It’s a question I frequently get: Why are there no all-inclusive resorts in the United States?
First off, that’s not true. There is one all-inclusive resort in Florida – Club Med at Sandpiper Bay.
However, that’s the only one and don’t expect more anytime soon.
All-inclusive resorts have exploded around the world – especially in the Caribbean and Mexico. And not only are they taking off, but because of the client expectations the quality has been forced to keep up with the demand.
In the USA it’s just not happening. The No. 1 reason is labor costs. The United States has stringent labor laws that companies have to abide by or face federal intervention.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Hawaiian-branded NCL America is a classic example of how labor laws can impact the situation. When it was first created three ships were supposed to make Hawaii cruises something special. There was Pride of Aloha, Pride of Hawaii and Pride of America.
Today, only Pride of America remains. The other two were victims of the times and U.S. labor laws that mandates a large percentage of employees must be American citizens …. and work hours carefully regulated.
Everybody knows that one of the great parts of a cruise is the non-stop service and the willingness of crew to do your bidding with enthusiasm.
I saw first hand the lack of such when I sailed on Pride of Aloha in NCL America’s early days. The American staff just didn’t cut it … and unfortunately it was probably my worst cruise experience among my 36 voyages.
I know most of us don’t really care as long as we enjoy our vacation experience. But the staff on cruises and most resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico work ungodly hours for wages most Americans would laugh at.
The same problem would exist at an all-inclusive resort in the United States … making it cost prohibitive … and again, would draw the attention of the U.S. Labor Dept. Resorts on America soil just couldn’t compete price wise.
So if you want to try that all-inclusive … with all the food, drink and entertainment you can stand … you better order a passport and prepare to leave the country.
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