Sometime ago I wrote an article about a wedding I had been to on the North Coast of Jamaica at one of those ‘All Inclusives’.
From Friday I have been at another of those All Inclusives as a guest.
<a href="https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g147312-d578213-Reviews-Hotel_Riu_Ocho_Rios-Ocho_Rios_Saint_Ann_Parish_Jamaica.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Source</a>
I don’t like these hotels very much. It is kind of like being in a low security prison. You are far from the main, usually down some long road with security check points. To go in or out you have to be ‘cleared’.
As many guests arrive by plane, are taken by bus to the venue, checked in, and the bus drives away, you are not in any real country, you are in the ‘prison’. Many guests aren’t sure what country they could be in, and never ever leave the grounds.
The food is provided and one can take as much as they want of what it there. What they don’t have you can’t get. This is all they have and unlike a real restaurant where you can request something, and it is prepared special for you, here it is take it or starve.
When meals are served is also ‘set’.
In other words you either eat this at 8 am or go hungry.
They don’t separate the meat from the vegetables or the pork from anything else so it’s kind of nauseating.
To restate, All Inclusives, run like low security prisons, and like prisons this is the menu, and these meals are served at specific times. If you miss the times, you can starve.
<a href="https://www.travelocity.com/Montego-Bay-Hotels-RIU-Montego-Bay-All-Inclusive.h2062016.Hotel-Information" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Source</a>
So if you woke up at 10 unless you high tail it to the restaurant, there is no food until noon. If you are swimming or having fun and don’t reach the restaurants until 3, you have to wait until 6 for a meal.
You can call room service, and hopefully can wait an hour or so for whatever to be delivered.
The staff comes to straighten when it comes and goes when it goes, and you have virtually no rights. You can tell them to come back, if you are there. If not, they come in and clean and move your stuff.
The beaches are jammed, the people very noisy, and every hour or so there’s another wedding in some corner.
<a href="http://brittany-morgan.com/2017/03/lisha-robs-montego-bay-destination-wedding-at-royalton-white-sands-resort-in-jamaica/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Source</a>
This picture makes you think this couple is alone on the beach. They aren’t. Just out of the camera are hundreds of loud mouthed people.
Anyone can stand around and watch a wedding, and pass remarks. The ‘happy couple’ has a limited time for photos because they have to move quickly as another wedding party needs that spot.
These properties are enormous, and one wanders around searching because they make no sense.
<a href="https://www.explorerjamaica.com/mbj-montego-bay-airport-transfers-to-royalton-white-sands-montego-bay-trelawny-jamaica.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Source</a>
One spends their day asking directions to this spa or that bar or this restaurant.
It is bad enough when you spend your money to go to an all inclusive hotel on vacation. It’s even more ridiculous to think you ‘save’ money by booking your 7 day honeymoon at this place and getting your ‘free’ wedding. This is how they sell weddings. You pay for the stay and the ‘wedding is free’. However, you have to pay for each guest.
Further, all the people staying at the hotel have access to the areas.
The fact your wedding is as important as the kiddie football game, the arguments between two guests, those people doing yoga, and others walking around having loud conversations is no saving.
As most all inclusives over book, you can be sure that you will pay for fancy room and be put in crummy room, then complain, and maybe be put in a semi-fancy room.
As these hotels are enormous, there will be crowds of loud mouthed people walking around. Sometimes it seems you could have saved all this money going to a public beach for the same ‘amenities’.
No, I won’t be back.