Live large and spend less on a Caribbean vacation
AN ALL-INCLUSIVE Caribbean
resort used to mean three meals a
day plus the three B’s—beach, booze,
and a bedroom—all for one low price.
Now, thanks in part to increased com-
petition, it’s more like a land-based
luxury cruise that doesn’t charge
extra for, well, almost anything, from
in-room dining to free rounds of golf.
And since you pay upfront, you don’t
get hit with surprise charges. Before
you book, ask these key questions.
What does all-inclusive include?
Ads use terms such as super-inclusive
and ultra-inclusive— which can
sometimes mean “sort of inclusive.”
A true all-inclusive should give you
lodging, all nonmotorized water-
sports and on-site activities, and all
meals, snacks, and beverages. The
various chains and resorts ratchet
things up from there, so ask what you
get for the price. Airfare? Premium
wines? Sports such as kayaking and
sailing are typically gratis, though
industry leaders Sandals (888-726-
3257; sandals.com)and SuperClubs
(800-467-8737; superclubs.com) also
include scuba diving and water-skiing.
Chains with multiple resorts within a
destination—such as Iberostar (888-
923-2722; iberostar.com), which has
five properties along the same stretch
of Mexico’s Riviera Maya—may offer
reciprocity: stay at one property and
you can use the facilities or dine at
all or some of the others.