Best Family-Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts!

Jamaica is an island known for all inclusives for families, all offering kids' clubs, watersports, kids' meals...

But Franklyn D. Resort (and sister property FDR Pebbles) takes "all-included" one step further: each family has their own "vacation nanny" during their stay.

Many families request the same nanny, year after year. She'll play with your child, take them to the kids' club or arts and craft center or other activities; or if you prefer, she'll hang out with you, watch toddlers in the pool while you relax, and so on.

Club Med Punta Cana -- in the Dominican Republic-- has great ambiance, and awesome kids' 
programs and facilities.

The Petit Club and Mini Club have an entire building, with separate rooms for different age groups; outside is a big playground, choo-choo, pool... And that's just the home base.

Much of the time, the kids are out'n'about. Older kids might do trapeze, or in-line skating; or rehearse for the mini-club show (with costumes, lights, and sound)...

(Where you won't find them is in a room with video-games.)

Meanwhile, teens (only) can try out The Ramp": with skateboard ramp on one surface, teen lounge tucked underneath, and on top a space to hang-out topped by a canopy where movies can be shown. 

Beaches is the family brand of the Sandals chain of all inclusives, and this resort is a popular spot: often fully booked even in summer-time.

Beaches Turks and Caicos guests are drawn by the white-sand beach, and turquoise sea with coral reef; the nursery and kids programs; Pirate's Island kid center, with giant pirate ship, water slides, kids-only pool, and video games; by Beaches' partnership with Sesame Street, which brings Cookie Monster and pals on-site for meet'n'greets, shows and activities.

Watersports include the usual, plus scuba for ages 10 and up. Add in five pools, three whirlpools, nine restaurants, and a European spa...

And if that's not enough: well, you can sign up for Concierge or Butler Service.

Turks and Caicos, by the way, is an island chain halfway between Florida and Puerto Rico; flight time can be as little as 1 hour.

Beaches Turks and Caicos has been considered the flagship property of the Beaches brand, but Beaches' two resorts in Jamaica are big-time too: Beaches Negril has a waterpark; Beaches Boscobel has a waterpark too, and also stands out because of golf (- green fees are all-included, and the resort has golf programs and clinics for kids.)

Both resorts have the Beaches features so important to families:

  • watersports include snorkeling trips, and scuba. (You may need to pay for an introductory class.)
  • Kids programs serve three age groups, including infants. Parents can view printed schedules and pick activities their kids will like.
  • partnership with Sesame Street is a hit with preschoolers li]A big draw for kids is the large Games Center with Xbox and other video games
  • Teens have their own soda bar, disco, and teen outings and dinners are organized
  • daily schedule includes family activities, themed by day.

    Beaches Negril Resort & Spa has 1400 feet of shore on seven-mile Negril Beach, on the west side of Jamaica. This coast is more sheltered than the north side of the island. However, the trip from Montego Bay airport is longer: 81 km, which takes about an hour on a new road. (Or take a short plane hop.)

    Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club is on Jamaica's north coast; transfer to the resort can take two hours (though again a short plane flight is possible.) Beach is small but pool is large, there's a kiddie pool, and 2007 brought a new Pirates Island water park. Golfers love the all-included greens fees, and golf programs for kids.

Starfish = Star Value: lots of fun on land and sea, at an excellent price, at this three-star brand of SuperClubs. Location is on the north coast of Jamaica, 23 miles from Montego Bay.

Landlubber fun includes minigolf, trapeze, and rock-climbing. Starfish has multiple pools, and they're lots of fun: "pool in the pool", a sports pool, kiddie toys to float on. And there's a kiddie pool with castle theme and waterslide.

Starfish has a lovely beachfront spot, with a small island: wade out and grab a hammock, while your kids play in the sand.

Kids programs are offered for ages 6 months to 3 years, and 4 years to 12 years old. You can either pay a small extra charge for this service (and for certain other activities), or buy the Platinum all-inclusive plan, which is still reasonable, and includes the whole deal.

Like Starfish, Breezes is a brand of SuperClubs resorts. Breezes Curacao is on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, a 2-1/2 hour flight from Miami,(and out of the hurricane zone).

Breezes Curacao Resort Spa & Casino is a 15-minute ride from the colorful historic town of Willemstad (a UN World Heritag site): picture an Amsterdam canal street painted with your kids' pastel crayons.

Breezes Curacao has a long, 1500-foot stretch of sheltered beach; daily scuba shore-dive (ages 12 and up), trapeze, kids club and kiddie area with pool and snack bar, outdoor Japanese restaurant...

And by the way, the price is often right at this resort, thanks to frequent promotions.

Coconut Bay Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive resort in St. Lucia with three pluses for families:

  • value pricing
  • waterpark zone with two bodyslides and a lazy river
  • Cocoland kids club, with huge play areas including a water-play zone

St. Lucia is in the eastern Caribbean. US visitors often route through Miami (approx. 3 hours flying time) ; direct flights also depart from several Northeast US cities. Many tourists also visit from the UK.

St. Lucia is known for scenic beauty, and especially for the twin peaks of the Pitons in the southwest. The island has jungle and plantations; the sea has coral reefs.

The Coconut Bay Resort & Spa has 85 acres including a private adult's only pool and lounge area by the spa. And another plus, for families: location is just five minutes from the Hewanorra International Airport (in the southeast of the island, on the Atlantic coast.)

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