Pro's of All Inclusive:
1. You know how much money you will spend prior to your vacation, while still having the option of going out whenever you want to eat and explore. You are not confined to the hotel.
2. Drinks, alcoholic and non, available anytime during the day, some resorts such as the Divi/Tamarijn limit hours of service from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. The RIU and Occidental have alcohol available 24 hours with limited alcohol supplied in your room. RIU has a 24 hour Sports Bar.
3. Unless you provide your own liquor, alcoholic beverages, including beer, tends to be quite expensive and adds up quickly over the course of a day.
4. No need to visit the grocery store or make any meals.
5. No need to bring a cooler with beer, alcohol, mixers, and glasses to the beach or pool.
6. No need to run to Happy Hours to get half priced drinks.
Con's of All Inclusive:
1. Dining choices are limited to those at your resort, as well as requiring reservations for ala carte restaurants with limited dining times.
2. Venturing out on a small island such as Aruba is not only easy, but safe.
3. Many vacation activities will still not be included such as tours and excursions as well as motorized watersports and spa services.
4. If you are not big eaters or drinkers, all inclusive may be more expensive.
5. A shopping trip over lunch time means you may pay for a meal that duplicates what you have already paid for. The same often holds true for tours. If you usually do these activities, this extra cost should be factored in.
6. All Inclusive pricing is often based on guests who drink a more than water during the day. All-inclusive is for those who drink a few drinks and sodas per day. Drinks at restaurants, hotels, and bars range between $5.00 - $10.00 a piece.
7. Very few all inclusives serve truly gourmet food.
You are just too funny. I almost spit my coffee out.
We stay at the Occidental (AI) because of the convenience AND we love the people. It is nice to be able to go up to your room, after a day in the sun, relax, take a shower and then just go downstairs to eat. The food is very good. I must say we haven't had a bad meal there in 7 visits. The BEST steaks, and we live in Texas where I think the steaks are great. I am sure the steaks are great on the whole island. Seafood is good too. Yes the drinks are good too As for the 24 hour alcohol, not really. You do get beer in your fridge in your room. I think the last bar to close is at 2 a.m. but we aren't up that late--we are old. hahaha But trust me we get enough during the day. I must say that before we went to Aruba, we had been to Jamaica and St. Lucia and really didn't feel safe to go off the resort--Jamaica more than St. Lucia. Before I found this forum I felt Aruba would be the same--NOT. We have gone off the property and do feel safe. But still it is the convenience for us.
Sorry if I went on a little too long.
We managed to spend 2 wks @ Tamarijn and return home at nearly our identical beginning wieght. We did however walk the beach from Tam to Amsterdam Manor (approx 5.5 miles roundtrip) and back all but one morning.
We often look at that morning walk as one of the best times of the day!
If you like to drink go All Inclusive, as drinks can be a bit pricey in Aruba. There are not that many options for All-Inclusive. I have stayed at the Occidental and also the Westin(they offer an all Inclusive plan) My next trip will be for my Wedding in JUne and we have chosen the RIU. I thought they had more options for Dining and drinks than the Occidental or the Westin wedding and the rates were about 30% lower than throught he hotel's website.