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  #1  
Old August 20th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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Post The Free Cruise Offer: Scam or Legit?

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The Free Cruise Offer: Scam or Legit?

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  #2  
Old August 20th, 2010, 04:23 PM
rgjarrell rgjarrell is offline
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Default This "offer" is a COMPLETE scam sold by lies, lies, and more lies

This is a scam and their motto should be "lies, lies, and more lies".

The first big lie comes when you first give them $$$. They basically indicate that you wouldn't have to give them more $$. But they don't actually book a date for you at that time. They make you wait for a confirmation number and a mailing. (this is so that the 30 days for a refund lapses before you can really do anything).

Big lie #2: you can get your $$ back. There is no way that you'll get anything back from these scammers. You'll probably have to get your credit card company involved. Don't use a check card or debit card as credit for this transaction. Use a true credit card that will back you up on disputes.

And all the ancillary trips and promises like a bonus shopping spree and 2 bonus trips is also total BS. (Those "free" things will cost money if you take advantage of them.)

When you call to actually book the cruise: then they want more $$. We wanted to add our son. That was pretty expensive. Then we were told that we should upgrade our cabin. Also somewhat expensive.

The bottom line is they basically hold your original $$ hostage until you pay an originally undisclosed amount of $$ to actually get your cruise.

With the package it comes with 4 nights of cheap hotel stays in FL. These hotels charge a $29 (or somewhere around there) per night resort fee. The same hotels when booked directly through their own web site charge about $35 per night. (And then bait and switch you and charge the resort fee.) And these are NOT resorts. They're crappy Ramada Inns.

The "free" food you get is a joke because you have to get it at inconvenient times and it's really not that good.

The timeshare presentation is for a really high pressure sales pitch that takes way too long and for a product that is way too expensive. (These timeshares would cost almost $80 per night just in annual maintenance fees.) In kissimmee you could get a close to disney vacation home from a private party for around the same price ($80 per night) without buying a $15,000 timeshare that would re-sell for almost $0 because the annual maintenance expense charges are more expensive than the typical per night charge of just renting the unit out.

Once you figure out that for another $200 you can go on a real mainstream cruise line, it's too late. They have your money and there's no getting it back.

If you put a deposit down at NCL or Carnival or something else, you can get your money back up until a date fairly close to the sailing.

DONT FALL FOR THE LIES!!!
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  #3  
Old August 20th, 2010, 05:45 PM
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We should all know by now ... If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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  #4  
Old August 21st, 2010, 04:34 PM
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A friend of my last year was excited that she won a cruise (she never won a thing) She called me right after she booked and used cc. Well, I yelled, screamed and told her she was scammed... She called right back. That was 10 minutes after the call to her. Well pls leave a message only. No one ever called her back. Checked online and searche the hotel and resort. We finally called credit card company and they handled it. No one ever responded to any of her pone calls or message for one month. Sure, try and cancel with 24 hours. She tried 10 minutes later.

Like the previous reply said if it is too good to be true.....welll it isn't
My friend is really careful now.
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  #5  
Old August 21st, 2010, 06:11 PM
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Thumbs down

We got one of these exciting offers in the mail today. I promptly filed it - - in the shredder !
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DCL "Magic" - Feb '09 - 7 night Western; ~~~ DCL "Wonder" - Oct '09 - 3 night Nassau;
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:43 AM
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There's an old saying, goes like this :"" THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH "".

Applies perfectly here.
Cheers
Claude
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next up:: will NOT be on Celebrity !
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  #7  
Old August 22nd, 2010, 11:37 AM
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My co-worker was so excited that his daughter was so lucky winning a free cruise after filling out a card in a local bar. I informed him everyone who fills out a card wins.

People just want to believe in the good will and honesty of people; some are, most aren't.

Has anyone ever figured out how "free" that "free" cruise is won on a ship? Seems that after paying income taxes on it's "brochure value", you could probably just buy the cruise for the same cost. You do realize that you're supposed to claim the value on your taxes, right?
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Last edited by cruzincurt; August 22nd, 2010 at 11:39 AM.
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  #8  
Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:38 PM
rgjarrell rgjarrell is offline
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I actually went into this with my eyes wide open (for silly reasons)
My wife and I were "scammed" into going on Imperial Majesty back in 2000. We got engaged right before the Imperial Majesty cruise we took.

I knew this was a bit of a scam before going ahead, so I was "careful". But I thought it would be a cute / cheap / special 10 year anniversary of the cruise we took after our engagement.

But essentially, it was a lot of LIES. They were very aggressive about saying anything you wanted to hear, and when you gave them money, then you weren't getting it back.

In reality, it is still cheaper than a short cruise on NCL or Carnival, and you get to go to Nassau. The drinks are good, and the food is free when you're on the cruise.

I wouldn't have a such a big problem with them if they weren't such huge LIARS!! The biggest lie is they tell you it is refundable when it really isn't.

And the smaller lie is there are extra mandatory charges which are not disclosed until you're actually at the hotel or on the ship.

As far as the actual cruise: Good weather and a nice little beach as well as a fairly good cabin made it okay. However, there was some food that was totally inedible. And also, the casino on board was enough to entertain me. They had a poker room.

Also, they are the only ship that allows Bahamians to travel one-way to Florida or do a round trip from Nassau to Florida and back. So there are a lot of Bahamians on this cruise using it primarily as transportation (and there were visible drug arrests back in Port in the US).

It really is the THUG Boat.
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  #9  
Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:45 PM
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"Celebration Cruise Line is filling the void left by Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, a similarly budget-minded, first-timer offering -- and one that also relied on the free cruise timeshare pitch to help fill its only ship. IMCL ceased operations in March 2009"

Hmm.....very misleading.

Imperial Majesty has "evolved" into Celebration...same players, same "phone rooms"....same unhappy stories

I live here in South Florida. These are really rinky dinky operations....they do have a LOT of phone rooms, hard sell phone rooms
same deal with Imperial Majesty

Bottom line is that Celebration is really a nickel/dime operation...an old Norwegian ferry converted to a "cruise' ship....1/3 the size of most major cruise ships, lacking the stabilizers

I know people who have been on it...they were annoyed by the pushy/sales stuff...they even rope people into a forced sales pitch for excursions and extras as a "manditory" meeting /muster drill

When you add up the extras, the costs...figure in an upgrade unless you want to stay in a broom closet with no tv....the cruise is just not worth it

A 3 night cruise on Carnival, NCL or RCI is a real cruise...Celebration is just a bit above the Discovery and the old (defunct) Sea Escape


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  #10  
Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Ummm...they no longer go to Nassau....they leave from Palm Beach which is a very small port, too small for the modern cruiseships

they sail ONLY to Freeport now....and freeport is not so great, that is 50 miles away from here, the port where Discovery goes and old Sea Escape used to go....Freeport is pretty industrial port you have to take a cab to town, costs about $10 each way

Celebration relies on newbies and selling overpirced excursions when really there is not much to do in Freeport and you could do it on your own at any rate
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Emerald Seas, Dolphin, Majesty Cruise Line, Sea Escape 6x Discovery 8x : (all out of biz)
Star Princess 1x, Grand Princess 1x
Imagination 4x, Destiny(ugh) 2x, Glory 3x, Valor 2x, Liberty 1x, Spirit to Alaska 1x, Freedom 1x Conquest 1x
NCL Sky 2x, NCL Pearl 1x,RCI Navigator of the Seas 1x,
MSC Poesia 3x, MSC Divina 1x

MSC Divina US Inagural with Fireworks Review

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  #11  
Old August 23rd, 2010, 11:39 AM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharecruises View Post
"Celebration Cruise Line is filling the void left by Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, a similarly budget-minded, first-timer offering -- and one that also relied on the free cruise timeshare pitch to help fill its only ship. IMCL ceased operations in March 2009"

Hmm.....very misleading.

Imperial Majesty has "evolved" into Celebration...same players, same "phone rooms"....same unhappy stories

I live here in South Florida. These are really rinky dinky operations....they do have a LOT of phone rooms, hard sell phone rooms
same deal with Imperial Majesty

Bottom line is that Celebration is really a nickel/dime operation...an old Norwegian ferry converted to a "cruise' ship....1/3 the size of most major cruise ships, lacking the stabilizers

I know people who have been on it...they were annoyed by the pushy/sales stuff...they even rope people into a forced sales pitch for excursions and extras as a "manditory" meeting /muster drill

When you add up the extras, the costs...figure in an upgrade unless you want to stay in a broom closet with no tv....the cruise is just not worth it

A 3 night cruise on Carnival, NCL or RCI is a real cruise...Celebration is just a bit above the Discovery and the old (defunct) Sea Escape


Thanks for your comment ... there's no denying the connection between Celebration and Imperial Majesty, and it's something we go into greater detail in our corporate profile of Celebration Cruise Lines:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/...uiseLineID=126
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  #12  
Old August 23rd, 2010, 11:23 PM
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I am surprised the Celebrity is not going after them as the name is so close as to cause some confusion...by some IMO...
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  #13  
Old August 25th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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Hard to argue with the above posts. My issue is that alot of the issues discussed could ,to a lesser degree,
be applied to "regular cruise lines". How easy is it to get back your money after final deadline for a regular
cruise? When is this drop-dead date for regular cruises? Months Before! And thats not even mentioning ES rates

Again most of the"no free lunch" comments are correct as is "you get what you pay for"
Fine - Go with eyes open and you may have a good cheap time
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  #14  
Old August 25th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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A fewyears back, we 'won' the free cruise on the Regal Empress. Our award included an 'optional' timeshare sales pitch. I entered discussion with a lot of skepticism and being a somewhat experienced cruiser knew they types of things included in a cruise and what is 'additional'.

We followed their instructions, kept everything in writing, declined the presentation and in short, got exactly what we expected. And yes, I know that we were the exception to the rule in being able to avoid a prolonged presentation.

So for us, it turned out to be 2 nights at $59 pp+tips+fuel surcharge. While certainly not of the level of a mainline cruise line-we still had a good time and would consider doing it again

But we knew what to ask and what to expect-a first time cruiser probably wouldn't.
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  #15  
Old August 25th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbisson View Post
A fewyears back, we 'won' the free cruise on the Regal Empress. Our award included an 'optional' timeshare sales pitch. I entered discussion with a lot of skepticism and being a somewhat experienced cruiser knew they types of things included in a cruise and what is 'additional'.

So for us, it turned out to be 2 nights at $59 pp+tips+fuel surcharge. While certainly not of the level of a mainline cruise line-we still had a good time and would consider doing it again

But we knew what to ask and what to expect-a first time cruiser probably wouldn't.
Exactly ! Good for you . We did one of these Timeshare deals. We just kept repeating " We have no intention of buying a timeshare.
We just wanted the free vacation - Period! " We had to repeat it a few (ok 10) times but we got out in an hour including eating at
the free buffet. We heard from others who weren't so clear that they were held for over 2 hours .
Nothing wrong with this cruise offer . Like everthing else -buyer beware.
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  #16  
Old August 25th, 2010, 09:28 PM
rgjarrell rgjarrell is offline
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Default Carribean Cruise Lines is just a bunch of liars

Quote:
Originally Posted by richstowe View Post
Hard to argue with the above posts. My issue is that alot of the issues discussed could ,to a lesser degree,
be applied to "regular cruise lines". How easy is it to get back your money after final deadline for a regular
cruise? When is this drop-dead date for regular cruises? Months Before! And thats not even mentioning ES rates

Again most of the"no free lunch" comments are correct as is "you get what you pay for"
Fine - Go with eyes open and you may have a good cheap time
The POINT is that when you book with a regular cruise line, the policies are CLEAR and you don't have $$ held hostage. With this "deal" you pay $$, then you get a number in the mail to call to make your reservation. At that point they want more $$. Then they want more $$ when you're down there.

These people are just complete liars and won't tell you about some of the things that are a reality for them. Sure they're fairly standard in the cruise industry, but NCL and Carnival let you book an actual stateroom when you give them $$. And while there is a point at which your reservation is not refundable, they have explained all the costs you'll have to pay once on board and what you get with the $$ you've already given them. And with a normal travel agency and cruise line it's actually NOT a lie.

You can't actually be careful with Celebration. You can ask them careful straight forward questions, and they'll just completely LIE to you. And once they have your $$, you really have NO recourse.

They do not have repeat business, and half their business seemed to rely on Bahamian drug traffickers.

This is also not a "good" time. It is a situation where you are able to make due and because there's good weather, it can be enjoyable. However, it is not at all worth it.

Do not get scammed. Trust nothing that these people say!! Demand a refund immediately and dispute the charges with the credit card company.
Basically, you just can't do business with them because they just do not keep their word.

Imagine if you went by a McDonalds, and were stopped outside the door. Then you gave that person $$ to obtain a coupon to get in line at the McDonalds, and were told anything you they thought you wanted to hear to get your $$. Then once in line, you're basically told your coupon entitles you to the oppourtunity to pay more $$, and that they won't be refunding any money.
You've also been promised prime steak and when you finally get your "steak", it's a crappy McDonalds Angus burger.

This is what happens with Celebration. They promise steak, and take your money. Then they won't give you anything without you giving them more money, and once you hand over more $$ they finally let you have a sailing date to get on board, they don't deliver on the product they have promised.

The amount of $$ required, the commitment to the time share presentation, the type of cabin, and the quality of the meals is all lies. And once you discover the lies, it is way too late to do anything about it.

Obviously there's no free lunch, and while I wasn't under the impression that it wouldn't be totally free, I was lied to at every turn about what I could expect the costs to actually be.
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  #17  
Old August 25th, 2010, 10:35 PM
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I've found a pretty foolproof way of getting out of this type of "presentation" and the inevitable hard sell that follows.

I simply tell them "Wow, I'd really LOVE to buy into this, but my lawyer says I shouldn't do anything until that annoying bankruptcy thing and the IRS liens are taken care of."

Shuts 'em up every time.
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DCL "Dream" - May '11 - 4 night Nassau; ~~~ DCL "Dream" - Sept '11 - DVC Member Cruise - 4 night - 2 stops @ CC;
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  #18  
Old August 26th, 2010, 03:53 PM
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Default Just got my lucky envelope in the mail today!!!

It is from Caribbean Cruise Line and on the front of the envelope it says -

Free Bahamas cruise for two enclosed . . . no strings attached!

The fine print on the back of the 'travel credit voucher' says -

This is an offer to sell travel . . .

. . . requires the attendance at a presentation on the sale of independent vacation ownership resorts such as XXX and YYY. (As a courtesy the resorts are not named in this post.)

This advertising material is being used for the purpose of soliciting sales of a vacation ownership plan.


Anyone responding to this should be able to tell what they are getting into.
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  #19  
Old August 27th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Default Caribbean Cruise Line Scam

...Got a call from these scam artists... told me that my name was selected from a "contest " I had entered and that I had won a free cruise. Never entered a contest in my life! Right away knew it was a time share sell. Anyway, I listened to the pitch, kept saying no and kept getting transferred to a point where they put me on hold forever. Never did get my "free" cruise. Whatever you do DON'T get sucked in by these vultures! Ought to put these guys behind bars! They aren't even good at what they are trying to scam!!!
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  #20  
Old August 27th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltagijo View Post
Never trust these kind of offers on internet until the source is from a reputable or well established firm.

Simply ignore the e-mails and send mark them as spam so they won't bother you in future
I don't think anyone reputable or well established is going to just "give you a free cruise".
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Next up:
Freedom of the Seas, October 5, 2014
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NCL STAR, April 12, 2015 Transcanal

We were on the last cruise of the SS Norway
and went to muster stations for real
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