Q&A: What’s better: All-Inclusive Resort or Cruise?

Question by Stephanie: What’s better: All-Inclusive Resort or Cruise?
We are trying to decide on what type of vacation to take this summer. I have been on a cruise before so I know what that is like, but have never been to an All-Inclusive Resort (say in Mexico). It will be a group of 10 adults, ages ranging from 25 yrs to 55 yrs (but a very active 55). Thoughts and experiences would be appreciated! Thanks!!!

Best answer:

Answer by CaptainCrunch
I’ve never been on a cruise before because it’s very unappealing to me. I don’t’ want to be on a timetable while on vacation and I don’t like to be confined. I don’t like the idea of queueing up to leave a boat at a port of call, and responding to a big horn when it’s time to leave.

I have been to many all inclusive resorts, including one in Mexico. I love being able to walk along a beach, day and night. I love sitting on a patio late at night listening to the wildlife. I just prefer land vacations, I guess. If you’re going to Mexico, I would recommend going to the Riviera (Caribbean) side. Anywhere north or south of Playa del Carmen would be great. There is a fantastic resort south of Playa in a place called Puerto Aventuras (sp) called Barcelo. It’s a huge property with (I think) 5 resorts on it. So they fit most client’s budgets. Definitely worth checking out. I hear Riu properties are good too. I recently stayed at an Iberostar property in Jamaica (Iberostar Rose Hall Suites) and really enjoyed it.

All the best!

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Q&A: What’s better: All-Inclusive Resort or Cruise?”

  1. I agree I favor all-inclusive vacations. I’ve been on a couple of cruises and they are to structured. Boarding is a hassle, then you have times and places you have to be to eat. Drinks are extra and expensive. You are limited on the time you are on any given island and you have to worry about getting on and off the ship. And then at the end they tell you how much to leave as a tip (balls).
    I like Couples resorts in Jamaica. You fly into Montego Bay where they have a bar that you gather and have a beer or soft drink. Then every 20-30 minutes you are put on a bus to the resort at no charge. You check into the resort like to check into a hotel. Then you sleep as long as you want. Go to the beach. Go scuba diving. Go play golf. Eat, drink, water ski, sail, the list goes on and on at no additional expense. The ages are all over the place many newly weds and people who are retired. Check it out. And there is no tipping.

  2. Hi Stephanie. I’m Joe. I’m a Certified Consultant. I do both.

    I can furnish cost comparisons from both resort companies and cruise lines, but, it goes a bit deeper than that.

    Both can be GREAT vacation experiences. The determining factor should be your likes, dislikes, and the things you like to do.

    Budget, where you are coming from (transportations costs), and time of year ALL impact cost and season.

    I can send you some really great, color, twenty page catalogs, online, for say…. Secrets Capri, in Mexico. I love the place, but will you? There’s an El Dorado up the road thats just great. Same story. It pleases me, but, will it please you? Getting the picture?

    I have a great FAQ section that’ll answer questions about what there is to do on various islands and resort areas. Feel free to visit, research, and ask questions. Most resort package (specials) are not listed as they change frequently, but, I do have access. Let me know if I can help.


    PS – I prefer Princess or Royal Caribbean when I cruise.

  3. The THIRD alternative:

    The 10 of you (5 couples??) could easily rent a Caribbean villa and split the costs. There are such homes with enough bedrooms for all.

    Benefits: you’d get to stay in greater luxury (and privacy) at a much lessor cost. Probably be in a residential area; much quieter; your own pool & parking — not have to share with 500 other guests.
    Con: It’s not a “package” deal; you’d have to either cook your own meals OR travel to a restaurant; A rental car will be a necessity, not just an option.

    Commentary: My wife & I did a honeymoon-vacation on St Martin this past summer. We stayed in a 1-bedroom villa for MUCH LESS than a resort-quality hotel. We had total privacy… throughout the house, on the deck, and in the pool. (think about it. Hehehe.) We had the fun of trying a different restaurant every night, and swim at a different beach every day. Oh… ALL the beaches on St Martin are “topless”, and a few select spots (Orient Beach) are nude beaches. IF you go to St Martin, find the Sunset Beach Bar, located at the end of the airport runway. Topless ladies drink free at the bar.

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