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Thread: Staying in AI, Do you dine off resort?

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Staying in AI, Do you dine off resort?

    Numerous forum members stay at All Inclusive often called an "american plan" resorts.
    Some AI folks, choose to dine off the AI program at various local restaurants.

    Do you do it? would you consider staying at a non all inclusive often called a "european plan" ?

    We have stayed at the Tamarijn (years ago..maybe 2001/2002) enjoyed every moment, including the food and beverage.
    We also stayed at the "Old Bushiri" RIP for a few nights in 1997 or 1998......loved that place lots!
    We had rental car during these stays and did leave the resort to snorkel at Baby Beach and did eat at Charlies Bar while we were in San Nic.

  2. #2
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We always prefer to eat at local restaurants and bars wherever we travel. We avoid AI for several reasons: 1) They are expensive for what you get. We are not big eaters-we usually just get entrees or just apps-almost never both. Even though we do drink, we still don't drink enough to rack up that type of bar tab-my tummy would revolt. A lot of the drinks included are not top shelf or you are limited to the types of wine, etc. 2) We have a bigger selection of choices for meals by going to local restaurants. If we want Italian or Indian or Chinese or Greek or Mexican or Thai or whatever, that is where we go. 3) We like supporting local places and the local economy. 4) A lot of the local places, especially the ones the locals go to, are family owned and many have their own family recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next-you won't find that in an AI.
    Last edited by robin; 09-18-2017 at 09:30 AM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    I like to think we have the best of 2 options. We always stay at DIVI AI (first 2 trips were old Allegro) enjoy most of the food and believe they have lots of choices. We do however enjoy dining out at a nice restaurant at least once, go out for more casual fare a couple of times as well (usually Pizza Bob's) and go out a few nights for buckets of Amstel Brights which we cannot get at our AI. This gives us a reason to visit another beach bar and watch the sunset. For us I think the all inclusive is a great deal but understand for others it is not, really enjoy the convenience and I know the Divi has lots of named brand alcohol for the price seems to get more and more as the years pass.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    We frequently had dinner off resort while staying at the Divi. While I often hear that AI is more expensive, that was not our experience. Divi's specials with 50% off their rates made it very competitive to other resorts even with dining off resort for dinner most evenings. So... watch for those specials!! All that said for our upcoming trip we will be staying at the Bucuti which only includes breakfast but, is adult only.

  5. #5
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    We are traveling to Aruba in November and will be staying at an AI. We chose this option for a variety of reason, but the primary reason on this trip is the convenience. We have 9 of us and it will be easier for us to plan meals if we are "confined" to one area.

    Normally I will choose a dining plan whenever possible. I like to know ahead of time that the majority of my vacation expenses are covered before I even leave home, and have found that while many people "lose" money on the plans my family at least breaks even.

    I have costed out other vacations, and feel that the rate I have for my family at the Barceló is a really good one, so even if we do not get much value from the alcohol that is included (at least half of my crew won't have alcohol, but will enjoy any virgin options of specialty beverages) I think we will be happy. Truthfully, we generally travel to Disney World, so the price of this vacation was very reasonable in comparison.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hockeymom23's Avatar
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    We have always stayed at the Divi. We like the convenience of an AI. We both work stressful jobs and we want nothing more than to plunk in a lounge chair and the biggest decision is what drink we're going to have and which of the many restaurants at the Divi and Tam we will visit. We also like the advantage of basically having our vacation paid for before we arrive, for the most part. We aren't "foodies". As I always say, if I don't have to cook it and clean up after it I'm good. The Divi bar has our favorite spirits and the food is good and plentiful. We talk about trying something different every year and end up going back where we are comfortable.
    Hopefully we'll be back in Spring 2018

  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
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    Your attitude about cooking and clean up is perfect!
    Quote Originally Posted by hockeymom23 View Post
    We have always stayed at the Divi. We like the convenience of an AI. We both work stressful jobs and we want nothing more than to plunk in a lounge chair and the biggest decision is what drink we're going to have and which of the many restaurants at the Divi and Tam we will visit. We also like the advantage of basically having our vacation paid for before we arrive, for the most part. We aren't "foodies". As I always say, if I don't have to cook it and clean up after it I'm good. The Divi bar has our favorite spirits and the food is good and plentiful. We talk about trying something different every year and end up going back where we are comfortable.

  8. #8
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    I absolutely agree. I love good food, but I am not fussy. At home I am chief cook, bottle washer and cleaning lady. When we vacation there is not cooking for me, no cleaning other than normal cleaning up after ourselves, and no laundry. If it is hot, decent and placed in front of me, I am happy too! LOL!

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