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travel first class

9 days and 3 countries luxurious first class holiday with points and money

Royal Suite 1239 on Celebrity Equinox

As a British citizen (applicable for residents too), I have British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card. It is one of the best travel rewards credit card which rewards me with a 2-for-1 travel with a British Airways Companion Voucher when I spend £10,000 each year. In other words, you can only receive a Companion Voucher if you are a member of the British Airways Executive Club and are the main account holder within a British Airways American Express Credit Card Account. The voucher is valid for 24 months and it allows the main account holder to make a flight booking using Avios and to book another seat on the journey for a Companion without having to pay the Avios for that Companion but only the airport fees and taxes.

How did I do it?

So, I booked a return flight in first class with British Airways to Miami for myself and my partner by paying 185,000 Avios and £1,364 airport fees and taxes.

British Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class, Seat 3A

The Hotel

We spent one night at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in a standard guest room, 1 king bed, with a balcony (partial ocean view). We booked it with 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

The hotel is a great hidden gem! It seems to be a popular place. Because of that the amenities (pool, spa, beach etc) are not heavily populated, making using them much more comfortable. The con is that the bars and restaurants and be very packed at dinner but it gives it a buzz too.

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

The Cruise

The next day we boarded Celebrity Equinox for a 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise. We stayed in a Royal Suite. It was “won” through a bidding system called “Celebrity Move Up” for £415 per person on the top of the price we have already paid for our cruise. As guests staying in a Royal Suite, we had many perks. For instance a priority embarkation and disembarkation, premium beverage package, free wi-fi, unlimited speciality dining, butler service, gratuities included. In addition, we had access to “The Retreat” deck and lounge and many more extras, which could total up to £1,500 per person worth of perks.

That sea view though (from Royal Suite 1239)

Our ports of call were as follows: departed from Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We had an amazing time and enjoyed to the fullest our first class holiday. We created so many unforgettable memories for the years to come and we looking forward to doing that again in the near future.

Celebrity Equinox docked in Cozumel, Mexico


In conclusion and to sum up:

Avios used: 185,000

Marriott Bonvoy points used: 60,000

Money paid: £4,694 (cruise + airport taxes and fees)

Cash cost of the holiday: £21,400



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Before you travel

Don’t forget to take a sensible mixture of cash and debit or credit cards with you, to make sure you can always get local currency when you need it. And make sure you have travel and health insurance. It is more important than ever to get the best and the most suitable for you cover – read more about travel cover and health insurance here.

If you’re planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. NHS advises to see your GP or a private travel clinic at least 8 weeks before you’re due to travel. Some vaccines need to be given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity.

Enjoy your holiday!