USVI- St. Croix 12/2011

This trip included a lot of travel firsts for us. It was our first trip as an actual family (Adrian was adopted just weeks before), first time our son left the United States, first time to the Virgin Islands for any of us and a first time staying at an all inclusive resort.

Our son has a lot of anxiety when it comes time for holidays (don’t we all?). He had never really had a chance to celebrate anything due a variety of reasons including his constant moving about, neglect, poverty and religious constraints . Our therapist had brought up the thought of starting our own tradition and maybe easing his stress with less focus on gifts and parties and more focus on the family. Well, who could say no to that? We talked and decided some time in the sun on the beach would do the trick. So, I began to take a look at All Inclusive resorts.

I love booking vacations almost as much as I love going on them. There is something about reading through the reviews, trying to understand if their complaints are warranted or if you have the same taste in food as twinkletoes123 and imagining your suitcase on the bed in the picture. For this trip I wanted to add all-inclusive to the relax, but being a foodie, I did not want to jeopardize that aspect of the trip. I used allinclusiveoutlet.com.

We had to limit ourselves to a place where our son could go without a passport (too short of a timeline), so that narrowed it to the USVI and Puerto Rico. Then we decided it needed to be at least three stars (or the 4 out of 6 palm tree rating) , mainly in hopes of a higher food quality. Based on the price/quality relationship we had no doubt which place to book: Divi Carina Bay on St. Croix.

This being the first and only all-inclusive trip, I can’t give the a full review other than it was exactly what the doctor ordered. The food was OK, better then Sizzler for sure, but limited at times. Every once in awhile they had a special meal or a local tasty treat. We had lobster two times and even got to try a local dish with goat. The day to day food got a little old, but I was still happy to eat there every day of the week we were there. As far as the resort, the staff seemed a little confused and unprepared at times. We ran into a few really mean ones, but also some that truly went above and beyond. The housekeeping team was exceptional, they really kept the place clean and would always do something extra. I have over a decade of experience in hospitality and would have been thrilled to have a team like that. The Kid’s cub was nonexistent. We signed our son up one day and he basically got babysat with one staffer.  The Adventure/rental booth team was nice and helpful. We went on a free snorkel tour a few times and felt it was worth it. The bar was slow to open and slow to serve, but friendly.  All and all, I was very happy and intrigued that ‘Divi’ is a chain and they also have a resort in Aruba.

We had two friends from Montana join us on this adventure. They rented a car and took us diving one day away from the resort at Cane Bay and we took the cruise to Buck Island with Big Beard Adventure Tours. They had a great time at Divi as well, but also spent a good amount of traveling the island, like Kevin and I would have done before. It’s a little easier without a kid and when one is not as desperate for total relax! We never go bored or felt like we needed to do something else.

For everyone it turned out to be a good experience. Mamma pig got to relax, Papa got to relax and our Piglet got to relax AND did not feel like he missed out on anything. I think we saved money and we certainly had the most stress-free holidays to this point. I will be curious to compare if we do another all inclusive for next Christmas, we all have it on our wish list!

One Response to USVI- St. Croix 12/2011

  1. Pingback: Travel, planning and stress | Earth Pigs Travel and Culinary Blog

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