30 Days of Boat Drinks – Introduction

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Getting Informed

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Credit Card Plays

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Barclay Arrival Miles and Ultimate Rewards

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Membership Rewards and Cruise Privileges

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Shopping Strategies and Getting Booked

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Backup Plan

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Onboard Spending Strategies and Life On Board

30 Days of Boat Drinks – Conclusion

I went round and round with what the title of this post should be. The gist of it is that I’m going to suggest you start your 30 days of boat drinks adventure while not having the full 30 days of cruising fully booked. What?! Yes, that’s right…. start your 30 days of cruising with only a fraction booked. Thus – a backup plan is in order. Why I would I suggest this? There are simply too many last minute deals in the 3/4 night cruise market that is the focus of my 30 days of boat drinks adventure that I think it’s worth the risk to get the best prices and maximize your point spend.

The very best prices in this market tend to be from after Labor Day until the week of Christmas (with the exception of the big holiday weeks). If you book a couple of weeks of cruising then start vigorously checking prices, you may find some deals that are just too good to be true like a 3 or 4 night cruise for as little as $99 when the price was $209 just 2 weeks before.

It’s relatively easy to find free or low cost internet access in most ports of call. Just ask a crewmember for their favorite location. In Nassau, I personally recommend The Green Parrot, a short walk from the port. Wi-fi, reasonably priced drinks, and surprisingly good food. Get your conch fritter order in early. Alternatively, many lines offer onboard booking services. Many frequent floaters including this one, take advantage of these services, and you’ll frequently find a small onboard credit will be included if you book your next cruise onboard.

Finally, not booking all your 30 days of cruising in advance will enable you to take advantage of opportunities like a recent $149 per person fare I saw on Liberty of the Seas. If you were willing to cab it from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, you could take advantage of an attractive price on a very nice ship with many more amenities than the typical 3/4 night market cruise ship, see a different island (Cozumel) in this particular case, and just try something different. In addition to the cost of a taxi, you would have needed to spend one or two nights in a hotel in the scenario I found. Perhaps not ideal, but an option if you were looking for a change in scenery during your 30 days of boat drinks adventure.

In the next post, we will discuss onboard spending strategies and life on board. That post may be beneficial to any cruiser, whether you’re cruising for 3 days or 30.

-MJ, December 27, 2013