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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Review of Club Med Phuket–Part 3

We had considered a few places for a holiday. One of the most baby-friendly places we had been to was Japan but we had been there quite recently and we did not want to visit Japan so soon after the radiation disasters.

So when we came across the Club Med promotion and knowing that the Club Meds offered Mini Club services, BINGO! It would be an almost perfect holiday for Julien and us!

Club Med Phuket is the only Club Med in Asia which offers the Baby Club.

Here in this post, I will talk about the Baby Club facilities and services that we or rather Julien had experienced.

We did see alot of children at this Club Med and they attended the Mini Club activities which seemed very fun for them as well!

We saw a group of tweens playing a game of treasure hunt on the compound. We also saw another group of primary school level kids learning some circus acts!

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(A girl on the trapeze! Well done and so brave!)

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(GO Phil from UK showing off his juggling skills in front of the bewildered kids)

On another day, we also saw a group of kids having a seemingly enjoyable time with dough. A baking class in progress?

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We also sighted the class of toddlers aged 2-4 years old going for a walk. We heard the GOs engaging the kids in conversation about the floral, fauna and insects they saw along the way. Impressed at the genuine enthusiasm of the GOs!

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Now back to the Baby Club. It is situated at a corner of the Mini Club compound.

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Upon reaching the Mini Club area, you will see a 0.5m deep pool just for the older kids.

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The tweens will go to the rooms on the right, where the playground is also situated.

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And the younger kids and babies will go to the left.

Here is the room for the kids aged 2-4 years old.

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The Baby Club accepts babies and toddlers aged 4 months – under 2 years old. We read that they accept only a maximum of 8 kids here at any one time. And there were about 4-5 staff present which means a very impressive ratio of 1 staff to 1-2 babies/toddlers.

Baby Club services are available from 9am-5pm only. 8 hours of ‘freedom’ for parents everyday we were there. Winking smile

There are 2 registrations available a day. One at 9am, and another at 2pm.

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During the registration, you have to inform the staff the details about your child. Eg: Any allergies, whether they take lunch or snacks and the type of food they can take, nap-time, any special requirements as well as pick-up time.

The other parent can, at the same time bring your child to the nurse at the infirmary (at the reception area) to show them your child’s health booklet as they need to know that your child has been given the necessary immunizations. A nurse will also take a temperature reading of your child. This is only needed on the first day.

Parents, do remember to pack a bag for your child to pass to the GOs. We brought:

1. Milk powder and bottle

Julien had to have a feed at 2pm.

2. 3 pieces of diapers + diaper cream

3. Wet wipes

4. 1 piece of swimming diaper

We did not bring swimming diapers over and realized that there will be swimming activities everyday. Baby Club does not provide the diapers so the GO advised us to get it at a Boutique store near the reception area. As expected, the swimming diapers were not available in loose pieces but in a small pack which costs S$34! Thank God Julien could share a pack with Ansel.

5. Extra clothes

6. Sun block lotion

7. Water bottle

8. Swim wear

Hats, sunglasses and any of baby’s favorite items such as a pacifier, soft toy, security blanket are optional items you can pass to the GOs.

These are the activities your baby will go through each day.

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We were excited for Julien but at the same time feeling a little apprehensive. Will Julien be in the good hands of the GOs? Will he enjoy himself? How will he react being separated for the first time with us his parents or any guardians?

When we were registering, Julien started playing with the cars and toy house next to the registration area.

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(His infamous cheeky look)

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Once inside the air-conditioned room, Julien’s eyes grew as wide as saucers. Julien is very into building blocks right now. So when he saw all kinds of colorful blocks, he was really elated!

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We loved the space here! One side of the wall was glass so the children could enjoy the sight of the pool outside as well as the sunshine streaming in, all in the comfort of aircon.

We loved the toys here. Nothing violent, a good variety (blocks, cooking set, doll-houses, puppets, books) all very clean and colorful.

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Here’s the pool area outside the room.

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It is 0.3m deep. We were initially thinking of asking the GOs to excuse Julien from swimming but they informed us that they will put on those inflatable floats on the child’s arms. 1 GO will look after 1 child and if the child gets frightened, they will put him on a large float in the pool instead. Sounds pretty safe and Julien ‘survived’ all 3 days of swimming!

Here’s the Nap Room.

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After viewing the facilities and knowing that all the GOs from Baby Club were nurses, we felt settled to leave Julien. Every morning we had to ‘escape’ from him when he gets distracted. Heehee…

The GOs ensured us that they would give us a call if Julien gets a fever or if anything would happen to him. If you want, you could also get the Baby Club’s telephone number from the reception and call them to check on your child or give any instructions to the GOs.

Every evening at 5pm that we fetch Julien, he would be super happy to see us and our little man would run towards us and then do a little dance. It was a heart warming sight…

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(Doesn’t he look happy to leave??)

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(Julien’s Australian classmate watching him leave… Aww…)

At the end of each day, the GO will tell us exactly what Julien did, what he ate, what time and how long he slept, what time he poohed and changed diapers. We were very happy that he did coloring, specific play, swimming, feeding the birds (We had to confirm with the GO that Julien didn’t eat up the little pieces of cake meant for the birds to eat!) and handpainting on one of the days!

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They compiled his art works and presented it to us on the last day.

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And we were so  proud to know that Julien participated in all the activities, many of which are things that he had not done before) and always seemed happy.

On the last day, the Baby Club even conducted a special baby massage class.

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And true to what I thought would happen, my 20-month old boy would not lie still to allow mummy dear to massage him hahaha!

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(As you can see for yourself, instead of massaging him, I was struggling to pin Julien down!)

Anyway, after this final session and last hour at Baby Club, we spent some time chatting with the very friendly GOs.

Here’s Julien playing bubbles with GO Richard.

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Thank You to GO Martin who took good care of Julien during these 3 days.

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And of course many thanks to all of the GOs from Baby Club!

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Without them, Julien would have never achieved his very first DIPLOMA at the age of 20 months. HAHAHAHA!

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And guess what? When we woke up in the morning getting ready for our departure from Club Med to the airport, we found a little surprise at our door.

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The sweet folks at Baby Club handmade a card just for Julien and slipped it under our door in the wee hours of the morning!

We were definitely impressed with the Baby Club! We really appreciated the Baby Club services available such that we could enjoy some time together without our child and yet able to also enjoy the other half of the time with him.  I call it a perfect family holiday!

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