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Cruise VS All Inclusive Resort – Which Has The Best Value?

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My wife and I have spent over 500 nights in hotels and on cruise ships. One of the most important factors that will make or break a stay for us is VALUE. Does it give you good bang for your buck!? Two of the most popular ways to vacation right now are cruising and all inclusive resorts. They are the ultimate way to enjoy great dining, amazing service and incredible views. You can forget about daily budgeting and leave your credit cards in your room! They both offer different perks and can vary widely in cost. We compared two of the most luxurious brands in the world, Celebrity Cruises and Secrets Resorts to find out which gives better value and help you make a decision for your vacation! We have been on a Celebrity Cruise and stayed at Secrets in Cancun so we know both brands first hand. Here are the results of our Cruise Vs All Inclusive Resort comparison! 

Cruise VS All Inclusive Resort (2)

Cruise Vs All Inclusive Resort

First we needed to set the ground rules for a fair comparison. Celebrity cruises offers 5 star luxury service so we also used a 5 Star Luxury All Inclusive Resort. We chose a one week time frame to compare the two. December 1st to December 8th, 2018 based on double occupancy.  We used flights based from Vancouver BC, Canada with only one stop to arrive at the destination. The flight for the cruise would be round trip to Miami. The flight for Secrets All Inclusive Resort would be round trip to Cancun.

Celebrity Deluxe Ocean View with Veranda
Secrets Deluxe King Ocean View

Secrets Deluxe Ocean View 

The hotel room is 440 square feet featuring a king size bed, single sink bathroom and shower. Other amenities include a minibar and safe. Robes and slippers are included with the stay. It has a gorgeous ocean view balcony with outside sitting area

Cruise Vs All Inclusive

Celebrity Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom With Veranda

Celebrity Cruises has Deluxe Veranda staterooms up to 240 square feet. All rooms feature a king bed, shower, single sink bathroom and robes. Other amenities include a minibar and safe. Veranda rooms also include an inside couch sitting area with uninterrupted ocean views.

Celebrity Infinite Veranda
Celebrity Edge Class Infinite Veranda Stateroom

Room Winner: Celebrity Cruises

Although the Deluxe King Room at Secrets is almost double the size, Celebrity Veranda rooms make use of the small space effectively and even have a couch.  The ocean view is superior on a cruise ship as it's constantly changing along with port stops in different cities. You can't get any closer to the ocean then a balcony suite on a cruise ship! 

All Inclusive Offerings: Celebrity Cruises VS Secrets All Inclusive Resort

Cruises have changed drastically in the last few years. Watch for promotions that have alcoholic  drinks and internet included in the price of the cruise. Many cruise lines are offering perks if you book direct! When comparing a cruise vs all inclusive resort, we had to make sure they both had similar offerings for the price. 

Celebrity Cruises - What's Included?

Celebrity Cruises
  • All meals in the main dining room(a la carte), room service and the main buffet 
  • *Alcoholic Beverages  (does not include top shelf)
  • *Unlimited Internet
  • Activities and nightly shows
  • Enrichment seminars like dance and art lessons
  • Twice daily housekeeping
  • Port fees 
  • Cruise fare 
  • Transportation to different countries and cities
*We chose a Celebrity cruise that came with two free perks. This is now common with many cruise lines so make sure to book a cruise with perks included. For this example we chose free internet and the classic drink package.

Secrets Resorts - What's Included?

Capers Italian Cruise Vs All Inclusive
  • All meals including specialty restaurants, room service and the main buffet 
  • Alcoholic Beverages including top shelf brands
  • Unlimited Internet
  • Nightly shows
  • Housekeeping and turn down service

All Inclusive Winner: Celebrity Cruises

Secrets Resorts offers two extra perks that are included in the price. All specialty dining restaurants and top shelf alcohol. Although they have the two extra perks we don't believe that gives them the edge over a cruise. Cruises also include cruise fare which takes you to different countries and ports around the world. Memories are priceless not a premium vodka. 

Facilities and Amenities

Cruise Ships now a days are floating cities with every amenity imaginable. Secrets Resorts also offers some amazing amenities including a stunning white sand beach. Both 5 star vacations will have you pampered in luxury that will make for an amazing holiday. 

Secrets Resort Amenities

all inclusive resort vs cruise

Here are the amenities offered at Secret Resort in Cancun: 

  • 3 Pools
  • Private Club Pool
  • Fitness Center
  • Whirlpool
  • 14 restaurants and lounges
  • Nightly Entertainment
  • Spa
  • White sand beach

Celebrity Equinox Cruises Amenities

Here are the amenities offered on the Celebrity Equinox:

  • Acupuncture spa
  • Spa
  • Arcade
  • Art Gallery
  • Theater
  • Nightly Shows
  • Fitness Center
  • Casino
  • Kids Zone
  • Hair Salon
  • Jogging Track
  • Shopping Boulevard with 16 stores
  • Library
  • 4 Swimming Pools
  • 6 Hot Tubs
  • 25 Restaurants and lounges

Amenities Winner: Celebrity Cruises

The proof is in the numbers. Celebrity Cruises offers more amenities within a floating city where you will never run out of things to do and ways to pamper yourself! 

The Big Finale! Price Comparison

Here are the prices we found for a Cruise VS All Inclusive Resort

Celebrity Cruise – December 1st to the 8th, 2018 on the Celebrity Equinox

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda: $2477.54 (double occupancy)

Round Trip Flights from Vancouver to Miami: $1033.00

Total Cost: $3510.54 US


Secrets Resorts – December 1st to 8th, 2018 at The Vine Secrets Resort Cancun 

Ocean View King Room with Balcony: $3393.12

Round Trip Flights from Vancouver to Cancun: $758.00

Total Cost $4151.12


Price Winner: Celebrity Cruises - Savings of $640.58

Overall Winner: Cruise!

Both vacations would be amazing and will have you feeling like royalty! In terms of value, cruising can be more affordable especially if you are close to a cruise port which will eliminate flight costs.  Depending on what type of vacation you are looking for cruising may or may not be for you. If you love having your feet in the sand and long days on the beach, stick with an all inclusive resort. If you are more adventurous and want to see multiple cities and cultures, cruising gives you that opportunity! Better yet, do them both and decide which one is best for YOU! 

Happy Travels. 

cruising vs all inclusive resorts - which has the better value?