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Tuesday, August 4

Looking Back at my Free Cruises for Life Idea

In May of 2013, I posted my plan  to receive free cruises for the rest of our lives.  More than two years have passed and I thought I would evaluate whether this plan was successful.

The idea was to purchase enough shares in Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE:  CCL) so that the dividend paid for a free cruise every time we take one.  At the time I posted the article, shares were trading in the $34 range and paid a $.25 quarterly dividend.

How have I done?  In a word:  Outstanding.  Stock in Carnival is now at $53/share, and the quarterly dividend was recently increased to $.30.  I have a paper gain of $19 per share, and have collected $2/share in dividends.  I ended up buying just 200 shares, not the 1,000 that I originally intended.  The $3,800 paper gain, along with $400 in dividends, could pay for seven 7-day cruises for two at the price I paid for the cruise we are taking in December.

Did you get that?  In exchange for investing $6,800, over two years I have received the equivalent of 7 week-long cruises.  I could cash out today, receiving 100% of my money back, plus my gains.