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Thread: Your views. All Inclusive / Non All Inclusive

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Your views. All Inclusive / Non All Inclusive

    The topic of All Inclusive and Non All Inclusive has come to light (again).
    There is talk of the "maybe" more all inclusive is coming to Aruba.......possibly agreed upon using some questionable tactics and/or agreements.

    There are numerous folks that post on this forum saying something like this................ "We are going to the XYZ all inclusive. Can you recommend to us activities etc?"
    Often times the replies are; "oh you should not do all inclusive due to the good restaurant selections, safety etc. of Aruba".
    (see the question was answered with something unrelated to the question......this happens often in AI conversations)


    So, please let's hear your opinions about all inclusive and non all inclusive.
    There are no wrong opinions.

    My opinion is that there is a need for both.
    There are many folks who want all inclusive just for convenience.
    Those folks know their costs, or want to stay close to the resort and/or enjoy the convenience.

    There are many folks that save money by not going AI and doing their own thing re: restaurants and paying for drinks.

    It is all about choices. (imo)

    I would like to read you opinions and I would love this thread to be one that we refer newbies to when they are asking about AI.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    A few facts about us before I give my opinions. We have done both, we are drinkers, and it drives me crazy when people flat out say "dont go AI in Aruba". I think there are circumstances where it makes sense, but we most likely would not go AI again in Aruba.
    Circumstances where AI makes sense: you are on a strict budget and need to know up front costs, you have hungry teenagers, you have no desire to cook or prepare any meals, the thought of going to the grocery store makes you cringe, you aren't picky on your choice of beer or liquor brands.
    These are the circumstances that I think you should skip Ai: you are interested in trying new, varying restaurants, you only drink specific brands that may not be included, you enjoy making your own drinks, you dont mind throwing together your own meal or snacks.

    As first time visitors, we chose AI because we had no idea what to expect. We didnt realize that it added over $200 a day to the price of our room, and we could have used that towards more options outside of the resort. I'm glad we did it that way, we were on a budget and we didnt know the area.
    AI does not necessarily save money, even for drinkers. For drinker who want all their drinks from the same bar at the resort, it does. But for drinkers who like to check out beach bars or make cocktails in your room or on the beach, you can do just as well using duty free, happy hour specials, and excursions that include drinks and food.
    Final thoughts, do the math: how much would you save if you chose a room without AI? if that number is $200-300 a day, for 2 adults that is plenty to eat and drink on outside of AI. For a family, that may not be the case.
    Think about what you want on your trip. Do you just want to be waited on and lounge around the resort, then yes AI may be for you.
    For stays longer than 1 week, I probably would say the food options would be too boring.
    If you choose AI, be sure to get out and explore and walk around to see what else is out there for your next visit.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member crdavies's Avatar
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    I never do AI in Aruba, only because we bounce around to several different bars and restaurants throughout the day. I will say though, when I quote clients often times for a full week it is only an additional $500 or so comparing AI to non. Realistically, even if you do go out to dinners and bars off resort here and there this would probably save you money in the long run considering we all know how expensive it can be out there!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    I can understand the draw of AI for some folks.... it's just not for us.... in Aruba. There are way too many dining options and we can easily handle the cost of the few drinks that we do have each day during our stay. It's also nice for us to venture off resort after another long, hard day on the beach. We also do a number of upscale dinners and enjoy the change in menu and atmosphere.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    We did AI in Aruba for years. It can be a budget friendly vacation. Costs are known upfront and everything is prepaid so all that is left is relax and enjoy. Places like the Divi offer sales that make it more than competitive with non all inclusive resorts. We never felt stuck at the resort or obligated to dine there. For the most part we went off resort for dinner most nights. The downside is the food is not always consistent. We had years that the food was quite good and others not so much With promotions where children under 17 eat and stay free I can see why it would appeal to families. All that said, my feeling is there is not a need for more AI rooms and it would not be in the best interest of the local restaurants

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  6. #6
    Senior Member bhoffdhoff's Avatar
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    I, personally, have never done AI. That being said, I think it's a great way to budget for a vacation, especially for a family. You know the costs up front.
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  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
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    I am enjoying reading your thoughts and the reasons behind your thoughts.

    I may make this thread STICKY so that folks asking about AI or NOT AI can be referred to this thread easily.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member hockeymom23's Avatar
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    We have always done Divi AI and for us, it works. We are not real "foodies" so we are quite happy with the variety of food and options. We are lazy beach bums! When we vacation, we want to plunk in a lounge chair, have a few cocktails, swim in the ocean...in other words, eat, drink and be happy. We do venture off resort each year for Jolly Pirates and some other activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, horseback riding. Next trip we are planning on renting a car and exploring more of the island. We understand that people want to go to different places and try different restaurants but for us, AI works. We do enough dining around back at home. We've had two vacations this year that were a graduation in Colorado and a wedding in California and came home exhausted!! I, for one, can't wait for our Divi AI vacation! Hopefully Spring or Fall of 2019! PS - Also agree with Peg. If you can hit a good sale, it's so worth it!


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  9. #9
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    We have enjoyed the Divi AI resort for the past 15 years, prior to that 2 years AI at what was "The Allegro". We like to just relax, eat breakfast and lunch whenever we feel the need within a few steps from our room. We actually enjoy spending time at the different bars at Divi and Tam and seeing the same friends we have met over the years each evening and making new friends we can enjoy during our stay. We are not huge "foodies" and don't really enjoy fancy restaurants, only once in a while for special occasions, guess we are simple folk. We do venture out to a couple different restaurants each year for dinner but are always happy to return to our AI. We are really beer drinkers so we enjoy the Balashi on draft and love the frozen cocktails and love not having to get a bill at the end of the night (although we do enjoy tipping at the bars and restaurants to show our appreciation to all the hard working staff). I think the Divi has lots of popular alcohol brands for mixed drinks and trust me they are strong, too strong for me. We always book the Cyber Monday 50% off SALE so our trip is pretty much around the same $ each year. I feel sometimes AI resorts get a bad rap which is sad, they are not exactly inexpensive. I can understand if you are non-drinkers it may not be a good value moneywise. I think AI options are great for families and the kids get a kick out of being able to go up to the bar and order a pizza, snack, soda or virgin frozen drink themselves. We do travel downtown a few times each trip to shop, have some cocktails, people watch etc. We also travel to the high rise section for Happy Hours on occassion. I enjoy the convenience on AI, being waited on, no cooking, no grocery shopping etc. this way it actually feels like a vacation to me at least. So even though we stay at an AI we do spend quite a big of money offsite during our stays to spread the wealth

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  10. #10
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We have not done an AI in Aruba, but we have in Mexico and Dominican Republic and I did not care for it. While we are not foodies, we do like to try different cuisines we cannot get at home. We drink but not enough to merit most AI programs. We like choices and getting off the resort and exploring.




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