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Old 06-11-2009, 07:30 AM
 
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Planning a vacation for next spring. This will be my first adult and our first "real" vacation. I am trying to gather as much information as I can to help me decipher between a cruise and an all inclusive package. Any information would be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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I am guessing all inclusive means in addition to the cruise things such as ground transportation, possibly airfare, sightseeing at the ports of call, and other things other than the cruise itself.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Kissimmee, Fl/Guntersville, AL Soon
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Many resorts in the caribbean and Mexico advertise all inclusive packages which usually include your room, all your meals and use of sports equipment and on-site facilities and many even include all you can drink (alcohol). I have done a few of these and had great experiences. Cruises on the other hand have many additional costs you need to think about. They expect you to tip your waiter, room attendant and even the head waiter. In total the tips are like $15 a day. Then if you drink alcohol, all of that is extra, if you drink soda's, you can get them free with your meal but if you want unlimited anytime soda, they are now charging for that. They also offer your meals free but also have usually a steakhouse type restaurant that you can pay $20 extra per person to eat at if you want something higher end. The other thing you pay extra for is in port activities and transportation so if you get into port and want to go somewhere further than you can walk to, you have to pay for taxi to and from the ship or you can sign up for a variety of activities they offer in port and those all cost extra and this can add up.

But keep in mind, most all-inclusive places do not offer free activities off of their premise so if say you want to go swim with the dolphins, you will pay extra too.

Hope this helps....have fun!
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
I am guessing all inclusive means in addition to the cruise things such as ground transportation, possibly airfare, sightseeing at the ports of call, and other things other than the cruise itself.
All inclusive resorts, sorry.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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It really depends on the cruise line. Some offer unlimited alcohol and free airfare and shore excursions and the only extra would be spa services--something you'd pay extra for at a land based resort as well.

The benefit of the cruise is you get to see other places.

Keep in mind that many of the all-inclusive resorts are all-inclusive for a reason--outside the resort gates lurks a very dangerous area. Jamaica in particular. YOu can't leave because it's just not safe.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
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I wouldn't trust the words 'all-inclusive' anywhere, because they make it sound like that's all you have to pay, and it never is. In just about any situation where the marketing tries to convince you 'you will pay no more than this amount', the goal is to get you there where you find out all that is not included. Kind of like warranties that exclude this, don't include that, allow them to fulfill this condition by cheating, until pretty much there's a way for them to avoid spending any money honoring it.

Once I realized that anything and everything in the resort/casino/cruise/theme park industry worked this way, I just learned to factor in an additional amount for the later soaking that was sure to come, somehow, some way.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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On a cruise "all-inclusive" generally includes alcohol beverages. If you are heavy drinkers this might well be a good deal for you. As we are not we make it a point not to cruise with the "all-inclusive" lines. The idea of paying for someone else's drinks does not appeal to us.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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all inclusive cruises also tend to be a bit more spendy

i've done both the standard cruise and the all inclusive and I really liked them both

first my all inclusive - it was in MX south of cancun - we had access to food, drinks, transportation between resorts, some activities at the resort as well as some other little things

what ended up costing more were excursions that were not part of the stay (we took a jeep tour / snorkeling trip to cozumel), food away from the resort, some of the advanced water sports at the property and tips (which although included we still provided)

it was a blast - we went on sponsored excursions to chichen itza and the island of the women - we went to the sister resort in cancun for more of a party environment and a much nicer beach - we had bottles of booze and mixers in our room, we had late night sushi, it was a blast ........ we did treat ourselves to the spa which was very expensive (even more than the cruise line) and avoided the golf which was really expensive as well

the food was decent, but we were tired of it by the end - a combination of buffets and sit down restaurants ....... on excursions or even independent trips we tended to eat out

they had tennis courts, basketball courts, mini golf, etc all of which were free and spacious

you do spend a lot of time at the property though - it can be spent at the pool, inside relaxing, partaking in an activity, etc

the downside was that with a large # of guests on the properties and limited spaces / time schedules on their excursions and trips to sister resorts you have to sign up early, line up early, etc ..... you spend a decent amount of time waiting around

the cruise we ended up paying for a lot more little things - we did extra options such as spending a sea day on a specialized area of the ship and eating in the specialty restaurants, playing bingo, pay snacks, soda card, etc ............ you can find many things included, but there are a lot of little charges

sea days were a lot like days spent at the resort

the food at the dining rooms did eclipse anything found at the all inclusive

the obvious difference is that you get to sample a variety of ports where you are free to spend as little or as much money as you want ....... but you'll probably want to get out and explore a little which will cost you

the rooms at the all inclusive were more spacious, but i was impressed at how well laid out the ships stateroom was and there is something neat about being out to sea

i found both did a good job at not being swallowed in crowds despite a large # of guests

the entertainment on the ship was a little bit better as well

also, not all "all inclusives" are created the same - my parents just got back from one in the dominican and had a blast - although confined to the resort (something I didn't feel on mine) their property was large - golf was included (except for the cart which was reasonable) - my parents smoke and they were provided with cigarettes and cigards - they said their food was great as well - as well as service

my sister in law went to one in jamaica for her honeymoon and was a bit disapointed - too much questionable contact with locals, OK service, long waits and lines to sign up more most things and their included golf didn't include like $80pp in charges

do your research and do what is right for you

i'm glad i've experienced both and wouldn't trade either trip for the time and place ........ my all inclusive was part of my honeymoon and it was great having a lot of flexibility, being with many other honeymooners, etc ......... my cruise was just a getaway trip and a splurge where we just wanted to be together and have a good time and relax
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Kissimmee, Fl/Guntersville, AL Soon
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It's probably the cruise line I have been on but I have been on several Royal Caribbean cruises and never was alcohol included, in fact, you couldn't even pay a certain amount to get all you can drink, you have to pay for each drink. It is a bit misleading on their commercials, waiters handing out tropical drinks from serving trays by the pool, makes you think they are free but they are not, they are like $6.00 each!
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guntersville Boomer View Post
It's probably the cruise line I have been on but I have been on several Royal Caribbean cruises and never was alcohol included, in fact, you couldn't even pay a certain amount to get all you can drink, you have to pay for each drink. It is a bit misleading on their commercials, waiters handing out tropical drinks from serving trays by the pool, makes you think they are free but they are not, they are like $6.00 each!
Alcohol is free in the RCCL concierge lounge if your cabin class gives you that priviledge. But RCCL nickel and dimes you to death in so many other ways.

Regent has free alcohol, a no tipping policy, and currently offers free air and shore excursions on many of their cruises. Add it up and it can end up being a great deal for some people--although they aren't really family or "party" friendly, and enforce their dress codes, so not for everyone.
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