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How My Hyatt Globalist Status Scored Me a Free Cruise

Juan Ruiz's image
Juan Ruiz

Juan Ruiz

Compliance Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 40U.S. States Visited: 27

Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in...

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Holland America has introduced a status match offer that may give you an opportunity to score a free cruise if you hold elite status with a casino’s loyalty program.

Certain individuals who have matched their hotel elite status (such as Hyatt’s Explorist or Globalist elite tiers) to casino loyalty programs (such as Caesars Rewards and MGM Rewards) and have then submitted a match request to the Holland America Line Match Program are being targeted with a free cruise (excluding taxes and port fees) along with free money to play at the cruise line’s casino, as first reported by FrequentMiler.

I already have an entire year of travel planned, but I have Globalist status with Hyatt and MGM Rewards Gold status (earned from a status match between the 2), so I was curious about my luck.

I decided to submit a screenshot of my MGM Rewards status to Holland America’s status match program and see if I could score a free cruise.

Let’s see how I fared.

Matching Hotel Elite Status to Casino Loyalty Programs

For starters, let’s quickly go over how you can leverage hotel elite status — whether from actual stays or because you have a certain credit card — to “match” that hotel elite status to the elite tier of another program.

For instance, if you’re a World of Hyatt Globalist, you can transfer your status to MGM Rewards and receive Gold status with the casino/hotel program. Then, you may be eligible to leverage your newly acquired MGM Rewards Gold status to a cruise line’s status match program, such as Holland America’s.

If you appear to be devoted to a specific casino loyalty program, a competing casino loyalty program — such as a cruise line’s casino program — would want your business since they presume you spend money at casinos (even if you don’t gamble) and want to entice you into spending money with their cruise line.

Hot Tip: If you want to learn more about status matches, take a look at our ultimate guide to hotel loyalty program status matches and challenges!

Submitting My Status Match Request

You never know how long these status match offers will last, so I scurried over to the Holland America Status Match Program page and began to fill out my personal information. If you plan to test your luck, I suggest you submit your information as soon as you can.

You will need to enter your personal information and have proof of status with a competing casino loyalty program to receive consideration. Image Credit: Holland America

Once I filled out the form, it was time to upload my proof of elite status with a competing casino loyalty program to Holland America. I went over to the MGM Rewards website, logged in, and grabbed a screenshot of my Gold elite status.

I took a screenshot of my elite status with the MGM Rewards program. Image Credit: MGM Rewards

I returned to the Holland America Status Match page and uploaded the screenshot as a JPEG and added the words, “Status Match Request” in the accompanied “Your Message” text box.

You will need to upload a screenshot of your elite status from another casino loyalty program. Image Credit: Holland America

Upon clicking “Submit,” I received a message with a ticket number and a note that my submission was received and I would hear back within 1 to 2 business days of my status match request.

You will then receive a thank-you message from Holland America Status Match Page. Image Credit: Carnival Corporation & PLC.

Hot Tip: Curious about cruising with Holland America Cruise Line? Read our Holland America guide with information on the cruise line’s ships, departure ports, private island, and more. 

What Was the Outcome of My Status Match Request?

After submitting my match request, I received a response in less than 1 hour. It should be noted that a response might still take up to 2 days.

I received a reply about my Status Match within the hour of submitting my request. Image Credit: Juan Ruiz

I got some good news: I was sent a free cruise offer. Details of this offer included a complimentary interior cabin and $100 Freeplay with drinks for 2 in the casino. This offer is valid for sailings in 2023 on the following Holland America itineraries: Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, Coastal, and Canada/New England. This offer needs to be redeemed within 60 days or it expires.

It’s important to remember that even though I got an offer for a free cruise, I likely will still have to pay hundreds in taxes and fees, which makes the offer slightly less appealing.

Cruise Cost

Since you’re still responsible for taxes and port fees, I wanted to calculate my out-of-pocket expenses while comparing Holland America cruise itineraries.

Searching for cruise itineraries from my home ports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, I came across some reasonably priced itineraries with moderate taxes and fees.

Here is a 5-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary in March departing from Fort Lauderdale on Holland America. The taxes, fees, and port expenses come out to a reasonable $169 for an inside cabin booking, which would be my out-of-pocket expense.

Image Credit: Holland America

On the following 7-day Tropical Caribbean cruise itinerary, I would need to pay $195 out of pocket for an inside cabin on this Holland America ship.

Image Credit: Holland America

The offer provides no limitation on how short or long a cruise itinerary can be. Therefore, if you were to book a 21-day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer itinerary with your loved one, you would pay just $400 in taxes, fees, and port expenses for yourself.

Since the room is based on double occupancy, you’d have to still cover your loved one’s fare, but this would save you close to $2,000 on your own cabin fare.

Image Credit: Holland America

Final Thoughts

Having elite status with your favorite hotel chain certainly has its perks. Thanks to my Globalist status with World of Hyatt, I was able to use my elite status to leverage a free cruise by matching hotel status to a casino loyalty program and then matching that again with a cruise line’s casino loyalty program.

This attractive offer requires little upfront effort and it took me just a few minutes to submit my status match request to Holland America. If you have hotel elite status, you’ll want to consider matching into a casino loyalty program and then show proof of your status to Holland America in hopes of getting a free cruise!

About Juan Ruiz

Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in-Chief at Money Under 30.


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February 09, 2023

I got this same offer and ended up booking a cruise. When I called the number, the rep clarified that it’s only good on 10-night or fewer-night cruises, but some folks have had luck using it for up to a 12-night cruise. The promo includes the cruise fare for 2 people in an inside cabin. You just have to pay taxes for both people.


February 10, 2023

What if you spouse also had status? Would this allow neither person to pay except taxes and fees?

Jarrod West

February 28, 2023

Hi Andrew,

Yes, that should be the case!


May 22, 2023

I work for Holland America. To answer your question: No you can only use one offer per room.The offer is for a free stateroom for two. However, your spouse could book a room on his own if say you have friends that want to cruise with you. HAL (Holland America) doesn’t care where you’re at once you board the ship. So, one of your friends is booked in the room with the wife and the other with the husband.


February 19, 2023

I did a successful status match from Hyatt to MGM to Holland and received the offer (HALMatch 1: Complimentary Interior Cabin + $100 Freeplay with Drinks for two (2) while playing in the casino). Not quite as free as I’d hoped, doesn’t include: taxes and port fees as mentioned (cruising solo you pay for 2x occupancy so for 7 day carribbean about $400); daily mandatory gratuities per person per day ($16) (not clear if for cruising solo you have to pay for 2 people?); internet access 15 or $20 per day; any room selection; any room upgrades from interior cabin; any shore excursions; any premium restaurants, beverages, etc. Also appears to not be valid for land+sea cruises (many of the Alaska routes). Or land+hotel the night before cruise. Or transfer from hotel to cruise. It’s a good discount but hardly free…. any other upcharges I missed? Anyone actually take one and have a total roundup of all fees and extras?


April 10, 2023

The offer needs to be redeemed in 60 days but can the cruise be more than 60 days out?
Example, I get the match today, can I book a cruise for September 2023?

Chris Hassan

April 10, 2023

Yes, you can cruise through the end of 2023.


May 22, 2023

Yes, the cruise can be more than 60 days out.


April 10, 2023

I wonder at what point do they switch to allowing 2024 cruises as well. I am wanting to go in March 2024, so I need some sort of road map for booking then.


May 22, 2023

2024 cruises are allowed as long as they pricing is publicly posted on the website. Most casino offers do have a length of sailing requirement. Being that I work for Holland America (HAL), the most days I have booked on a Match Offer is 12 days. Taxes, fees, and port expenses are not set by the cruise line so that’s one part we can’t make “free” Still, you’re not having to pay the cruise fare.


May 29, 2023

Are you able to upgrade to a better cabin? Is it worth it…I have MGM gold status and getting ready to book an Alaska cruise August of 2024.

Chris Hassan

May 29, 2023

Yes, there are options to upgrade cabins when you call in to book. Worth it will depend on the avaiable cabin and price you are willing to pay.


July 09, 2023

Did you ever book a cruise for 2024?

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