Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
All Inclusive Suggestions
Old 05-17-2008, 07:00 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 206
All Inclusive Suggestions

As part of our ER plans my DW has just retired from her job. Her boss told her to book a vacation with his travel agent as a retirement gift.

We thought about a cruise but at the end of the day it will cost us a lot as you can't prepay many items - parking, tips, drinks, etc. So now we're thinking about one of these all inclusives. But we are trying to find one that has the option of tours or visits to interesting sites or towns and not just sports and water. We both like to experience new places and people and we're not really big into volley ball, etc.

Any suggestions?
__________________

__________________
I'm trying to find myself.* Have you seen me anywhere today?
Mysto is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-17-2008, 10:11 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,040
I have been to several all inclusives . They are a great relaxing vacation but sometimes there is little to do outside of the resort especially in the Dominican Republic . So first I would pick the country you think would be interesting and then I'd pick the resort .
__________________

__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 10:42 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,741
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Many of the Mexico destinations offer much to do outside the hotel. We live in PV and people often come back frequently because there is so much to do. There are other destinations but you need to avoid Cancun. And even in PV, there are Vallarta vacations that are in hotels in the neighboring state so just avoid Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos or anything in Nayarit.

In PV, avoid the south shore destinations (although you can still go on all the activities. But they all have to be scheduled because you can't walk to anything). Marina and hotel zone are good because you can take public transit, or book something right in town.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysto View Post
But we are trying to find one that has the option of tours or visits to interesting sites or towns and not just sports and water. We both like to experience new places and people and we're not really big into volley ball, etc.

Any suggestions?
I've done several Apple vacations -- to Aruba (not all-inclusive) and St. Lucia (all-inclusive). Both locations offered multiple half-day and day-long excursions for an extra fee.

Here are some examples:

In Aruba, we went on a day-long open-top jeep-like vehicle trip that took groups of 8 to the north shore of the island to see the sights. The trip ended in the afternoon at a private island with a huge buffet and plenty of time for some great snorkeling. We also did a separate catamaran/ snorkeling trip on a different day.

In St. Lucia, we took a catamaran trip to the other end of the island. Once there, they took us on a small bus to visit the local sights (cocoa plantation where we had lunch, the piton peaks, volcanic geysers, mountain waterfalls, etc.) They also had a stop along the way where we could go swimming in a beautiful cove.

I don't know anything about arranging these local excursions as pre-paid trips. They were presented by a local Apple vacations representative to the Apple guests at the resort the day after arrival as a "menu" of all that was available (with the dates, time and costs). They get you to sign up (and pay) for every excursion you want to do at that time.

I assume the other tour companies have a similar set-up.

If you are interested in pre-paying the local excursions, you might want to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable travel agent. They can probably book your trip AND the excursions (or at least pre-pay for them).

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 11:54 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysto View Post
We thought about a cruise but at the end of the day it will cost us a lot as you can't prepay many items - parking, tips, drinks, etc.
I'd spend the time doing what I want to do with less emphasis on working the boss's generous offer for maximum benefit. If the cruise is what you'd really like to do despite the fact you'd spend a few hundred bux out of pocket for items and activities not included, so what? If a more all-inclusive trip where your out of pocket would be nil is what you really want to do, do that. Gee..... don't let a few hundred bux cause you to take your second choice.

Congrats to your DW!!
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 04:39 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
Watch out for the bill on the cruise. Drinks are expensive. Tips are added to your bill. Then there are the photos, shore excursions, more tips, shore food, shopping, shore drinks, shopping, shore transportation, did I mention shopping?

Our last cruise was for 7 days and our cabin bill came to a very hefty $800. DW loves photos and we went with her daughter and grandkids so it was a bit more than usual.

On the otherhand, the cruise and airfare can add up to a sizable amount too if you go with a larger cabin. We usually upgrade near the cruise date to get a better deal on the larger cabins. You can save on the upgrade this way as they love to fill up the larger cabins. The larger space is great too. It was well worth the few extra $$$ for us.

See if you can get a cruise with LOTS of excursions and add them onto the initial cruise costs with the airfare. Don't forget to get a hotel the night before and the night after your cruise to avoid rushing around to get on or off the ship. You can book this as part of the cruise. You can also add on shore excursions at your port city and add them to the cruise package. This would give you a couple half days to see and do more than just the cruise.

Congratulations on ER and the fine gift from your boss. I got a lunch. Enjoy!
__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,702
Aren't Club Med vacations pretty much all inclusive? I've never done one but perhaps others have some experience with this.
__________________
Lsbcal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,202
How about checking out something like Tauck Tours: Tours and guided world travel adventures available at Tauck.com. I can't remember if my parents have splurged on a trip of theirs, or maybe they've just dreamed of it. They seem to have tours all over the world, and look to include about everything but airfare.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbcal View Post
Aren't Club Med vacations pretty much all inclusive? I've never done one but perhaps others have some experience with this.

I did Club Med a few times in my younger days and had a ball . I would not suggest them to anybody over 45 .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,040
I've looked at a few Collette tours that seem to include a lot of sightseeing ,nice hotels and several meals .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 01:33 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 247
We were VERY happy with the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This is about an hour south of Cancun. It is much less crowded than Cancun, and is close to many attractions.
Advantage of the all-inclusive:
- food and drinks (even alcohol) included
- entertainment every night
- specialty restaurants included
- great pool, beach, etc.
- built in a former jungle, much of the grounds have natural trees, iguanas, peacocks, monkeys, swans, birds, etc.

Good local attractions and tours:
- Great shopping in Playa Del Carmen (2 miles)
- Tours to Mayan sites: Chichen Itza (one of the seven 'new' wonders of the world), Coba, Tulum
- Eco Parks Xcaret, Xel-Ha
- Zip line tours
- Lots of local culture

The Iberostar chain is very popular in Europe and the Caribbean. We were very pleased with this resort, the facilities, and the service.
__________________
Surfdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 06:34 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
Delawaredave5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysto View Post
We thought about a cruise but at the end of the day it will cost us a lot as you can't prepay many items - parking, tips, drinks, etc.
If you haven't done a cruise, I'd do it. I love cruises - you see a lot of different places, never move your luggage, and nearly everything's included.

I don't drink alcohol so I don't have that cost. Tips aren't bad - once for week.

Significant additional expense with cruises is "excursions" - daily programs off the ship. Believe you can register/pay for those up front when you book your cruise.
__________________
Delawaredave5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 08:14 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 331
I would pick a cruise any day over an all inclusive. Three days of laying by the pool or walking on the beach is tooooo much for me. The cruise means unpacking and seeing different things each day. Some cruise lines let you prepay the tips and you can book the excursions when you book the cruise so that you can roll that into the bill presented by the travel agent to the boss.

Your wife may need to go back to the boss and ask for clarification on just what he/she is willing to cover. After that you know what you are dealing with. Good luck, have a great trip.
__________________
Cruisinthru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 08:18 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 331
When booking a cruise a good travel agent will usually throw in a cabin credit of a $100 or more also. You can apply this to your bar bill or for photos. I have seen them offer as much as $250 credit on longer cruises. We don't buy a lot of photos and such. My husband is a great photographer and we take our own.
__________________
Cruisinthru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 08:38 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
I would skip the cruise and go to Paris. It is perhaps the most beautiful and romantic city on earth.
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 08:58 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 331
Check the dollar/euro rate prior to booking anything in Europe. If money and cost are an issue Europe will make your head spin.
__________________
Cruisinthru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 06:47 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysto View Post
As part of our ER plans my DW has just retired from her job. Her boss told her to book a vacation with his travel agent as a retirement gift.

We thought about a cruise but at the end of the day it will cost us a lot as you can't prepay many items - parking, tips, drinks, etc. So now we're thinking about one of these all inclusives. But we are trying to find one that has the option of tours or visits to interesting sites or towns and not just sports and water. We both like to experience new places and people and we're not really big into volley ball, etc.

Any suggestions?
Pretty great retirement gift!

All inclusive resorts tend to be built in areas that are less developed, where land costs are relatively lower, where there are few local hotels, and where there is not too much to do outside the resort. That said, even in remote areas, they usually have some interesting tours. For example, when at Club Med in Huatulco, Mexico (now under different ownership) I took an all day tour of local villages and beaches including a fishing trip on the Pacific Ocean (it isn't). When at Club Med in Albufeira, Portugal, I took a day excursion around the historic local towns. In St. Lucia, at the Body Holiday resort (which I recommend) I took a similar excursion to omni550. Unfortunately we returned too late for my daily spa appointment...but St. Lucia is beautiful and people are very friendly. The bananas are the sweetest you will ever eat.

I agree with Moemg: Club Med is for the youngun's. Cruising is something I really thought I would hate....till I took one. I had a ball. Paris is indeed a romantic city, but it's very expensive.

If you are determined to see "cultural" artefacts rather than nature, sporty or outdoorsy stuff, you will need to head for a part of the world that has a high concentration of such places. Of my three examples above, Portugal had the most "cultural" excursions. If Europe interests you, consider a Mediterranean or a Baltic cruise.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 08:11 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,040
St. Lucia is a very pretty island with some interesting areas to visit and now there are several all inclusives on St. Lucia .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 08:21 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
St. Lucia is a very pretty island with some interesting areas to visit and now there are several all inclusives on St. Lucia .
A friend in the travel industry tells me that having so many all inclusive resorts on the island is discouraging growth in the independent hotel and restaurant sector.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 11:52 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Quote:
Many of the Mexico destinations offer much to do outside the hotel. We live in PV and people often come back frequently because there is so much to do. There are other destinations but you need to avoid Cancun. And even in PV, there are Vallarta vacations that are in hotels in the neighboring state so just avoid Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos or anything in Nayarit.

In PV, avoid the south shore destinations (although you can still go on all the activities. But they all have to be scheduled because you can't walk to anything). Marina and hotel zone are good because you can take public transit, or book something right in town.
Hmm.

Any specific suggestions, Keith? DW has expressed an interest in an all-inclusive and PV sounds very good. (We is po' folks so we can't go first cabin.) You can PM me if you wish.

Gracias!

El Gitano
__________________

__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Going to NY - Suggestions welcome wildcat Other topics 18 05-21-2007 03:23 PM
Need New Monitor-Any Suggestions? OAG Other topics 14 04-26-2007 04:01 PM
Barcelona suggestions. sgeeeee Other topics 11 03-31-2007 12:30 AM
Need some Tax suggestions KB Life after FIRE 7 12-19-2005 10:55 AM
Looking for suggestions lookindum Hi, I am... 45 08-23-2005 12:45 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:37 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.