Brides love the idea of sporting their ubiquitous strapless dresses in the warmth and sun of a flower-bedecked arch, at the end of a boardwalk in place of an aisle, with a sparkling blue ocean backdrop. You really can't get much more romantic than that.
In addition, these destination events are advertised as "all inclusive". Just a matter of inviting friends and family to spend a whole raft of money to actually get to your wedding. Yes, of course that's above and beyond the expensive gift they'd like!
The commercials do seem to advertise, Twinrix and Dukorol, with ever increasing frequency, but you don't ever stop to question why!
My neighbor, Moira, and her husband decided to attend one of these destination weddings a short while ago. Nine days of luxurious fun, no cooking, leisure, swimming and all inclusive! That way you know what it's gonna cost, even before you go. That's great, because holidays invariably cost a bunch more than you think they will.
When they arrived they dutifully avoided the swarms of people who wanted to become their "porters," although they actually had to physically wrestle their small bags away from them. They went to their Westjet appointed representative holding a card, who ushered them into a seedy looking van with a very unofficial looking driver.
The driver liked to text. Maybe he was closely connected to his family. Anyhow the texting was more important than keeping his eyes on the road. He also was a devil-may-care speeder! The passengers arrived at their destination, three hours later, exhausted, hungry and thirsty, amazed to be still alive.
Wilma and her hubby found out the hard way that pre-trip financial budgeting means nothing on a Mexican all-inclusive! It doesn’t include the ever present fleecing of tourists, at every available opportunity. Any little service has aggressive expectations of tipping, whether it’s for finding directions, or inquiring about the most mundane things.
They had been persuaded to “upgrade” their room to a suite. That was fine, except for the first three nights an adjoininng room TV set at full blast kept them awake. Their protestations didn’t help. Wilma says, “ I got so sick of people shaking their heads, unable to suddenly understand what I was saying, I just wanted to scream.”
Talk about irritable bowels . . .
The flower girl was the first to succumb. She ended up in hospital for the first five days. Others followed in quick succession with diarrhea.
It was an expensive tour, but they were resolved to recover something positive from the nightmare experience.
So they found themselves on the top of a safari type, worse for wear bus, with roll bars and very little else for protection.
It was a rough journey, during which both of them were severely jolted as the driver began a rhythmic game of miss the 2’ potholes in the "road."
There was no chiropractor on board.
At one point Rob was rendered briefly unconscious after being whipped in the face by a branch. Fortunately his glasses landed in Moira's lap, so she could retrieve them.
1. The toilet facilities were disgusting beyond description.
2. Enormous tracts of land at the world heritage site have been bought up by wealthy people. Surely this is not even allowed?
3. When the turtles and dolphins were spotted (by this time they were in a boat) the guides raced after them. Moira and her husband were very distressed, thinking of the damage those propellers could cause, let alone the fear they would instill in the poor creatures.
To cap things off, the tide came in while they were there, meaning that they had to walk a mile or so back for another bone-breaking trip back to the resort
When they arrived back there was barely time to shower and get hastily dressed before the wedding! The good thing was they made it, and the flower girl by that time was recovered enough to stagger down the aisle with the bride.
By the time of departure back to their homes more than 80% of the guests had suffered from the Mexican runs.
It's a long and involved story, and thank you for reading this far, if you have! The question that must be asked at the end of it all?
Is this what All Inclusive really means?
Why I wrote this
My thoughts on this started when I was in Portugal, living in a very old area, among the locals. It was a challenging time, and I became aware of the daily difficulties of just living there.
I discovered an all inclusive resort about two blocks away though. In this opulent place people just apparently enjoyed themselves all day long! Swimming pools abounded, the food was glorious, and I couldn't imagine what the locals would think of living in such a place.
So here's my final question - I need your help!
I'd like to know your thoughts and consider your opinions before making any definite plans.
Have you got any experiences of your own you'd like to share? If so, I'd love to know all about it.
- Please make a visit to mar's Desk on mar's musings, where you'll find a small post that will break through the winter weather and light up your heart with a warm smile!
- Check out this week's edition of the the Pumpkin Run Pulse featuring the beautiful story, God's Playbook by Kevin Kruise and Kim Kruise Thompson, sibling writers and U.S. Army veterans.
Have a beautiful weekend and see you next time!