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Old November 4th, 2011, 10:58 PM
AR AR is offline
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Oooops. Just realized that this string is six years old. Something strange going on. 10000 views, too.
The most dangerous man in society is the man who has nothing left to lose. -- Saul Bellow
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Old November 5th, 2011, 12:55 AM
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OldFartCruiser OldFartCruiser is offline
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Default Some are S&P500 companies

The rip-offs on cruises are not only from small sleazy companies; they are also from large S&P500 companies overcharging on cruises. The difference is they will deliver the legitimate cruise that you signed up for.

The companies are Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham, Holiday Inn, Disney, etc.

They all sell timeshare and owners can swap their timeshare condo for a cruise on an ocean liner. It will take 2 or 3 years of accumulated time to book a 7-day Caribbean inside cabin on a Carnival ship. Maintenance fees for any of these top timeshares are about $1000 per year. There is also a transaction fee for the swap, which could be from $100 to $300. And don't forget that does not include the port fees.

We all know we would not pay $2500 for a 7-day Caribbean inside cabin on Carnival that we can get all day for less than half that amount.

For the privilege of being able to take advantage of these great cruises, the timeshare owner had already paid from $10.000 to $40,000 when they bought their timeshare.

O F C'er
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Old November 5th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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Most of the cruise acams that are out there right now start with a presentation to join a "travel club" - which is something like a timeshare offer in that you pay a down payment plus a yearly fee.

The companies are using a "complementary free cruise" postcard to get people to go to the presentation. You are supposed to get the cruise just for going.

So far we have not found a soul who has actually gotten the promised feee cruise, one guy even paid $300-400 in administrative fees and was still waiting for the information on how to book his free cruise.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 12:57 AM
Igotscammed Igotscammed is offline
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THIS IS A SCAM SCAM SCAM. This has been the most expensive mistake I have ever made. I am so frustrated with myself, because I cannot believe I of all people got hooked into a "free cruise" promotion scam. This 'free' vacation to the Bahamas is ending up costing me $528. They make it all sound so great, for example, this is the package that I ended up paying for: "Your spectacular vacation itinerary includes:

2 Night Cruise for two aboard the Grand Celebration to Grand Bahama Island, with all your meals, entertainment and activities included onboard.
$50.00 in Casino Match Play valid aboard ship in the Par-A-Dice Casino.

3 Days & 2 Nights resort accommodations in sun-kissed Fort Lauderdale, FL. with complimentary buffet dining for 2 adults. (3 meals per day per person).
3 Days & 2 Nights resort accommodations in magical Orlando, FL. with complimentary buffet dining for 2 adults. (3 meals per day per person).

7 Days transportation by Alamo or Budget Rent-A-Car while in Florida with unlimited mileage during your vacation.
$100 gas reimbursement."

Too good to be true? IT IS!
- First, I'v waited a total of 3 hrs on hold to talk to customer service.
- They claim that the ship is the finest in the port of palm beach, but think your worst Carnival Cruise liner. Cheap Cheap Cheap. In fact its actually a refurbished freighter.
-"all meals" onboard: Only at select dining areas. Only includes water, and coffee for drinks.
-"3 Days & 2 Nights resort accommodations": Remember, you already paid for this, but guess what, theres an additional $15 per person per day 'Hotel Resort Fee' to be paid on arrival, PLUS hotel taxes and surcharges. There are additional fees if you chose the package where you stay in their hotel in the Bahamas as well.
-"7 Days transportation" or "$100 gas reimbursement": You also though this was already cover because, well, thats what they told you you were getting!! But no. If you chose the 7 day transportation (this is from the trip package letter they sent me) "please plan on a total estimated cost of $75.00 to cover the following expenses: Rental car facility charge, Concession recoupment fee, Florida Surcharge, Tire/Battery fee, Vehicle License fee, State tax, and if you are 21-24 there is an additional fee of $25 per day. ALSO you can expect to pay a $400 deposit for the car. If you go trough all this, where do you park the car while you are at sea? You can either drop it off "at the nearest airport" and take a taxi to the ship, or you can park the car at the pier for $17 per day. I didn't have experience with trying to get the $100 gas reimbursement, but I know you have to save all your receipts and go through another process.
-While on board: You will have to pay an additional gratuity "service charge" of $17 per person per day (pretty standard for cruises, but still, another cost they didn't tell you about upfront). You will be charged 15% automatic gratuity for anything you buy on board or service you partake in. This charge is one of my favorites: "Fuel Surcharges". This is their exact words "in the event that the price of oil is greater than $40" you will be charged $12 per person per day....OIL HAS NOT BEEN BELOW $40 IN SINCE 2003!

All this roughy calculates to a added of costs at least $301 assuming you drink water the entire time and don't buy any products or services on board.

Feeling like canceling? You can, but you pay hefty fees (I paid $100 to cancel), and guess what, its all non-refundable. Their is a Florida state law that you can cite to get your money back, but it as to be within 30 days of payment.. see here: Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine.

I hope this help anyone considering this cruise and or its promotions, pretty much anything under the "Grand Celebration" ship, "Grand Bahamas Cruises" or "Holiday Cruise Line". Its all horrible.

This "Free Cruise" ended up costing me $528, if I went through its all I would have paid at least $829, not including flights. For that price I could have booked a 7-day cruise on a decent cruise line.

Please please do not make the same mistake.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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storybookcruises.com storybookcruises.com is offline
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Quite frankly, you didn't get 'scammed'. This exact same promotion has been around for years and has been discussed at great lengths, even on this forum.

It's not a scam; it's a veiled attempt to get you to buy timeshares.

If you did any research at all before you fell for this, you would have found that the Grand Celebration is not really a cruise line - they only provide transportation from Florida to Nassau and return.

Remember what your mom always told you; you don't get something for nothing and if you really thought you were going to get all this for free without paying for anything, then I have some shares in oceanfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell you.

Bottom line, if you want to take a vacation or a cruise, then do your homework, work with a reputable agent, and find something that you will enjoy. But don't fall for these sales pitches because they are everywhere and they prey on those who are dumb enough to believe they're going to get a $10,000 vacation for $100.

Sorry, just telling it like it is.

Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/16 yrs exp and 51 Cruises on 12 different cruise lines in many parts of the world! VIETNAM VETERAN OWNED & OPERATED. Certified Accessible Travel Advocate. Specializing in unsurpassed personal service to insure you have a hassle-free vacation!
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