The Free Cruise Challenge

 

rsz_1bahamas-celebration-editedPart I

Take a look at the origin of the idea. I’m a huge fan of cruising, so when I decided to travel the world for a year I knew (at least) one cruise had to be a part of that. he previous year; to get a 100% completely free cruise. Here I outline some of the ways I was planning on making this happen, including the biggest piece of the puzzle, the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard.


 

rsz_1bahamas-celebration-editedPart II

Here I refine and finalize some of my earlier ideas. I also list out the specific categories that each cost associated with the cruise will belong to, to help me better plan how to cancel out that expense. I examine the Barclay Arrival miles I have to work with, simply from the card bonus and a few months of spending.


 

rsz_1bahamas-celebration-editedPart III

Here I’ve finalized the cruise and made the final booking. Sure that was exciting, But even more exciting is putting the plan into action. I go through the redemption process to wipe out the entire base charge of the cruise, taxes, and port charges. That’s a $475 cruise that I got completely for free.I’m a huge fan of cruising, so when I decided to travel the world for a year I knew (at least) one cruise had to be a part of that. he previous year; to get a 100% completely free cruise.


 

rsz_1bahamas-celebration-editedPart IV

With the cruise itself paid off, I now look at how to pay for additional expenses necessary for the cruise. Remember my goal was to get everything for free. Here I examine the flights needed to get me to and from the cruise terminal itself and incur some out of pocket expenses that I’ll need cash to cancel out.


 

rsz_1bahamas-celebration-editedPart V

I use some more Arrival miles to wipe out the expense of shuttle transportation from my hotel to the port. I decided to come in a day early and not risk a delayed flight causing me to miss the ship. I discuss using a free hotel reward night I have vs. paying for the hotel with cash. While it will put me in a larger hole for out of pocket costs, it allows me to see if it’s always worth it to redeem points when it comes to inexpensive tickets or hotel rooms.


 

rsz_1bahamas-celebration-editedPart VI

Points and miles are great, but with now over $100 in out of pocket expenses, I need cash in hand to get the cruise for free from start to finish. I took advantage of a special promotion from a bank to receive $400 cash for opening new accounts. Here I calculate how I found the best offer, how I did it, and a little known fact most people forget; calculating the tax implications from receiving new account cash bonuses.


 

More to come!