Case Study--$39/night! Finding it and getting there.


Level 2 Member
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As I am looking on the Vacations To Go website for cheap cruises, this is the kind of pricing that attracts my attention! (See my post on how to search for cruises for price per night). I am going to use this $39/night cruise to show you some of the steps in how to make this cruise happen!

Here are the particulars on this $39/night cruise on the VTG website.

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Yes, this looks promising. Fort Lauderdale is stateside, so it should be cheap miles-wise with award tickets, and I'm hoping I can use Avios for extra savings and flexibility (more later, see below). I know that the cruise is cheap, but I also want an interesting itinerary. Let's check it out:

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Ok, excellent! I like the inclusion of St. Kitts and Antigua, as I have never visited these ports.

Unfortunately this is a case study, and I cannot actually go on this cruise due to family responsibilities. Therefore, I will not go through the process of getting several bids on this cruise in this post. So to save time and space, I will go on to the next step of looking for award space on airlines where I have plenty of miles. I will be looking for award space from ATL. I will look for flights that will get me there on April 6, which is a day ahead of embarkation. I found these flights on US Airways using my AA miles.

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This works, and because it is low-level space, I can probably get these flights for fewer miles using BA Avios.
Oops, my search shows no availability on Avios to FLL, but I can fly into Miami on Avios.

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So, how would I get from MIA to FLL? Well, I could take a shuttle, OR I could do a one-way car rental. So I looked on Hotwire and found this:

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This is my first cursory look at a car rental, so I may be able to get a better price than this, but at least I know that I can rent a car one-way for $90, which would be may be more convenient and cheaper (for 2 people) than a commercial shuttle or taxi from MIA to FLL.

My next step is finding a place to stay and making sure that I can get to the port from the hotel. So next I look for hotel where I can use points, and that will provide a shuttle from the airport (if I have to drop off a rental car) and transportation to the port. I googled "fort lauderdale hotels with free shuttle" and found this:

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The last step is getting home.

Yes! There is availability on AA coming home to ATL:

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At this point I would put flights on a 5-day hold on AA and then start booking the cruise. Wish I could go on this one! So many great cruise deals and so little time!