They befriended Picasso Fish and Rabbit Fish. When I asked the kids what their favorite parts of the trip were, I expected Coco Pops for breakfast or the ice cream cart; the highlight of each afternoon. Instead, they chose the coral class, snorkeling, and dolphin and turtle watching. Phew.

However, do not think for a moment that this was all heavenly learning and playing. As a friend put it (and I won’t use his exact language), “Same (hustle), different location.”

Seize the opportunity, create new memories

The kids thought it was very hot (31°C in February), they argued about the remote control, they flocked to the same breakfast option as at home… The Kids’ Club and babysitting services worked well (but under 4s must have a babysitter with them at the Kids Club, so budget for that). Most of the time they just wanted to be with us (usually just when I was going to bed to sunbathe). My husband and I snuck out for an odd dinner, did early morning yoga, went sunset fishing; momentary breaks and much needed adult conversation – but no cooking or washing up which was frankly heaven.

This holiday crossed the beginning of the war in Ukraine. It will be a vacation that I will remember with both fondness and great sadness. It made me realize that wherever we go, we have fun – and we also create our own chaos. Did my kids love it? Yes. Did they even realize how special it was on the way back? Unfortunately yes. Were they overwhelmed? Yes, these places previously only existed in the movies.