Conway Travels

How I Booked a Notoriously Expensive Disney Cruise for Free

It seems like everyone loves Disney, and everyone loves cruises…yet no one is taking Disney Cruises! Could that be because they are notoriously expensive? Let’s go with yes. That’s what has always stopped me, at least. So I did what I always do: I hacked it! Here’s how I did it…


About a year ago, I checked the price of a 5-night/6-day Disney Cruise from Galveston, Texas to San Juan, Puerto Rico for 3 people and the price was about $5,000. No dice. About 6 months ago, I checked again and it was around $3,500. Still a no. Then, about a month before sailing, the price had dropped to $1,800! Now, that has some possibilities.

One Credit Card to Rule Them All

As many of you know, I am usually sitting on a miles/points cache of around 3-4 million. But many of those are earmarked for future first-class flights and special hotels. Plus, many of those miles wouldn’t be particularly useful for a cruise. So, more than a year ago I specifically obtained the Capital One Venture credit card in hopes of using it on a future cruise. This card comes with a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus and 2x points on all purchases! Being I wasn’t in need of any future airline or hotel miles, I switched ALL my spending (and plenty of tricks) to this card while we built a very healthy total. All and all, by the time I booked the cruise, we had accumulated 180,000 miles on this card, which was enough to pay for the entirety of the Disney cruise.

Meeting Mickey Aboard

Take Away

Through a combination of good timing (i.e., close to sail) and choosing the right credit card and strategy, my family set sail on the trip of a lifetime.

None of the breathtaking free travel we take happens overnight. It all requires plenty of foresight and lots of industry knowledge. But it’s all worth it. Every bit of it.

And I’m always happy to help.


One thought on “How I Booked a Notoriously Expensive Disney Cruise for Free

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