There are a lot of options when it comes to planning your honeymoon. Two of those options being choosing between a cruise or all-inclusive resort. When it comes to deciding which is best for your honeymoon, there are many factors to consider. Carlie of 2 Travel Anywhere is to back today to help you see what’s best for you as a couple. She’s breaking down costs, hidden fees to watch for, accommodation styles, things to consider about your trip, and more! Keep on scrolling to find out if a cruise or all-inclusive resort is best for you!
What type of couple tends to book a cruise for their honeymoon?
Carlie: While both a cruise and an all inclusive vacation are both spectacular, there are some things you need to know about both. Both offer everything being taken care of the moment you arrive at your destination. A true all inclusive rate is exactly what it sounds like, one flat fee that covers your room, unlimited meals, unlimited drinks, unlimited alcohol, entertainment, water sports, land sports, tips taxes and airport transfers for the two of you. Not to mention honeymoon perks.
Describe the couples who love all-inclusive resorts?
Carlie: Cruises tend to be cheaper – at least upon first glance, because this also means you’ll get less in return. Cruises are notorious for hidden fees that can spiral out of control. While it may initially be cheaper to get a cruise ticket, specialty restaurants, tips and certain drinks tend to cost extra. Cruises are more or less floating hotels. Many people love them for the fact that they’re able to visit more than one country in a short space of time. The drawback is that not much time is spent in any of these destinations, as would be the case with an all-inclusive resort vacation, which allows you time to get better acquainted with a specific place. If you love to spend your days on the beach and enjoy water sports, all-inclusive resorts are often the better option. Any beach nearby a cruise port will be packed at the time the ships dock. Besides, at an all-inclusive resort you don’t have to worry about getting back onboard in time.
What are the main differences between cruises and all-inclusive resorts?
Carlie: It’s easier to maintain a more relaxed schedule at an all-inclusive resort, as opposed to cruises which often have a strict schedule which they need to stick to in order to get to the various ports on time. One of the biggest differences between cruises and all-inclusive resorts, however, is that there’s simply more space on land. That means all-inclusive resorts can offer a wider scale of amenities and often feel less cramped. It’s not uncommon for a cruise ship to come with a swimming pool with a couple of slides, but an all inclusive resort such as Beaches Turks & Caicos resort has something for everyone, such as water slides, kids slides, splash deck, lazy river, surf simulator, kids swim up bar (the ice cold slushies are always a favorite) , food trucks and more.. All-inclusive resort destination Staying at an all-inclusive resort means you’ll be spending your time in one destination, but it doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy a wide range of experiences. At an all-inclusive resort your schedule will be flexible, and you can do what you feel like for that day. One day you’ll just want to lounge on the beach, drinking unlimited free cocktails, another day you’ll want to explore the surrounding landmarks – it’s all up to you. At an all-inclusive resort you’ll have more time to get to know your surroundings and experience the local culture, and you don’t have to rush from one attraction to another to ‘see it all’. Three in one. If you’d like to take your time experiencing your destination, but at the same time want to get three vacations for the price of one, try out any of the three Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia. Guests of one Sandals Resort in Saint Lucia, automatically get access to all amenities and restaurants (27 in total!) of the other two Sandals Resorts. This includes free transportation in between the resorts and two golf courses. Verdict on destinations: If you are looking to visit many different places in a short time span, a cruise is for you. It’s a great way to get to know a little bit about everything. If you don’t like to rush around amidst peak hour every time you arrive somewhere, you might enjoy an all-inclusive resort at one fixed location better. This gives you plenty of time to indulge in the local experience and get to know your whereabouts.
What cruise destinations or cruise lines do you recommend for honeymooners?
Carlie: The costs can sneak up on you while you’re on a cruise, especially if you’re traveling in a group. On most cruises, even once you’ve paid for your vacation, you’ll often still need to pay for things like alcoholic drinks, tips, WiFi and activities, which can add up. Many people get caught in the trap of having to exceed their budget because the attractive upfront costs tend to be way less than the price, they actually end up paying. Hidden fees at an all-inclusive resort: Although all-inclusive resorts tend to rely less on up-selling their guests than cruise ships, not every all-inclusive resort is equal. Make sure to find out upfront what is included in the booking price, and what is not. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it often is. Verdict on hidden fees: Whether you book a cruise or an all-inclusive resort, you’ll have to read the fine print to make sure everything is truly included. However, especially cruises are known to make their money by selling upgrades left, right and center. If the website is not giving you this information, it’s best to reach out to customer service and ask them the following questions before booking: Which activities are included, free of charge? Is WiFi included (in the room and the common areas)? Are tips and taxes included? Are all restaurants included and unlimited? What are the opening times? Do the restaurants serve à la carte or buffet? Are alcoholic drinks included at any time? Are the mini-fridges in the room stocked and free of charge? Are airport transfers included? Cruise vs all-inclusive resort: Activities & entertainment Activities & entertainment at a cruise There’s a limited amount of activities available on cruise ships, and even limits on the number of people who can partake at any one time. As cruise ships are quite compact, in order to ensure everyone gets time to do everything, you may find yourself operating on a rigid schedule. Additionally, many activities come at an added cost to lower demand. If enjoying your vacation freely without restrictions is what you’re after, a cruise may not be ideal for you. Activities & entertainment at an all-inclusive resort If you love to spend time in the water on your vacation, all-inclusive resorts tend to offer a wide variety of water sports. From stand-up paddleboards to kayaks, from Hobie Cats to waterskiing; you’ll be able to enjoy these activities and more, for free, anytime during the day. Rather sip on a Piña Colada while floating down a lazy river? The water parks on board a cruise ship often can’t compete with the expansive water parks offered by all-inclusive resorts.
Which all-inclusive resorts would you recommend for honeymooners?
Carlie: Wow so many all inclusive options available. We always like to base the perfect honeymoon based upon each couples likes and interests. But an option that is similar to a cruise that has so much to explore and the prettiest ocean waters in the Caribbean.. than the most popular all inclusive resort that offers something for everyone Beaches Turks and Caicos. This amazing all inclusive resort has five magnificent villages boasting the architecture and ambiance of Italy, France, the Caribbean and Key West, a 45,000 square-foot waterpark, 21 restaurants, a 12-mile beach lapped by clear turquoise waters, and 10 impressive pools. The resort is family friendly but perfect for honeymooners as well. You have all adult pool, all adult bars and all adult restaurants.
Does the time of year matter when booking a cruise or all-inclusive resort?
Carlie: Crowds are something you can’t really avoid when traveling on a cruise ship – especially when getting off at the various ports. If you don’t mind crowds, this might not bother you too much, but it can definitely be time consuming to have to wait on lines everywhere you go. While cruise ships are stunning and seem grandiose from the outside, they don’t seem as big on the inside, and you’ll be aware of this just as soon as everyone starts milling about. Crowds at an all-inclusive resort All-inclusive resorts give you a bit more breathing room than cruises, as most resorts are more spacious with less guests crammed into common areas. While you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort you can choose which days you want to venture out to do certain things by planning around the schedule of cruise ships to avoid crowds. If you book your tours on days when there aren’t any cruise ships docked, you’re more likely to have a mellow experience with less people.
Are there certain questions couples can ask themselves to help in making a decision on a honeymoon destination?
Carlie: Cruise vs all-inclusive resort: which is best for me? If you’re on a budget and looking for a quick trip where you can catch a glimpse of some of the places you’ve always wanted to see in the timespan of a week or two, go for a cruise. Keep in mind that cruise ships in general have limited space and this certainly affects the size of the suites, the number of activities and the variation in restaurants. If you’re looking for a more relaxing beach vacation that doesn’t run on a tight schedule, settle for an all-inclusive resort – you won’t regret it. Expect more space for privacy, more freedom to do as you please and more quality inclusions Taking all of these, and environmental considerations into account, all-inclusive resorts are often the better option if you can afford to stay at one. Wake up at the sound of the ocean and enjoy a cup of coffee on your very own patio looking out over a Caribbean beach being caressed by calm turquoise waters… it’ll beat the view of endless water every time!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about a cruise vs. all-inclusive resort?
Carlie: When it comes to the size of your accommodation on a cruise ship, one thing is certain: if you’re expecting a luxury cabin without shelling out top dollar, you might as well stay at home. Regular cabins are just about 150 – 250 square feet and are definitely not for the claustrophobic. Many of the more affordable cabins are ‘inside cabins’ with no window to the outside. Suites at an all-inclusive resort While waking up at the sounds of the Caribbean Sea should definitely have you worried on a cruise ship, on land your suite will likely have large windows to let in the natural light and a balcony with an amazing view over a white sand beach and turquoise waters. As resort suites are generally larger than cruise cabins, you can expect spa-style bathrooms, more than enough space to stow your luggage, and perhaps even a private plunge pool. Now that’s waking up in style! Verdict on suite / cabin: Although cruise ships tend to offer some luxurious suites, all-inclusive resorts come out on top in this area. On land there’s simply more space to provide an intimate vacation experience that starts within the room itself. The view of a beachfront suite is hard to beat and tends to be a lot more interesting than endless ocean water.
We appreciate Carlie of 2 Travel Anywhere always sharing her top travel tips and information! Be sure to reach out to her to assist with your vacation needs pre and post-wedding!
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