Honeymoon destinations with infant in Central America/Mexico/Caribbean
January 29, 2014 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Yay - we got married! We are looking for suitable destinations to go on our honeymoon sometime in late spring or summer. We'd like to go to Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean as neither of us has been there before. We'll be taking our wonderful son, who turns one in March with us, so we're looking for somewhere that is not too intrepid. Your suggestions please...

Here is some more information (in no particular order) I hope will help:

* We will be travelling from Alberta, Canada. Budget is somewhere from 4-6K - don't know how realistic this is. We are planning on a minimum of one week, but hopefully up to two weeks. Ideally we would be going sometime in late spring to early summer (late April to July).

* Before our son was born we spent a few days on the big island, Hawaii, and loved it! We talked about going back for our honeymoon, but decided this might be an opportunity to go somewhere new for both of us, such as Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean. We are somewhat enamoured with the idea of going to Cuba. However, we are not fixed on any of these, so if you have other suggestions we are open to that!

* The destination should be somewhere suitable to take a 1+ year old - ie. it should be safe, comfortable and interesting for a young child. I've heard the food can be an issue in some resorts, so we'd want to stay somewhere where the food is edible for both us and our son. As a bonus, it would be great to go somewhere with reputable child minding services so we can have some time to ourselves (I know, I know, on our honeymoon! What are we thinking ... ).

* Apart from the obvious issue of feeding and entertaining our son, there are probably a bunch of logistical issues I haven't thought of...

* We would like some beach and sun, but my wife and I both agree we wouldn't enjoy spending an entire week sitting on a beach. This doesn't necessarily rule out a resort, but our idea is that we could also do a few day trips and do some sightseeing (Bonus round: suggestions of things to see).
posted by piyushnz to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Go on a cruise! You should be able to get a fairly nice room on a fairly nice ship for that budget.
posted by woodvine at 4:08 PM on January 29, 2014

We really liked Cancún for a week, and it definitely fits your budget. If you watch for a deal you can get a package that will include air and hotel for cheap. The nice thing about Cancún proper is that you can drink the water, so it's not as stressful to worry that everything is sealed when you receive it. It's kind of like the Big Island, very tropical, but the roads aren't as good once you get outside the cities, so it may depend on your tolerance for major potholes and "creative" lane usage. There's a fair amount of ruins to explore, as well as the amazing cenotes. Or, take the ferry to Isla Mujeres or Cozumel for snorkeling. The resort we stayed at (Omni) offered private babysitting for pretty cheap, though there wasn't much in the way of activities for young kids besides the beach and pools. Ours was still in diapers but he never got tired of going in the pools, especially the zero-entry ones. If you stay on the hotel strip, the bus is very easy to navigate, since there is only one road, and you can shop the high-end mall, the city market, or the Wal-Mart depending on your taste. Speaking a bit of Spanish is very helpful but not required. If you wanted to do something non-beachy, the colonial capitol of Mérida is only a couple hours away.

Cuba is really expensive for Americans to visit but I've heard good things about it.

The other place might be St. John's, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island is half a national park, again sort of like Hawaii, and obviously English is the primary language. There are essentially no big resorts. Getting all the way around the island requires a 4WD vehicle, and there's not a ton to do out of the water, but it's very pretty. On the downside, you'll be constantly correcting people who assume you went to the other St. John's for your honeymoon.

A cruise might be really fun, though. Be sure to check into what pools your (presumably diapered) child will be allowed in. Disney, for instance, has a small splash area but the pools are reserved for the potty-trained.
posted by wnissen at 5:14 PM on January 29, 2014

Costa Rica is incredibly child-friendly, safe, and gorgeous!
posted by EtTuHealy at 6:32 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

The ONLY place I would recommend in Central America if you're travelling with a small child is Costa Rica. Everywhere else is too dangerous/sketchy/unpredictable.

You can cover Arenal and and one of the beaches like Manuel Antonio easily in two weeks, with plenty of time to relax.
posted by empath at 1:26 AM on January 30, 2014

A cruise might be a good option, but check with the line because some of them don't have child care for a child that young. As mentioned above, St. John's is really nice, but you might look at staying in St. Thomas and taking the ferry over for the day. There are more touristy things to do in St. Thomas, but night life is minimal. Barbados is safe and child friendly with a lot of things to do. It's just a haul to get down there. I would also look at St. Martin. It's relatively affordable and has some great things to do during the day. You should have plenty of options for food in any of these places. Anyplace that caters to tourists, will have plenty of options.
posted by iscavenger at 7:20 AM on January 30, 2014

We have traveled to all-inclusive resorts in Cuba several times with our children, from as young as 9 months old and we love it.

You would almost certainly be able to find direct flights (a bonus with young kids) from Calgary or Edmonton to a 5 star resort in Cuba for probably around 4500-5000$CAD for two weeks.

Many resorts are family oriented, including water parks, playgrounds and the like. Some of them do provide daycare or baby sitting services.

If you would be staying in the Varadero area, a day trip to Havana is a very nice excursion, if your little guy has the energy to follow along.

Food wise, it varies from one resort to the other but usually fish and seafood are delicious, chicken and pork are good but stay away from the beef, it is usually though and overcooked. Local fruits are great and plentiful, depending on what is in season. Never had a problem finding something our kids liked.

As for logistics, a stroller is usually included in the baggage allowance for children, as well as one extra bag. Take full advantage of both of these even if you don’t think you will need them. If still needed, a portable bottle/baby food warmer is handy to have in your room for very early mornings/late nights.

MeFi mail me if you want more details or specific resort recommendations.
posted by TinTitan at 11:04 AM on January 30, 2014

Thanks for the suggestions so far! I should mention we have ruled out going on a cruise - it is hard to say exactly why but it doesn't appeal to either of us. I think the Costa Rica and Cuba suggestions are on the right track. Please keep them coming!
posted by piyushnz at 4:53 PM on January 30, 2014

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