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Crystal Shores

Topfuelweb

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Just wanted to get some opinions/suggestions for our vacation plans coming up. We currently own a 2bdrm OV at Maui Ocean Club 2 weeks EOY and I live in Toronto....eh, so the flight with two young kids (5 and 7yr old) can be a bit of a challenge, especially coming back with the 6hr time difference. Since we have had our kids, the focus of the vacations have shifted from lounging in a beach chair, to a combination of that plus cool activities for the kids. The last few years I have traded my weeks through II and have recieved Accomadation certificates, which we used to go to Orlando (Grande Vista) and then used our other weeks to go to other premium locations as the AC's are rather limited to where and when you can go. So the net result instead of 2 weeks EOY in Maui, we get 2 weeks every year, which has worked out very nicely. My question has a few parts.....First am I maximizing my trades? (we travel with 6 of us so I need at least a 2 bdrm) Second is we were thinking of going to Crystal Shores on Marco Island, but I have never been there and was wondering if the resort would have enough to do for the kids. We usually stay at the Grande Vista in Orlando and it has a ton of things for the kids, to the point where you can skip a few days of going to the theme parks. Lastly, is there a lot to do on Marco Island/Naples for younger kids? Thanks in advance for your responses.....:D
 

Swice

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We traveled with our kids to Marco Island and stayed at the Marriott Hotel right before Crystal Shores opened. The hotel and beach were great. As I recall, there was a nice science museum there (we got in free with our local museum membership) and the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Estates were a good stop. However, I'm not sure I would want to stay there for an entire week.

I would suggest West Palm Beach, Florida-- great beach plus a variety of things to do (lighthouse, sea turtle center, duck boats, Palm Beach, exotic animal rescue center).

Lots of sun and kid friendly things to do in Palm Springs, California, San Diego area and of course Newport Coast, California.
 

kjd

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There is as much to do in SW Florida for kids as there is in Palm Beach or any other place. You just have to do a little research. Marco Island has Everglades National Park to the south and the city of Naples to the North. Most activities take place off of the island just as at Ocean Pointe which is located on Singer Island.

The National Audibon Society is located there and they do a lot of programs for young kids. Eco-tourism is a big thing here. The Naples Zoo is also a nice attraction. The intercoastal waterway offers chances to explore uninhabited island if you rent a deck boat. There are several marinas on Marco that rent them. If you wish to have a guide you can take a fishing boat from Goodland and fish the backwater in the 10,000 islands. You can also kayak in the 10,000 islands by renting one at the national park HQ in Everglades City.

The concierge at Crystal Shores has a lot of information if you're interested in more. It might be a good idea to call before you make a final decision.
 

SueDonJ

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We went to Crystal Shores two years ago over Halloween and enjoyed our stay very much! It was just me and Don with no kids but we saw groups of them everywhere in costume doing face painting, apple bobbing, costume contests, Trick-or-Treating and other Halloweeny things. Here's one day on the resort Activities Calendar:

Thursday, 11/5/09

8:30AM Yoga on the Beach
9AM Aqua Fitness
10AM Shelling
11AM Footprints in the Sand $
12AM Crystal Shores Crafts $
1PM Ice Cream Sundaes $
2PM Turtle Banks $
3PM Sand and Seashell Globes $
4PM Wii Hour - All Ages Welcome!
5PM Teen-Adults Billiards Tourney
6PM Caramel Apple Creations $
6-9PM Island Jazz Live Music at Stilts Restaurant
7PM S'mores Galore $

On other days that week they had "Dive-In" movies on a big screen poolside at the kids pool, Karaoke, Kids Bingo, Kids Night in PJ Parties, campfires, bocce on the beach, etc. If I could remember how to scan things with my new printer I'd scan in a page for you. They also had offsite activities like boat rides and watersports off the beach, a Marco Island trolley tour, an Everglades excursion ...

I don't think they've resumed construction at the resort so it's still not built out with all the planned buildings but the amenities and facilities that are there are very nice and we really didn't feel like we were missing anything. This thread has some pictures to give you an idea of what we found during that trip.
 

Topfuelweb

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It is always nice to hear from people that have been there, it will help me make a good decision. I am leaning towards a week at Crystal, then go up to Orlando for the second week, that way we will get the best of both worlds. Thanks again for the help.
 
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