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Curacao Quick Flight Report

I almost have to laugh when I read some of the trip reports from some of my fellow travel-blogger-types out there (see here and here for examples) – when you travel without children, there is nothing more wonderful than the presidential suite, the executive lounge, the first class cabin.  Here are the highlights of what it is like to travel with children to Curacao for a week:

Flight highlights (Continental, nonstop from Newark):

Child 2 vomits on trip down.  We clean up.  We learn that flight attendants have hazmat-quality materials on board to remove vomit-related items from plane.  Good to know.

Flight highlights (Continental, nonstop back to Newark):

Child 2 vomits again, possibly due to turkey hot pocket-type snack.  Not sure.  Doesn’t really matter, I suppose, as my wife is cupping said item in its now-liquid form, and yelling at me to get a towel.

Hotel highlights (Hilton Curacao, upgrade to Executive Floor with lounge access):

Night 2:  Child 2 is forcably removed from the aforementioned lounge after not sharing orange juice with Child 1 leads to screaming fit.

Night 5: Child 2 is, again, forcably removed from said lounge after some happy-hour-snack-related disagreement with father that leads to screaming fit.  After 5 minute time out back in room (recently renovated), she is returned to lounge without incident to join wife and Child 1 for happy hour snacks.

Night 6: Child 1, despite telling us that she was full from dinner, is basically force-fed an ice cream cone by her none-too-bright parents.  Child 1 decorates the lovely grounds of the hotel with the now-liquid remains of her meal, including the ice cream cone.  Although at the time we thought that was the 2nd-and-final vomit of the trip, as noted above, it was the 2nd of 3.

All-in-all, a great trip.

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  1. So…on night 5 was Father not allowed to return to the lounge?

    And I loved the “cupping said item in its now-liquid form, and yelling at me to get a towel” incident, I can relate!

    • I did return to the lounge, only after assurances from Child 2 that she would:
      a) Apologize to the people working at the lounge for her outburst;
      and
      b) Apologize to her sister for whatever lounge-snack-related-injury she caused.

      She did both, and we both enjoyed re-heated eggrolls.

  2. Ah, vomiting kids on the road. I remember the days. When he was a little younger, my son pretty much refused to eat unfamiliar foods. This tended to cause him to throw up when we were away from home. I remember arriving in Germany where he had refused to eat anything on the plane. As we were approaching the customs booths, he threw up on the floor in the entry hall, about 30 feet from the customs police. I looked around for a way to clean up (or at least partially clean up) the mess. I saw no signs of anything potentially useful (bathrooms, etc.). So I looked down, looked around, looked at the kid, and kept on walking. :) Welcome to Deutchland!

    BTW, did that Hilton at least have a free kids camp? When I took the kids to the Barbados Hilton, the camp was free, which is great, since they usually run about $100/kid per day. Really makes a family vacation more pleasant for everybody.

  3. I kept thinking how lucky we were that all 3 pukes occurred someplace where we could at least get them cleaned up. I’m sure the Germans were more than happy to clean up after you son :)

    I forgot to mention in the original post that the flight attendants on the return flight had actually heard about us from the flight attendants on the flight down (they were very, very nice about it). Apparently, Child #2 had a very memorable amount of vomit.

    And I should stress here – the staff on those flights could not have been nicer. Really. The stuff they have to put up with every day is ridiculous (not only our nonsense, but the people on the flight who were complaining to them that they had to fill out immigration forms upon landing in Curacao. I heard one passenger say to a flight attendant, “Why do we have to fill out these forms? We’re American!”)

    Along those lines, I also enjoyed the conversation I overheard in the van at the airport parking lot arguing about whether someone they met was going to fly to Toronto or to Ontario. Each person swore they were correct.

    In any case, The Hilton did have the free kids camp, and it was a Godsend. The girls were there every day. We went next door to visit the Marriott, and they were basically charging $50 per kid per day for the same thing. We really, really liked the Hilton. It’s an old building, but the inside has been completely renovated. A very, very solid 4-star property with a great staff. Considering kids eat free and that a room is $135/night (often less), it’s a steal. Add the upgrades for Gold members (which you can get just by getting their credit card for $75) to oceanfront balcony rooms on the exec floor, and it’s an extremely good value for the Caribbean.

  4. Wow, I didn’t realize there was that much communication among flight crews. Do they have a social networking site where they exchange information about bad pax: “Warning, vomity kid leaving Curacao in next week — be prepared”?

    The Caribean Hiltons seem to be managed by the same group and offer the same benefits (although I don’t think the kids camp is free at the Caribe Hilton in SJU). As you found out, the family benefits are really, really good: free camp, free buffet breakfasts. Heck, the Barbados Hilton even had “parents night” where they fed and entertained the kids for free one night. My preteens really liked the programs, too. Big difference compared to the other chains, and other locations (like Hawaii, where the kids camps are very expensive at places like the Hilton Waikoloa). The problem is that Caribbean airfares can be (but are not always) expensive. Frequent flyer miles can solve that problem, too, though.

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