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Best long haul AI for kids

(32 Posts)
beanhead24 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:24:49

DCs will be 7-7.5yrs and 3.5-4yrs depending if we go Easter or summer 2017., would go for 10,11 or 14nights. Fly from EMA, BHX or MAN.

Want great snorkelling, hotel geared up for kids - kids club, playground, pools etc.

Also want it to be naice. Thought about riviera maya - which hotel though? And where else can I try?

Thanks!

The Azul beach is great in Riviera Maya but it's not so good for snorkelling, part of the beach is eroded and there's sand bags everywhere. Can't fault the hotel though. The beaches in Cancun are better but a lot of the hotels are quite lively, if I had the budget I'd stay at the Hard Rock or Moon Palace.

Shadowridge Sat 03-Sep-16 20:38:36

If summer are you not best going to the med? If going AI are you realisically going to see any of the country to make travel/ jet lag worthwhile. It may rain every afternoon in the Cancun area too.

snowman1 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:43:00

Hi are you looking for childcare and kids
Club? Or luxe? Lots of kids clubs in the Carribean are 4+ I've been doing research! Franklin d resort in Jamaica assigns a nanny per family, supposed to be a little shabby but they are good with kids if you want some time alone. Mayan riviera tends to be the sort of resorts you don't really leave. I have stayed in iberosttar, food was great, beach waves a bit rough for young kids, friends really recommend royalton, cancun. Water park for the kids. Also look at coconut bay, st Lucia, almond beach, Barbados, the Atlantis Bahamas (busy but loads to do) and beaches Turks and Caicos/negril /
Ochos rios. Florida is also great but
A I is rare, trade winds is great, on st Petes beach, tranquility bay is also lovely for kids with
Loads to do! Good
Luck!

NicknameUsed Sat 03-Sep-16 20:43:28

I agree with Shadowridge. Why would you fly with young children long haul and all that it entails - jetlag, potential tropical diseases, tummy bugs, tropical rain, distressed children impacting on other passengers etc when you can have everything you require much closer to home?

PhilomenaFlump Sat 03-Sep-16 20:53:04

The med is not the Caribbean, not by a long margin. We've done long haul with 3+ year olds and it was fine. We've stayed at several of the Riviera Maya resorts and they are all lovely. I'd stay further down toward Tulum, there's loads to do and see. Iberostar is split into several hotels on one property but the beach isn't the best for small ones. I think the iberostar maya has the wave pool.

Iflyaway Sat 03-Sep-16 21:31:05

Well, having been to Negril it is amazing with kids. 7 mile long beach with shallow water, and the people are wonderful. Very laid back place.

Not really a snorkel place though. I guess you mean for the adults...
Best snorkeling in the world is the Sinai which sadly enough is finished as a tourist destination.

Took my son scuba diving in Mexico in Cozumel which is really boring if staying on land
Thing about Yucatan (Cancun, etc), it's the best for the Mayan temples, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba. Would be great for the 7 year-old but not so great for the 3 year old, long frazzled journeys.

Another place to look at is Dominican Republic. Good hotels, lovely people, culture, and beaches, which have music, dancing as the mood takes you during the day....
Cheap too comparatively for the Caribbean.

All these places love children (family-oriented culture) and they will have a great time.

Shadowridge Sat 03-Sep-16 22:03:26

I know the med isn't the Caribbean. I just wouldn't discount the med though in summer - the weather can be wet/stormy in the Caribbean - it rained every afternoon when we were in the Yucatan. When you go to a good AI resort hotel you could really be in any country - personally i would choose to travel 2 hrs rather than 11 - we have stayed at some fab AI Iberostars in Mallorca when the dc were smaller. I did long haul myself this summer to the West coast US but my DDs are older and we travelled all over for 3 weeks, so the country was the destination rather than a resort.

Shadowridge Sat 03-Sep-16 22:04:31

And it never rained once! grin

beanhead24 Sat 03-Sep-16 22:10:02

It's the snorkelling that would make us go long haul.

PhilomenaFlump Sat 03-Sep-16 22:16:35

Does it have to be AI? Some of the most beautiful beaches with fantastic snorkelling are on St. John but there isn't an AI that I know of.

Shadowridge Sat 03-Sep-16 22:24:10

That will help choose where to go then - Cozemel might be okay but being able to snorkel and see decent fish directly off the beach can be tricky. Would your ds be happy to snorkel in deep water off a boat? At that age my oldest was happy to snorkel under the pier and see small fishes( in the med!) . My dd are hounding me to go to Hawaii next year, which does have snorkelling off the beach, so i feel your pain - the too far too expensive arguement seems lost on them though!

Wait4nothing Sat 03-Sep-16 22:29:55

We did cancun (adults only) in the moon palace but it would be lovely with kids. We visited the games room (no alcohol area) in the afternoon after too much sun and had a ball (all video games ect included - we spent hours playing air hockey and dance mats - they also had games consoles). They had nice pools, mini golf and the like - there are 3 sister hotels across the resort and you can use the facilities in all of them.
I've only snorkelled in Egypt before but we did a really cool trip where you take jet skis to a reef and then snorkle - it was amazing.

TotalConfucius Sat 03-Sep-16 22:33:20

Gran Bahia Principe, Riviera Maya might be worth a look. Journey's a pig as it's about an hour and a half down from Cancun airport, definitely get a private transfer. There's 3 sections to the hotel, you'd want to be in the Akumal section which unfortunately is the most expensive. That section's beach is quite snorkelable (that's my word invention I think). You can also easily take a taxi to the nearby town besch of Akumal Bay which is good for snorkelling. If you do fancy an excursion, you have the local historic sites of course, but you also have Xcaret which is great for children.
If it were just me, and the snorkelling was that important, I'd consider Fort Arabesque in Hurghada - beach is very safe for children and it's walk in and snorkel at the house reef. Shorter flight and transfer time of 15 mins. But I do appreciate many won't consider Egypt at the moment.

PhilomenaFlump Sat 03-Sep-16 22:36:14

The best house reef we ever had was in the Maldives (Cocoa Island). If you're going to fly 9 hours maybe go for 12? Although I wouldn't do it with non swimming children as most of the rooms were out over the water with a ladder leading down into the sea.

mouldycheesefan Mon 05-Sep-16 09:30:29

Why do people say you don't see the area if you go all inclusive? Of course you do! You go out as much as you want! You are not confined to the resort any more than you are if you go self catering, room only or half board or full board. We have seen temples, ruins, jungles, rainforests, nature reserves, volcanoes, been in boat trips to deserted islands etc etc all whilst staying in all inclusive resorts. You hire a car or get a bus or a taxi same as you would anywhere else.
Some bizarre notions!

mouldycheesefan Mon 05-Sep-16 09:32:07

And as for saying don't go long haul with kids that's bonkers. My children have never got a tropical disease, been distressed in the flight blah blah. The world doesn't end at europes boundaries, get out and see it!

beanhead24 Mon 05-Sep-16 21:07:54

Thanks so far for suggestions. Yes would really like AI, and would definitely like snorkelling directly off the beach. Any more suggestions let me know! smile

NicknameUsed Mon 05-Sep-16 21:11:56

"And as for saying don't go long haul with kids that's bonkers"

I think that very much depends on people's experience of other children on long haul flights. I have read some real horror stories on MN about kicking and screaming children on long flights.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 05-Sep-16 21:13:24

I don't know how this affects long haul because I can't fly that far, but we went Fuerteventura in April/May this year for 11 nights from Birmingham AI, and it was £300 pp less than 7 nights would have been from East Midlands to the same hotel.

KarmaNoMore Mon 05-Sep-16 21:22:45

Kicking and screaming children I n longhaul flights, not so many really. The only times I have hear a member of a family screaming, is not the child but the parent, who first winds the child up with sweets, sugary drinks and active games and then start complaining they cannot get them to sit still.

mouldycheesefan Tue 06-Sep-16 12:44:29

Never experienced it. I would imagine kids can kick and scream on any flight be it 1 hour or 24 hours.

Buzzardbird Tue 06-Sep-16 12:56:16

Same here Karma just got back from long haul holiday in Cuba with family and the 4hr delay on the runway was caused by a kicking and screaming adult. Never heard a peep from any of the many, many children on the flight all the way there or back.

Cuba is great for snorkelling OP, some of the best in the world there, be careful where you book though. We saw barracudas, angel fish, and lots of lovely colourful fish there. Kids clubs, pools, entertainment etc all included in Cuba (all hotels are All Inc there).

romanvilla Wed 07-Sep-16 17:12:38

The very best LH AI we did with the DC was Mauritius. The AI included Champagne, 5 restaurants with proper wine lists, loads of sports including water skiing, sailing & tennis, all with tuition. Grim 12 hour flight though.

Another one is Sugar Beach on St Lucia, really gorgeous but breathtakingly expensive.

We didn't like Cuba.
Mexico could be a good choice but you'd need to pick your resort carefully. My favourite place is Tulum but I don't know if they have any AIs. Dreams Tulum is not actually in the village but seems to get good reviews & might be worth a look.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Mon 12-Sep-16 11:02:55

This looks like the thread I've been looking for!

Those who have been to Mexico/Cuba/Maldives in summer, what was your weather like? We could go in Easter holidays instead but I'm getting so bogged down in brochures etc I can't see the wood for the trees anymore!

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