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All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Level Contributor
142 posts
3 reviews
All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

just thought it would be interesting to hear everyone's thoughts on why you all prefer one or the other...which one do you guys think is the better value?

Barrie, Ontario...
Level Contributor
818 posts
2 reviews
31 helpful votes
1. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

Is a NON-all inclusive a place where somethings are included and others are not? In other words not an 'ALL' but maybe a semi or partial inclusive?

All-inclusives don't answer everyones needs, but they are great value if you want three good squares a day and more than three drinks per deum.

Beverly Shores...
Level Contributor
3,642 posts
24 reviews
28 helpful votes
2. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

Well there are going to be many reasons given one way or the other. I will only say that when you get home and add up all of your receipts, at least I, find that I spent MORE by not being AI. When we are on vacation I do not want to have the hastle of trying to decide where are we having breakfast, lunch and then dinner, or looking at diff places to select the restaurant. When I am at the resort, I do not want to think, well, that drink is going to cost me $5 or $6, so maybe I will skip it, for know. The prices of drinks, let alone a bottle of water, over a seven day stay, really adds up!! The prices for food at dinner, with wine or drinks, regardless of how you try seem to be always over $75 to $100, for two. Breakfast buffets at non AI resorts may run as high as $17pp. I just do not want to keep thinking about it! I want to go, pay the AI resort and have a great time. We were at Dreams 2X, each evening after dinner, we would go to the Rendez-Vouz Bar, listen to great music have 5 or 6 teq and then end the evening with a Mayan Coffee, which is made at your seat. Check it out, and that "flame coffee" may cost you some $15pp. Ok! For $30 we would not have it! Also, when we go AI, I know that I paid up front and all I need to bring is money for maybe a sidetrip or shopping. No worries, since all has been paid for!

Many times we went to Negril (JA) and stayed at the low end (cheap) places. When we returned and I counted everything up, it came up like $500 more than if we would have just gone AI!

That is my story!

Laconia, New...
Level Contributor
15,660 posts
7 reviews
53 helpful votes
3. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

If you like to drink on vacation A.I. is the only way to go.

Orange County...
Level Contributor
10,283 posts
91 reviews
333 helpful votes
4. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

It depends on what you want. If you like lots of activities, a busier resort, more energetic vibe, then all-ins are a better choice.

If you like higher quality food and drink, smaller, quieter crowds then a regular resort might be better for you. The "best" hotels in Cancun are usually non al, though Le Blanc looks like one of the best and it's all inclusive.

A middle ground may be to buy a hotel option that includes breakfast, which is usually a large buffett at the Cancun resorts, and you really won't need much to eat until dinner. Or go club level. Cancun truly has some amazing restaurants that are unique.

That said, this forum tends to favor all inclusive, and you will have a better idea of what you'll spend in advance if you go all inclusive.

5. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

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Queens, New York
Level Contributor
210 posts
1 review
8 helpful votes
6. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

I think that AI is just easier and a little more worry free. I like to have everything paid for up-front and then I bring extra money for things I want to do. I dont always eat my 3 meals a day at the hotel but I dont mind spending the extra $ eating out --if thats what I want to do. I like the fact that I dont have to worry about eating/drinking once I check in. I think its especially great if travelling with kids. Its kind of worry free to me because its all done and its only about extras once I am there.

Cancun, Mexico
Level Contributor
5,441 posts
7. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

I prefer European Plan (room only) resorts because I enjoy eating out in Cancun. The Hotel Zone literally has hundreds of wonderful restaurants to choose from, serving every cuisine imaginable. However, I recommend All-Inclusive resorts to those who plan to hang around their resort most of the time drinking as food and especially beverages at the hotels can be quite costly.

An excellent tipic for discussion,

212eric V.P.


York, Maine
Level Contributor
912 posts
79 reviews
127 helpful votes
8. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

My boyfriend is the cheapest man on the planet, so doing an AI is pretty much our only option if I want to have a good time. Everything is paid for up front and he's not trying to nickel and dime our vacation to death. Instead of being on vacation trying to find a "reasonably priced restaurant", or have to hear him complaining about the cost of things every 10 seconds, I spend a few weeks on the internet, find the best price I can for a nice AI, and we go there. And everyone wins. We went to Riu Palace Las Americas and instead of hearing him talk about money, he must have thanked me 15 times for chosing such a great resort and how we really got our money's worth, etc. (Yay for me.) It was so great, that I convinced the cheapest man on the planet to go back in 8 weeks from now! : ) If we were on the European plan I would have NEVER convinced him.

Honestly though, I do think if you stay at a 'higher end' AI that it's a better value. The food and drinks at RPLA were great. We never had to worry about money, and we tipped the staff better because of it. I didn't have to worry about ordering an entree that I didn't like and didn't have to wonder if maybe I should stop drinking because my bar tab is too high.

For anyone who watches their budget, I think an AI is the way to go. When I'm my parent's age (they're 55) I hope to have the money that they have and be able to travel and do European. They never stay AI.

Level Contributor
142 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

SHELBS----LOL! sounds very familiar!!! I can't say much though because i'm just as cheap if not cheaper!! LOL!! But anyhow i really love the all inclusive also for not having to worry about that bar tab and carrying money down to the pool/beach. We like to eat/drink when we go away and between the 2 of us we would probaly spend $200-300 a day! i love it for a worry-free vacation!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
68 posts
1 review
6 helpful votes
10. Re: All inclusive vs. NON-all inclusive...

Great topic.

I am trying to decide whether to go AI or not and leaning against it right now because review after review complains about the quality of the food, the lack of variety, long lines, hard to get reservations at non-buffet restaurants, slow drink service and weak drinks.

By my estimate, the cost of food and bev's at AI runs about $200-$300 per couple per day, depending on where you go. What i'd like to know is how expensive it is really to eat out at restaurants in Cancun. And surely a corona is not $8?? I live in Manhattan, NYC, and my wife and I could go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner at decent places for less than $300 per day. I find it hard to believe that Cancun prices would match Manhattan (which is why we're going to Mexico and not Hawaii!)

My other concern is that if food and drink is available 24/7, I'm going to be eating and drinking all day and all night because (a) i'm greedy and compulsive and (b) i'd want to maximize my value for money. Doesn't everyone have this problem? I don't want to finish vacation heavier than when i started.

I have 2 other considerations (1) my wife is pregnant so can't drink alcohol (2) neither of us likes seafood

Can anyone allay my concerns or did i just answer my own question?? Thanks.

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