Our family has done a lot of road trips in the last few years but my husband, Paul, and I had never travelled by air before with our six-year-old son, Davis. That was about to change as we booked our fi rst family trip to the Grand Lucayan Resort on Grand Bahama Island. I was worried whether we would be able to keep him busy for the seven-day trip as well as ensure that his Dad and I had a little fun along the way.
We were not disappointed. The Grand Lucayan resort is aptly named. It’s a truly grand property, with over a mile of private beach and several pools, tennis courts, a casino and a golf course nearby. The staff was friendly and the grounds are beautifully maintained. This resort is ideal whether you are two or 92. Falling smack in the middle of that age range, my odds were good.
I loved that it was such an eclectic mix of families, couples, young friends on spring break and those enjoying their golden years. I also liked the laidback feel at this resort. You can be as active as you want or be a beach and pool slug. There are opportunities to socialize and mingle with others or you can hide away in quiet pool and beach areas. We did a little of everything. Davis loved the long stretch of white beach and the shallow entry in to the ocean. He could play an entire day on the beach and be equally happy in the pool the next day. They have a kids pool for those still too young to swim in the main pool, which is four feet deep.
One day, we enjoyed venturing out to the Unexso Dolphin Experience, which is right across the street from the resort. This marina has scuba, snorkelling, boat tours and an opportunity to interact with the dolphins. We chose to play with dolphins and Davis loved it. Another day, we headed out to Lucayan National Park and Gold Rock Beach. This was an incredible day because the beach is in its pure form with no buildings around for miles. You feel like you are on a deserted island. It must be why they filmed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies at that very spot. I have to admit, I was daydreaming about Johnny Depp while sitting on that beach! The ocean is shallow and you can walk out about 100 metres. Davis loved feeling that he was way out in the ocean and yet it never went past his shoulders.
We enjoyed all of the many restaurants at the resort, which were mostly kid-friendly, as well as visiting the Lucayan Market that was walking distance away. It was great for shopping and enjoying different restaurants.
What about the aforementioned couple time? The kids program will make you feel not-so-guilty about dropping your kids off for an hour or two a day. This way you can visit the Casino or find a quiet spot to enjoy some adult time. We chose to go for a massage at the Senses spa.
We felt that we were active and lazy all at the same time. For this family, life definitely was better in the Bahamas.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2012.