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What Is (And Isn't) Included in a Beaches Vacation?

by Leap on June 28, 2021

What's Included at Beaches - PinterestHave you ever gone on a family vacation and stressed as you kept opening your wallet for every meal, snack, treat, activity, cab fare or craft that came your way? Did you come home to a bigger credit card bill than you had budgeted for or had to choose a less expensive meal than the one you really wanted? Sweep all that worry out to sea at Beaches. You pay for the trip, and that covers everything. Beaches is the ultimate Caribbean family all-inclusive resort. But what’s actually included in a Beaches vacation? We are hoppy to say everything you need is included. There are a few extra add-ons that you can choose to pay for. However, you can have a wonderful vacation without any of these bonuses. Let’s hop to it and discuss what’s included in a Beaches vacation, and what may incur an additional cost. (Psst ... just in time for summer vacation, your favorite frogs will have special offers on Beaches and Sandals Resort coming soon, so keep hopping back!)

What’s Included in a Beaches Vacation?

What's Included in a Beaches Vacation - Dive In Movie

One of the best parts about a Beaches vacation is that the amount you budget for your luxurious vacation is exactly what you’ll spend. Your room fee covers all of your meals, drinks, water sports and activities. You cannot even tip the waiters or staff for their excellent service. That means you can leave your wallet in the safe and never have to bring it out until it’s time to check out. As the family member who covers the budgeting and payment, I can tell you this is a huge relief not to have hidden costs and to put my wallet on vacation, too, so I can truly relax. I also don't have to tell the tadpoles "no" to anything they want because it's all included!

So how is everything included in a Beaches vacation? Your room fee covers it all. The price per room can vary per person and level of room. Adults pay more than tadpoles. You can get anywhere from a basic hotel room to a large family suite. No matter what kind of room you book, all of the following are included in a Beaches vacation. Let’s go over the big-ticket items that really add up if you were to visit a different resort.

Meals, Snacks and Fine Dining

What‘s Included in a Beaches Vacation? - Chefs preparing meal

Do you have a hungry, growing family? Is ice cream a staple on vacation? Do you all have different tastes in food? Then you are going to love eating at Beaches. Each Beaches Resort has a number of restaurants to choose from. Turks and Caicos has the largest selection, with 24 restaurants, while Negril has nine and Ocho Rios has seven restaurants.

You’ll find something for everyone in your family, picky eaters included. From teppan tables and sushi, to French, Italian, American or Caribbean food and more, you can eat your way around the resort. And you can have all the ice cream you want! You can even catch the food trucks at the Turks and Caicos water park! Kids can enjoy pizza, french fries and all the food they love, or your little foodies can go gourmet without you pushing the kids menu at them. Cost is not a factor and you can order as much as you want.

If a family member has allergies or you require special meals, such as Kosher meals, contact the resort at least a month in advance. Keep in mind, a few fine-dining restaurants have evening dress codes, so bring some nicer outfits for the ladies and long pants and dress shirts for the men. (No flip-flops at those locations.)

During the day, plan for resort casual. That means you can dine in shorts, jeans, T–shirts or polo shirts. While you'll feel like you're living in your swimsuit with all of the water fun available, you'll need to cover swimwear and wear shirts and footwear to dine in a restaurant.

In the evening, aim for resort elegant. Men may wear dress pants or jeans, long or short sleeve dress shirts (with or without a collar) with dress shoes or sandals to select restaurants. No shorts, T–shirts, sleeveless shirts, sneakers, flip-flops, slippers, hats or caps are permitted. You can, however, wear nicer dress shorts in some restaurants.

Unlike a cruise, you can dine wherever you like and whenever you like. You are not tied to a table and dining time during a Beaches vacay!

Drinks

Cheers! All of your beverages are included in a Beaches vacation 24/7. That includes adult beverages and premium spirits. You can enjoy 5-star premium liquors and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines that are exclusively for Beaches Resorts. There's nothing like a tropical drink to put you on island time! If you book a top-tier room, you can also enjoy a fully stocked bar right in your room. Bottled water is included in most room categories, but you should know the tap water is filtered and safe to drink, as well.

Tipping, Wi-Fi and Hotel Taxes

The no-tipping rule makes for a very nice vacation. You don’t have to pay to get good service. The employees are hoppy to help! None of the self-guessing, “Do I tip for this? How much?” That all goes away. It’s nice to head to the beach or pool without any money to worry about in your pocket or beach bag.

It’s also nice to know that Wi-Fi and taxes are included. That way, there are no surprise charges upon checkout. All room categories have Wi-Fi in the room and in all public areas.

Water Sports

What‘s Included in a Beaches Vacation? - Kids running on beach with snorkel gear

There are three Beaches Resorts, one in Turks and Caicos and two in Jamaica at Ocho Rios and Negril. They all offer toadally fun water activities, but the specific activities can vary per resort. You don’t have to “get your money’s worth” when the tadpoles beg for you to take them out sailing on a Hobie Cat and then decide they want to go back to shore about 10 minutes later. You can head back and decide to try a new activity. It’s quite freeing to try new water sports when money is not a factor. You might decide you love paddleboarding or give scuba diving a try. If you are a certified diver, bring your dive card.

My wife, Flora, and I are avid snorkelers and scuba divers. (It comes with having great flippers!) At Beaches, we can dive and snorkel every day of the trip (except no diving within a day of flying home). On any other trip, we would have to pay hundreds of dollars for each dive and hire someone to watch our tween and toddler. But at Beaches, the kids are hoppily entertained at the free Kids Camp and age-appropriate activities, leaving us to dive with the fish in the warm turquoise waters guilt-free.

All Beaches Resorts offer the following fun water sport choices:

  • Scuba diving*
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaks
  • Aqua trikes
  • Windsurfing
  • Hobie cats
  • Paddleboards
  • Water skiing, tubing and kneeboarding at available at Negril and Ocho Rios
  • Some resorts offer glass-bottom boats

*Certified scuba divers can dive (two full tanks per day) for free. Schedule your dive times after arriving at the resort. (If you are not certified, you must first take a resort course for $100 before diving. Kids can learn to dive for an additional fee.)

Land Sports and Games

What‘s Included in a Beaches Vacation? - Family Playing Volleyball

You have another opportunity to play as a family at Beaches. Activities do vary per resort, but may include the following:

  • Beach volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Board games
  • Tennis (day and night)
  • Pool tables
  • Table tennis
  • Land chess
  • Miniature golf
  • Fitness centers (with classes)
  • ... and more!

Any golfers out there? The Jamaica Beaches locations offer golf (at Sandals Golf & Country Club) for adults and kids. Greens fees are included. Transfers are included from Ocho Rios (a 30-minute drive), but are an additional cost from Negril (a three-hour drive). There are some other additional fees involved with golfing, which we'll chip into below.

A new Beaches Resort comes soon to Jamaica. Beaches Runaway Bay (located between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay) will feature dedicated wellness areas and frogciting new activities such as skateboarding, bike trails, a climbable treehouse and access to 18-hole championship Runaway Bay Golf Club.

Entertainment

What‘s Included in a Beaches Vacation? - Entertainers blowing fire at beach party at night

At Beaches Resorts, you can attend parties, live shows, themed nights, piano bars, cocktail parties, nightclubs, kid shows, bonfires, live bands, talent shows, dive-in movies and special events.

Your smallest tadpoles can get into the Caribbean spirit with their Sesame Street pals who appear in character parades, stage shows and other activities. In terms of indoor fun, gamers will hit play at the Xbox Play Lounge and teens can meet kids their own age at the teen night club.

Kids Club and Daycare

What's Included in a Beaches Vacation - Xbox Lounge

The free Kids Camp is a really nice touch for families. It’s fun for the kids and gives parents a chance to have some romantic time together or do a water sport that wouldn’t be safe for young froglets. Your tadpoles will think they are going to Kids Camp for them, but you know it’s for you. If you need a break from watching kids in a pool or head out to sea, you can leave your little ones (ages newborn and up) in the very capable hands of the nannies at daycare or Kids Camp.

If you and your partner want a romantic dinner, you can feed the tadpoles at a kid-friendly restaurant and drop them off for kid-friendly entertainment while you enjoy dinner together at an adult restaurant. The Kids Camp hours can vary, and program activities vary per age group; generally, the camp hours can range from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Water Park

What's Included in a Beaches Vacation - Waterpark Access

Most other resorts have pools, and some even have water slides, but how many resorts have free water parks included? Each Beaches Resort has waterslides and splash pads to play the day away. Some have lazy rivers. And Beaches Turks and Caicos has the only surf simulator in the Caribbean. The Caribbean waters may be calm, but surf’s up at Pirates Island Water Park! The slides have a height requirement of 42 inches (about 1 meter).

Airport Transfers

Don't worry about getting between the airport and your hotel. It’s all included. Beaches will both pick you up and arrange your transportation back to the airport. It's all covered! You can make arrangements when you do your online check-in.

Weddings

Did you know that on stays three nights and longer you can get a free wedding? Maybe you want to get married, but also want a nice honeymoon? You can have it all — a low-key Caribbean wedding with none of the stress or expense of a big event back home, followed by a nice honeymoon. After all, you are already in paradise!

What Is Not Included in a Beaches Vacation?

What‘s Included in a Beaches Vacation? - Kids Taking Bubblemakers Scuba Course

While a Beaches vacation includes almost everything, there are a few optional add-ons. But do not worry: There is no bait and switch or pressure to spend another dime once you arrive. As you can guess, there is so much hoppening at Beaches that you may never need to take any extra steps to pay for extras. But you might be in need of some pampering at the spa or want to go on an excursion outside the resort, and that will cost a little extra. The following are not included at Beaches or have some additional fees. You can sometimes get photo credits or resort credit to put towards tours or the spa when you hop on certain sales and promotions!

Hop over to the vacation extras page to book tours, spa days, scuba diving and other extras. If your arrival date is less than three days away, call 1-888-BEACHES for assistance.

Spa Services (and Tipping Exceptions)

Should you need some pampering, spa services are an additional fee. You can tip your therapist.

The only other exception to the no-tipping rule is if you have butler service with your room. Your butler will greatly appreciate it, but tipping is not required nor will it be solicited.

Excursions

If you want to head out on an adventure or do some sightseeing, you can book excursions at an additional cost.

Golf

As we mentioned, Jamaica offers golf at a Sandals Resort, which is a couples-only sister resort to Beaches. Greens fees are included, but golfing can incur some additional minor fees. Beaches Ocho Rios guests (a 30-minute drive away) do not have to pay for transfers. But Negril guests (a three-hour drive away) pay for transfer. Is golf important to you? Then factor costs and travel time into your destination choice. Caddies are mandatory and not included in your fees, and golf carts cost extra, as well. The costs are relatively low as far as golf goes!

VIP Sesame Street Experiences 

If you want some special one-on-one time with your favorite Sesame Street characters, you can pay a little extra for the VIP experience.

Private Childcare or One-on-One Beaches Buddy (for Children with Special Needs)

If your child needs special attention or you’d rather have your tadpole in bed early rather than at Kids Club at night, you can hire private childcare for an additional fee. Or, if you have a child with special needs, such as autism, you can hire a specially trained One-on-One Beaches Buddy. Did you know Beaches offers autism-friendly Kids Camps? If you want to rent a stroller, you can also do that through the Kids Club for an additional fee.

Photo Packages

If you want to capture your happy family with sun-kissed cheeks in the Caribbean, you can book a portrait session. Book online at least three days prior to your arrival date. You can also book a Sesame Street private photoshoot with Elmo and the gang!

Candlelight Dinner

Even though all of your food is free, you can pay for a white-glove, private meal if you are looking to surprise your partner with a romantic dining experience.

Scuba Dive Certification Courses

You can scuba dive (two full tanks per day) for free if you are a certified diver. If you are not certified, you must first take a three-hour resort course for $100 before diving. You will get training in specialized scuba diving pools. This certification is a resort-specific certification and does not certify you to dive everywhere. If want to complete your scuba certification, or take a refresher course, you can reserve that in advance (for a fee).

Hopfully, this gives you an idea of what your Beaches vacation includes and whether you want to splurge on any extras during your trip. We are jumping with excitement to offer hopping discounts on Beaches vacations!

Related: What Are Beaches Family Resorts?

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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