Believe it or not, you can get a free Royal Caribbean cruise. For reals.
What constitutes “free“? Essentially, an offer to not pay anything more for the cruise fare (other than perhaps taxes and fees). That is not to say you may not have to spend money elsewhere in order to qualify for a free cruise.
In addition, a free cruise means you will still have to pay for cruise add-on costs, such as gratuities, shore excursions, drinks, etc. Plus there are other travel expenses that may be required to get you to and from the cruise.
Here is what you need (in addition to a little bit of luck) to snag a free cruise.
Casino Royale recognizes its top spenders, much like Crown and Anchor Society gives rewards to people who cruise the most.
Organize a group
If you cruise with enough friends or family, you could get a free cruise for yourself too.
Typically a group can be created if 16 full-fare guests in eight staterooms are booked with the same travel agent. If so, you can qualify to be the tour leader (sometimes called tour conductor) and create a group.
By creating a group with the Royal Caribbean groups department, the tour leader can earn a percentage of the cost of all the rooms that can be redeemed towards the cost of your cruise fare.
The amount of credit you get depends on what your friends or family book. The more they spend on the rooms, the more you get in tour conductor credits.
You could also just pocket the money or apply it in other ways to the cruise.
Being a tour conductor is one of the best ways to spend as little as possible and get a free cruise among all of the methods outlined in this post.
Read more: How to get cheap cruise deals
Credit card points
Depending on the credit card you have, there may be an option to pay down the cost of a cruise or even earn a free sailing.
Other credit cards partner with various outlets to provide ways to redeem their points for travel, including cruises.
Using credit card points to redeem a free cruise is rarely a great value in terms of credit card point strategies, but it is an option for anyone with a lot of points.
Read more: How to book a cruise with your credit card reward points
On some rare occasions, there are actually free cruises offered in contests.
Royal Caribbean will infrequently offer a contest for a free cruise, but they are few and far between.
More commonly, you may find local radio stations or car dealerships offering a free cruise from time to time.
The bottom line is contest to offer free cruises are very rare, but they do exist. It is very important to be leery of any free offer, especially offers you see on social media. Double check the entity offering is legitimate and not a copycat information collecting scam.
If you play the game regularly and earn enough points, you can actually cash out the points for special offers, including free cruises or onboard credits. MyVegas offers these kind of offers for other cruise lines as well, including MSC or Norwegian Cruise Line.
The availability of a free Royal Caribbean cruise will vary and is not always available as an option.
Read more: 5 Royal Caribbean things you had no idea existed