PDA

View Full Version : Has anyone sailed on the R.E. with an Amer. Travel Vac. or Mini Vacation "free" promo


debjo
December 22nd, 2005, 12:59 PM
We recently received a certificate from our bank for a "FREE" cruise on the Regal Empress (2 night) for opening an account. This package was put together through American Traveler Vacations (aka Mini Vacations). Our only financial responbility to "book" is to pay about $100 per person for port charges and government taxes for this two night cruise. I realize that this is probably for the most modest of accommodations on the ship. Before I mail this in, I'm wondering if anyone else has taken advantage of this or a similar offer with the Regal Empress and what their experiences have been? We hope to be able to upgrade to a better cabin. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED that we sailed on the Regal Empress back in 2001 with a balcony cabin. We truly loved and enjoyed the ship and that Canada/New England cruise vowing that we'd return to the Regal Empress again.

Since that time, the Regal Empress was sold to Imperial. We're wondering if we can expect a similar level of service and hoping that the ship hasn't changed that much. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED that my DH and I do not drink alcoholic beverages and are not "pool" people. Do you think that the demographics in passengers has changed much from her Regal Cruises days?

Thanks for all you input and have a VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

Debjo

KINGBOBOFTHENORTH
December 28th, 2005, 09:18 PM
Debjo, ads in the Sunday travel section of the Orlando Sentinel indicate that the cheapest cabins on the Regal Empress begin at $149pp including port charges and taxes. So if your deal is $100pp for port charges and taxes you're paying for more than port charges and taxes....it's ain't free.

We sailed on the Regal Empress under Regal Cruises and have not been on her since. All I know is what I've read on here and it appears that while the ship itself is as she was, the service is not as good and perhaps the overall quality of the experience. I understand that many of the passengers on board got there through some kind of timeshare reward voucher. They will try to sell you up to more expensive cabins.

Suggest you to visit the Imperial Majesty website and then call IM to get a quote for your favorite dates. Then you can compare what you can otherwise buy the cruise for versus the deal you're being offered with the voucher. Since prices can vary depending on season and what's remaining on the ship, proceed carefully if you're going to use the voucher and get a guaranteed price for your sailing date rather than send them money and then they tell you the voucher only has availability next November 8th!

BobK/Orlando

CrazyCanucks
January 4th, 2006, 02:45 PM
My wife's parents, DW and I sailed on her in Jan 2005. It was a package deal (3 days / 2 nights). Sounds exactly like the package you are describing.

This was our first cruise ever, and my wife and I really enjoyed it. The ship is old, 1950's, but you knew that. In my opinion it has been taken care of extremely well. The food on board was fantastic. Service was awesome, they went out of their way to pamper us and our 10 month old son. The cabins were small, but very clean. We did not partake in any of the entertainment.

The only problem we had on the whole cruise was disembarkation. It seems that they had to track down all the cash cruisers to pay their tabs. This took 3.5 hours while we were in a common area of the ship because we weren't allowed to be in our cabin. This wouldn't have been a problem, except we did not see any service staff while this was happening.

Another note is that the pools were only filled in port, not while sailing, but this was not a problem for us.

This ship, and the experience got my wife and I into cruising. In fact we are counting down the weeks now until we cruise again.

Overall we had a fantastic time.

debjo
January 7th, 2006, 05:25 PM
THANKS FOR YOUR TIPS & ADVICE...
From what I've read on the internet about the company that is behind this Promotional Certificate, I am a bit weary. I plan to phone them directly with a list of questions and talk with our long-standing Cruise Planners to find out what the port charges and taxes for Ft. Lauderdale & Nassau really amount to. Perhaps it will be better to book directly with Imperial Majesty Cruises and forego our "free cruise" certificate. All in all, we had planned to see if we could upgrade the certificate (for an extra fee) to get a better cabin and just viewed the certificate for the free cruise as a "discount" on the trip.

I'd still love to hear from anyone else who has used these certificates from American Traveler (aka Mini Vacations).

Debjo

debjo
February 15th, 2006, 11:32 PM
AN UPDATE...
I still haven't been able to get any answers from the folks at Mini Vacations, Inc. The first time I actually was able to talk to a "person", the only answer I received was that I had to mail in the application for the certificate. They would only answer my questions once the application was in their office.

I sent the application in at the end of January. According to the "fine print" they were to send me the "certificate" for the cruise along with a packet of information. I have yet to receive this. I've tried several times this week to phone them. When I dialed the 800 number, I reached a recording saying that their toll free number was no longer in service. When I dialed their long distance number, I only receive a recording prompting me to press the appropriate number to reach the department I want. Well, I've pressed every single "number" and "wait"...only to get another recording that states something to the effect of---if you get this recording, due to a high volume of phone calls, all our representatives are busy, please try back another time. Needless to say, I've tried back numerous times only to get the same recorded run around.

The next time I phone Florida, it will be to the Better Business Bureau. I can't say that I wasn't skeptical. What I can't figure out is why this company would have these promotions and not even talk to anyone on the phone...what are they gaining from this??? I've not given them any money or critical credit card or account information, so why do they even bother???

Debjo (just venting...and informing anyone else who may try to use this offer)

NOTE: This offer from Mini Vacations, Inc. is not a part of IMPERIAL MAJESTY CRUISES and appears to be completely seperate from them. We would love to sail on the REGAL EMPRESS again, which is why we were elated when we saw this cruise promotional offer at our bank. The only thing our bank gained from using the Mini Vacation promotional company was our opening an account with $25.00 at the bank.

debjo
February 16th, 2006, 12:23 AM
HERE'S MORE "UPDATE"...FOR THOSE WHO CARE...

From an internet search I discovered this link: http://www.freevacationincentives.com/mvi.html and this one: http://www.sptimes.com/2006/02/09/Business/Promoter_says_travel_.shtml and learned that MINI VACATIONS is no longer in business...having closed it's doors the first of February 2006. So it looks like our "certificate" is no longer valid and the REGAL EMPRESS cruise, should we decide to go this year, will be booked directly with IMPERIAL MAJESTY CRUISES.

Sadly disappointed...
Debjo

niya305
February 21st, 2006, 06:36 PM
Don't be so sad Debjo. Maybe it is for the better. It seems you were running around with this Mini Vacations company. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I have sailed the Regal Empress on this 2nt itinerary about 4 times (I live in S. Florida). I absolutely love it every time. I read somewhere (I think maritimematters.com) that the ship just came back from drydock so hopefully I'll be on her once again before she is retired. The food is great & service was excellent. It's a great deal for transportation to Nassau!

debjo
February 21st, 2006, 11:12 PM
For niya305...
Thanks for your kind words...we, too, love the REGAL EMPRESS and have many fond memories of our first cruise on her...she set a standard to which we compare all our other cruise trips against. I've always been curious as to how things compared with Imperial Majesty Cruises management...you've helped to assuage any concerns I've had in that area. If the REGAL EMPRESS has had your "repeat" business, I quess she is still worthy of ours. My only wish is that her itinerary was longer than 2 nights. Flying from NY to Florida and back for just a two night cruise makes our decision a weighty one...especially since we've gotten used to sailing out of NYC for round-trip seven night cruises!

Debjo

niya305
February 23rd, 2006, 03:27 PM
For niya305...
Thanks for your kind words...we, too, love the REGAL EMPRESS and have many fond memories of our first cruise on her...she set a standard to which we compare all our other cruise trips against. I've always been curious as to how things compared with Imperial Majesty Cruises management...you've helped to assuage any concerns I've had in that area. If the REGAL EMPRESS has had your "repeat" business, I quess she is still worthy of ours. My only wish is that her itinerary was longer than 2 nights. Flying from NY to Florida and back for just a two night cruise makes our decision a weighty one...especially since we've gotten used to sailing out of NYC for round-trip seven night cruises!

Debjo

You're very welcome! I just booked my next cruise on the Regal Empress in April. I'm going to do a back to back :D 4nts for me onboard!

bh2359
February 23rd, 2006, 08:04 PM
I believe it was Debjo that remarked they flew from New York to florida just for a two-day cruise.

As the Regal Empress has so many sailings, it would be fairly easy to coordinate a 7-day cruise with another line with this two-day cruise either just before or just after, making it a nine day cruise on two ships..

At the very worst, it would be a short cab ride from one pier to another at the same port.

We've done this in Galveston, taking the Rhapsody Of The Seas for a seven day cruise, getting off and going back to the Elation for another seven day cruise.

debjo
February 24th, 2006, 10:37 PM
For bh2359...
Just a correction...we were going to end up flying from NY to Florida for just the two night cruise on the REGAL EMPRESS, but our "free cruise certificate" is now null and void because the issuing promotional company went out of business (or at least that is what I found on the internet after some research when I couldn't get ahold of the promotional company).

As a matter of fact, we originally wanted to do what you suggested. We have a cruise booked for October '06 with Holland America out of Ft. Lauderdale and we had thought about taking our "free" REGAL EMPRESS trip before the Holland America one...thereby only having to fly round-trip to Ft. Lauderdale once for two cruises. After seriously considering that our Holland America trip is scheduled during "hurricane season", we were concerned that "weather" might not get us back from the REGAL EMPRESS cruise in time to board the Holland America one (the R.E. arrived the morning that the HAL ship left). We then thought about picking up the REGAL EMPRESS cruise "after" returning from our Holland America one, but that would have required a two night lay-over in Ft. Lauderdale...in other words, it would cost more to stay those two nights than it would to fly down there twice. So we decided that two seperate cruises at two seperate times of the year were in order...the rest of the story is now "history".

We're still contemplating booking the REGAL EMPRESS ourselves, but the loss of the "free" factor is weighing heavily still.

Debjo