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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Cruise Vs. All Inclusive Resort

We really enjoyed our first cruise. Cannot find a single thing that we did not like.

At the same time that I was on the cruise my friend and his family were staying at an all inclusive resort in Cancun. He keeps bragging about it.

The only thing that he got that I didn't was that his alchohol was included and of course, mine was not.

I expect that since this is a cruise board that more on here will prefer cruises over all inclusive resorts but I would like to hear anyway which you prefer and why. What are the pros and cons of each?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 07:07 PM
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I have never done all inclusive and I won't..I am a type A, and I need, changing stimulation, and, with a land cruise, you really need to enjoy a beach and or the pool for your daily stimulation, for the most part.

On a cruise I can get off at a different island, and do my thing, or onboard I can find tons of stuff to do..I don't think I could find similar options on land...I would be bored.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:14 PM
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Hello. I've been on many cruises and have done 'all inclusives' in Cancun, Puerto Aventuras, Mex, Dom Republic, Costa Rica and Jamaica. Because we stayed at large resorts on land, there was plenty of activities to do. Never got bored. Completley different than cruises though. If you really like to hang at beach during the day, I think the AI are better. Also, if you like drinking all day/night as drinks are included. More 'beach time". If you like multi-course upscale dining experiences and traveling to different places but only having to unpack once, then the cruises can't be beat. I prefer cruising overall, but every 3 years or so, we try another AI.
I will say that it is MUCH better to do a cruise with kids than the AI's! So much more for them to do!
Eithe way...it's a vacation!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:52 PM
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If "all" you want to do is lay on a beach, snorkel, have a few cocktails, perhaps golf and eat then an AI can be an alternative to cruising.

The bad part is that unless you have a car or do resort excursions that's about all you are going to do. There will be limited entertainment and my experience with a 4* AI (Moon Palace, Playa) is that the food is not close to what you can get on most cruises.

I would not rule out an AI but if you want to see more for less or equal money I would do the cruise.

BTW: There is a big difference between a 3* and 4* AI.

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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:47 PM
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I tried my first AI last year-Jamaica. I had been on 2 cruises and figured I'd try something different. Here's what I learned:

1. If you are limited to when you can travel, and it happens to fall during hurricane season, cruising is better. At least the ship can move around or re-route. On land, you are stuck there hurricane or not (power went out, no housekeeping, 3 days of pouring rain/winds, bars on resort were mostly closed and the list goes on...)
2. The food was leaps and bounds better on the cruise
3. AI-just a beach, bar...
4. I think one has to be williing to spend boku bucks for a good AI. Like the previous poster said, I tried to go to a cheaper AI in Jamaica (Riu), and could have spent less to be on wonderful cruise.

Cruising is so much more entertaining. AIs-no schedule of activities for the day. Maybe an organized volleyball game or exercise on the beach, and a nightly show.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 01:31 AM
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When you consider all the entertainment you get on a cruise and the different places you get to visit, I definetely prefer cruising.

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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Yes. I agree. There is a big difference between 3* and 4*. In Cancun (we used the Palace resorts) we were close to all the excursions we wanted to take and there was ample transportation around. Jamaica (Ocho Rios) was not a problem with transportation either. Dominican Republic was 'in the middle of no where', but we had plenty of beach, volleyball, pool, aerobics etc to keep us busy for 6 days (but I was ready to go home). I generally don't feel that way on cruises. For me, there has to be alot of draw to the LOCATION of the AI for activities beyond the resort itself. But if you are going to hang out with friends anyway, you're a mobile-party.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:01 PM
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All-in-all, there's nothing like a cruise for diversity, incredible food, pampered comfort, and great entertainment.

However, if one wished to explore a singular destination for a longer, deeper experience then a long term stay is required. I couldn't imagine what I would have missed had I simply sailed into Honolulu as a simple 8-hour port of call as opposed to several days.

Now a 8-day port call in Honolulu staying on board ship with of of the creature comforts would indeed be the best of both worlds!
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:49 PM
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I am not a beach person, except to get to the snorkeling. Don't (can't) do more strenuous things like beach volleyball. Stomach hates alcohol. Hate golf (sorry, golfers). Soooooo, a cruise it is for me.
Even when I want to do an extensive vacation on land, I prefer regular hotels. I can eat when and where I want, Move to a different hotel even.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:20 PM
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I'm so glad someone posted this question. For years I have been hemming and hawing about doing an AI land vacation, but have always booked a cruise because I thought I would be board since I can only take so much sun / drinks.

I like the fact that on a cruise, I can hang out on my balcony in my pj's after dinner and watch the sea go by. Also, as the other poster noted, when traveling in the fall (cruise is cheaper then so that's when I go), the ship can move to avoid storms.

If I ever do try an AI, it would be 3-4 days only.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotoJuku
All-in-all, there's nothing like a cruise for diversity, incredible food, pampered comfort, and great entertainment.

However, if one wished to explore a singular destination for a longer, deeper experience then a long term stay is required. I couldn't imagine what I would have missed had I simply sailed into Honolulu as a simple 8-hour port of call as opposed to several days.

Now a 8-day port call in Honolulu staying on board ship with of of the creature comforts would indeed be the best of both worlds!
OMG, 8 days in Honolulu would drive me nuts. Thats a 2 to 3 day stay tops if you want to see most sites. Too commerical and the Waikiki beaches are very average. Take me to Maui or the big island and I am happy.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 09:39 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 year. 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 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 we get there. The pool areas at AIs are much 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 as several other trips. 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 of a cruise. 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 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 August 3rd, 2009, 10:59 PM
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Randy and Heather:

Great post. You did a great job of comparing cruises and AI's. I agree that you come home from an AI more relaxed (unless you availed yourself of the liquor dispenser a little too freely.)

Most of the time we come back from a cruise and need a couple of days to wind down.

Take care,
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Old August 4th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsumrow79
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 year. 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 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 we get there. The pool areas at AIs are much 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 as several other trips. 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 of a cruise. 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 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
Randy,

Awesome response to the question! Thank You!

ow I just have to figure out how to pay for an AI and a cruise next year. Then I would have the best of both worlds.
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