Old Jan 4th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Hello all! My husband and I would like to escape to somewhere warm this February, and we'd like to try the Caribbean (first time). We've seen several ads for all-inclusive resorts, but there doesn't seem to be much traffic re: all-inclusives here... any advice? We've traveled to Sharm el Sheik and Crete via German all-inclusives, but didn't care for the schnitzel and pommes by the pool. ;-)Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated!! Best regards, Christine
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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I personally love AI but every person is different. There are a few things to ask yourself before you decide. Do you want to know that your entire vacation is paid for in advance - if so go AI. Do you spend alot in the bar on vacation - AI usually include bar service which can save a lot. Do you want to stay on property most of the time - if not, it may be cheaper not to go AI. If you want to eat in a different restaurant every evening then AI is not the way to go because you have paid for 3 meals a day whether you eat them or not. Food at most AI is buffet style, certainly fine but not gourmet so if you want a gourmet meal experience - don't go AI.

As a solo traveler, I love never having to worry about getting a taxi in a foreign country, looking for a different restaurant every night, worrying about exchange rates or traveling alone after dark. I like the idea of leaving all my cash and credit cards locked up in the safe while I'm at the pool or at the beach, because I don't need any money on site. The market in Jamaica is dominated by all-inclusives since many resorts aren't anywhere close to towns and restaurants. In Cancun however, you might actually spend less money not going AI altho I still do because of hassle factor.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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In my opinion it mostly depends on the area - we're certainly glad we didn't do AI in Aruba, St. Thomas, or Provo, but our non-AI stay at the Wyndham near Montego Bay was awkward because it wasn't easy to reach other restaurants.

We're leaving in a month for an AI vacation in Akumal (south of Cancun) - in that particular area, AI seems to make sense, and the price was right.

I agree that gourmands should not stay at AI's, with the possible exception of a few high-end places. They're also generally a bad choice for budget travelers, who can usually save money by staying in a modest hotel and eating at local restaurants, or getting a place with a kitchen.

You can certainly stay at an AI and still do a lot of exploring, but most people tend to stick pretty close to the resorts.

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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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I also prefer an AI only because I dont like the hassel of wondering when or where we are going to go to eat. My vacation is relax and dont worry about anything....but the sun sand and my drink. We are die hard Sandals Resort lovers so thats my pick for an AI.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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We never go AI because we prefer to explore the island we visit and go to different restaurants (we always rent a car). We certainly do not want buffet style dinners everynight either. It really depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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I think part of it depends on where you are going. If you are going to a safer island i.e. GC, I think a condo is a better idea. You not only get the cable tv, but washers and dryers, refrigerators, microwaves and other convenient appliances. The balconies are perfect for breakfast or sharing a sunset.
The advantage of an AI is watersports being included, daily maids to make your bed, clean beach towels and sitting down to every meal without a wallet or billfold and getting up and leaving without paying the bill.
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