When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Keep that in mind when looking at the amazing “all-inclusive” deals that are listed on many websites, such as Expedia or Orbitz. What these large websites don’t tell you are the resort fees, reservation problems with dining, activity fees, etc. And the resorts which don’t have these problems are much more expensive, although well worth the extra money.
First of all, you need a travel agent. It just is not a good idea to gamble away your vacation fund with Expedia. You never know what hidden fees, bad service or unclean hotel may be waiting for you. But more on the why’s of using a travel agent are here: http://tinyurl.com/3t34qcd
Always check for hidden fees. Whether that may be a resort fee, a security deposit required at check-in, or a fee to make meal reservations (which you ALWAYS want to do as soon as possible when visiting an all-inclusive). Also check to see what activities are included in the price, if any. Normal budget all-inclusives will have non-motorized activities included, such as bicycles, kayaks, snorkel gear, beach chairs and umbrellas. Some good all-inclusives include even motorized activities, such as jet-skis.
I am a cruising fanatic, having cruised all of the most popular cruise lines and some of the lesser-known brands. It saddens me when people say that cruising is a rip-off, as almost all “hidden” fees are avoidable. If you don’t want to eat at a specialty restaurant, there is certainly more than enough food at the included restaurants. If you just want to explore the ports of call on your own, then you don’t need to take a shore excursion. Don’t like the photos they take of you, don’t purchase them! But if you do want to spend a little extra money, all of these things are available on cruises. Cruising really is the ultimate way to vacation as an all-inclusive. No transportation is necessary if you live near a port (such as I do). And if you aren’t lucky enough to live near a port, all cruise lines offer assistance with booking flights and transportation to/from the airport. See my review of the Oasis and Allure of the Seas here for more info on what a wonderful vacation cruising can be: http://tinyurl.com/3ll9cf9
The gist of the matter here is this: don’t expect to pay nothing and get a fantastic vacation. Expect to find a good VALUE.
Contact me to help you personally navigate the world of all-inclusive vacationing: firstname.lastname@example.org