1st, I am an experienced cruiser (35 under my belt). Cruising has been our hobby for years BUT. Looking at all the taxes and surcharges and nickle and dimeing its getting somewhat expensive. I checked an all inclusive resort in Jamaica and found the price to be quite reasonable. I think this is what we will be doing for a while.
What do you all think?
Please David, no flaming.
If ya ain't cruising ya ain't livin!!
I went to my first all-inclusive resort last year. It was very nice. I really liked the idea of everything on the resort being paid for. I only missed one thing.... different ports of call. I like exploring new places while on my cruise. Other then that.. its a great time.
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011
I also am looking at other options because of the surge in costs of cruising - which is not all fuel related. Cruise lines are, IMO, getting more and more greedy and the service, while still better than you recieve at almost any land resort, is not worth that added cost.
Although I've not tried an all inclusive resort yet, I did do an 8 day land vacation through GA, TN, NC recently and spent less than $600 pp for food, gas, lodging and entertainment. Not bad considering we stayed at moderate hotels, visited several theme parks, Biltmore and ate three meals a day.
Are we headed back to a time where only the well-off can afford it?
NCL Sun, Oasis OTS, Navigator OTS, Legend, Fascination, Emerald, Glory, Mariner OTS x 2, Sovereign OTS, Celebration, Miracle x 2, Pride, Fantasy
All-inclusive resorts can be fun. But be sure you check out the QUALITY of the AI you are considering -- as quality varies a great deal. Also, if you have not been to Jamaica, you might want to find another destination. We've found Jamaica to be full of beggars, con men, and thieves -- so you might not find much you want to do off the grounds of the AI.
We've only done one AI - Beaches in Turkes/Caicos. The facility was lovely (and brand new at the time). Food was decent but not spectacular. Drinks did flow freely. Never a problem with getting a lounger by and pool and tipping was not permitted.
HOWEVER, after a couple of days we found ourselves being bored senseless - there was pretty much nothing to do at night except sit at a bar and drink. If DH wanted to go to bed early, I did not feel safe wandering around by myself. On a ship, there's tons to things to do.
We have stayed at a really nice AI in Montego Bay, Jamaica. If the resort is in Ocho Rios, I would be more careful. Friends of ours that stayed there were quite unhappy with everything. We, on the other hand had a great time. We were about 5 minutes from the airport, walking distance from the Hip Strip with Margaritaville at the end of the street and the only time you saw the "people" was if you went to the Craft market area. We took an hour long bus ride to Ocho Rios to Dunns River Falls and that is not a trip I would want to take after just getting off of a plane, nor going back to the airport. JMO
Glory - 2006
Liberty - 2007
Pride - 9/28/08 - 30th anniversary cruise
Miracle - 12/7/08
I've only been on 1 cruise but we went on a AI to Jamaica, and hated it. It was so boring, all there was to do was eat & drink and the food was not good. And yes we were expected to tip. It cost us a fortune. Any time you went anywhere people were very pushy wanting you to buy something, and oh if you take someones picture on the street you owe them money. So if you see women standing with fruit on there head don't take there picture or be prepared to pay. I guess it just wasn't our thing. :o
05/01/10 Sapphire Princess
09/14/09 Enchantment of the Seas
10/19/08 Crown Princess
03/04/04 Majesty of the Seas
It sounds like you went to a bad AI in a lousy country. It seems ingrained in the Jamaican people to scam or beg money from tourists, so perhaps this national tradition is too much for resort managment to overcome. I clearly don't like the Jamaican people because of the way they abuse tourists -- so I don't go there. This is in contrast to the other islands of African/Caribbean population, where the people are just great.
Boredom can set in on a one-stop vacation at an AI. We keep it to four nights maximum. We particularly like the AIs in Play del Carman, because good side trips are available to a couple of Mexican National Parks and the Mayan ruins at Tulum. I'm sure there are other areas with AIs where there are a good number of accessable interesting things to do off-property. It just takes a bit of research.
I am almost certain that Club Med went bankrupt. Their "style" of small, spartan rooms was simply bested by the competition. There's an old Club Med on Bora Bora that is sitting vacantWhile time and lack of maintanence have taken a toll, one can still tell that it used to be a very plain place indeed.