Black out dates apply. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and include port charges. Government taxes and fees are not included. This offer is subject to availability and may change at anytime.

For more information:
• visit www.ecruises.com


Friday, April 04, 2008

Beaches Resorts Offers First Night Free Promotion

Here's a good deal we've received from Beaches Resorts: families can enjoy their “1st Night Free” promotion during select 2008 dates at all four resort locations in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

The Details & Dates: Families who book a minimum seven-night vacation by April 30, 2008 for travel between April 26, 2008 and June 5, 2008 receive their first night free!

This offer can be combined with Beaches Resorts’ consumer savings promotions for 2008, Single Parent Fun Months, Sandals Select Points and Free Weddings.

Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Offers Free Fridays

Here's an interesting twist on a hotel promotion: free Fridays! Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya is offering a three-night stay for the price of two nights and kids stay for just $5 a child!

The Details:

- Valid for any four-day, three-night stay from now until September 1, 2008
- Pay for just two nights at $89 per person, per night
- Kids 11 and under stay for just $5 more per child, per night
- Free breakfast, happy hour and unlimited golf on the "Friday" of your choice
- Based on double occupancy
- Purchase must be completed by April 16, 2008
- Air-inclusive packages also available

For booking:
• Book at http://www.travelocity.com/freefridays

Photo courtesy Sheraton Grand Bahama Our Lucaya


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Beaches Turks & Caicos Adds Custom Catamaran

If your family likes to get out on the water, check out Kitty Katt, the new catamaran at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa.

The only catamaran of its kind in the world, it was custom-designed for Beaches Resorts, especially with families in mind. Engineered to the highest safety standards, it includes:
• a fully stocked kitchen for preparing meals and snacks by professionally trained chefs
• a kids' soda and juice bar and kids buffet
• space to accommodate special appearances by Sesame Street characters
• an eight-foot tube slide off the stern, so guests can splash down into the sparkling Caribbean Sea
• a live video feed to plasma-TV monitors located right inside of one of the pontoons
The live-feed offers amazing up-close-and-personal underwater views of the deep blue sea and all its inhabitants.

Custom-designed catamarans will soon be delivered to select Beaches Resorts locations in Negril , Jamaica. You'll book your voyage on the Kitty Katt through the resort’s Tour Desk.

Photo courtesy Beaches Resorts

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