What’s held your family back from taking a cruise? Maybe you can’t find the time or it’s out of your budget. Or maybe you’re afraid of getting stir-crazy on board. One cruise line aims to address all of these concerns.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is the only provider of year-round, two-night cruises departing daily from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island, designed to be affordable quick cruising options. The line operates two ships, Grand Celebration and Grand Classica, carrying more than half a million passengers annually to the island. Guests on board both can enjoy several dining options, bars and entertainment, including Vegas-style shows, live music and comedians. Par-A-Dice casino offers slot machines, table games and free lessons for would-be card sharks, and the ships are also home to full-service spas, pool deck games, interactive kids’ programs and sail away shows and parties.
New for 2019, the cruise line is offering new adventure excursions for the whole family. “Home to thriving coral reef ecosystems teeming with sea life, picturesque weather and miles of rolling countryside, Grand Bahama Island is a mecca for the best in fishing, scuba diving and biking,” shares Oneil Kohsa, CEO, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “We are so excited to present cruisers with new adventure excursions to explore the beauty and fun of the island from new perspectives.”
Here are some of the new immersive experiences for cruisers:
- Anglers can pair their two-night cruise with a 3.5- hour offshore fishing excursion led by an experienced captain to catch sailfish, swordfish, marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna. If the whole family isn’t into casting and reeling, they can still join the fun at a lower spectator rate. Afterward, everyone can spend extra time on the beach or explore the shops before returning to the ship.
- With its clear blue waters, coral gardens and marine life, including dolphins, Grand Bahama Island has a world-class reputation as a diver’s paradise. Cruisers can start their vacation with a night at the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort, then head out for a PADI-certified diving experience at one of the island’s best reefs. After a scuba orientation, divers will go via catamaran to their dive sites to enjoy exploring at depths of 15 feet. The day ends with a return to the resort and cuisine and drinks by the beach or pool. Best of all, divers don’t have to worry about the 24 hours before flying rule, as they’ll be spending a relaxing evening and following day at the resort.
A five-hour guided bicycle tour takes guests around the island, where a knowledgeable guide will teach you about Grand Bahamas’ history and go along trails once used by early settlers, as well as exotic foliage and stunning homes. After lunch at lush tropical park Garden of the Groves, home to wildlife, waterfalls and fountains, they’ll have time to shop or hang on the beach. (BPCL also invites guests to bring their own bike on board, which can be stored in their stateroom at no charge. Once onshore, they can tour the Heritage Trail, Barbary Beach or the miles of powdery beaches and palm-lined paths.)
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
By Hainan Airlines
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.