I was slightly surprised we booked a weekend cruise. Prior to this trip, I had thought that the ideal cruise was just about a week and that for anything shorter, you were better off just plopping yourself down in some hotel on the beach.
When a great deal presented itself last fall for a weekend cruise on a ship that has a somewhat sentimental value to my family, I figured it was worth giving it a shot.
Thanks to a triple stack, we were able to get a cruise for four people including food, entertainment and two cabins for less than what one hotel room would have cost for the weekend in either the Bahamas or Florida.
This article is part of my Cruise Trip Report: Weekend in the Bahamas including:
- Affordable and Efficient: Southwest to Florida
- Booking a Cruise: Triple Stack
- Liberty of the Seas: Interior Cabin Review
- Liberty of the Seas: Ship Review
- Perfect Day in Coco Cay Review
- Spending a day in Nassau
- Lounge Review: Centurion Studio FLL
- The Weekend Cruise… would I do it again?
Royal Caribbean Promotion
As many cruise lines have been and are doing, Royal Caribbean ran a promotion back in November that was very in-line with most of their offers. It included something like 35% off every guest plus up to $550 off. At this point, many of these offers (or versions of them, i.e. 70% off second guest) are the baseline due to their frequencies. There is almost always a promotion going.
The original cruise’s cost was just shy of $400 per person. Given all that is included, that’s not even horrible for a holiday weekend. But cruise lines want to fill rooms, so, with the promotion our cruise came out to $249 per person.
The Stack Begins: Email Offer
While I was browsing the website, I got a pop up offering something like up to $50 off your cruise if you sign up for their email marketing. I went ahead and gave them my email and the discount code was sent to my inbox.
For a shorter cruise like ours, it was only valid for $25 off per stateroom, but that’s an easy $50 in savings. If any other companies want me to sell them my email for $50, sign me up (you don’t have to subscribe forever).
This meant that with the original offer plus the discount code, the total fare came to $946 for the four of us, not too shabby.
Cherry on Top: Amex Offer
While I was booking, I recalled reading about an Amex offer on Royal Caribbean. I went ahead and checked, and sure enough I had an offer for 20,000 points after spending $1,000 on ROyal Caribbean.
But wait… the total cost was under $1,000; how did we trigger the offer? Unfortunately, taxes and fees (the port fees mostly) are quite high and came to about $100 per person. I know 40% of the cost in fees, but it is what it is.
Everything included, the cruise came to near exactly $1,400 for the family. But we earned 21,400 Membership Rewards points. I typically shoot for 2 cents in value per point, meaning that we got $428 back in points, bringing the net cost to $972 and some change.
The Last Point
Given that going to Miami or the Bahamas and eating dinner for a family of four can easily cost $200, having three days worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, PLUS two rooms and countless activities for $243 per person, all in all is a great deal.
It’s not as good as the casino match offers that have been very intriguing recently (check out Frequent Miler’s article here), but even at this price paid, it is a good deal.
At this price, again, I would gladly get back on board and head south for the weekend. Let’s hope American Express runs some similar offers soon!
Nice stacking. You left out the link to FMs post. That said keep in mind the INKIND offer on Amex cards you can click on spend $50 get $50 that could lower food price pre-cruise if you have a number of players with the offer (check bluebirds they have the offer as well as non-amex amex cards as well).
Payton Turner says
Thanks for pointing that out. Didn’t copy over. Surprisingly we have used InKind since before the offer (they offer 25% bonus on gift cards for one of our favorite restaurants). When I first saw the offer I used it on 4 cards.