We are now ‘cruisers’ and even earned a free cruise based on a recent credit card offer that we took on. We find cruises to be one of the most affordable vacation types that exist, as our goal is just to relax and get away and live simply for a few days.
Hey guys, I’m Brooks and I’m Mandee. So we’re husband and wife, entrepreneurs and we believe that life and business are a giant adventure and we want to live it with you guys.
So let’s get to it.
Hey guys, welcome back. Its Brooks and Mandee say, Hello. Hey guys. So in this episode, we want to talk to you guys about getting a free vacation. And that sounds like kind of cheesy and like Yeah, whatever. But I’m really I want to talk about how you can actually get a free vacation so we two days ago just got
Back from a cruise. We sure did. We should it was fantastic.
Yet with the company was a company again, Carnival, so Carnival Cruise. And so we were able to get a free Chris and not from Carnival, just but through some actions of what we did. And so I guess real quick, I’ll just hit some of those points. And then I’ll probably start pinging you with questions mainly about like, because you’re our tour guide, our travel agent, planner, our obsessive planner. And he says words, but you know, hey, yeah, if that’s what you use, that’s fine. So how we got the cruise for free? So one, let me start off and I will go ahead and go to you because one we get the best deals possible. I feel like when we booked cruises,
Yes. So you kind of have to start out you have to kind of decide when you want to go and then start looking six months out like I would say to kind of find the best deals whenever you’re looking for Carnival cruises. It’s like in specifically so. So do we booked six months out? You don’t have to book six months out. But I would say start looking at the prices because they do start going up as you get closer to the crew state. Gotcha.
So how far in advance Vance, do you think people should vote? I guess for me just ask you the next I don’t know how far we
Would say at the I would say three months at the latest.
Okay, so you’ve seen kinda like the best pricing like three months, three months out at the last okay. Alright, cool. So, you shop you look for the best deals. And so this is kind of a comical point because we live on the coast, a Mobile Alabama, which we unfortunately have these storms called hurricanes. And but the funny ironic thing is that we tend to book every year during what season hurricane
During hurricane season. I know it sounds crazy. Obviously we get the best deal during hurricane season,
Right? Because people don’t technically want to book during that time. So that’s whenever you can get and that’s it’s also back to school time and those kinds of things too. But you can get the best rates from Carnival during that time.
Yep, so on the hurricane point last year we went on a cruise also during hurricane season. And there were like multiple storms like if I remember correctly, like in the Gulf I think there was one kind of Western towards maybe in Mexico or whatever, which is where we cruise to. And then there was one I think maybe south of Florida or whatever now they weren’t like crazy storms at that point. They were you know, maybe depressions or maybe they were developed hurricanes but we literally sailed right in the middle and that out of the cruises that we’ve been on, was that not the smoothest cruise
It was like glass was like glass
And we were like what and our family thought we were kind of crazy right going on the cruise during hurricane season
They still think we’re crazy they
still think we’re crazy because we did it again this year which my dad and for me that it was the we literally went on the same date of as hurricane Frederick happened in like 1979 or something as a huge storm that hit our area did tons of damage but we really like our thoughts are this Carnival is a huge company one they don’t want to put their people or their ship in danger so they’re not gonna go into a cruise worst case scenario is they cancel the cruise right if there’s if they can’t do the trip and what happens we either get a refund or we get to you get another day
Right you get to book another cruise they’re not going to take their million dollar ship they’re not going to risk the reputation of their company they want their passengers to have an exceptional time and they will do anything to kind of make that happen so they’re not going to take anybody out in the middle of a storm.
Exactly so full and full disclosure disclaimer if you vote during hurricane season, which we will again there is a chance that your crews will get canceled right now. Now you can also Yeah, which we don’t ever buy we don’t get it so you can buy insurance for everything of course but their trip insurance if I remember correctly, I think it
Was is it like if we cancel or is it
Yeah, it’s that’s if you cancel like if you have a surgery or you get sick or something happens you have something else and you can’t make it gotcha pros
They will refund you are whatever, I guess
You will get a certain percentage back okay gets like 75 or to
95% of what you paid in Edina it was the end with the cost that is like its like $50 per person is OK, so maybe 100 bucks, but we bought like crazy prices that we always look at that we’re like, no, we’re not going to get insurance. We don’t need it because we get so we got our cruise for. Do you remember what it was per person? I think with taxes and everything wouldn’t like 300.
With taxes, it was about 300% Okay, yeah,
So about 300 per person. So we paid $600 to get on the boat now, mind you, this isn’t just a cruise. This is a was it four nights. Yeah, this is a fort. So think of a four night hotel stay basically now the rooms a little bit smaller. Of course we get like your basic room, you know, has a bed shower, whatever. But basically it’s a four night stay. So for nice day and then what I liked the best is that it’s basically all food and clothes. Right? You can literally eat 24 seven if you want to. We are not food kind of sores by any means yet. to us. This is like delicious. It’s really incredible. We’ve heard people have mixed opinions. It’s okay. Like I had like the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life. Right you’re like laughing it makes I’m like man these every meal my eating these cookies. And then burgers from guy what’s his name guy Fiore. Yeah, guy care has like the deal with Carnival or whatever. I don’t know how it works. But he has his own restaurant. And the most of their head is seven and
Seven burgers. Burgers in five days. Yeah,
Seven burgers and five days and I think this last cruise I did the same thing. Always I get one like for lunch and every now and then I’ll get one in for like for dinner, whatever as well. I think it’s not or snack I think eight like five or something on this one, give or take. So I’m not trying to be I’m not trying to beat my record by any means. But so you get all the food the that you want. Right. So it’s like basically an all-inclusive trip and you’re on a boat like so. One of the things that we and maybe we’ll go into this a little bit later because I’m sure people want to like Okay, cool. Well, how’d you get the free cruise? So like, maybe we’ll come back to like what we love about the cruise and why we and why we do it. In fact, let’s come back to that in just a second. So we’ll go ahead and tell you okay, how do how do we get the free cruise? Well, for starters, I’m going to rewind back last year, we applied for a credit card through Carnival, I think it’s a MasterCard, right? Right? The Carnival like cruise card, just for applying for it and whatever, maybe spend $100 or something you know, and your first month or something, you get a $200 they call it a fun credit, right. And they say it comes into us and like a gift card you can use that towards like towards the cruise purchase or whatever is it towards onboard stuff,
Right? You can use it towards anything Carnival
Towards anything Carnival related. So we did that. And then what we also do is we use that credit card, we call, we have a name for it. We call it fun card, the fun card. So fun for fun. So anytime we’re doing something that’s in our family budget, that’s a fun item, we try to use that specific credit card, right. And so we actually earn double points. So like when you spend $1, I just looked it up and confirm you get two times the amount of points in fun points that’s like Carnival that’s like Carnival points. And so you know, you’re able to apply those towards the cruise. Now this specific cruise that we got for free. The reason why we got this one for free is we applied for a Chase Sapphire credit card. And when we applied for that in spit, in the first three months, we had, there were some you know, things we had to do, I think we had to spend like $4,000 in the first three months. Ironically, we actually had a huge purchase that we had to make anyway, and we ended up putting that on that on that card. As a side note, we currently pay off our balances in full every month. So we’re not paying interest on the credit cards. So just as a side point there, but we apply live for the credit card, got the card method requirements, and because of that received a $600 basically reward see their reward system so that $600 in essence paid for our cruise. And so that’s how we a lot of that is to pay for our cruise. Now here’s the cool thing on that specific credit card. If you use it for travel, like a cruise or airline or whatever, they actually give you 1.1 and a half points for every dollar you spend. So it’s actually $750 of credit. So in essence, we actually did a better I wouldn’t say we made money, but we were able to pay for the cruise and beyond through that credit card offer. Really cool, really cool card excited that we did it. And that’s kind of how every year we kind of justify the cruise or try to find, you know, savvy ways of, you know, hey, how can we pay for it?
I think one year we ended up we sold we worked like can how many things we were like selling around the house things that we were going to sell anyway. But we kind of compartmentalize that we said okay, we will sell this, this and this, this and this, and this will cover the cost of our fruits,
I remember that we literally had a list on the refrigerator. Yeah. And as we were selling stuff, we’d write it down, right. Like what we sold it for 30 bucks for this. And we sold some bigger items for like 100 bucks. Yeah. And we literally raise the money for the cruise, we’re like, okay, we can totally, totally justify a cruise because sometimes it’s not necessarily in our family budget, per se, but we’re like, how can we do it? How can we make it happen? Right? So I will find a way we will find maybe Mandy, our travel director will find a way to make the cruise happen. And I’m glad you do. So if you want to apply for that credit actually have a referral link if you wanted to where you could get your end $600 of credit. If you go to Brooks kunkel.com forward slash Chase. It’ll take you straight to that offer. So if you want to check that out, you could. That is an affiliate link said I mean, you get rewarded, I get rewarded. By no means do you have to it. But if you want to get that link, Bruce combo.com forward slash Chase and check that out. That’d be awesome. So like, let’s talk about what we enjoy so much about cruises, maybe to talk people into it. So this is kind of we’re kind of making fun of ourselves. Because we used to make we kind of made fun of people that we’re cruisers if we’re honest, we probably find it. Yeah, they were like, Oh yeah, we’re cruisers. This is like our fourth or fifth one. And now we’ve been on like four or five. And so we’re right. grazers,
Right, right in my head. I see a cruiser as an older couple who has you know, the camera around their neck the fanny pack and their deck of cards sitting around playing cards on the on the ship,
But and they are there they hit? The cruises are good for all ages. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like it’s that kind of thing where like we see people of all ages.
So we’re officially cruisers. But what and people told us it we also live by this ignorance is bliss kind of thing. Right, right, where we know that there are bigger Carnival ships. People are like, Oh, you should try the one out of Miami, right? Oh, you should try this. So for us, what is beautiful is that this ship leaves our city. So out of mobile this year. And last year, we got a ride there and got picked up. We don’t even have the drive and parked car we literally dropped off and then picked up at the ship. That that is not the same for 95% probably the people on the cruise. So people you know, it’s kind of listening people from all over the place. You know, a guy in front of us was talking about driving 13 hours from what I don’t know DC or something. And then people just people from all over only 40 40% of people on the boat. Apparently were even from Alabama, right on this specific cruise. So there’s people from all over. But so we get we get a ride there. So it makes it really simple, right? We make it really easy. We don’t have to drive while we’re on the boat. We don’t have to worry about long hours behind the wheel. We don’t have to cook our food. We don’t have to worry about what we’re going to do like entertainment. They have like unlimited things to do. We don’t do a third of them. But they have like unlimited.
Right? Right you can do you can stay inside the boat doing things that they are doing entertainment that they have planned and like never even see the sunshine. They have that much stuff going on. They have entertainment shows, they have comedy shows, and they have music and trivia and all kinds of things. So you can we can literally stay busy inside the boat.
And you know, I think some people actually do that. Because so when we got off and we got a ride, they’re just like, sweet little old lady in a wheelchair. Yeah. And I was like, how did I not see her on the cruise the entire time? I don’t remember seeing her once. Right? And so maybe she just did things that were just complete different sides of the ship or doing different things. Or maybe she may have been playing bingo the whole time that you that? You can do right. So okay, so that kind of leads to another point is like, like gambling is a part of the boat, right? So people can play bingo and win money. There’s an onboard casino there, which is one of the ways obviously profit centers for the boat. We believe that if you gamble, most people are going to clearly lose and a small percentage of people win. That’s why casinos exist is because they’re a business and they make money. That’s a whole separate discussion. But we we actually forgot to game. So what we’ll do is spend like five or 10 bucks. And just like we don’t have a clue what we’re doing, we’ll play a slot machine or something. And I remember last year, we didn’t know what we’re doing. We had to like ask them, how do you how do you trade your card for money or Yeah, whatever. But we didn’t even play this year, but sometimes will sometimes we’ll do that right like five, literally 10 bucks. And just it’s a part of entertainment.
But people get free trips that way.
Right, a lot of people get free cruises because they are spending so much money on the boat. So for my understanding a cruise kind of breaks even when they a full boat and people get on they have kind of paid their expenses for all their staff, all their food, all the operating of the boat. So they don’t make any money, which is kind of a tough, it’s kind of tough business if you think about really small margins. But once you’re on that boat, there’s so many ways that you can spend additional money right that you can buy additional costs for drinks all day, you can play the bingo game, you can go to the casino, you can go to get a nightclub, you can go to the spa and get a massages, you can do all that stuff. Admittedly, we don’t do very much of that. Because we find that we just don’t need to write there’s so much to do that doesn’t cost a dime. On the on the cruise that we I don’t know, we just haven’t really found a need. I mean, you want to go play on the slides, go find the slides you want to go to shows go to shows they’re all free. You want to go see comedy at night, go watch comedy, it’s like something I kind of enjoy doing. They have comedy shows, they’re actually really cool. All day long. There’s, you know, all that stuff at no cost, right? So, um, so that’s the way that we operate, right? That’s the way that we operate kind of on our trips. And I would say the last thing is kind of interesting. This is a secret to but
You’re gonna give secrets well,
And we have a secret is something that we do. It’s not I don’t know, maybe people would care. Maybe they wouldn’t care. They may be like what that’s ridiculous. So if you were to ask me, me bros conquer you say hey, show. Where’s your cruise going? Where are you guys go? And my answer is always. I’m not really sure. Right? And people look at me like I’m crazy. I’m like, I know its Mexico. Right? But I’m not really sure. I’m like its maybe it’s Cozumel. Maybe it’s like Playa Del Carmen or whatever. Um, I think there’s like one of the main two places that our boat goes. I don’t know. And then reason why I don’t know is because Mandy and I have this tradition, where we don’t even necessarily get off the boat. So we didn’t even get off the boat. This last trip that we just got finished with. When the boat landed in Cozumel. Everyone gets off the boat for their excursions and their day off the boat. And we have pretty much the boat to ourselves. It’s
We are you’re allowed to bring a bottle per person of like wine or champagne or whatever. So we open a bottle of champagne, we have our own brunch on the back of the boat, we can see the shoreline and all the people having fun. And like we love it. Like
It’s our favorite for it.
That’s one of our favorite parts of the cruise. So if you want to borrow that one you are more than welcome to you can hang out with us on the boat, give us a high five if you go. Now don’t get me wrong excursions. They’re awesome. They’re incredible. They’re fun, like go do those too? But if you’re doing what we’re doing, and part of what the reason why we go, I feel like is to decompress and just enjoy and just like get away from some of our technology and get away from some of our work. We’re not there to like do all this stuff. We’re really there just to hang out. We have
fragile, right for me, it’s like almost if we were to do all of the things that the cruise has to offer, it would it actually wouldn’t really be much of a vacation for us because you know our daily lives are so go go go. We like to get busy doing nothing is what it’s what we like to do so t shirt, right? Yeah, yeah, I’m busy doing nothing doing nothing. Yeah,
It was great. So that’s your kind of recap. I would say we just gave you the rundown of literally the best way for you to do a Carnival Cruise, how to get the best deal. If you want to do it for free. You can go sign up for that if you want to you can go sign up for that credit card that I talked about the chase when said Rose conquer.com forward slash chase you can apply for that if you get it. Then meet the qualifications. You’ll get a $600 statement credit which for travels $750 and you too can be going on your next cruise for free.
Yeah, hit us up. We’d love to join you.
Cool. Alright guys, we’ll talk to you next time.