All Inclusive vs. Non All Inclusive Resorts


Universal Studios Florida

When I was planning on going to Universal Studios Florida staying at the Royal South Pacifico Resort. It was a 4.5 star resort and had a Polynesian Luau I could see right at the resort. I thought I’d see how an all inclusive resort would compare to a non-all inclusive resort budget wise. This is what I found out.

Amazing how much money I paid out-of-pocket by experiencing this Non All Inclusive Resort or European Plan Resort. I could not believe how much I spent just on drinks alone. Now when I give you prices, everything is an approximation.

I stayed 3 nights, I looked at how far in advance I booked the flight/accommodations and I looked at resorts in Jamaica (Ya’Mon) Mexico (Riviera Maya) and the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana). I looked at prices for 4.5 Star and 5 Star resorts in these places and resorts I would choose to send clients.

Yes I know I was staying in Universal, Orlando Florida in the USA. My 3 night stay cost me $1728.71 for a 6 week booking in advance, so what did I choose to do. Look at prices for a 3 night stay all-inclusive in Jamaica, Cancun/Riviera Maya, and Punta Cana with a 6 week booking in advance. I chose Riu Palace Jamaica. A 5 star resort that I had honeymooners enjoy.

Please remember $1728.71 was for land and accommodations only (entry-level room category). The following resorts will be for entry-level room categories.

In Jamaica, Riu Palace Jamaica in Montego Bay 5 star resort ($2017.19) Adults only All Inclusive Resort which my client enjoyed for their honeymoon… at Universal when it came to just alcoholic beverages alone it was $10-15 each. I’d say 5-7 drinks were bought among the two of us a day. Because I say 5-7 drinks, I calculated $225 was spent on alcoholic beverages, so using the price of air/accommodations of $1728.71 + $225 for drinks we spent $1953.71, but that doesn’t include meals. We spent over $600 out-of-pocket for drinks, meals, and a few souvenirs that would total $100 approximately, so $500 on drinks and meals. So I said we spent out-of-pocket $600 extra from just our resort/accommodations. What does that add up to? $2328.71. How much was Riu Palace Jamaica again? $2017.19. HOLD IT. $311.52 less to stay at Riu Palace Jamaica.

Let’s compare what the resorts offered. Royal South Pacifico  free of charge? The pool, gym, croquet, pool volleyball, children movies at night by the pool Express Pass for certain rides at Universal’s Parks (A definite time saver), reservations for restaurants. Restaurants/bars are not open if you arrive early with the exception of the snack/bar at the pool.

Moving on to Riu Palace Jamaica you would get free of charge, adults only, al a carte restaurants, a swim up bar, day and evening activities, non motorized water sports.  There was also the $35 resort credit, as much as you want to drink, balconies, a beach with turquoise blue water in the Caribbean. Does this sound good?

Note, Royal South Pacifico was a 4.5 star resort and Riu Palace Jamaica is a 5 star resort. You coud walk or take the water taxi to the Universal Parks or City Walk for shopping and dining, which was convenient, but still away from the resort, while everything was right on the resort at Riu Palace Jamaica.

What do you think? Would you choose an all-inclusive resort over a non all-inclusive resort that had everything you wanted?  Interested in planning your next all-inclusive or non-all inclusive vacation Contact Me!

Laura Gibson
Destination & Tour Specialist

Laura Gibson (Black Cats Owner

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