November 8, 2006

Tanned, Triumphant, Tropical Tot Traveller Tells Tale

When we last heard from Shawn, he was pale and wondering if tropical vacations were a thing of the past now that he had a kid. So as the crappy NY weather turns our hearts to the Caribbean, it's a relief to hear how Shawn, and his wife, and their son managed on their late-October vacation to Jamaica. Here's a two-word hint: "great" and "wonderfully"

Says Shawn:

We made it!! Jamaica was great and our son did wonderfully. He traveled like
a veteran and took it all in stride. The trip completely exceeded our
expectations and we’ve already started fantasizing about visiting Beaches
Negril again next year. The journey down went without incident and the
resort was beautiful. We were so proud of our son! The journey home left a
little to be desired but again, our son performed admirably even with
lengthy delays. Fortunately the delays hit early so we were able to spend
our “extra time” at the newest Margaritaville at Sangster International in
Montego Bay which was really pretty fun. We were also faced with a bit of
comedy courtesy of airline issues. As flights were bumped around so were we.
As a result all of our seat assignments were lost and the airline, in its
infinite wisdom, never realized they had separated the three of us and
assigned a 9 month old a seat nowhere near either of his parents. In the end
it all worked out and we got home safely a few nights ago.

About air travel:
We purchased a Sit’n’Stroll and it worked beautifully. It made travel
easier for all of us and it was great to have one item with wheels that
didn’t need to be checked. It also worked well when our son was sleeping.
We didn’t have to wake him! We could just scoop up the whole unit, kid and
chair together, then get going.

About Beaches Negril:
- GREAT STAFF!! Everybody at the resort was awesome. Even nicer than the
people at Sandals. Plus they all did a great job of interacting with our 9
month old. Many, many people would just stop to chit chat with him and make
him smile.
- The resort completely exceeded our expectations…It was beautiful. That
being said, I should share a couple caveats with you on the subject.
o We went into this with very low expectations so it wasn’t hard for them to
wow us. However, the grounds we’re very, very nice and the beach was
o We had a room with an in-room fridge which was stocked daily for free.
This was a really big deal to us, especially when it came to traveling with
baby. My complaint with Sandals in the past is that it’s tough to get a
bottle of water. With the fridge, they kept filling it with all we wanted
and if we needed more I just called the concierge. Very helpful at bottle
- The Daycare and Nanny Service we’re outstanding and made us feel very
comfortable. We were basically assigned a primary caregiver for the week.
I don’t know if this is standard operating procedure for them but it was
wonderful knowing that our son was with the same caregiver anytime we needed
after hours care.
- The one negative we came up with should also be shared. Most of the
dining is open air. That was a little tough on a 9 month old….it was a
little tough on us sometimes too. The staff was helpful here though too and
they would often work to seat our son directly under a ceiling fan. The day
care and our room were of course comfortably air conditioned.

Thanks to all of you at Daddy Types who responded to my post. Reading what
you all had to say on the subject helped immensely.

Previously: Tiny Tots Traveling Tropical: Terrible? or Totally!

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