Over the past week, if you've been watching German TV any (the commercial stuff, not state-run).....you'd tend to notice a bunch of commercials on travel tours or package deals. It's that time of year when you are sitting there as a German and contemplating the summer vacation.
Naturally, there are different packages to consider.....some cheaper than others. Some with fun things to do....rather than just a beach. Some with inclusive deals on food on booze.
It took me a number of years to get into gear and grasp this whole package deal and how inclusive matters when planning a trip or buying some resort deal in Europe.
You have to do homework and read up on reviews. You tend to find resort X has a fine dinner menu each night and folks give them high points for food but negative points for high-cost drinks (a can of Coke for example costing two Euro). Or you find resort Y has a Italian men nightly but but only two options (you'd best like at least one of the items or face a pretty limited choice). Or you find resort Z has a lousy kitchen staff but offers sixteen different menu options every single night and has things that kids like to eat.
One year, I came to center in on inclusive booze being offered by a resort, and wanted to try that package (in Cyprus). They noted that they had beer and five mixed drinks......all free and to whatever excess you chose. In the end, I came to discover that the beer was marginally drinkable, and the five drinks were basically all the same thing with a different sugary-tasting mix and some cheap rum. I could have drunk twelve glasses of the cocktail in one hour, and just barely been on the edge of feeling some alcohol limit. The sugar would have killed me long before the alcohol. The beer, I should note....was probably 1.5 percent alcohol at best....so I might have been legally drunk if I'd consumed twelve of their stingy small cup beers.....in one hour (it always took ten minutes for the stupid waiter to come back with a refilled cup).
Does inclusive really matter? It kinda means that you have to eat exclusively at that resort, and after two weeks of a vacation.....you might be fairly sick and tired of their cooking. On the other side of this.....it means you typically save a fair amount of money. Naturally, this is all part of the gimmick of German planning.....to squeeze the heck out of a thousand Euro on some vacation package.
As a kid at some resort with the all-inclusive drink deal.....you can imagine your son or daughter sitting there and ordering cup after cup of Coke (or something resembling Coke) and getting all peppy with a sugary high. You get around to asking how many sodas they've consumed over the hot sweaty afternoon and they lost count at fifteen.
Typically, Germans take pictures.....lots of pictures.....of their buffet area at the resort restaurant. This is supposedly evidence to present to their neighbors after they return.....of the fantastic food offerings and dozen-odd deserts they had each night or the free ice cream they had daily.
So, when you hear your German associate chatting away in planning stages about the summer trip and what options are being reviewed......please note the phrase 'all-inclusive' and how it relates to the package. And after he or she finishes the trip.....lightly start a conversation about the grade that they gave for the all-inclusive package. They will probably grin for a moment, and relate their expectations probably weren't met.