My family and I just came returned from a “Back to Back” or B2B cruise. You might ask, what’s that? Well, it’s where you take at least two cruises back to back. For example, we cruised 4-7 Jan 2019 on the Carnival Victory out of Miami to Overnight Nassau. Then we stayed on the same ship, same cabins (you have to ask for this!), and cruised 7-11 Jan 2019 on the Carnival Victory to Key West and Cozumel. Because we had the same room, there was no need to pack our suitcases. In between cruises, we had a leisurely day eating breakfast, waiting for all to exit ship, and then we got priority “boarding” for our second cruise. We only had to exit to show our passports to customs, re-board and receive our new sign and sail cards. The process was easy. Note: Each cruise is separate so you do need to settle each cruise account separately.
So, we talked about B2B cruises and if we would do this again. Let me share the pros and cons with you while it’s fresh in my mind:
- The transition between cruises was nice. Knowing in advance what is going to happen will help facilitate the transfer. Carnival sent us a letter on the last night of the first cruise explaining the process in detail.
- We were treated like special guests because we did the B2B cruises. On the 2nd cruise, we found a bottle of champagne in our rooms with a note from the Maitre D.
- The staff also left us a nice basket of fruit in each room with a $50 off spa certificate.
- We were offered complimentary drinks in between the cruises, to include alcoholic drinks!
- The photographer took a group photo of all the B2B cruisers. That photo was free to each cabin.
- Our cruise price was an early saver so not only did we got a great price, we got a $50 credit for our cabin for each cruise. Then we got a discount on port fees as well for both cruises (this discount was provided to all cruisers). My Mom got casino room rates and $50 casino cash for each cruise! The casino cash does not need to be used in the casino. If we did one 7 night cruise, we would only get the on board credit and casino cash once! So it’s double the fun if you do B2B!
- The Fun Times cruise planner provided different entertainment options which was nice. That’s may be because we chose two different cruise locations.
- Be prepared to entertain yourselves while the cruise line gets all those required to exit the ship, off the ship. The letter from Carnival did not give us a feel for how long the exit process would take. We were told to meet at 9:30 am in the dinning room, and everyone that is required to exit is normally off the ship by 10 am. While the exiting process was ongoing, since we were in Miami, we were able to use our cellular service, but some of our group ran out of charge on their devices. Not many thought to bring an additional charger. Also, the 4G cellular service was unable to download new Netflix shows. Be prepared to entertain yourselves with conversation, mobile phone, a good book, or drafting blog posts!
- B2B cruising for us felt like we went on 2 cruises. The mix of the people were totally different between the 2 cruises. The first cruise had a great balance for our age group, but the 2nd cruise had a higher mix of college aged people looking to “let go” on their vacation.
- The first cruise was 3 nights and the second cruise 4 nights. The menu in the main dinning room was exactly the same for at least 2 of the nights making you feel like, “…didn’t we already have this?
- We added one additional person to the second cruise which was great, but we ended up with different waiters that were not as attentive making our experience not as good as the first cruise.
So are B2B cruises a great alternative? Yes, they can be! B2B cruises provide twice the fun and twice the credits! Yes, we plan to do it again!
Between The Dashes!