Cruise passengers looking for hot deals thought they had found the bargain of the decade – a one-way, 31-day cruise from Brisbane to Seattle in a Balcony room aboard Carnival Luminosa advertised on the Carnival US site.

The price was a jaw-dropping US$100 pp.

“WHAT. I will drop my things and go. Where did ya find this?!” asked one post on the Carnival forum, where a screenshot of the deal was posted.

“I got the 12 days for $100 and I am so ready!” said another who got in quickly and secured her cabin.

But there was a word of warning over the cruise departing April 1, 2024 – note the date! – and finishing May 1, 2024.

cruise bargain or bogus
The original post showing the $100 fare.

“I just went to book this – taxes are $800,” one comment read. 

Meanwhile, other posts said it did not take into consideration the cost of a one-way flight back from Seattle, or to Sydney if travelling from the US.

“Yes, but the airfare to Australia is probably $5,000 or more,” one retiree posted.

“Would take that in a heartbeat,” said another “but flying from Australia to Seattle will cost us $8,000 per person. Not worth it. Tsk.”

The post received about 700 comments beforeadministrators turned off the responses.

Bargain or bogus?

Carnival Luminosa
The initial online deal offered a month-long cruise on Carnival Luminosa.

Was the cruise for US$100 the best bargain in the world? Or was it an error?

Well, it’s still a bit of a mystery. The link has now changed, and now eventually takes you through to the Carnival Australia site.

Cruise Passenger made inquiries with passengers who claimed to have booked the deal and with Carnival Cruise Line. We have yet to receive a reply.

One booking with taxes.

And when Cruise Passenger last checked, a new link showed what appeared to be normal prices for the month-long voyage.

The cruise starts in Brisbane then heads to the northern hemisphere first for Guam, then with stops in Japan, including Naha, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Aomori and Kushiro, then crossing the International Date Line. It then heads to Anchorage, cruising the Hubbard Glacier and on to Juneau and Ketchikan before ending in Seattle.

As opposed to the US$100 original offer, the revised version currently on US Carnival site offers a Balcony room at $3,624.

But clicking through the link only revealed a 10-day round trip to New Zealand departing Sydney – on Carnival Splendor.

It is not unknown for lines to offer bargain fares, especially for ships returning north usually with reduced capacity. It is better to fill a ship with passengers on a discount who will spend money on board, rather than sending a ship home empty.

Most cruise line terms and conditions state they can change errors up to supply/boarding?

The questions are: was it an error? Will Carnival honour it or would there be a compromise?

Carnival Cruise Line announces the Splendor will return in October
Carnival Splendor is heading to New Zealand and back for full-paying passengers.