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Old 03-04-2014, 15:52   #1
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first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids?

Hi all,

I am plotting an upcoming family vacation to the Caribbean. No one in our group has ever been there. I love sailing, my family likes boats fine, but other things too. My kids are little (3,5,7).

I am considering BVI or Bahamas for all the reasons everyone else does.

Here is my main question. Since my kids have never spent more than one overnight on board, would I be better off planning a short cruise, say 3-4 days, combined with a more traditional resort or hotel?

or with all there is to see and do on and off the boat, should I not worry about them going stir crazy after day 4?

second, any strong opinions on bahamas versus bvi with little ones? I am leaning bahamas (abacos) for shallow waters and natural beauty/isolation (more up my family's path) than what I perceive to be a party/bar scene in BVI?

We would most likely be going sometime June-Aug, or possibly next spring break (march). I know summer is hurricane seasons and all, and plan accordingly.


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Old 03-04-2014, 17:40   #2
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Re: first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids?

I'll make it short. I think you should do the 7 days with the kids. They will love it as long as they are not so hooked on electronics that they can't do without.

I also agree with you about the Bahamas. Perfect for kids. We had our best vacation ever on Green Turtle Cay many years ago with our kids. Have fun and I hope you continue to take them.

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Old 04-04-2014, 11:30   #3
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Re: first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids?

On the other hand ----
Vacation is not supposed to be stressful and packing seven days and three small kids onto a boat you are learning on the fly can leave everyone more frazzled.
One bad sunburn, case of diarrhea or injury can ruin several days of the trip. Of course the same can strike on land but is easier with amenities around.
I vacationed on Green Turtle Cay when my daughters were young (6 and 10 or so). Lots to do and see, we did some day sailing and lots of beach combing.
Having a pool in the afternoon, and a place for the kids to be nearby but not immediately nearby was great.
In later years we chartered in the BVI. The girls were teenagers and could enjoy some sailing and hop in the dink to get away (not real far...)
My suggestion would be land based with a pool and a hobie cat or similar for some daysailing. Or leave the kids with grandma and grandpa while you try the BVI.
Whichever you do have a great time. My girls remember those vacations often - many great memories.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:46   #4
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Re: first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids?

I'd recommend just staying at a sailing oriented resort and day sailing. Bitter End Yacht Club in BVI is very family oriented and has lots of boats to sail, plus snorkeling and touring excursions.
s/v Nakamal
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:36   #5
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Re: first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids?

Consider chartering a bareboat and basing yourself at the Bitter End YC, fantastic water-sport facilities, huge expanse of protected FLAT water, great services and use of a pool for the kids for a very reasonable fee, there is no better place for a vacation with children in the BVI than North Sound, Virgin Gorda.
Have a great time wherever you go!
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:31   #6
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Re: first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids?

wow really surprised at some of the responses, BVI is totally kid friendly and 7 days on a boat with your folks is not torture as defined by the Geneva convention. Plan on sailing each morning to the next anchorage by lunchtime and then give them beach time in the afternoon before dinner on the boat.

a couple of dinners at the various restaurants on the 3rd/6th night etc (bitter end, cane garden etc) to break up the routine, maybe lunch on land once or twice and your 7 days will be up before you know it.

Also make sure you bring along the electronics, my wife and I brought along a laptop (even used the onboard wifi to upload facebook photos/email etc) and would watch a movie each night.....though most nights were turned in by 9-10pm as zonked out from the sailing/days activities.

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