Next Time, We’re Going to Sandals

Cruises are great.  I love how everything is included in the price of a cruise.  Everything except drinks and the $900 in extras we managed to rack up in one week.

So after the wonderful week of lifting nothing heavier than a pina colada, I woke at 5 a.m. yesterday and dragged my own luggage off the Oasis of the Seas so that I could be home in time to check my pets out of their own magical vacation oasis.

They love their usual resort, a no-frills all-inclusive in Atlanta.  I mean, it’s not Beaches, the super  Caribbean all-inclusive where one might order a Salty Dog for each hand at no extra charge.  This place provides food and lots of love, and there are no surprise charges to the credit card on file at the end of the stay.  The dachshunds dance when I announce that they’re heading to this pet paradise for some down time.  Laverne particularly loves Miss Paula, who never fails to kiss her on the lips when she arrives.

But this was a different place.    It was a lovely 4-star B&B in a quaint beach town. The services were a la carte.

“Would you like to purchase extra play time for your pets?” was one question at check-in.


“Two walks per day are complimentary, as are room service and our standard pampering.  But for a charge of $2.50 per day, your pets will be taken outside for an extended period of play.”

I declined the extra play time, the pool time, the spa services, and the ice cream treat after dinner.  This resort was already nearly twice as expensive as the Hilton, but then again, the Hilton doesn’t have a pool.

So yesterday, when I checked them out two days early, I received a report card for each dog that included a picture of each pet during their stay.

Laverne looked old and tired.  She definitely was not tanned, rested, and ready after her week at the resort.  In fact, she showed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

And she was pissed.

“Oh, come on, Laverne, don’t tell me you’re angry about not getting pool time.  You tremble at the sight of water,” I said.

Laverne was angry because I saved $5 a night by arranging for her to room with Pancho, our three-legged Australian Shepherd.  It was a good plan, I thought, since I was declining the extra play time.  They could keep one another company.  It would be like the Couples Caribbean resort except for the all-inclusive part.

Apparently, Pancho spent the week picking her up by her collar.  It was noted by the B&B as both dogs “playing well with others.”

“While you were sitting on the pool deck sipping a Mango Tango, I was fighting for my life,” Laverne growled.    “Next trip, purchase the pool time for him and a massage with kisses for me.  Or just take us back to the old place.”

Apparently, I’m not the only one who adores the all-inclusives.  I’m thinking about opening one for dogs and naming it Bitches.

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