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    Bay Area, California, USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian Princess Carnival

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Petersonfcu's Achievements

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Cool Cruiser (2/15)

  1. Yes, all of the many "free" casino room offers I have require you to put down $100 per person as a deposit and than you get the deposit back as on board credit. And I have upgraded my "free" oceanview offer twice to a balcony cabin and applied for the shareholder benefit on both. The first time, awhile ago, I did receive the shareholder benefit. On my more recent "balcony upgrade" cruise, however, I was denied the benefit. Let us know what happens with your more recent application.
  2. The casino folks (Ocean Players Club) couldn't care less about non casino spend. I have used more than a dozen Carnival casino offers and never seen a reference to spend outside the casino. So I think you are right, you got an offer that was not a casino offer. First I have heard of a free room non-casino offer from Carnival.
  3. I have used multiple "free oceanview" offers. I have always been denied the benefit when booking an oceanview cabin. However, Carnival lets you take the "free oceanview" and upgrade it to a balcony for a (usually reasonable) payment. I have sailed in the upgrade twice. I was given the shareholder benefit once when I applied, and denied on the second sailing. It all seems pretty random.
  4. This exact same thing happened to me a couple of years ago, but the trigger was $3k instead of $2k. And the ship was not able to "verify" the additional cards so I had to bring them home for next time. I don't know how the specific dollar limit might vary, either from ship to ship or for the entire Carnival universe over time. I think one way to increase the limit is to set up your account and your spouse's account as totally separate (e.g, not backed by the same credit card and not cross-chargeable). Since we have done that we have been able to put up to $2k in GCs on each account. Perhaps we could have done more, but we didn't need to do more so we didn't try.
  5. What mitsugirly said. Carnival charges nothing for you to fund your slot account from your room (sail and sign) account. Strangely, Carnival does charge you 3% if you try to buy table chips using your room account. I find this dichotomy odd because the other cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation umbrella (e.g., Princess and Holland America) have no charge at all when using your room account to fund either slots or table chips.
  6. Yes, when you first go to the slot machine and set up your account, it will ask you if you want to charge the funds to your room. You do that, and the gift cards on your sign and sail account will be used to fund your slot account,.
  7. Yes, this is how you prepay your gratuities with a gift card, at least when you are past final payment date (90 days before cruise) and have already paid your cruise fare in full.
  8. One more Carnival casino tip. If you are a table game player, Carnival will charge you a three percent fee for using your sail and sign account to buy chips at the table. But Carnival does not charge any fee when you put money on a slot machine from your sail and sign account. So go first to a slot machine, set up a slot account, fund your slot account from your sail and sign account, pull the money out of the slot account at the cage, and then use the cash to buy your table game chips. OK, if you are just spending $100 or $200 at the tables, maybe this is a hassle not worth it. But that three percent fee can add up.
  9. I have run into a limit as to how many gift cards Carnival will let you post to your sail and sign account on any particular cruise. I think this limit changes from time to time . . . but I am sure that $1,000 is below the limit. In one past cruise, I had them tell me that they needed to get approval from their headquarters to exceed this limit, but then the approval did not come. So I had to hold that gift card until the next cruise.
  10. You can definitely use Princess gift cards to buy all those things you mentioned if you wait to get on the ship, buy them on the ship, and then load the gift cards to your onboard account to pay for them. The princess app (known as the Medallion app) has a horrible reputation, and I use it for as little as possible. I also don't usually buy other things (e.g., wifi and gratuities) in advance on the Princess website so I don't know much about that.
  11. I do exactly what n6uqq does: buy the Carnival GCs with my BofA Cash Rewards card where it codes as an "online purchase." You can get an even better return if you keep $100k in an account at BofA (in my case, I have a no fee self-directed IRA with Merrill Lynch, which is owned by BofA), and then all your BofA credit card cash back is bumped up 75%. So I get 5.25% cash back on my BofA Cash Rewards purchases of Carnival Gift Cards. 10% discount plus 5.25% cash back. . . what is not to like about AARP Carnival Gift Cards!
  12. +1 I had exactly the same problem, with the exact same resolution, over the course of the last few months. When every one of my credit card stopped workinging on AARP, I had to get ahold of a live AARP customer service rep, then had to convince them that all my credit card data matched my AARP membership data, and then they "elevated" the issue, and then my credit cards started working again to buy AARP gift cards. It took over two months though from problem to solution.
  13. I see there are three HAL ships sailing from Vancouver in April. If you are on one of these sailings, you might be interested in this: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/stayvancouver-book-a-stay-in-vancouver-get-up-to-250-for-two-nights/ The comments to this Doctor of Credit blog post provide more detail than the post itself.
  14. Carnival gift cards can be loaded to your onboard account and used to pay for any charge to that account, including gratuities.
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