Why An All-Inclusive Resort Vacation May Be Right For You!

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All-Inclusive. What is all-inclusive, and why may an all-inclusive vacation be right for you?

Well, according to the Travel Industry Dictionary, the term means one price covers all listed elements of a package or, as a noun, a resort at which a single price covers lodging, meals, and activities. All-inclusive resorts have transformed the Caribbean vacation experience.

The Caribbean is the backdrop for most of these resorts, having captured vacationers for generations. I mean, who isn’t drawn in by lush green mountains, brilliant sunshine, warm breezes, and beautiful blue waters? Travelers will find that the resorts in the Caribbean have something for everyone. They cater to both the young crowd looking for fun and couples and families looking for a quieter scene. Besides being ideal for just about any traveler style, there are many other benefits all-inclusive resort vacations provide.

You will have a more enjoyable getaway because you don’t have to keep thinking about the money you are spending. When you book an all-inclusive, you have already prepaid for all your food, drinks, and relaxation. Most all-inclusive resorts not only include all your food, drink, and property activities, but some go so far as actually to include excursions such as catamaran sailing. For many, that means that other than your souvenirs, your wallet never has to come out. This is a particularly great feature for those on a budget. Knowing ahead of time what you will be spending before you leave home and knowing you won’t have a large bill upon your return makes for a more relaxing experience while on vacation. One of the reasons we go on vacation is to escape our routines. And what better place than an all-inclusive one that lets you determine what you will do each day or not do? The resorts provide a daily activity newsletter to your room, letting you know when things are happening, and it is purely up to you as to whether you participate or choose to lay in a chair all day. Dining is just as grand. They offer a wide range of dining experiences from sit down, buffets, theme nights, room service, and private dining experiences. Today’s resorts keep offering more and more dining options, providing an around-the-world tasting pleasure.

Family travelers will love the amenities that keep their kids happy. The best resorts offer kids programs usually ranging from age 4 to 12, where parents can drop their kids off for various daily activities. Our favorite pick is Beaches Resorts because of the array of activities and inclusions provided. Beaches Resorts cater from infants through to your difficult tweens. They can accommodate special needs children as well.

Couples will love the romance extras that are included. Some of our favorite resorts, Sandals, Secrets, and Couples, provide honeymooners with special romantic amenities such as champagne and rose petals in the room or a drawn bath with lit candles. Plus, these resorts are what we refer to as adult-only, couples-only. And of course, a destination wedding at a resort can be a huge cost saver for couples compared to a traditional wedding at home, combining both their wedding and their honeymoon.

So, is an all-inclusive vacation right for you?

Travelers can find a nearly perfect escape in today’s all-inclusive resorts. With various amenities, facilities, and services to choose from at each property, a perfect fit is nearly guaranteed to be found. Beware, not all all-inclusive resorts are created equal. With the vast selection of Caribbean destinations and resorts to choose from, we recommend travelers contact a local travel agent to match them with the right resort.

We were honored that this article was originally featured in the December 2014 issue of Your True Colours magazine. Recently updated March 2021.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslWhy An All-Inclusive Resort Vacation May Be Right For You!
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Sandals and Beaches Weddings

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When I think of summer, I think of weddings.  Are you newly engaged or planning to be engaged in the near future?  Have you ever considered a destination wedding?  Did you know that Sandals and Beaches is a leader in destination weddings?  They both have customizable weddings, that are inspired by love and created by you.  With their talented wedding staff at any of the Beaches or Sandals location they will help you create the wedding of your dreams.  They even offer a free Tropical Wedding with a minimum 3-night stay.
However, most of you I’m sure would love to add your own touches and enhancements to make it your very own.  Sandal offers the most Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapels in the world.  There are three in Jamaica, one at Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals South Coast and Sandals Ochi. All three of these have been blessed for Catholic weddings as well.  They also have one available at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian.  What is so very exciting about Sandals and Beaches is that they offer a program called “Test Drive”.  This is where the wedding couple or the Bride and a single guest can experience the resort of their choice for a reduced rate, which in turn is then credited back to the couple upon booking 5 or more rooms for their wedding.  The options are truly limitless, and no one wedding will ever be the same.  If you are already married no worries, they also have a Retie-the Knot for couples seeking to renew their vows.  There are several different options for those as well.  The best part is you have a designated team of wedding specialists to work directly with you to make your destination wedding the wedding of your dreams.  There is nothing more romantic then the Caribbean and Sandals and Beaches have brought romance and wedding to a whole new level. Who’s ready to say I DO?  I am a certified Sandals Specialist and can help you plan that dream destination wedding.

Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardSandals and Beaches Weddings
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Our Favorite Honeymoon Destinations

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One of the first things a bride or groom probably fantasizes about is the honeymoon, because where you stay is just about as important as celebrating those first special moments together.

Have you ever heard your friends tell you of a trip that went incredibly wrong, how their room wasn’t what they saw on the internet, or worse yet there was no beach at the resort? We’ve all heard nightmares about a vacation gone wrong and your honeymoon is certainly not the time for that to happen.

When my husband and I were planning our honeymoon with our local travel planner, we had a few things in mind.  My husband was in the military, so he had some travel abroad already under his belt. I had moved quite a bit around the states, so I was really looking for something outside the US.  We both liked to travel and we both decided we wanted a warm location.  For me, one of things was being able to see and do as much as possible in one trip and ultimately our planner steered us away from a single island stay to a Southern Caribbean cruise.  With my husband planning on going back to school, we knew it would be some time before we would get to travel again.  Her guidance was perfect and we visited 6 beautiful islands during our honeymoon.

Many things will all come into play when picking your ideal destination like: weather, time of year, your activity desires, your desire for culture, and your food desires.

The best way to make sure you pick the destination that matches your personality is to work with a travel planner.  To help you discover your perfect place, we’d like to share our top Incredible Favorite Honeymoon Escapes.


French Polynesia– More widely known as Tahiti or Bora Bora, which happen to be islands that make up French Polynesia. It’s best known for being the birth place of the Over Water Bungalows with incredible shades of blue waters.
Perfect year round destination
Can do a multi-island stay and build the experience
Choose to cruise the islands
Water lovers paradise
Enjoy Polynesian culture
Shop for pearls
Quiet evenings

Hawaii- A South Pacific destination, but part of the United States. Popular destination thanks to film and television industry using the lush islands in their backdrop. And of course, the famed Pearl Harbor.
Perfect year round destination
Can do a multi-island stay to visit the various island personalities
Choose to do a cruise; NCL’s Norwegian Pride is our favorite
Surfers paradise
Plenty of land, water, and air activities
Enjoy Polynesian culture
Night life on the island of Hawaii
No passport required

Mexico- Part of North America offering resorts both on its east and west coast lines. By far, the area from Cancun south, known as the Riviera Maya has been a favorite spot for couples looking for romance.
All-Inclusive resort options and traditional resort stays
Mayan culture
Nightlife
Cruises stop at several of the Mexican city ports
Now offers over-water bungalows at select resort
A variety of activities to explore land and water

St. Lucia- Located in the Caribbean, this island offers a look and feel in
landscape to Hawaii and the South Pacific with its ancient volcano and notable Piton Mountains.
Experience the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean
Enjoy authentic culture
Choose All-Inclusive and Boutique properties
A variety of activities to explore land and water

Jamaica- Located in the Caribbean, this lush tropical island offers a variety of experiences depending on which part you choose to stay.
Great “no worry” Jamaican vibe
Nightlife
Water and land activities
All-Inclusive and Boutique options
Public and private beaches
Most cruise lines do stop at either Montego Bay or Ocho Rios

Costa Rica- Located in Central America and more for your adventurer than your beach goer, but has both to offer.
Lush landscape with rainforest, volcanoes, and interesting wildlife
Black sand beaches due to active volcano region
All-inclusive and boutique resort options
Perfect for the eco tourist
Coffee plantations

These are just some of our top favorite places for you to consider. There are so many to choose from and not every destination suits every couple. Working with a travel planner can help sort out the destination that will become your dream honeymoon.

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslOur Favorite Honeymoon Destinations
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Destination Spotlight-Over-the-Water Bungalows of the Caribbean

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There are some new and exciting things happening to help you escape and return to your happy place. The Caribbean and Mexico are bringing the South Pacific to you with the much-desired Over-The-Water Bungalow room concept at an affordable price.

These luxury accommodations are now available in Mexico at the El Dorado Maroma by Karisma Resorts in the Riviera Maya. In the Caribbean, Sandals is offering these spectacular Over-The-Water Bungalows at three of their resorts. Sandals South Coast and Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica along with Sandals Grande St. Lucia in St. Lucia.

At the El Dorado Maroma in the Riviera Maya, each of the over-the-water bungalows has the following luxury features:

-Glass bottom floor
-Private Infinity pool
-Direct ladder access to the ocean
-The romantic “Aguas del Amor” outdoor shower
-Indoor jacuzzi for two
-oversized deck with wooden lounge chairs
-24-hour butler service

At the Sandals resorts, each of their Over-The-Water Bungalow has the following luxury features:

-Glass bottom floor
-King size bed
-Spa Style bath
-over-the-water hammock
-Outdoor shower
-Suspended patio with a swim-up platform
-An expansive patio featuring Sandals signature Tranquility Soaking Tub for two
-24-hour butler service

These spectacular Bungalows have an unparalleled luxury and are amazing, truly a piece of paradise. Every Bungalow offers extraordinary views of spectacular sunrises and stunning sunsets. They are perfectly situated just off the sugary white sand beaches surrounded by the finest turquoise blue waters. All of this luxury and romance is available with a short flight to either of these destinations.


Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardDestination Spotlight-Over-the-Water Bungalows of the Caribbean
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Karisma Resorts-The Perfect Choice for Your All-Inclusive Vacation

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Lisa flew into Chicago from New Jersey and we met at the La Quinta Inn & Suites near the airport before our morning flight out. Thursday, we took off on United Airlines, arriving at the Cancun airport mid-day. Our home for the next 3 nights would be El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma, located along the Riviera Maya about 1 hour and 20 minutes south from the airport. This was my first time to Mexico and I must say it was wonderful experience. Since this was a work trip for us as we had scheduled three different site inspections of other Karisma properties.

We took advantage of every minute of our time, getting up at 6 am every morning to catch the sunrise, do our morning business activities and then hit our resort by 3pm to experience the facilities. We spent all morning, Friday, visiting, The Fives Azul Beach Resort, The El Dorado Maroma and Generations properties with courtesy transportation from Lomas Travel. I forgot to mention one of the best things we would recommend for going to the southern Mayan Riviera is to use the private luxury transfers. We were treated to this by the company upon our arrival. Nice leather seated large SUV that whisks you straight to your resort with complimentary cerveza (beer) on board.

Returning to our inspections, we were shown different room categories and special areas of the resorts that make them unique from all the others. Each resort truly has its own personality whether the family properties of Azul or Generations to the Adult Only properties at the El Dorados. The Fives was a great place for families with this unique outdoor area in the center of the resort where you could some of Mexico’s wildlife. We toured the newest section, an adult only section that only opened a few weeks ago. Villa 19. The location is grand, so close to Playa del Carmen that you could walk to it along the beach. About 20-30 minute walk for you beach walkers. All the rooms at Azul have a kitchen area in them and can easily be stocked for any infant or child care needs. Just let us know on the front end.

The Generations, also a family property, had a lovely design where all the restaurants were situated in one building tower. Plus, it had the infinity pools on the balcony level rooms except for the very top. The Generations will have a new neighbor as the ground had been broken for Karisma’s Nickelodeon Brand. Finally, the El Dorado Maroma is a boutique like adult only property with some amazing presidential suites as well as the new over-water bungalows that opened in the fall. These are just a few of the highlights. The staff at all the resorts was super friendly and outgoing. The resorts themselves were spectacular each catering to specific clientele with some suiting several types of travelers. For example, all the resorts had settings for destination weddings.

Saturday, we had the opportunity to participate in a snorkeling tour provided by Lomas Travel. It was called the Reef Adventure at Maraoma Adventures. Maroma Adventures is located on Mexico’s most beautiful beach, Maroma beach and it right next door to the El Dorado Maroma. Very convenient for guests staying there as far as travel time to their day tours. The snorkel tour was just one of many excursions that Maroma Adventures offers. Guests could do such things as parasailing, swim with the dolphins, jet boating, and so much more. All items can be pre-booked when you make your resort reservation by us.

All this information is so helpful for us to bring back to you our clients. It helps us to match you with the best resort for your passions to create an escape like no other. It is our job to help you find your happy place. These short working trips, although they don’t appear as work and we do enjoy our time in destination are truly the keys to us being able to give you the most informative information about the different destinations and resorts possible.


Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardKarisma Resorts-The Perfect Choice for Your All-Inclusive Vacation
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The South Pacific-The Home of Romance

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The South Pacific islands offer some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery of anywhere in the world.

Mountains, stunning stretches of beach, sparkling surf, calm lagoons, crystal clear blue waters, and scenic natural environments above and below sea level make the South Pacific ideal for romance. For years, filmmakers have used the amazing island backdrops to create movies such as South Pacific, Blue Lagoon, and Couples Retreat, leaving moviegoers wanting to visit this unspoiled, unique environment of extreme beauty and tranquility.


February is the season of romance. Whether celebrating a honeymoon, an anniversary or just rekindling the love, there is an island spot for you in the South Pacific. Whilst there are numerous islands in the South Pacific to explore, only about 500 are inhabited. Of those inhabited islands, some have become the favorites for couples looking for romance- French Polynesia, Fiji, and The Cook Islands. Each destination has its very own romance personality.

The Cook Islands
A Polynesian nation with a fierce pride in its people, history, and culture, boasting a warm, welcoming climate any time of year. Lying within the same time zone as Hawaii, the Cook Islands’ location makes it convenient for travelers who like to keep in touch with home while they are gone. No visa required! Visitors can stay up to 31-days with just a valid passport and return ticket home. The Cook Islands are comprised of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, and the Sister Islands. One of the coolest things visitors can do is obtain a Cook Islands Driver’s License from the Police Station in Rarotonga or Aitutaki. It makes for an awesome souvenir even if you don’t intend to use it. Another unique feature is the Cook Islands are one of the few places in the world without chain hotels or high-rise buildings. Most accommodations are locally owned and operated.
A romantic rendezvous is easy in a place where it is forever summer. The fall/winter (May – October) is ideal for weddings, honeymoons, renewal of vows, anniversaries, and romantic getaways. A myriad of stunning and intimate locations are available to say “I Do.” A bonus for the happy couple is that weddings are legally recognized internationally. They need only be in the country 3 business days before the wedding to obtain their marriage license. A great selection of venues, facilities, and professional coordinators are on hand to plan and take care of every fun activity and detail. Memories from the Cook Islands will last a lifetime.

Fiji
Bula! Welcome! Fiji consists of 333 mountainous islands of volcanic origin. It is in the heart of the romantic South Seas and is the first country to see each new day’s dawning. The perfect destination for those looking to escape the doldrums of winter with pleasant year-round temperatures. The warm waters of Fiji are great for snorkeling. This destination is perfect for the laid back traveler where the dress is casual all year-round (no ties, gentlemen). While Fijian and Hindustani are most commonly heard, English is widely spoken and taught in schools, making it an easy place for American travelers’ communication. There is a wide variety of unique and fascinating things to do and see, but if you are looking to stay put, you will find many activities are centered around the pool, beach, or lagoon. Many activities are water-based such as swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing, but you will also find various land activities to include tennis, golf, and horseback riding. One of the best things to do is to get out and meet the Fijians. Every city and town has an open-air market- a must stop for any visitor. Attractions and activities here are truly endless and cater to the laid back all the way up to the heart-pounding adventurer.
The beautiful, fragrant garden of tropical flora make Fiji a great place for romance, weddings, and honeymoons. Simple ceremony or full-on with a choir, warrior escorts, and traditional costumes could be the start of a new life together. To experience this, grandeur couples must get a license from the nearest marriage registry. Typically a minimum of 36 hours. You must also reside in the country at least 1 working day before the wedding. You will need a valid 6-month passport and your original birth certificate as well. You can choose to marry in a hotel or resort, on a beach or in a church. It is even possible to make arrangements to have the whole resort to yourselves. Imagine a wedding in total privacy.

French Polynesia
Better known as Tahiti and Her Islands (the Society Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands), French Polynesia is famous for her magnificent, sensual, sun-drenched landscapes. Comprised of 118 islands and atolls, lying half-way between the United States and Australia, it is the Society Islands – home to Moorea, Bora Bora Taha’a, and Tahiti that are most often visited. The islands speak French and Tahitian, although English is widely heard. Offering lush tropical backdrops encircled by coral reefs and surrounded by beautiful azure, turquoise blue lagoons, this destination screams romance!
While a 14 hour flight from Los Angeles, this destination does not require crossing the dateline and is only a 2-3 hour time difference from Pacific Standard Time depending on daylight savings. The claim to fame for this destination is being the home to the overwater bungalows—a signature accommodation where visitors sleep above the waters in their own thatched-roof bungalow villa or suite. Many of them with glass floor viewing areas to see the sea and coral below. Start your day off with a quick trip off the deck for a morning snorkel. The island resorts provide Polynesian spa experiences that will relax and rejuvenate. What could be better than a couples’ massage or maybe a bath in a tub full of flowers?
Weddings come with an array of locations. Wedding Chapels are available at many resorts for couples that prefer to have a Western-style ceremony. Like privacy? Choose to celebrate your wedding on your own tiny private islet (called motu in Tahitian). If you like to really go out, you can even get married underwater. Whilst weddings in French Polynesia are legally recognized, there is a bit more paperwork for this destination. It is highly recommended you work with a destination specialist when planning a wedding to ensure all legal documents are procured and translated. The typical process takes 3 to 5 months. An option would be to have a legal ceremony done stateside then have a symbolic traditional Tahitian wedding performed during your stay. And of course, like the other islands of the South Pacific, the array of land and water activities is endless. Take a 4 – wheel drive tour of the mainland or spend the morning swimming with shark and stingray and the afternoon shopping for cultured “black pearls.” Most of all, be sure to discover the rich history and culture of this captivating destination.
Everything here whispers romance. From the north to the south, from the mountains to the seas, these fragrant paradises combine all the truly generous and wonderful landscapes Mother Nature has created.

The South Pacific is your gateway for a romantic getaway!

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslThe South Pacific-The Home of Romance
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