Etiquette means more than just which fork to use, though when I’m on vacation you’d be impressed to even see me use one. As far as other folks are concerned though, etiquette helps us all get along. Since all—inclusive resorts are basically just adult playgrounds, here are a few tips to help us all get along while playing.
The Towel Game
The towel game has been played out at resort beaches and pools around the world for years and it’s time it stopped. If you are unaware, the towel game is played when first thing in the morning guests drop their towels, sunscreen, and/or books on one of the limited loungers surrounding a pool or on a beach and then leave. Now this may be fine if you are headed to the bathroom, or maybe even the buffet to grab a quick bite and return—but to mark your territory for hours, removing those chairs from use should be a crime. Since the only person with any authority as far as I’m concerned is the bartender, it is up to us to police ourselves. If you throw a towel and some sunscreen down, then disappear for hours, well, they just may not be there upon your return.
Sure it’s called an “all you can eat buffet,” but that’s not meant as a dare or challenge nor does it mean you have to do it all at once. You are welcome to come back for seconds and even thirds and fourths as I have done numerous times, so why don’t you leave a little for the guy behind you? I have seen people take seven different desserts and try a bite of each. I know you’re on vacation and don’t want to count calories, but here is a warning: I have seen people gain 8 pounds in seven days, and yes that was me.
If you don’t want to wear big boy pants, then don’t make a reservation at a specialty restaurant that requires them. Not only are you ignoring their wishes, you are making me mad for having to put long pants on when you are getting away with shorts. Sure it’s hot but if you want to wear the internationally recognized U.S males’ uniform of cargo shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt, well that’s what the buffet is for. Some of us like to dress for dinner—okay, some of our wives like to make us dress for dinner—so if I have to, so do you.
The Tipping Game
Most all-inclusive resorts state that tipping is not allowed, or at least not expected, but this is one rule meant to be broken. Even on cruise ships where tips are added to your final bill, a couple bucks spread here and there work wonders. Throwing a buck or two at your bartender will result in him remembering your name, and more importantly, your drink. A couple bucks left on your bed insures that towel animal looks like an animal and not a bad dream by Picasso. At dinner, just a buck or two will get you that beachside table every time. Besides the fact you want the best service, the couple bucks you throw around probably mean a whole lot more to them than you and helps makes life a bit better for all of us.
There’s no reason to get upset about slow service, because we’re on vacation and not supposed to sweat the small stuff. Heck, at the beach I’m sweating like you wouldn’t believe anyway, so why sweat over things I can’t control? It doesn’t matter where I go it seems there is always a reason for everything taking forever. If I’m down south it’s called Southern Time. If I’m in the Caribbean it’s Island Time and at a ski resort it’s Mountain Time. It’s obvious that service is slow everywhere so we may as well slow down ourselves because we are on Vacation Time.