O.K. all, my dental hygienist told me with fingers in my mouth she and hubby hated cruising. After spitting, I asked why and she said they were really shocked and disappointed they had to pay for their drinks and that really turned them off. She said they prefer to go to the all-inclusive resorts (I've never been) where they can get a drink and if they don't like it can hand it back to the bartender and get another. When I tried to respond that the resort is your only destination and never can you see other places on the vacation, fingers went into the mouth again.
And then she said "it's only $1000 per person for 6 days." I thought, d@mn add up the price of a cruise, add to that your bar bill and it's probably cheaper. She told me to spit again.
So, tell me. Are the all-inclusive resorts a better deal?
At the risk of offending - I think it depends on priorities. We find it much more enjoyable to meet and greet, and visit new ports of call where we can meet and greet some more. We still have our share of drinks ( and on 1 occasion I think I had someone else's share as well!) - but certainly not enough to have it more cost effective to be on an all-inclusive! :-)
I have to agree with the others here, going to different places and meeting all kinds of interesting people along the way makes cruising my choice of vacation. Cost isn't the whole reason to prefer one over the other, we don't drink that much where that would be any deciding factor and certainly not the reason to "hate" cruising??? To each his own I guess, but staying at one place for an entire week would be a bit boring for me, you too?
Each to his/her own, IMHO. CruiseCam and I did the all-inclusive thing once, and it was enjoyable. To me, it depends on the destination. For example, if I want to dive a lot on one island, an all-inclusive makes more sense than a cruise. However, I agree with the posters above that having islands "come to me" while I sleep (or whatever) appeals to me. Comparing costs isn't really valid, either. "$1000 for six days?" That's about $167 per day. Doesn't sound much like a deal when I compare that to our aft balcony cabin on the Summit, which was only $98.08 per day for 11 days. No way I can drink up the $69 difference very day. For value, I'll take the cruise, thanks.
Those were always my thoughts too. However, aside from the bar bill, are the all-inclusives offering something else the cruise ships don't? For instance, are massages included, is golf included, are guided tours included, are tips included, is room chapagne included, etc.
I'm wondering if anything you pay for on the ship is free at the all-inclusives. Photos, ice cream, soda, haircuts, tuxedo rentals, etc.
Spa treatments are generally extra at all inclusives. Some of the expensive all inclusive resorts, like the Sandals, include some watersports and transportation to the other Sandals resorts on the island (Jamacia has 7 Sandals I think) but those are quite expensive. You would really have to want to drink alot to make up the difference, and at that point you could be having lots of fun in your bathtub at home and not know the difference.
My in-laws are of the same opinion, that cruises are just too expensive. Well if you take the helicopter tour of every island then it is going to be expensive, but it would be just as expensive to do that from a land based resort. It's fine with me that they don't like cruising because I will not have toshare my vacation time with them anytime in the near future.
I have to say I love all inclusives in Mexico. We had all the entertainment we usually get on a cruise ship. Many choices of restaurants and no other costs involved, even the tips were included. We did not spend another penny after our $1200 canadian per person for 7 nights air fare and accomodations, 5 star resort, 5 star service.
I love cruising but this is a fine alternative and every bit as enjoyable.
We have done the all-inclusive twice in Costa Rica, but only for 3 nights each time.
This is a special gift Jose gives me when we go spend more than a couple of weeks at our little shack, I mean our lovely mansion, in San Rafael de Heredia, Costa Rica. He has 5 kids, their spouses, and 14 grandkids who all live in very close proximity to our little castle, so there is never one moment of privacy or quiet when we are there. I, on the other hand, have one grown daughter with no kids, and she now lives in CA, so, how shall I phrase this....? It's a little overwhelmeing for me after a couple of weeks, and Jose whisks me off to a Barcelo Resort on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, where we sit by the pool, enjoy the entertainment, drink Imperial beer and Pina Coladas. It's perfect for us under those circumstances, but I don't think I could go spend a week or more in one place with limited services and entertainement like that. However, if any of you want to give it a try, I highly recommend Barcelo's Playa Tambor on the Nicoya Peninsula. The swimming pool is so beautiful, and there's a part of it where the water is only an inch or so deep, and it flows over the edge like a waterfall. You can lie there and stay cool while you sun............Ah, heaven on earth!
At an all-inclusive, tipping is usually included so anything extra you tip is optional. I always do because the people work very hard and get paid very little. All drinks are included so that saves big $$$ if you are a drinker. My husband likes to drink so this is very impressive to him. Some allinclusives are really expensive like Sandals and Beaches. We went to the Dominican Republic (which is the most reasonable island to go to) last year and had the best time. The hotel was one of the best in the area (Puerto Plata). My kids are begging to go back there and still talk about it. I would but there are just too many other places to go. The whole trip, including 1st class for four people cost $approx. $5000. for four of us (2 rooms). The first class upgrades were approx. $1000. (my husband's treat, I paid the rest!) We spent almost nothing while we were there. Drinks all day long and top shelf liquor too. The spa treatments were cheap compared to home. I got a pedicure while there. Massage on the beach was $25.00 Cruise ship prices are much much higher. We didn't do any tours because the kids were so happy to stay at the resort and we just wanted to relax anyway. They had lots to do and fun entertainment at night. The city was nearby with lots of bars and hotspots if that was what you wanted. All nonmotorized sports at the hotel are included as well as scuba lessons (in the pool) The tours were not that expensive anyway if we wanted to participate in one of the many activities available. Jet skis only cost $25 for a half hour. Anyway our cruise this year to Bermuda cost is $4600 (2 cabins) (I got a good deal I think) I know we will most likely spend another $1000 on drinks (soda costs extra too!), tours (cabs to beach, snorkel equipment rental, bus passes, food in town, shopping, etc.) I will defintely do another island allinclusve but I think cruising has lots of advantages too. They are too different vacations. You get to visit a lot more places with a cruise and if you leave near your home base you don't have to fly which is a real plus because neither of us likes to fly.
I love checking out new places with none of the hassle (or tiredness) of getting there.
Although the inclusives sound enjoyable, it seems to me it would be like 5 sea days -- no change, just a different day. (Very nice for two days, but soon Art and I grow tired of seeing each other's faces without seeing the change of scenery behind us)
Also, after just spending Memorial Day weekend in Redondo Beach for a wedding and 40th birthday party, I *so* missed having meals included!
I think my husband & I, & even our kids, are a little too hyper for an all-inclusive for more than 3 days. (As an example, we went to Cancun for a wk. & stayed in 2 DIFFERENT hotels in the same week! One on Bahia de Mujeres and one further down to be on the ocean, & even planned that out ahead of time. Then wished we'd added a few days for Playa del Carmen!) But I've heard of people who go to a place like Jamaica & never go off the property! (This would KILL me! I NEED to see just a little of the real local place & culture.) Then there's just watching the ocean while I suntan up on deck. We are not big drinkers, so we'd lose $ there. The best part about all of this is: to each his own. I can't IMAGINE not liking a cruise. But then I like vacations, period. Never done an all-inclusive, but I've been to resorts that have that benefit if you want to pay extra & it hasn't appeared to me that we were missing much. I think some of the really fancy ones would be fun - but again, only for a few days. The people that we often cruise with did one in the Bahamas that is very upscale. They said they like cruising better. We briefly considered one of the all inclusives on the Riviera Maya for next yr. instead of the Explorer, but those were pretty pricey & as, usual, we'd just rather cruise. Someday maybe I'll be able to speak from experience.