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Help me out with some holiday recommendations please

(20 Posts)
Whatevertheweather Sat 29-Dec-12 22:26:39

We've been lucky enough to have been given some money by dp's lovely parents. They would like us to use some of it to go on a family holiday next year as we've had a pretty tough time recently. We would like go abroad I think. So where would be good:

- Probably Easter time for 10 days. Somewhere hottish but not boiling.
- For us plus dd1 who will be 6 and dd3 who will be 8 months old
- Not bothered if hotel or villa/SC but good swimming facilities a must
- Ideally a water park/theme park/something like that nearby
- If hotel perhaps a good kids club type thing as dd1 would love the option of this but not keen on Thomas cook style package holiday with overcrowded hotels
- We love center parcs in UK and my dream family holiday when dd3 is older would be Florida. DD1 theme park mad!
- Budget 1.5k-2k. Seems a crazy amount to spend on a holiday but PIL really want us to get away from it all for a bit

Any suggestions? smile

zumo Sun 30-Dec-12 08:13:03

We have now done 8 cruises, with the kids from age 2, florida twice and a couple of Hotels.
Florida is the best but I doubt you will do it for £2000.
A cruise is good as you will see so much and many of the kids clubs are excellent, just plan your own shore trips as you will save a fortune.
After the above a hotel is just boring as not much going on compared to cruises and Florida, but if you want to chill you can do either

Whatevertheweather Sun 30-Dec-12 09:46:01

Thanks Zumo hadn't thought of a cruise. We live 10mins from Southampton to so would be easy! I guess I always thought they were for older couples rather than young families?

Definitely won't be doing Florida until littlest dd can enjoy it too so probably not until she is a least 4/5

MotherOfTheBritishEmpire Sun 30-Dec-12 10:00:24

Aren't drinks and all extras extremely expensive on cruises?

Mulledandmerry Sun 30-Dec-12 10:07:31

We went to kinder hotel post in unken last easter and it was the most relaxing and wonderful family holiday we have ever been on...that said, it will be spring weather, not sunbathing stuff!

Whatevertheweather Sun 30-Dec-12 10:47:26

Ooh mulledandmerry Kinderhotel looks wonderful! Was there much to do in the surrounding area or did you stay around the hotel?

AnneElliott Sun 30-Dec-12 11:18:43

Cruises are fantastic for children. Pools and kids club if you want it and a different port everyday. Also if you go and come back to Southampton ( so no flying) then you can take as much luggage as you need. We went with P&O and are going again in April.

Mulledandmerry Sun 30-Dec-12 11:20:40

Its near salzburg. The surrounding area is beautiful..if you've ever watched the sound of music it's like stepping into the hire is free. There was the most delicious, usually organic food. There were play areas, bikes, trikes, lakes, trampolines, tennis, swimming, archery, lovely lovely kids club ladies, films, games, a spa, ..all included except for spa treatments. There were free washer/dryers....unlimited coffee and soft drinks, fresh fruit, biscuits and ice cream! My dcs were completely entertained so we all completely relaxed! (Would have put on lots of weight but there are so.many activities it helps..thank goodness as i ate my own body weight in gorgeous food daily)

Mulledandmerry Sun 30-Dec-12 11:21:39

Gushing now...just so delighted to have truly enjoyed a hol with the kids for once!

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Sun 30-Dec-12 11:32:35

You could hire yourselves a nice villa in Portugal, with a pool, for a reasonable amount. Weather would be nice. There are plenty of beaches, waterparks etc.

Same for Italy, south of France, Spain.

We only tend to do the villa hire route now, as I love the freedom - breakfast when you like, pool never shuts, complete privacy, no one annoying you. Bliss.

There are lots of family resorts in Egypt with good kids facilities, which you could also do for that price.

We stayed in the Playa Pesquero in Cuba a few years ago which had great pool,beach, kids facilities. It was big though. But you get good value for money with Cuba.

What a lovely gesture though, they sound like great people to have as parents.

sailorsgal Sun 30-Dec-12 14:12:23

I think you may have to go a bit further for guaranteed sunshine at easter. You could look at Tenerife, the Sensatori resort is very family friendly and there is one in Sharm el sheik too. It will probably cost at least £2000 if not more.

Quejica Sun 30-Dec-12 14:18:04

If you rent a villa with a pool in Spain ( or similar), do ensure that the pool is heated smile

Quejica Sun 30-Dec-12 14:19:42

Sorry, should have said if you are going at Easter, obviously no need for heated pool late May - September.

zumo Sun 30-Dec-12 17:07:15

Drinks on Cruises
Well when the kids were very small I didnt drink on holiday incase of emergencys, but now they are bigger I have learnt that dark are of smuggling booze on to a cruise ship, yes it can be done and with UK beer in a can at £7 each its enough to stop you drinking.
Get the kids a Soda pass about £5 a day and take some spirits with you.
Excursions are a rip off but we have planned all our own for years, Ship wanted £600 for 6 of us to go to Florence from the port, we did it including lunch for £100!
Just do your home work, cruse critic forum is full of top tips.
Some cruises are all inclusive, mainly Thompsons, now these are cheap too, the ships are smaller, older and often dated, but food and service is excellent, and the all visit the same places.
We allways book no earlier than 4 weeks before we go and using this method we have often got a family of 2 adults and two teens on a £2000 each cruise and paid less than £1000 each, but its a risk as often ship has places but you cant get flights, its just a gamble.
Did a week with Royal Carribean on a recently re fitted ship week in August £500 each, so it can be done, just shop around my mate went the week before and paid £450 each

MOSagain Sun 30-Dec-12 17:59:03

We went on a cruise a few years ago and one huge negative from my point of view was that 'diaper age' children were not allowed in the pool, even in proper swim pants so it was really disappointing and we had to keep DD (aged 4) away from the pool as her little brother couldn't go in it sad

zumo Sun 30-Dec-12 18:05:50

Thats a good point I suspect the reason is the pool is sea water not chlorine and in general Cruiselines are very tight on Hygine, so perhaps this is why?

CarlingBlackMabel Mon 31-Dec-12 12:56:31

But those cruise prices are ex the cost of flying to a departure point?
Or else spending the first and last 2 days of a cruise at easter sailing down the chilly channel and N Atlantic?

£7 for a tinnie? shock My friend had their bags searched for alcohol on embarkation and each time they returned to the ship after visiting a port.

zumo Mon 31-Dec-12 16:32:10

No the prices I quoted are including flights!, times are tight and discounts are about, we tend to keep quiet as we did meet people on one cruise who had booked 12 months in advance and paid three times what we had!
I have sailed from the UK and it was ok but I would rather Fly.
You will get searched but there are several techniques, I dont want to post on here, if you need to know can you send private messages on here?
I am sure if you google it you will find several ways
£7 I was very sober till I went ashore

NotOnTheBeach Thu 03-Jan-13 22:43:06

People taping the flat half and quarter size bottles of spirits to their legs? shock
Buying things called 'rum runners' to smuggle drinks in?
Having your bags and water bottles searched and your luggage arriving in your room with items removed and a note saying you can have it back when you leave?

It's like being on a school residential!

zumo Sat 05-Jan-13 18:48:06

I agree, but its that or being held at gun point with prices.

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