I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. I have been compensated to share my experience with you by Collective Bias and their client, MasterCard.
We are blessed to live in Florida and are surrounded by beautiful ocean water on all sides. We live on the gulf side however just a short drive east and you’ve hit the big blue beyond. Our access to the many ports makes cruising our vacation of choice and we do it as often as we can. We’d been planning and budgeting for a trip to the Bahamas for quite some time. We’ve earned reward points using our MasterCard throughout the last year and we planned on using them and the card exclusively for our trip. I hate carrying cash while traveling so this way we don’t have to. MasterCard is accepted everywhere in the Caribbean so we didn’t have any trouble paying for excursions and purchasing souvenirs to take home. As a bonus, we earn rewards and discounts using our #MC so it’s the obvious choice.
Since we are a prior military family, we know how to pack! Well to be fair, Just Plane Dad knows how to pack. Beloved and I simply throw our items into the suitcases and let him rearrange them later. I enjoy packing because it gets me excited about the upcoming trip. It does not however, have the same affect on our poor dog Tukker; he gets very worried anytime someone touches the luggage. He knows we’re leaving town-what a smartie!
After lugging down enough bags for a family of ten, we load up the truck and head out to our port of call. We’re about three minutes out of town when we realize that nobody filled up the tank last night as was scheduled on our “vacay” to do list. It’s a minor setback that got the hubby grumbling but I’m not allowing it to spoil the mood. Besides, we haven’t eaten lunch yet so we might as well stop at the next gas station and get that out of the way too. Our local pump has a Subway restaurant attached so after filling up, we head in for some munchies. As luck would have it, both places accept my credit card.
We’ve got a little bit of a drive to get to the east coast so on the way; I create a spreadsheet to use for tracking all of our trip expenses. Since we intend to only use my MasterCard and cash, it should be easy to log into my online account and grab the totals. All cash receipts will be kept in an envelope and then tallied on my handy dandy spreadsheet later. Click and print if you want to use it for your next trip.
The port is huge and industrial looking. You can’t miss the boat or should I say boats. Every cruise line imaginable is here. We have already prepaid for our parking stay so we just follow the waving hands to park the truck. Dropping off our luggage with the valet takes just a few minutes, these guys work fast, and we offer our first cash tip of the trip.
Boarding the cruise boat is almost as fun as actually being on the cruise. Everyone is excited and chatting loudly and smiling. I’m pretty sure my family will be in several other families photos…it was mass chaos. Once onboard, we check out our tiny rooms and head up to the deck for a great view of the launch.
It’s a short trip to the Bahamas and the island is beautiful. As soon as you exit the boat, you’re dumped amidst tons of people all vying for you to purchase something. The Bahamian people are extremely crafty and can create beautiful work from thread, straw, hair, just about anything. We purchased an excursion to see the Atlantis resort and also one to Compass Beach. Both stated they were happy to accept our credit card as they fully support the MasterCard Priceless campaign. Just mentioning it got us 20% off our snorkeling tickets.
I’m so glad that we chose to use our MasterCard while traveling because I didn’t see many vendors that appeared to accept American Express. One of the taxi drivers that we asked about payment told us that he accepts “MasterCharge” only. We sort of giggled at his use of the old school name and corrected him; he laughed out loud and patted us on the back. People in the Bahamas are some of the nicest anywhere and he felt like an old friend.
Besides traveling all over the island, we made it a priority to eat some of the local fare. Conch salad is delicious but you do have to be a bit adventurous to try it; particularly since you can see the little guys in their native habitat all over the island. We stopped at a small little shanty on the boardwalk instead of eating it right off the beach. I prefer conch living in the ocean rather than on my plate but it was an experience to at least try it. Beloved, ever the animal lover, was not impressed and was NOT, I repeat NOT, going to “eat that”. The beautiful young bar owner was happy to accept our form of payment so we added yet another food bill to our ever growing total. I guess MasterCard really is welcomed all over the World!
Back on board the ship, we enjoyed the shows, elegantly crafted desserts and camaraderie of other travelers. Everyone is happy when on vacation and cruisers in particular enjoy the ride. You don’t have to clean, cook or worry about any household chores. It’s all taken care of for you. Your phones don’t ring so you won’t even be bothered by work! Yahoo!
Sadly, vacation comes to an end and that last morning on the ship when families are preparing to leave, it’s sad faces and disgruntled children. Reality sets in and we disembark. All good things must come to an end. Luckily we took alot of photos of our trip.
Cut to a week later and I’m done tallying the receipts for our travel to the Caribbean. Great News! We stayed within our budget and it was made easier by using the same card for all expenses. Our preferred credit card abroad and for those things that money can’t buy is MasterCard, because Acceptance Matters.
We’re already planning our next trip! Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad