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-   -   Has any actually taken a "free" cruise (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/all-things-cruising/379258-has-any-actually-taken-free-cruise.html)

janicebrennan January 7th, 2011 12:12 PM

Has any actually taken a "free" cruise
 
EDITOR'S NOTE: We have now written an article about this scam - you can find it here:

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...urn-080111.cfm



We received a post card for a free cruise from a travel company. They want us to attend a 90 min lecture and we are suppose to receive a free Carnival Cruise and air fare. We will be required to pay port charges and fees. My question is: Has anyone taken or know anyone who has actually take one of these?
Thanks

Trip January 7th, 2011 12:28 PM

Don't bite......the cruise ships are what I calll sea buses...this is a far cry from a "real" cruise experience..fees are attached as well, so I say, toss it!

Paul Motter January 7th, 2011 12:34 PM

You say Carnival cruises but I would check that very carefully and please come back and tell us. I don't know of Carnival participating in anything like that at all.

Generally those offers come on a smaller 1-day cruise to Nassau cruise line. I think ship is Imperial Majesty. It is all a scam - once they get your first payment they tack on a bunch or surcharges and special conditions that in the end makes a regular cruise a far better deal.

Mike M January 7th, 2011 12:36 PM

I don't think Trip may have completely understood your post.

Carnival is not the "busses of the sea." It is a real and quite good cruise line. There are some day cruises that fit the "busses of the sea" profile but Carnival does not.

Having said that; I would check into EVERYTHING you will have to pay in order to receive this free cruise. My guess is that you will be required to pay the port charges, all taxes, including the airline taxes and you will end up with a three or four day cruise in the lowest category cabin and you will need to cruise on a few specific days. This will probably cost you a minimum of few hundred dollars and far from free. You will also have to sit through the time share, MLM or other pitch and the high pressure tactics associated with it. This alone would make me throw the invitation in the garbage.

There is rarely a "free" cruise.

Take care,
Mike

janicebrennan January 7th, 2011 01:52 PM

The "offer" was for 8 days, 7 nights on Carnival anywhere and includes airfare. Supposedly from any port. They specify it's not for a time share, but to encourage business for Premium Destinations travel agency.

green_rd January 7th, 2011 02:09 PM

We have friends who took a "free" cruise. Of course they paid for it by being on a previous cruise ship that sunk :(

skymaster January 7th, 2011 02:27 PM

The last time we attended a "time share presentation" for a "free cruise aboard Royal Caribbean", it turned out that the taxes, port charges, and SERVICE CHARGE were nearly as much as I could have booked an RCI cruise for. Not only that, they wouldn't allow me to select the date. I could select three BLOCKS of dates, and when, and if there was an "empty cabin" then I'd get to go. I told them where to put their "Free Cruise".
The closest to an actual "Free Cruise" we've taken, was $79, plus port charges, and taxes for a seven day. That was on "Premier Cruise Lines, SeaBreeze" just before the line folded.

"SKY"

Paul Motter January 7th, 2011 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janicebrennan (Post 1340585)
The "offer" was for 8 days, 7 nights on Carnival anywhere and includes airfare. Supposedly from any port. They specify it's not for a time share, but to encourage business for Premium Destinations travel agency.

Janice...

This is unheard of. If you want to send me the offer I will be glad to call them and get the details for you (I am the editor here at CruiseMates. so I am not going to steal your free cruise).

In my personal experience this has NO chance of being a valid offer - it could even be a credit card scam. Private message me if you want my email addy.

Read this: Free Vacation? Free and Discount Travel Fraud

nidachti February 11th, 2011 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1340599)
Janice...

This is unheard of. If you want to send me the offer I will be glad to call them and get the details for you (I am the editor here at CruiseMates. so I am not going to steal your free cruise).

In my personal experience this has NO chance of being a valid offer - it could even be a credit card scam. Private message me if you want my email addy.

Read this: Free Vacation? Free and Discount Travel Fraud

I received the same post card and was thinking of checking out the offer. Did either of you happen to look into it? I would prefer not to waste 90 minutes of my time if the offer isn't legit. Thanks in advance for letting me know what you learned.

Becky7 March 15th, 2011 09:59 PM

Free cruise
 
I got the same postcard in the mail recently. We were thinking about going to the "reception" but it sounds like a too good to be true offer. Did anyone attend one of these travel company receptions? Is it legit? I free cruise sure sounds nice but I don't want to waste 90 minutes of my life if it is not what they make it out to be. Thanks!!

Paul Motter March 15th, 2011 10:08 PM

Can you possibly photo the postcard and post a picture here?

CA Cruiser March 16th, 2011 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janicebrennan (Post 1340560)
We received a post card for a free cruise from a travel company. They want us to attend a 90 min lecture and we are suppose to receive a free Carnival Cruise and air fare. We will be required to pay port charges and fees. My question is: Has anyone taken or know anyone who has actually take one of these?
Thanks

We received a "free" Carnival cruise when we bought our timeshare. It was for an inside cabin only but on a 7 day cruise. We chose the Glory when she was only 6 months old. We had to pay the port fees and taxes and we upgrade to a balcony. It was a great vacation. Check out the travel company carefully. For only 90 minutes of your time it might just be a 3 day cruise but any cruise is better than none.

I have a friend at work going on her 2nd NCL "free" cruise given to her by one of the local casinos where she is a regular. She pays the taxes and port charges and gets a 7 day/inside cabin cruise.

Becky7 March 16th, 2011 08:25 AM

Here are photos of the postcard. I blocked out names/address for privacy purposes. I actually was going to ignore this postcard but Carnival called me yesterday seeing if I was looking to go on any cruises so I asked about the postcard and gave them the confirmation number on it. After talking with the promotions department he said that I had to call the number on the postcard directly, so maybe they did know what it was in reference too. Thanks!


...Sorry Paul I couldn't get the images on here. If I click on "Insert Image" it says I have to put in the URL of my image. Then I tried attaching it as a file but it is too big. Any other way to get an image on here? If not, the number on the card is 1-877-491-7396. Thanks!

jondesu March 28th, 2011 07:20 PM

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12428034/postcard.jpg

Here's a photo of the postcard I received (found this thread on Google, so I hope someone's still paying attention to it). Sorry about the poor quality, if needed I can scan it to get a better version. It's got official logos from Carnival and US Airways on it, but the text you can't read on the bottom reads:

Quote:

Certain restrictions apply. Call for details of participation. *This promotion is not sponsored by or affiliated with Carnival Cruise Lines, but they are a major supplier. Recipient is responsible for any applicable deposits, port charges, taxes and/or fees.
I'd be willing to pay the fees, we've already been planning to take a cruise so even if we had to pay a couple hundred in total it'd be a better deal than paying full price. I just don't want to get caught up in something that's more trouble than it's worth, and this strikes me as likely to be a very annoying ordeal potentially.

I'm planning on calling them from a service I can block their number from if needed. If someone else intends to call them, then I'll hold off and wait for a report.

jW

Fern March 28th, 2011 07:25 PM

My opinion? Run away, run away :shock::shock::shock: !

jondesu March 28th, 2011 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fern (Post 1362945)
My opinion? Run away, run away :shock::shock::shock: !

Heh. I'm leaning that way (I generally do), but want to be careful about passing up an opportunity. I'd be willing to sit through a 90-minute schpeel, but this would probably take more than that.

LisaK March 29th, 2011 10:30 AM

"recipent is responsible for any deposit" there is the catch right there, the deposit could be a hefty sum, i agree with the others, don't bite on this one

jhcesi April 19th, 2011 08:50 AM

I have, more than one time. You have to be able to stand up to the high pressure sales pitch and believe me it will be high pressure. Depending on the terms of the "free" you may have an unbelieveable bad cabin with bunk beds in a noisy location and there may be blackout dates. Also, many times there are major restrictions as to whom you can make your reservations through and they will have limited access to cabins. You could find it very hard to book a cruise on a date anywhere near where you want to go and when. I have found it usually not worth the aggravation.

revive April 19th, 2011 04:04 PM

(Hello, new member here, just went with Carnival Conquest last Nov)

I just got the same postcard. Did anybody attend the presentation? Is the gift as good as the postcard stated? I'm not too concerned about attending the presentation -- I'm much more concerned about the free cruise offer, e.g. available dates, can I leave from Galveston (I live in Houston), how much will my 2 kids cost?

I have "endured" a timeshare presentation in Orlando once. It lasted 3 hours, and yes it was high pressure -- at one point, the salesman's supervisor practically questioned my sanity. Didn't buy anything but ended up getting free Disney World tickets ($200 value). I would do it again.

Chemist April 25th, 2011 07:08 PM

I just got one of these in the mail today as well. Seeing as the wife and I have never had a real honeymoon, a cruise would be a very nice thing for us. However this offer just makes me uneasy to begin with.

Anyone got anu recommendations on a site or agency that seems to have pretty good budget cruise deals? We have a baby on the way and need to split our fun money between the two lol.

Anyways, any help would be appreciated =)

Thanks

depasqjj May 24th, 2011 01:08 PM

We received the same post card and attended the sales pitch.
 
My wife and I attended the sales pitch for what sounded like a vacation time share. The sales pressure was on however my wife and I have been doing contract negotiations for 12 years. We didn't think of it as pressure but just another negotiation.

Anyway, we didn't buy a timeshare and we got the free certificate. We had to pay about $300 in registration fees so far. Now we are on the next step where we have to activate our certificate we paid the registration fee for within 5 days of receipt. We call the 800 number to activate it however all we get is voice mail for 2 days now. I'm beginning to think we were taken.

I have 2 days left to activate this certificate. We'll see what happens. I'll keep you all posted on how this works out.

Paul Motter May 24th, 2011 01:11 PM

Are you calling a number where all they answer with is the word "reservations..."?

I have tried calling the same number several times and gotten the busy signal. I got a real person twice but they both put me on hold. In one case I gave up waiting, and in the other case after 15 minutes they cut me off.

Please give us more details on who it is you are dealing with, despasqjj.

depasqjj May 24th, 2011 02:21 PM

Wow... Minutes after I posted this, my wife called me and told me the Travel Center people called her back. Guess what... We have to give them another $50 and this time they want our checking account number and bank routing number to take the $50 right out of our bank account. My wife told them that she was not comfortable giving out that information. The person on the other end of the phone said this is the only way they do this and if we wanted the cruise, we had to give this information.

OK. We'll keep playing along even if it is just to share this experience with everyone on this thread.

Will John & Sharon get the "FREE" cruise they were promised?
How much more will this "FREE" cruise cost?

Stay tuned! More to come.

depasqjj May 24th, 2011 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1372588)
Are you calling a number where all they answer with is the word "reservations..."?

I have tried calling the same number several times and gotten the busy signal. I got a real person twice but they both put me on hold. In one case I gave up waiting, and in the other case after 15 minutes they cut me off.

Please give us more details on who it is you are dealing with, despasqjj.

Hello Paul,

The 855 number we are calling answers with a machine (Call Attendant) "Thank you for calling the Travel Center..."

Paul Motter May 24th, 2011 02:38 PM

Well, I was also calling an 855 number. Let me if at anytime someone answers with the word "reservations."

Also - I assume you have left messages for a callback and no one has called you back?

depasqjj May 24th, 2011 02:57 PM

We did get a call back. See post above. No one answered with the word "reservations."

Did you sit through a 90 minute presentation for a travel locations company? This company wanted us to pay $10,000 up front to use their facilities world wide for 5 years. After you pay the $10k, each destination would cost you $799 per person per week. In some cases, this may have been a good deal but there was no guarantee the $799 per person was going to continue so we passed on the deal. They eventually came down to $3000. We didn't take it and they finally gave up and gave us the free cruise.

Paul Motter May 24th, 2011 03:02 PM

Oh, I see!

Interesting - they wanted $50 more by e-check, and they said that was mandatory or else no "free cruise."

What was the reason they gave for needing another $50? And why would they not know this up front?

So - it sounds like you are saying you paid the $50. And was that per person or total?

What other personal information have they asked for - address, SS#, mother's maiden name....? I assume they have your credit card information on file.

Snoozeman May 24th, 2011 03:40 PM

No one should give out that much information to anyone. Beware.

I did get a free cruise once when I bought a new truck. No hassles, it was a certificate probably the same as these type folks give out once you endure a sales pitch, but be very careful.

Paul Motter May 24th, 2011 03:55 PM

Just to be clear... as far as I know most of the people who started this thread did not sit through a sales presentation. They were just responsing to mailers that said "you are eligible for a free cruise, call now."

In some cases I have "won a contest" for a free cruise. One contest I won twice! (what are the chances?) and a friend of mine also won (incredible good fortune!!).

Most "free cruises" (if there is such a thing) are turn-around cruises to Nassau were you sail and arrive the same day. Then they stick for hotel fees, etc.

If you are already into this for $175 apiece you may have already paid for 1/2 the cruise (assuming they plan to give you the lowest category cabin). I have no doubt at some point they will tell you about the government Taxes & fees that you are responsible for.

Then there will be special fees for "preferred sailing dates." Then there is the upgrade fee if you decide the hotel/stateroom you are awarded are not to your liking.

In the end, it will cost you as much as if you just booked the cruise straight up. They make their money through all the people who just walk away and from what they sell. It's sad really, but nothing in life is free.

What people need to know is that cruise lines like Carnival have no need to give away free cruises (their ships already sell out). Therefore, no one who is offering a free cruise got that cruise for free, and that means there is no way they are going to give it to you for free.

Trip May 24th, 2011 04:01 PM

Look what I won today, not a cruise but even better!

Your e-mail has won $1,000,000.00 in the recent Publishers Clearing House Lottery,please reply immediately to collect your winnings.Please Send Your Info, Name Address, Phone Number to:....... You will be given more details by our information centre when you send them your reply.
Yours Sincerely,
Micro-Soft Yahoo!

We all get inundated with "free" stuff...!!!


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