It is the most relaxing kind of vacation available. Kick back and enjoy a comfortable room, great food, fantastic entertainment, a variety of sporting facilities and some lively nightlife, all contained in one place, and available at one basic cost.
If you literally want to get away from it all, all-inclusive vacations are a dream come true. They can make your relaxing vacation even more relaxing by taking all the extra worry and planning out of your trips.
But “all-inclusive” can come in many varieties. You can choose a resort vacation in almost any corner of the world, or you can choose a cruise vacation, with all the same amenities, only on the move.
What’s the Same? What’s Better?
Both at a resort and on a cruise, you can expect your base price to cover your room, your meals and snacks, choices of nightly entertainment and use of the facilities. For both, there will be separate charges for extras, such as spa treatments and excursions. And in each case, you will also pay separately for transportation costs, such as airfare, and gratuities. One of the largest single costs not included at resorts are kids’ programs or childcare. No one can say that the cruise lines aren’t providing quality programs for families, they’re making an art form of it.
Both resorts and cruises can cater to specific kinds of traveling needs. You can find family-friendly cruises and resorts geared to kids. You can get married on either kind of vacation, and bring your wedding party along for the honeymoon. At both a resort and a cruise, you can tailor your daily activities to suit your interests, either exploring local culture and cuisine, deep-sea fishing or snorkeling, gambling, or dancing the night away.
The benefits of resorts and cruises are easy to see. Everything is accessible in one place, and you only have to unpack once. You can spend your day lounging by the pool without having to worry about scouting out where you’re having dinner, or missing your connection to your next destination.
While there are a lot of similarities in all-inclusive vacations, the differences are also easy to spot. Cruises are like traveling resorts. You have all the same benefits of a contained location with multiple facilities at your fingertips, but your resort changes location every day.
A resort is in one place, in one country, and the facilities and amenities available to you will not change during the course of your stay. On a cruise, you will visit many ports of call, and the shore excursions offer you a wide variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will change with every country you visit.
There is also a level of service on board every cruise ship that you may not find at a resort. There are certainly excellent five-star resorts where you will be treated like royalty, but there are also resorts that are less than world-renowned when it comes to their service. Overall, cruise ships tend to offer a more consistently high level of treatment.
The same can be said for entertainment. Many resorts offer nightly dancing, but that may be it when it comes to what to do after dinner. Cruise ships now are offering Broadway-caliber theater, Cirque de Soleil performances, or entertainers you may expect to see in Las Vegas. If you don’t want a show, you can choose the casino, or nightclubs offering ballroom or disco dancing, or even a local British pub where you can just sit and chat.
While any kind of all-inclusive vacation gives you a hassle-free chance to get away and relax, a cruise is more likely to include something else that makes for a perfect vacation: a variety of experiences and options that allow you to make your dream vacation exactly what you want.