10 Reasons an All Inclusive Beats a Cruise

Reasons All Inclusive Resorts are better than Cruises

Are you searching for an alternative to your annual Cruise vacation?

There’s no better alternative for your vacation dollars than a luxurious beachfront all-inclusive resort. This one-price-covers-all style of travel generally offers even more benefits than a typical cruise, and at a better dollar-for-dollar value.

In a Nutshell: The cruise-industry-destroying pandemic of 2020-2021 may be receding, but it changed forever the way a contagious illness is handled both on board and by destinations …leaving you no guarantee that you won’t get trapped on a cruise ship unable to dock, even if you’re not the one who gets sick.

The advantages are many – from the included alcoholic beverages (not included on most cruises) to free, reliable WiFi – but here are the Top 10 reasons to make the switch from a cruise to an all-inclusive.

Why Choose an All-Inclusive over a Cruise?

    1. Everything you love about cruising, none of the seasickness

      What some people love about cruising, all-inclusives also offer – having a home base for the entire stay? Check. Meals included in the room cost? Check. Want the opportunity to explore parts of Mexico and the Caribbean you’ve never been before? Check, check, and triple-check. All-inclusive resorts let you enjoy all of those things … without the seasickness. And with so many top-tier luxury all-inclusive resorts for every travel need — whether you’re looking for an adults-only resort or a family-friendly resort, or want to focus on wellness or just enjoy a great party, there’s an all-inclusive resort that is just perfect for you.

    2. Travel around easily

      With an all-inclusive vacation your transportation logistics are minimal; you only need to go between the airport and hotel, and many include the cost of transfers in your vacation package, which keeps more money in your pocket for souvenir shopping or an adventure, like scuba diving.

    3. No Wallet, No Worries

      When all your meals, snacks, and drinks (and many activities!) are included, you can try as many dining options as you please and never worry about carrying a wallet or getting hit with a huge drinks bill at the end of your stay. Complimentary concierge and room services further prove cash is an accessory you don’t need (though it never hurts to have a few dollars on hand to occasionally tip for exceptional service).

    1. Ask for a drink without dreading the inevitable bill

      If you’ve ever been on a cruise you know that last-day shock is coming, the dreaded beverages bill that can be hundreds of dollars steep and waiting to be paid before you can disembark. At all-inclusive resorts, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are included, so you never have to worry about going into debt to go home. Brands like Check PricesBreathless Resorts & Spas® includes top-shelf spirits, while Check PricesUNICO 20°87° Riviera Maya highlights local flavors and products in their artisan-crafted cocktails.

    2. Follow your own schedule, not someone else’s itinerary

      Seeing a lot of different port cities on a typical cruise can seem ideal, but it also means very little time in every port destination, and no flexibility for when to leave for an excursion or how long you can spend off-ship. On an all-inclusive resort vacation, everything is on your time — meals, activities, sightseeing, sleeping — come and go as you please, stay in a spot as long as you like. And if hotel- or destination-hopping is what you want to do, go ahead and do it. With so many all-inclusives so close together, splitting your trip between Cancun and Cozumel or Montego Bay and Negril is simple. Making it even easier are brands like Check PricesPalace Resorts (for families) and Check PricesSecrets Resorts (for adults-only), who let you stay at one property but play at several.

    3. Check in on social media whenever, wherever.

      WiFi at sea: not too dependable. WiFi on-property: available resort-wide. Internet connectivity wherever you are is just one of the perks of an all-inclusive resort vacation. Typically free for multiple devices per room, the internet at all-inclusive resorts lets you update your status in real-time, any time, saving you from phone bill add-ons and data overages. Plus, if you need to call home, you can do it right from your room – many all-inclusives let you call the U.S. at no charge.

    4. All the best water fun, All Included

      All-inclusive resorts are known for their stunningly beautiful locations. Set on some of the finest beaches in the world, they make sure that fun is as close as the water by making complimentary non-motorized water sports included in your stay. Kayaks, snorkel equipment, and paddleboards are yours to borrow, and some properties take it even further by offering free scuba lessons in the pool, or access to an on-site water park (like the 6-acre waterpark at the new Check PricesNickelodeon Riviera Maya!) .

    1. Never a Dull Moment

      On-board entertainment is often one of the best parts of cruising, and the same holds true for an all-inclusive resort. Daytime programs might include poolside games, beach volleyball, and mixology and cooking classes; evening shows often rival the best of Las Vegas in production value. Live music or cultural performances also frequently abound, everything from string quartets while enjoying a sunset cocktail to large rocking concerts by A-list bands. Brands like Check PricesSecrets® Resorts & Spas and Check PricesPalace Resorts have upped the ante with a continually expanding lineup of inclusions: golf, spa treatments, cultural activities, local tours, and access to entertainment venues. A stay at the Check PricesXcaret hotels (as well as the new Check PricesXcaret Arte), includes access to their many eco-theme parks and attractions – an incredible value!. Kids clubs are always complimentary at family-friendly properties (and most offer evening babysitter services at a nominal cost), giving the younger set plenty fun of their own in a safe and secure chaperoned environment.

  1. Mother Nature will thank you

    The unfortunate truth that isn’t talked about openly is that cruises are terrible for the planet. Choosing an all-inclusive resort is a much more eco-friendly option, as most now participate in sustainability efforts. Rainforest Alliance, EarthCheck, and TraveLife are just a few of the certifications you can look for when choosing your all-inclusive resort. Responsible travel means paying attention to even the small choices, and where you stay really can make an impact.

  2. Vacation with peace of mind under careful new protocols.

    The COVID pandemic has forever altered much about how we travel. Now, all-inclusive resorts are setting a standard with COVID guidelines, from frequent disinfection of public areas to on-site rapid testing. Most now offer touch-less options such as menus that can be accessed on your smartphone and contactless check-out…along with other precautionary practices that take nothing away from the warm hospitality Mexico and the Caribbean are known for. Some of the larger chains are still offering free quarantine to guests who test positive, adding one more reassurance when planning a stay. For complete peace of mind, be sure to consider Check Pricespurchasing trip insurance…..many policies offer medical coverage as well as quarantine reimbursement and, if something comes up, the ability to cancel or rebook your trip for any reason – be sure to read the fine print!

Don’t Miss:

Cruise vs. All Inclusive: Which is Best for You?

Our thanks to ALGV for their assistance in compiling the above information.

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About Trisha Miller - Editor-in-Chief 59 Articles
Trisha is also the Editor-in-Chief at Travel Writers Exchange, a community for travel writers & bloggers. She's also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a former member of the IFWTWA, serving on their Board of Directors from 2009 through 2015. When not traveling the world visiting the many all-inclusive resorts she loves, Trisha spends her time writing, mainly about travel and technology, sometimes both at the same time.
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