6 Things Your All-Inclusive Vacation Might Not Include

All-inclusive trips to resorts or on cruise ships can be a convenient and relaxing, since your major expenses are already taken care of. They can suddenly become a lot more stressful when you learn that the things that make a vacation fun––excursions, fancy beverages, memorable meals––aren’t part of the package that you signed on for.

Adapted from a slideshow about all-inclusive vacations over at Marketwatch, here are six things that your all-inclusive vacation might not include.

  1. Savings. Yes, an all-inclusive stay might be more relaxing if you aren’t hauling your wallet out every few minutes, but it’s not necessarily a money-saver. This is especially true if the all-inclusive price includes activities that you might not be interested in, or food and drinks when you’d rather eat somewhere else anyway.
  2. Beverages. One cruise fan Marketwatch spoke to recounted a recent Princess cruise where her drink options were limited to water, lemonade, iced tea, juice, and brewed coffee. If you imagined yourself drinking fancier things on vacation, you’ll have to pay extra for a drinks package, and that extra charge recurs every day. Some resorts and cruises also charge extra for non-crappy food.
  3. The room pictured in the brochure. Your accommodations might be a lot less fancy. Brochures might depict rooms not yet built or under renovation. Check out message boards and recent reviews online, looking for accounts from travelers on the same ship or to the same resort.
  4. Tips. Find out whether gratuities are included or not: staff may be required to refuse tips, or may be happy to receive them. On cruises, a daily gratuity for all staff will be added to your bill.
  5. Excursions. You might want to travel off the ship or outside of the resort, supporting the local economy directly and seeing sights, but often that will cost you extra.
  6. Refunds. If bad weather or another disaster strikes, you might have to cancel or reschedule your trip. If you were planning to eat at traditional restaurants, well, you don’t pay for food until you’ve ordered it. At an all-inclusive resort? Watch out for fine print that might mean you’re out the entire cost of a night’s stay if you decide to stay away because of crappy weather.

10 things all-inclusive vacations won’t tell you [MarketWatch]