Woodloch Tubing.

Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio

Jay Lloyd's Getaway: Guide to the all-inclusive

December 14, 2018 - 4:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It was like being nibbled to death by ducks. The guy on the next barstool was complaining. He found the perfect resort. The price was right. But soon after arrival, he learned the hard cold truth. Every activity and amenity had a separate fee attached. Dining was the unpredictable budget buster. The days of the "All-Inclusive" or "American Plan" vacation are dwindling down to a precious few. But there still are some out there. Let's focus for now on food.

WOODLOCH RESORT 

There was a time when virtually every Pocono Mountain resort came with a price that included 3 meals a day and you could stuff yourself without a financial care. Today, the sprawling Woodloch Resort is the largest and most complete of the few that still offer the American Plan meal service. 

My last visit served up lunch from a comfy food menu or a soup to nuts buffet. Dinner was a traditional American menu of beef, birds and fin food joined by family style platter-passing veggies. Most activities including indoor and outdoor ice skating were part of the package. Discounted skiing is nearby at Ski Big Bear.

SPLIT ROCK LODGE 

It started life as a rustic Pocono Mountain lodge on a pristine lake. Split Rock is now a full blown resort with a collection of lodging options featuring fireplace equipped apartments, lodge accommodations and hotel rooms. It also offers a rare meal package that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch concept is questionable if you plan to ski at nearby Jack Frost or Big Boulder. On the plus side, both are just minutes away and there's a free shuttle to get you back and forth. 

The weekend only package also includes sliding and splashing in the water park, a bowling session and first run flicks in the movie theater. It's a good option for families with kids. 

The resort web page is no help in finding the package, but a phone call will do the trick: Call 1-800-255-7625.

 Ski Jack Frost (
Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio

MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE 

This castle on a visually spectacular bluff rises above the Hudson River Valley and the gateway to New York's Catskill Mountain. It's Victorian styled rooms reflect the Mohonk Mountain House 19th century heritage. American plan dining includes a gourmet touch that combines seasonal and local ingredients with creative presentations.  

But gents, be aware that "Evening Casual" is the dress for dinner. My last visit required a jacket. Now a collared, button shirt, dress pants and real shoes without jacket are fine. Ladies, bring a dress or skirt and shoes that fit the occasion. 

Virtually all winter activities here are included in the accommodation package. Ice skating and cross-country skiing will put the rose in your cheeks.

An extra fee is tacked on for the Spa. 

Mohonk Mountain Lunch.
Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio


GROTTO BAY 

Bermuda in winter? Sure. I lived there for nearly five years and the coldest it ever got was a one-time low of 54. Temps will hover in the 70s, prices are down and crowds of thin. 

Grotto Bay near St. George is a relaxing resort with an all-inclusive reputation. That includes the bar. Although if you want to order a high ticket shot of a prized single malt, that's on your dime. Most whiskeys, rums, vodkas and gins are included. 

The price plan include three meals a day. 

We still got our money's worth when we skipped lunches to enjoy one of the island's newer eateries and a few of my throwback favorites. 

Grotto Bay.
Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio


CRUISE 

Traveling by sea was at it's peak in the early 50's. The lure was reasonable pricing and "six meals a day" if you wanted them. On a recent 21st century cruise, Mary and I woke up at 3 in the morning, wanting something to do. We headed for the pool deck. It was sparsely populated but the grills and an oven were cranking out burgers, dogs and pizza. 

During the day we noshed our way around the ship from breakfast herring to luncheon pasta, lobster dinners and a midnight chocolate party - all included in the fare. Most cruise ships have celebrity chef dining rooms at an added cost. But the main dining rooms and deck buffets outclass many upscale shore bound eateries. 

Worried about weight gain? It may not be an issue. After many years at sea on warships, cruise ships and sailboats, I found that even when docked, a ship is constantly in motion. It forces the body to compensate even during sleep and that, my friends, is exercise. With any luck, you'll work it off without lifting a cocktail fork.

Deck Noshing.
Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio

Enjoy!