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Old January 18th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Default cruising vs all inclusive resorts

I have been on 8 cruises, we did an all inclusive "cancun" last april to try something different. we stayed at the Riu Cancun. here are a few of my observations; better quality food on the cruise, more entertainment on the cruise, better coffee(no real cream at the resort)
somethings we liked at the resort were; having a balcony, being able to hit the beach everyday, the pool area as compared to the lido deck, overall the resort was a cheaper vacation for us when we factor the cruise price and the sail and sign account. sorry for going back and forth here, the only beer they had at the resort was corona and they had minimal call brands of alcohol so that was a negative.the Riu was a 3-4 star resort. we spent about $100 more per person for the all inclsive than what we typically pay for an inside cabin and air from Hartford conn. just curious on any opinions
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Old January 18th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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My opinion is that the cruise has more bang for the buck. You did not factor in the cost for entertainment. The resort would not have the lavish "Vegas type" shows that the ship has. You would have to go... where to see those? The balcony of the ship can be had for a lesser price if you shop. The views also change on the ship. On the ship you have more choices for food than at the resort. Does the resort have a sushi bar? Gambling for those who are into that. More clubs on the ships.

So, more bang for the buck.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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We have done four cruises and 1 all-inclusive. Also on our last cruise we got the sandals day pass in Jamaica. We decided we are definitely cruise people. When we stayed at the all-inclusive in Antigua we were so bored every night. They only had one thing going on at the resort and it was kind of boring. Ended up in bed early every night. We also thought we would love being able to hit the beach everyday but actually started to get kind of bored with that too. We thought maybe it was just that particular resort that we didn't care for and gave Sandals a try for the day. It was nicer but we soon realized that we probably would have gotten bored their also. It think that is what we love about cruising, we were never really bored. Always something to do and being able to see so many places on one vacation is nice, too.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Very good point asmith! I could never go to a resort ever again. Food is not as good, or the entertainment. Same old scenery too. Once you are a cruiser, a cruiser you are. Does that make sense?
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Old January 18th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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I have not been to an all inclusive resort, but I do know that is it is NOT for me. The only way it would be for me is if they offered daily excursions for shopping, sightsseeing, or just getting out. I am not a person who can lay for endless hours in a deck chair or on the beach. I am bored silly and need something else to do after a maximum of 30 minutes of sunning myself. I also burn very easiy WITH sunscreen on--I can burn faster with a higher power sunblock and quite often go without cuz I burn slower without sunblock.

I'll be a cruiser for the forseeable future through 2012 and beyond...
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Old January 18th, 2009, 11:20 PM
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I agree with everthing said but I must say the only thing that is a downer about cruising is the time spent in port. Time is very short and you must be diligent about getting back to the ship ontime or else bye-bye!! I understand that you can always use excursions through the cruiseline but I'm the kind of person who might like to do something on my own. That being said, I would probably will stay with cruising for a very long time!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:41 AM
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I have not been to an all inclusive, planning to go to a Couples resort in Jamaica in the next couple of years though. It would seem to me that by going to a resort one could get to see what an island that you are visiting is really like. The biggest downside to cruising that I see is the fact that you spend so little time at each port.

An example of this was our last cruise where we went to Cozumel and had to be back on the ship by 5pm only to sail across the bay to Calica Mexico for the next port. Seems to me they could of stayed in Cozumel till 9 or 10 pm and really given us more time on the Island to explore and have fun then setting sail so early to go nowhere. I guess the ship doesn't make any money in port and that is why they don't stay there any longer then they have to.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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me and my friends visited an all inclusive this past summer. we became bored with what was offered at the resort especially at night and ended up going to a club that evening and purchasing high price drinks. cruising is still my favorite.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Fireba11, Over the years, I have found, speaking with people who have stayed at all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, rarely if ever leave the property. The properties are usually fence for safety, and night time excursions were discouraged.

Actually, I think doing an island tour, froma cruise ship, on this island, would give you a better idea of the lay of the land.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 10:04 PM
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We currently planning on cruising thru to the year 2015 .

We have done all inclusive and found they spotty at best. It depends a lot

on who is running and the country it is located. The best all inclusive

I personally was have wave Club Med on Moorea in 1978
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Old January 19th, 2009, 10:07 PM
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I've stayed at every Sandal's property on Jamaica as well as Breezes Punta Cana, and Almond Morgan Bay on St. Lucia. I enjoy both all-inclusive and cruise vacations. They are completely different vacations. As mentioned earlier you do get to see more of the island when vacationing there for a week. I don't think the best way to see Jamaica is by cruise ship. Mobay is a little unsafe and unfortunately gives most cruisers a bad impression. If you venture outside Mobay it's relatively safe. I've walked around Negril at night and never felt threatened.

I like cruises because you can see so many places in such a short period of time. To truly enjoy an island and all it has to offer I prefer staying on land. St. Lucia had so much to offer I'm glad I chose the land based trip. However Punta Cana has little to do outside the resort.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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After many cruises my husband and I tried our first all inclusive in over 10 years this past October. We booked an outstanding deal to the Dominican Republic and it was far cheaper than the previous few cruises that we had been on. We each found things where we were comparing between cruising and all inclusives and the end results were interesting.

In our experience the people that vacation to drink tend to find the all inclusive cheaper and more fun. This is probably the only point my husband and I agreed on 100%.

The property that we stayed at had many different restaurant options, my husband thought the food was better at the all inclusive and he enjoyed the variety, from italian to mexican, to seafood, to the general buffet. I thought the food was better on the ship, but I enjoy eating things that I am not necessarily familar with.

I liked waking up early and laying on a deck chair in the shade with a good book, never ever having to fight for a chair, never seeing a million of them reserved with towels with no one in sight for hours. My husband missed getting up and rushing out to a new port each day. I liked discovering all the ins and outs about the place that we were in.

I liked the huge room with the balcony and the stocked mini fridge. My husband didn't care that the room was bigger or that we had a balcony, he only cared that the soundproofing between the cabins was better than at the resort. Can you tell who is a light sleeper (unless a baby is crying)?

I missed being rocked to sleep, my husband loved that he didn't ever have to take bonine.

So there are our thoughts. We had a lovely time on land, we always have a blast on a cruise. I won't say that we won't do another all inclusive, because if the price is right and I can go from snow to palm trees, I am out of here. However, as the chief vacation planner in our family, I have been looking for my next cruise.

I hope this helps. At the end of the day whether you are on land or at sea, the vacation is what you make it.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:06 PM
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I have been on over 6 all inclusive vacation to the caribbean and this will be my second cruise coming up in March. I've enjoyed all my all inclusive vacations and I did not ever want to cruise before because at the time I drank alcohol and I thought the resort was a better deal for the money. But I am no longer a drinker and I went on my first cruise in Mar of 08 and I had a blast!!! So much of a blast that I don't think I'll ever do the all inclusive again. I love being on the water I am HOOKED!!! I think even if drinks were my thing again, I would still want to cruise. See what the sea has done to ME!!!
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouche
I have been on over 6 all inclusive vacation to the caribbean and this will be my second cruise coming up in March. I've enjoyed all my all inclusive vacations and I did not ever want to cruise before because at the time I drank alcohol and I thought the resort was a better deal for the money. But I am no longer a drinker and I went on my first cruise in Mar of 08 and I had a blast!!! So much of a blast that I don't think I'll ever do the all inclusive again. I love being on the water I am HOOKED!!! I think even if drinks were my thing again, I would still want to cruise. See what the sea has done to ME!!!
I hate to break this to you, but you are officially addicted . I tell every newbie that I take on a cruise to be aware of one thing: This is not a vacation, it's a LIFESTYLE CHANGE! Once you've entered the ranks of the cruise addicted it will be almost impossible to stop cruising. The main issue seems to be that in order to quit you have to admit that you have a problem and none of us seem to be willing to take that step and confess!
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Old January 25th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Littletime
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouche
I have been on over 6 all inclusive vacation to the caribbean and this will be my second cruise coming up in March. I've enjoyed all my all inclusive vacations and I did not ever want to cruise before because at the time I drank alcohol and I thought the resort was a better deal for the money. But I am no longer a drinker and I went on my first cruise in Mar of 08 and I had a blast!!! So much of a blast that I don't think I'll ever do the all inclusive again. I love being on the water I am HOOKED!!! I think even if drinks were my thing again, I would still want to cruise. See what the sea has done to ME!!!
I hate to break this to you, but you are officially addicted . I tell every newbie that I take on a cruise to be aware of one thing: This is not a vacation, it's a LIFESTYLE CHANGE! Once you've entered the ranks of the cruise addicted it will be almost impossible to stop cruising. The main issue seems to be that in order to quit you have to admit that you have a problem and none of us seem to be willing to take that step and confess!
Ok, I admit! My name is Becca and I'm addicted to cruising. And it only took one hit! Actually, we've been twice, once in 07, and in 08. The economy this year wouldn't allow us to go for a third year in a row, but we are booking another group cruise in January 2010. We looked into the all inclusive, but can't bring ourselves to do it. We like waking up to different scenery every day.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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We have been on 7 cruises dating back to the honeymoon. 2 RCL, 3 Celebrity and 2 Princess. Doing Carnival Valor in April (little nervous). We have done two inclusives. One in Riviera Myia (sp?) and the other in Punta Cana. Both high end. Food-cruise. Enertainment-cruise. Pool-inclusive. Relaxation-inclusive. Over all I say Cruis is better. If you do an inclusive it is better with a group or at least another family or couple. I love food and the cruise blows inclusives away. excellent verses above average to good. Value-probaly cruise but hard to say.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Heather and I have done 3 all-inclusive trips (Couples Negril, Aventura Spa Palace, Sun Palace) and 2 cruises (1 RC, 1 Carnival) in our 4 years of being married. And have 1 of each planned over the next 18 months. We enjoy both styles of vacations immensly, but they are very different vacation experiences.

All-inclusive vacations tend to be more relaxing and laid back for us. We tend to take these to get away and unwind 8) . Thus our return to Sun Palace in November, once baby Emma (7 weeks away) is old enough to leave with my parents.

Cruises are more high energy and exciting, bit more of a party atmosphere . Thus our cruise next year to celebrate Heathers 30th bday.

With AI resorts we love not having anywhere to be and nothing to do when you get there. The pool areas at AIs are bigger, nicer and not as crowded. You can also just go and lay out on the beach as well. Plus the flag service is excellent, just put your flag in the sand and a server is by within minutes to take your drink or food order. All of the AIs that we have stayed at do offer free excursions for shopping and sight seeing if you want to get away from the resort. In Mexico there are free trips to the ruins at Chitcha Itza and Tulum. In Negril there was a sunset cruise included as well. Plus numerous other activities for a small charge, and plenty of time to check out the area. The rooms at AIs are bigger and nicer, with stocked fridges and at Palace resorts a 2 person hottub in the room. The food at AIs is good, especially breakfast, but not as good as the food on a cruise. Sun Palace does have an excellent Sushi bar (as most AIs now do). As with cruises there are different levels of AIs, some offer just call brands and basic service, others offer high end liquors and dining. You will get what you pay for. Plus we like not having to worry about that sign and sale bill thats coming!! But there is also little to do at night at AIs. The shows are very small and at best just alright. And the clubs are not very exciting either.

Cruising seems to us to be more adventuresome!! Heading out into the ocean on a floating city to check out numerous new places and countries. The nightlife on cruises is much better. The Vegas Style shows are excellent, the bars/clubs are always hopping and the Casino is ripe for taking your money!! So plenty of activities to keep you going untill the wee hours. The only downside is if you have a port day the next morning and you have to be up early. The food is much better on cruises, especially in the dining rooms for lunch and dinner. Not to mention the dining experience of the Supper Clubs, so worth the extra money. And there is nothing more relaxing or romantic than sitting on your balcony late at night starring at the stars and watching the water go by. The only downside (other than the S&S bill!!) is the amount of time you get in each port and the regimented schedule. Like having to go to an early show if you have late dinner or having to eat at 6 every night for early dining.

As far as cost AIs are more affordable for us by the time you figure in airfare and the S&S bill. But lack the shows and nightlife.

We tend to come home from AIs relaxed and recharged. And come back from cruises needing a day to recover.

We will continue to do both, depending on what we are looking for, as long as we can.

Randy and Heather
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Old January 26th, 2009, 09:45 PM
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I have never done an all inclusive, but I think I eventually want to try one.

I am a HIGHLY addicted cruiser. There is nothing I like better...*except Greece.*

It is very hard to get me to do a land vacation of any sort now...although my friend swung me into going to Vegas in March. I'd rather be cruising but I've never been so I figure I should go at least once.

EVERYTHING about a ship makes me happy. Love it!
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Old February 4th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Littletime
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouche
I have been on over 6 all inclusive vacation to the caribbean and this will be my second cruise coming up in March. I've enjoyed all my all inclusive vacations and I did not ever want to cruise before because at the time I drank alcohol and I thought the resort was a better deal for the money. But I am no longer a drinker and I went on my first cruise in Mar of 08 and I had a blast!!! So much of a blast that I don't think I'll ever do the all inclusive again. I love being on the water I am HOOKED!!! I think even if drinks were my thing again, I would still want to cruise. See what the sea has done to ME!!!
I hate to break this to you, but you are officially addicted . I tell every newbie that I take on a cruise to be aware of one thing: This is not a vacation, it's a LIFESTYLE CHANGE! Once you've entered the ranks of the cruise addicted it will be almost impossible to stop cruising. The main issue seems to be that in order to quit you have to admit that you have a problem and none of us seem to be willing to take that step and confess!
Okay you're right!!! Hi my name is Mouche and I'm a cruiseaholic
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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We plan on visiting Sandals in Jamaica for a week in 2010. I personally don't know if I will like it as much as a cruise.
I think I will miss the shows, gambling, different ports etc....
however, I think I will like sleeping in every day not worrying about what time I have to get off the ship. I think I will like the abundance of deck chairs by the pool. I think I will like the all inclusive drinks and the swim up bar. And I will definately like not having to rush from one activity to another, but I will miss the bingo!!
I don't think I will like food as much as carnival.
and I know I will miss the Chocolate melting cake for sure.


I guess it will be worth trying out, either way I know I will always be a cruiser.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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I love cruises and enjoy a different port every day. The only down side, for me, is when you have to get back to the ship early when you are really enjoying yourself in port. Say, if I'm on a beach and loving it but I have to leave for the ship at 2 P.M., that's a real drag. If you want alot of beach time, a resort is for you. No cabs to get to the beach and so on.
The food is generally wonderful, staff excellent, and entertainment great. We are going to Puerto Rico this spring for a week so I'll have plenty of beach time there. It's been a long time since I've spent that kind of time at a resort. Then, I should be able to better compare the two.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 06:03 PM
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One thing no one metioned is at AI have have been to ,no tipping was allowed. I love this feature. In fact, anyone taking a tip can be fired. This makes for a much more relaxed atmospher. I leave my wallet in the safe
the whole time I am there. But, I still love cruises more. I wonder if any cruise line would every think about doing away with tips?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:25 PM
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In some AI tipping is more visible then on a cruiseship or in port.

The last AI we spent almost 15usd per day in tips not including the

shuttle bus into town (5usd/trip one-way) .

Most staff expect to be tipped even if the management says no.

Amounts over 2 or 5 usd are not considered tips.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doopydozer
In some AI tipping is more visible then on a cruiseship or in port.

The last AI we spent almost 15usd per day in tips not including the

shuttle bus into town (5usd/trip one-way) .

Most staff expect to be tipped even if the management says no.

Amounts over 2 or 5 usd are not considered tips.
Where was this. I've stayed at several of AI resorts owned by different companies and never felt I needed to tip. We have tipped several people extra but never thought someone expected it. As a matter of fact when we did tip some, they made sure somebody from management didn't see it happen because they could get in trouble. When you leave the resort you have to tip almost everyone though, which can add up to alot if you like to get out.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 11:40 AM
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I think it's like comparing apples to oranges-the only thing that a cruise and an AI have in common is that it's a vacation. We did 3 AIs in the 80's-2 in Mexico and one in Jamaica. Back in those days we managed to consume a fair amount of alcohol so I guess we got our monies worth!
Nowdays, a beer at the beach and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner just about does it. For us, cruising is definitly a better value, even after adding the gratuities,excursions and the onboard account mainly because we don't have the air fair. We always drive to the port even though we're in Canada. Unless you pick a budget AI like the DR (or Cuba for us Canucks)and are happy drinking all day at the same location, then cruising is the way to go. If we ever do a land based vacation again, we'd book a hotel and wing it!
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