I DID THIS! I used this plan and successfully got a 100% FREE cruise. I spent $0 dollars out of pocket. That’s right, ZERO for a week long cruise.
I’ve left my original blog post below so you can read through it, but since my original post I’ve refined, mastered and added more steps to earn my free cruise.
Want to know how I did it? I’m happy to send you my free guide,“The 7 Step Checklist to Earn a Free Cruise”.
Simply enter your name and email in the box to the right or scroll to the end of this post, with 7 steps to get started earning your own free cruise.
April 14, 2014
I’m a huge fan of cruising. Since I went on my first one in 2006 I’ve averaged about one a year. (Though sadly it’s been a while since my last one.) And I’ve got some really crazy stories from the characters I’ve met like the time I played family feud with the golden girls.
Dollar for dollar it’s a tremendously good deal. For one price you’re getting your hotel, meals and entertainment all taken care of. You also get to visit a foreign country or two. And it’s usually much less expensive than any other options, especially if you book last minute or so. Try getting a clean hotel, unlimited gourmet food and full day’s worth of entertainment for the same price as a day on a cruise ship.
So after trudging through another winter and longing for the Caribbean air I hadn’t experienced in a while, I decided that come the next winter, roughly January/February of 2015, I was definitely going on a cruise. Then I thought, what could be better than going on a cruise?… How about going on a cruise completely for free?
Remember, your goals and resolutions don’t have to exist only around New Year’s. Create new ones whenever you get a good idea. My good idea (I think it’s good anyway) is to craft a plan that will get a completely free cruise. My goal from now until the time I want to cruise, roughly January/February, is to be able to get a 100% free cruise.
Not just discounted, but a completely free cruise. My roughly nine month goal is to walk on board and as the ship departs, turn to the person next to me and say, “You know I paid zero dollars for this cruise…”
So am I talking in riddles? How is this possible? No I’m not planning on going on “Steve’s discount rowboat cruises.” And I’m not planning on stowing away or working on the ship. Though Earl over at Wandering Earl has a great writeup of his time spent with a cruise job. Four words are going to get me a completely free cruise. Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard. Okay maybe that’s four and a half words.
Barclay Arrival World Mastercard
From opening the card, receiving the 40,000 mile welcome bonus and using it for some everyday spending, I currently have just over 43,000 miles/points. The Barclaycard works a bit differently as other reward cards, as you don’t earn reward miles in the classic sense. Instead you wipe out the charges at 1 cent per 1 mile. 10,000 miles = about $100 in redemption. If you buy a plane ticket that costs $200 and you have 20,000 miles, you just drag and drop and it removes the charge like it never happened.
My non-negotiables for the cruise are:
A) I want to go on a ship that’s in the mid to higher end range of quality
B) I want the trip to be at least seven nights long
D) I want to go to the caribbean.
C) I want to visit at least one country or territory I’ve never visited.
My goal is to continue to accumulate as many rewards as possible on my card so I can redeem for a completely free cruise. So how will I do this? Here’s 3 keys I’ll remember.
1) Don’t spend more than I would normally.
Sure I could spend thousands of dollars on clothes or electronics and earn points. “See, look at all the points I got!” But the key is not to spend dollars to earn pennies in rewards. A free $500 cruise is great, but not if I go $600 into debt. I’ll only spend what I normally would and just use the credit card as needed. From gas, to groceries, gym membership, utilities, cell phone bill and more. Over time I won’t overspend on the things I need but I’ll still be racking up points.
If I decide to apply for new cards and get additional bonuses, I’ll have to balance this out with new cards I’m applying for since some of my spending will go to those new options.
2) Track, Track, Track.
If you have a goal, especially financial, it’s vital to come up with a plan and track your success. “I want to go on free cruise,” is nice to say. But if you think it’s just going to happen, you’ll find there wasn’t really a plan in place when you come up short. So I’m going to keep good records of all the miles I earn and I can use towards the cruise.
3) Consistent updates.
Every two or three weeks I’m going to evaluate where I am and how I’m doing. I’ll check my progress, start looking at options and figuring out what’s feasible. It’s important to stay on top of a plan to ensure it works out.
So that’s a new goal for 2014 – to go on a cruise for exactly $0.00. A 100%, completely, unequivocal, free ticket on a Caribbean cruise by approximately this time nine months from now. And… GO!
Me again. This blog post was only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve got lots more information, more updated and detailed tips, and additional options to earn a free cruise.
Now that you’ve read my original, way back in the day, post on my attempt to get a free cruise, take a look at a more in-depth write up of how to earn enough to get a free cruise.
Get my guide, “The 7 Step Checklist to Earn a Free Cruise”, by subscribing below.
I’ll email it to you immediately so you can begin planning how to earn your free vacation. It’s 100% free as my gift to you.