Mike, I have one word for you - "rain". You go to that all inclusive and it happens to be in a tropical depression, your vacation is going to be rain, rain, rain. On a ship, you have the chance to go somewhere else where is probably isn't raining. Even if it is, you have plenty of activities on a ship that are in doors.
I'm sure its a personal preference thing, so you may just have to try it. BUt, I'd rather be on the cruise in my book. Unless you can get a package deal with airfare included, I don't know how a decent all inclusive is going to beat the cost of a cruise.
I have visited Sandals on three different occasions and have always had a blast. Twice, I have been to the Sandals golf resort on St. Lucia and once to Negril. I have always have an unlimited supply of liquor in my in-suite bar as well as copious amounts of beer in the fridge. You can eat all you want in the wide variety of restaurants. Also, if you go to an island that has more than one Sandals resort, you are welcome to use any of the other resort's facilities and restaurants. I prefer cruising but an all-inclusive resort is not a bad vacation at all.
And I think I have a semi-plan...we are going on a 7 day cruise, and plan to stay in the departure port for a few days prior to the cruise - best of both worlds!
Which brings up a new problem - the cruise I like best leaves from Miami (Liberty), however the Adventure leaves from San Juan, which I think I will like better as a place to spend a few days. Not sure if there are all-inclusives there, though.
Dr - are you saying that I should be careful to avoid over priced hotels (when i could get a comparable room for a lower price), or that there could be hidden fees or scams that will make a room much more expensive that I expected? Or is there an option "C"?
I've been looking on expedia some more and can get airfare plus 4 nights at the El San Juan Hotel for $1000 for the two of us. Anyone ever stay at that hotel? I won't post the site ( ), but you can easily guess what the adress might be for the elsanjuanhotel.
I didn't stay there but I just toured the property last month. It is a great choice. $1,000 for two air tickets, and four nights sounds like a pretty good deal for the star rating of this property.
No, Mike, I am not talking about a scam. Some hotels in San Juan just charge higher rates than hotels of comparable quality. My suggestion would be to do enough research to avoid paying too much for something you could save money on.
Cruising does not always mean you will avoid a rainy spell. I remember a couple of years ago (we introduced relatives to cruising) where we hit showers and cloudy weather on our first island and it followed us for the week. It did not spoil the vacation and the relatives are looking forward to cruising again.