All Inclusive? Help!

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@dommiebatsch:  I’ve been to all-inclusives in Mexico and we’re booked for one in Jamaica for our honeymoon in 2 weeks. Most all inclusives are referring to food and drinks, both alcoholic and non. Some have the general buffet style food while others will include ala carte restaurants. Resorts that have the ala carte restaurants may or may not require you to make reservations at those particular restaurants. 

Some resorts also include excursions, non-motorized water sports, introductory scuba (although sometimes at an additional fee), snorkeling, etc… It just depends on the resort.

My fiance and I decided to go with Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica for our upcoming honeymoon. We chose this resort because of it’s location on the best beach in Jamaica, the consistent great reviews (particularly about the food), the amount of inclusions, and the value for the money. Things included at this particular resort include unlimited golf (I believe you just have to tip your caddy), scuba diving, reef snorkeling excursion, a catamaran cruise, off-site excursions, fitness facilities including yoga and tennis courts with instructors, and transfers to and from the airport. This particular resort is known for being more “rustic” if you will, it’s definitely a Caribbean vibe and not so grand the way that other resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean are (marble floors, pillars, expensive-looking), so if that’s what you’re looking for then Couples might not be for you, just something to keep in mind. 

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! Good luck with planning! 🙂

Post # 4
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Mr TTR & I are Travel Nuts… we are semi-retired and travel a fair bit

When it comes to All Inclusives in North America there are basically 2 kinds

Those that are found in countries that need them to attract Tourists… countries that have political, social, or economic issues… people travel to the AIs and generally stay put

Countries in this grouping include… Cuba – Mexico – Dominican Republic – and Jamaica

Personally, Mr TTR and I don’t go to these countries (except for Cuba) unless we are looking for a relaxing vacation knowing full well we won’t be leaving the walled resort (and sometimes armed resorts) on our own… if we do any excursions etc, it is also thru the resort.

Most of the other Caribbean Countries are places where you can quite comfortably travel… without any major issues as long as you take your “street smarts” (normal for most vacations)

In these richer countries you can stay at an AI, or make arrangements on your own… be that regular Hotels, Rental Properties, etc

In many of these better Destinations is where you’ll find the very high end AIs… like Sandals, Couples, Beaches etc.

Bahamas – Turks & Caicos – Antigua – St Lucia – Barbados etc

These Islands don’t NEED the AIs to bring Tourism to their Islands… people will come on their own cause the situations on these islands is fairly good (1st or 2nd world countries).

In these cases Mr TTR & I would have no issue using an AI… but we are just as likely to just book our own holiday arrangements as they tend to be a bit cheaper.  In the past we’ve done both Regular Hotels as well as Vacation Rentals / Condos where you get a full kitchen etc, and can save a bit of money by making some of your own meals (in which case we usually eat Breakfast in the Condo… and the occasional Lunch… Dinners for us are always out in a Restaurant)

Hope this helps,

PS… General rule of thumb… AIs usually include… Airport Transfers – Accommodations – AC – All Meals * – All Drinks ** – Entertainment – and some Sports / Attractions

* Meals – Usually there are more than one Restaurant on an AI property… and often they are associated with other AIs, so you can go elsewhere off the grounds of your own AI to eat.  Example, in St Lucia all the Sandals have Shuttles that run between them, so you can change resorts for meals… a fun way to see more of the Island & different Restaurants.

** Drinks – What is included depends on the AI.  Some places it is ANYTHING & EVERYTHING 24/7… including an In-Room Bar Set Up.  Some places it is only at particular times or during meals.  Some places have a “house list” and you pay extra for premium of off-the-list items.



Post # 5
1243 posts
Bumble bee

@dommiebatsch:  No catch really.  You land at the airport, you get on a bus to the hotel, you check in and you relax for a week.  No charge for booze (though some resorts do charge for premium spirits, and most charge for better wines). No charge for food. Generally many activities included.

It is a relaxing way to spend a week for many people, however in general, you can’t expect to get a feel for the local culture and customs because you tend to be away from the cities.

Some resorts have packages that allow those guests certain upgrades (i.e. more a la carte dinner reservations, exclusive receptions, better quality booze). I notice the resort we frequent now has an “Elegance Class” for an extra $110/week, however reading what is included (turn down service, conceige, free bottle of rum in your room, etc) it is not worth it at all.

We go on 2 holidays a year, and 1 is always at an all-inclusive (usually in March when it’s winter here) because for a week, we enjoy having to make no decisions beyond whether to sit at the beach or the pool, or where and when to eat dinner.  The other is a more adventerous trip (sailing somewhere on our boat, visiting a place in the US we’ve never been before, that type of thing).

Even if it’s an all-inclusive, you should bring cash and be prepared to tip. Some resort staff are more aggressive in soliciting tips than others.  The resort we go to has great staff, and a $5 tip on the first day gets us great service all week (i.e. the last time we went, the bartender gave us 2 bottles of rum to take home, and would hand us bottles of sparkling wine every day to enjoy in our room). But that isn’t the same at all resorts.

As for which resort, Trip Advisor has never steered me wrong.Any time we travel, i use it to pick our accomodations, what we do and where we eat.  I also contribute reviews to help others.


Post # 6
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

100% agree with @SeaSalt: when it comes to TripAdvisor… I don’t plan a vacation or getaway any longer without consulting it first.  AWESOME website !!


Post # 7
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Saria213:  i went there a few years ago and it was just fantastic!!! hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Post # 8
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@blankenshiptobe:  We did, it was amazing! I daydream about that beach pretty much every day!  😉

Post # 9
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Just got back from our all inclusive honeymoon in Mexico, Excellence playa mujeres, couldn’t recommend it more. There really was no catch. All food and drinks were included! They had 8 restaurants for dinner, 2 for breakfast and luch ( one a buffet one regular) and then snacks and a pizza oven by the beach all included, and of course all room service included. There we I think 10 bars for drinks no extra cost all mixed drinks were included. The only thing that was extra was the non-house wine which you could by in a glass or a whole bottle. 

Water sports like snorkeling, hobby cats, sea kayaks included. The jet skis were extra

any spa service was extra, and we paid exta

for a private transfer from the airport. 

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