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Cruising and booking all-inclusive resorts are two of the most popular options for family vacations. If you are wondering which one perfectly suits you, then the comparison below should be helpful!
Inclusions. The inclusions in cruise packages and all-inclusive resorts vary from one ship or resort to another, so the best way to really get a good comparison is to do your research once you’ve narrowed down which cruise lines and resorts you want to consider. Most cruise lines include accommodations, all your meals, some snacks and drinks, access to on-board sources of entertainment such as Broadway shows and on-ship casinos, and use of facilities like the pool, fitness center, pool table, and so on.
All-inclusive resorts on the other hand, include accommodations, all meals and beverages, entertainment every night (although I must clarify that in most resorts, the shows are more low-key compared to Broadways shows featured in some cruise ships), and transport from the airport and back.
Value for money. These two getaways seem to offer somewhat similar inclusions in their packages, but which do you think gives you the best value for your money? At this point, I am going to challenge you to stop reading for a bit and type your guess in the comments section.
My verdict? I would say that all-inclusive resorts offers the better value. Sure, you can book a lot of cruises that are a lot cheaper than all-inclusive resorts, but we must also take into consideration the other expenses that cruising entails: taxes, airfare, extra fees on shore excursions, and even shopping. When you book a stay at an all-inclusive resort, there is usually no need to leave the resort for excursions, or go shopping. And oh, did I mention that drinks in cruises are really expensive?
Quality of the trip. Cruising can give you a lot of scenery because it brings you to different places during the course of the trip. You will get the chance to see historical sites, natural wonders, and other popular tourist spots. Cruising also lets you immerse yourself in the culture of the place that you are visiting, as opposed to staying within the confines of the resort. For some people, though, being able to lounge beside the pool, having a spacious, cozy room, and being able to do water sports is enough to make a quality trip.
So to wrap it up…
Making the choice between cruising or going for an all-inclusive resort depends on what you are looking for in a trip. If you want to have a more laid-back and relaxed getaway, then you should definitely book an all inclusive resort. The same goes if your budget is not as flexible, because there is no need to spend on side trips—what you paid for the all-inclusive trip is close to your overall spend. If you like to visit various places and to experience a more luxurious vacation, then there is no doubt that cruising is perfect for you.
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Dominique Barba, CTIE, ECC, TAE