This guy pieced $35,000 in free cruises together to visit 32 countries, 23 islands, and all 7 continents in a single 200 day journey.
June 25, 2015 — 10:00 AM EDT
TAMPA, FL – Twenty-six year old Richard S. has just completed a 200 day trip around the world, visiting 32 countries and 23 islands over all 7 continents. While most people would have trouble affording a vacation like this, this young buck has figured out the secret to getting free cruises.
Richard, a frequent gambler in Las Vegas, has been taking advantage of casino complimentaries (comps) for the past 4 years. When he found out the junket company Players Club Tours offers free cruises on 9 different cruise lines based on casino play, he decided to piece together the most extreme world trip he could imagine.
Richard’s goal was to visit all 7 continents, including Antarctica as well as the Arctic Circle, within 200 days. After doing some research on VacationsToGo, a cruise comparison site, Richard found 10 cruises totaling $35,000 that did the trick. The cruise lines included were Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, and Azamara.
The casino junket Players Club Tours comped the first cruise based on Richard’s play in Las Vegas and the rest would be based on his play on the previous cruise ship. All of his cruises included free drinks in the casino, plus he also could get about $500 in free excursions depending on how much he played.
Since Richard prefers to play blackjack, he had to play 6 hours a day with at least a $250 average bet. “I know it sounds risky but Players Club Tours was comping me rooms that cost around $5,000,” mentioned Richard. “Even if I were to lose $5,000, I would still be better off than everyone else that paid for the same room.” Luckily for Richard, he didn’t lose any money. In fact, he managed to win $21,000 on his journey.
Richard did practice techniques to reduce his risk though. One trick is to play as many spots as possible. “If you play one spot at $250 per hand or five spots at $50 per hand, you’ll still be rated the same,” remarked Richard. “Not only do you reduce the variance but you’ll also reduce the amount risked per hour as it takes longer to deal the more spots you play.” Some of the casinos even let Richard play a total of seven spots, which often drew a large crowd.
About the only travel expenses Richard had to come up with was the $15-25 per day the cruise lines charged in port taxes – even most of his flights were free. By using frequent flier miles and points he earned from credit card promotions, Richard managed to get 16 free flights, only being responsible for the government taxes, as well as other travel expenses waived.
Although a journey of this size may have been too much for most people to handle, Richard’s travel plans aren’t over. He already has booked a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska on July 17, and a Carnival cruise to the Caribbean on August 29.