Friday, April 13, 2012

"problems" that aren't really

So we're trying to plan a vacation.

Here are the reasons why I think we deserve a good vacation:
1) Our five-year anniversary is in June! Shouldn't we reward ourselves for reaching this milestone? Ha.
2) I like having things to look forward to.
3) I've lost 12 pounds. I think I deserve a reward for that, too.
4) (Predictable rant about infertility and deserving some measly form of happiness in life)

Do you notice how the words "deserve" and "reward" appear like 289 times in my 4 reasons? Isn't that sick? I am such a sell-out American. Ugh.

But at any rate, I want to plan a good vacation.

Here are our basic vacation options:
1) Tag along on our parents' vacations. This isn't an option because I don't have vacation days to use whenever I want; I have one specific week off in July, which doesn't coincide with our families' previously arranged vacations.
2) Go visit and stay with people who live somewhere fun. This would basically give us the choices of Texas (family and friends, and this is the trip we made last year), Vermont (my sister- and brother-in-law and nephew), or West Palm Beach (James and Kristina, and this is the trip I did for Spring Break last month).
3) Staycation. Umm...we could putz around Georgia, see the sights, do a project around the house, visit friends living in other cities?
4) Go all out and plan a trip to wherever the heck we want. On a budget, of course.

  Right now we are leaning towards Option 4. 

 Here are things I like/look for in vacations:

 1) Warm/hot weather. 
2) laying in the sun. 
3) Swimming in oceans or pools. 
4) Eating great food. 
5) Not cooking. 
6) Going exploring on foot. 
7) Sleeping in. 
8) Not spending time in a car. 
9) Options for entertainment in case I get bored with slothing. 
10) Not having a strict agenda to follow. 

 Probably not surprisingly, we've chosen cruises for two of the three vacations we've planned and funded for ourselves. Cruising suits me JUST fine. I don't even mind that I stay terribly seasick the entire time- it's totally worth it to me. The sunning, the food, the do-everything-or-nothing is all perfection to me. Which is why my default plan is to go on another cruise. 

 But there's one more option out there that tempts me: all-inclusive resorts. They're just like cruises, right? Minus the seasickness? And minus the hours-long disembarking process on the last day? Could all-inclusives be even BETTER than cruises? 

 That's where you come in. Help me! Have you been to an all-inclusive? Where? How was it? Have you done BOTH cruises and all-inclusives? Which is better? Feel free to leave hypothetical advice or arguments if you have never tried either. Just help a sister out with these really pressing "problems"...


  1. I love all-inclusives! I've been to Dreams in Puerto Vallarta, Secrets in Playa del Carmen and we're looking at going to Ocean Blue in the Dominican Republic this fall. I love them because they are just like cruises, except you're not on a boat. They're relaxing, fun, have good food, good beaches etc.
    If you like to explore and do excursions, you'd probably be better off in a place like the Dominican Republic, Aruba or Costa Rica. Certain areas of Mexico have good excursions (Cancun does), but some areas just aren't that safe. Have fun planning!

  2. I haven't been on a cruise, but we HAVE been to an all-inclusive - El Dorado Royale in Playa del Carmen for our honeymoon. We really loved it, but it was indeed pricey! If you can find a good deal, I think it's definitely a nice alternative to cruising!

    If not, I would highly recommend a trip to Vermont- it's beautiful! Of course, this is all assuming you don't make the BEST choice, which would, of course, be to come back to Texas :)

  3. Ditto to what Amanda said - haven't been on a cruise, but have been to an all-inclusive resort. We went to one of the Sandals locations in Jamaica for our honeymoon, but unlike Amanda and Brian, we didn't really love it.

    We didn't like being stuck in one place (we didn't have a car to leave the premises) and we got bored with just slothing around pretty quickly. We are just not big beach people though, apparently! It was nice to have all our food and drinks paid for upfront, but we got tired of only having the same few restaurants to choose from all week. So, there arew a few arguments against resorts, but I may be in the minority, so take it with a grain of salt :)

    Can't wait to hear what you pick!

  4. Weeeell if you come to deep south Texas i can show you the beach, Mexico, and good taquitos!

  5. I've never been on a cruise, so I can't compare, but Brian and I went to the Ocean Blue in Dominican Republic. We got a great deal, and the slothing, free activities, rooms, etc were great. But the food was NOT good. They only had about half of the restaurants open half of the time, and the buffet locals weren't good either. I mean, I like good food, but I don't think I'm that picky. I didn't expect to lose weight at an all inclusive resort, but I did. I mostly ate beans and rice for most meals. Giving the details on this resort because I noticed that your friend Becky commented above that she is thinking of going to this specific resort.
    We got a great deal for this resort, but having such poor food was a big let down. Based on that experience, I would say that it would be worth it to go for a shorter amount of time to the highest star rated place you can find a good deal for. We booked through
    Hope you guys have fun whatever you decide!

  6. Dominican Republic is known for their all inclusives. I stayed at Majestic Elegance for Stephanie's wedding. I thought the food was good, and there were a lot of restaurants to choose from. We always use Trip Advisor to plan a vacation and it has never let us down. Look at their ratings and lists of best places and read people's reviews- you will find the good and the bad.

  7. I've never been to a resort OR on a cruise so I am not very helpful on this one! We are road trippers, campers, and cabin people here:) Can't wait to hear what you decide!

  8. i think option #2 is a really good option :) i hear that vermont is beautiful in the summer! you never know if this option will be open next year so you should get it while it is hot :)

  9. we went to an all inclusive on our honeymoon in Riveria Maya in Mexico which is kinda by cancun and it was amazing! i would go back to it in a heart beat. the food was like these crazy over the top buffets with all different types of food and it was all so good. and we took a taxi from the resort and went to a couple different places and had a blast. and you could plan as many activities and tours and everything else as you wanted. and at our place we had like an open air theatre type thing where they did shows every night so we usually stopped by those and watched then for a little bit. i went to one in negril, jamacia as well. it was good but i loved the one in mexico so much more.
    also just wanted to say i love your blog and read it all the time! hope you have a great trip!

  10. I know this is out there, but Ryan and I did a trip to Washington state and it was the BEST time ever. We started in Seattle and then moved over to Silverdale. Then we drove up (only like 4 hours) to the Olympic Peninsula (Forks, La Push Beach...SO amazingly beautiful!) and from there you can hop over into Canada. It was the best vacation we ever had. And taking the ferry is pretty much amazing. That's my two cents. What about Kauai as an other option?

  11. I've never done either but I think I'd rather do a cruise... LOL!

    Signed, Stephanie who always ended up at DisneyWorld until they ticked her off about food allergies.

  12. Ian's done both and definitely loves both. I haven't done either, however. I think all-inclusive sounds wonderful, esp. if you find one where the drinks are also included. They aren't always...we looked a few yrs back at Mexico.

  13. ooooh. what a fun choice to be making!


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