Hollywood Casino (Grantville, PA) Free Cruise Offer

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#1
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I received an offer for a free cruise certificate from Hollywood Casino in Grantville, PA. The mailer says it is on Norwegian Cruise Lines and does not include port fees, airfare, and government taxes. It appears to be offered through Casinos at Sea. We've never cruised on NCL before and we've never received an offer like this. I was hoping to find out if anyone has received a similar offer in the past and if there were any strings or catches. Grantville is about a 2 hour drive for us and it's on a Monday, so I want to make sure it's worth the drive. It says we'll have 90 days to book and 1 year to cruise.
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#2
803 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Yes, very much well worth it if you are looking to cruise in the next year! I've had two such certificates. When you are ready to book all you pay is the taxes and port charges. For a 7 day cruise out of NY it was roughly 500 dollars. Where can you get a seven day cruise for that amount of money?? Then if you want to upgrade to a better cabin, you can do that, just pay the difference.

NCL is fantastic and I love sailing with NCL. I am sure you will love it! So, go and get the certificate and take a cruise! Why not??
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#3
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Thanks for the info. I assume it's for an inside cabin?
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#4
Florida - Connecticut
252 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
This sounds like the same offer given to me. Mohegan Sun is the casino that gave me the offer. In my offer, Some sailings were outside cabins, some inside. It was not exactly free with the taxes and such, but still a great deal. That was my first NCL cruise, and I am now hooked on freestyle. Casino at Sea had our slot cards and gifts in our room when we checked in. We then got free drinks all cruise(in the casino) and small gifts in our room daily. Then you can book directly through CAS on future cruises and you can get, depending on play, a discount to full comp rooms.
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#5
Florida - Connecticut
252 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Also, on the last night of the cruise, check with the host. They may comp some or most of your on board charges.
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#6
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Thanks for the information. It's very helpful!
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#7
northern new jersey
1,851 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
received the free cruise certificate through Mt. Airy casino last April. Booked a cruise for June cruise the very next day. It was 2 comped inside cabins and I paid $253 per person for DH and myself. The listed fares for us would have been $1900 so for $500 and change it was a great deal. The "free" drink card in the casino alone is worth its weight in gold, lol. We left out of NYC port and for Casino at Sea guests they have VIP boarding (no waiting, no lines). Sailed on the Jewel and it was one of our best cruises ever. Go for it, you won't be sorry.
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#8
979 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Our next cruise was booked thru CAS and now we get promotions for free stays at land based casinos They must share the info esp in this tight economy
#9
POCONO'S, PA
39 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by schittenden
I received an offer for a free cruise certificate from Hollywood Casino in Grantville, PA. The mailer says it is on Norwegian Cruise Lines and does not include port fees, airfare, and government taxes. It appears to be offered through Casinos at Sea. We've never cruised on NCL before and we've never received an offer like this. I was hoping to find out if anyone has received a similar offer in the past and if there were any strings or catches. Grantville is about a 2 hour drive for us and it's on a Monday, so I want to make sure it's worth the drive. It says we'll have 90 days to book and 1 year to cruise.
I also received a Free cruise for 2 from Mt. Airy casino in Mt. Pocono........
yes it's a good deal if you can stay in a "INSIDE" cabin, but when you try to upgrade lets say to a "balcony" cabin that is when the free $$$ends$$$... i upgraded for a cruise coming up soon in October , and the best price i could get was $694.00 each for 2 which equals $1,388.00 for the upgraded balcony..... out of our pocket.....
now $694.00 each is still a decent price for a 7 day cruise, but it is hardly free.. and don't forget the casino also expects a lot of action from you while onboard...... so is it free ......i don't think so !!
and this is our second cruise with casino at sea...and our 4th cruise with ncl....
#10
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Is the upgrade charge the same as the difference between the two rates or do they charge more than that? We've never done an inside cabin, but we spend very little time in our cabin anyhow... we usually spend it in the casino. Not sure how much action they expect, but if they expect more than we give, there's probably not much they can do about it.
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#11
northern new jersey
1,851 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
The difference in cost to you will be exactly the same as the difference between categories, however, the price they quote on the website is inclusive of the port charges and taxes. For instance, your free inside is listed at $800 per person, you will pay about $250 per person. If you upgrade to an outside for let's say $975 pp, substract the $250 in taxes per person so your upgrade will cost you the difference between $725 pp and the inside cost of $550 pp ($800 minus the $250). Another $175 pp coming to approx. $425 pp. Still less than $975.
We didn't upgrade because I would rather spend the funds in the casino! Spend little time in cabin so not worth it. Althogh, if it were a really nice cabin would make it our business to hang out there. As far as they are expecting casino action...... if you don't give it will still not cost you more, If you do give it, you're setting yourself up for another discounted, or free, cruise. Can't make the call for you, but for us, it is a win, win situation, because we will always give the casino action. At least until I find out definitively that everything is "rigged".
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#12
Leesburg, VA
10 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
I received a free 7 day cruise offer through Harrahs for an inside cabin. I am taking my cruise October 31st on the Pearl. My friend also received an offer but hers was for a 3-4 night cruise so you might want to call and see what they are offering. If you have to fly to the port, you may not want a 3 - 4 nighter. I upgraded to a mini-suite and paid the difference between the mini and the highest inside category. A great deal for us because we were already planning a cruise for October on Princess that would have been $2,000 more for the three of us. This will be our first time on NCL and we are very much looking forward to it.
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#13
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Thanks for the additional insight. My wife also received a voucher offer. It says we can use both of them to upgrade our cabin. I suspect that might get us to an outside at least.
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#14
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I wanted to provide an update in case anyone else was curious. We picked up our certificate last night. I called NCL today and spoke with an agent who provided some information that conflicted with what I found out from the board, so I wanted to make sure the right information was out there in case it effects anyone else's decision to drive 2 hours to pick up a certificate.

Our certificate is good for an inside cabin on our choice of:
3 or 4 day Bahamas on the Sky
5 day Caribbean on the Dawn
7 day Caribeean on the Spirit
7 day Mexican Riviera on the Star

I called and asked about the charges on the 5-day Dawn sailings and the 7-day Spirit sailings. The port charges and fees that we would be required to pay are $191.50 per person or $383 total for two people on the 5-day Dawn sailing. (For what it's worth on select sailings this same itinerary can be purchased for $541 for two without a "free" cruise certificate.) The fees that for the 7-day Spirit sailing are $233.52 per person or $467.04 total. (Again, for what it's worth, on select sailings this itinerary is available for $978.56 for two without the certificate). Either way, a savings, but definitely a difference between the two. Of course, the savings can be much larger depending on when you take the cruise and the available rates.

Now, the surprising thing to me was the upgrade charges. The difference is NOT based on the available rates for each cabin. The upgrade charge is based on a random matrix that bares only a minimal relationship to the actually available cabin rates. On the Dawn sailings, the fee to upgrade from an inside to an oceanview is $100 per person and from an inside to a balcony is $200 per person. On the Spirit sailings, upgrades are $100 to an oceanview and $250 to a balcony (both, per person). Keep in mind that on most sailings oceanview rooms are less than $50 more per person than an inside cabin, and on one cruise is actually less expensive. They may also feature free intra-category upgrades that based on what I was told would not apply.

I suspect we may still go and not upgrade the cabin. I hope others might find this information useful.
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#15
South Central PA
163 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Do you have any idea how you qualified for the cruise certificate? I live fairly close to that casino and have frequented it many, many times. Maybe I don't spend enough for them, lol.
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#16
410 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I have no idea. My wife did not qualify one (we thought she had). I've been only twice -- once in July 2009 and again in May 2010. Each time I lost between $200-400 dollars and was there for about 3-4 hours, I'd guess. I'm not sure why they felt the need to send me the offer, but they did.
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#17
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
7,550 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by schittenden
I have no idea. My wife did not qualify one (we thought she had). I've been only twice -- once in July 2009 and again in May 2010. Each time I lost between $200-400 dollars and was there for about 3-4 hours, I'd guess. I'm not sure why they felt the need to send me the offer, but they did.

It's averages.

I go frequently and gamble heavily whereas my husband goes infrequently and gambles less....but one time he did well and played quite a while...then didn't go back for 6 months.

he gets WAY better offers than I do.... my average is worse, his one-time was better.


Plus I guess they know I'm going 'anyway'
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#18
Nashville, TN (we moved, again)
19,126 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
We have done many CAS comped cruises.
We have done some Harrahs casino certificates.

Pretty much what everyone says above is about right.

You normally have to pay the port fees/taxes.
The cabin you are offered depends on the package the casino puts together and is willing to help sponsor, could be inside, OV, balcony, etc. Like other perks that the casino offers, it is based on your VALUE to the casino. Gamble a little, get a little. Gamble a lot, get a lot. Long, long story to all of that.

I have found that the dollars to upgrade are normally what the website shows. You might get lucky and pay less, but don't count on it. Always remember to keep fees separate.

Airfare is almost never included.

Personally, I would not bother with the 3 day cruise. Just me.

As a guest of CAS, you do get a drink card offering free drinks while you play. Odds are tighter on the ship, but still fun. High spenders might get some comps at the end, but way less than you would normally get at a land based casino.

Want to know more about CAS - do a search on CASINO.
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#19
Northern, Nevada
25 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
My DW is a diamond member at harrahs and got an offer for a 7 day cruise for 2 in an OV we paid the $1721 upgrade and got an AE suite on the pearl. The CAS folks are very nice and they said the rule of thumb was whatever the per person price for the catagory was what you would pay PLUS the NCF's (non-commisionable fares) I am looking forward to it, we usually do the Balcony thing on RCL
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#20
Maryland
132 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
We received this offer as well and picked up the certificate. We received one in the past from the Hilton in Atlantic City. For that one we went on a cruise in November of 2009 on the Pearl out of Port Canaveral. That was a 7-day cruise. We didn't do any upgrades so we had an inside cabin. We liked NCL very much, especially the free-style dining.

I'm not sure why with this offer you can only get a 7-day cruise out of L.A or New Orleans but we prefer the 7-day over the shorter times.

As another person mention (which we didn't realize until the middle of the last cruise) is that you get complimentary drinks at the casino bar with your players card. When we initially went to sign up for the card we found out they already had our names and had the cards waiting. That is definitely worth its weight in gold as the person stated.

One thing though is that what they charge for "taxes and port charges" with this offer seems higher than if you booked it through a travel agent or on-line travel site. (I looked at the fees using Travelocity.) But there is still a savings.

Joe