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  #1  
Old August 21st, 2013, 12:58 PM
PaCUfan PaCUfan is offline
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Default All inclusive or a cruise? One better than the other?

I have never been to an All-inclusive Resort on land, nor have I ever travelled outside the US other than on a cruise, and one 2.5 week trip to SE Asia.
We are considering booking an all inclusive this year over a 7 day on the Dream that we had planned.

Is one better than the other? Pros and Cons? I love cruising, which makes me weary to venture into uncharted territory of a land-based vacation in the islands.....
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  #2  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:01 PM
Phlybice Phlybice is offline
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When we started cruising, it was mostly all inclusive, and we stopped going to land AI's.

Now that they are separating the best from the good, and now charging for the best, we have upstarted our AI visits once again.

Cruising, once for the privileged, has become common.
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  #3  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:12 PM
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If the location of the AI is a destination you would enjoy for multiple days it could be a great vacation. Whether one is better over the other is all a matter of opinion. If you are a big drinker, an AI may benefit you for sure.

One major consideration is:
IF THE WEATHER IS BAD YOU CAN MOVE A SHIP.

I prefer cruising over AI, I like to view it as cruising to possible port destinations to consider for an extended vacaion in the future. Cruising has allowed me to get a taste of ports/locations without the need to spend a week there to realize if do or do not like it.
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  #4  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlybice View Post
When we started cruising, it was mostly all inclusive, and we stopped going to land AI's.

Now that they are separating the best from the good, and now charging for the best, we have upstarted our AI visits once again.

Cruising, once for the privileged, has become common.
We have done both and prefer to cruise. I certainly don't think AI's are any more for the "privileged", than cruise ships. There are both for every budget out there.
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  #5  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:15 PM
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I would be bored staying at one place for an entire week.
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  #6  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:20 PM
wannago35 wannago35 is offline
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We always did AIs before we took our first cruise a few years back and enjoyed them, and at least for now we prefer cruising.

I was always a research nut and found plenty of stuff for us to do on land vacations; but I like being able to visit multiple places in one vacation as opposed to being in one place for a week.

There are plenty of options for both land and sea vacations in all price ranges and tastes/classes, and neither is for the privileged anymore. And I'm thankful for that, as the "common" folks also deserve a nice vacation as well since some work a whole lot harder than the "privileged".

Anyhoo, that's not to say we'll never do an AI again, but right now we're cruisers and loving it
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  #7  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:25 PM
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We like both. We started to cruise to look around at a bunch of different places and see where we might want to vacation for a longer period of time to explore more. We've found we love St. Lucia, so we've been back three time to all-inclusive resorts. We also did the same when going to Hawaii the first time - went on a cruise, then went back for a land based vacation. I don't find one to be cheaper than the other necessarily. All inclusives have loyalty clubs, "shore" excursions, pool games, etc. They have different levels of accomodations - we do like the extra room at the resorts - the have butler service if you want. Really, a resort is a lot like a cruise ship and vice versa.
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  #8  
Old August 21st, 2013, 01:47 PM
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I'm an AI lover. Going on my second cruise very soon simply because my SO wants to give it a try...and the price is unbeatable right now.

Cost-wise, even with this being a dirt cheap cruise, we are going to spend as much on this cruise (7 days, going to get Cheers, driving to a port only an hour from home) as we would spend for the same food/drinks PLUS airfare for a week at an AI. Under normal circumstances, for my lifestyle, AIs are a cheaper way to go. Of course this depends on a lot of factors.

Having daily access to a beach, nicer/bigger pools with swim-up bars, and bigger/nicer rooms are what bring me back to AIs vs. cruises.

That being said, I'm extremely excited for our upcoming cruise and I'm glad we made this choice. I haven't cruised since 2005, so I was ready to do it again.

At the end of the day, thought, a vacation is what you make of it. If you're going to find stuff to complain about, you're going to find it on a cruise or at an AI. If you're there to have a great time and relax, you're going to do it regardless of your location.
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  #9  
Old August 21st, 2013, 02:11 PM
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I find land all inclusive a boring. There is t nearly as much to so as there is on a cruise. It seems like the same thing over and over again every day. Some people love them though.

One thing that is better for all inclusives though is they don't usually have all of the extra costs that a cruise does. With that said though, I would still MUCH rather cruise!


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  #10  
Old August 21st, 2013, 02:35 PM
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My husband and I prefer all-inclusives.

Pros for all-inclusives:
Not as crowded
Not as scheduled
Bigger pools (husband loves swim-up bars)
More dining options - cruises are getting better in this department but they charge extra for them too
Many all-inclusives are adults-only
More time to explore the country
Drinks are pre-paid
You can choose the number of days of your trip

Pros for cruises:
There's just something great about setting sail from a port
on-site casino
cheaper for us because we don't have to pay for airfare

I say go for the all-inclusive. You may love it even more than cruising!
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  #11  
Old August 21st, 2013, 03:31 PM
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I think I prefer cruising over the A.I. If I factor in everything the cruise has been more cost efficient. Now with the cheers package you can get drinks to a comparable level. Food is somewhat similiar but one of the main differences for me has been the interaction with people. My wife mid 30's, myself late 30's have found that if you want a more romantic and to yourself type of vacation the A.I is better as other vacationers may speak here and there but they usually don't bother you. If you want to meet other people and have more interaction, cruises offer that. Now I'm only speaking from my perspective which is that of someone that is married so if a group of single folks went to an A.I their experience could be totally different. I love them both but cruising wins out for me and can you really go wrong either way, probably not?
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  #12  
Old August 21st, 2013, 03:39 PM
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They are very different. I enjoy both. My wife prefers AI's.

AI advantages:
More relaxed, no hurry to be anywhere. You can do absolutely nothing but lay by the pool or beach all day. Everything is included so no surprises at the end! No tipping at most. We love Couples Sans Souci in Jamaica. We typically stay 10 days at a time. After 9pm the resort is very, very quiet except for beach party nights. This is the most relaxing vacation I've ever had.

Cruise advantages:
Being on the ocean, new ports almost every day, more things to do, with these extra things comes more "busy time". While we still vegetate on deck while at sea there are still the temptations to wonder the ship especially at night.

Both are very good. It all depends on what you want at the time. We do both so we cover it all!
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  #13  
Old August 21st, 2013, 04:08 PM
what to go here and there what to go here and there is offline
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AI's I love them for different reasons than most


I like cruising for one reason only, i can explore a port to see if I want to actually spend a week there.

AI I don't feel so crowed in ... I find the ships crowded at times.. ie Lido deck, I usually go an AI land resort every year. I do my research as I don't stay on the resort all day or all night for that matter. It is a place to crash, have a meal and a few drinks. If you do your research enough you can find things to do all day and never come back to the resort till night.. I have been to AI's in the DR and some have casino's and if your resort does not you still can get in to the casino at the other resort. I don't feel rushed and the pressure to make sure i am back at port on time (not to miss the ship). I love being able to spead my time in art galleries, eating with the locals, seeing sites that don't put me on a time schedule.

If you shop around enought you can get into an AI for a nice price.. as i cruise off season i also go to AI's off season and they are some great deals out there.

Once i take into account flights (we have fly in for a cruise) an extra night for a hotel and the cost of the cruise ... for us it is expensive compared to AI's.

I think our cruising days are numbered now it will be back to AI's for a while it is more relaxing than a cruise, i can sit at the beach or have an ocean side room to hear the ocean.
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  #14  
Old August 21st, 2013, 04:22 PM
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This is a timely posting for me. For health reasons my wife will not let me cruise (after 30 some cruises). Some of you have posted that AIs can be cheaper than cruising. For a nondrinker or light drinker, I do not see how that is possible. I have been looking for an AI in the Caribbean region with a cruise-competitive price. I know I can find cruises whose net price per person per day will be $100, or not much more than that. That includes tips, all the food you can eat throughout the day and night, entertainment, etc. Are there really any such AIs in the Caribbean region with comparable prices? Seems to me you pay at least twice that.
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  #15  
Old August 21st, 2013, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billie5 View Post
This is a timely posting for me. For health reasons my wife will not let me cruise (after 30 some cruises). Some of you have posted that AIs can be cheaper than cruising. For a nondrinker or light drinker, I do not see how that is possible. I have been looking for an AI in the Caribbean region with a cruise-competitive price. I know I can find cruises whose net price per person per day will be $100, or not much more than that. That includes tips, all the food you can eat throughout the day and night, entertainment, etc. Are there really any such AIs in the Caribbean region with comparable prices? Seems to me you pay at least twice that.

In your case you are probably correct. AI's assume drinking, and a lot of it! The food and entertainment are a wash.
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  #16  
Old August 21st, 2013, 04:54 PM
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I don't drink, my husband drinks a few beers and a couple of cocktails maybe, but we do like all-inclusives because most of the activities we choose are included in the price rather than having to book shore excursions. My husband is a scuba diver and at Sandals (for example) he can go diving twice a day and it's included in the fee. Arranging scuba on a cruise is usually a big pain if you go through the ship and you get very little time in the water.

Again, we like both, but if we want to do water sports, hike, bike, etc., the AIs win on that aspect.
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  #17  
Old August 21st, 2013, 05:06 PM
Dare2Believe Dare2Believe is offline
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I have never been to an AI, and I've been on a few cruises...this past month, another couple asked my boyfriend and I if we'd like to do an AI with them in February. I investigated a whole slew of AI resorts in Mexico, Bahamas, Dominican Republic etc..and they were not cheap, even for the measly 4 nights we'd be there.

So, being a big cruise fan, I checked out the prices on CCL, NCL and RCCL for that same week in February...turns out, a 5 day cruise on the Carnival Victory in an interior cabin (also factoring in Cheers program and flights to Miami from NY) was about $200 cheaper.

So, for an extra night we're paying less money..including all alcohol. So, for right now I say we got a better value for the Carnival cruise. I'd definitely like to try an AI someday, but this just makes more sense economically as of now!
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  #18  
Old August 21st, 2013, 05:08 PM
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I just did my first all inclusive this past April for my Birthday.

I pretty much made my decision solely on price.

It was a 5 day AI to Mexico VS 3 day cruise on Inspiration.
AI turned out to be just a tad more including the flight so I went for it.

I think it's good to change things up a little. I really did like the AI stay. Not having to worry about missing the ship or waking up early for excursions was pretty nice for a change. It will not stop me from cruising but if the price is right I will definitely book an AI over a cruise now!
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  #19  
Old August 21st, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Love both but our last vacation was 11 days at an AI in Jamaica. Longest vacation we'd been able to take and actually got kind of bored and missed the cruise ship. I like port intensive cruises with a new place to explore every day. Think it boils down to what you want to do and what kind of vacation you want to take. Price is pretty comparable to places like Jamaica or DR for us when figuring in the amount of money we spend on alcohol on a cruise. Unfortunately, airfare to Antigua and St. Lucia (the 2 places we really would like to stay for a week or so) makes cruising quite a bit cheaper.
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  #20  
Old August 21st, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelee79 View Post
I'm an AI lover. Going on my second cruise very soon simply because my SO wants to give it a try...and the price is unbeatable right now.
Yep, this. I cruised once many years ago and enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but I liked the AI vacation I've done a lot better. But DH really wants to try a cruise and the one we are doing fits our budget a lot better than any AIs we could find for the time frame.
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