Jean Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji is an unforgettable experience with the best resort childcare program I’ve experienced anywhere in the world. Check out what it’s like staying at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort with a toddler.
Jean Michel Cousteau Resort with a Toddler
Jean Michel Cousteau Resort’s Bula Club is a complimentary award-winning kids club open from 8 am to 9 pm every day. Each child 5 and under is assigned a dedicated nanny for the duration of their stay. Parents can enjoy activities on their own, confident that their children are enjoying everything that Bula Club has to offer.
Location and Activities
Just a short walk from the main building and the bures, the Bula Club feels like its own world. The facilities provide a safe environment for children’s games, activities, dining, music, child care, napping, and excursions. There is a swimming pool with a waterslide, a kid’s pool with a waterslide, and a toddler pool. A climbing structure, trampoline, sandbox, and arts and crafts center are all found within the Bula Club.
Spending Time at Bula Club
Max has never been away from me before. I wanted to spend some time at Bula Club with Max and Gina so I could see them interacting and share some insight into Max’s particular ways.
As a child born during the pandemic, Max has had very little interaction with other adults and children. The first year of his life was very isolated and it’s only been the last six months or so that he has been able to really interact with other kids and spend time with adults other than his immediate family.
Also, as part of being born during the pandemic, he is very particular about being dirty, touching things, and washing his hands. After two years of asking him to give people space, wash his hands excessively, and not to touch things, it has had a major impact on his actions. I’m trying to be patient and really reflect on the circumstances that have led to his behavior, while encouraging him to feel more comfortable with different textures, surfaces, and new experiences.
Gina was very patient with Max and I. I talked to her about his likes and dislikes and she listened attentively and applied everything we shared in her interactions with Max. After less than an hour, I felt very comfortable with her taking care of Max.
There are tons of activities available at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort. One of my favorites is the glass-bottom boat trip.
Glass-Bottom Boat Trip
There are Glass-Bottom Boat Trips daily where guests can marvel at the color, beauty, and diversity of the extraordinary underwater world in Savusavu Bay.
Usually, the nannies take the children on the glass-bottom boat while the parents participate in other activities, but I loved the glass-bottom boat trip so much that I decided to join.
Rather than going with Max on my own, Gina joined us each morning. She collected our life vests daily and helped carry our gear to the boat. She laid out towels for us on the boat and either helped me get in the boat while carrying Max or she carried Max so I could get on the boat myself. She inquired about sunscreen and applied it for Max on the day that I forget. She even used a towel behind Max’s back to protect him from the sun when he didn’t want to wear a hat. She made the entire process effortless for me and enjoyable for us all.
Private Island Trip
One of the most amazing experiences offered at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort is a visit to a private island.
Naviavia is a secluded, picturesque island just a short boat ride away from the main resort, which can be yours for a half or whole day of complete privacy. There’s nothing but you and powdery sand surrounded by the most beautiful water you’ll ever experience. It’s not to be missed.
I felt like it was something I had to experience, but rather than going on my own with Max, Gina came along with us. It was the best of both worlds. We had the island to ourselves, but Gina was there to take care of Max while I went snorkeling and kayaking.
She played in the sand with Max and relaxed with him at the covered hut while I enjoyed the peacefulness of the island on my own. Then, when I wanted to spend time with Max, she gave us some alone time and prepared a snack for us.
I never met someone more intuitive to our needs.
One-on-One Nanny Time
There were a number of experiences that I wanted to enjoy at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort without Max including the Waterfall Hike and the daily Adult Snorkeling Trips.
I considered taking Max on the hike through a tropical rainforest to a hidden waterfall but I decided against it. There was a lot of walking involved and I didn’t want to carry him most of the way. AND that’s one of the joys of having a private nanny!
Gina took Max to the Bula Club while I was away. They played in the sandbox, walked to the treehouse, ate a snack, and played with toys.
When I returned, about three hours later, I was worried that Max would have cried the entire time.
I walked to the Bula Club and entered the gate. I found Max and Gina reading a book together and Max was laughing so hard I could hear him before I could see him. He was having so much fun that he wanted Gina to come with us even after spending hours with her alone. It made me want to cry tears of joy to see him so happy and well taken care of.
For the next three days, I enjoyed activities like snorkeling, tours, and the spa on my own while Max played with Gina. It was such a remarkable combination of alone time and time with Max.
Each day, I chose which activities I wanted to participate in alone, with Max, and with Max and Gina. I let Gina know what I’d like and she made it as easy as possible.
If I was busy during the day, Gina followed my requested schedule for naps or scheduled activities, and in the evening, once Max had gone to sleep, she took over so I could enjoy dinner on my own.
During meals, kids have the option to have lunch and/or dinner at the dining area of the Bula Club or with their parents.
Specially prepared dishes are designed with young kids in mind with a focus on fresh and wholesome ingredients. Parents are free to have lunch or dinner in the adult section of the main restaurant if they wish or with their children in the family section of the restaurant.
Kids Ages 6 – 12
Bula Club isn’t just for children ages five and under. Children 6 to 12 are in groups of five led by a “buddy”.
Kids ages 6 – 12 have a variety of specialty programs that they can experience while at the resort.
The ‘Junior Chef’s Program’ takes children ages 6 to 12 to visit the resort’s Organic Garden to harvest produce and assist in the preparation and delivery of either lunch or dinner for the day. This farm-to-plate concept is taught along with other aspects of organic farming such as composting and planting.
Kids aged 6 – 12 years can also join the “School Under the Sea”. This is curated by the resort’s own marine biologist and provides a myriad of fun learning activities based around ocean ecology in the Cousteau tradition.
Each day children choose which activities they wish to participate in. If parents prefer their kids not to participate, they have many activities for the whole family to enjoy together.