The growth of the all-inclusive resort scene has been substantial in both the Caribbean and in Mexico. We just returned from Karisma Resorts El Dorado Royale just south of Cancun on the Mexican Mayan Riviera and found it to be an excellent value as a restful vacation option compared to a premium cruise vacation.
The Royale features two levels of rooms, a spacious junior suite (higher priced if ocean front) and the more deluxe and larger casitas (comparable to a suite level on a cruise ship). All meals, drinks (except for wine list upgrades), tips and entertainment is included in the price. This resort featured eight different restaurant choices ranging from Asian Fusion to Italian to Caribbean, and the food was excellent at each locale. Drinks were available at many swim-up and other bars throughout the property and one bar featured nightly entertainment. The beach was not spectacular, but many covered beach lounging platforms were available and were popular with the guests. A couple of large spas (extra cost), a large gym and several small shops were spotted around the property.
Just like a cruise, side trips were available for an extra price. Some choices included swimming with the dolphins, a camel jungle safari and visits to both the Mayan seaside ruin at Tulum and the pyramid at Chichen Itza. Jet skis, scuba diving and fishing were other options available at an extra charge.
The clientele at this resort tended to be honeymooners, anniversary celebrators, international travelers (lots of Brits) and others who wanted to relax and enjoy the slow pace and warm sun of the location. One extra for honeymooners or anniversary celebrators is a romantic moonlight dinner on the beach, served in a special beachside pavilion for two with even a sax player adding atmosphere—a $140 extra. The El Dorado Royale is an adults only resort and guests must be over the age of 18, although all age levels were prevalent. Like many places in Mexico, this resort does offer time share options, but isn’t pushy in promoting this choice.
When comparing an all-inclusive with a cruise, the biggest difference is in the excitement of a new port nearly every day and the much more action-oriented onboard program while at sea. Plus, the all-inclusives do tend to be a bit more pricey than the cruise vacation. But, an all-inclusive is a great alternative for the traveler who might want a change of pace from cruising every year (or even more often). Bottom line is that the right cruise or the right all-inclusive can deliver a great vacation—it’s a matter of personal choice.
Want to know more about premium, or luxury cruises and deluxe all-inclusives, contact Rich Skinner (firstname.lastname@example.org), or www.woodinville.cruiseholidays.com. Rich owns “Vinnie the Cruise Dog”, the world’s handsomest West Highland Terrier.