Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bahamas 2012, #1: Deciding Where to Go

I recently heard something on a Ted talk, which, although obvious, I hadn't given much thought to before. Your parents leave you too early in life. Your spouse and your own children join you later in life. It's only your siblings who might be with you for the entire ride, if you're so fortunate.

It only makes sense, therefore, that my two brothers and I, and our wives, after having lost both our mother and father within a three-year period, would take a portion of our modest inheritance to commune on a tropical beach this winter – just the six of us. The concept of using some of their nest egg for a sibling retreat is something that our parents would have endorsed wholeheartedly. Dad, however, would have preferred that we fish for salmon in a remote region of Alaska or go on an African safari, the kind with guns not just cameras. But we’re not stupid men. We knew better than to even suggest such trips to our wives.

Kim and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise two years ago, but the group decided to investigate various Caribbean resort options this time. The only problem was that, although there is much information on the relative accessibility of various cruise ships and ports of call, there is disappointingly little information about the relative accessibility of Caribbean resorts. Both our disability travel agent and my favorite disability travel author told us about one Mexican resort that is designed specifically for wheelchair users, but it is a bit small, and one of my sisters-in-law vetoed the whole country of Mexico out of fear of their drug war, so that was out. Her opinion is somewhat justified (click here).

We all agreed that we wanted an adults-only resort, so we started zeroing in on the various Sandals options. Eventually we decided on the Sandals Royal Bahamian, near Nassau, Bahamas. They have one class of room that is considered handicapped accessible, so we booked that room for five nights, and my brothers booked their non-accessible rooms at the same resort.

I'll be sharing these travel experiences with you in the next few posts, not because I want to make you jealous, but for the following reasons. If you are a healthy person, you might never have been aware of the difficulties associated with disabled travel. This will be eye opening for you. If you are disabled person who is hesitant to travel, you may benefit from hearing how we met our various challenges. This will embolden you (or scare the crap out of you). If you are a seasoned disabled traveler, you might get a few chuckles out of recognizing situations that you, yourself have faced. This will be validating for you.

Here's the bottom line. To a person, we had the time of our lives, and I’d recommend this vacation to any healthy couples. I’d like to do this again in the future, but unless Sandals makes some changes, it will not be at this particular resort. There were just too many accessibility shortcomings.

Did I mention that we didn’t see a drop of rain in 6 days? Jealous?

Click for next post: Bahamas 2012, #2: Getting There


  1. Cannot even IMAGINE how rowdy the Sturgeon boys' table was for the wait staff at meals....Massively jealous of the trip....How did you travel there? Ship? Plane?

  2. Boys? It was the Sturgeon women who were out of control. Patience Ginny...all your questions will be answered :-)