I’ve had many people question me about the reality of the $49 cruise my family and I took to the Bahama’s a few weeks ago. Since there seems to be such disbelief, I decided to write a review and answer some questions.
Did we really pay $49 per person. YES! With port fees and taxes, the total came to about $180. We were on the Carnival Fascination and sailed out of Jacksonville, FL…I closely watched Southwest Airlines and purchased direct, non-stop flights from Nashville when they were on a super sale! Our ports of call were in the Bahamas, Freeport and Nassau.
I am a member of a discount travel club which purchases cruise cabins in bulk. We had about 300 people on the ship (15% of total guests)…hence the great price! The savings on this cruise alone paid for my membership fee!
Instead of paying the suggested $30 per person transfer fee…a big bus taking you and your luggage from the airport to the pier…we took a cab for $30 each way, for all 4 of us. Saved 50% on getting to and from the ship. I called ahead and verified the typical cab fare…I would suggest doing the same before you bail on the suggested transfer option.
I opted for us to stay in an interior cabins. At the time of booking for a nominal additional $50 per person you could upgrade to a porthole window and for a bit more you could have a balcony. I wanted the full $49 experience, so we stayed in the interior. I have to say…I was worried about feeling claustrophic and was I pleasantly suprised! We were only in our rooms to sleep or change clothes…I never missed the window! The ship had a webcam we could access on the tv – so it was like a virtual window…showing us what it was like outside. The twin beds can be arranged into a king for couples or into separate twins for room-mates. Honestly…I never missed the window!
Service on the ship was absolutely incredible! Everywhere you went there was someone available to wait on you. And with a SMILE!! I spent time getting to know our support staff, from cabin stewards, to waiters in the dining room, to the dining room Maitre D, to the manicurist and masseuse…yes…my husband spoiled us with some extras!
Everyone…absolutely everyone that worked on the ship that I came into contact with…did their job happily, with a smile, with a true heart for service…I honestly felt it was all about ME having the best possible experience with them that I could. They got to know my name and I knew theirs. Imagine if we all approached our businesses with such a heart for service. It would be game changing.
The activities on the ship were plentiful! You could participate…or not. It was your choice. No pressure. Comedy shows. PG and R rated were incredibly funny and entertaining. 2 different comic’s with distinctly different styles. Games to participate in or just watch. My daughter and I went to the Love Game – kinda like the newlywed game but with couples at different stages of marriage. We also went to a towel folding class to learn how to make the cute animals you find on your bed every evening. There was a main show of singing and dancing – great talent! Disco, piano bar, casino, kids area, pools, hot tubs, slides, mini-golf, art gallery and more! There was a huge party on the Lido Deck the night we sailed out of Nassau and headed back to the US. Live music. FOOD.
Food was everywhere. Constantly available. Do NOT attempt a diet while on a cruise. We ate in the dining room every night and were treated to steak, salmon, mahi mahi, crab cakes, prime rib, lobster, shrimp and the most decadent desserts! There was no limit to the amount of food they would bring you…our waiter commented on a guy at another table eating 10 lobster tails!
We had a private cocktail party for our group after a group photo on the main staircase. FREE wine, beer, soft drinks, fruit punch for the duration of the party. DJ, dancing, birthday recognitions (it was my birthday the day before we sailed)…fun, fun, fun!
There are many opportunities on a cruise to spend money, so come with your spending budget in mind. You could cruise and not spend much extra at all. The food, water, tea, coffee was all included and readily available. Tips were added to the bill automatically though you did have the opportunity to change the amount if you felt so inclined. Bottom line, you’ll get information about opportunities from your cruise line once you have booked your ticket. Set your budget and your mindset and then have FUN!!
We did massages, enjoyed some fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas in them and an excursion to the Atlantis on Paradise Island to slide through the shark tank and we contributed a tiny bit to the casino. We had fun with friends, met some great new friends, had quality time alone as a family and as individuals.
It was a great get-away for us and the best $49 I believe we’ve ever spent! I’d love to have you join us…or have the ability to take your own dream vacations. Call me. Email me. Facebook me….just raise your hand and I’ll let you know how you too can travel, save money, have fun and build relationships!
PS – It was WONDERFUL to wear flip-flops in January!!!