Fun in the Sun at Marco Island: Up and Running After Hurricane Irma
This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.
Through my husband’s work, we were able to qualify for an award trip to the JW Marriott in Marco Island. We had been once before and were excited for another stay! Since our trip has been planned for months, we didn’t know if we’d still be able to go after Hurricane Irma recently caused damage to much of the Gulf Florida coast. However, we were pleasantly surprised that almost everything is back up and running and we were definitely able to have fun in the sun at Marco Island!
Where to Stay
Since the only thing better than a beach vacation… is a free beach vacation, we decided to open a Marriott rewards credit card and earn enough points to extend our stay and also be able to bring our children along. When visiting Marco Island, the JW Marriot is definitely our hotel of choice!
Our balcony room offered plenty of space for our family of five—and stunning views of the gulf. The guestrooms were recently renovated and exceptionally appointed.
The kids were impressed that the TV had a personalized welcome message with our names on it and that there were white bath robes provided! But I would have to say I was most impressed with the customer service. Every person we met—from the employee greeting us upon arrival, to the check-in counter, to the concierge, to housekeeping—made us feel welcome and ensured that every request we had was met. It was everything a family vacation at a luxury five-star resort should be.
While in Marco Island we wanted to find an activity that the whole family would be able to enjoy. We stopped by the Marco Island Water Sports tiki hut that was located on the beach, right in front of our resort. They helped us pick an activity that everybody could have fun with. They offer dolphin and shelling tours, wave runner rentals, parasailing and much more. Our family decided to take the Banana Boat ride.
Our youngest was a little worried about how fast it would go, but our guide, Ryan, assured us that we could decide how adventurous we wanted the ride to be. He started off slowly for us, but it wasn’t long before we were all giving him the thumbs-up signal—which, in banana boat language, means go FAST! He was also very knowledgeable about the Marco Island Area. It was awesome to see so much of the Island on our ride and we were even lucky enough to have a couple of dolphin sightings. It was such a fun morning—definitely a highlight of our family vacation!
Our hotel also offered some fun kids activities…
And, of course, we spent most of our days on the beautiful private beach and enjoyed time at both pools…
Rebuilding after Hurricane Irma
As we were watching hurricane Irma Head toward the Florida coast my first concern was for all of the people in it’s path. I knew we had an upcoming trip to Marco Island and I really wasn’t sure if that was even something we’d still be able to do. Living in Ohio, we’ve never seen firsthand the devastation a hurricane can cause, but certainly the pictures on TV were heart-wrenching. We decided that if we got the all clear from the resort that they were open we would keep our vacation plans in place.
On the way from the airport to the resort, we decided to drive around and explore the area. It was clear that the residential areas were still recovering. There were lots of trees down, debris lining the roads, and many homes and structures were damaged. But while we were there we learned of some of the fantastic local groups that had been organized—a grassroots effort of neighbors helping neighbors. Marco Patriots is one of those groups. They’ve been able to help some of the hardest hit people in the Naples, Marco Island, and Everglade Areas. They recently were able to secure a private plane and pilot and are now starting to take aid to Puerto Rico. It’s pretty inspiring to think that people who are still rebuilding their own homes and business are looking for ways to help others who were hit so hard by the same hurricane.
Plan your beach vacation
Yes, we even got the tiki guy to help us spell out O-H-I-O…
And got to experience dinner at sunset on the beach…
On our flight back home we all started planning our next vacation to the JW Marriott Marco Island! Whether you’re looking for once-in-a-lifetime vacation of luxury or a low-key family fun vacation spot Marco Island has you covered.