Should we go All Inclusive?
We debated about it for a long time, but after looking around on the Internet, we decided to go for it. We were glad we did.
This is how we figured it:
We normally skip breakfast, but pay about $10 for lunch, $15 for dinner, and about $20 for drinking when we go out. That's $45/day. Plus, we had heard the rumor that dining-out in Cancun is expensive.
The AI package with airfare and RT Hotel Transfer was (originally) $600 per person for four of us for one room for 4 days/3 nights. (We got our Funjet package through Tony at Grand Travel in Houston--he rocked.) Well, a plane ticket to Cancun alone was $400. So, for $800 (four people), we were getting our room for 3 nights and all the food/drinks we wanted. Granted, the Costa Real hotel is one of the cheaper AI hotels, but if the room costs, say $150/night, that's $200 left for food/drinks for four people for 3 full days. Fifty dollars for food for 3 days per person or $17/day for all the food and drinks you can handle, you can't beat that! PLUS, you get other AI perks like:
*Free Room service once a day per person.
*Non-motorized watersports (pedal boats, kayaks, snorkeling equipment).
*Kayak tour to the Lagoon.
*One introductory SCUBA lesson in the pool.
*Daily social activities and aerobics program. (I never saw what these were.)
*Evening entertainment including three festive theme parties weekly with live music and show.
*Free cover to Senor Frog’s and Carlos & Charlies (worth $20).
*Use of the gym.
*Kids' Club with supervised activities.
*Pool and beach waiter service.
*Gratuities and current hotel taxes (it says "gratuities included," but we did tip about US$5 at every meal).
Even though we didn't use any of the "perks," (we had planned to, we just never found the time!) the food and drinks were so worth it.
Even if we didn't go the "cheap" route (staying at Costa Real), I think I would still go AI in Cancun. The food was REALLY good (see my journal entry about the Costa Real restaurants). The drinks were not too weak, and they even had some premium alcohols like Bacardi, and they were good. And the not having to decide where to eat every night or even having to really get fully dressed to have a meal--we had breakfast one morning in our PJs, we ate lunch in our bathing suits--was perfect.
Plus, if you're so inclined, at some of the hotels they have a "stay at one, play at all" option. This means you stay at one hotel but you can eat, drink, and be merry at any of their hotels.
And then to top it all off, a couple weeks after we booked, Tony called and told me he got us as extra $50 off our package! Definitely worth it!