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Thread: Your views. All Inclusive / Non All Inclusive

  1. #11
    Senior Member AUA1989's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, any beach
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    Having done both, there are pros/cons to each:

    As Tracey mentioned, it helps determine a set cost to your trip. Paying in advance for flight, room, meals and drinks takes the unknown cost factor out of the equation, except for tips, souvenirs and island activities, but you can make a set budget for that.

    A good AI experience is also dependent upon the resort at which you stay. Some resorts have more choices than others. Also, Aruba is not like other destinations where you shouldn't leave your resort.

    Feeding kids is another AI consideration. Holiday Inn comped us AI about 6-7 years ago. I would not choose AI at the Holiday Inn, as they have limited dining choices, but it was GREAT for breakfast and the KIDS. They could eat whenever they wanted throughout the day from the beach bar. I don’t know about other resorts that provide AI plans, but at Hol Inn, there were many things on various menus that were an upcharge. It was ok for drinking, although we still preferred taking our cooler. If I remember correctly, we didn’t like the beer choices in the AI plan. I found I didn’t care for waiting for my drinks and I don’t like well liquors (boy, that sounds bad). I guess I just like making my own.

    We had the AI plan on our honeymoon in Dec 1989 at the Americana (now Barcelo). It was good for:
    -first timers
    -did not rent a car
    -drank a lotttttt more than we do now
    -and back then, there was no mall and restaurants across the street
    -I’ve compared some AI plans to what we spent and AI was more expensive

    The abundance of great restaurants within a short walk or drive is one of the best reasons to not go AI. I would hate to miss out on our favorites, some of which have things we only get in Aruba.

    We stay up late/sleep in and often miss the designated breakfast times when we are on vacation. I often get up “early” and make it to a beach chair just to fall back asleep. By the time DH joins me, it’s lunchtime for most others.

    We like certain beer and some AI programs don’t offer what we want, so I would suggest that those wanting to purchase AI check that out ahead of time.

    When it comes to cost, you can also set a budget for dining. Albeit, it’s a little more difficult, but with the internet you can definitely research the cost of meals.

    Most of our trips are no longer AI because
    -we like visiting our favorite restaurants
    -with having a car, you see different parts of the island going to said “favorites”
    -we take our own drinks to the beach to be able to have our preferences
    -We have saved money not going AI

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    We never do AI, we have too many restaurant choices that we like and always like to try out new spots. As far as the drinking part goes my wife doesn't drink much at all and I will buy beers at Lings and bring a cooler to the beach everyday, the Beach Bar at Playa Linda has Happy Hour from 12pm-7pm which is great. We do not rent a car so either walk or take a cab (safer than me driving after a couple drinks).
    Back in the day the Occidental had a $99 unlimited drink plan which would be awesome but would probably bankrupt a resort nowadays.
    But some people prefer AI and I could see it working better for those with young kids/teens just for the anytime they want to eat options, can't go wrong either long as you are in Aruba.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    As others mentioned because Aruba is so safe we have never considered doing and AI but understand the attraction to many...especially those that drink a ton. I have never done an AI in Aruba and have only done one in Antigua at Sandals. I loved our experience in Antigua and was glad we did the AI there as there was not very much around....and we did not like the downtown area at all at night after they told us NEVER to walk out and get into a cab...scary actually. Sandals had a delivery driver just for people who wanted to go downtown to the casino. He waited for us the entire time....and when we walked to the front door he pulled his car up.

    I think many of the best AI are located in countries where they are truly needed for safety.
    Trip 38 booked for Feb! Cant wait.

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