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Cruises vs. All Inclusive Resorts

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

What are the differences between cruises and all-inclusive resorts?

Keep reading to learn all the ways cruises and all-inclusive resorts differ and why you might want to choose one over the other.

1. Alcohol

All-Inclusive Resorts include Alcohol while Cruises offer drink packages which are additional to your cruise fare. If you enjoy drinking, you may like an all-inclusive resort more.

2. Getting There

You may be able to drive to the cruise port depending on where you live. You will need to fly to an all-inclusive resort as there are no true all-inclusive resorts in the U.S.A.

3. Wifi

Wifi is free at all-inclusive resorts. On most cruises you will need to pay extra for the wifi.

4. Gratuity

Cruise lines add daily tips to the end of your bill at the end of your cruise. These gratuities are per person/per night and are based on your room category. All-inclusive packages include gratuities into the package rate. Most resorts enjoy additional gratuities but some resorts like Sandals will not accept gratuities.

5. Location

Cruises allow you to explore lots of different destinations in a short amount of time. Cruises can be a great way to explore the world! When you stay at an all-inclusive resort, you'll stay in one location, which can sometimes be more relaxing than being in a different location each day.

6. Excursions

Both cruises and all-inclusive resorts allow you to book excursions and explore for the day. The best part about an all-inclusive resort is you don't need to worry about missing your cruise ship at the end of the day!

7. Gambling

If you like to gamble, cruise ships are known for their casinos! Most all-inclusive resorts don't have casinos and if they do they're pretty small. A popular all-inclusive option for a casino is the Hard Rock Resort & Casino in Punta Cana. It's like a cruise ship on land.

8. Crowds

Cruises can be more crowded than all-inclusive resorts. Most cruises have 2000-4000 passengers while inclusive resorts will have under 1000 guests.

9. Adult Only Options

All-inclusive resorts have lots of adult only options while most cruise ships are family friendly. Cruise ships sometimes have an adult only pool/section but for the most part they are family friendly. The new cruise line Virgin Voyages offers adult only cruising which is super exciting for adults wanting to experience an adult only vacation. Don't worry families, there's lots of all-inclusive resorts out there as well for families and cruises allow all ages with lots of programs available for kids.

10. Entertainment

Cruises to have more variety. Many cruise ships offer amazing amenities like zip lines, bumper cars and waterslides. They also have great entertainment including: Broadway-style shows, white parties, karaoke and more. All-inclusive resorts usually have a show in the evenings as well as dancing.

11. Rooms

The rooms at all-inclusive resorts are usually double the size or more than the cruise ship rooms. The bathrooms are very spacious and there's even opportunity for swim out and beach front rooms.

The Gypsea Traveller loves to plan tropical vacations. Libbi recently bought a condo in the Dominican Republic because she loves the Caribbean Sea and the weather and can’t wait to spend more time there. She’s an island girl at heart after living in Hawaii for 6+ years.

If you have questions about visiting an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean and want to book your next vacation, you can and click on "Schedule Consult" to choose a date/time to zoom with Libbi, The Gypsea Traveller

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