Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to score a great deal on a cruise

How to score a great deal on a cruise...


So I'm sure I've probably mentioned the fact that I am going on a cruise 3 or 4 500 times over the past few months, but I am so super duper excited that I just can't contain it!! I'm not going to tell you exactly when we are leaving, because there is probably some crazy stalker out there just waiting to come into my house and steal my underwear while I'm gone...legit fear guys. Anywho, sometime over the next month I will be cruising to sunny Cozumel, Belize & Mahogany Bay, eating, drinking and gambling like it's my job. And what is better than cruising the Caribbean for a week? Cruising the Caribbean for a week in a balcony room. And how much did I pay for this room, you ask? A helluva lot less than I should have!! Wanna know the scoop?? Of course you do!!!

Rewind 4 months back to March-April-ish. We had finally picked a date for our cruise, decided where we wanted to go and put in the time at work. Next came choosing which of the 1,500 or so rooms we were going to stay in. Last year we stayed in an ocean view room on the main deck. The view was great, the location was perfect and we had no complaints about noise. Since we are cruising for 7 days this year instead of 5, the price for the ocean view room was not exactly ideal. We debated back and forth between going all out and splurging on a balcony room (which would have cost us $1,700) or taking the cheap way out and settling for an interior room. We decided that since we had spent zero time in our actual room last year, and it didn't really matter to us where we slept, we would go with the interior-upper-lower room. The size of the room is the same as all the rest, but instead of a queen or king bed, you have an upper and a lower twin bed...think of glorified bunk beds...glorified only because they are floating in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. We were satisfied with our decision and didn't really think about it again.....until last week that is..

Last week we were chatting about how cool it would have been if we have spent the extra money and booked the balcony room instead of the interior room. The view, the sea breeze, the naked time on the balcony meals on the balcony. It would be amazing, right? We decided to call Carnival and see if they were running any specials on room upgrades. After 15 minutes on the phone we were told that if we wanted to upgrade to a balcony it would cost us an additional $850...considering we had only paid $850 to begin with, we were definitely not about to double the cost of our trip. Even the ocean view room would have cost us an extra $650!! Ummm, no thank you...Before hanging up the phone, the super sweet phone rep told me to keep checking the rates online because they are constantly running deals as the cruise date gets closer...So what did I do as soon as we hung up the phone? Got to researching...

A few minutes later I found a deal that had to be wrong. Like, there was no way they were advertising something THIS low online and that high on the phone. I looked around for a catch---anything that would shatter my excitement and slam me back down to reality---and I couldn't find one. Not a single catch. Back to the phone I went...1-800-Carnival? (which by the way, is not even close to their number) Sure, I'll hold while you check your system. What's that you say? You will honor the rate I found online? Why thank you kind lady, that's so nice of you.

So here's the deal. We booked our cruise back in March. We paid $850 for an interior upper-lower room, which is the cheapest rate they offer. The going rate for a balcony room at that time was $1,700. We then waited 4 months, found an amazing rate online for a balcony room, called back to upgrade and Voila! After all taxes, fees and other charges, we paid around $1,250 for the entire week in a balcony room, a savings of $450 off of the rate in March. I know, I know...we still paid a few hundred dollars more than the price of the interior, so we really didn't save anything. But looking at the big picture (and why wouldn't you look at the big picture?) we made out like bandits. I can say without a doubt that we will be using this trick again in the future!

Just for fun, let's compare our previous room to our current room....

*Interior VS Balcony*
 ...The interior room on the left...balcony on the right...



Try it out for yourself. If any of you have a cruise planned over the next month or 2, give the cruise line a call or browse around online. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at what you will find!!

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