The Deal Mommy

A Skeptic’s Beaches Turks and Caicos Review Part Two: Dollars and Sense

$800.

A night.

Before airfare. 

There. I ripped off the band-aid. $800/night is the lowest low season price for 4 in the lowest level room at Beaches Turks and Caicos. There’s just no way I can make $800/night seem like a bargain without losing all of you.  So I’m not gonna.

Here’s what I am going to do…and frankly I’m surprised I can go this far. I didn’t think I would until I saw the place. Here is my review. I am going to lay out some specific scenarios where I can see value in a Beaches vacation.  Note I didn’t say “deal”, I said “value”. Big difference.

1. If you are accustomed to paying for luxury cruises, Beaches is a viable alternative that may actually cost less. 

Royal Caribbean

 

Here’s a screen shot from RCCL’s website on a ship leaving from San Juan the same week next year that I visited Beaches. I chose San Juan so the airfare would be similar to T&C. I chose a Junior Suite, which sounds luxurious, but in reality is only 274 square feet for 4 people. The cruise price doesn’t include getting to and from the ship, land activities, tips or drinks except iced tea (as in even diet coke will run you $50/week).

Having now cruised Royal Caribbean and visited Beaches, I’d rank the Beaches experience equal to or higher in every category (with the exception of being mobile). I’d especially note the kids’ activities and their ages. If you have kids under 3 expect to pay $6/hour for daytime freedom. If your baby is under 6 months, you’re out of luck.

Beaches Resorts :: October 10-17

Here’s Beaches the same week, and I even moved up a couple of categories to the room I would choose. You could have gone as low as $5900. Not cheap by any stretch, but if you’re already paying for a cruise…

2. If you are traveling with an infant and want to know you have a qualified nanny available during the day. 

I mentioned post-partum depression in my property review but any couple who is desperate for a break from new parenting or who has an older child who needs attention while the younger is cared for might seriously consider Beaches an option- at any price. I’ll be creative on a lot of areas in travel to save money but I won’t flex on the quality of the kids’ programs, especially with a baby. I would feel that my kids were safe at Beaches and I always felt safe myself.

3. If the inmates run the asylum, especially if most of the inmates are under 7.

Because Beaches has so many types of rooms, you won’t have to get 2 or more to fit a large family-and there’s no limit to how many you can put into camp. Scaling up and maybe even traveling as a group might help defray the cost per person as kids are much cheaper than the 1st 2 grownups.

4. If you are having a blended family destination wedding or vow renewal with your kids.

I got to see a couple of vow renewals while at Beaches and even the base (as in free) package was lovely. I could totally see how a destination wedding might help smooth the transition for the kids of two families coming together.

5. If your tweens/teens want to learn to scuba dive with you.

In a past life, Deal Dad and I got certified in scuba. Neither of us has been down since Deal Kid was born 11 years ago and we’re both looking forward to the kids being able to join us. However, scuba is not an activity I’d let my kids do at any random resort. Beaches has an exclusive partnership with PADI (1 of 2 international diving associations and the one I used).  I’d feel totally comfortable letting their instructors in the water with my kids. My suggestion would to be to get certified before you go so the kids are comfortable with the equipment- you can start at age 10 if your kid is ready. Beaches then offers scuba included- and diving expenses can add up. Getting certified on resort (with a limited certification) is extra but not crazy expensive ($90).

Is Beaches a no-brainer?

Well, if money were no object, sure!  However, living in the real world, costs matter. I’m not going to give you some snow job about “making memories” or “family bonding”. Anytime you step out of your daily routine and travel with your kids you make memories. However, sometimes it’s nice to delegate the decisions and just stop. And Beaches lets you do that in spades.

Would I return to Beaches on my own dime?

I paid for full airfare this last trip but did receive a heavily discounted conference rate at Beaches. At $800/night? I can think of 1 instance I would return. A milestone anniversary and vow renewal with the kids…where we all scuba.

 

Have you done an all-inclusive vacation with kids? What criteria were most important to you? How would you rate the value? Please share in the comments.


6 thoughts on “A Skeptic’s Beaches Turks and Caicos Review Part Two: Dollars and Sense

  1. Dave

    From a different view point, my wife and I have gone to numerous RIU all inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean and we usually spend about $150-$200 a night with out airfare (use points or miles for that). Not the fanciest resorts, but the food is very good, not gourmet, but very good, and they have activities daily including a nightly variety show. They also have a kids club which from what we have seen, seams very good. We like it for the surety of cost, and on every trip have gone on exploring trips into the local area. Just another view point.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks, Dave. Appreciate it. I think for couples there’s a lot more flex. It’s the kids club that raises flags for me. I’ll flex on pretty much everything else, but the kids club has to be perfect. I think visiting more properties at a variety of price levels to get a feel is now on my to do list.

      1. Russ

        Look in to ClubMed – top notch kids programs just like you’ve seen at beaches but per person daily rates can be as low as $120/person low season.

        1. thedealmommy Post author

          Thanks, Russ. I’ve heard Club Med mentioned by multiple readers now and certainly am curious to compare the two.

  2. Leslie H (tripswithtykes)

    Thanks for the honest review. $800 a night?!?!?! I’ve never paid anything close to that for any resort I’ve stayed in and I’ve stayed at some insanely nice ones. I think of Sandals/Beaches as fairly mass market, and if it is mass market, it has to be competitive with the king of mass market — Disney. My husband and I stayed with our daughter at the Disney Aulani in Hawaii in a studio condo for less than $350 a night. Kids club was fully included for kids 3 and older. Sure, food & drink wasn’t included but we could have eaten like kings and not even come close to spending anything in this ballpark. I couldn’t see going to Beaches at anything close to this rate. Thanks for keeping it real, as always.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Leslie,
      $800 is the lowest of the low. My room started around $1300.
      Disney is a good comparison, but I didn’t use it because of the theme park factor. Disney Hawaii or Disney Cruise is better. Beaches wins in the 3 and under category, but Disney wins in every other. Although with the price differential, Disney does offer private babysitting and you could use as needed.

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