Vacation Review: All-inclusive Resort vs. Cruise








As many of you may know, I was in Mexico not too long ago for a little vacation. The hubby and I decided to try our first all-inclusive resort after spending many of our previous vacations cruising. We stayed at the Barcelo Mayo Beach Resort in the Riviera Maya. Today I want to share my thoughts on cruising vs. staying at an all inclusive resort and hopefully provide some insight for those of you thinking of booking either for your next vacation.

Keep in mind, this is my personal opinion and experience and others may feel differently.

All-inclusive Resort:
1. Unlimited drinks and alcohol. This may be a selling point to some people, but personally I'm not a big drinker. 

2. You don't have a gratuity bill to pay at the end of your trip. The hubby and I tipped for exceptional service around the resort, but there was no bill for expected gratuities like there is for cruising.  

3. It felt quieter. The resort we stayed at expanded over 6 kms so we never felt like we were around too many people. It felt very peaceful and we usually had a good portion of the beach to ourselves. 

4. You only visit one destination. This may not be a problem for some people as it can be very relaxing to have no agenda and stay in one play for the entire time. Personally, I like visiting and experiencing as many cities/destinations as possible. 

5. The food quality varied. This might only be valid for the resort we stayed at but I personally found the variety and quality to be inconsistent compared with cruises. Mind you I cruise mostly with Norwegian as I find their quality to be exceptional in all areas so I could not vouch for ever single cruise line out there. 

Cruise:
1. Wake up in a new city every morning. Nothing gets me more excited than knowing that I get to explore a new place the next day. Cruising allows you to visit multiple destinations in one trip. 

2. The food options and quality. Eating is a big part of travelling for me so good food is a must. Most cruises offer a wide variety of options including a buffet, grills, specialty dining, formal dining and entertainment with dining. There is a fee for specialty dining, unless they happen to have a promotion when you book. 

3. Better entertainment. In my opinion, cruises offer better productions and have many more organized activities happening at all times. Broadway productions, duelling piano bars, Cirque-du-Soleil type performances, ballroom dancing performances are some examples of the entertainment often offered on cruises

4. Pay for drinks/alcohol. They usually include an assortment of juices but you have to purchase an alcoholic beverage package or pay per drink. As mentioned above, this doesn't bother me too much as I'm not a big drinker to begin with. 

5. Expect to pay gratuities per person at the end of your trip. Most cruises charge roughly $14 per day per person which can definitely add up after a week long cruise. 

6. It can feel crowded at times. Depending on the cruise line you take, there can be up to 5000 passengers on one ship plus the staff at one given time. It never really bothered me but sometimes there can be difficulty finding a poolside chair. If you want to avoid bigger crowds, I recommend taking a smaller ship for your first cruise.

7. If you are prone to motion sickness you may need to constantly take medication.  My hubby needs to take Meclazine for our entire cruise duration which can cause him to feel sleepy. He also can't drink any alcohol when taking this medication.

Personally, I still love cruising over staying in an all-inclusive resort as I love exploring multiple cities in one trip. I also find the overall quality of the food and entertainment better on a cruise, but with that being said, I've only been to one all-inclusive resort before.

Have you ever cruised or stayed at an all-inclusive resort before? What has your experience been like?

S H O P  M Y  L O O K:

1. Dress: H&M similar
2. Bag: Amuse Society c/o Mad Monkey Style
3. Shades: c/o Clearly.ca
4. Kimono: c/o Courtney Boutique
5. Sandals: c/o Sanuk
6. Necklace: Aldo
7. Hat: similar 

95 comments

  1. Gorgeous photos ! You looks so amazing.
    Kisses
    Marie

    www.whatiwearinlondon.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. love your photos! and your look! and gahhh! i love everything!!! you also remind of tess christine, the youtuber! HAHAHA!

    www.kynagem.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's beautiful, thanks for the compliment!

      Delete
  3. Your vacation look is very comfy, especially the shoes which seem like super elegant and comfy to move around. Yes I agree with you that a cruise is money well spent for a variety of experience.Dont worry I use my husband to carry around my bags on such trips,now he is used to it.Ha ..Ha ..Ha..
    New post on my blog . Do drop by soon <3
    ✿thefashionflite

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! Hubbys are so helpful like that hey!

      Delete
  4. Lovely blog!

    Do follow me on Google Friend Connect- can we follow each other?

    www.fantailflo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow it looks so perfect! Have a lovely day! Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THanks Gemma! Hope you had a great weekend!

      Delete
  6. what a gorgeous outfit and a beautiful location!! Great post!

    Darriyan♡ | www.darriyancateland.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  7. This shoot is so beautiful. I also love your lip colour :) Glad to hear you had a great time in Mexico. I've never been on a cruise before or stayed in a resort (haha) but it is something I would like to try! These days I've been doing a lot of Airbnb and I find the "living like a local" vibe in a foreign country really suits me, because you stay in a really nice comfortable place, but also have the freedom to travel and wander as you like!

    The Hidden Thimble

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be so fun to rent a home and life like a local when visiting. I can see that type of trip to be very appealing!

      xoxo Rina
      http://www.andshedressed.com

      Delete
  8. Beautifulk dress and I like the bikini coverup/ kimono with it, it's a nice print! :)

    I've never been on a cruise (get seasick!) or to an all inclusive resort, they both sound like nice options :)

    Hope you're having a wonderful week :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mica! I recommend both, it just depends what you want to take out of it

      Delete
  9. Wonderful blog! I love and i follow your blog, please follow me too
    http://alamodenatine.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. That dress is perfect for vacation. Sounds like you had a great time.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Amy, It's a really versatile piece!

      Delete
  11. Hola Rina siempre sorprendiendo, me encanta tu look y el precioso bolso que llevas, estás guapísima. Un fuerte fuerte beso.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You look absolutely stunning! Sounds like you had a great time :)
    xo
    Siffat
    http://icingandglitter.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have experienced both and they are both great for different reasons. I find all inclusive resorts perfect for relaxing, while on cruises for exploring and socialising. You look gorgeous btw.

    xo
    www.carinavardie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You nailed both experiences in those few words. Both are good for the own different reasons!

      Delete
  14. I have never experienced cruising and it was great reading that versus All Inclusive Resorts.
    sophieatieno.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. There are definitely perks to both! I love all-inclusive resorts for a quiet vacation- you just set up on the beach and drink/eat your way through the trip! :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! Hehe food is a high-light of all inclusives for sure!

      Delete
  16. Lovely dress and hat.
    Unlimited drinks and alcohol is also not a plus for me - in fact its usually the opposite, I tend to think this will attract the heavy drinkers...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed a few heavy drinkers here and there but nothing to extreme that it would routine my experience completely.

      Delete
  17. Seems both have some benefits :) Hahahah I love your preference in Cruises!
    I usually don't get seasick, but I get carsick all the time :p

    xo
    http://style-hue.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do for sure. I get carsick too but it takes a lot for me to get seasick!

      Delete
  18. Such a gorgeous look!!

    Xx
    Molly
    www.trendychickadee.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is such a pretty, simple, casual look. love cute dress
    xoxo
    Ramona

    http://ramona-strikeapose.blogspot.ie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ramona, that's what I was going for =)

      Delete

  20. Love this pretty outfit. That place looks magical.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lenya. It was such a magical place!

      Delete
  21. Gorgeous! I totally love this outfit pretty. Nice place too.

    www.tessyonyia.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Very cool and easy style!

    Federica Di Nardo
    http://federicadinardo.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are in amazing place dear! Very nice advices, you look wonderful in this summer outfit.Happy weekned :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it was an amazing place to visit!

      Delete
  24. this look like amazing vacation!

    http://highheelpoodl.blogspot.rs/2016/09/suede-waterfall-jacket.html

    ReplyDelete
  25. First of all great pics as always babes, you look gorgeous ,2nd I have to admit I have never been on a cruise although I have been to resorts, I always have fun where ever I go. BUT I have always wanted to go on a cruise, hoping my boyfriend and I can go next year but after reading what you wrote, I really wanna go! Hope you having a good Friday mwah xx

    www.fashionjazz.co.za

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely should! I will forever be a big fan of cruising!

      Delete
  26. I've never stayed at an all-inclusive, but if I'd want a week of food, sleeping and recovery I'd might try it. Otherwise I love to explore too, and have options! Nevertheless, a lovely comparison!

    And have the best weekend gorgeous! Xx

    www.thefashionfolks.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I love doing a mix of both. Usually I'll cruise for 1 week and spend the other exploring on my own terms =)

      Delete
  27. I love that dress! It suits you so well and looks so comfy!!

    Emily | www.thinkingofmakeup.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have been looking at staying in an all-inclusive resort on my next holiday so these tips are great! I like the idea of a quiet relaxing holiday eating and drinking as much as I like!
    x Emily
    http://shedoes.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It is definitely a relaxing vacation if that's what you're looking for!

      Delete
  29. Great post! I'm not the biggest fan of all inclusive or cruises - I like to be able to have options and get out and explore on my own terms. Can totally see the value if you just want to be in one place and not have to worry about a thing! You look gorgeous in these pics! xx

    Audrey Adair-Keene | www.happilyaudrey.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes sense babe! I usually like a mix of the two, cruise for 1 week so see multiple cities and do what I like when I visit each city then stay in a few cities for a few days at a time and have my own agenda =)

      Delete
  30. wish summer forever

    http://www.queenhorsfall.com/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great pictures
    Have a good day

    http://elegant-e.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  32. It looks like you had a fabulous vacation. This is another lovely set of photos.

    www.mydailywear.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiul photos

    http://iameleine.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've never been on a cruise or to an all-inclusive resort, so it was interesting to read about both.

    alicered.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely recommend both, depending on what you're wanting out of your vacay =)

      Delete
  35. I'm more of an individual traveller as I love being able to decide where to go next. Such a great outfit!
    Christina ♥ https://caliope-couture.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a plus for sure. I usually like choosing cruises that have destinations that I would plan to travel to individually. That way all my transportation is arranged and all I need to do is enjoy =)

      Delete
  36. Everything here is vacation perfection, girlll... Making me want a holiday. Ha!
    Great post as always. :)

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  37. Such a beautiful beach look dear! I love this hat and how you styled the dress with it. And those facts are so funny to read through - and definitively true! I am not a real fan of all-inclusive resorts but of course they also have some advantages as well :)
    xx, Carmen - http://www.carmitive.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carmen. It's so interesting to see everyones travel preferences!

      Delete
  38. I LOVE your dress, you look stunning

    http://chicglamstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. FIRST OF ALL YOUR BLOG ITS SO GREAT AND GOOD POST THANKS FOR THIS SHARE IT HAVE A NICE DAY

    best education service
    FREE SOFTWARE HAT

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great bag!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr/

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wonderful post! I have never cruised or stayed at all-inclusive resort but I am looking forward to stay at All-in resort at Cancun sometime soon.

    ReplyDelete

© and she Dressed...

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig