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Harmony of the Seas 4-28-2019 Cruise on a budget


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I will be trying to  BLOG our upcoming cruise this weekend.  I am attempting to do the cruise on a budget but still get a few additional items.  

I will start with the ways that I saved money when booking the  cruise and hotels and airfare.  The cruise was purchased with the full cost first ticket,  My wife was at a 60% discount and my daughter was free with the child sale free promo.  Total cost for interior GTY for 3 people including gratuities, taxes,  and port fees $2073.72 With $50 OBC

Airfare cost $25.00 per person.  I used airline miles to get us the tickets for almost free. I do love the airline miles credit cards (tip buy everything on it and the miles add up fast.   There is a down side to this, we have a 5 hour layover on the way down and a 7 hour layover on the way back and we need to stay in MIA 1 night after the cruise.  I might be able to get our flights changed the day before we fly.  I will advise if I have to pay a change fee or not.

We will have 3 hotel stays associated with this trip.  First I had to pay for but it includes a park and fly option $176 dollars.  Cost to park at the airport for our cruise would of been $100. so hotel is really only costing us $76.00. The alternative would be to drive to the airport around 4AM to catch our flight.  Our hotel before the cruise I used IHG rewards points for a free stay.  For our Post cruise hotel I am using my 1 free  Marriott stay per year that comes as a credit card reward. 

Now for the little extras that I decided would help us enjoy the cruise a little more.  I did try for a Royal Up and was successful in getting a Balcony room upgrade cost $600.00. In addition to the Royal UP I did get the unlimited pictures on a Thumb drive for $249.99 ( I think its been changed to a digital download instead).   I also purchased the VOOM surf and stream, as my Wife and I will have some work that we must do while on the cruise, I purchased the 2 device plan when it was on sale for $20.99 a day. 

Since we will not be getting any drink package I bought the 12 1 liter water bottle package using our OBC for $46.02 with the service charge included.  

As far as Shore excursions go we only booked 1 thru RC the Arawak aqua park and Dragon's Tail Coaster single ride Combo for $33.00 each total cost 99.00  I booked a Bernard SXM Island tour 1 for our port call in St Maarten for $100 total. $40 per adult and $20 for my daughter.  

If I can get our flight changed on the way to FLL I will look into booking a Jungle Queen river cruise in FLL so my wife can get some nice pictures along the river and canals. 

More to follow...

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Oh my gosh...your dd is soooo cute!   That's in the cockpit? 😊

Really looking forward to your review as we're more budget cruisers too.  I dream of someday booking a JS (they look amazing but know we'll never to the "real" suites unless some crazy deal)...but the highest we've booked is a balcony.  It's not that we can't afford it, but the difference would pay for another cruise or airline so it's hard to pull the trigger.  We're ok though staying in a promenade or similar option (e.g. trying virtual balcony next year).  Great that Royal Up worked for you and could upgrade to a balcony.  And great too about your flight cost with air miles.  The coaster sounds fun at Labadee and the tour sounds great.  I assume that's the Bernard's tour that you often hear about?

Enjoy your cruise!  Looking forward to following along.

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1 hour ago, WannaCruise said:

Oh my gosh...your dd is soooo cute!   That's in the cockpit? 😊

Really looking forward to your review as we're more budget cruisers too.  I dream of someday booking a JS (they look amazing but know we'll never to the "real" suites unless some crazy deal)...but the highest we've booked is a balcony.  It's not that we can't afford it, but the difference would pay for another cruise or airline so it's hard to pull the trigger.  We're ok though staying in a promenade or similar option (e.g. trying virtual balcony next year).  Great that Royal Up worked for you and could upgrade to a balcony.  And great too about your flight cost with air miles.  The coaster sounds fun at Labadee and the tour sounds great.  I assume that's the Bernard's tour that you often hear about?

Enjoy your cruise!  Looking forward to following along.

We are the same way...I look at the cost difference and just can't jump to the suite if I could get a second cruise.  Although amazingly enough I don't say that about getting the drink pkg 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣.  Jane

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10 magnetic hooks are not enough, my wife threw a fit when I bought them now she wants more. 

MTD with a reservation seem to be a bit hectic. Dinner took about an hour and a half. I ended up changing our reservations from 5:45 to 5:15 for the duration of the cruise. 

Wow bands, I thought they would be useless I changed my mind and went down to guest services on the first night. Our set sail passes are now in the safe with our passports. I will only take them out on shore days.

I put a few pictures of some of the kids areas. And the movie theater. Kinda stupid hours for showing movies 5PM on Sea days.

Time to put the DD to bed.

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