We receive calls and inquiries all the time from couples who are interested in taking an all-inclusive lifestyle vacation for the very first time. Perhaps they have been in the lifestyle for a while and have attended local clubs and parties, but have never been able to travel until now. Or maybe they travel all the time and they are finally ready for a daring, sexy, kids-free experience. Either way, I can generally help them decide what kind of lifestyle vacation is best for them with 3 simple questions.
Are you a beach person or a boat person?
People generally have strong opinions about cruises and if they get seasick or otherwise are uncomfortable on a boat, that’s a deal breaker. On the upside, a cruise gives you freedom to sample at least a few different ports, with different culture, food, and activities at each. And did we mention the wild sea day parties at the pool???!!!
So, if they say “boat,” the next question I ask is: luxury or party?
If they say “luxury,” a 5-star trip with Shoes Only Travel, such as the Menage a Asia on Paul Gauguin, is their best option. If they say “party,” a Couples Cruise takeover like the Independence of the Seas in November 2014 or the fast approaching Celebrity Century cruise in May out of LA is the way to go. These are lifestyle vacations on a big scale, with nearly 4000 people expected on the Independence cruise and around half that number on the Century.
The trick to cruise takeovers is in the timing. With only a few options in the year for true lifestyle takeover cruises, you have to find a cruise that fits in to your vacation schedule. So my final question is simply this: can you join us on this week from LA, that week from Ft. Lauderdale, etc. ?
Back to the original question…If they say “beach,” my follow-up is basically the same: luxury or party?
If they say “luxury,” it usually means they expect 4-star or above accommodations, excellent choices in liquor and food at the resort, premium service, and an up-scale clientele. For a lifestyle vacation at an all-inclusive resort, this really only leaves Desire Riviera Maya and Desire Pearl, both located in Mexico, south of Cancun.
My final question for “beach/luxury” vacationers is a repeat: even better luxury at a smaller resort (Desire Pearl) or a larger resort with a bit more of a party scene (Desire RM)?
Both resorts are great values, have great food and drink, and you can try out the facilities at the other for free. But there are a few differences in the two and we do hear that the nightlife is more active at Desire Riviera Maya. (Caveat: there is another small luxury resort near Playa del Carmen, Hidden Beach, though it is more of a nudist vacation spot.)
Back to the follow-up above… if the couple says “party” instead of “luxury” I say: mild or wild?
Mild lifestyle resorts include Temptation and Grand Oasis Viva. These have topless pools and sexy theme parties at night, but do not allow public sexual activity. Both are in Cancun and while Grand Oasis Viva is a nicer resort, Temptation really nails the sexy party scene. Meanwhile, there really is only one option for those looking for a truly wild lifestyle vacation at an all-inclusive resort: the infamous Hedonism II in Jamaica.
There you have it, friends. I can name that lifestyle vacation tune in 3 notes. Don’t believe me? Give me a call at 603-384-3297 and ask for vacation planning assistance from Kevin. He’ll be the guy with a smile on his face.