Caribbean Hotel Meal Plans
Food has to be imported and so meals may be expensive on many islands. Which is why all-inclusive resorts have grown in popularity.
Some resorts sell their rooms with an EP or European Plan where no meals are included. This is how many experienced travelers prefer to book
since it allows them to try various local restaurants.
However, on some islands, the dining options outside of the
hotels may be more limited than you like. Or the meal costs,
especially dinner, higher than you expect. In the Caribbean, evening meals tend to be costly and purchasing a meal plan through your
hotel may be a good option.
Remember, there really isn't a lot to do on many islands after the
sun goes down. Dinner is often leisurely and the night's entertainment.
Find out what the range of your hotel's ala carte menu, and then compare
that cost to a meal plan.
Meal plans are usually sold 2 ways:
AP or American Plan, also called full board, with 3 meals included.
MAP or Modified American Plan, or half board, with 2 meals, breakfast
and an option of lunch or dinner. Lunch usually costs far less than
An All Inclusive Resort?
Don't worry, be happy. That's the appeal of an all inclusive
resort where meals, alcohol and wine are all included in the basic
charge. So are a wide range of activities, everything from scuba diving
to horseback riding. Tipping is also covered, as are the taxes (which
can add another 20%).
Sandals and the SuperClubs of Jamaica
took the all inclusive concept pioneered by Club Med and took it to
the next level. Instead of Club Med's small matchbook rooms, they offered
more spacious accommodations with quality amenities.
And where Club Med would nickel and dine you to death,
especially for soft drinks and alcohol, Sandals and the SuperClubs included
every possible drink type. Club Med has been on a downhill spiral in
the Caribbean every since.
If you're the type who likes to go out and see where you're vacationing,
be aware that all inclusives actually discourage this. The resorts already
offer most available activities and you've already paid for all your
meals and drinks? Why go elsewhere?
Indeed, the majority of guests never
leave the property unless they're part of a scheduled activity.
The result is that they could be vacationing anywhere. Their only contact
with locals is through the wait staff. They might as well be on a cruise
ship, far out at sea.
But that is what some vacationers want. Sunshine, relaxation and no surprises. And there is nothing wrong with that. It all depends on your preferences.
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