After my parents’ visit last month and all the stuff that happened, I seriously felt like I needed a vacation. Fortunately, my sister-in-law said she wanted to take the kids somewhere for a weekend, so my husband and I would have two days off. Yes please!
At first, I figured we would stay home and relax. But to my surprise, my husband was willing to go somewhere. I started poking around on the internet. My first inclination was to just use hotel points (naturally) and be done with it. However, a deal on Groupon (my personal referral link) caught my eye:
You can see more details here The price is for two people, and the total with taxes comes up to $355. Of course, you have to budget for tips, parking your car and so on. Still, if you are super frugal, it’s possible to get away with paying no more than $500 for a weekend. And it’s not just a weekend in Florida, but Bahamas, baby!
You can potentially bring the price down even further by checking Cashbackmonitor and searching for Groupon store. (If you don’t have a Groupon account, I would appreciate it if you used my referral link to join since it won’t cost you anything, and you will still get cashback by going through one of the shopping portals.)
The nitty gritty
The ship leaves from port of Palm Beach (about one hour north of Miami) and docks at Freeport, Bahamas for a full day. I’ve never been to Freeport, but it has a beach, and that’s all I care about. The biggest issue was the fact that my husband would have to take Friday off, and he is totally out of vacation days due to our upcoming trip to South Pacific.
He could use PTO time, but we usually save it for emergencies or special events that we absolutely have to attend. This ain’t one of them. Not to mention, we really, REALLY need to save cash. Spending five hundred bucks doesn’t seem terrible when you are getting a cruise to Bahamas in an oceanview cabin, with food included. But it’s still a substantial amount of money for my middle-class family.
I ended up using hotel points after all (a post coming up). But I am intrigued by this cruise line and we may try it next year. I’ve asked my followers on Facebook if they had any experience with it, and one had this to say:
Many of the reviews on Yelp are quite brutal, though. Then again, it comes down to expectations, I suppose. It’s unreasonable to expect a fancy cruise for $355/per couple. In an oceanview room, no less! You can see a video review of the cabin on You Tube. It doesn’t look upscale, but it’s not awful by any means. We once cruised in a cabin that was a size of a closet, where my husband and I had to sleep on bunk beds. Of course, we do have a bit more money now, so…
You can also check out video review of the ship and its amenities. Personally, I mostly care about a clean place to sleep, edible food and a decent beach when we get to Freeport. I seriously doubt we would partake in any of ship’s entertainment, though it does look, ahem, classy:
I admit, I’m digging this lady’s hair!
If you bring children, there is apparently a complimentary Kids’ Club, so that’s certainly a nice perk. However, you would have to pay full rate for third and fourth passenger, so may as well get two cabins if you are a family of four. Paradise line has two ships, both of them were decommissioned by Carnival. But they were remodeled, and by the looks of them, appear to be adequate.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise line doesn’t seem to appear on any major travel websites, so I don’t think you will be able to use flexible points from Ultimate Rewards or Citi Thank You programs. You can use bonus from cards like Capital One Venture Rewards if you book directly with cruise line (read about it here). However, you would forgo cash back from a shopping portal if you go this route.
Update: it looks like the pricing is a bit lower if you call the cruise line directly. At least that was the case for me.
I’m a pretty low-key traveler when it comes to food and accommodations, though I don’t like rowdy atmosphere. I was never a party animal even in my younger days, so this sort of thing is a huge turn-off. That’s probably the only thing that concerns me. Otherwise, I’m tempted to give this deal a try at some point.
Readers, if you’ve gone on Bahamas Paradise Cruise line, please share your experience!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.