Club Med Columbus Isle


No circus at Columbus Isle?

deblaw88
15 Posts
20
Jan
2011
edf40wrjww2FORUM_TOPICS:T_MESSAGE
Is there a circus program at Columbus Isle? Our extended family is looking for our next family friendly village after Ixtapa and Cancun. But the kids love the trapeze...
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AmateurGO
560 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Nope, don't think so...
There was not a circus program two years ago and I have heard nothing about one being added.
I really would not consider Columbus a "Family village" in anything near the same way as Ixtapa, Punta Cana, or Cancun. Basically, kids are "tolerated", but there are no special facilities or programs for kids.
You might take a look at Punta Cna.

Amateur GO ( Professional GM )
http://www.hammocktree.us/amateurgos.jpg
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Kiki de M
2828 Posts
20
Jan
2011
No, no circus at Columbus. From what my GM friends told me, it's correct that kids are 'tolerated', but no facilities for them.
Check the fact sheet on CM's web page to find out what's offered:

http://www.clubmed.us/cm/resort-columbus-isle-bahamas-sports-activities_p-115-l-US-v-COLC-r-4-d-000005-ac-vh.html

I'd leave in a minute. Snowing again here...
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SandraGroot
174 Posts
20
Jan
2011
I'd also recommand Punta Cana, a very nice trapeze there! Also it would be more fun for your kids, in Columbus they probably won't meet any other kids.

'10 Punta Cana
'09 Vittel, Albion, La Pointe
'08 Les Deux Alpes, Opio, Vittel
'07 Agadir + Marrakech

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JAMESSITE
1652 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Might consider Sandpiper also. Good circus team there.

How many gold bar beads?
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Kiki de M
2828 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Punta has an excellent mini-club team right now (before, at La Pointe) Juju, resp., is just too much.

Re. Sandpiper, while I quite liked it there (2 stays), I did never get that 'being on the beach' feeling.
St. Lucie River is just not the sea...
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JAMESSITE
1652 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Kiki

I think you know I would recommend Punta more than Sandpiper. It was just another possible choice. I did miss the "beach" aspect of Sandpiper.

Jim

How many gold bar beads?
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John-Chicago
1356 Posts
20
Jan
2011
If I recall correctly, there is also a circus school at La Caravelle in Guadeloupe. While I enjoy Guadeloupe very much, recent posts indicate that the CDV/GO situation there isn't the best.

John
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deblaw88
15 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Wow, thanks. I think I read some bad reviews about Punta Cana? Mostly French speaking, bugs, small rooms, even rats? You guys are the experts, which is why I am here. What do you think? there are 17 of us, age 2 - 72. We've done Cancun, Ixtapa and Turkoise (just my husband and I). We'd prefer beach over lake (sandpiper) but I would prefer CM over Beaches or another family all inclusive.
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JAMESSITE
1652 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Well being partial to Punta Cana some of what you say is true.
1) French speaking can vary and when you go. There are a few major french holidays and school vacation breaks that can bring a larger number of french speaking GMs. But you never know until you get there.
2) there are bugs almost any place. they do a daily spray and if you bring bug spray it cant hurt
3) it depends on what you consider a small room. since most of the day is spent outside of the room it has never been a factor to me. just a place to sleep, wash up and dress. but i dont know the various ages of your group
4) in all my visits I have never seen any rats. not saying they dont exist but i have never seen one. we are always careful not to bring food back to room, just in case.
Feel free to ask any other questions you have.
Jim

How many gold bar beads?
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Chicago Jim
889 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Couple of other negatives about Sandpiper. I think it is 45-60 minutes from the airport and it can be a little chilly in the winter.

Jim
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deblaw88
15 Posts
20
Jan
2011
Thanks all! I appreciate your replies and expertise! My ideal village is Ixtapa and Cancun combined. We loved the beach and layout of Cancun, but the food in Ixtapa was much better. For the families with kids, we usually get adjoining rooms. I saw someone's photos of Punta Cana and the grounds are gorgeous. Unfortunately our coordinating schedules (5 families) mean we have to travel in August. We can deal with the weather, but last year in Cancun there was a plethora of french GM's and had issues with some of the french kids bullying some of our kids. Other than that, Cancun was extremely breezy and we stayed in the water most of the time.
How does the food compare to Cancun or Ixtapa? How does the beach compare to Cancun? How was the travel? Most of us will fly from California.
Thanks
Debbie
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ReefPolice
315 Posts
21
Jan
2011
Definitely no circus at Columbus Isle. This is NOT a "Family Village"....no mini Club or other programs, or any special facilities at all really, for children. When it first opened it was actually designed "for couples only", but over the years some families started bringing children along. (There have also always been solo travelers at Columbus Isle who are divers, since this is a big scuba destination, but not much of a "singles" scene). Club Med now calls this a "Village for everyone", and in the summer there are quite a few families these days (mostly European), including some children of all ages, but it is still not a child-focused Village. If you are looking for the sort of structured activities for children that you'd find at Punta Cana, Columbus Isle is not the place to go. It's better suited for couples and families with older children who can basically participate in adult sports activities (and divers, of course), or who will be content just relaxing on a quiet beautiful beach....

Adria
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whrez
159 Posts
23
Jan
2011
Hi Debbie,

We are just back today from fourth nuclear family trip and I haven't personally ever seen rats. No bugs in rooms either. Can't comment on room size comparison with other villages (there are different room types/sizes that you can book and that should be taken into account). We bring mosquito spray but usually don't apply. Agree with earlier comments that there is always stuff in warm climates everywhere (and also in other climates).

The beach is fabulous, and the GOs and Petit/Mini Club are awesome. We don't do the pool (this tends to be more crowded and I prefer to go to the beach in general).

There is a strong French presence. I actually like that, but should note that this time we met more American families than ever and that was also very positive. We speak French (non-native speakers) but 4 yr old does not so was a little more apprehensive this year than in the past re: Mini Club and the socialization aspect (this was less of an issue at age 2 and 3), but the GOs all spoke English and there was a mix of English-speaking kids in their group as well. She also made friends with French-speaking kids her age, which was neat to see. If we wanted, we could have done the stay entirely in English (as our child does). (I was surprised to see how well some of the GOs we've met previously *do* speak English, actually.)

The experience is more "international" with French influence rather than Dominican, though, I would agree with one TripAdvisor commenter there. You can certainly teach your kids a lot about both the DR and Haiti (where some of the GOs are from) prior to visiting, and maybe do a side trip with some of the older kids to see something more typically Dominican outside the club. We don't do anything terribly cultural on these trips, to be honest - oh wait, Crazy Signs! :) :)

I met one American mom this year who preferred Cancun (bigger/better rooms that better suited her family, better service at the beach, and less French influence), but her school-age kids did not participate in the MiniClub at either village, so no info/comparison on that front, unfortunately.

At the Punta Cana airport, you pay a $10/person entry fee on arrival, and submit forms that you should receive on the plane prior to landing. The entire process is fairly fast and the airport staff keep people moving. There is no departure fee, although you do fill out departure forms for each person for immigration. Taxi to/from the club is now $20 one way (for the vehicle, not per person) and takes about 5-10 minutes max on a newly constructed road that provides access only to a few resorts (have never seen *any* other traffic). Taxis are abundant and so you can definitely go this route for land transfer if you prefer.

To 2nd Kiki's earlier remark, the MiniClub team is *****AWESOME***** this year. Will post a real review later, but this is the best we've experienced in four years (and the three previous years were very good).

We are on the east coast and so it's very easy to go to PC. We've thought of Ixtapa but the connections are not as easy from where we are (so it's sort of out of laziness that we have not visited). The lack of time zone difference and ease of air and land connections is a big selling point on the travel hassle side for us. (Note you are coming from West Coast, of course.)

The village is big for those with mobility issues (we like the village layout as adults, but we still brought a stroller for 4 yr old to cart back to room at end of evening, and also for airport expediency), and since your group's needs (and preferences) could be pretty diverse, I would go with lowest or most challenging/demanding common denominator and work from there, wherever you go. I loved the Petit Club for my already-in-daycare child at age 2 and later at 3, but if the little ones in your group are not in organized care or preschool at home already this might be more challenging wherever you go.

If you decide on PC, try to book around French school holidays, as previously mentioned:
http://www.education.gouv.fr/pid184/le-calendrier-scolaire.html

Keep reading reviews for background (I do) but I should also say that in spite of having visited the same village several times, I've totally worked myself up over a rash of TripAdvisor reviews (re: sickness in winter 2010, for example) and it all turned out to be a non-issue when we got there.
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Kiki de M
2828 Posts
24
Jan
2011
whrez

Happy to hear you had a great holiday. Also happy to hear, that the mini-club guys are still doing great. I think, next to Juju, there's also a tall blond GO called Greg, right?
BTW, I am always surprised to see these young male guys do such a great job with small kids.
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indiana
480 Posts
24
Jan
2011
I just returned from CI. There is no trapeze/circus. There are no kids facility, although the kids are allowed. I did not have any problems with them. Few if any kids are around after 11 PM. Babysitting may be available. This is however a great village to visit.
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whrez
159 Posts
25
Jan
2011
Yes, there is Juju, Greg, Andrea (all guys). I think they refer to themselves as the Couscous Team. These guys seem to have boundless energy and really great sense of humor. Lucien & Wanny, who are Haitian GOs, also do a very wacky/funny clown show. The kids shows are done on two levels - so they are funny for kids but *also* for parents (who may be in the audience, although they can also sign kids in to watch with the GOs). They would really be great for the evening (non-kiddie) shows as well, although I guess those are corporate; in that context, their stuff might be like SNL of long ago (when it was funny).

Also, the kids shows are done in English and French. This is kind of comical in and of itself at times! It's not perfect but they really do make a big effort in this dept. Also, not everything requires dialogue for comprehension as it's not really "deep" stuff - gags, etc.

I don't know if they will stay for more than 12 months (I think Greg said he has 10 months more in PC). Will be interesting to see where they go next - as much as I like PC for convenience, it would be worth considering the village where these guys land.

Sorry for delay in add'l trip comments/photos. It's a lot to organize w/re-entry...
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whrez
159 Posts
26
Jan
2011
Here is some compiled footage of Juju & Team in action - the intro of the first is in French but very cute
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53pXc-Ov1Rk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39LcD_VerVI


and the Xuxa song (Ilarie) which is featured prominently in both of the above...if you go to PC, listen ahead of time!!! (they did this crazy sign @PC in 2009, too, I think, but not in 2010, so it was fun to see it as a central part of the Couscous Team shows - the kids love it!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLevJh1ZJQI
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John-Chicago
1356 Posts
26
Jan
2011
whrez,
That is a really enthusiastic team. What a treat for the kids! Totally enjoyable. BTW, you are right, the French girl is adorable.

John
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