Vacation 2017: Choosing our tropical travel destination.

Vacation 2017: Choosing our tropical travel destination.
22 May 2017

Our family hasn’t gone away on vacation since 2013, when we visited Varadero, Cuba. I mean “vacation” as in flown on an airplane to a tropical destination. We’ve done week long RV trips as a family, and gone for weekend getaways, but not a sun destination, where we can sit on a beach and just relax.

Well the time has come for us to go away again, as a family. We shortlisted a few different destinations, and decided on Jamaica as our vacation choice.

We weighed the pros and cons of several resorts, and whittled it down to two: The Grand Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay, and the Sunscape Splash in Montego Bay. Choosing between the two was going to be tough!

Comparing the two resorts

The Grand Bahia Principe has amazing reviews, and a few of our friends had been there. As well, Grand Bahia Principe in Dominican Republic and Mexico get rave reviews from people who have visited as well. This was the resort I was leaning towards when we first started our vacation search. There is a kids club, and a small water play area for kids. The unfortunate part is the water play area is geared more towards kids that are young than mine.

The Sunscape Splash in Montego Bay is not as well known as the Grand Bahia Principe, but it is geared more towards families. There is a large waterpark with waterslides and a lazy river. The Sunscape Splash also received amazing reviews, and we had a few friends visit this resort as well. When the girls saw the pictures and videos on the resort website, they fell in love. It made choosing a resort easy for them.

Both resorts have wifi in the lobby (and in the rooms for an additional charge), which is important to us. Our girls like to post pictures on Instagram when they are away. Wendy and I both have Rogers Roam Like Home, so we are covered. Posting memories on demand is important to us, as we are all fairly active on social media. It’s a great way for our friends and family to see our vacation as it happens.

A post shared by Wendy {mapsgirl} (@mapsgirl) on

Good intel from a travel writer.

One of our friends, who just happens to be a travel writer, had visited both the Grand Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay, and the Sunscape Splash in Montego Bay. Her kids were about the same age as mine are now. Her valuable info was vital for us in choosing our travel destination.

She gave us a rundown on each resort, pros and cons, and then gave her opinion on which resort would better suit our family. Her recommendation was the Sunscape Splash in Montego Bay.

Grand Bahia is a much bigger resort, and she felt it was impersonal. They did not have a lot of organized kids programs. However, the beach was beautiful. Her kids were often bored, and needed activities.

They found the Sunscape fabulous. It is a smaller resort, with a narrower beach. The waterpark is where her kids spent most of their time. There are reefs close by for snorkeling, and glass bottom boat tours available. With Montego Bay being so close, you can go shopping at the famous MoBay “Hip Strip”.

Another friend who has been to this resort 3 times, also suggested hitting up “The Pork Pit” at the Hip Strip for amazing jerk chicken.

Choosing a resort

Choosing this vacation was tough, as we started off with 5 or 6 resorts in 2 countries, and then added a few more once we talked to our travel agent. It came down to these two resorts.

Wendy and I would be happy vacationing anywhere. If it were just the two of us, we likely would have chosen the Grand Bahia Principe Runaway Bay. Seeing our girls have an amazing time is important to us.

Sunscape Splash MoBay, here we come!

In the end, the large waterpark at the Sunscape Splash Montego Bay played a large part in our decision. The girls absolutely loved the large slides, and the swim up bar, where they are hoping to get slushy drinks like when they were in Cuba.

What I’m looking forward to the most is introducing the girls to the food. They have eaten many ethnic foods, but never Jamaican. Foods like jerk chicken, ackee, saltfish, fried plantain, and bread fruit.

Looking forward to a week of fun, waterslides, Red Stripe and Reggae in the Jamaican sun!

Everyting is irie mon!

Big Daddy

Disclaimer: I am a Rogers social insider. All opinions are my own.

If you would like me to review your product, service, restaurant, or travel destination, please send me an email at or tweet me at @BigDaddyKreativ


Craig Silva

Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, blogger, and social media manager. Craig likes to go camping, travel, go on road trips, watch movies, read with his girls, build stuff, operate the grill, and play bass guitar. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space. Known as Big Daddy Kreativ, his blog specializes in travel, lifestyle, food, automotive, events, parenting, movies, tech, recipes, health, pets, reviews, and giveaways.

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