Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cruise or All-inclusive?


On a flight from Miami to Indianapolis one of my passengers shared with me her cruise experience. She and her husband had just returned from a seven day cruise on Royal Caribbean to the Bahamas, St. Maarten, and the Labadee, Haiti.

Her favorite part of the cruise was her visit to St. Maarten. She said the people were very friendly and it was also very clean.

She did not enjoy her visit to Labadee, Haiti because the local vendors she felt were too pushy. She said one vendor asked her if she had a child. She said told him a daughter. The vendor asked her for the name of her child. When she told him, he started to make a bracelet with her daughter's name on it. She felt compelled to buy it. When she tried to pay him for it, he did not have change. Then he tried to stuff more merchandise in the bag for her to purchase. She told him she did not want the extra souvenirs. She demanded her change. She said several others on the cruise experienced the same thing with pushy vendors.

I tried to explain to her that they Haitians were probably pushy due to earthquake and their dire economic conditions.  I am sure they are trying to support many family members with the tourist income.

The woman shared with me that onboard the cruise ship only water and juice are complimentary. Soft drinks and alcohol are extra. She said you can purchase a unlimited soft drink package or  charge them individually.

Bahamas' Beer Kalin

Now I understand the tip from a travel agent warning about the bar tab at the end of a cruise can be big surprise for cruisers. All those drinks can add up to a hefty bar tab. The travel agent says that all-inclusive are a better deal because drinks are included in the package.
Bahama Mama

Which has been a better experience for you:  a cruise vacation or an all-inclusive vacation?

Sandals Bahamas