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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 15
OP Offline
we have a large multi-generational family holiday planned for AC. all ages from pre-school thru retired. parties will be arriving from all over the northeast and (my clan) from ohio. while i am looking thru other discussions on this board (for peoples recommendations) i will go ahead and summarize our questions. we will be there last week in nov and first week dec. we will be staying at tradewinds.
#1) any helpfull hints on packing....? what to bring what not to bring? bug spray et al.
#2) only some of our party are cert for scuba...for those of us not cert can we get certified during a 10 day stay and if so any recommondations.
#3) some of the younger kids will not be going on excurtions for scuba...they do love the beach...any good beach spots for young (pre-school) swimers.
#4) general questions on groceries....what should we try to pack and bring verses buy there. sounds like fruits / veggies and fruit juice from venders are the way to go...what about staples like coffee / milk / eggs / oil / get the picture.
#5) this is our first trip to AC. we are very excited...any recommendations you folks can make on activities ...this to do OR avoid would be greatly appreciated.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,268
I think the answers to a lot of your questions depends on when you are going. There are different guidelines for different seasons.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,035
1. bring Tshirts and shorts and very little else-a few cans of "Off" will not go amiss.
2.No problem on being certified.
3.Where are you staying?-yes there are several very nice beaches.
4. everything is available here
5. all trips are good value but as you are not coming in the high season-it is unlikely that the trips will be full=go to search modem and see what you think you and your family would like to do.

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
In addition to what Pedro has said, Tradewinds is a good place for families with kids - close to the residential area so your kids will meet local kids easily. The beach directly in front of the hotel has a short seawall but on either side is nice, fairly wide and shallow water for kids. Walking distance to 2 playgrounds. The food stuffs can all be gotten in San Pedro possibly with the exception of Bisquick - bring it if you need it. Toys are very expensive in SP ($60 for a Barbie!!) so have the kids bring what they can't live without and anything they would like to leave for the local kids is always appreciated. In general everwhere is very kid friendly. I would recommend a glass bottom boat/snorkeling trip out to Shark ray alley & the reef. Bring beach toys & floats.

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 15
OP Offline
we will all be staying at tradwinds paradise villas

staying about 10 days

is tradwinds close enough to walk to "town"
pedro1...when you say no problem with cert for that because we dont need it or will get training and cert while there?
ps...your avatar is mezmerizing...makes me mad enough to quit my job on the spot

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
We have stayed at Paradise Villas 3 times, love it, and Tradewinds has never given us any problems, very responsive. It is just a short walk to town either on the beach or by the street at the rear. Plenty to look at on the walk also, more of a stroll really. Nice pool, beautiful grounds, and fairly quiet. Dive shops close by on the beach. I think you will like it.
We will be there first of Feb for 9 days. PV was booked through tradewinds so they are putting us up at the Palms.
For those wanting to get certified, it is usually suggested to get your classroom done before you go, and just take the test down there. Who wants to waste a few days in a classroom on a vacation?
Supermarket is just a half block from there, most items readily available if not there. Booze is sold in the market, but if you want beer (Belikin of course), have Tradewinds stock the fridge so it is cold when you get there (also cheaper). Vegetables are better from the stands in town, but it is pretty much take what you can find. Also, consider having someone make a bakery run early in the morning, as the baked goods are fantastic.
We generally don't cook, other than coffe and maybe a dinner if we have had luck fishing. The food is readily available and relatively cheap, and very good. If you like to relax without giving up amenities, this is the place to do it.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10
I agree, do the class work at home. You don't want to be sitting inside watching the PADI video on your vacation. I did it this way and it worked out great. I did the "referral course" (which means the 4 open water dives--takes 2 days) with Amigos Del Mar. They were wonderful!

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 18

I agree with Barb K. good suggests.
We have been coming down for 10 years and
Always bring liquor(Brandy and laugh vodka)It is
expensive. Beer and Rum are cheap.
Bring lots of SUNSCREEN #30&45 the sun is very
intense. Bring lots of Film. It is available but
very pricey. We always bring snacks:Nuts,Pringle,
& petzels, spray cheese.
Snacks are very expensive on AC also.
Fruit from the vendors are wonderful.
Try a pineapple they are so sweet and delicious
Mango and Papaya are excellent.
Try Different fruits ask the vendors.They love to
talk with you about their goods.
We have even brought a blender to make our own
Rum Punch.
Have a great time!!!
laugh laugh laugh

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 260
hey osowaldo!!

We're gonna be there the same time as you. We're staying at ruby's in town, and probably hanging around Fidos and the chicken drop. ( if they still have it) We're from CT. so it will be cool to see people from the Northeast for sure.
The flo clan will also be there from LA, and you'r all welcome to join in the festivities with all of us!
see ya soon....
look for Tie Dye....

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 15
OP Offline
many thanks to all the friendly advise. i am reading all of your postings and making notes (packing bisquick / snacks / toys / beach stuff / bug spray and sun screen) i am the early where to go for the baked goods?
will definitly keep an eye out for tie dye. we have folks coming from great barrington to baltimore and points in between. my wife and i are in ohio now but criss-crossed ct with jobs and grad school (westport -> fairfield -> candlewood lake -> bridgeport -> west haven -> new haven -> old lyme) so would love to hook up with you.
all of you sound passionate about ac. again thanks for all the tips (will not forget the glass bottom boat)
were might you all recommend we could go out for a special celebration dinner to honor one of the relatives making this whole trip possible (lots of people and all ages?

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