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Old June 28th, 2012, 03:17 PM
Aesthetic Aesthetic is offline
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Default Timeshare Scam & Cruise Assessment

NOTE: Below is a write-up I did on my entire experience beginning to end as to how I got on the Bahamas Celebration. Yes, a lot of it is only relevant to the timeshare piece - but considering how many people will end up on this boat simply BECAUSE of this, I viewed it all as relevant. Read on!

------

So,

I'm a couple of days fresh off my "free" Caribbean Cruise Line cruise (with accompanying timeshare presentation) and wanted to chime in with a review of my overall *lovely* (re: horrendous) experience.

THE CALL & THE SETUP
Like so many, I received a phone call from the company "Caribbean Cruise Lines". Congratulations!!! I've won a 3 day 2 night cruise to the Bahamas (…which first of all, let's be honest, it's only 1 1/2 day, 2 night). I must be the luckiest man alive! I spend a while talking to a nice guy trying to tack on everything under the sun, moon, and stars to my "vacation package" but after over an hour on the phone (and being transferred to 3 separate people), I finally was settled on JUST the cruise. I was insistent on not wanting to attend the timeshare presentation, which he finally agreed to - citing I would have to drive an hour South of the port to Ft.Lauderdale's "Welcome Center" to pick up our cruise tickets. This wasn't in my initial trip plans, but fine - I worked around it. They tried to spook us about the 'Welcome Center' citing we'd be waiting in like for 2-3 hours. (Later discussions with people on the boat cited it was more like 2-3 minutes…)

Over the next few weeks, I received two separate phone calls from people wanting me to change my booking to attend a 90 MINUTE PRESENTATION only a few miles from the port. We were offered 2 free Orlando amusement park tickets, 2 free hotel nights, free meals, etc. Sweet deal, right?!?! Finally, I caved figuring the amount of time I'd spend driving down there would be equal to or more than my just sitting through a silly presentation. Fair enough. I'd honestly never been to a timeshare presentation anyway. Big mistake, should have stuck with the original plan. The guy I spoke to said he'd have my "tickets waiting for me at the Palm Beach Shores Resort where the presentation will be at." We received a letter in the mail a couple of weeks beforehand outlining all of this (including "90 MINUTE TIMESHARE PRESENTATION").

TIMESHARE - ARRIVAL 9:30AM
My wife, kid, and I arrived on time Sunday morning for our 9:30AM appointment and were met by our salesperson, "Karen". Oooooh, the things we could say about Karen (though she did turn in to the punchline for every joke made for the next 2 days). Within literally the first 60 seconds of being in her presence, she was already telling us some story about how she "never lies to customers in this business". I give my wife a look. "It's going to be a long 90 minutes, isn't it?" heh

TIMESHARE - BREAKFAST 9:30AM-10:15AM
Part of the deal was a free breakfast! Alright, so we go to breakfast … with Karen. Hmm.. Alright, not what I was expecting - but whatever! I will give the Palm Beach Shores restaurant credit as it was pretty decent food. We spent a half hour of her making small talk while we ate breakfast. She then whips our a survey and starts asking us all sorts of questions about our vacation habits. We answer honestly, including the part about whether we'd ever been to a timeshare presentation before. As soon as we said no, she started pushing us otherwise until finally after a minute or so we conjure up a fictitious story about a presentation we went to in Miami just so she'd stop badgering us. She finishes taking her notes, and finally gets up to "go to the bathroom before we go". I put this in quotes only because we then watched her wander around talking to people for a good 5-7 minutes while we waited for her to return. No no Karen, it's cool. Take your time, we'll wait here… :-) Before we left, we were asked to leave a tip for the waiter… Huh. O.K., I mean - I didn't mind honestly, though I'm taken out to lunches by vendors literally every week and have never once been asked to leave a tip (usually I perceive that as YOUR job as the sales person). But seriously, it wasn't a big deal - just felt a bit tacky… No biggie, moving on!

TIMESHARE - THE MARINA (A.K.A. KAREN'S SMOKE BREAK) 10:15AM-12:00PM
O.K. So as we're leaving the restaurant she tells us that she's taking us to the Marina to kill time so "we don't have to watch the video", citing she hates "the video". O.K., whatever. So we take some shuttle bus over to a Marina a mile or so away. Now, I should go ahead and specify that by "don't want to watch the video," Karen meant, "so I can smoke for the next hour and some change." As soon as we're there, she starts smoking. She explains that APPARENTLY she's not supposed to be smoking over there. O.K., fine, I could care less! Do your thing, Karen. So, we're walking over near the docks when some people start walking by and she shoves her cigarette toward my wife saying, "Hold this… Hold this, I'm not supposed to be smoking…" and gets my wife to hold her cigarette while some employees walk by. Now, as I stood there in awe, I couldn't help but wonder, "…is this just some not-so-impressive theatrics to build a false sense of camaraderie akin to being BFF's in high school, or are you ACTUALLY not supposed to be smoking over here?" Either way, it was kind of tacky and unprofessional in my eyes. But, again, whatever.

By about an hour in to wandering around the Marina, literally just sitting on the dock of the bay wasting time (…see what I did there?), we were pretty bored. We were forced to wander around in gift shops, listen to Karen take a semi-lengthy phone call her from her son, and naturally - allow for more of Karen's smoke breaks while we waited around wondering, "…exactly what relevance does this play whatsoever to the presentation?" We eventually made it back to the shuttle bus which went back to the Palm Beach Shores Resort area. She started walking us around neighboring shops. Fine, STILL not the resort - but at least this felt like it held MINOR relevance. She took us to some restaurant and showed us some shark hanging from the ceiling, telling us it was the original shark used in the movie JAWS and that the studios wanted to buy it back for 100k but the owner just wouldn't sell it. Unfortunately for Karen, my wife is about as fanatical about JAWS as a human being could get and immediately cited to me, "That is not Bruce!!!" (Bruce was the name of the 3 mechanical sharks used in filming of the movies). No, no this definitely wasn't. This wasn't even a decent passable replica…

Thankfully, it started raining so we FINALLY made our way back to the actual resort...

TIMESHARE - THE SALESROOM 12:00PM-12:30PM
We sit down, and Karen starts breaking out a bunch of books. I'm honestly genuinely curious as this point. Perhaps that was the intended sales tactic? Bore me with so many other unrelated things that by the time we start to talk about what we came for - suddenly timeshares seem more interesting by comparison? :-) ..and yet, when she opens up the books - they're only a bunch of photos of her family on vacation. Oh - my - god, I was nearly grinding my teeth at this point. There wasn't really a polite way I could think of to say, "..We have nothing in common… Zero… I don't care about you and your family, I care about me and MY family.. Could we talk about the timeshare now, please?" She gets up and wanders off (I honestly can't remember why this time.) Comes back.. Finally after about 10-15 minutes, she gets to talking about how timeshare swapping and such works, going in to the network company, "RCI (Resort Condominiums International)" , etc etc etc. Actually sounded kind of interesting, to be honest. Then she breaks out a booklet of "RCI destinations," gets up - and leaves…

O.K. It's about this point that I've lost my patience. We arrived about 3 hours previous and had yet to actually take one look at what we would inevitably be purchasing. I didn't want to look at a booklet of other resorts. I don't travel to visit resorts, I travel to visit destinations - spending little time in the hotels themselves. We end up pulling out our phones and start doing our thing. I was really growing tired of this whole disappearing act of hers. Sales tactic, or your nicotine habit, she was wasting our time. A few minutes later she comes over and says, "Please get off your phones, I don't want to get in trouble." I look at her and flatly say, "…you keep disappearing? I'll get off my phone when you stop disappearing…"

..It was at about this point that her entire demeanor changed and things went to hell pretty fast…

TIMESHARE - WALKING OUT (12:30PM-12:35PM)
In a pissy tone, she told us, "..if you don't want to be here, you can leave right now…" There was a mild tone of cockiness to her voice. in that short sentence, she might as well have said, "…but we both know that if you leave right now, you're not getting any of the free stuff we promised you, so you'd better look at the booklet…" Well, I don't take well to attitudes like this. I dropped all patience and finally flat out said, "..Listen, you guys said it was a 90 minute presentation. We've been here over 3 hours now and…" (she interrupts me) "..It didn't include breakfast…" to which I point out, "Fine. Take out breakfast and we're still looking at about 2 1/2 hours…" She begins defending, "..We never said 90 minutes, some other company did that and we don't have control over…" (I interrupt her) "…So, what you're saying is that you don't take any responsibility for the actions of the companies in which you choose to do business with?" She again says we can leave right now, and (HERE'S THE BEST PART) "…your cruise tickets are already at the Port…"

..all of this time, all the run around, and when we arrived at the dock - our names were simply on a big long list. There were no "tickets" needed… heh Well played, timeshare people… Well played…

ANYWAY. A little taken aback, I say, "…aren't you even going to tell us how much these things cost? I want a price…" to which she actually says no. She says, "..you haven't even seen the resort yet." Well no Karen, we haven't. We've been screwing around for 3 hours so you could take smoke breaks! I ask her how much longer the presentation is going to be, and she says about an HOUR AND A HALF… O.K., correct me if my math is off here, but I'm fairly certain that totals up to 270 minutes (…a bit more than 90). Apparently her time is more valuable than ours. I looked at my wife, stood up, said, "I think we're done," extended my hand for a shake to which she just sort of stared at it for a good 4-5 seconds before finally shaking it.

TIMESHARE - FINAL SUMMATION
***WE LEFT AFTER 3 HOURS WITH NOTHING THAT WAS ACTUALLY PROMISED TO US*** We were a bit irritated. Hell, we never even saw the resort or got a price!!! The ultimate irony here is that I must confess that throughout the discussion about how the whole timeshare swap thing worked - I did grow a bit of moderate interest & curiosity about it. Later on the boat, we talked with some people about what prices they were offered. Apparently they started up around $35k and dropped down to $18k, $15k, and eventually down to something actually fairly small like $4400. I got to see the entire package or do the math myself, though on a long enough time line, if you're serious about investing in 'vacationing', $4400 once, $700/year, and $200/trip for ANYWHERE might not actually work out to be a horrible deal. I dunno, I never got to actually work the math out to see where the break-even point was… Doesn't matter… I suppose I have Karen to thank for screwing that one up…

BAHAMAS CELEBRATION
How was the actual cruise? Well, that one is much easier to sum up. For the price of taxes, fees, and tips? Still unfortunately not sure it was worth it. Perhaps this is only when put in comparison against previous Carnival cruises. Do not get me wrong, there was nothing overtly WRONG with it - but it's definitely summed up by, "You get what you pay for…" The staff were overall pretty good. There were less activities and "stuff" going on than a Carnival cruise, but you're only on there for a day and a half, so perhaps that's "ok"… The rooms were AMAZINGLY small. All we could do was laugh. Our room shower had no hot water. Oh, and no towel animals (Carnival cruisers "get it". hahahaha) With the amount of money we ended up spending, I really kinda wish we'd just booked another 3-5 day Carnival one. Perhaps this would be a good cruise for a Florida resident where it's easier for them to get to / fro. Again, not horrible, but very "eh…" at best.

OVERALL
In this process, you're really dealing with 3 separate companies, Celebration Cruise Line (which isn't a cruise line at all, but a vacation package wholesaler), Palm Beach Shores Resort (…or their parent company, whomever is selling the timeshare), and Celebration Cruise Line (whom owns the Bahamas Celebration). None of these 3 companies hold any accountability for one another. We got nothing that was promised despite waiting through "Karen's Smoke Breaks" for 3+ hours, and never even got a price on the vacation investment.

If you want a positive experience for you and your family, just splurge for one of Carnival's cheaper 3-5 day cruises (I also hear Royal Caribbean is nice). Forget the timeshare scam (yes, I used that word accurately - as I just outlined previously). It's not worth your time…

Nathan R.
Atlanta, GA
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  #2  
Old June 28th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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loubetti loubetti is offline
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Just a correction, Nathan, as you mentioned Celebration Cruise Line twice at the end. It is "Caribbean Cruise Line" which is the non-cruise line wholesaler.

We had a lovely time on the ship, and I've sailed Cunard and Celebrity, and booked direct with the cruise line in a Cat 3 suite.

I think this time share deal that they sell cabins to does a great disservice to the cruise line, as only the tiniest cabins are included with the deal. Of course, you can pay more to upgrade (what else is new). This same deal caused their predecessor line "Imperial Majesty" and it's ship "Regal Empress" to suffer for the same reasons. I wish they would / could dump the time share deal.

Otherwise, since I have no first-hand knowledge of the time share part, only the ship itself, I certainly cannot dispute your review, and am certain you have been honest. Yes, it is not Carnival, and for many that might be a good thing too!
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The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
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...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
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I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
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44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)
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  #3  
Old June 29th, 2012, 07:44 AM
Gathina Gathina is offline
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Have to side with Lou on this one. Celebration Cruise Line is an entirely different company. Agree it's bad that Celebration shouldn't affiliate themselves with the timeshare company.

If you read almost every review from everyone about the Cruise Line in itself, it gets a very good review and rating...and the reviews are written by mostly local people who are familiar with the Celebration line itself.

Without exception, almost every complaint on this board has to do with "Caribbean Cruise Line" and not the cruise itself.

The other part that always leaves me scratching my head is that people actually think they are getting a "free cruise"..I mean seriously, 99% of the time nothing is ever "free" so why do people allow themselves to get sucked up into it and then complain?

I am guessing the breakfast restaurant he is referring to is Sailfish Marina..which is a VERY popular place among locals here.

We only went once but are planning another trip. To be honest, I actually felt safer on this ship then when I went on an NCL cruise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loubetti View Post
Just a correction, Nathan, as you mentioned Celebration Cruise Line twice at the end. It is "Caribbean Cruise Line" which is the non-cruise line wholesaler.

We had a lovely time on the ship, and I've sailed Cunard and Celebrity, and booked direct with the cruise line in a Cat 3 suite.

I think this time share deal that they sell cabins to does a great disservice to the cruise line, as only the tiniest cabins are included with the deal. Of course, you can pay more to upgrade (what else is new). This same deal caused their predecessor line "Imperial Majesty" and it's ship "Regal Empress" to suffer for the same reasons. I wish they would / could dump the time share deal.

Otherwise, since I have no first-hand knowledge of the time share part, only the ship itself, I certainly cannot dispute your review, and am certain you have been honest. Yes, it is not Carnival, and for many that might be a good thing too!
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Old June 30th, 2012, 11:50 AM
Aesthetic Aesthetic is offline
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That's fair, though my feelings on the cruise itself still stands. I understand there's no such thing as "free" and perhaps this definitely should be filed under the category of, "You get what you don't pay for." Heh I'm now curious what their higher accommodations are like as their lower ones were beyond laughable. I didn't realize rooms that size existed.

I really do feel this cruise would be better suited for local Florida residents where getting in & out isn't as big of a hassle. We were coming from Atlanta and even that felt like way too much effort for what we got out of it (speaking strictly to the cruise itself in this case).

My initial sentiment about preferring Carnival stands... I never mentioned this before (perhaps because I was too caught up on the timeshare piece), but I did have to express high distaste for their pool (or lack of one). I assumed this to be a staple on a cruise liner yet all they had was this tiny one with a glass wall on one side with no actual swimming room (human soup!). The hot tub was ok, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gathina View Post
Have to side with Lou on this one. Celebration Cruise Line is an entirely different company. Agree it's bad that Celebration shouldn't affiliate themselves with the timeshare company.

If you read almost every review from everyone about the Cruise Line in itself, it gets a very good review and rating...and the reviews are written by mostly local people who are familiar with the Celebration line itself.

Without exception, almost every complaint on this board has to do with "Caribbean Cruise Line" and not the cruise itself.

The other part that always leaves me scratching my head is that people actually think they are getting a "free cruise"..I mean seriously, 99% of the time nothing is ever "free" so why do people allow themselves to get sucked up into it and then complain?

I am guessing the breakfast restaurant he is referring to is Sailfish Marina..which is a VERY popular place among locals here.

We only went once but are planning another trip. To be honest, I actually felt safer on this ship then when I went on an NCL cruise.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 11:52 PM
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loubetti loubetti is offline
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Hi Nathan,

This cruise is absolutely, positively geared toward Florida residents. No one should book a flight, or drive more than several hours for it. We drove 40 minutes, and it was worth the drive.

As to the time share deal and those bookings; that's something I detest, and think they should eliminate. Don't do it.

Otherwise, after 44 cruises with over 2 dozen on Cunard and Celebrity, I had no issues with Celebration Cruise Lines. We had a great time. Form Max, the restaurant manger, to George, the captain, all was well!

When we were arriving at Freeport, the port authorities there prevented ships from coming in due to high winds. Later I hear an announcement for a tour of the "bridge"; meet outside of the casino. We ran for it. We later got into Freeport.

We get to the bridge, and who is hosting the visit? The captain himself (George Pallas). He spent an easy 1/2 hour talking and fielding questions from the dozen or so who were smart enough to take the tour! He posed for photos with the ladies in his captains seat- It didn't cost a penny! Do that on Carnival!

It's a good cruise line, but the time share deal hurts them.

I will sail with them again without issue.
__________________
Best regards,

Lou Betti
Boca Raton, FL

The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
longest serving passenger ships of all time.
...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
to New York, April 2004

I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
Cessna 210N Turbo Centurion.

44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 02:48 PM
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Bibble Bibble is offline
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I am sorry you didnt' have a really good cruise, but I'm more sorry you had to put up with such a bad timeshare racket!!

I've done a good amount of timeshare presentations (we visit Orlando a lot), and when I'm told 90 minutes, I say that it had better be, because I can't stay more than 90 minutes. And I reiterate it. Enough so that, one time when they couldnt' get a salesperson to sit with us because it was crowded, and we kept getting apologies, I'd point at my watch and say "Tick-tock, tick-tock".

Since I learned that tactic, out the door at 91 minutes with whatever I was promised.

That said, there was a time I had to go hunt down my parents because it hit 3 hours and they were still in there. Neither one wanted to be rude. So I went in and found them, asked the salesperson to "give us a minute". When she came back I told her they weren't interested. I even cited that my dad is a General Motors retiree, and that if they go out of business (they were on their way), I don't have room in my house for them. And she said (SERIOUSLY) "Well, if they have to live with you, wouldn't you want them out of your house one week a year?". I nearly laughed in her face. (It was 3 weeks later that GM "reorganized")
So I do feel for you having have gone through all that.

And I do agree with Lou that this cruise is pretty much geared to those of us who don't have to travel. I'd do it every week if I had the time! (But, based on the price offered by the "free cruise". But I have to say, for this, we didn't get sucked into a presentation because it was my mom and I, without husbands, so they couldn't sell to us, gave us our papers and let us go).
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Old July 4th, 2012, 05:49 PM
Gathina Gathina is offline
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If there was a way to get a "free" cruise here by listening to the time share presentation, I'd actually do it. It wouldn't be the first time I wasted 90 minutes and I never care if they think I am rude by politely excusing myself and saying no thank you. My rationale is 1) They are used to it, 2) There are by far more rude people than me who turn them down, and 3) I am probably never going to see these people again nor do In need to be their friends.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gathina View Post
If there was a way to get a "free" cruise here by listening to the time share presentation, I'd actually do it. It wouldn't be the first time I wasted 90 minutes and I never care if they think I am rude by politely excusing myself and saying no thank you. My rationale is 1) They are used to it, 2) There are by far more rude people than me who turn them down, and 3) I am probably never going to see these people again nor do In need to be their friends.
We did book this cruise once "knowing" we'd have to do the presentation. The cruise was $59/each (they called it free, but had to pay taxes & fees, etc). I definitely consider that worth the presentation. But we got lucky - because my mom and I booked it without my dad or husband, they couldn't bother to do the presentation. That was a lucky bonus for us
But I'd do it again even if I did have to sit through the presentation. ANd now hearing that we could do it up in Palm Beach Shores kinda sweetens the deal for me, as it's much closer to home.
My problem is that I don't have the time
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  #9  
Old July 11th, 2012, 08:50 AM
Gathina Gathina is offline
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Bibble, where in Palm Beach Shores? That's close to my neck of the woods..is it something in conjunction with Sailfish Marina? Do you have the info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibble View Post
We did book this cruise once "knowing" we'd have to do the presentation. The cruise was $59/each (they called it free, but had to pay taxes & fees, etc). I definitely consider that worth the presentation. But we got lucky - because my mom and I booked it without my dad or husband, they couldn't bother to do the presentation. That was a lucky bonus for us
But I'd do it again even if I did have to sit through the presentation. ANd now hearing that we could do it up in Palm Beach Shores kinda sweetens the deal for me, as it's much closer to home.
My problem is that I don't have the time
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Old July 11th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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we're sailing away.... we're sailing away.... is offline
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If it sounds to good stay away...
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Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 11 voyages 152 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 66 Cruises 604 days

NOT YET SAILED
Ryndam Carib. 11/14 -21 days
Ryndam Carib. 1/15 -14 days
Maasdam Carib. 3/15 - 14 days
Rotterdam Canary 4/15 - 18 days
Veendam Bermuda 6/15 - 14 days
River Cruise France 8/15 - 21 days
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  #11  
Old July 14th, 2012, 08:01 AM
Gathina Gathina is offline
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True but if you read all the reviews from those who live in this area and know the positive reputation of the ship there is nothing wrong..it's the whole Carribean cruise line scam with the timeshare.

It's a good marketing scheme..they know some people are so addicted to cruising that as soon as they see "free cruise" they know they can suck someone in because they are not going to read the fine print!

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If it sounds to good stay away...
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  #12  
Old July 15th, 2012, 05:46 PM
canadian bartender canadian bartender is offline
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sorry to bother you people but my friend has booked this trip and if no one goes all is lost so 4 of ua are taking the cruise/ time share/ bahamas vacation likely in October this year. the problem I am trying to solve is (bad subject I know) smoking policy on the ship. I would really appreciate a reply thanks
Carol
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  #13  
Old July 16th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gathina View Post
Bibble, where in Palm Beach Shores? That's close to my neck of the woods..is it something in conjunction with Sailfish Marina? Do you have the info?
No, I meant I did it when we had to drive to FTL to get the boarding pass. I can only book these cheapie ones with my mom because my hsuband won't drive all the way down there to do a timeshare presentation. I was commenting on the OP about them doing the presentation in Palm Beach Shores (which is also my neck of the woods), and that if given that opportunity, maybe my husband would be willing to go over there.
I'd love to find out more about it being in Palm Beach Shores too!
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  #14  
Old July 16th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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The key is to read the reviews. Most of the bad ones come from the time share deal (time share presentation and tiny cabins), many others, including mine are very positive.

As I think I said above: This is not a cruise to fly to, as it is only 2 nights. However, we found it to be a lovely ship with good service and food. Avoid the time share deal unless you live nearby and wish to pay more to upgrade your cabin, or can deal with the tiny one you get. They also have the ship and shore stay package which, while I have not tried, many seem to like.

It's a good cruise for first-timers, who book direct, make an intelligent cabin decision, and can drive no more than a few hours to the ship.

I still believe in this ship and cruise and will continue to support them, as I am saddened by the reputation they are getting by their association with the time share deal.
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  #15  
Old July 20th, 2012, 09:29 PM
Sheenar Sheenar is offline
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After reading through this thread, I think my friend and I have gotten ourselves into a huge mess.

My friend is chronically ill (as am I). She had already paid for the Caribbean Cruise Line (wholesaler) cruise package --supposedly including 2 days at Walt Disney World and a hotel. She was just waiting for the right person to go with her and chose me.

She and I both want to do a cruise/Disney World as part of a "bucket list" type of thing.

After reading this, I am wondering what the heck we have gotten ourselves into. We haven't officially booked the cruise yet (haven't booked the dates), but she's already paid a lot of money into it.

I really don't want her (or myself) to have a nightmare of an experience --especially since this may be the last big trip my friend gets to take. We live in TX and were planning to fly to FL (she has family in Ft. Lauderdale).

How do I broach this subject with her? I'm afraid she'll be crushed as the thought of this cruise and vacation has helped keep her going through some very rough months recently.

What should we do?

I also have an assistance dog and, when we talked to a lady on the phone with Caribbean, she was quite rude to my friend and I (we both have brain-based disabilities and some processing/cognitive issues as a result--she got quite snippy at us when we kept asking her to repeat herself so that we understood what she was saying). I couldn't get a straight answer about toileting arrangements on the ship and what was needed to get off the boat at the Bahamas or whether we could at all with my assistance dog.
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  #16  
Old July 25th, 2012, 01:28 AM
srjones1 srjones1 is offline
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Thanks for the review. You described it exactly as I had envisioned it. My grandmother calls and tells me she has a thing for a free cruise if I want it. I get the information and make a few phone calls to find out she's already spent $785 on this "free" cruise. She says she's not spent anything yet and if I don't want to go then no problem at all. I read enough to know it was a timeshare sales thing but no one says no better than I do and I get quite a rush out of being rude to pushy sales people but I don't want her spending her money for me and my wife to go on a second rate trip...

Again, thanks for helping me make up my mind!
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  #17  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 03:02 AM
Sheenar Sheenar is offline
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Does anyone have a response/advice on my previous post? I really don't want my friend to wind up going on a crappy vacation since this could very well be her last trip.

What should we do? She's already paid a lot of money for this.
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  #18  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 09:46 PM
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If she already really paid a lot of money for it, then what is your choice?

Either go or debate it with your credit card company.

Again, we had a great time, but we booked direct with the cruise line.

I just wish Celebration would / could dump the time share arrangement!

Otherwise, I think they are likely filling the ship to enough extent to make a good profit.
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Best regards,

Lou Betti
Boca Raton, FL

The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
longest serving passenger ships of all time.
...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
to New York, April 2004

I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
Cessna 210N Turbo Centurion.

44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)
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  #19  
Old September 19th, 2012, 06:39 PM
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mpdahmer mpdahmer is online now
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Red face Thank you!!!

Thanks Nathan for helping me prove a point to my daughter who tried calling work (actually dialed the wrong number) and was transferred to Caribbean Cruise line. She came running to me for my credit card telling me all she needed to pay was $59.00. I spoke to two different people in 3 minutes before I hung up on them. I then looked them up and your review was one of the links.

I hope she understands in the future, anytime anyone uses the word "free" then asks for a credit card, she should be concerned that it is a scam.
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  #20  
Old December 4th, 2012, 04:04 PM
kentuckyluckyguy kentuckyluckyguy is offline
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For me this ship will be the means of transportation for a four night stay in Freeport. And it will be my return transport back to the US as well. We are driving down from KY...and after being on five Carnival cruises and reading about Celebration, I have lowered my expectations of the ship, although the pics I see on here look fabulous. We'll be on her from 1pm to 8am and it's merely a place to lay our heads down and sleep. Our fun will be at Freeport for four days....and for the price of their cruise and stay packages I don't think it can be beat. I'll definitely write a review.
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