Last updateFri, 24 May 2024 6am


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The all-inclusive vacation – where more is more

I just returned from a trip to Playa del Carmen. It was a family event and took place over a week at an “all-inclusive” resort, where you never have to leave the premises or your room, or even your bed, for 24 hours a day.


All-inclusive pretty much says it all. There’s a mountain of food of every kind, as close to the expected taste sensation as possible, given that the food service staff have only 20-minute deadlines to prepare enough grub for the population of the four time zones of the Americas—all tasting pretty much the same, and never running out. It’s available from sunrise to sunrise and is the modern equivalent of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, but with drinks and desserts.

On the odd occasion that you find some activity that suits you, such as a dip in the pool or trip into the surf, you can’t get away from all-inclusivity. Within a few minutes of bathing or swimming, a beach attendant, unshaken by the crashing waves, will show up with a tray of drinks and appetizers. I could save the all-inclusive resort a lot of money by taking appetizers off the menus. Nobody there even thinks of appetizers or aperitifs. Or in the health of their digestive system, which is still working on yesterday’s rib roast and some foods the digestive system doesn’t yet recognize.

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