Regent Seven Seas Offers Best All Inclusive Cruise

Most cruise lines don’t offer all inclusive cruising.

Manu cruise companies try to add extra fees whenever possible.  They charge extra for beverages, force customers to pay gratuities, and load any other type of charges on to your bill.

Regent Seven Seas is different.  They offer an all inclusive cruise that really is all inclusive.  Shore excursions, specialty restaurants, premium beverages, wifi, etc… are all included.  You can finally relax on the cruise without worrying how high your bill will be when you get off the ship.

Many cruise lines add a gratuity charge to your bill, but this is also included in the quoted price on Regent Seven Seas all inclusive cruises.

Is it expensive?  Yes.  Regent Seven Seas is a luxury cruise line with large rooms and all the perks of taking a luxury vacation.  The last thing you want to worry about when you finally take your vacation is a cruise line trying to add extra charges whenever they can.  This isn’t a worry on Regent Seven Seas cruise ships.  Once you pay the cost of the vacation and board the ship, your only job is to enjoy your vacation.


Margaritaville All Inclusive Resorts

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is changing some of their all inclusive resorts to the Margaritaville name.   The Margaritaville brand already has numerous hotels, resorts and restaurants but the Karisma resorts will be their first entry into the all inclusive market.

The specific Karisma all inclusive resorts being rebranded have not been announced yet.

The announcement follows a trend in the all inclusive market of big brands being used to help all inclusive resorts stick out in a crowded market.  Hard Rock, Panama Jack, Nickelodeon, etc… have all combined their brands with all inclusive resort companies in recent years.


Panama Jack All Inclusive Resorts

The Gran Caribe in Cancun and the Gran Porto in Playa del Carmen will become the first two Panama Jack all inclusive resorts.

Panama Jack is a company that makes sunscreen and beach apparel.

Panama Jack is joining with Playa Hotels and Resorts to rebrand numerous all inclusive resorts.  A multi-million dollar rebranding effort will be launched in the next few months.

Playa Hotels and Resorts had already joined forces with the Hyatt brand for some of their all inclusive resorts.  These resorts will remain with the Hyatt brand as other resorts are switched to the Panama Jack brand.

Many all inclusive resorts have been joining forces with popular brands.  Hard Rock Resorts and the new Nickelodeon all inclusive resort are examples of this trend.

Expect this rebranding trend to continue.  Many all inclusive resorts have fairly generic names that include their destination.  As more all inclusive resorts are built, it is difficult for individual resorts to stand out.  Combining forces with recognizable brand names will help the individual resorts stand out in the crowded field of options.

Automatic Gratuity Fees On Cruise Ships

Many cruise lines charge automatic gratuity fees.

Royal Caribbean adds $14 – $20 per day to your bill.

These charges are not included in the price quoted.

This is a rip off…

If cruise companies want customers to help subsidize their labor costs, these costs should be included in the price quoted, not automatically added to the final bill of the cruise customer.

I fully support tipping for good service.  I don’t support forced tipping.

I hope all inclusive resorts never adopt this policy.

There are services at all inclusive resorts (such as spa treatments and scuba certification) that are sometimes added to your bill, but adding a line item for gratuity (without adding it to the quoted price) would make many of us very mad.

If all inclusive resorts ever do this, don’t just accept it.  Tell the manager you don’t like charges added to your bill.  Tell the manager you will make sure everyone who asks about your vacation will hear about your opposition to forced charges you didn’t authorize or know about.

Another question to ask all resorts and cruise ships is if they charge for internet service.  Most of us have come to expect free internet service from businesses.  Most all inclusive resorts include internet service, but some cruise ships charge a daily fee.  This is another way cruise ships nickel and dime their customers after offering a lower rate in their advertisements.  Cruise ships know people want internet service on their vacation.  Not including it in the price of the cruise is a scam.

The basic message here is to know what is included in your vacation as you compare vacation options.  Many cruise companies have taken the strategy of offering a lower up front price then forcing you to buy basic services once you are trying to enjoy your vacation.


Secrets All Inclusive Resorts

Secrets resorts are upscale luxury resorts with large suites, gourmet dining, premium beverages and 24 hour room service for adults. Secrets is perfect for honeymooners and adult couples looking for a relaxing vacation.

Secrets resorts are located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Dominican Republic location is in Cap Cana which is a new development near Punta Cana with two Jack Nicklaus golf courses. The two locations in Montego Bay, Jamaica are the newest resorts.

The gourmet dinner restaurants are not buffets. The options include Asian, Italian, French, Seafood and Caribbean restaurants. There is no complicated reservation system. If there is a wait, you get a buzzer and a drink. If you order room service, there is a “privacy box” so the food is delivered with no need for someone to enter your room.

Overall, Secrets all inclusive resorts are highly ranked and reviewed. Each resort has unique qualities, but in general, these are very nice resorts with lots of luxurious touches.

Secrets is part of the AMResorts all inclusive resort company that operates the Secrets Resorts for adults, the family friendly Dreams Resorts, the Zoetry wellness resorts, Now Resorts, and Generations Resorts.

Best All Inclusive Resorts For Families With Teenagers

All inclusive resorts are great vacation options for families with teenagers. All inclusive resorts offer a safe environment with lots of activities and no need to spend your day cooking for them.

Most family all inclusive resorts have special kids clubs for children ages 4 – 12, but a few of them also offer specialized programs for teenagers.

Beaches Resorts have gone the furthest in creating a specialized program just for teenagers. Most Beaches resorts have their own designated hangout areas for teenagers.along with their own nightclub. Pizza bars, campfires on the beach, tennis clinics, talent shows and soda bars all highlight the offerings for teens at Beaches.

Club Med Resorts have great options for teenagers. Many of the resorts have Passworld areas designed for teenagers with lounges and high tech entertainment options. Teenager Clubs provide group activites, movie nights, roller hockey on the tennis courts, and numerous other activities.

If you have found a favorite all inclusive resort for families with teenagers, please share your experiences in the comment section.

I Might Be A Travel Addict

I might be a travel addict.

I’ve always loved to travel, but now it’s getting to the addiction level.

Hours have been spent with increasing amounts of travel videos, pictures, review sites, etc….

I’m neglecting other duties.

If someone asked me what my favorite thing to do is, I would have to admit that I enjoy sitting on the computer doing travel research.

Being a detail freak doesn’t help.  I will spend days trying to track down the difference in wine selection between Sandals and Secrets.

Another thought is that the addiction is seasonal.  Even with a warm December and little snow, it is like a bell starts going off in my head.  I start to imagine a warm beach and some cool breezes.  Some Caribbean music and an ice cold drink. …..   very long pause.

Of course, I can handle it.  My rehab comes when I finally get to that beach I have been dreaming of.

That week is always awesome.

Then comes the depression when I come down from my vacation high.  Seriously though.  Who can be expected to jump right back into reality after a whirlwind of sun, sand and ….  another long pause.

Don’t worry about me though.  I’ll start planning the next one and start to feel better again.

It’s not so bad being a travel addict.

How To Find All Inclusive Resort Deals

There are three main ways to find all inclusive resort travel deals:

1. Book early.  Most resorts offer deals in the fall.  You will get a good price and you will have an easier time choosing a specific room type or location.

2. Be First.  Some of the best deals each season are for new resorts.  These introductory rates used to be a gamble, but online review sites give us a huge new advantage.  The ability to hear from someone who just stayed at the resort gives a much clearer look into the value of a deal.  Also, I can’t afford to go to a Zoetry resort, but I might if the promo rates for their new resorts are good.

3.  Call a travel agent.  Why not?  Give a couple a call and see what they come up with.

Please share your own tips for finding all inclusive resort deals.

Dear Hard Rock All Inclusive Resorts, Please Rock!

Dear Hard Rock Resorts,

Please have great bands come to your all inclusive resorts.

It would be awesome to lounge in an all inclusive resort all day and then see a great well known band at night.

Themed weekends would be even better.  I would arrange my schedule to be at your resort if you had a weekend with my favorite bands.

My friends go on cruises all the time where they see numerous bands.  They see band members hanging out all day and then see them put on great shows each night.

Even if the big names are hard to get, I’m sure there are a ton bands around the world who would love to rock your stage.

I remember hearing about some bands during your opening weekend in Punta Cana.  I hope you continue to invite bands to your resorts to put on shows.

If you rock…   well…  that would be awesome.


A potential future customer

Traveling To All Inclusive Resorts With Kids

Can someone tell me wonderful things about taking kids to an all inclusive resort?

I have a eight year old and a six year old.

We’re planning a vacation for next winter.  I keep thinking about the logistics of the kids.  All inclusive would really help feed and entertain the kids while helping the parents relax.

We wimped out on taking the kids with us on our last trip.

After years of pregnancy, birthing, and keeping track of toddlers, my wife and I really wanted a break. Instead of taking the kids, we left them with the grandparents.  We went to the other side of the planet.  We really wanted to get away.  Bali, Indonesia was a fun adventure.   We went on an Intrepid Tour that was intended to be an active vacation with a Volcano climb, snorkeling, hiking, and a bike ride from one city to the next through rice paddies and monkey filled parks.

It was a great trip, but I think I enjoyed traveling without the kids a little too much.

This family vacation will be fine… I keep telling myself.

All inclusive option will help… I need a break from food preparation!

Maybe the grandparents want a week with the kids again : )