Beaches Vs. Disney Family Vacations: Which Should We Choose?

At the Royal Bahamian, August 2000

Back in 2000, Jason and I went to the Sandals resort The Royal Bahamian on vacation. It was our first vacation together, and we immediately fell in love with Sandals’ all-inclusive vacation packages. We ate, we drank, we got to scuba dive everyday for free, and there were no kids running around crying and/or bugging us. It was all included in one price, and it was worth every penny. Even though Jason told me he knew how to operate a catamaran when he clearly did not and we ended up floating around all afternoon waiting for help, it made for good blog fodder and I still consider the trip one of my favorites. We loved the Royal Bahamian so much that it’s one of the only places we’d consider vacationing at for a second time. We have also been to a Sandals resort in St. Lucia, and had the same experience. In short: we love Sandals.

Which is why I’m having a dilemma in deciding our first “big” family vacation. We know we want to go to the Caribbean. We know we want to have the price include all or most of our food and activities. But we can’t decide between two options we’ve been looking at: do we go to a Beaches resort (it’s exactly like Sandals but for families) or do we take a Disney cruise? Let me explain why I’m leaning towards Beaches…

While we were at the Royal Bahamian, we decided to head over to check out the incredibly beautiful, amazingly huge Atlantis hotel. That hotel is seriously a-ma-zing. I’d love to stay there with the kids, but I think it’s out of our price range. Anyways, a cab dropped us off, and we walked down the port, past several cruise ships. Then we started hearing screaming and yelling – the good kind because you could tell it was some very happy kids making it – but we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. And then we saw it: The Big Red Boat. A Disney cruise ship was docked and all the screaming was coming from there. To two childless people, just the thought of being trapped on a boat like that for a week was a nightmare. But to two parents with kids that would be screaming right along with all those other kids? It now doesn’t sound so bad.

But. I know how much we love Sandals…we know that we get great service for a reasonable price. We know the food is yummy and there are a ton of activities for us and the kids. We know that we want to take the kids there. Why am I leaning towards a Beaches Resorts Vacation? To put it simply because Jason and I love Sandals and the Caribbean. We want the kids to experience it, too!

Beaches Warm Up


  1. Sounds like you already have your heart set on the resort but I just wanted to say how amazing Disney cruises are. They seriously blow every other cruise company out of the water. I took our Disney cruise with my family when I was 17 and I don't remember it crawling with screaming children. I do remember just how thoughtful every detail was though. For example, one of the dining rooms starts off with black and white outlined paintings. As the night goes on, the paintings gather more and more color until they are completely "painted." I could go on and on about how cool it was. Anyway just wanted to show Disney some love. Ms. Adams recently posted..Our Honeymoon: MonacoMy Profile
  2. My sister takes her family on a Disney cruise each year. (Yes, I so want to be one of her children.) They have a wonderful time. JDaniel4's Mom recently posted..Pause Life for a Moment- Stories from the ShoeboxMy Profile
  3. twinplusonemomma says:
    had to comment....disney cruise all the way....the kids will be in heaven, and you'll be so happy becuase they are so happy!
  4. Honestly, I know nothing about either one of these, but if you ask me they both sound wonderful. Than again you could probably just say the word "vacation" (wouldn't matter where) and I'd be on board! =) Elizabeth recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Preparations: Corned Beef & CabbageMy Profile
  5. We honeymooned at Sandals in Jamaica and absolutely loved it - particularly the lack of screaming children. I'm hoping to go back again for our 10th anniversary... sans kiddos. I've never taken any cruise, so cannot give you any advice there. Our big family vacations have been ridiculously overpriced ski trips - because we love to ski and living in Texas year round makes snow seem like a good idea. I'm unfamiliar with the Beaches programs for families - is it good for really little ones? I have to admit, my kids are HUGE Disney fans.. In a few more years, we'll likely try a Disney trip, because they also love amusement parks... Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos recently posted..Exhibit A: Why Five Year Olds RuleMy Profile
  6. Go wherever the babysitting hours are the longest! I think I have seen this picture before, but dude you look 12 (and so skinny - effin kids!) Poppy recently posted..The Call You Don’t Want to Get: Scabies at the SchoolMy Profile
  7. You and Jason seriously couldn't be any cuter. I hear amazing things about the Disney cruise, but are the girls old enough for the programs yet? Either way, I volunteer myself as bag carrier if I can come along :) angela recently posted..Reflecting on BlissdomMy Profile
  8. It's funny that you posted this. My hubby and I went on our honeymoon to Sandals Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica. We were planning on going to Sandals Royal Bahamian in November for our 10 year anniversary this year. However, somehow Disney (in Florida) has been calling our names and we are probably going to scrap our Bahama trip for a full-out Disney trip (not the cruise) in October. We went to Disney back in 2009 and I'm ready to do it again. Kmama recently posted..Ahoy Matey!My Profile
  9. Really, you can't go wrong with either choice. I say try Beaches this time and the Disney Cruise next time. Being stuck on a boat with a million little kids scares me too much, but I've heard of no one who dislikes the experience. Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. recently posted..Why I love construction.My Profile
  10. I say go for Beaches, you know you like Sandals. The Disney cruise can be later on when the kids are a bit older. Tracy recently posted..Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday - Off On A TangentMy Profile
  11. Both sound wonderful but as a kid still myself, I'm partial to anything Disney. (LoL) Cindi recently posted..Dissecting Real Marriage: Part 5My Profile
  12. I would love to go to the Atlantis resort! I see it all the time and TV and am completely enthralled with the commercial. I'm plotting ways to get there still. Do the Big Red Boat! They have something for everyone. And babysitting. Jackie recently posted..Bloggy Bootcamp ~ Why I want to goMy Profile
  13. Back in 2002 {before kids} my husband and I had the pleasure of staying at the Beaches Grande Sport in Jamaica and Sandals also in Jamaica. We absolutely love the service, the amenities and their food! With kids now I think I would take into consideration their ages -when we travel- and I would think of what would be a comfortable vacation where everyone in the family would enjoy -without being partial to Disney ;) - there are so many activities that who wouldn't have a hard time choosing between Disney and Sandals! Ultimately I strongly believe you will love either of them because it is a vacation in the Caribbean! :)
  14. Definitely Sandals! Anything with the word Disney associated with it gives me nightmares...that's just me though. You may like the sound of mothers losing their minds at the constantly close proximity of their progeny. :) Sandra recently posted..10 Things I Suck at!My Profile
  15. Do what you think will make your kids light up the most. I know for mine that would be Disney. For yours it may be something completely different. Also, what will make the family memory most special?
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