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  • Text and Photography by Bill Harrigan

    T aking your family on a dive and snorkel trip can be an adventure in itself. Choose the wrong place and you may end up yearning for the good old days BTK (Before The Kids). On the other hand, a family trip to the right place is an incomparable joy. The difference is in the destination, and itís hard to beat The Bahamas for family fun. Lifetime Family Adventures The Bahamas are a great place to discover the wonders of the ocean with your children. You can find adventures here that will provide a lifetime of inspiration and open new horizons for young minds.

    Safe Environment
    In The Bahamas, you can relax on the beach without the worry of unwelcome solicitations or dangerous surf. The only protection you will need will be from the tropical sun.

    Alternate Activities
    Only adults seem content with the eat, sleep and dive routine. Kids need a whole lot more to be happy. Fortunately, The Bahamas topside are just as much fun as The Bahamas underwater. Youíll find family fun in kayaks, personal watercraft, sail boats, fishing trips and harbor tours. Ashore, you can rent bicycles, hike, catch a show, listen to live music, eat at waterfront restaurants or even get your hair braided. In Nassau and Freeport, childrenís activities rival many theme parks, but with a distinctly island style.

    Where to go for Family Diving
    There are many options for family diving in The Bahamas. To find out more, contact any of the Bahamas Diving Association members in our listing or visit the association's Web site at www.bahamas diving.com.
    Easy Access

    One of the beauties of The Bahamas for family vacations is simply the convenience. Access is easy from almost anywhere and birth certificates with a photo ID are accepted for entry in lieu of passports. Bahamas dollars and U.S. dollars are interchangeable and the electricity is the good old 110 volt standard. Hotels are nice, but larger families need more than one bedroom. Thatís when the choice of two-, three- or even four-bedroom bungalows, offered by many Bahamas resorts, makes perfect sense.

    Family Discounts
    Remember how cheap it was to travel BTK? Now, even a family night at the movies can run into three figures. Fortunately, family packages and discounts abound in The Bahamas. Just a few of the islands with operations catering to families include Andros, the Abacos, Bimini, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Long Island and New Providence. Live-aboards also offer family discounts.

    Baby-sitting Services
    Itís ironic, but one of the pleasures of vacationing with your children is getting away from them for awhile. Thatís easy in The Bahamas, where many resorts offer baby-sitting services. The cost of the service is modest, in some cases even complimentary.

    New Skills
    If youíve been thinking that a dive vacation would be the perfect time to introduce your child to your favorite sport, The Bahamas are an excellent choice. Instruction is easy to set up wherever you go in The Bahamas, including every specialty course but ice diving. Resort scuba courses are available everywhere in the islands.

    Child Friendly Staff
    Kids have more fun, and their parents relax more, when the staff members know how to put them at ease. Bahamas dive operators take a special delight in sharing the beauty of their islands and their ocean with children. In addition, many of the resorts and operations are owned and operated by families with children of their own, so they have a first-hand knowledge of childrenís needs.

    Old Standbys
    The Bahamas can also deliver the old familiar standbys. Got to have a brand name burger or pizza? No problem on New Providence or Grand Bahama. Miss that special TV show? Cable or satellite TV is commonly available throughout the islands. Canít live without computer games? The Bahamas are plugged in. Some days all you need for family fun is a pool and Bahama sunshine.

    Year-round Fun
    One of the best things about a family dive trip to The Bahamas is that you can take it anytime. When the driveway is knee deep in snow, the sun is shining and the water is warm in The Bahamas. If you have to travel in the summer when the kids are out of school, well the sun is still shining and the water is still warm. Come on over!

    The Bahamas Experience | Parade of Marine Life | Shark Diving | Grand Bahama Island | Bahamas Dolphins Encounters | Nassau | Out Islands of The Bahamas | Ten Reasons To Take The Whole Family | Walls and Blue Holes | Rapture of The Wrecks | Exploring The Bahamas by Live Aboard | Bahamas By Snorkel | Bahamas Diving Association | Index