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!