Introduction: My “Free” Carnival Glory 14 Day Crossing Cruise from Barcelona Spain

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This is going to be one of the most unique reviews I have ever done since I started blogging so long ago. First up this review will be split between this blog Frequent Floaters as well as EyeoftheFlyer because some parts really fit each blog. In fact, as you can see from the links above, a number of the posts have already appeared live on EotF including my first ever prologue post that you should review before you read the following post. Now let’s dive in:

Before this cruise I had only been on one Carnival cruise and I was not impressed. The ship was old and the experience was nothing like NCL or Royal Caribbean or other cruise lines. The ship I sailed on has now been destroyed in Turkey during the pandemic. So why go back again? I wanted to give Carnival another chance and many free nights free at sea did sound hard to say no to even on a line I was not in love with.

Due to my Caesars Diamond status, that I hold not having spent a single penny gambling at any Caesars property, that I got matched from my Wyndham Diamond status I used this to apply for a “free” cruise offer. Low and behold I was offered a chance to cruise 23 days from Australia including visits to Tahiti and back to the USA – just wow – but I could not make the dates work. Then I found something I love a crossing from Europe to the USA for 14 days in a balcony cabin for nearly free, that is, spend $200 and get $200 onboard credit! I called in and for a few hundred bucks more was able to upgrade to an aft wrap around balcony cabin.

SOLD!

Once booked I used the $200 credit to help pay for unlimited fast wifi that was just $268 (a flat out crazy bargain) and ended up paying just $68 for 14 days of Starlink crazy fast wifi during the crossing. Next I started applying, month by month free $50 cash loads for onboard credits from my monthly discounted Swagbuck points awards (just 2175 Swagbuck points for both Lisa and me) to have bar cash credits since drink package was not included ship wide with the free cruise offer and I did not want a big bar bill when the cruise was over (I like a glass or two of wine with dinner).

I next had to figure out a bunch of bits to make this a really memorable experience. First how to get to the starting city Barcelona, Spain that I have visited many times. I found, before Delta with no notice (as always) massively devalued the award price, Air France business class seats from Mexico City to Paris and then on to Barcelona for just 75,000 Skymiles or about $750 in real money value – that also was a flat out bargain! I then with Amex Platinum Business card credits and my last few Delta Platinum Medallion upgrade certs we flew to Mexico City in Delta business class for basically free. What about hotels?

I used Hilton points from my Hilton Amex cards to stay free at the Mexico City Airport Hilton free as well as the Hilton Diagonal Del Mar in Barcelona for a few nights free as well. Rather than using my go-to car transfer service Welcome Pickups this time I used UBER since they are now working in Barcelona (at least part of the way – more on that soon).

Bottom line, as I try to teach here on the blog, I am flying almost free in business class and staying free in hotels along the way and cruising in an impressive aft cabin for nearly free for 14 days. This is my kind of vacation and how I stack deals.

Stay tuned as some of the parts of this vacation were truly amazing and surprising and some were parts I wish I could forget! – René

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert
René de Lamberthttp://www.FrequentFloaters.com
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.

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