After years working in my 9-5 job as a website developer for a large corporation I decided I could not face selling my soul any longer lols and packed in my job.
Since then, I had a stint working as a freelancer whilst also making a healthy side income via matched betting. And over the past 9 months I’ve been building a website that teaches people how to do the same.
There are a lot of websites out there that teach matched betting, but most require a monthly subscription and most have long articles that can be a bit dry and hard to follow.
So instead, I built a website, Team Profit
Is completely free
Uses animated video guides
to teach people (link
Has infographics to accompany all video guides
Provides step by step guides for 25+ bookmaker offer which will make you £600+ risk free
I have amended the video script over 50 times to try to make it as concise and helpful as possible, hopefully they are a good watch!
Any feedback on the videos, guides, blog or anything else, please let me know, I spend every day adding new content and improving existing content. If you are thinking of learning matched betting and making £600+ risk free, please check it out! www.teamprofit.com MEGA FAQs GUIDE TO MATCHED BETTING
The video guides I posted above will teach you everything about matched betting.
However, I figure no harm in me writing down everything I know about matched betting in an FAQ style layout. Hopefully this will be useful to you.
I have tried to answer every question as concise as possible / no rambling :D
I have split the FAQs into the following sections: INTRODUCTION
1) What exactly is matched betting and how I do make money risk free?
2) How popular is matched betting?
3) Does it involve gambling?
4) How much money will I need to start?
5) How much time will it take me to learn matched betting? OFFERS & YOUR PROFIT
1) How much money can I make matched betting from the welcome offers (new customer only)?
2) How much is a free bet worth in actual cash profit?
3) After I have finished the Welcome Offers, how much money can I make matched betting each month from Daily Offers (existing customer offers)?
4) What type of Daily Offers are available? BOOKMAKERS AND BETTING EXCHANGES
1) Which bookmakers have the best welcome offers?
2) Which bookmakers have the best offers for existing customers?
3) What is mug betting?
4) What is a betting exchange?
5) How do we use a betting exchange? ADDRESSING COMMON CONCERNS
1) How sustainable is matched betting?
2) Will it impact my credit rating?
3) Do the bookmakers have terms to stop customers from withdrawing?
4) Do I need to know about sports? WHICH WEBSITES TEACH MATCHED BETTING - YOUR OPTIONS
1) Where can you learn matched betting? ADDITIONAL FAQS
1) Depositing and withdrawing
2) Sending identification documents
Any questions that haven’t been answered please add a comment and I’ll add the FAQ and answer. INTRODUCTION 1) What exactly is matched betting and how I do make money risk free?
There are more than 25 online bookmakers in the UK. In order to attract new customers, they each offer free bets, known as ‘Welcome Offers’.
In total they offer over £800 in free bets to new customers.
In order to receive the free bet, bookmakers require you to place your first bet. An example offer is ‘Bet £5, Get £20 free bet’.
The risk is that you could lose both the £5 bet (your own cash) and the £20 free bet.
By using a technique called matched betting, we remove this risk.
This is because we match our first £5 bet on the bookmaker with a £5 bet on a betting exchange on the opposite outcome (this is known as a ‘lay bet’).
For example, we bet £5 on Man Utd to win on the bookmaker, and £5 on Man Utd not to win on the betting exchange.
As we have now bet on all outcomes, regardless of whether Man Utd win, draw or lose, we will neither win nor lose money. However, we have received the £20 free bet!
With the £20 free bet, we can now repeat this process by betting on say Liverpool to win on the bookmaker and Liverpool not to win.
This time, because we are using a £20 free bet but our winnings are paid out in cash, we will always make a profit.
We repeat this process for 25+ bookmakers, one by one. In total we can convert the £800+ in free bets to over £600+ in actual cash profit, in very little time at all. 2) How popular is matched betting?
Matched betting isn’t new and has been around since at least 2005.
However, it is only since 2015 that it has really increased in popularity due to the rise of websites teaching matched betting. You can see this trend here: Google Trends Link
By looking at the various matched betting sites popularity, a reasonable estimate is at least 25,000 people in the UK are matched betters. You can see a review of sites that teach matched betting in the ‘Which websites teach matched betting?’ section below. 3) Does it involving gambling?
This is the most common assumption with matched betting. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it did involve gambling simply because the name ‘matched betting’ would suggest it did.
However, matched betting does not involve gambling, you will never be risking a penny.
Because we are always covering the opposite outcome occurring, there is never any risk we will lose money. Furthermore, we still receive the free bets which we will where we make our profit.
The profitability and risk free nature of matched betting has been reviewed in the Daily Telegraph
and the Guardian 4) How much will I need to start?
You can start with as little as you want, however the lowest I would recommend starting with would be £25.
With £25, you can start your first bookmaker welcome offer and make a deposit into your first betting exchange, meaning you can start making a profit.
For more details, see this Starting with £25 guide
The downside, with only £25 you are restricted by having to wait for withdrawals before you can move onto the next offer.
Therefore, I would say an optimal amount to have available for your cash flow would be in the region of £200 as this allows you to complete multiple welcome offers simultaneously. 5) How long will it take me to learn matched betting?
To learn the principles of matched betting, it will take up to 20 minutes.
To become familiar with completing your first offer, I would set aside another 30-60 minutes so you can take your time and ensure you are completing it correctly.
For example, the video guides
on Team Profit last a total of 21 minutes (8 minutes for the explainers videos and 13 minutes to watch the step-by-step real time example). Although they last just 21 minutes, some users watch certain parts of the video again to become comfortable with the process.
It is very much recommended to avoid trying to learn matched betting by yourself. There are thousands of experienced matched betters who can help you. For more details on this, see the ‘Which Websites Teach Matched Betting’ section.
If you need any help anytime, please do comment in this Reddit thread and I’ll help you out. OFFERS 1)How much money can I make matched betting from the welcome offers (new customer only)?
From the welcome offer, you can make approximately £1,000 cash profit.
There are 25+ bookmaker offers available on sports for at least £600 profit. These are relatively straightforward offers and good value in terms of time to complete. It would take around 12 hours to complete these offers, which works around £40 / hour tax free. You can complete them over any time period you like.
There are at least another 5 bookmaker offers, such as Bet365 and BetVictor, though these require more time, you could make around £100 to £200. They require more time because the bookmaker requires you to bet many more times before you can withdraw.
Plus 20+ offers across casino and bingo, though some are not risk free and typically take more time to complete, but you should be able to make at least £200 profit from these offers.
So overall, there is an easy £600 profit risk free, then up to another £400 if it’s worth your time to do them. 2) How much is a free bet worth in actual cash profit?
A £10 free bet is worth between £5 to £8 in actual cash profit.
The reason for the range is because the higher odds you choose for your free bet, the more actual cash profit you will make.
For example, if you bet on a football team with odds of 2.0, the £10 free bet will convert to around £5 cash profit. Whereas if you bet on a football team that is unlikely to win, with odds of say 6.0, the £10 free bet will convert to around £8 cash profit.
Note though, the higher odds you choose, the more you will need in your betting exchange account in case the bet wins. For a detailed explanation with examples, read this free bet profit article
. 3) After I have finished the Welcome Offers, how much money can I make matched betting each month (from existing customer offers)?
Anywhere from £100 to £1,000+ per month.
Bookmakers continue to run free bet offers to retain their customers, I refer to these as Daily Offers.
Daily Offers are typically less valuable than the welcome offers but still worth completing.
For example, rather than ‘Bet £5 Get £20’ that they offer to new customers, they may instead run ‘Bet £20 Get £10’ and on a particular football match.
I would say for people with a day job, aiming for between £300 to £500 a month is realistic. In terms of time required, for every hour you spend, you should make around £30 tax free.
So to make £300 a month, expect to spend around 2-3 hours a week. I’d say to earn more than this, you will likely need to accept a lower hourly rate and do some of the low value offers too.
If you are looking to make £1,000+, I’d expect you would have to be near full time and also be fortunate to keep your enough of your bookmaker accounts open for 12+ month period (what is mugging bet FAQ below). 4) What type of offers are available for existing customers? Easy offers:
The most common easy offer on football matches is Bet £20 Get £10 free bet. Many bookmakers run this offer, though it will usually be on a particular football match.
The most common easy offer on horse racing is usually on SkyBet, who will run simple offers such as ‘Get £25 free bet if your horse comes 2nd or 3rd’.
There are also easy casino offers, such as ‘£5 risk free’, where you spin on slots and hope to win, if you don’t they’ll refund up to £5 of losses.
These offers can make you up to £300 per month (or £500 on a good month with European football) and are easy for those with a day job. Harder offers:
If you are looking to make more than £300 to £500 a month, then you will need to spend time on Saturday’s completing horse racing offers on Channel 4 racing and during the week too, though Saturday’s are the most profitable.
Plus you will need to do more advanced offers such as football accumulator refunds, each way offers, though I will leave these aside given they could have their own separate thread :p
If you’d like to understand where you can learn more about these offers, see ‘Which sites teach matched betting?’ FAQ below. BOOKMAKERS AND BETTING EXCHANGE 1) Which bookmakers have the best welcome offers?
There are 3 formats of bookmakers welcome offers. ‘Bet £X Get £Y free bet’
- these are the most straightforward. Simply place your first bet and receive a free bet.
This format of welcome offer, ranging from Bet £5 Get £20 to Bet £50 Get £50, is available on Coral, SkyBet, BetBright, Betfred, Paddy Power, BetStars, William Hill, Stan James, Betway, Ladbrokes, TitanBet, 32Red and MarathonBet. ‘Refunds’ (also known as Risk Free offers)
- these are similar to Bet £X Get £Y free bet. The only difference is you only receive your free bet if your first bet loses, hence I refer to these offers are refund offers.
This format of welcome offer is, ranging from £10 to £50 refunds, is available on Bwin, Dafabet, UniBet, Totesport, 188Bet, SuperLenny, Genting and 888Sport. ‘Multi Bets’
- these welcome offers require multiple bets to be placed before receiving your reward. It can take form of a bonus which requires to bet £X amount until you can withdraw any winnings, or the form of a cash reward once you have bet £X amount.
This format of welcome offer is available on Bet365, BetVictor and some other bookmakers, however they often require such a large amount of betting that I haven’t included them in this list.
The quickest to complete are the Bet £X Get £Y due to their simplicity, then the next best are the ‘Refunds’ offers.
The Multi Bet offers can be very valuable (e.g. Bet£365’s offer is worth over £150 profit risk free) but can also require much larger deposits in order to place the bookmaker bets and lay these bets in your Exchange.
For details of each bookmaker offer, see this Welcome Offer List & Guides 2) Which bookmakers have the best offers for existing customers?
Bookmakers vary in their level of generosity to existing customers. This is a little subjective, but in my opinion, this is the ranking of bookmakers for existing customers: Best: Bet365
Bet365 run a £50 Risk Free offer most months (sometimes twice a month during popular football months) which is worth £35. It is very quick to complete (less than 10 minutes) so for £35 to £70, or around £500 a year, it is a great offer.
Plus they have one of the best horse racing offers, up to a £50 risk free bet if your pick a winning horse with high odds. This is a profitable offer worth around £20-£30 a week, or up to £1,000 to £1,500 a year. Second Best: SkyBet
SkyBet run regular £5 to £25 free bet offers on horse racing and football, plus regular £5 risk free offers in SkyVegas. Third & Fourth Best: Coral and Paddy Power
Both these sites run regular horse racing, price boosts and football offers (Bet £20 Get £10 in particular), at least £20 to to be made on every week from these two sites. Good: William Hill, Ladbrokes, BetStars, Stan James, Betway, Bwin, Betfred, Totesport, 188Bet, 888, BetVictor
All these bookmakers run offer(s) each week so it’s worth ensuring you have completed the welcome offer for each of these sites so you can take advantage of their daily offers for existing customers. 3) What is mug betting?
If you are only ever betting when you receive an offer, the bookmaker will no longer allow your account to receive free bet offers (this is known as being ‘gubbed’).
To get around this, you should place ‘mug’ bets. ‘Mug’ bets are simply bets that a ‘mug’ punter would place. Mug bets include £1 accumulators (betting on several teams to win) and betting on favourites without an offer.
Most advice suggests that for every offer you receive, you should place 2-3 mug bets.
If you are gubbed, it does kinda suck when you receive the email, as you can no longer profit from the bookmaker’s offers.
It is also becoming increasingly common as bookmakers are noticing more suspected matched bettors, due to its increasing popularity. My advice is to make money whilst you can and take sensible precautions to try to keep your account active.
For more details, see this Mug Betting article 4) What is a betting exchange?
A betting exchange is a marketplace for customers to bet between each other on the outcome of particular events. This differs from a traditional bookmaker because an exchange also gives you the ability to be the bookmaker yourself and take bets from other exchange users.
Standard bookmakers generate profit by offering odds that are in their favour. Betting exchanges explained in terms of how they generate revenue is they charge a commission on any winnings a player receives.
The two market leading betting exchanges are, Betfair and Smarkets.
For more details, Betting Exchanges Comparison
. 5) How we use betting exchanges?
When matched betting, a betting exchange is used to place our lay bets (the opposite bet to our trigger bet). So when we place the trigger bet with the bookmaker on one outcome to release the initial free bet, we must also cover the opposite outcome so that if the bookmaker bet does lose we still win on the lay bet - making it risk free!
Similarly when we are placing the free bet bet with the bookmaker we then lay off that bet using the exchange and because we’re using a free bet but being paid out in cash, this is how we turn free bets into withdrawable cash.
We only ever use betting exchanges for lay bets. ADDRESSING COMMON CONCERNS 1) How sustainable is matched betting?
Matched betting over the past 6-9 months has become harder. Most bookmakers have realised they are thousands of matched betters taking advantage of their offers and so have either reduced the generosity of their offers or have made the daily offers more complicated.
However, there is still intense competition between the bookmakers, meaning they will always run special offers to an extent.
By spending a few hours a week, you can still make £300 to £500 a month, whereas in past year(s) this figure could have been £500 to £800.
The biggest issue matched betters face is being ‘gubbed’
. As explained in the mug betting FAQ, this is when a bookmaker restricts you from receiving free bets and bonuses.
There are various theories as to how a particular bookmaker decides to to gub a customer. Reasons include taking up too many offers, winning a high % of bets, withdrawing regularly, placing bets far in advance or at irregular times.
The truth is nobody really knows precisely why people gubbed. However, you can expect to get gubbed at some point from a particular bookmaker, it may be 2 months, it may be 2 years, it is hard to know.
I really think though that everyone can make up to £1,000 from the Welcome Offers and at least £300 to £500 a month without any problems. I think the issues comes when you are making £1,000+ every month which sooner or later bookmakers will catch up that you are taking up a lot of offers.
Having said this, some people say they have been making £1,000+ every month for years, so maybe it is possible if you are using a wide variety of bookmakers and consistently placing mug bets. 2) Will it impact my credit rating?
Having betting activity on your bank statement does not impact your credit rating.
The only thing to be wary of when making betting deposits and withdrawals is that it can affect your application for a mortgage. So if you’re planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future then I’d recommend using a separate bank account to that which you’ll be applying for the mortgage with. 3) Do the bookmakers have terms to stop customers from withdrawing?
The vast majority of welcome offers do not have any withdrawal restrictions.
A handful of welcome offers do but this will be state in the terms and conditions. It is much easier though to use a matched betting website as they will clearly highlight the key terms of each offer (see ‘Which websites teach matched betting’ section below).
Casino offers will almost always have withdrawal restrictions, however for the matched betting welcome offers we are focusing on sports betting. 4) Do I need to know about sports?
Not at all! You do not need a sports background or have any sort of betting knowledge, many matched betters do not know anything about sport or betting before learning matched betting.
You may learn matched betting a little faster if you have sports betting experience but it really isn't important at all. WHICH WEBSITE TEACH MATCHED BETTING - YOUR OPTIONS
There are 30+ websites that three key stages to matched betting: Stage 1) Learning matched betting Stage 2) Completing the Welcome Offers (for new customers) Stage 3) Profiting in the long term from Daily Offers (for existing customers)
Below I have tried to cover the main sites that will help you with each of these stages. In summary, I may be biased :p but I think the: Stage 1) and Stage 2) best approach is to use TeamProfit.com Stage 3) Join a paid membership site, either OddsMonkey.com, ProfitAccumulator.co.uk or ProfitMaximiser.co.uk to continue to make money from the Daily Offers. FREE SITES: TeamProfit.com (link)
I really believe Team Profit is the best site to learn matched betting and complete the welcome offers, but compare us to the other sites and see what you think!
Learn matched betting with animated videos (link)
25+ Welcome Offers using the step by step guides (link)
A free Facebook group to provide help to you anytime you need (link)
. MoneySavingExpert.com (link)
of MoneySavingExpert is the sheer volume of content, covering all aspects of matched betting.
of MoneySavingExpert it is not well structured as it is just one forum with a long lists of posts so it takes quite a while to find relevant threads and miss key information. MatchedBettingBlog.com (link)
of MatchedBettingBlog is the clear layout of the daily offers posted each day for with step by step instructions. It’s a good site to check to avoid missing the best and easier daily offers. The forum community also helps to post additional offers on top of those listed on the homepage, and also provides general advice on completing daily offers.
of MatchedBettingBlog is it is relatively limited in terms of teaching matched betting and does not provide a clear list of welcome offers. Also, for those looking to make £500+ every month, it doesn’t provide any software to help with the more advanced types of matched betting with daily offers, such as horse racing refunds and accumulator refunds, that the paid member sites offer.
Additional free matched betting sites include:
Matchedbettingfree.co.uk (link) (Reddit thread link)
Freebets4all.com (link) PAID SITES:
Paid sites usually charge £15 to £25 a month.
In return, they will teach matched betting, provide list of welcome offers and provide daily offers too. Additionally, most paid sites will also provide software that helps to make you more money plus save you time. OddsMonkey.com
OddsMonkey charge £15 per month or £150 per year.
They are the most well known provider of matched betting software. Earlier this year, they added the full range of matched betting services, so now they provide all of the below:
Welcome offer step by step guides
Daily offers calendar
Software: OddsMatcher, Horse Racing Refunds, Tennis Refunds, range of calculators and spreadsheet
of OddsMonkey is the exceptional value. They have the best range of software and tools for matched betters to maximise their profits, are consistently bringing up new tools at no added cost. At only £15 per month it is one of the best options to consider.
The only disadvantage
is the forum is not as busy as the next two options, ProfitAccumulator and Profit Maximiser. Though the forum is still a sufficiently active to ensure any questions have you are answered quickly. Profit Accumulator
(Link - Chazmer87's I don't have one
Profit Accumulator charge £23 per month or £150 per year
Profit Accumulator helped to bring matched betting to the main stream with a highly active community. There are clear similarities between OddsMonkey and Profit Accumulator in terms of their high standard of software and offers.
of Profit Accumulator is their very active community. There is a great deal of advice in virtually every aspect of matched betting and the information is all well structured. Plus they have a very good offers coverage.
The only disadvantage
to Profit Accumulator is the higher cost. The membership itself is £23 per month, plus their version of the Horse Racing Refunds software is £10 per month, or £115 a year. So in total you are paying £33 per month versus OddsMonkey’s £15 per month. Profit Maximiser
Profit Maximiser is run by the original matched betting guru Mike Cruickshank.
Mike has been building software for matched betters for many years and has a very active Facebook Group.
Each piece of software is sold separately, I believe the below is accurate, each have their own £1 free trials:
Bonus Bagging £27 plus VAT - provides a list of all welcome offers and teaching (Link
Profit Maximiser £97 plus VAT - provides all daily offers (Link
Each Way Sniper £47 plus VAT - provides a horse racing betting system (Link
Accumulator Generator £149 plus VAT - provides a football betting system (Link
I believe Mike may have a couple more tools, if so I’ll edit this post if you could please comment / send me a message.
of Mike’s products is that there is no monthly recurring fee, so if you intend to do this for many months, it may work out profitable to do so. Plus from what I understand their Facebook Group finds some lucrative casino loophole offers faster than other matched betting providers.
of Mike’s products is that you have to buy each product separately rather than having it all within one simple account. Additionally, the total cost if you were to buy all 4 above listed products is £320 + VAT (total cost £384) whereas you could receive all these tools for £15 per month from Oddsmonkey. Having said that, Mike’s products do come with a £1 free trial, just be careful to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to continue.
Additional free matched betting sites include: Yes Bets link
Pure Profit link ADDITIONAL 1) Depositing and withdrawing
To ensure you qualify for the Welcome Offer, use a bank card to deposit into your newly set up bookmaker account. Most sites will allow Paypal too though check the terms and conditions.
If you use Skrill or Neteller, typically you will not qualify for the Welcome Offer (bookmakers have this rule to prevent fraud) but you can check the terms and conditions.
Withdrawing is easy, you should receive your funds within 1-3 working days depending on the bookmaker. 2) Sending identification documents
Occasionally, bookmakers may require to send in identification documents (passport or drivers licence for example) and a copy of your bank card. This is to prevent fraud. This usually happens if you are not listed on the Electoral Roll or there is a difference between your home address and billing address. Simply take a photo of the documents they ask for and email them back. THAT COMPLETES THE MEGA FAQ GUIDE TO MATCHED BETTING! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do post a comment thanks!
I just got back and a friend who is taking the exact same cruise and is also cost conscious asked me to give him all my lessons learned. I figured you all might benefit even if some of this information isn't strictly about cruising. I'm going to ask my travel companions to review it (first time in Hawaii and first time cruising) to see if they have anything to add.
Getting There And Getting Around Air Fare
With Southwest now offering tickets to Hawaii, I expect the competitive market to drop prices across the board but unless you are fortunate enough to live on the west coast in a city with flights that fly direct, air fare can be pricey. I had to get 4 people there round-trip (2 from rural Maine, 1 from Louisville Kentucky and 1 from the Baltimore/D.C. area). I ended up signing up for the Chase Sapphire credit card (annual fee waived for the first year) and the Alaska Airlines credit card that gave me a buy one/take one sign up offer. My total air fare cost was $2400. Besides the credit card, there was no secret other than monitoring the prices as far in advance as possible to see what typical prices are and then striking when there was a decent sale. I would also mention following Scott's Cheap Flights
on the off chance a deal becomes available for when you were already planning on traveling. Ground Transportation
We flew into Waikiki on Tuesday (cruise started on Saturday) so I got a rental car through Autoslash
. The total cost for a mid-size for 4 days was $176 and ended up being from Alamo. While I feel this was a good deal as I had four people, if you're not 100% sure you will need it - you can probably get by with an Uber, taxi or even a hop on/off bus (see excursions later). Many excursions had an option for hotel pickup/drop-off.
Probably the best deal I found was Star Taxi
which only charged $25 for up to 4 people one-way to/from the cruise terminal and not much more for other locations. Call 1 hour before you need the service. Parking
Parking is EXPENSIVE
so be sure to do a lot of research if you plan on renting a vehicle.
In your mind, you have this idea of what Hawaii is going to be like. Oahu (specifically Honolulu/Waikiki) is not it. It is very over developed and crowded. Many places are run-down because investors have purchased the property but have chosen to wait until conditions are more favorable to develop. There is a very large homeless population in Hawaii overall but I was shocked by the number of shanty towns and abandoned vehicles doubling as homes I saw on Oahu. Excursions
- Snorkel-Cruise-Swim-Dolphins-Turtles - highly recommended (hint: This excursion may be cheaper directly with the vendor Dolphins And You - if you buy the photos, you will have to go to their Waikiki office later to pick them up and they will offer you a 10% discount on merchandise at that time).
- Shark Dive - Unfortunately, this tour got canceled due to weather so I can't comment on it. Since it is on the north shore, the plan was to do an early morning adventure (when the water is calmest) and then spend the rest of the time exploring the beaches and surfers. (hints: You may be able to get this cheaper directly with the vendor North Shore Shark Adventures and if you drive, take one way to get there and another way to get back so you can experience more of the island).
- Sunset Cruise & Show - The people I was going with had never cruised before so this was to get their feet wet so to speak. It was nice but not spectacular. You may be able to get it cheaper directly through the vendor Star Of Honolulu. On Fridays, they offer an extra hour for a nominal fee upgrade which includes fireworks. I didn't see the fireworks myself but several people I talked to said they are put on by a hotel and aren't anything special. (hint: If you drive, they will validate your parking ticket and parking will only be $4 instead of $18).
- Waikiki Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off You can trade time for money and if you have time, this would be a much more cost effective solution to getting around and is very configurable (how many days of use, how many different lines, etc.)
- Polynesian Culture Center - I had the Ambassador Luau Package With Circle Island Tour of Oahu. Pickup was at 8:30 in the morning and drop off wasn't until after 10 PM so it is a long day. If you do this one I have several recommendations. First, take it early in the trip because it includes a multi-day pass so you can go back at no charge for 3 more days and the Circle Island tour allows you to see some areas you may want to explore on your own. Second, you don't get food until 6 PM so be sure to eat breakfast first and plan the rest of the time accordingly (bring snacks for instance). The only thing I was disappointed in was the Diamond Head didn't actually drive up to the crater. Update After the initial post, I was reminded by mashel2811 of a few things. The PCC is Mormon owned/operated which has pros/cons. On the downside, there is no alcohol on-site and things overall tend on the conservative side. Not that I have an issue with that but if you're looking for authenticity then this would represent Polynesia post Christian missionaries. On the upside, it is a huge facility that truly will allow you to experience many of the cultures besides just Hawaii. Also, regardless of how you feel about religion, the money taken in from PCC helps to sponsor many students education from all over Polynesia. I had nothing to compare the luau to but I have heard from several other people that there are much better options (the luau at PCC is optional). The Breath Of Life was awesome.
- Pearl Harbor (see the end of the cruise excursions)
- You probably want a beach other than Waikiki due to the number of people - Hanauma Bay looked awesome. If you do decide to stay in Waikiki, walking the coastline towards Diamond Head is a better choice for the beach instead of around all the hotels. This is because in Hawaii, beach access and water is considered a public service (free)
- What is and isn't expensive didn't make any sense. Eggs imported from the mainland were cheaper than eggs from Hawaii despite chickens EVERYWHERE but I was able to get a large jar of peanut butter for $1.89. The best place I found for groceries was Don Quijote and it had a free parking garage.
- Souvenirs were much cheaper on other islands
- It rains - almost daily - but not for long - don't let it fool you - WEAR sunscreen of at least SP50
- Hydrate more than usual - especially if you're drinking beer like me
- Updates From original post below
- You can get insanely discounted Pearl Harbor tickets from recreation.gov but they sell out in 5 minutes. Exactly 7am Hawaii time they sell tickets for the next day or for 2 months out. Nothing in between. I recommend having 2-3 people trying it simultaneous for different time slots. The early tickets sell faster. Then the bus ride anywhere is $2.50 each. When you board the bus ask for a transfer ticket. The transfer ticket is good for two more rides for the next 2.5 hours. If you get out of PH within the time slot you can ride back for free.
- There's a stand near Breakout Waikiki that is a hard sell timeshare sales pitch (couples only). If you're willing to sit through it, they give you $150 towards an excursion or a free meal and a $120 Visa gift card (as of March 2019). If you want the exact location, message me.
- You may think being a Costco member will help you out on expenses and you're probably right but know that the busiest Costco in the world is on Oahu and they claim 1 in 4 people have membership so plan accordingly (think shopping for the latest toy on Christmas Eve)
Pride Of America
I have to be honest, this was hands down the most expensive cruise I have taken and it was the worst cruise ship. I had a great time but there was a lot left to be desired.
- Entertainment was very underwhelming - I believe unlike other mass-market cruise lines, NCL's entertainers are on multi-month contracts just like other staff. This tends to be bad for entertainers like comedians (how many different sets can they have prepared) but should be better for magicians (you shouldn't have to rely on the suitcase you get through security at the airport). I have seen a Vegas quality magic show on NCL before (Norwegian Spirit last November) but this act was honestly no better than a birthday party. I could go on but I will summarize it as this: On Carnival, I struggle deciding what I am going to do because of so many good things where as on this ship, I struggled to find anything I actually wanted to do.
- Beer prices were outrageous and included a mandatory 20% gratuity and since you spend a LOT of time in port, taxes too. In each port, I found a better selection of beer right off the ship for at least 20 - 30% cheaper than on the ship. If you do drink on the ship however, I highly recommend the Gold Rush Saloon as it has a couple of beers on tap you can't get anywhere else. It has a self-serve popcorn machine and is adjacent to the buffet so you can get self-serve ice cream too.
- The food was mediocre (main dining quality was about the same as the buffet which was good but not great). I didn't spend the money to try any of the specialty dining.
: One thing that really stood out as being a good thing is that the room had 3 US standard outlets
!!! Why Does It Cost So Much
- There is no casino to subsidize the fare cost
- It is a US Flag cruise ship which means it has to abide by US labor laws (this is an indirect result of the Jones Act as it doesn't travel to any foreign ports)
- Hawaii not only has a sales tax but a tourist imposed General Excise Tax which of course NCL passes on to you
- Exclusivity - unless you want an extremely sea day intense cruise from California, around Hawaii, to Mexico and then back to California (or similar) cruise - they're the only show in town
Hint: You should get the NCL Mobile App
. It includes dinner reservations, account charges, dinner reservations, deck plans, passenger to passenger chat for an additional fee ($10 vs Carnival's $5) and other nifty features. Observations
I was astounded by the number of first time cruisers I saw (based on their ship card color). Because so many of the employees were American, I was also surprised by how many told me that they were on their first contract and wouldn't be back. The people (both employees and passengers) were incredibly friendly and most everyone seemed to be having a good time. I didn't see long lines at guest services. I mentioned earlier how this was the worst ship I had been on - and, while true, shouldn't give you the impression that I didn't have a great time. For my traveling companions, they had nothing to compare it to and other than the entertainment - they had no complaints at all and loved it.
Day 1 & 2 Maui (overnight)
If you have ever been on a Caribbean cruise and you didn't feel like paying for an expensive excursion you could always just walk off the ship and go to a beach or a shopping district or a friendly bar - something. This is not the case in Maui. Where the Pride Of America docks there is absolutely nothing (it took 10 minutes to walk out of the port with chained link fence on both sides only to end up about another 10 minutes away from a strip mall). I do want to point out that the strip mall did have a few artisans selling things out on the sidewalk but this was far from what you will be used to at other locations. So what to do instead?
- Rent a car if you want to go on your own - day rentals are common and you will be in port overnight. You will have to do your own research as to what to do as I booked excursions for both days
- Go up to Haleakala Crater for sunset or sunrise. I went for sunset as sunrise required leaving the ship at 3 AM. I can't stress how amazing this sunset was at nearly 2 miles above sea level. If you go, take plenty of warm (think Maine winter) cold. It was 44 degrees without the windchill when we arrived at around 5 PM (still sunny) and the temperature dropped significantly by the end of the sunset (around 6:40 for us but varies based on time of year).
- Road To Hana - I didn't take this excursion but it is extremely popular. Most guests I spoke with said they absolutely loved it though a few called it the road to hell (it's an all day excursion)
- Maui Northshore & Waterfall Walk - This is the one I took because it was rated as "easy" and one of my traveling companions has mobility issues. There is an alternative called Waterfall Hike that you may want to consider. This was a great excursion which took you into a historical town for lunch (delicious) and gave you some free time to explore the artisans (glass blowing, jewelry making, etc.) before taking you to the private access Wailele Farm. The waterfalls you can walk to (as opposed to hike to) were not breathtaking but overall the plants and flowers here were amazing. You will get an opportunity to eat many of the things you encounter so if you're feeling adventures, give it a try.
- Choose another of NCL's Excursions
- Choose something from Viator
Day 3 Hilo Hawaii
This is the first of two days on the island of Hawaii and it is on the eastern (very wet) side of the island. Normally doing two excursions in one day is a not recommended. I would make an exception here because the Botanical Gardens are not to be missed. It is a short excursion (2.5 hours), is relatively inexpensive (you can even do it on your own) and is offered at multiple times allowing you to get another excursion in. Recommendations
Day 4 Kona Hawaii
The other side of the island is a stark contrast to Hilo as it is dry/desert climate. It is the only tender port on the cruise. Unfortunately, we didn't fare very well here on excursions but shopping and beer was good.
It has been on my bucket list to be in a real submarine and go over 100 feet to below the surface to the ocean floor. That's what 3 of us did here in Kona and while I am glad that I can now say I have done it (105'), the experience itself was underwhelming. To not interfere with the wildlife, the sub doesn't use any artificial lights nor does anything to attract the fish to your windows. This means almost everything is a monochrome blue (the color red doesn't exist at this depth for instance). It's also nearly impossible to get nice photos out the windows even though they are clear enough - just not the right conditions. Now, I met a guest back on the ship that said he had a phenomenal time on a sub that wasn't sponsored through NCL but I'm not sure what it was.
The other guest in my party decided to go on the Gold Coast & Cloud Forest excursion and was also not impressed. The gold supposedly comes from the Hawaii state fish (yellow trigger fish also known as humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa) but apparently they haven't been plentiful enough to turn the coast gold for years. She also said if she was a coffee drinker, she probably would have enjoyed it more (they are famous for their coffee). Recommendations
- If you would like to buy coffee at a discount, a tour guide let me in on a little secret. To be called Kona Coffee it has to indicate what percentage is from Kona (i.e. 100%). Well, geography being what it is, the line between Kona and the region to south is arbitrary (created by humans) so buying coffee labeled just across the boarder (I forget the name of the place - I don't drink coffee) is 25% cheaper
- If you want to see the pretty coral and reefs, consider a glass bottom boat ride. The bartender I chatted with told me that she used to work on the sub and a much more beautiful experience was the glass bottom boats.
- Normally, the closer to port you are the more expensive things are - like souvenirs. That may in fact be the case in Kona but I found the prices at Whalers General Store to be very competitively priced. Many of the same items I saw at stops before here were at least 20% cheaper.
- Have a drink or 6 at Paradise Brewing Company. I was fed up with the prices on the ship so I checked this place out (there was another one further up the street with a fairly large beer menu as well but they weren't very friendly so I moved on. I sat in here for hours (was one of the last tender boats back to the ship). It was extremely friendly - the beer was good, the food was good - I would definitely recommend.
- Take an NCL excursion
- Take a Viator option
Day 5 & 6 Kauai (Overnight)
Remember how I said you have this ideal image in your head of what Hawaii is and Oahu doesn't meet it. Kauai exceeds it - I fell in love and if I ever go back, I will just fly directly here and stay on this island - it is that good
I am not going to suggest you do anything other than exactly what I did because I couldn't possibly imagine having a better time. Recommendations
- Day 1 - Best Of Kauai. I have no idea if a similar excursion can be booked elsewhere because it included 5 stops (Waimea canyon, Spouting Horn Park, Keoki's Paradise for lunch, Opaekaa Falls and Wailua River Fern Grotto). If you want to "build your own", just go to Waimea canyon and dine at Keoki's Paradise as they were the highlights of the day. If you are into photography and have gotten tired of lugging all of your lenses around, today is the day to have it all at the ready.
- Day 2 - Mokihana Helicopter - There are no words to describe how amazing this was. I did discover that can get it substantially cheaper directly with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours.
Now, there's more to the story than just these two excursions. First, since you're overnight you can stay out as late as you want. I asked our tour guide where an affordable place to get good beer close to the ship was. She recommended The Nawiliwili Tavern (or just the Tavern). It happens to be a 2 minute walk from one of the free shuttle stops and they have great pizza, beer and pool. Secret
I learned this is also where a lot of the crew from the ship hang out after they get off at 9PM so if you want to have a real conversation and ask real questions - this is the place to do it. Once the bartender realized I was into craft beer and trying all they had, she told me about a brew pub not too far up the road that I really wanted to try but ran out of time.
Napali Coast (still day 6)
The cruise ship leaves port early (circa 2PM) and instead of heading to Honolulu backtracks around Kauai. There is a portion of the island that's only reachable by air (helicopter) or by sea (cruise ship) and I was fortunate enough to do both. Actually, our pilot said that a few of the beaches can be reached by a hiking 11+ miles but it isn't an easy hike. In any event, this is where the opening scenes of Jurassic Park were filmed if I remember correctly - utterly gorgeous. My pilot also let me in on a little secret - that the captain times the cruise ship to sunset when the coast is all lit up in spectacular colors so be out on deck with camera ready.
Day 7 - Honolulu (Pearl Harbor & City Tour)
I made a big mistake here. I booked a late flight so I could go to Pearl Harbor and then get dropped off at the airport. We had already done the Circle Island Tour and none of the other offerings were of interest. This was a mistake for two reasons. Reason 1: Exhaustion
After having spent 5ish days in Waikiki and then taking a 7 day cruise, we were wiped out and really didn't have the stamina to really take it all in. Recommendations
Reason 2: Airport
- Eat a big breakfast as this tour didn't include food
- Bring food for the tour and possibly the airport (see airport notes below)
- The cheapest place to get hot dogs at the time was at the Missouri ($6 as of March 2019)
- If you are using your phone as a camera, practice taking photos against the bus window as the city tour took you to some neat places but they didn't stop to let you off
- The tour includes the Missouri and the Arizona - everything else is additional
- At the time of this writing, the Arizona was still under repair so you only took a boat close. You will be watching a very emotionally moving video before the boat ride so sit as close to the exit doors (front left) as you can so that when it's over you can pick one of the corners of the boat to get unobstructed photos from - they don't allow you to stand up and they don't play. Oh, and if you are sensitive to loud noises - when the bomb actually drops on the Arizona it is about 10 times louder than the rest of the film so be prepared
- Our guide got tickets for the Arizona at 2:15 PM, helped us navigate the shuttle over to the Missouri and told us he would see us at the bus 3:30 PM. If you're not comfortable navigating on your own then this is probably not the tour for you
- It's only 5 minutes from the airport so if you want to stay longer because of a late flight it would be fast/cheap to go on your own - just ask to get your luggage off the bus
If you have a late flight home, I'm sorry. All of your checked bags have to be screened by agriculture (certain plants are not allowed to leave the state) which is airline specific and unless that airline is running flights all day (looking at you Alaska), then you will have to wait for them to open before you can even check in. While you wait, there is essentially no place to eat (Starbucks and a bar that serves hot dogs for $12.50 - yes, $12.50). I recommend you keep some food with you for this reason. They do offer a baggage hold service but the prices were ridiculous (4 checked bags for 24 hours was $100). Sorry if it seems like I am whining - it was the end of a long trip and I was returning to reality.
In this post, I have provided a number of links to NCL's excursions, directly to the vendor and also to Viator. Viator is part of Tripadvisor and generally speaking, you can trust the reviews. On most of the bookings, you can cancel for a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. They are competitively priced and you can usually get a discount. For instance, new customers will get offered a 10% discount off their first purchase. Companies like Ebates and TopCashBack will offer an additional 3 to 6% cash back as well. Use a credit card that gives back 2-4% on travel and it can really reduce the price. I haven't had too much trouble figuring out what vendor was being used through Viator so you could just book with them direct too and just use them as a way to find fun things to do and use the reviews to distinguish between what's good and what's not.
Dear Coral Casino Club Members, TAs we enter the coming holiday season, we want to give you an update on the projected reopening of the Club. We have been in contact with Santa Barbara County Health Department and are closely monitoring on a daily basis the Covid-19 cases in Santa Barbara County as well as cases nationally. Benefits of membership. Get $10 free to play the slots when you become a member! Earn points for free play; Be part of our monthly and weekly promotions; Reward for your play; Sign up now . You will receive your membership card next time you visit the casino. Name. Address. Address. Date of birth. Email * Sign me up for Coral Casino's Newsletter; Coral Casino at Plaza Resort, Bonaire. Our ... To login, use your Club Member Number and Password. One login for all our services. If you do not have a Club Member Number and/or password, you can get more information here... It would be our pleasure to welcome you to Coral Club. Membership Opportunities. La Pacifica Ballroom : Amenities Main Pool Deck. Over 200 chaise lounges, with ocean views ; Heated Olympic-size swimming pool, with 4 lap lanes and diving board; Chair-side hourly amenities; Whirlpool –oceanfront, heated to 104 degrees; Children’s wading pool –oceanfront, heated to 94 degrees ; Locker Facility. Separate Men’s and Ladies facilities ... Coral Club official website. We are also known as “Coral Club”, “Coral World”, “Coral Country”. Our club is a big multinational “Coral Family”. The Coral Casino offers a variety of morning yoga classes throughout the week. Sessions range from active and aerobic to relaxing and restorative, focusing on meditation and breathing exercises. Pre-registration is encouraged; space is limited to 10 people per class. Aqua Aerobics. Aqua aerobics classes are offered at the Coral Casino pool on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. All classes are one ...
When the band Queen released its most popular song, "Bohemian Rhapsody," it changed the face of music. So what makes the 6 minute pop single so great?Special... 10. Coral Casino Beanie Baby $760This pink beanie baby was given to Coral Casino Members of the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club in 2001. Only 588 were eve... One of my favorite movie fight scenes. From The Ninth Configuration. Join Brodie Moss and Amberleigh West as they head out wide in the boat chasing giant reds. You won't believe what Brodie finds the next day floating into sho... EXPELLED From School In Chapter 2.. (Fortnite Battle Royale)Today in fortnite chapter 2, expelled for playing fortnite in school! Fortnite Battle Royale NEW Leaked Skins & Emotes Today we have a few encrypted New type of emotes called Shout Emotes, Alongside 6 NEW Skins called Deadpool,... coral reef aquarium no music 8 Hours for Meditation Relaxation Sleep Relax Meditation. coral reef no music. The Best no music coral reef Aquarium for Relaxat... 🔴 Daily Streams: https://twitch.tv/duckythegamerDon't forget to choose me as support a creator, USE CODE "Ducky" IN THE ITEM SHOP!How To Stream & Record For... If you LOVE Live at the Bike! and want access to exclusive content and emojis, become a YouTube member! Support us here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvO... roblox youtuber corl scared everyone by returning with...interesting imagesmy insta: https://www.instagram.com/konekokittenirlSUB AND BE COOL: https://bit.ly...