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  1. $1200 is a lot to spend on a vacation? Don’t they pay you at this place? Sorry, just saying. If you get everything for free, don’t you have to spend many $$ on credit cards to get points?

    I do agree with your premise that has always been my watchword. If I wouldn’t choose it, I wouldn’t take it for free. I would rather go to a real restaurant than have someone treat me at The Olive Garden.

    Great point on the free airfare. My brother let Viking (a really good line in my limited experience) book his airfare on a previous cruise and they sent him from RDU-CDG via DTW and home by another strange portal, plus he had to leave the ship at 4 am!

    Our next cruise they are including Business Class both ways so I guess I kind of have to take it but it will be interesting to see how they route us and on what carrier.

    • I’ve not been paid this year. But that’s beside the point. $1200 is a lot of money, and a lot can be done with it. More importantly, I can do vacations that cost 10x that for a fraction of $1200

    • How did you get a free cruise including business airfare? Is there a post floating around here somewhere explaining it?

        • Thanks for the quick reply. I read the cruise and mLife posts, but I didn’t see anything on how to get the sweet balcony rooms. Is it just a hope for the best strategy after getting mLife Gold?

        • Read the mLife posts, and my reading comprehension must suck because I don’t see what you’re referring to. Thanks for the help.

  2. How! Or is that what the secret portal on this site is about lol? Chacun a son gout. I wasn’t prying but 1200 for any middle class American is about a week’s pay.

    So you would never go to a 3 star Michelin restaurant? I guess I’m too old to learn all of the tricks. I kind of consider myself lucky to buy miles for .014 and cash them in on a flight that would have cost 10,000 or more.

    I am kind of learning from you guys and the shills who I didn’t realize were that. I appreciate your expertise and I agree you shouldn’t accept an inferior product.

    That’s why we almost never fly a US based airline, though my free UA flight to HAM in August was as good as I could do,.

    Unfortunately, my airline of choice is SQ who gives zero free upgrades and only gives award flights to its own.

    My hotel chain is Accor, which most gurus don’t like because there aren’t any free rooms, but our long history with them and connections give us upgrades from cheapest room to large suite.

    I will always enjoy reading about how the experts play it. I didn’t mean to demean you, just wondering are you like the points guy and make your living from this or if not how much can you travel if you have a real job?

    I’m quite retired and much closer to death than birth so I go as much as possible.

    Anyway we are on the same page with Norwegian. I think they are like Princess and other lower middle lines who charge a la carte and have inside cabins.

    • A middle class American family can’t afford $1200 a month on vacations. I love 3 star Michelin and certainly enjoy visiting them.

      I also enjoy Norwegian and their suites, just not their inside cabins 🙂

      • A month! Well don’t Americans only get 2 weeks a year vacation? I thought you meant $1200 was a lot for a vacation of any kind. BTW how do you get everything free if you don’t spend thousands to get points? Is this something in the secret portal?

        • OK….. but don’t a lot of them carry annual fees? I now follow a lot of these sites and have gotten quite a few bonuses. They usually require a minimum spend that isn’t too difficult as I can pay my cable and mobile bills through them as well as a few utilities.

          What next? Open new ones and repeat? I hear chase won’t approve you if you have 5 in 24 which we do. also some are for hotel chains that we are unlikely to stay at although with the merger, Marriott and Starwood are a possibility.

          We spent over 120 nights on the road last year and never stayed in a Marriott property as there was always a much more desirable alternative.

          I guess we could get his and hers cards(?) but if they are branded you cant combine them. So you travel all year and it’s always free or nearly so?

        • Yes, I travel too much and it’s free. Just credit cards for most of it, no magic.

          The cruise stuff is a different gig that I talk about here, under mlife and casino comps

      • So if you can’t afford $1200 for a vacation how can you(or anyone) pay that for one meal at a 3 Michelin star restaurant?

  3. Just wondering what there is to do in the cabin except sleep and clean up? All I care about is a comfortable bed.

  4. We had a 50 day cruise and spent half the time in our suite! Sleep, prep, read. Hang out on terrace. Net surf. Important to have a nice cabin or trip would be hell.

  5. Great post! How do you get emails from NCL offering free stuff? Is it because you’ve cruised with them a lot before? If I want to receive offers, where do I sign up?

      • Really!? Why would they give a free cruise? What’s in it for them? We once (never again!) cruised on Princess to Alaska and despite opting out are inundated with offers by email, popups and even brochures, but never have I seen one remotely offering free.

        Viking always has 2 for 1 which of course is the real price.

        • OK I have credit cards to but can’t find a way to spend more than 60-75000 in a year. Is this that MS where you buy things and cash them in or do you have a business that you can run through cards?

          This is so fascinating to me. You have a 2 year old so presumable a wife or companion. IS she in the same situation so can travel all the time?

          We at least come home to do laundry and get our hair done

  6. If you think interior cabins are tiny (I don’t), you have never stayed in a London or Paris hotel where you have to climb over a bed to get to the bathroom. I’m in my 80’s and don’t have a problem going in coach. Do you need a nanny to tuck you in and change you? Geeez!
    I’d love to get free offer like that and don’t see how you claim it costs so much money. Please explain how you came up with $2,800.

    • Tiny for 3 when my toddler won’t sleep when we are in sight.. The balcony gives us the option to sit outside and read while napping.

    • You are actually older than I am! I can fly Economy in US and from Europe to US. I could manage it from US to Europe but would prefer business since you might want to sleep in that direction. to Asia I just can’t manage it anymore.

      We won’t get a free offer since we are not professional gurus of travel. I would prefer to pay for a good cabin than to get a free inside but perhaps could upgrade and pay less than the real price.

  7. While I agree with the general point of this post–that just because something can be had at a great discount, it doesn’t mean it’s a good deal or the best use of your time — I am super confused by the “$1200 is a shit ton of money to spend on a vacation” statement. I don’t really understand how you can travel with three people for cheaper than that. And, I feel like I have a very good grasp on travel hacking and discount travel. I guess what I need tips on is how to hack free food, drinks, and activities?

    • Agree. How is that a lot of money? If you earn points with credit cards you have to spend a lot and everyone can’t have hundreds of thousands of points

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