Order breakfast while still in bed at the new Aura Cozumel Wyndham Grand Bay. You'll have just enough time for a dip in the private plunge pool above your third-floor suite before room service delivers smoked salmon, fruit and coffee.
Check into a suite at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica and head straight to the sand while a butler unpacks your luggage and presses your clothes. No need to go back to the room for the sun block and paperback you forgot; a quick call to your butler and she's on her way down with the missing items.
Spend the day climbing through St. Lucia's rain forest, then head down to the bar at East Winds Inn for a sunset libation. A glass of French Pertois Moriset Rose champagne is placed in your hand, refilled once, twice -- a perfect lead-up to a dinner of lobster caught fresh that afternoon, and one shared with a maximum of just 60 guests each evening at this intimate resort.
Never will you ponder menu prices, hand out tips or even settle a bill. At all-inclusive resorts, you've taken care of it all before you even arrived.
NEW STYLE RESORTS
If you thought all-inclusive options in the Caribbean were limited to huge, impersonal resorts short on island personality and quality dining, you're in for a pleasant surprise.
Yes, you can still find plenty of cost-wise hotels geared to travelers who want no more than a beach and a bill-sans-surprises. But today, the options also include upscale resorts with only a few dozen rooms. From the fussiest jet-setters to wallet-busted real estate evacuees, just about every traveler can find a fixed-price Caribbean resort to suit his or her needs.
As a result, all-inclusive converts are coming from unlikely places. Consider Maribeth Mellin, a Mexico expert who prefers smaller, intimate resorts. ''I always resisted all-inclusives and then I stayed at the humongous Iberostar in Riviera Maya,'' said Mellin, author of The Unofficial Guide to Mexico's Best Beach Resorts.
``I finally got it: That an entire family of several generations could vacation in the same place. The kids could play in a fabulous pool area, the grandparents could sit in a shaded bar playing cards, and that there was a wonderful spa.''
To these families, whether they were in Cancun or Punta Cana didn't matter. ``What they cared about was the price and the ability to spend a week somewhere where everyone could have a good time.''
AROUND THE REGION
Travelers who do care about location have plenty of choices. Though the vast majority of all-inclusive resorts are in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and along Mexico's Caribbean coast, set-price resorts also have opened in St. Lucia, Antigua and even Cuba. Nearly all tourist-oriented islands offer at least one.
Jamaica -- one of the early meccas of all-inclusive vacations -- once again is experiencing hyper-growth. By 2010, the number of hotel rooms will climb by 20 percent -- most at mid-range all-inclusives run by Spanish hotel chains. Established firms like Sandals -- recently known for luxury initiatives -- are countering with its new Grand Pineapple Beach Resort priced less than it's current Sandals and Beaches resorts. SuperClubs is going a step further: it just opened its second branch of Rooms on the Beach, a no-frills hotel that includes only breakfast, with rates starting at $100 a night in high season.
Still, the Dominican Republic offers the best value of the top all-inclusive destinations, says Juan Aguirre, vice president at Miami-based MK Travelplan. ``Jamaica is starting to see lower rates, but it doesn't offer the quality and value of Mexico and the Dominican Republic.''