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Using MR Points for Cruises

californiagirl

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Has anyone used their MR points for cruises? We are considering the 10 Med cruise in 2009. In researching it I have found that it is not possible to reserve for 2009 yet. The Marriott rep said 1/1/09 they sign the contract and announced after that. The Holland rep said that it comes out between Sept-Dec. If you have done a cruise on points I would really appreciate your feedback on the following: when do the new points charts come out for the cruises? Does the point value go up significantly each year? Can you purchase insurance for your points in the event of a family emergency? Did you get to choose your cabin? We would like to upgrade to a balcony and the Holland rep said that this year the fee was $350.00 pp, is that about what it usually runs?

Thank you in advance!
 

kjd

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I don't think that these cruises for points are a very good deal. Maybe, it's because I'm here in Florida and don't need any airline reservations. We also get some last minute pricing once in a while, especially in the off seasons.

I have noticed that the "discount" is always off of the printed brochure price. Nobody ever pays the printed price so to equate that with a bargain would be ridiculous.

One example of what the cruise lines are currently offering to everyday people is a 7 day November cruise to the Western Carribean on Carnival. The price including all fees and port charges is $927.70pp for a balcony cabin.

To determine if any cruise is worth the MR points or not you can value the points at .0125 per point. Usually when I have made this comparison, points for a cruise turns out to be a bad deal.
 

Dave M

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Although not as good a deal as the air-hotel travel packages, a few of the Marriott Rewards cruise Rewards are better deals than using points for most hotel stays and better than .0125 per point. See, for example, my recent post in this thread.

The points required for a cruise have varied from year to year, most recently going DOWN significantly about two years ago for most Holland America cruises - except on the Vista class ships.
 

californiagirl

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Thank you for your responses. While I appreciate the info, I'm not really wondering if it is a good deal or not.:) (We've cruised Alaska on a last minute deal that was $450.00 pp for obstructed view cabin, 7 day cruise on Princess.) I've read all the posts about the value of points. Bottom line is that we have the points sitting there and would like to take this cruise and not wait for a last minute deal. We have enough AMEX points for airline tickets to Europe. We probably wouldn't take this cruise right now if we were paying cash.

We have almost always used our points for the air/hotel packages. However, I am disenchanted with staying in a hotel room for a week...our last stay at the Marriott Waikoloa was a big disappointment. (I am really spoiled by the villas.) So even though it is a good deal on paper, I think the situational value of the points is subjective to the user.

I'd like to know the nuts and bolts detail of what was involved with using points for a cruise. We've used points for most other forms of travel, but not a cruise.
 

dougp26364

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I am not to familiar with using Marriott Rewards points but, I have done other cruise exchanges when the situation warrented. I'm pretty certain that using MR points won't be much different.

Yes you can choose your cabin, cabin location and level. Points requirements will vary depending on the cabin type you choose. Most will publish a points chart but this is often more an estimation the a firm offer. Prices for cruises change frequently (up or down) and as the price changes the point total can/will change with it. I've always considered the points requirement more of an estimation and I have to call to get the real figures.

Yes you can buy trip insurance to cover the cost of the trip. While it has always been offered at the time of booking, I often shop for and buy my own insurance. I will take the cash cost of the cruise and airfare as the value set for the insurance. For instance, I have a Med cruise booked on Royal Caribbean through HGVC's. The value of the cruise with air is a little over $5,000 and that's the figure I used when shopping for insurance.

Now I doubt that the insurance company would ever refund you your points. I have always been under the impression that it would be a cash transaction should something happen you had to file any sort of claim.
 

Penny S

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Points for cruises

We used Marriott points in 2005 to do a Mediterranean cruise that we booked directly with Holland America. You can upgrade to a balcony cabin at a pretty reasonable price.

We just booked another cruise using MRP to buy gift certificates to pay for a cruise. You can even use the certificate to buy insurance to cover you in case you need to cancel. You book these cruises through "cruises only" and can use the certificate for any cruiseline, not just Holland America. It was quite easy to do. They are booking for 2009.
 
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