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Old 01-15-2014, 04:24 PM   #21
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I'm a big fan of Playa del Carmen. Check out the Iberostar Tucan. Went there 2 years ago and it was phenomenal; best vacation we've had. It was my first all inclusive with 3 kids and was surprised how much easier it made everything.

We used cheapcarribean.com and I was very happy with the price and service.

Iberostar Tucan | CheapCaribbean.com

The private van service from Cancun airport to the resort was well worth the money. As we the private tour service to the mayan ruins at chichen itza.

Good Luck.
+1 ! We've done the Iberostar Paraiso which is part of the same complex a few years in a row. Great food, service and amenities. Alcohol is decent but not super high end, but good enough.

I was originally worried that it'd be like the old Club Meds (sharing long tables and jug wine etc) but it was not like that at all. They also have several different restaurants onsite to change things up.

Very well done.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #22
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They all spoke highly of the Iberostar. I checked the Iberostar website, which quoted an all inclusive daily rate of $600 ($4200 for the December week just before Christmas). I would not have paid that. I presume you got a better deal at the Iberostar you stayed at.

Addendum: I just checked the Iberostar Hotel Paraiso, which is comparable accommodation to what I had. $2975 US for a week in January for one person.
Looking at my records we paid $5900 at the Iberostar Tucan. This included airfare from the northeast, 2 attached rooms and 9 Days/8 Nights. That's $370/night/room with 5 of us all inclusive. I thought it was a great deal considering it included airfare and would for sure do it again.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:44 PM   #23
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Looking at my records we paid $5900 at the Iberostar Tucan. This included airfare from the northeast, 2 attached rooms and 9 Days/8 Nights. That's $370/night/room with 5 of us all inclusive. I thought it was a great deal considering it included airfare and would for sure do it again.
It is indeed a great deal for five people. however, $3000 for a one week Mexican vacation, plus flight (about $1000 from where I live), is more than I would be willing to pay for one person.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:00 PM   #24
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Are there inclusives with no alcohol? (I don't drink, so I don't want to pay extra for other people...)
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:24 AM   #25
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Just before Christmas I spent a week at the Grand Bliss Riviera Maya, which is part of the Grand Mayan resort and not an all inclusive. It is very close to one of the Iberostar all inclusive resorts; I could see the Iberostar from my suite, which was 1100 sq feet and had a plunge pool on the balcony. The cost of my vacation was a flight, some points that I exchanged from my interest in another property, plus ~$400 in expenses for the week. That included all meals, entertainment, food that I bought and prepared, drinks at the swim up bars the airport shuttle (it was free going to the resort) and several tours, including Xcaret and an all day trip to Chichen Itza on a luxury coach. There were several guests from the Iberostar on the coach and at the end of the tour we drove into the Iberostar to drop them off. They all spoke highly of the Iberostar. I checked the Iberostar website, which quoted an all inclusive daily rate of $600 ($4200 for the December week just before Christmas). I would not have paid that. I presume you got a better deal at the Iberostar you stayed at.

Addendum: I just checked the Iberostar Hotel Paraiso, which is comparable accommodation to what I had. $2975 US for a week in January for one person.
Last year ,the week before Christmas 2012, we paid $1970 all inclusive including air for two people to the Iberostar Cancun. Taking out the flights at about $400, that is about $85 per person per day. I thought a pretty good deal.

I can't imagine how anyone paid $600 per day to the Iberostar Paraiso.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:06 AM   #26
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We used to do Sandals in Jamaica for a break from the winter. It's all inclusive, only tips were off resort. Food good not great, resort was clean.

Not sure if it was a great $ deal, but we enjoyed.

Edit to add: Security was great, they didn't allow solicitation.

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Cruise as All Inclusive Alternative
Old 01-18-2014, 11:57 AM   #27
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Cruise as All Inclusive Alternative

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Are there inclusives with no alcohol? (I don't drink, so I don't want to pay extra for other people...)
For non-drinkers, I would actually recommend a cheap cruise over the kinds of all inclusive resorts being discussed on this thread. If you just want to take some time to relax in relative comfort and luxury, a cruise is hard to beat value wise in my opinion.

For example, a few months ago, I paid a total of $303.14 for a three night cruise, $34.50 of that was for tips which I could have removed from my account; but, the people receiving those tips definitely deserve them in my mind. This was for a small inside cabin; but, I was traveling solo and generally only use the room for sleeping and changing clothes; so, this was fine with me. My only additional expense during this weekend was $2 for a beer at a port town. (The only other drink I had that weekend was using a free drink coupon from my welcome package.)

Drinks are quite expensive on most cruises; and, I like to drink. But, I do not have to drink. Frankly, I would have probably bought a couple more beers on-board, maybe $20-$30 worth; but, I had a head and chest cold that weekend and generally do not drink nearly as much when I am not feeling well.

There were people who paid many times what I did for that exact same cruise; but, we all ate the same food, watched the same shows, etc.

I actually enjoy both cruising and all inclusive resorts more than I every expected to before trying them. While I would not want this to be my only mode of vacation/travel, I do find it nice to be able to just completely relax and let someone else take care of everything for me occasionally.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:23 PM   #28
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I'm a big fan of Playa del Carmen. Check out the Iberostar Tucan. Went there 2 years ago and it was phenomenal; best vacation we've had. It was my first all inclusive with 3 kids and was surprised how much easier it made everything.

We used cheapcarribean.com and I was very happy with the price and service.

Iberostar Tucan | CheapCaribbean.com

The private van service from Cancun airport to the resort was well worth the money. As we the private tour service to the mayan ruins at chichen itza.

Good Luck.
Another vote for the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal resorts in Playa Del Carmen. We've also been to Iberostar in Punta Cana and IMHO you can't go wrong with this chain - they are almost always ranked highly for a very reasonable price.

We really like the Riviera Maya area as well as Punta Cana, DR. The Riviera Maya is better if you like off-resort activities - there are many things to do such as Mayan ruins, cenotes (limestone caves for swimming), ATVs, zip lines, eco-parks, etc. Punta Cana is better for long, long stretches of wonderful beaches and to just chill out - at a slightly better price than the Mayan Riviera.

Just a note that my wife and I are neither drinkers nor foodies, so we aren't real picky. Those who are might be less thrilled if they aren't getting gourmet experiences, but we've been very happy and have also never been sick in either location - a total of about 8 trips between them.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:26 PM   #29
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It is indeed a great deal for five people. however, $3000 for a one week Mexican vacation, plus flight (about $1000 from where I live), is more than I would be willing to pay for one person.
There is a huge price difference depending upon what time of year you go. I've seen the Iberostar Tucan for under $200/night for TWO people. If you go in the high season (Dec-March), it's going to be a lot more.
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:26 AM   #30
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What is the name of the resort in Punta Cana?
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:31 AM   #31
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What is the name of the resort in Punta Cana?
Google not working for you today?
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:01 AM   #32
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Google not working for you today?
pb4uski- Apparently you have nothing better to do this early in the morning, because if you read my comment it was directed to Surf Daddy and not to you.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:20 PM   #33
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pb4uski- Apparently you have nothing better to do this early in the morning, because if you read my comment it was directed to Surf Daddy and not to you.
xmanz3 - since you didn't address your question to Surf Daddy your intent was not clear.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:51 PM   #34
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We have enjoyed trips to Palace Resorts. They are All-inclusive in Dominican and Mexico. They also handle the Hard Rock brand of All Inclusives. It included tips and activities and all food and drinks. Very luxurious accommodations and great service.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:46 AM   #35
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I'll be the voice of dissent - I'm not a fan of all inclusives, because it simply is not how I chose to travel and experience other locations. I don't want to be sequestered in one place and my frugality prevents me from taking a trip to town and pay for food which is included at the resort.

We stayed at a Sandals in Jamaica and I've done one cruise (which I also equate to all an all inclusive) Both were fine, but I quickly realized I wouldn't be returning. I'm a diy vacation planner and like to be very active in hiking and sightseeing. I'm also not a drinker, so I don't get the benefit of any saving on it.

To each his own
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:12 PM   #36
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I'll be the voice of dissent - I'm not a fan of all inclusives, because it simply is not how I chose to travel and experience other locations. I don't want to be sequestered in one place and my frugality prevents me from taking a trip to town and pay for food which is included at the resort.

We stayed at a Sandals in Jamaica and I've done one cruise (which I also equate to all an all inclusive) Both were fine, but I quickly realized I wouldn't be returning. I'm a diy vacation planner and like to be very active in hiking and sightseeing. I'm also not a drinker, so I don't get the benefit of any saving on it.

To each his own
I'm starting to lean in your favored direction.

I've done tons of cruises, but zero all-inclusive resorts. A resort, all inclusive or not, doesn't really appeal to me for the same reason (sequestered). Even if you haven't paid in advance for everything, you do have everything at hand, and since they want you to spend your money at the resort, it's not easy/natural to get out.

My question (my DW would call it my "problem") is that I really don't like to "make deals" all day long. Too many decisions per day that involve weighing quality of vacation against money spent. Or to simplify, I stress out if overpay! Selecting places to eat, transportation arrangements, activities in a country where you could easily stumble into paying twice the going rate (if not 5X) just ruins the relaxation I'm supposed to be experiencing. If I had a solution to that, I'd be more inclined to bail on the all inclusives.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:13 PM   #37
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Are there no-alcohol all-inclusives?
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:39 PM   #38
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I'll be the voice of dissent - I'm not a fan of all inclusives, because it simply is not how I chose to travel and experience other locations. I don't want to be sequestered in one place and my frugality prevents me from taking a trip to town and pay for food which is included at the resort.

We stayed at a Sandals in Jamaica and I've done one cruise (which I also equate to all an all inclusive) Both were fine, but I quickly realized I wouldn't be returning. I'm a diy vacation planner and like to be very active in hiking and sightseeing. I'm also not a drinker, so I don't get the benefit of any saving on it.

To each his own
I'm the same way. Only one cruise and I wanted to get the hell off the ship. And resorts, it's like staying in your own town, just mexican workers, the guests gringos.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:44 PM   #39
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I've done all inclusives a couple of times abroad. It takes away most of the decision making, which can be a very good thing if you go on vacation to relieve stress. But I also love being spontaneous and exploring places that locals go to. Now that I am ER one of my favorite ways to vacation is to exchange my fractional ownership weeks in a private residence club where I can shop locally, cook for myself and guests, and dine out only when we feel like it. It's a very cost effective way to vacation. Some of the properties I could exchange into are all inclusives, but the fees are exorbitant.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:59 PM   #40
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My question (my DW would call it my "problem") is that I really don't like to "make deals" all day long. Too many decisions per day that involve weighing quality of vacation against money spent. Or to simplify, I stress out if overpay! Selecting places to eat, transportation arrangements, activities in a country where you could easily stumble into paying twice the going rate (if not 5X) just ruins the relaxation I'm supposed to be experiencing. If I had a solution to that, I'd be more inclined to bail on the all inclusives.
When we're on vacation we tend to only eat breakfast and a mid afternoon lunch/dinner. I usually try and stay away from chains and seek out local establishments. Yelp and Google reviews help me decide, where within a mile of where we are at the time we're hungry. I don't like to preplan or make dinner reservations. It's fun to fly by the seat of your pants, you can usually see menus before sitting down and can determine if a meal is $40 or $20.

I should also say I'm NOT a fan of any Caribbean islands. It's not relaxing for me to stuff my face and live a life of riley, while witnessing workers toil away for a dollar a day.

For safety reasons an all inclusive where you never leave the resort might be the best option on these islands.
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