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May 2012    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 27, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Kid-Friendly Dive Resorts

from the May, 2012 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A roundup of suggestions for the best dive lodgings to take kids -- whether they're diving or not -- from Kids Sea Camp's Margo Payton ( http://familydivers.com ) and the family-focused dive travel agency Rascals in Paradise ( www.rascalsinparadise.com ).

Aggressor Fleet family weeks. They're happening in July aboard the Belize Aggressor, Cayman Aggressor and Turks & Caicos Aggressor. Dive programs are for those age 10 and older , but kids of any age get to participate in fish and coral ID, small boat handling and fishing, poetry and photography contests, and a scavenger hunt. Kids ages 5-10 get a 25 percent discount. ( www.aggressor.com/itineraries_family.php )

Anthony's Key Resort, Roatan. The grown-ups can go off their own all week and leave kids ages 5-14 at Dolphin Scuba Camp, taking place from Memorial Day weekend through August. They'll learn about and interact with bottlenose dolphins, take snorkeling trips, get exposed to diving and take field trips around the island. Age-appropriate PADI dive programs are offered year round. ( www.anthonyskey.com )

Buddy Dive Bonaire and Buddy Dive Galapagos. The Bonaire resort offers one-, two and three-bedroom condos on the water, and a full food and beverage plan. Multiple programs for kids ages 5 and up are at the Buddy Dive Academy. Buddy Dive Galapagos has two Family Week programs in July; this is the only time kids are allowed to dive in the Galapagos with Buddy Dive's new luxury liveaboard, Wolf Buddy. ( www.buddydive.com )

Castaway Island Resort, Fiji. The Kids Club lets tiny tots from age 3 and up build sandcastles, learn Fijian dance and take nature walks. Teens have their own programs for snorkeling, canoe races and volleyball. Each bungalow sleeps four, though one family-size bungalow sleeps 10. ( www.castawayfiji.com )

Cobalt Cove and Divetech, Grand Cayman. Besides hosting a Kids Sea Camp in July, Divetech offers water programs year-round for kids ages 5 and up, and Cobalt Coast offers babysitting ( www.divetech.com/Kids.htm ).

Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort, Fiji. Located on Vanua Levu, it has a full-time marine biologist for helping guests experience underwater life. The kids' Bula Club has its own pools, clubhouse and mealtimes. Its daily activities highlight marine life and Fijian culture, while the adults are free to go by boat to dive Namena. A nanny is assigned to each child under six, while those 6 to 12 get teamed up with Fijian "buddies." ( www.fijiresort.com )

Kids Sea Camp. Payton offers 13 diving weeks to choose from every summer in eight countries, from Bonaire to Yap. Oceanfront bungalows at PADI five-star resorts with scuba programs for kids ages 4-18 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Besides diving, activities include horseback riding, treasure hunts, kayak racing, ziplining and tubing. Certified kids have their own boats to dive with other kids or their families. ( http://familydivers.com )

Sam's Tours, Palau. Sam's Tours offers PADI Junior Open Water Diver and Junior Scuba Diver programs to kids ages 10-15, and helps you book the right family-appropriate lodging ( www.samstours.com ).

Small Hope Bay Lodge, Bahamas. This unpretentious, family-run lodge on Andros Island welcomes kids with open arms. Besides diving programs, the lodge offers naturalist programs, a games room, bikes and babysitting. Children under 8 get a separate dinner hour and post-dinner activities, while adults enjoy their own downtime. For more details, check out the travel story we wrote about the lodge in our April 2008 issue. ( www.smallhope.com )

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