Saint-Martin to Barbados

Resort in Saint-Martin

We flew to Sint Maarten and landed on their famous runway that begins where one of the tourist beaches ends. On arrival we took transportation across to the French owned half of the island, Saint-Martin. We stayed in an impressive resort at Anse Marcel. It combined beautiful grounds with amazing pools a stunning beach and decadent French food. If/when we come back to this amazing island I would happily stay in the same place. It was fun to have our 6-month old sharing loungers with us and taking in the surroundings. When we left we crossed back to Sint Maarten to explore lively Philipsburg with its attractive boardwalk. From there we boarded a small luxury boat that takes a mere 200 people and visits small yachting harbours around the Caribbean.

The boat was beautiful and despite having a lower-berth room with no balcony it was still an awesome size with a large living/lounging/dining area. They rarely ever get children on board let alone babies. It caused some consternation with a few of the guests on arrival, concerned they would be listening to a crying child on their voyage. Luckily our son was an angel and did not cry the entire trip. By the end he had many staff and fellow passengers fawning over him and asking if they could hold him. We were very proud parents and this voyage was the most precious trip I had taken to date.

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Our first stop was in the British Virgin Islands. We tendered to Jost Van Dyke where we followed a road over a hill to popular White Bay (no dock here) to get a Painkiller cocktail from the Soggy Dollar Bar and enjoy the soft white sand while admiring the beauty of the surroundings. The entire region is picturesque and we had a perfect evening passing by numerous islands while having cocktails and watching the sunset.

View fromLe Toiny, St. Barthelemy

The following day we arrived at St. Barthelemy. It is a territory of France and is off-limits to large cruise ships. To make the most of our stay here I prearranged for a rental car with a car seat and booked in for lunch on the opposite side of the island at a well-known restaurant called Le Gaiac. Our time in St. Barths was easily the highlight of the entire trip. It was so much fun to explore it independently. From the hills to the remarkably varied beaches, the entire island is stunning. We hope to return. It is not surprising that it is such a popular spot for the rich and famous.

Next up was St Kitts where we took a gimmicky tourist train that circumnavigated the island. There was some nice scenery but it was painfully slow, poorly narrated, and not particularly fun. In hindsight we should have organized transportation to the beaches and restaurants that looked towards Nevis.

We had quiet days in both St Lucia and Guadeloupe. In St Lucia we unfortunately docked in Castries rather than Soufriere in the beautiful section further south. Having been here before, and given we were with our baby, and there was a Dengue Fever warning, we ended up staying around the port and lounged on the boat. In Guadeloupe I tendered to the tiny village on Terre-de-Haut so I could wander around it. It was cute but not very exciting.

Mayreau, Grenadines

Our final stop before reaching Barbados was in the Grenadines where we visited a beach on the remote island of Mayreau. Here the crew from the boat held a huge barbeque for the guests and brought us drinks while we played in the sand and sea. We had great fortune to meet a local with a son the same age as ours while we were there and overall we had a perfect beach day.

We had to disembark early in the morning when we arrived in Barbados. We went from Bridgetown to the middle of the west coast where we stayed for a few days. We watched the sunsets, lounged in and around the pools, and swam in the ocean. On one of the days we arranged for a private tour of the island and we were greeted by a large, soft-spoken man with a very nice car. The car seat was already prepared to take our baby and he drove us to the major and minor sights of this little country. This was our second visit to Barbados but it was our first time staying there overnight. There is a lot to like about it.

Watching the sunset in Barbados

It always amuses me how often we’d hear, “you know he is too young to remember this trip.” I do not relate to this way of thinking. Why would that stop a parent from travelling? At this stage the trip is about us without a doubt, but regardless I don’t think it is a bad thing to be giving him broad exposure to different people, climates, and accommodation even this early in life. We are getting new experiences while spending quality time with him and he is thrilled to be getting oodles of attention from mom and dad while we are on holiday.

This family trip to the Caribbean meant an incredible amount to me. It really made up for lacklustre visits to the region in the past. We discovered new places we love and now look forward to the next time we return.


Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island

It wasn’t until six-months following the birth of our first child that we did our first international travel. We took a prop-plane to Seattle where we spent the night before flying the next morning to Miami.

Miami was sunny, warm and a pleasant change from February weather back home. Having explored Miami in the past we simply spent two nights and days there. We casually strolled along the waterfront walkways and the highlight of our stay was simply a nice dinner at restaurant called ToroToro. We thought our son would sleep during our meal but he ended up being great company with us at the table.

We took a modest, mid-sized cruise ship on a compact trip through three ports of the Bahamas. Our room was tiny, particularly with the pack-n-play, but the staff was very friendly to our little guy. The ship was decent and we appreciated the opportunity to upgrade out of the buffet meals to getting to dine in some of their international restaurants. We also took advantage of the playroom for our son.

A locals market in Freeport

Our first stop was in the Berry Islands to a private area owned by the cruise line. It is certainly not a spot for any cultural experiences, but it had an attractive beach and it was fun to let our son play in the sand. The next day we visited Nassau. Here we wandered through the city with its colourful buildings before taking a passenger ferry over to Paradise Island to visit its shops and beautiful beaches. And lastly we went to Freeport where I hired a driver to give me a tour of the area. When we returned to Miami we went straight to the airport where we had great fortune in catching an early flight out, making it so we didn’t have to spend half-the-day waiting for our booked flight.

Outside of the joy in being on our first family trip as new parents, our Bahamas encounter was little more than a low-cost, no-effort vacation. It really emphasized the difference to me of the travel that I love, which involves subjecting yourself to new experiences and challenges, and having an effort free vacation. Vacations can be a great escape when you are craving one, but they do not feed my travel addiction.