Cruise vs. all inclusive resort

Jan 28th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Posts: 155
Cruise vs. all inclusive resort

We have been on several cruises, but not an all inclusive resort. Staying at a regular resort is pricey, as we did that in St. Thomas a few years back.

If we did a cruise, we would want a brand new ship.

Any comments on a cruise vs. all inclusive? Where are the best all inclusives?


brandonmd is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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I'd say one of the major differences would be in the food department. Many AI's have very average food, where as the cruises seem to get better reviews on the food. Booze is included at the AI, so you don't get hit with that big bill at the end like we did on a cruise.

There are some AI's out there that have decent food, but my guess is the price will reflect that.

Personally, when I was younger, the AI's were great, as we still loved to party, and food wasn't a huge issue as most was good enough to keep us fed. Been on one cruise, and would never do it again. I can't stand being on a schedule while on vacation, and although it was nice to see a few different places, we always seemed like we had to run back to the ship....never feeling like I could relax. At least at an AI, you can just chill and do nothing.

Just my .02

ScottB is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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We aren't major drinkers, so the booze isn't an issue... where did u stay?
brandonmd is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 10:01 AM
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Have a look at this thread regarding the same issue on Trip Advisor:

I thought our cruises were more expensive and I didn't like there was not enough time in port.

Some of the best AI's are in the Mayan Riviera/Playa del Carmen area of Mexico. Look at the Secrets, Royal, Iberostar and Palace resorts.

I do agree that the food is usually better on a cruise, but some of the nicer AI's as menetioned above are doing well in that catagory so the reviews say.

The Dominican Repbulic also has many large AI complexes. Haven't been to any, so can't comment further.
KVR is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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I have a different perspective than ScottB. I love cruises. In my experience, the service and amenities provided on a cruise have been far superior than most All Inclusives. In fact, I find cruises more enjoyable and relaxing than staying at an AI. Generally, I find the level of service on a cruise to be better than the service at most hotels. But like AI's you have to pick the right one. I would stick to the smaller ships for a nicer experience.
Naveron is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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which small ships can you recommend.. we have traveled on most major lines
brandonmd is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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The best small ship: Regent. Mostly all-suite's, most cabins have balconies, and good cuisine. The meals are all served with fine wines and they are all inclusive now including the booze.
Knowing is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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We traveled on Seabourn and Windstar -- both were excellent. Windstar is more casual if you don't like dressing up. I even liked Holland America although that's mid-size.
Naveron is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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I have been on many cruises and in the past couple years stayed at all inclusive resorts. I find the all inclusives MUCH more relaxing. No feeling like cattle being herded off in every port. No set times for meals, etc. I loved cruising, but enjoyed the AI experience even more.
Stay at the high end AI resorts in Mexico's Riviera Maya and you will be pleased.
schmerl is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Can you recommend any? There are so many! We like something without children... thanks
brandonmd is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Great adult only AI in Riviera Maya:
Secrets Maroma, Iberostar Paraiso Grand, Royal Playa del Carmen. Check out these three. They are three of the best of the adults only resorts. The Roayl Playa del Carmen is right in the town of Playa and a five minute walk from shopping, bars, etc. if you want time off the resort.
schmerl is offline  
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