Hey Freebs, After my last cruise I decided it would be a super fun ideas to arrange a Freebs Cruise that we could all go on! I talked about it here and the response was overwhelming that I got with my friends from Get Away Today to see what we could get set up.
First, here's a little snippet of what cruising with Bubba and I looks like…
Here is the info you need to know:
Why a group cruise?
When we went on our cruise in January, I had a ton of questions about it on social media. Many of you expressed wanting to go on a cruise, but not knowing which one to trust, where to port from, which cruise is better than others, etc. Cruising is BY FAR my favorite way to travel (you pay up front, show up, they take care of your food and entertainment, and you wake up in a new country every day?….um…OK!), and we had such a good time on the last one, we wanted to do it again in the fall when traveling is affordable.
Once I found this amazing cruise (keep reading!) I KNEW I had to bring y'all along with me. How could I keep it to myself??
How does a group cruise work?
The benefits of a group cruise include:
- We get perks, such as the $100 on-board credit (more info below)
- We only have to put $50 down and can pay over time (keep reading), and we are paying through a trusted travel agency that I've worked with many times before,
- We are able to get rooms near each other, and we have a built in PARTY by booking the cruise with a bunch of other old and new friends!
- We get to hang out! Enough said.
- I am currently in the process of trying to reserve a room on the ship so we can do meet-ups, or even a mini seminar. No promises, but wouldn't that be fun??
- You are still completely in charge of your own trip. With a group cruise you still book all your own excursions, activities, manage your own travel to and from the cruise, etc. So you aren't tied to doing the same thing that everyone else is doing! You could completely avoid the group, in fact. But for the rest of us, we will find a way to lay out a plan for the week so for those who want to party with the group, can roll as a pack.
Now, here's what makes this cruise so amazing…
- Sail date: October 22-29, 2017 (You'll be back before Halloween!)
- Ship: Carnival Splendor (one of their biggest ships, and it's been newly renovated!)
- Port: Miami, FL (Easy to fly into!)
- Itinerary: (only two days at sea, and FOUR amazing stops!)
- Sunday, Oct 22 – Miami, FL
- Monday, Oct 23 – Fun Day at Sea
- Tuesday, Oct 24 – Grand Turks and Caicos (I've been here, it's awesome!)
- Wednesday, Oct 25 – San Juan, Puerto Rico (I've been here too, it's gorgeous!)
- Thursday, Oct 26 – St. Thomas
- Friday, Oct 27 – Amber Cove, Dominican Republic
- Saturday, Oct 28 – Fun Day at Sea
- Sunday, Oct 29 – Miami, FL
Looks so fun, right??
Pssst – Get more info about this cruise on Carnival's website, but be sure to book by calling Lex or Trudy at 855-GET-AWAY and mentioning the Fun Cheap Or Free group cruise in order to get the pricing and perks, and be listed with our group!
I love the looks of this ship. It's one of Carnival's biggest ships, and it was recently renovated in 2016 (HUGE deal). This exact cruise (again, only 2 days at sea and 4 amazing stops!) is only offered a few weeks on this ship, and these dates are the best of those options because of Holidays and such. Sure, there might be a chance of cool weather. There was definite chance of that when we sailed in January too. But we got lucky and had hot, sunny, amazing days – all but our last day on the ship, in which it rained so we napped.
Am I worried about bad weather?
Nope. Not at all. Even if it's a cool or rainy day, I'll be out of the winter Sludge in Utah and would rather be partying on a “cold” beach than sludging through muck over here! We will have fun in any weather, I guarantee it!
(Get more info about this cruise on Carnival's website, but be sure to book by calling 855-GET-AWAY and mentioning the Fun Cheap Or Free group cruise in order to get the pricing and perks!)
Ok. Now, let's talk about getting you on this ship with me.
Guys. GUYS! I have been on a cruise at least half a dozen times. In between cruising, I research and dream about them (my favorite way to travel, remember??). When I saw this cruise my heart stopped and jaw dropped (#NotDramatic). It's, hands down, one of the best cruises I've ever seen (only TWO DAYS AT SEA?? With FOUR stops?!! What the WHAAA?), and for an incredible price (keep reading). While I've admittedly never been on this exact cruise, I did research. I looked at the stops, the boat, all of it…and me likey. A LOT.
The following prices include port fees and taxes, but do not include gratuities, flights, excursions, or transportation. These are based on double occupancy, the third and fourth person fares would be less.
- Inside stateroom – $464 per person ($659.25 including taxes and fees)
- Ocean view stateroom – $565 per person ($739.25including taxes and fees)
- Balcony stateroom – $759 per person ($934.25including taxes and fees)
Group specials: Each cabin that is part of the group cruise will receive a $100 onboard credit. THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!! We only had $50 on our last cruise, and even that was awesome. This can be used towards excursions, gratuities, souvenirs – anything purchased onboard.
Now, the burning question we're all asking ourselves…
Can I afford this?
Yes you can! May take a little creativity, but YOU BET YOUR BUCKETS YOU CAN!
Let's break this down. Let's say you opt for the inside stateroom for you and your spouse. With taxes, that total would be $1318 for the two of you. Let's add another $700 for flights and another $1000 for excursions, transportation, drinks, souvenirs, etc. That equals $3018, but we are going to round to $3000 for easy math's sake. (Which, just for the record, $3000 for a week trip to the Caribbean is FRIGGIN AMAZING). Let's break this down…
TOTAL COST: $3,000
This month = March. Sail date = October. Months until cruise = 7
- $3000 minus the $50 deposit due in April = $2950
- $2950 / 7 months = you'd need to save $421 per month, or $105/week, or $15 per day.
Now, that may seem like a lot…but here's how you CAN afford it!
- Let's say you eat out for lunch 3x per week, at $15/each (including tax and tip), and 2x for dinner, at $40 each time. That's $125 per week you're potentially spending on eating out! Let's say you brown-bag it a few times, make dinner at home instead of eating out, BOOM. Cash monaaaaay.
- Option two: A spending freeze. If you go without spending for 6 or 7 days, you can save upwards of $300-$400+! Do one spending freeze per month, for even 5 or days, and I promise you'd be able to afford this in no time!
- Work extra hours, pick up extra shifts, pick up side jobs, find a way to make side money at work.
- Use your tax return!
- Walk around your house and find things to sell! Have a full-blown yard sale, or sell things on the classifieds or on Facebook yard sales.
- We used our flight miles and credit card cash to pay for our trip! Our flights were covered and we got nearly $700 in cash by cashing in our card points. We also have our Costco cash back which was $500 this year, which will go right to it. Use what you can and get creative!
Amazing, right?? Want in? Just be sure to book by calling Trudy or Lex at 855-GET-AWAY and mentioning the Fun Cheap Or Free group cruise in order to get the pricing and perks, and be listed with our group! You need to sign up no later than April 17th with a $50 deposit in order to be part of our group! So don't hesitate, we only have a certain number of cabins set aside.
CAN I BRING KIDS?
Sure thing! Each cabin can hold up to 4 people, and the 3rd and 4th people cost less which is a nice perk. We have cruised with kids several times. In fact, we have only cruised without kids once, now that I think about it! Cruises are very family-friendly. Will Bubba and I bring our kids? We haven't decided yet. If we do, it would most likely be our older kids, but we might want this as an opportunity to enjoy some kid-free sunning.
HOW TO BOOK:
To secure a cabin, a non-refundable $50 per person down payment is required by April 17th. You need to call Lex or Trudy at 855-GET-AWAY to book.
Another $250 per person is required by May 25th to secure your cabin. This is considered your full down payment and is also when all guest information is needed (full names, birth dates, etc.) – you will be able to choose your exact cabin once this is paid as well. After that, full payment is required by August 8th. You are able to make as many or as little payments as you wish – as long as the above dates are adhered to.
- Cancellation/Refund Policy: The $50 per person deposit is non-refundable. However, all other money paid towards the cruise after that date can be refunded as long as the cruise is cancelled on August 8th. Any cancellations after final payment date are subject to penalty.
Passport: A passport is not required, but it is suggested. If you do not have a passport, you will need to bring both your birth certificate and ID as well as all legal name change forms (marriage certificate, etc.).
Again, if you are interested in partying with me and Bubba, just be sure to book by calling 855-GET-AWAY and mentioning the Fun Cheap Or Free group cruise in order to get the pricing and perks, and be listed with our group! You need to sign up no later than April 17th with a $50 deposit to secure a cabin with us! I wouldn't wait until the last minute. We have a limited number of rooms reserved for Freebs.
Again, get more info about this cruise on Carnival's website, but be sure to book by calling Lex or Trudy at 855-GET-AWAY and mentioning the Fun Cheap Or Free group cruise in order to get the pricing and perks!
*Note that you will need to arrange travel to and from port in Miami, Florida. That is NOT INCLUDED in the the cruise package.
So what do you think, ready to soak up some sun with us??
This is going to be so fun! I can't wait to cruise and party with you…hope you can make it!