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Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:13 AM
  #21  
WannabeinaMontserrat
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KVR, I don't know about misconception, I just believe that you are the exception rather than the rule. I know tons of people who go to the Caribbean & can't tell you anything about it. I am certain, part of the mindset is I've paid for the food & such already, so I'm not going to go someplace else & (essentially) pay twice. The other thing is, in my opinion, is that not many people like to leave their comfort zone. You can go to a resort (most anywhere), have everyone speak English to you & go home & say I've been to such & such. Believe me, these folks are everywhere, but ask them a couple of questions & the response is usually - ??!!
 
Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:15 AM
  #22  
WannabeinaMontserrat
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Another related question. Are people that go to A1's the same people that go on cruises ?
 
Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:22 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
There have been times the AI has been a perfect fit for us.

1.My husband and I have had little time for each other whether it was due to careers or family issues. We have gone to savor the magnificent sunsets and panoramic views and just have time to veg alone without feeling like we "needed" to leave the resort. We always did, but we ate dinner out a few times as opposed to every night and visited the local attractions, but not every day. We would spend at least one day hanging at the pool.

2.We've traveled with friends that live half way across the country from us who prefer the AI's and we've enjoyed some lovely time together in some enchanting places. Again, we've had some dinners out and did some sightseeing.

3.My sister went to an AI this winter as she hasn't physically been able to travel for over ten years. She has head to toe RSD and booked the trip last minute as she was having a "ok" winter with her meds and was stable. She was able to make herself at home as best as she could. They did things as she felt able. When she was in bed, her husband was able to still enjoy meals and the pool and beach. They had pagers and the AI was the perfect solution for them.

Additionally, there are non-AI hotels where many people never leave the premises. FS Nevis is one. The staff told us the majority of their guests never leave the property.
Knowing is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:36 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,334
Well, we love the DR. and have a favorite resort it i not where cmeyer54 goes, but we have a favorite place in La Romana and another in Punta Cana (same company) and just love being waited on, the peacefulness, not having to sign up for "alternative" restaurants and the loving atmosphere.. Wherelese would we see the Manager of the hotel making his rounds several times a ay talking to guests. Not only that..the resort is so popular with returneees.. that once a year they have a "Fiesta" for frequent guests... we love them and they love us.
ParrotMom is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 11:28 AM
  #25  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Kimberly, thank you.

"Another related question. Are people that go to A1's the same people that go on cruises ?"

Though that question could be construed as condescending, I can only answer for myself - No. We've been on 3 cruises 1980, 2002 and 2007. We really dislike cruises for many reasons. Also, cruises are not AI's since alternate restaurants, some speciality foods, soft drinks and alcohol are not included in the price, which can make a cruise quite expensive if you chose to pay for those options rather than going with what the cruise does include.

Tamsentm, you do have a valid point as some people go to AI resorts and don't leave for whatever reason, but is that really so bad? Who cares what people do or not do on their vacation. It's really not anyones business anyway. It's their loss that they didn't get to experience the destination or culture, but who are we to judge them or make false assumptions that the way it is when you go AI. Again, I think it's a shame, but I'm not going to critize someone on how they wish to spend their vacation time. I definitley don't want anyone judging or critizing me for they way I take my vacations.

Instead, I findit helpful when people post a full trip report with pictures so I can see if it's a type of hotel or destination I would be interested in going to. So called reviews or posts that rant and rave or are nothing but complaints are not helpful to anyone and usually only makes the person who posted it feel better.

For education purposes, there are different kinds of AI hotels. Ones who provide an AI option and ones that are total AI. The difference between a hotel that offers an AI option and a total AI hotel is that on the AI option, food and drinks are open to the public and sold for profit to people that are not necessary guests of the hotel as well as to guests who did not participate in the AI option. That makes the food quality and selection a little more above par. Also hotels that offer an AI plan are usually smaller than the mega resorts you'll find in the DR and Mexico and cost less since they don't include other amentities like a total AI resort does. We've been to several AI hotels/resorts and do prefer hotels that have an AI option over a totally AI property when it comes to food and drinks. So again, grouping all AI's is not an accurate or fair accessment.

If people would spend the time to actually do the research and not make assumptions, then they might not be so disappointed in the hotel/destination they chose. I know things pop up and do happen on vacation that are unexpected and annoying, but reporting nothing but the bad parts of a vacation is not helpful to anyone.
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Apr 2nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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KVR How crowded is it likely to be in PDC/early June..... at Iberostar Maya?
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Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:28 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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It really won't matter if the IB Maya is at full capacity. The resort is so big that it never feels crowded.
We were at the IB Paraiso during X-mas when it was at 100% capacity and it never felt crowded.
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Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:34 PM
  #28  
 
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KVR, I agree that a full trip report (with good, bad and maybe ugly) is much more useful to a forum like this.

That's what I did when my family went to Atlantis two years ago (truly my worse vacation EVER) I made sure to point out many positive things about the place and it's staff but said it just wasn't my type of place or vacation.

As I said, to each his own!
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Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:40 AM
  #29  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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jencla,

Sorry, I can't be of any help with your question. We avoid huge AI mega resorts that allow children.

You might post your question or read the trip reviews on Trip Advisor.

Typically, the first week of June after Labor Day weekend is not as crowded as other times in the summer months.
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Apr 12th, 2008, 05:09 PM
  #30  
WannabeinaMontserrat
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topping for mindy
 
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:16 AM
  #31  
MsE
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Well, I am glad that none of my 12 vacation weeks at AI resorts was like the OP describes. (I've also cruised over 20 times, and done other kinds of trips as well.)
For me, a week at an AI is a fun easy way to escape the winter weather and enjoy time with friends. Some friends have more $$ in the travel budget than others, and an AI is a great bargain, much less expensive than a cruise when all costs including airfare are considered.
I've done the AI route as a solo traveler, just to get away and enjoy the beach and sun; and love going with a group of friends.
Since the main dining is usually buffet, there is a huge variety of foods, including local favorites if you like to try those. (We still giggle over the night they served goat in Punta Cana, and most of us went back for second helpings, it was so good!) There are also 'reservation only' options if you prefer a sit down meal; we had the best Italian dinner in Cancun at JackTar's optional restaurant some years back. Wonderful service and atmosphere, this one was also open to the general public, not just resort guests.
If you want activities on the beach, in one of the pools, or a spa treatment, or dance lessons, or just relaxing poolside or on the beach, it's all there, and no concerns about if this or that fits in the budget.
Staying in an AI does not mean you can't get out and enjoy the local sites and sights if you so desire. Plus many such resorts bring some of the local culture to you, with folkloric shows, craft fairs, native foods.... not to mention how much you can learn by just taking the time to talk to some of the servers and other personnel.
I've done MANY trips where we investigated history and culture in depth, enjoyed them very much. But sometimes I just want a week on a sunny beach, no hassles, no hunting for where to eat, no budget watching, just REEEE-LAX.
OK, you get the picture. The OP is just not saying anything I'd agree with and sounds like s/he went to one cheap-o AI and didn't make the most of it.
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Apr 14th, 2008, 06:18 AM
  #32  
WannabeinaMontserrat
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Truth be told, when I go on vacation I don't want to feel like I'm going to 'camp'. I avoid all resorts period, A-1 or not. Many of them could be planted on any beach, anywhere & you'd never know the difference. I go (particularly to the Caribbean) to escape. That means people as well. I have no trouble hanging out w/the locals & eating what & where they eat (well, most of the time anyway). I love asking the 'resort folks' about the island(s) they have returned from, many can't tell you a thing. To each their own, & frankly I encourage everyone to continue to frequent those mega-resorts all cut from the same mold. Because I, won't be seeing you.
 
Apr 14th, 2008, 09:05 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 227
I'm a fan of AI's (and cruises for that matter). My husband and I have 4 children (3 teens, and a pre-teen) who like meeting and hanging out with other kids their age. We like that everyone can find something to do, something to eat, etc., and still be together in a gorgeous setting. The cost savings alone are huge when we factor in our always-hungry/thirsty kids. Also, we're scuba divers...many of the resorts we go to offer scuba diving as part of the package (another savings). However, no trip for us is complete without a history lesson from Mom (me) about the area we're going to (told in a conversational "oh by the way, did ya know" kinda tone), and several off-site excursions, preferably with local information and history thrown in.

Cruises are great because they allow us a brief glimpse of several different ports on a cruise (headed to 6 ports this summer on our 7-day Southern Caribbean out of San Juan). We use those short glimpses to decide which places we want to go back to on a traditional land vacation.

With that said, I can absolutely understand people just wanting to get away from their busy jobs, hectic schedules, etc. Their vacation is just that....theirs to do (or not do) as they please.
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