Experience Resort for A Day

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Beach views during lunch at one of the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort's restaurants.
Beach views during lunch at one of the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort’s restaurants. (Photo credit: Michelle Marie Arean.)

Resort for a Day, an experience where cruisers get to relax and enjoy a resort’s amenities while in port, is a good alternative to the traditional shore excursion.

While on the Norwegian Escape back in November, I had the opportunity to experience Resort for a Day through CruiseOne. Resort for a Day gives cruisers the option to spend their time in port hanging out by a pool, lounging on the beach, and enjoying the amenities of a resort. These commissionable resort day passes are available in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico and Europe.

This is an ideal option for frequent cruisers who might have already been to the port in the past and have already done the land excursions, or for those who want to relax beachside versus sightseeing. “It’s the perfect complement to all the other shore excursions we provide our guests,” says Resort for a Day’s general manager Sean Tolkin. He adds that guests have access to a resort while the ship is in port; typically that’s 9 a.m to 5 p.m. The Resort for a Day passes include amenities such as meals, drinks, pool access, as well as access to private beaches, WiFi, gym, a private guestroom, and more. The amenities offered vary by each resort. The experiences offered through the resort range from an all-inclusive to a European plan, to day rooms for up to four guests to just simply access to the facilities. Resort for a Day offers passes at more than 30 resorts in 19 destinations at popular ports of call. “We want the right resorts. We don’t just want a resort to have a resort,” says Tolkin.

During my cruise on the Norwegian Escape, I had the opportunity to experience Resort for a Day while in St. Thomas at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. It was nice to take some time to relax on the beach, away from other cruisers, and take in the scenery of the blue waters and the mountains. The beach was almost our private hideaway, as only a few other guests were lounging nearby. There was time to work on my tan while sipping on a piña colada, and then enjoy a fish sandwich at the beachside restaurant before heading back to the ship. Tolkin says that the Resort for a Day offer is perfect for either relaxation or fun in the sun.

The pool at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort.
The beachside pool at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. (Photo credit: Michelle Marie Arean.)

According to Tolkin, about 40,000 cruisers took advantage of the Resort for a Day experience in 2015. The amount of guests who opt for the Resort for a Day option varies depending on the destination. For instance, Tolkin notes that the offer is much more popular when at ports such as Nassau versus Tortola. During my particular sailing, about 35 guests purchased Resort for a Day passes while in St. Thomas, and about 300 guests had opted for it while in Nassau, partly because “the Atlantis is such a widely popular excursion,” he says.

Resort for a Day is offered through all cruise lines at any destination where there’s a resort participating. And for those cruise lines that will soon be sailing to Cuba?  We asked Tolkin if Resort for a Day will be offered there in the future. He says,”Absolutely! But again, I also think that might be more of a cultural experience. People want to see Cuba.” Yet, he doesn’t fail to recognize that the island is filled with beautiful beaches.

This week, World Travel Holdings announced that agents can now earn commission on resort day passes booked directly by the client. When a cruiser books their Resort for a Day experience on their own, they’ll receive an e-mail order confirmation that will ask them if they booked their cruise through a travel agent, and if they want the agent to earn commission on the day pass. Then, the cruiser e-mails Resort for a Day their agent’s name and e-mail address, and Resort for a Day sends them a commission check.

The most recent additions to Resort for a Day include Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino in St. Kitts, Breezes Resort and Spa in Nassau, and Marigot Beach Resort in Saint Lucia. Resort for a Day rates range depending on the destination, the resort, and the experiences included; rates start at $39 and go up to $159 for the day, and commission is 10 percent per booking. Agents, you can check these out for yourselves with a discounted rate. Also, any agent can book the Resort for a Day experience; it’s not just for CruiseOne associated agents. As an added bonus, who knows…maybe one of the cruisers you sent out on a Resort for a Day experience will come back to book that resort for a longer vacation stay later on. Sounds like a win-win to us. For more information, visit resortforaday.com.