Cruise Vacation vs. All-Inclusive Resort

The Vacation Dilemma: Cruise or Resort?

You’ve made the decision to take a vacation, but now you have to choose between sailing on a cruise ship or relaxing at an all-inclusive resort. We have experienced both multiple times, and both options are wonderful; it’s almost like you can’t make a bad choice. There are some significant differences between the two, and we will discuss those here to help you find the perfect fit for your dream getaway!

Both options provide packages that include accommodations, meals, activities, and entertainment. You can look at a cruise as a floating all-inclusive resort, but not everything is truly included for the price you book the cruise.


The rooms on a cruise ship are small, and the bathrooms are even smaller. They are not so small that you are uncomfortable, but you could be surprised at the size of the room the first time you step foot in one. At all-inclusive resorts, you usually get larger rooms, some with views or swim-out pools, and a full-size bathroom with a tub or a jacuzzi. The all-inclusive resort wins due to the small size of the rooms on a cruise ship.

Food and Drinks

You will not go hungry with either option because all meals and snacks are included. Some cruise lines also have “specialty dining” options for an extra fee. These options give you a bit more intimate setting, and the food quality is generally better. If you like beverages other than water and tea, you will have to pay extra on certain cruise lines. Beer, wine, cocktails, and soft drinks are almost always included in the price you pay for the all-inclusive resort. From my experience, the food quality is about equal, ranging between fair to really good. If you want a higher quality meal, pay extra for the specialty dining on a cruise ship.

Activities and Entertainment

In the activities and entertainment category, I believe cruise ships have the edge. The cruise lines provide high-quality activities and entertainment ranging from games and competitions, bingo, onboard casinos, comedy and Broadway shows, and the list goes on and on. They cover a wide range of interests, and it’s easy to find something on the schedule that you will be interested in. All-inclusive resorts also offer night shows and daily activities, but the list of options is much shorter than what the cruise lines offer.

Other Things to Note

Cruise ships give you the ability to visit multiple destinations on one vacation, whereas at a resort, you stay in one destination. With both options, excursions are available that allow you to explore the area you are in, away from the ship or the resort, and in both cases, it is for an additional charge. On a cruise ship, you are on a tight schedule to complete your excursion, or you risk being left behind by the ship, as opposed to on a resort where you can move at your own pace.

The Cost

One thing to consider when making your decision is the price. Cruise vacations frequently advertise deals, and depending on your destination and the time of the year you travel, you can find sailings for as low as $299 per person. All-inclusive resorts are usually more expensive than a cruise, depending on the quality of the resort. Do your research on a property before you book.

In Conclusion: Your Perfect Getaway Awaits!

The choice between a cruise vacation and an all-inclusive resort ultimately boils down to your desired experience. If you crave adventure, diverse destinations, and entertainment at sea, a cruise might be your ticket. For those seeking relaxation, flexible itineraries, and pampering by the pool, an all-inclusive resort would be the way to go.

Both options offer fantastic vacation experiences; it’s all about aligning your preferences with the type of getaway that suits you best. So, set sail or lounge – your perfect vacation awaits!