We do both. I can't say I prefer one over the other. I find them to be different experiences. We find our cruises to be active, morning to late night experiences full of ports, entertainment, food and plenty of social interaction (ie large dinner tables and table mates etc). Formal nights, dressing up, shopping ,exploring multiple destinations etc.
We find we go to rather informal all inclusives. We spend a whole lot of quiet time vegging out on beaches, keeping no schedule at all and not being any more adventurous other than whether the next drink will come from the pool bar or the beach bar. Tables are for two , no dressing for meals, quiet late night walks along a beach.
Some folks would tell you their experience is just the reverse. They totally veg out on a balconey of a cruise ship and party till dawn at a more socially active all inclusive.
That's the nice thing about the variety one can find in either type of vacation.
We've also done both. Depending on what type of a vacation we're looking for depends on what we book. We tend to be more active on a cruise ship, and while on land based all inclusives we tend to relax more. Each has its advantages. I've found that since our kids have gotten older we've tended to take more cruises and they have much more fun on those.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Important point: EVERYTHING is included when you are in all-inclusive:
- The only things to pay for are spa treatments and additional trips.
- ALL your drinks/meals are free and there is no limit.
- Less dressy - no formal nights, but most people do tend to dress up a little in the evening
- on your last day you do not have to be out of the resort by 8 am
- tend to cost less then a cruise: usually sold as air/land package.
We spent one week in a brand new 5 star Bahia Principe Punta Cana (Dominican republic), paid $2000 for 2 adults and 1 child - this includes flight/transfer to resort/7 nights/all meals, drinks and shows AND taxes/fees.
On the other side.. it's time to try something new - going on Voyager in 2 days :-)
We have done both and do not think we will ever do an all-inclusive resort again. For us it is cruise time all the way and for the following reasons; We thought the food better onboard ships, the ships actually GO somewhere and you have a differant view each day instead of the same palm tree every morning. Then there is the cost. Figure this;
$699pp 7 days $1200pp 7 days
Included included but only at certain times and not as good IMHO
$100pp (that's a lot of booze too) Included
Activities and entertainment
$70 pp $115pp
Now you choose where you would rather go and spend. <VBG>
I cannot agree with Jim.
First of all, it depends on what kind of deal you find on all-inclusive.
As I menationed before, 5 star Bahia cost us $699 per person +tax.
Tips - are actually included. You can choose to leave $1 on the table or in your room - and this will make waiter/maid VERY happy.
Entertainment - also included free of change. Bahia had 2 shows every evening = late night band/dancing.
ALL drinks are free - and you can always ask bartender to put more/less alchohol in it.
Lots of activities - dancind classes, aerobics, spanish, sports - all free of charge.
The only difference - it would be much more relaxing vacation, more suitable if you feel like "laying on the beach , doing nothin.." - which some people do.
Koshka, which is exactly the reason both are in business and both doing well. <G> Something for everyone and that's the great thing. A number of folks also enjoy doing both. I do not, and will not say that resorts are bad because they obviously are very popular with a very large group of people. Same for cruise ships, many find them wonderful as well. I guess it all boils down to you and what you want to do at the time. So either cruiseship or resort people, go for it. <G>