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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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Default All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Now don't get me wrong...my husband and I *love* cruising, but
just this year we went to Cancun at an all-inclusive resort (food,
alcoholic beverages as well as "shore" excursions!) We found
some of the differences to be very interesting...

For one, you can eat at a VERY nice restaurant whenever you
want! No hurrying to be in the correct dining room at 7:30p. Plus
we had approximately 6 different restaurants to choose from...

Second, one of the hardest decisions to make during our vacation
was which fresh water pool to swim in! The pool with the bar at one end, or the
indoor one with heated water with underwater music, 2 jacuzzis and a cold dip pool, or the exercise current pool?? Decisions, decisions!!

Thirdly, we could order room service and get the same food as in
the dining rooms! Filet Mignon and T-bones in your room beats a ham
sandwich anytime!

Fourth, the bartenders were more than happy to make you
whatever drink you wished, and if you were too busy sunning
yourself, they made a point of coming over and taking your order..
The Chef also made a point of coming to our table and asking if
there is ANYTHING special he can make for us. My husband
requested a different cut of beef from one of the other restaurants, and
he happily made that for him that evening. He seemed disappointed when I
told him I was happy with the T-bone steaks! The food was far superior to
any cruise cuisine we have had, and the staff members way friendlier!

As I said, the uniqueness of cruising cannot be beat, but I found
some interesting differences to consider when comparing an all-
inclusive to a cruise.

..but have no fear! We're scheduled for another cruise in August
of this year...

And oh! Did I mention the Bingo was *free*?? Yup, they pay you in resort dollars that you can use for services & mdse. They also have shows and different activities to do around the resort...



Post Edited (06-17-05 08:38)
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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

JeanS: I also enjoy staying at all-inclusives as much as I do cruising. I have stayed at 4 different A.I.'s in Cancun but have never seen filet mignon on the room service menu or had an option of 6 different restaurants. Please identify the resort you stayed at so I can make reservations! Thanks.

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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Sure, sceneisle, I will email you the link to the resort if you send me your email address. It is a 5 Star resort, my TA recommended us there, he has sent many people as well as family members and everyone has come back with glowing reports!

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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Der Jean,

I do have to say that following our last cruise on the Victory last December, I would now apt for A.I. being superior. Certainly, as you have righty said, the ambience, rooms, food, service and choice of sunning/bathing locations win hands down in A.I. resorts.

For me, I suppose the ideal vacation would be 1 week cruising and then the 2nd week at an A.I. resort (but in a nice location where you feel completely free to explore). The trouble is with alot of A.I.s (i.e. Dom Republic, Jamaica etc) you can feel rather trapped within the confines of the resort, as it is not safe to wander away from its safety limits.

Some of the nicest A.I. resorts to be found are in the Med Islands. We have stayed at a wonderful resort in Malta, Rhodes and in the Canary Islands and you can hire a car and wander at will and come back to your 'haven' whenever, and the best of the lot was Tamarind Cove in Barbados - absolute heaven.

Cruising is a great experience but becoming a bit too 'standardised' and dare I say mor basic as the ships get bigger but there are just so many people to cater for. A.I. resorts such as Sandals etc can offer a very high standard of service with everything included but of course, you are staying within the same destination.

So the solution - a cruise and stay holiday with the second week at an exclusive A.I. resort say in Barbados - that would suit me fine

Regards,
KG
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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

If you go on freestyle dining cruise - Princess or NCL that would be the same would it not? And the bigger ships like Grand Princess have many pools to choose from. So that only leaves the alcohol but the one all inslusive I did in Cozumel they only gave you the domestic (mexican) liquors free so you couldn't have a say Crown and Seven. I'm not being offensive at all just pointing out that many cruises you choose would have some of the differences other than free alcohol. As a cruise consultant years back I got to go on an overnight an a cruise ship for travel agents where it was open bar and that sure was nice I have to admit. But I do not like Mexican liquor in a place where you are not suppose to drink the water as I like frozen drinks too... So anyway.... Each his own I guess. The main thing I didn't like about an all inclusive is standing on the beach looking at the water and wanting to be on the water - love waking up on a cruise ship and the water is surrounding you! Love the sea days... Debbie
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

this comparison pops up every now and again and i find it interesting. I feel that trying to compare the two is like trying to compare apples to oranges, you just can't do it.
Each cruise line, each ship is unique-equally such are all-inclusive resorts - each is special and unique in their own way. If you think about it the only things that a cruise and an all-inclusive have in common is that all your accomodations, food and entertainment are included in the cost.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

"If you go on freestyle dining cruise - Princess or NCL that would be the same would it not? And the bigger ships like Grand Princess have many pools to choose from."

Actually Happy ..... No, it wouldn't be the same at all.

Freestyle only gives you the option of eating at any hour, not the option of 6 different restaurants with worldwide selections of food. Following is a list of the 6 different restaurants' and their food types.

La Huerta - California Style Dining, Mostly Vegetarian Dishes
Mundaca - Steak & Seafood - Filet Mignon, New York Strip, T-Bone, Salmon, Shrimp etc.
El Greco - Mediterranean cuisine including Steaks, Duck and other Greek Dishes
Mo Mo No Hana - Chinese, Japanese, and Indian dishes
La Hacienda - Gourmet Mexican cuisine
Las Ventanas - Authentic Italian cuisine

And the bigger ships with 'many pools' to choose from only means more salty seawater than you can shake a shark at. The 13 pools at the resort we (Jean and I) stayed at were all chlorinated (and not the smelly kind) pools. They also had two lagoons with seawater where you could snorkel and kayak if you so desired.

I'm not sure why Jean didn't put the name of the resort in her post so I'll do it here.
It's called Aventura Spa Palace and it is located in Cancun's Riviera Maya strip.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

BTW -

The website to read up on the Aventura Spa Palace is at:

www.aventura-palace.com

and the link to the restaurants is:

www.aventura-palace.com/restaurants.html

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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Love them Both

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Old June 17th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

free bingo ?? I'm there
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Old June 17th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

We've done and liked both for different reasons. I agree that you really can't compare them. Both are wonderful vacations in different ways.

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Old June 17th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

We did the all-inclusive vacation for 11 yrs straight, staying at The Sandals' Resorts. Nothing like it in my book! But, for the last 2 yrs we cruised and are hooked! This is definitely for my husband since he doesn't like just hanging around on the beach all day. A cruise is the best of both worlds for the both of us, can relax on a beach and sightsee! They just need to have their drinks all-inclusive!!!!
Marg
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Old June 17th, 2005, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

One 5 star AI in Cancun is the Riu Palace Las Americas (with 5 restaurants),
Our son is going to the Adventura Palace for his honeymoon next month, guess who sent him there? Mom and Dad of course.
The Riu Resorts are nice in Cancun too, we do both, cruise and do AI's, they both have their own value.

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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

No seasickness

No lifeboat drill

No threat of sinking

No putting your bags out on the last night

No charge for drinks (soda or alcohol)

No cramped cabin

NO TIPPING
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Old June 18th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Now for the big question....how did the price compare? I have looked at doing an all-inclusive resort and from my research they cost twice as much as a cruise so in my opinion they SHOULD be twice as nice and get twice as much to do see and drink.

I think the old adage you get what you pay for applies but personally, I do LOVE being onboard a ship. I would love any information on the all-inclusive mentioned at the beginning of this thread.

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Old June 18th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

From my experiences, the price is very comparable. I just returned from Cancun where I spent one week each at two different all-incusive resorts. The Golden Crown Paradise (4-star) cost us about $1,600.00 (total, for two people) and the Playa Oasis (3 star) cost about $1,300.00. At both resorts, I had an oceanfront room (with a spa on the balcony at the Oasis Playa!). Balcony cabins on my recent cruises have been between $800 - $1,000 per person. Seems to me, a mid-ranged all-inclusive resort costs about the same as a 7 day cruise in an ocean view cabin, plus you get your alcoholic beverages and non-motorized water sports activities included in the A.I..

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Old June 18th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

I rarely drink, so for for me that generally makes a cruise a much better alternative than an all inclusive.

And, of course, all inclusives don't go anywhere, whereas cruises give you glimpses and tastes of all parts of the world.

Even a camping vacation can be a better alternative to a cruise for those who enjoy that type of vacation.

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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Usually cruise but my hubby was ready for ai this last vacation. Went to Puerto Vallarta. Enjoyed it, but now we know why we like cruising so much. Sailing on the Liberty in March and can't wait!! Ready to cruise again!

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Old June 18th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Price-wise I think we saved a fortune by staying at the AI. I cheked the prices of cruises leaving from Miami about the same time as we arrived in Cancun. Assuming we wanted a cabin large enough to accomodate my powerchair and still have room to move about , the mini-suite was the only alternative. A mini-suite leaving the same weekend as we went would have been about $4k for the two of us including air from LAX to Miami and a one night stay at the Wyndham Miami Airport. This $4k did not include tips, alcohol or excursions.

We paid $3402 for the AI in Cancun which included nonstop air from LAX to Cancun. The $3402 also included all food, alcohol, gratuities and excursions to 5 other palace resorts in the Riviera Maya and Cancun area. Other excursions that were included in our prepaid vacation were trips to the Mayan Ruins, Pyramids and lots of other places. Each of the other resorts had their own unique flavors. We spent one day at a different resort where they had a beautiful white sand beach and a lagoon for kayaking and snorkeling. The kayaks and all snorkel gear were also included in the $3402 we paid as well as transportation on a Mercedez Benz Air Conditioned (and extremely comfortable) bus. They also had a great Eco -Tour at this resort where they took us into the jungle and showed us Flamingos, Crocodiles, Turtles, Other birds in an Aviary, Deer & Fawns and Monkeys.

Ron

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Old June 20th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Did I forget to mention that this particular resort was for 18 & over only?? No screaming kids at dinner, no poopy diaper smell.....ahhhh! A truly peaceful vacation....

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Old June 20th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Really it is to each his own - you can't convince those of us who prefer to cruise that AI is better because frankly most of us have tried it and prefer to cruise. We can't convince you that cruises are better. SOooo.. To each his own. For me cruise is much much cheaper as I go out of home port of Galveston with no air. Outside cabins are generally around $600 - 700 per person 7 day on the high side. So for $1400 for a week I can't get air to Cancun or Cozumel for 7 nights (4 nights for that price) on an all inclusive. And I personally like going to more than one place - I do not like being stuck on one place... I don't drink that much alcohol and I don't prefer MExican liquor when I do.. So for me a cruise is much much better... JMHO Debbie
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Old June 21st, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

If you go to an all inclusive resort and it's not safe to leave the perimeter of the hotel, what do you do if it rains the entire time you are there??
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Old June 21st, 2005, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: All-inclusive resort vs. Cruising

Well, you can always go on hotel-sponsored excursions, however, we were happy by:

Swimming

Playing pool

Getting massages

Eating

Enjoying the entertainment

In the resort we were in, they also owned 5 additional resorts on the area, so you could go there too and use all of their facilities....

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