We’ve written extensively about getting free cruise offers from casino status matching (which can start with hotel elite status — see How to get 57 free vacation nights with a single credit card for details). One of the matches we’ve been reporting for almost a year and a half is the Carnival Fun Match. Many readers have gotten offers for free balcony staterooms on Carnival, but for some reason others haven’t gotten any offers at all. There may be some good news: a member of our Facebook group shared a tip the other day that has led to a free balcony offer for the handful of people who have tried it.
The Carnival Fun Match is an offer whereby you can submit your land-based casino status or offers and Carnival has been known to offer many people a free cruise (you pay port taxes and a $100 deposit per person and get that back as an onboard credit (up to $200 per room). You can read more details about this offer in the post How to cruise for free (or close to it) with Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
But some readers have reported signing up for the match and receiving only low-interest offers for discounted cruises or in some cases no offers at all.
Earlier this week, a member of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group posted a potential solution. They said that they logged in to their Carnival account and made sure everything was filled out. They specifically called out the “Title” field (Mr. / Mrs. / Ms.) and “Country” Field (where you see United States below).
They reported filling out those details and then, within a few days, receiving an offer for a free balcony stateroom. After that was posted in our Facebook group, several members there reported success with it and I have since heard from a few more people who reported receiving a free balcony room offer shortly after filing in those areas and/or other empty fields in their online profile with Carnival.
I obviously don’t know for sure that there is a correlation here and can’t guarantee that everyone who does this will receive an offer, but if you previously submitted for the Carnival Fun Match and you’ve been disappointed not to receive any free cruise offers, this is at least worth a shot.
I should emphasize that available inventory for these free cruise offers can really ebb and flow from month to month and even sometimes from day to day. When I received my first free balcony room offer, it had an expiration date within the same calendar month. I didn’t book by the expiration date and then the next month I received a new free balcony room offer. I don’t know that you’ll be so lucky, but that continued in our case for about a year from the initial free balcony offer. Over the course of the year, I saw cruises become available and not available — so don’t be discouraged if the cruise you want isn’t available today. It probably makes sense to figure out the payment deadlines for people sailing on the cruise you want and aiming to check around those dates since some people will have cancelled right before final payments are due.
Hopefully this helps someone get a free cruise offer. Let us know if it works for you — or if at least a week passes and you don’t start getting free cruise offers, I’d love to know also — just leave a comment.
All the information was already on my profile, so I just changed my phone number and saved, two days later the offers started coming in. I got the free balcony room offer, but when I went to try and book a cruise, they all say sold out for as far as I could check.
Not getting any free offers and just came across this tip.
Went to my profile but I had nothing to update since everything was already filled out from my cruise in 2018.
Could it be that I’m not getting offers because they see that I did not gamble in 2018?
[…] morning everyone, I hope your week is going well. A few weeks ago, I followed Nick’s advice from Frequent Miler and got a “free” cruise from Carnival Cruise Lin…. Nick also got me a “free” Holland America Cruise, so if I ever see Nick on the High […]
I already had all the fields completed and received free inside and ocean view room offers all the time. I just learned about the fun match but don’t have a wyndhm card/Ceasars card etc but I do have a platinum card from a local casino and figured what the heck submitted a copy of front and back. Less than 24 hours and I received a cheesy fun match offer for $500 off blah blah blah. Will be interesting to see if any better offers come through over the next week or two.
My experience so far is that I filled the fun match out with Caesar’s Diamond October 2023, and I starting receiving free inside stateroom offers November 2023. I received my last inside stateroom offer December 6 2023. I never got the balcony offer. Since then, I have been consistently receiving a $5000 casino cash bonus offer. I just saw this post and updated my info, keeping my fingers crossed it will trigger more free cruise offers. I will update if it does! Thank you for this post.
Update: I got the free balcony offer 5 days after updated my personal info. Thank you so much!
I completed the match yesterday and this morning I have a Free Balcony Room! email in my inbox. However, when I click View All Sailings in the email offer, the Carnival website shows the “Up to a Free Balcony Room…” offer, and underneath it says “OH SNAP! We are unable to locate an exact match.”
Does this mean I qualify for a free balcony room, but no cruises are left??
What’s the fee for a name change on these free Carnival cruises?
I have a quick question. I matched MGM Gold to Carnival, how do I see whether the match is successful? Is VIFP club mean the match is successful? Thanks!
Does it still work with Carnival to just submit a screenshot of Caesar’s Diamond card from the Caesar’s Reward app? I thought I saw a post a while ago in the FB group that you needed a physical card now that shows the expiration date?
I updated title and country last Thursday but still didn’t get any offer for free cruise. Last Tuesday I got 500$ off offer. I really hope free cruise will come soon!
I updated my profile last week too and hadn’t received anything yet. I just got the free balcony offer!
Another positive data point! My wife had been initially getting interior room offers, which eventually turned into casino play match offers with no free room. Read this post, update her profile, got the fee balcony room email this morning. Took about 2-3 days from updating the account before the new offer arrived
It worked for me. Changed it and got the email today!
Just as a reminder for those who haven’t read every word I’ve written in other posts or comments, this was my experience with the free balcony offer in terms of it coming back:
Each month, I’d get an offer that expired the same month. So, for instance, I think I saw someone say that the current round of free balcony offer expires on 4/21/23.
If I didn’t book by the expiration, about a week would pass and then I’d receive another free balcony offer that was valid until somewhere late in the next calendar month.
That cycle repeated for 12 months. We didn’t end up cruising under P2’s offer, kind of assuming it would go on forever like that. Unfortunately, after the 12th one, she did not continue receiving the free balcony offer.
I share that because you may not see anything you want to book before the offer expires. I *definitely don’t know and can’t guarantee* that the offer will come back again a week later like it did for me, but I hope that someone can provide a data point somewhere between 4/25 and about 5/5 to let us know if it came back (most of my offers originated during basically that couple of weeks at the end of one month and beginning of the next).
But the reason that is relevant is because I saw variance in terms of what was available. Sometimes there was very, very little available. Other times I found more stuff.
It looks like Carnival cruises of 6 nights or longer have a payment deadline of 91 days before the cruise, so if you see a sailing of interest, it might be worth checking a little before and just after that deadline to see if rooms open up.
Best of luck to everyone!
Thanks for clarifying on the offers, I have no immediate travel plans and was curious about doing this but wasn’t sure if it’s worth doing it asap if I couldn’t commit to the first offer. I was curious how many offers id be given if I skip the first one and that answers it.
After redeeming the offer for one free cruise is it redeemable again? I booked a free cruise then two hours later the offer went away on the account
Did we find this out? I was wondering if we redeemed a balcony room offer if it will come back in future and how many cruises can be redeemed per one balcony offer?
This trick worked! For the longest time I didn’t get any free room offer from Carnival. But after reading this article and updating my profile, I got a balcony room offer today ! It reads “ up to a Free Balcony Room with a $100 deposit per person, and you’ll get it back as a $100 Onboard Credit per person (up to $200 Onboard Credit per Room).” Is that what everybody is getting?
I first did the status match a few months ago with Caesars platinum , but my platinum status already expired on 2/1.
Thanks so much !!!!!
This worked like charm. initially was getting just cash offer to play. After doing this within few days got the free balcony offer.
What’s your availability like for ocean view / balcony rooms?
@Nick Reyes great data point here. I read the article on Wednesday or Thursday and then went in to update my profile as indicated. Added my title and the country as shown. Just got an email from carnival for up to a balcony room. Previously, had only been offered indoor rooms! Thanks!
Follow-up: there is almost no balcony space and very little ocean view space. Lots and lots of interior space. Wonder how the Royal Caribbean match will compare.
certainly varies by destination, but new offers and destinations with different availability show up every few weeks
I see the same thing, mostly Interior rooms available. Lucked out that one of the few sailings to Cabo with Balcony space still available happens to land during our daughter’s fall break for school next year so I just put that on hold. They are out there but you probably need some date or location flexibility!
Has anyone gotten a phone call from Carnival? It was a personal cruise consultant wanting to help me. Is this just part of the process or am I just unlucky?
I don’t remember for sure if I did, but if I did they certainly didn’t call incessantly.
I updated the country, title, etc yesterday afternoon, and they (personal cruise consultant) called this evening for the first time ever with a special deal, and also emailed me. Not sure where this fits in.
I’ve gotten calls a couple of times after “holding a reservation” and never completing it after the 48 hours. Normal. Nothing annoying, or that helpful honestly
Data point: This worked for me!! I saw this trick mentioned in the comments and filled in the boxes on my account Wednesday night. Today (Friday morning) I received “Up to a FREE balcony room” my first free ANYTHING since matching with MGM Gold (via Hyatt Globalist) in December 2022. (I have received non-free cruise offers weekly since then.) Thanks so much!!!
Here are a couple data points:
So it appears they are extending the suite offer to top tier loyalty club members and the balcony offer to T2-3+ members.
Wait, so can you submit different ones and get a fun match on each? I’ve got a few I can submit but thought I could only submit one.
You can only submit once, but it says right on the form that you can submit multiple statuses. You would need to put them together into a single PDF. Or maybe the form allowed uploading two files? I can’t recall for sure.
To be clear, I think Mickey is reporting results from more than one person.
That’s correct. These are all different people, what they submitted and the resulting offers.
On a 12 night Baltic balcony cruise in July 2023 booked last year thanks to the match, but realistically its not going to last. Such programs target a specific group, when a spotlight is shined on them and the public floods in via a backdoor then the organization may pull back the reins. They did it to increase casino play using empty rooms, suddenly 20x the people apply then don’t gamble so the door eventually gets shut. Same with “sweet spots”, poorly thought out promos like last year’s “Free Diamond IHG status”, etc. All the more reason to check out the site/Facebook group frequently and feel blessed when you get lucky and move along if the party is over without making a fuss. Thanks for shining the light so some of us can benefit….keep up the good work!
Just filled this in hopefully it helps! I wonder if the Country field is what matters if Carnival is mainly trying to target US casino patrons with these offers?
I’ve been getting only the $500 discount and $5000 casino match play offers for a few months. So far the only luck on a free cruise has been with Holland America which I have another month to potentially book. Royal Caribbean match has been silent with two different e-mails submitted so far. I only have the vacation time for one cruise this year and we’ll book Holland America if nothing else but was hoping to get one of the other cruise lines. Seems like they have more onboard entertainment for our 6 year old!
And 6 days later the Balcony free cruise offer has shown up! It’s possible it came through earlier but I noticed it in my account yesterday and got the e-mail for it this morning.
It looks like there are no sailings in June/July with the offer which ruled out Alaska, so now it looks like we will figure out how to do two cruises and do Carnival in the Fall while still trying to book Holland America for the summer. So much for only one cruise – the discounts on this are too good to pass up.
A big thank you to making this post Nick!
Checked my P2 profile since she has not been getting her offers from the fun match. It already had Mrs and United States n her profile. So much for that
For me it took a little over 2 months. Also, as I thought my P2 wasn’t going to get it via his Globalist status, I applied for the Wyndham card. The free balcony offer for my P2 showed up less than 48 hours after I was approved. Now I have a Wyndham card and have to learn about Vacasa 1 br. Good news is FMiler is hopefully keeping my brain sharp.
I saw that FB post and filled in my husband’s miscellaneous drop downs that I didn’t know were empty. He got a $100/person ocean view offer the very next day. I’m holding out for the free offer.
$100/person is the free offer. You get that back as onboard credit. But maybe you meant that you’re holding off for the balcony offer.
Oh! Thank you for the clarification.
Yep. Just booked another 14 day cruise! This is almost becoming silly but so many thanks Nick.
I never got an email but when looking in my account and the deals tab I saw the $100 offer.
Upgraded to a massive rear balcony but so worth it vs just a standard balcony.
Just a data point, after a lot of waiting, I saw this on fb, completed my profile, and offers started a day or two later. First it was a $500 discount/casino cash thing, then it was a free balcony ~5 days later.
I signed up in Jan ’23 and still haven’t received any free offers. I just went in and entered Title, Country and Gender to my account, fingers crossed! Will report back if I get the freebie offer.
Updated all information above and today, 7 days after updating, I have FINALLY received a FREE balcony room offer! Couldn’t find any availability, but happy to see that I’m now on the free cruise list! Great advice in this article!
Ha! I tried to sign up and I get an error registering user message!
I’m having the exact same problem, did you ever get past it?
I was one of the people who got nothing. Here is to hoping that this works…
Thanks for the heads up- I added in the title, country, etc. – I had gotten good offers in December (interior room) and recently only casino drinks/cash bonus with points. Wondering if I should somehow reapply for the match as my caesars status expired on 1/31, but was reapproved for a year in early Feb.
I had tried re-submitting for a match with a different email and phone number and they still said “Nah, we can tell that you already did this.”
Got my my free balcony deal today expiring in late April
I stumbled on this the other day too. Title, country and gender were all empty. I filled those in a few days ago, but haven’t gotten any free room offers in several months, just the usual “Grant, up to a $5,000 CASH bonus + FREE Drinks are waiting for you”. I’ll report back if anything better comes along in the coming days.
Just got this email offer today:
Grant, you recently signed up for Carnival Fun Match and to show our appreciation we are upgrading your offer! Book by April 21, 2023 and get this awesome Carnival Players Club® offer:
Up to a FREE* Balcony Room
Excludes taxes, fees, port expenses and deposit
$50 FunPlay® credit
Drinks On Us!†
included while playing in the casino for you and a companion*
Request Rate Code FSA.
Reserve up to a Free Balcony Room with a $100 deposit per person, and you’ll get it back as a $100 Onboard Credit per person (up to $200 Onboard Credit per Room).
You will need to provide your VIFP Club® Member Number when booking: #########
Boo-yah! If you sail on an older ship (like mine was), you might even get that $50 FunPlay credit in cash :-).
Oh cool, how old was your ship? Can you remind me again where you went on your cruise?
I’ve noticed that Carnival’s non-Fun Match calendar extends until June 2024, but with Fun Match absolutely nothing past May 2023. Is this typical?
Available cruises really vary. I booked mine a year in advance initially (ended up canceling and then eventually re-booking the same cruise about 4 or 5 months in advance).
How did the canceling and re-booking work? Are there any additional restrictions to re-booking?
My experience on that isn’t going to be a reliable indicator for how it will be for you.
I originally booked in Oct 2021 for Oct 2022. My memory is a bit fuzzy on this, but there was some sort of change in the rules in terms of showing vaccination cards (maybe they were suddenly required on some or all itineraries, I really can’t remember the details right now). Anyway, because of whatever the change in terms was, Carnival had offered for everyone with cruises booked the chance to cancel for free in February 2022 with no penalty. At that point, when people tested positive on a ship, they were getting quarantined — and not in their room, but rather in an interior room in a quarantine section of the ship. We weren’t very concerned about getting very sick (we were both vaccinated, though our kids couldn’t yet be), but the prospect of being quarantined in a tiny interior room with our two toddlers potentially for days on end with no fresh air was enough to make us reconsider, so we cancelled the cruises we had booked and got all of our money back.
Then, we started getting the free balcony room offers again almost immediately. Eventually, around maybe May or June, I rebooked on the same October 2022 cruise we had originally intended (at that point things had calmed down considerably and we felt confident that we weren’t going to be confined to a windowless box for days with no relief).
I *believe* that the $100 per person deposit is supposed to be nonrefundable. We only got that back because they temporarily offered it as an exception to policy.
A few days ago I signed up online but did not include a copy of my Caesars Diamond card. When I went back to upload it I got an error message that I was already registered and not able to register again. I looked all over the website without luck to find another way to upload the pics. I thought I was screwed. I called the number on the Players Club webpage After getting bounced around a couple of times I was transfered to the casino dept. I found an agent who gave me the following email address to upload the pics:
Just include the info requested on the online registration form.
Has anyone gotten any type of acknowledgement after registering? I haven’t heard anything but it’s only been 24 hrs.
Hi There! Have you heard back from the support team? I’m in the same situation, have not received offers, and need to attach additional loyalty information.
I did. In fact I booked a 10 nt E. Carribean cruise out of NYC next Jan. We got a balcony for $100pp.
Thanks for the update! How long did it take to hear back from the support team? When did you start seeing the offers?
Less than a couple weeks. I’m was surprised and jumped on it.
I’m one of those who matched but only got lazy offers, not free cruises. Just completed the “title” field on my profile, that was previously empty. Will report back !