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Thread: All inclusive vs pay as you go??

  1. #1
    Member brendielee's Avatar
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    All inclusive vs pay as you go??

    I currently have reservations at Pandera Park for October, but now I am having second thoughts. This will be our first visit to Aruba and I am wondering if we would be better off with an all inclusive plan. I thought we might save quite a bit of money by staying 'off beach' but now I'm thinking by the time we rent a car for a week, buy groceries (and really, who wants to cook on vacation), and eat out a few times, and gas for the car.....or if not inclusive, if I stayed 'on beach' I wouldn't need a rental car.....any input would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    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 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.

  3. #3
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    my opinion and it is really not worth the "cyber paper" it is written on.

    go with the divi or tamarijn all inclusive for your first trip.
    get the feel of the island.
    drink and eat to your hearts content.
    wander around and take a tour.

    then.........your next visit to aruba (and there WILL be a next visit) stay at a non all inclusive.

    BTW Paradera Park is a wonderful little place but it is a 20 minute ride to the beach.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    my opinion and it is really not worth the "cyber paper" it is written on.

    go with the divi or tamarijn all inclusive for your first trip.
    get the feel of the island.
    drink and eat to your hearts content.
    wander around and take a tour.

    then.........your next visit to aruba (and there WILL be a next visit) stay at a non all inclusive.

    BTW Paradera Park is a wonderful little place but it is a 20 minute ride to the beach.
    The Divi is my favorite hotel beach on the island. I think we may be back there on our next trip.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the Divi recommendation. We've always been happy with it and even though I may be a self-proclaimed foodie, I can always find something at the buffet that I like. Also, the price is fair enough that I have no problem spending money to go off resort a few nights to try some of the local spots. I never thought I would like an AI but I found out that it was real easy to get used to the freedom of not carrying around money or watching what you're spending. That said, the beach is also absolutely amazing and uncrowded, not like the high rise area.

  6. #6
    Member brendielee's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info.... I am so excited!!!!
    Next Aruba trip in

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brendielee View Post
    Thanks for all the info.... I am so excited!!!!
    Are you going to stick with your original plan?

  8. #8
    Member brendielee's Avatar
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    Arubalia, I was offered a timeshare rental at the Occidental with the option of adding AI.
    I think that is what we are going to do! Then, we won't have to worry about a rental car, grocery shopping, etc. I hope it all works out!
    Next Aruba trip in

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Enjoy!

  10. #10
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brendielee View Post
    Arubalia, I was offered a timeshare rental at the Occidental with the option of adding AI.
    I think that is what we are going to do! Then, we won't have to worry about a rental car, grocery shopping, etc. I hope it all works out!
    Brendielee,
    I do have one question....how many people are going with you total ??? Reason for the question is this.....The last time I checked at our resort about adding AI for quests that were staying at one my owned units was 65 dollars (american) per person per day....while that is not really alot of money if you eat a drink your fair share,......if you have just 2 of you its a grand.....if you think about having groceries delivered from ling and sons,,,,,say just bagels or toast with c. cheese for breakfast and maybe fresh fruit/sandwiches or snacks for lunch and then either cook light a few evenings and go out a few nites for meals you may not even spend a grand.....
    not trying to change your mind, just wanted to make sure you are aware of what you may spend vs. what you might spend....
    we don't do AI, but I am not telling you not too.....we use our timeshare like a home away from home and most evening meals in....of course my husband likes to cook and will make spaghetti sauce/pasta one nite and we can eat off of that for a lunch or two and maybe another dinner....so, I am just offering you another option...
    If you prefer your first time to be free and easy.....go AI and then maybe pick one or two nites for dinner out.....Madame Janette's is a must and so is Cook's....
    either way.....enjoy yourselves, you will love it and go back for more !!!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

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