Cost of "free" cruise

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#1
12 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I hope this info is helpful to someone. I've had problems in the past trying to find current info.

I just booked 2 cruises with our free certificates.

The first one on Carnival. Hubby and I each had a certificate for a balcony room, so we got connecting rooms and are bringing our daughters. We had to pay $499 for the extra person and $98.42pp port fees/taxes. 2 balcony rooms, 5 people came to $991.

The second one is on NCL. This certificate was for a balcony, we booked a large balcony with no upgrade charge. It came with the unlimited drink package and dining package (3 nights in specialty restaurants) and $100 on board credit. We were charged an admin fee of $280, taxes/ port fees $309.34, insurance $62, beverage package service charge $199.08, and dining package service charge $24.84. Grand total $875.26
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Sandy

June 1998 RCCL Legend of the Sea, Baja Mexico
June 2008 Carnival Elation, Baja
July 2009 Golden Princess, Alaska inside passage
November 2010 Carnival Spirirt, Mexican Riviera
June 2012 Carnival Inspiration, Baja
April 2014 NCL Star, Mexican Riviera
April 2016 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
March 2017 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
Upcoming...December 2017 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
Upcoming...March 2018 NCL Epic, Western Caribbean
#3
34 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
The NCL certificates in my opinion are great especially if you use them with a good promo I just came back from the Escape this past Saturday this cruise was booked directly thru CAS it was for a oceanview room which was comped and we upgraded to a balcony we had the UBP and 3 meal package total cost was $1500.00 for 2 people

I also had a land based casino certificate I used for a cruise in Jan 18 which came out to be the best deal I have ever received on a cruise the certificate was for a balcony, we also booked a large balcony at no additional charge. It include Ultimate beverage package and 3 nights in the speciality restaurants.

We booked under the no tax promo NCL was running and were charged $280 admin fee, $199.08 beverage package service charge, and $24.84 dining package service charge. For a grand total of $503.92

So the land based casino certificates seem to be the way to go pending on current promo. And we actually had the $100.00 Obc but changed when they had the free tax promo which saved us more.


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Upcoming Cruises:
Norwegian Epic -January 13, 2018

Past Cruises:

Norwegian Escape - May 2017
Norwegian Getaway -March 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam ---March 2015
Norwegian Getaway -May 2014
Nieuw Amsterdam -April 2012
Crown Princess --- March 2010
Zuiderdam ---- April 2004
Zuiderdam ----- June 2003
#4
12 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Staceyface1
Wow! That's amazing. Can I ask how you achieved the free certificates?


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We received them fro land based casinos.
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Sandy

June 1998 RCCL Legend of the Sea, Baja Mexico
June 2008 Carnival Elation, Baja
July 2009 Golden Princess, Alaska inside passage
November 2010 Carnival Spirirt, Mexican Riviera
June 2012 Carnival Inspiration, Baja
April 2014 NCL Star, Mexican Riviera
April 2016 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
March 2017 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
Upcoming...December 2017 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
Upcoming...March 2018 NCL Epic, Western Caribbean
#5
12 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Wow, that was an awesome deal you got! I didn't know you could change promos, so thanks for that info. I'll have to keep watch in case a better promo pops up ��
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Sandy

June 1998 RCCL Legend of the Sea, Baja Mexico
June 2008 Carnival Elation, Baja
July 2009 Golden Princess, Alaska inside passage
November 2010 Carnival Spirirt, Mexican Riviera
June 2012 Carnival Inspiration, Baja
April 2014 NCL Star, Mexican Riviera
April 2016 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
March 2017 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
Upcoming...December 2017 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera
Upcoming...March 2018 NCL Epic, Western Caribbean
#6
34 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
You're welcome I went thru CAS and they told me as long as it is before final payment you can change. On a certificate booking


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Upcoming Cruises:
Norwegian Epic -January 13, 2018

Past Cruises:

Norwegian Escape - May 2017
Norwegian Getaway -March 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam ---March 2015
Norwegian Getaway -May 2014
Nieuw Amsterdam -April 2012
Crown Princess --- March 2010
Zuiderdam ---- April 2004
Zuiderdam ----- June 2003
#7
Santa Clara, CA
32 Posts
Joined May 2017
My Princess casino winners certificate was for 2 people for 10 days with a Oceanview, We upgraded to balcony room, for an additional $500 each then paid $250 each in port fees and taxes. 2 people for a 10 day cruise for $1250 total is a steal!
#8
Boston, MA
964 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
My husband and I have had two land based casino offers recently.

The first was through Foxwoods for Celebrity. We each earned a free Oceanview cabin but were able to combine them and get a Concierge Class cabin. We looked at doing 10 day Spain & Italy cruise on Constellation. That would've cost us around $200 total for port charges. We chose to upgrade to a Sky Suite S2 for an additional $400 total. They then offered us the Go Best package (unlimited internet, premium beverage package, free gratuities, onboard credit) for an additional $1800. We took that. So it cost us $2400 total.

Our second offer was on NCL through Twin River casino. I had a Balcony while my husband had an Inside. We were able to combine them to get a comped Mini-Suite. We chose a 7 night Getaway Western Caribbean cruise. That would've cost us just under $600 for the taxes/fees, etc. We chose to upgrade to the Haven in an Aft-facing Penthouse and it's costing us $4700 total including the 5 perks deal. This is high for a comp but the Haven is expensive. It's still saving us around $2000.

Our best deal has come from the Celebrity Blue Chip Club though. Based on our combined play from our recent Constellation cruise we earned a free 7 night cruise in a Sky Suite. Due to some confusion from Blue Chip over an incentive we earned from play on a January cruise that was "lost" they are letting us put our 7 night comp towards a 10 night Greece and Italy cruise in a Sky Suite next year. Will only cost us $177 total. We can't combine Go Best with it but our Blue Chip tier benefits give us each unlimited internet, classic beverage package, $1000 in free play, free specialty restaurant, plus spa and laundry credits. This was definitely our best deal of all as trying to use our 7 day comp towards this was originally going to cost around $9000 which was a no go for us.


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10/2003 - Norwegian Sun - 7 days - Western Caribbean - Balcony
1/2005 - Navigator of the Seas - 7 days - Eastern Caribbean - Balcony
12/2005 - M/S River Symphony - 10 days - Christmas Markets Along the Rhine
8/2007 - Emerald Princess - 12 days - Greek Isles - Balcony
7/2008 - Norwegian Dream - 7 days - Bermuda - Oceanview
5/2009 - Norwegian Jade - 14 days - Barcelona to Rotterdam - Courtyard Villa
1/2010 - Norwegian Dawn - 9 days - Eastern Caribbean - Penthouse
1/2011 - Norwegian Epic - 7 days - Eastern Caribbean - Deluxe Owner's Suite
11/2011 - Ruby Princess - 7 days - Eastern Caribbean - Vista Suite
8/2012 - M/S River Melody - 16 days - Romance of the Rhine & Mosel
1/2013 - Celebrity Equinox - 11 days - Ultimate Caribbean - Sky Suite
8/2013 - M/V Arethusa - 16 days - The Rivieras: France, Italy and the Isles - Balcony
1/2014 - Celebrity Eclipse - 14 days - Exotic Southern Caribbean - Sky Suite
1/2015 - Celebrity Eclipse - 14 days - Exotic Southern Caribbean - Sky Suite
12/2015 - M/S River Adagio - 7 days - Christmas Markets Along the Danube
1/2016 - Celebrity Eclipse - 14 days - Exotic Southern Caribbean - Royal Suite
2/2016 - Eurodam - 7 days - 80's Cruise - Neptune Suite
1/2017 - Celebrity Eclipse - 14 days - Exotic Southern Caribbean - Penthouse Suite
5/2017 - Celebrity Constellation - 10 days - Italy & Spain Cruise - Sky Suite
************************************************** ****************************************
1/2018 - Norwegian Getaway - 7 days - Western Caribbean - Aft-Facing Penthouse
1/2018 - Celebrity Silhouette - 12 days - Ultimate Caribbean - Royal Suite
4/2018 - Celebrity Reflection - 10 days - Italy & Greek Isles Cruise - Sky Suite
1/2019 - Celebrity Summit - 12 days - Lesser Antilles Caribbean - Penthouse Suite
#9
New Jersey
218 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by boris53098
I hope this info is helpful to someone. I've had problems in the past trying to find current info.

I just booked 2 cruises with our free certificates.

The first one on Carnival. Hubby and I each had a certificate for a balcony room, so we got connecting rooms and are bringing our daughters. We had to pay $499 for the extra person and $98.42pp port fees/taxes. 2 balcony rooms, 5 people came to $991.

The second one is on NCL. This certificate was for a balcony, we booked a large balcony with no upgrade charge. It came with the unlimited drink package and dining package (3 nights in specialty restaurants) and $100 on board credit. We were charged an admin fee of $280, taxes/ port fees $309.34, insurance $62, beverage package service charge $199.08, and dining package service charge $24.84. Grand total $875.26
Just curious who you booked the NCL cruise with. I always have to pay $200 per person to use a free certificate, NEVER get on-board credit (unless they messed something up then sometimes they will give me $25 - $50) and we pay a boatload to upgrade to a Suite AND we gamble $1000s during the week. We were recently on a 19 day trip where we gambled double what it would have cost for us to book the Suite outright. THEN CAS had the nerve to tell me I didn't gamble enough when I went to book our next cruise so they really couldn't comp me. Needless to say I didn't book the next cruise and after the cruise we have booked in November, we will probably explore other lines. Loyalty to NCL doesn't seem to matter anymore. That's why I'm wondering if you used a travel agent outside of NCL?
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#10
Edmonton, Canada
469 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
I recently booked a 10day cruse on princess for $300 taxes only. Balcony and entry to slot tournament ($500)
#11
Orlando
76 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
It's interesting to read all the different experiences people have with CAS.

I actually just booked a CAS cruise last month for December. It's a 7 night cruise and the comp was for a free inside room with beverage package + $25 OBC.

I was very surprised to receive a CAS offer thru the mail since I had only sailed on NCL once and it was with my girlfriend who hated spending time in the casino. On that 7 day cruise I maybe spent 6-7 hours total in the Casino and lost I think $700 (played mostly craps).

I used to gamble quite a bit in Vegas (3-4 years ago) and was a Gold Mlife member and had a host etc so I know how comps work and what to expect but I was really surprised NCL comped me a a 7 day Caribbean cruise on the Escape. It's slow season but still...not bad.
#12
Plant City, Florida
733 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
For some unknown reason my Carnival offers have dried up. My NCL offers keep coming. IMHO NCL offers a better product and certainly better entertainment.

Having the unlimited drink package is a huge benefit. On Carnival we always had free drinks in the casino and no where else.

On NCL if things are going bad in the casino or the casino isn't opened I can usually find a nice place to hang out and maybe even enjoy some live music with a nice drink in my hand courtesy of the unlimited drink package.

So far Carnival has done me a favor by not giving me any offers of late. One cruise on NCL and now I have three comped cruises booked with them.
#13
Bloomsburg PA
234 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I've received 3 BB cruises on Carnival in the last 2 years. Only paid taxes & port charges.


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