Please note: I am not affiliated with nor am I being compensated by Marriott Bonvoy or any of their subsidiaries for the information contained in this post. Our job is to give you what the best information available on cruise vacation deals, regardless of whether we are affiliated with whatever we are writing about.
There’s a new player in the discount cruise game. It’s Marriott Bonvoy. “Wait, you mean the hotel chain?” you ask. Yep, that’s the one.
People who travel constantly for work are often fanatic about earning hotel points whenever they are on the road. From 2008-2014, when I was based in Washington, D.C., I traveled anywhere between 4-18 days per month for my fed gov job. Some of these trips were thrilling; but most were routine and boring. The one thing I always insisted on when I traveled, however, was that I always stayed at a Marriott hotel. Why Marriott? Because they had the most hotel brands with consistent high quality in the most locations. They also almost always honored the GSA lodging rate (the rate that federal employees are required to have when traveling on official business), even at their higher-end brands like JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton.
Like many large hotel chains, Marriott has a loyalty rewards program that allows to you earn points whenever you stay at a Marriott property. You can further accelerate the number of points you earn by using one of several Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. Over time, these points can be redeemed on things like Marriott hotel stays, car rentals, and even flights.
Just recently, I found out that Marriott Bonvoy has partnered with Cruise With Points to offer discount cruises that can be booked with Marriott points. Whether you’re new to Marriott Bonvoy rewards or if you’ve been accruing points for years, this new program appears to be an excellent new resource for those seeking a budget-friendly way to book cruises. Let’s breakdown a few of the site’s features-
Easy-to-navigate search screen:
As you can see, the website uses a simple, straightforward search window on its landing page. Finding the perfect cruise is as easy as populating the drop-down options to best suit your preferences.
Marriott Bonvoy Point Redemption:
The table above shows the redemption values for Marriott Bonvoy points. If you’re swimming in unused points, you could use a big chunk of them to cover the price of an entire luxury cruise. Otherwise, you can use whatever points you have in order to offset the price of a discounted cruise booked through the website. Don’t have any Marriott Bonvoy points? Not to worry, you can still get the exclusive offers and discounts the website offers!
Earn LOTS of extra Marriott Bonvoy points when you book:
- If you use your Chase Marriott Bonvoy credit card to book your trip, you earn an additional 2 points per $1 spent.
- Right now, you can earn the following point multiples when you book:
- For a limited time (until January 2, 2024), Marriot is offering an additional 3 points per $1 on balconies and suites — in addition to the usual 3 points per $1. This means you could earn up to 6x the amount of points when you book during this offer.
110% Best Price Guarantee:
If you find a lower price on another website within 48 hours of booking with Cruise with Points, they will refund you 110% of the difference. There are some restrictions regarding this guarantee (obviously), so please check the website for details. Despite the fine print, however, the 110% Best Price Guarantee is another attractive feature that Marriott has created to compete with the other cruise-booking websites.
Marriott Bonvoy Exclusive Deals
Marriott Bonvoy is a big company and, as such, is able to negotiate the same type of exclusive cruise deals and/or perks that you would expect from other big-time travel brokers. There are unique deals for many of the most popular cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian, and Holland America. They also have an entire section devoted to deals on river cruises. Some examples of the exclusives offered include:
- Free specialty meals
- Included Wi-Fi and drink packages
- Included gratuities
- Various onboard credits
As cruise popularity skyrockets in the post-pandemic years, it’s getting more and more difficult to find the kind of killer deals that cruise lines were dangling in front of potential customers just a year or two ago. Sometimes, you have to get resourceful. If you’re a Marriott fan or if you’ve been hoarding Marriott points for years (like me), Cruise With Points seems to offer a unique way to utilize hotel points coupled with exclusive deals to potentially save huge on a cruise that otherwise may not be financially attainable.
If anyone has booked with Marriott’s Cruise With Points, we’d love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.