Have you always wanted to take a cruise, but were worried about getting sea sick? Has that special person in your life been dying to go, but it makes you uneasy? Or maybe you’re a cruiser who wants to experience the fun on land! Here’s how you can take a “cruise” with or without the boat.
I highly suggest trying an all-inclusive resort!
How Are They Alike?
A big part of the draw for taking a cruise is the desire to be somewhere tropical! It doesn’t get much more tropical than the middle of the ocean and nearby islands. However, You can still live that tropical vacation life at an affordable cost when you book an all-inclusive beach resort!
Sandals is a fairly popular choice for affordable resorts. Similarly to all-inclusive cruise lines, food and lodging are included in the price. This means ALL food. There is also room service, ocean views, and tropical drinks. All of which you can enjoy on a cruise as well!
Sandals resorts and cruise vacations both have activities going on all day! These include sports, swimming in the pools or ocean, dancing, and live entertainment.
Both vacations offer an incredibly relaxing experience. Everything will be done for you. No cooking, no cleaning, no stressing. You’re on island time. “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.”
How Are They Different?
Besides the obvious difference of one being on land and one being at sea… Cruises seem to offer more activities throughout the day, like comedy, live musical shows, and casinos. However, resorts offer the opportunity to actually leave. If you want to get out and experience more of the surrounding area, you can do this at a resort, whereas on a cruise you are pretty stuck to the limitations of the boat and the port. This means that if your resort doesn’t offer live shows and casinos (which many do!) You can easily explore the island and find something yourself! Typically, speaking, cruises offer more shows in the evening, and resorts are more for drinking and dancing.
A great bonus for a resort is that ALCOHOL IS INCLUDED in the all-inclusive package! It can SEEM included on a cruise, but a drink package must be purchased at an additional cost, or you pay as you drink. At a resort like Sandals, ALL top shelf liquor is included in your price. This includes about 12 bars, some of which being swim-up bars, and a mini bar in your room that gets stocked each day!
When you book at a land resort you have paid for ALL available food options. This grants you access to all on-site restaurants. Cruises have options on their menu that cost extra, and sometimes restaurants on board that are not included in your price, but this will not be a surprise cost at a resort.
Resorts have more space than a cruise ship. Your room will likely be larger at a resort than it will be in a cruise cabin. Some resorts have options for over water bungalows! However, this is often an additional cost.
The price for a cruise is often quoted significantly cheaper than a resort. However, there are no additional fees for a resort. Often times you will receive a bill after your cruise for additional things. This might include tips, drinks, specific food items, etc. (though these food items will be clearly marked.) You should not have an extra bill after booking your resort. Think about your own priorities and spending habits to decide what’s best for you!
Will You Miss Out On Travel?
A cruise offers a very appealing opportunity to travel on your vacation. Included in your low cost is transportation to other countries or parts of the world!
However, I have found an option for my queasy friends that want to travel in the tropics! Sandals offers a “Honeymoon Hop” for couples that want to travel between several islands! This is a great way to island hop without the motion sickness.( Although, you have to be comfortable with planes.) You can choose between multiple islands. You don’t have to be honeymooning to island hop either! More options can be found here.
Which Should You Pick?
Choose to cruise if:
- You don’t foresee yourself adding on extra costs. If you’re happy with the food that’s included, and don’t need the expensive extra options, (spa services and excursions) and feel content paying for individual drinks or purchasing the drink pass.
- You like lots of scheduled events as entertainment options.
- You love live shows (singing, dancing, comedy.)
- You enjoy games like trivia and scavenger hunts.
- You like to gamble. (Resorts don’t typically have casinos)
- You like the close proximity of a cruise, and enjoy getting to know other passengers.
- You like to travel to multiple destinations in one trip.
Choose a resort if:
- You are prone to sea-sickness.
- You like to drink (It’s already paid for!)
- You prefer clubs and dancing to shows.
- You enjoy a relaxed day with less scheduled events.
- You want to walk out onto the beach at anytime. (You can only do this at port on a cruise)
- You like the idea of a big resort on a large property.
- You spend a lot of time in your room. (Resort rooms are larger than cabins.)
- You would rather spend the money, and not worry about added fees.
- You plan to engage in aquatic sports. (This is often an excursion cost for a cruise.)
It’s All Good.
No matter what you choose, I guarantee that you will have a good time. There are some amazing cruises and some amazing resorts out there! What matters is that you get out there and make some memories!