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Old 03-29-2019, 10:12 AM
Location: Texas
158 posts, read 40,470 times
Reputation: 307


Many people have their "go To" cruise line. Ours is Carnival. We travel out of Galveston due to being able to drive... no flight costs.

To save money on our cruises we:
First book using Carnival website. My husband is retired military and we use that rate.

Watch to see if our American Express Card has an offer of spend $500 get $100 off... use that card for our deposit.

Go to AARP Rewards for Good and get Gift Cards.. you do not have to be an AARP member to do this. Get an account, answer quizzes to accumulate points


Gift Cards are 10% off.
Use gift cards to pay rest of cruise cost.

Move the booking to COSTCO travel. ... we get slightly more than 7% of the cabin cost back from them in store gift cards.

We have Carnival Stock... gets us On Board Credit of $50-250 depending on the legnth of the cruise.

Use Carnival Gift cards for on board spending... soft drink package.. .excursions etc.

Get Costco Gift Card

For our next 5 day cove balcony cruise on Dream it breaks down as...
Cruise including Gratuities... right at 1400
AMEX rebate -100

Carnival Gift Card 10% -90

Costco Gift Card -70

OBC for Stock -50

Net cost for basic cruise $1270 with $50 to spend onboard and $70 to use at Costco after the cruise.

If we book Carnival excursions or have other onboard purchases we use gift cards at 10% off.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:07 AM
628 posts, read 402,322 times
Reputation: 3541
Wealso cruise on carnival. Love it! Wedon't have Carnival stock. Weare thinking about buying some but decided to wait until after the judge's ruling in May to see how that affects stock prices. I would love to hear more about the savings you get from Costco.

We use AARP points for good as well. What a deal! We also use credit card reward points for travel, but, since we already had free airfare from other cards, we used our Southwest cards points and applied them to our cruise [$700]

We do not drink enough alcohol to justify the Cheers program. What we do is order a bottle of rum and a bottle of vodka through Carnival. It costs much more than buying it from a liquor store,[ litre bottles about $80 each using AARP points] but Carnival has it waiting it for us when we get in our cabin at embarkation.we bring our own mixers [allowed] and that saves us a ton of money on alcohol, though we do still order an occassional drink from the alchemy bar because that is as much entertainment as anything.

We do not use Carnival excursions but arrange our own in advance, not only because of the savings but also because the vehicles used in Carnival excursions can feel so cramped.

We used to spend a big chunk of money buying new clothes before we cruised, but no longer. I like dressing up for elegant nights, but I have plenty of dresses and shoes that I have nowhere to wear except on cruises, so I do not buy new beause my old ones are still almost ne to me.

We also have a tradition that saves us money that started after my first [and only] bad Carnival experience. After going through chemotherapy, losing my hair, bloating up, losing my breasts [ I actually have some cute little "mounds" now] and my skin looking like it belonged on a lizard, we went on a cruise to celebrate remission. My husband,kids, friends, grandkids had convinced me that I was still "beautiful"[never been beautiful, but that's okay] They had combined funds for a beauty package on the cruise. I was so looking forward to it. I was feeling mostly okay with my appearance, and thought the pampering would make me feel better. But no, the experience was devastating. The technician [or whatever they are called] pointed out how terrible I looked but with buying all of these expensive treatments I would feel better about my appearance [which apparently was even much worse than I thought] It was horrible!

We always bring grandkids with us, and now, the night before the cruise my granddaughters and I have a "beauty pamper party" in one of our hotel rooms. We give each other manis/pedis, facials, microdermabrasions [from a to be used at home dermabrassion machine], etc. We have a great time, feel pretty, save tons of money, and it has become a tradition we all look forward to.

lots of ways to save on a cruise. And the more money we save, the more we can cruise! The ONLY thing I spend quite a bit of money on is tipping. I prepay the tips but we still give out lots of tips apart from that to the hardworking employees,especially our cabin stewards.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:14 AM
Location: South Bay Native
13,382 posts, read 21,932,788 times
Reputation: 23580
Glad I stumbled into this thread - we're cruising this summer and can always use a way to save. Can the gift card through AARP's points program be used on the ship or just to purchase the trip? This is unclear to me.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:18 AM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,925 posts, read 83,566,150 times
Reputation: 41739
Though we do not happen to sail Carnival we do have a favorite line and we also use whatever discounts or money saving tips we can use. We charge our cruise to a credit card that gives us points toward discounts for the cruise: we depend on our travel agent to get us the best price plus she always add some nice incentives. We are platinum plus with the cruise line we use, so we get perks from the cruise line as well. We also happen to be stock holders thus giving us a $100 OBC. We are also, for our next cruise using the cruise lines air package. It will not be the perfect time and certainly not perfect seats but instead of costing us about $600 each round trip it is costing us, $99 round trip.

Add to all this we love gift cards for birthdays etc and use them when we can for travel. Plus we have what we call and stash and cash jar. Anytime we have a few extra bucks we stick them into our jar. Usually by the time we leave for a cruise we have almost enough cash to take care of all incidentals on the ship and in ports so we don't have to touch any savings or extra money in the check book.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:51 PM
Location: USA
1,030 posts, read 355,987 times
Reputation: 849
We liked to cruise, me more so than DW.

Stayed with Royal. Never did other lines. Kept upgrading from a windowless cabin to the Crown Loft Suite.

You really have to plan out far in advance to get the cruise you want. Even on Oasis of the Seas from the Loft Suite, the merry-go-round racket below is a distraction. However, the dining amenities with Suite class is so much nicer.

I would prefer to save for a cruise over working deals for other less costly cabins. Just a difference in outlook. Certainly those that want to cruise often and can take the smaller cabins, the discounts are helpful!

Enjoy your cruising!
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:27 AM
Location: South Bay Native
13,382 posts, read 21,932,788 times
Reputation: 23580
We don't cruise to sit in the stateroom, so we are happy with the cheapest available. We really only use the room to sleep and shower, but now it will be just to sleep. For our upcoming cruise we booked a stateroom in the spa section which grants us access to amenities the rest of the passengers have to pay a premium for, including spa robes and Elemis toiletries en suite, and deluxe multi-jet aromatic showers in the spa with custom blended scrubs created for you by their mixologist. I'm looking forward to the pampering.
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