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All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

Pennsylvania
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All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

We've been told the all-inclusive runs 130.00 per person per day. How does this compare to just doing the local restaurants for food and beverage?

Kansas City...
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1. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

For most people AI is more expensive, unless you drink a ton, then it pays for itself. Many of the restaurants are pricey.

How many people do you have going?

Boston...
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2. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

I guess it depends on a few things. One how much you drink and number two what hotels are you comparing. You can stay at the Tam AI for just about what it costs to say in a decent partial ocv room at the Hyatt with no meals or drinks. They are two different types of places to stay in two different locations. Both great in their own way.

I would not do an AI in aruba unless thats what you have your heart set on...great places to dine. Casual food at decent prices as well.

Ontario, Canada
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3. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

You know we do a little of both...we go to a market and pick up breakfeast items, we generally also buy booze and have nightly cocktails on the beach along with cheese and crackers....we will usually split a lunch somewhere or even buy some items for lunch and than we always go out for dinners.

BC
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4. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

We do not do all inclusive in Aruba also, I think you'll find it to be much more than

130.00 a person, but if it was that would be a good deal but yet you are still confined to drinking and eating at one place. We also do our own breakfast and most lunches then cook our own dinners every second or 3rd day. There are far too many fine restaurants to check out in imo

Massachusetts
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5. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

Dining options in Aruba are a spectrum ranging from fast food to five-star dining. The moderately-priced restaurants (for dinner) will charge an average of $20-30 per entree'. Breakfast on the island can range from a $3 bagel to $10 dutch pancakes to the $25 Marriott breakfast buffet.

While I enjoy the occasional Mojito or Brown Lady, I could not possibly eat or drink enough to justify the cost of AI. That said, if you do not want to concern youself with a food budget, do not mind somewhat limited dinings options at your resort, and enjoy more than a moderate amount of alcohol, then perhaps AI is the better option.

Given the vast offerings of restaurants on the island at varying price points, I think you will find the majority of contributors to this forum will not suggest AI.

Cape Cod...
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for Aruba, Provincetown
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6. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

We always do AI even though we stay in a time share unit. AI is $100. p.p. per day. We have access to the Divi AI, Tam AI, Mulligan's, the swim-up bar, Jimmy's Bar, Sea Breeze, and the bar at the Dutch Village. This gives us over 10 places to eat and I have found the beef at Mulligan's to be better than other places in Aruba that I have tried. We are very happy with eating breakfast and lunch at the Divi or Tam buffet, pizza bar, or Sandpiper Bar. This way, either of us can eat whenever we want (which happens a lot). Dinner is often at Mulligan's as we do not like making reservations. $100. is well worth it for us, dinners alone are about $100.

If we want, we will head out somewhere else for dinner. I drink a lot throughout the day, I am always thirsty, so I probably drink at least $20. of soda alone per day. Another perk, no lugging food and drinks to the beach.

Niskayuna, New York
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for Aruba
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7. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

Our family has done AI at the Tamarijn, "modified" AI at the Radisson (breakfast and lunch included) and non-AI at Amsterdam Manor.

All three appeal to me for different reasons. We truly enjoyed our meals at the Tam/Divi and the unlimited refills of Balashi made me very happy. LOL. I always regretted NOT dining off-resort while we were there, but couldn't justify the expense (for four people) after we were already splashing out on all-inclusive. If the food had been dreadful, we might have, but then we would never have gone back to the Tam and we did--twice.

The breakfast/lunch deal at the Radisson was great, but we were often too full to venture out for dinner, which made me sad.

I adored having the kitchenette at AMBR because I could have yogurt and fruit and my husband could have his damn Frosted Flakes for breakfast, we could make sandwiches when and if we wanted lunch and then head out for dinner.

This summer we're going back to the Rad but our package just includes breakfast.

One of the perils of having a meal plan for me is the feeling of being "tethered" to the resort, lest I miss a meal (I was raised by two Children of the Depression and frugality is embedded in my DNA).

I apologize for blathering.

Edited: 28 January 2013, 23:59
Pennsylvania
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8. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

Thanks all for your replies! We did actually get a quote from Renaissance Aruba for 130.00 per person per day, covering more than one restaurant plus the bar on their private island. We exchanged here with Interval and see very mixed reviews...wish us luck!

Since this is our first trip to Aruba, we'll likely just bite the bullet and pay the price (we two were raised by depression babies!!!!) and when we stay at the Marriott Aruba next year, go ahead and do our partial meals and dine out.

jl
Waltham...
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for Aruba
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9. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

We do just what JMSH does - breakfast and coffee in our room, a small lunch of a sandwich or split something, and we eat all of our dinners out. We also get our booze for the week at the market. I'm not a big lunch eater, so this is perfect for us because we get to save our appetites for a nice dinner.

If an optional AI deal is too good to pass up and you think it'll be beneficial, then go for it.

Minneapolis...
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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10. Re: All inclusive vs. restaurant dining vs. prepare meals in vil

We do just what JMSH does - breakfast and coffee in our room, a small lunch of a sandwich or split something, and we eat all of our dinners out. We also get our booze for the week at the market. I'm not a big lunch eater, so this is perfect for us because we get to save our appetites for a nice dinner.

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We do the exact same as jl stated above. We have a kitchen at Amsterdam Manor so breakfast is always on the balcony, lunch will be sandwiches/snacks that we bought at the grocery store (or split something from a beach bar), and then we go out for a nice dinner (although we'll occasionally have a pizza delivered if we feel like hanging on the balcony with a bottle of wine for the night). We buy most of our beverages/wine/beer at the grocery store.