I met an enterprising woman cruising on Azamara Journey, during our November crossing of the Atlantic. She said she had just booked a free four-night cruise.
In this crazy world of travel anomalies and managed discounts, her plan made perfect sense.
Our two-week cruise from Europe would end in Miami on the Monday after Thanksgiving. That day, prices of flights from Florida to the passenger' home near San Francisco still were in high post-holiday mode. Airfares wouldn’t fall for several days.
So, the California woman extended her vacation.
Before she booked the cheaper flight to California -- several hundred dollars savings for her and her husband -- she hunted on the Internet for a place to hang out for a few days.
They thought about staying in Miami, or renting a car and visiting Disney World near Orlando.
Then, on the Internet, she saw a great post-holiday price of about $150 each for four nights on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas, leaving Miami on the day they would arrive. She booked it, first at the sale price for an inside cabin, and then later accepted an upgrade to an outside cabin.
For four nights and three days, they would cruise to the Bahamas and Key West, eating, sleeping, being entertained in the sunshine, while waiting for their flight to California.
She said she saved more on the airfare home than the total price of the cruise. Since she would have had to spend the money anyway, seems to me that voyage to the Bahamas was free.