That statement appeared on the website when I was looking at a Carnival cruise. Therefore, drinks would not be included, although to me "all-inclusive" implies the inclusion of alcoholic drinks. Rather misleading.
Now posting as MichelleP.
All-inclusive includes all beverages, whether they contain alcohol or not, at land resorts that characterize themselves that way. If I'm not mistaken, most of the 5 star premium cruiselines include the beverages too. If I remember correctly, the tips are included in both also, however you could tip additionally if you desired. I don't know of any all-inclusive resort that foots the bill for outside excursions, although some of the exclusive 5 star cruiselines do include some excursions on the house. The way the ad in question read, I wouldn't call it all-inclusive without a complete beverage inclusion.
Unfortunately I believe "all inclusive" is left open to intrepretation by each individual therefore one must ask what is included in "all inclusive."
Does this mean photographs too? Does it mean shore excursions? Does it mean spa treatments? Does it mean formal wear? Does it mean casino chips? Does it mean video games? Does it mean babysitting services?
You see, it can mean different things other than just free drinks or excursions to different people.
Michelle, as an experienced cruiser, I know what they mean when I see that kind of advertisement, but I have to agree with you and the others that if I were a newbie at this, I might be shocked at the extent of the "extra" expenses that I might accrue once onboard.
My husband talked to a guy at work who took "all-inclusive" at it's word. When he was handed an $800 bar bill at the end of the cruise he was in shock. He had no idea.
pays to check these things out beforehand - like asking us nice folks here at CruiseMates!
Actually, there is an industry standard for all-inclusive in the resort business and it's not really all that complicated or subject to different interpretations. In plain language, it means your accommodations, meals, drinks, non-motorized water sports and entertainment are included in the price. Everything else depends on the resort . Tips and tours can be included, but are not part of the standard. If it says all-inclusive, it should include the all the items covered in the industry standard. If it doesn't, it's not all-inclusive.