Are Cruise Vacations “All-inclusive”?

As an update to my blog on all-inclusive vacations, I am seeing a trend among cruise lines

AMA Waterways River Cruises

AMA Waterways River Cruises

to offer a more all-inclusive packages.  Leading this trend are river cruises, like AMA Waterways that includes, shore excursions, free bottled water and  complimentary beer & wine at lunch & dinner in its cruise price.

Oceania periodically offers “Free Airfare” and On-board cash promotions  that make for a more all-inclusive package.Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Princess all offer pre-paid beverage packages so guests can “build” an all-inclusive package.

Beaches all-inclusive Family resort

An all-inclusive resort is a holiday resort that includes a minimum of three meals daily, soft drinks, most alcoholic drinks, gratuities and possibly other services in the price. Many also offer sports and other activities included in the price as well. They are often located in warmer regions. The all-inclusive model originated in the Club Med resorts, which were founded by the Belgian Gérard Blitz. (Wikipedia)

Today, there are several all-inclusive resort brands including Sandals (for adults only), Beaches (for families) in the Caribbean as well as several all-inclusive brands in Mexico. Palace Resorts, Iberostar, and Dreams, among others

Vacation Sticker Shock

So are Cruise Vacations all-inclusive?   Not necessarily.  Although cruise ships include more services than most hotels, very few cruise ships are technically all-inclusive.  All cruise lines include meals and entertainment in the base cruise fare, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, shore excursions, spa services, gratuities and upscale dining venues are an additional charge.  An exception is that some of the Luxury cruise lines, like Regent Seven Seas, do offer an all-inclusive cruise vacation experience.

Range of pricing from a la carte to all-inclusive

What is the best value?

That depends on the traveler, the number in their party, their tastes and preferences.  Many people traveling with families, like cruises or all-inclusive resorts because they are not nickled and dimed for snacks and activities for the kids.  Many couples that are looking for “fun in the sun” also like all-inclusive resorts and consider the included bar drinks a great value.

Let me know your all-inclusive resort experience.  Are you Pro or Con?


About KMP Travel

Owner of a full service Cruise Planners- American Express travel franchise
This entry was posted in All-inclusive Reosrts, Caribbean Cruises, family vacations, Luxury Cruises, Vacations. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Are Cruise Vacations “All-inclusive”?

  1. Megan says:

    I am definitely PRO all-inclusive resorts! It’s nice to pay for everything up front, then have a nice, relaxing vacation with no worries about money.

  2. I received a few comments that the Sandals La Toq resort quote seemed high. The air fare was higher than normal for the dates I selected & increased the overall price. Sandals can be a more affordable vacation if you have flexibility in travel dates. ( Accommodations for Nov. 8-15, 2012 were $3,483 but the airfare from JFK was $2,554.)

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