There are slight differences between an all-inclusive island vacation and a cruise vacation.
There is, of course, the obvious difference of one is on land and the other is at sea. Also, please know that I am not a cruise expert as I have only had the chance to go on one cruise. My husband (and very favorite travel companion) gets terribly seasick. Cruising is not an option for us.
When you go on a cruise; you are visiting several different locations whereas you’re only visiting one when going with an island vacation. The cruise ship will normally leave you off at the main touristy area of the island. You need to arrange transportation to visit other areas of the island to spend the day at the beach or visit an attraction. Most times, this can be arranged onboard. With an island vacation, you plan your activities and transportation as well. When visiting one island though, you have the leisure of partaking in all that that island has to offer as you have the time to do so. On a cruise, you’re limited to just a day or a few hours.
With an all-inclusive vacation; you have unlimited beverages (soda, coffee, wine and cocktails) that are included in the price of your resort that have been paid before you even left home. A cruise ship charges for your beverages. There are some cruise lines that let you pre-pay your beverages; but that is mainly for non-alcoholic beverages. Also, when ordering your drinks; you need to sign for each one so that they can be charged to your room. If you have not prepaid; you will be visiting the Purser’s office to settle up your tab near the end of your cruise.
Food is included in both vacation options. On some cruise lines; there are time limits on when you can go to meals, whereas at an all-inclusive resort, besides the a la carte restaurants; you are only limited to the times the restaurants are open. I must say that I’ve had some wonderful meals at the different resorts that I’ve been to and I had some wonderful food on my cruise.
There are issues when bad weather hits. When you’re staying at a resort on an island; you would seek shelter in your room, or the lobby or a bar, etc. When you’re on a ship, you can head to these places as well but you have to deal with a rolling ship. These turbulent waters can wreck havoc with even the most seasoned cruisers. And the aftermath of these storms can affect your planned activities off of the ship. We were forced to forgo our beach party at one of the islands as they could not safely transfer passengers from the ship to shore because of the wave swells. This was something that was included in our cruise but could not use due to weather. I have heard stories of ships that would have to cancel huge parts of their ports of call due to weather. I’m sure this is not the norm though.
While resorts that I have been to have all sorts of organized sporting activities, games and shows which can be lots and lots of fun; I must say that the activities and shows that we saw on our cruise were of a much higher quality. The cruise lines spend lots and lots of money to provide their passengers with the best entertainment and it shows. The entertainment teams at the resorts are there to get their guests to participate and have a good time. The same team who is organizing the morning stretch at the pool is the same team that calls the Bingo game in the afternoon and the same team who you will see performing on stage at night and the same team who will be dancing with you in the disco after the show.
Either vacation option; whether you’re a beach bum or a cruiser, there are many, many options available for you to choose. Let your travel agent guide you to your perfect vacation.