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#1
Baltimore, MD
34 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I didn't know where else to post this under, so I chose this board. We received a card in the mail recently that said that if we called we'd receive a free carnival cruise for 7 days. A co-worker of my husband had gotten one before, but never called, so I decided to do so. Basically we sit through 90 minutes of why the travel agency can help us in the future, with no requirement to use them and we get a free cruise. We have never done these things before - I always toss them in the trash. But a coworker told me a few years ago that she and her husband had taken lots of cruises (and other vacations) and never paid for them because they always sit through these things, so I decided we could try it one time. Still, we are cautious. Has anyone else done one of these or knows someone who has, and any words of advice you'd like to offer?
#2
Fair Haven, VT
5,143 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by grimmy35
I didn't know where else to post this under, so I chose this board. We received a card in the mail recently that said that if we called we'd receive a free carnival cruise for 7 days. A co-worker of my husband had gotten one before, but never called, so I decided to do so. Basically we sit through 90 minutes of why the travel agency can help us in the future, with no requirement to use them and we get a free cruise. We have never done these things before - I always toss them in the trash. But a coworker told me a few years ago that she and her husband had taken lots of cruises (and other vacations) and never paid for them because they always sit through these things, so I decided we could try it one time. Still, we are cautious. Has anyone else done one of these or knows someone who has, and any words of advice you'd like to offer?
Don't waste your time....we did it once and they gave us a voucher but you had to send in money for "port fees and taxes" and it was more than we'd usually pay for the 2 of us to go on a 3 or 4 day cruise.....and when you send the money in you aren't even assured of the dates you want...ended up just throwing the thing in the trash....lesson learned!
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#3
Richardson, TX
71,091 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Yes, as I have posted on at least one dozen of these same threads (there must be millions of these post cards going out) .. I did do it. Nothing of course is free, you pay FEES which Iv found I could get cruises cheaper by doing group cruises, so the fees are not that special.

Took me a year to even get to talk to anyone who would answer questions. Tried the old bait and switch, postcard promised a cruise out of Galveston, finally got one on Triumph out of New Orleans .. worst cabin ever and Im not picky. this was a storage cabin, broke tv loud crashing noises, cabin steward says its not usually used for pax.

Oh yea, I only got that cruise because I opened a dispute thru BBB.

If you want more details do a search for free cruises (some thru the casino are real), but you should turn up lots of these threads with advise.

The sales pitch is to sell you on a travel club, ok, no thanks .. but dont get too excited about the free cruise. its not free. .. and not all that cheap. Oh yea, cant be booked during high season, only off season which turns out to only be late fall, cant be booked within 2 weeks of a holiday and on and on for me. they will do everything to not give you the cruise.
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#4
Baltimore, MD
34 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Thanks for the quick replies! I should have done a search, but for some reason I didn't think that anyone would actually try them out. I'll do it now. I was told that we'd have to do port fees, but I didn't expect them to be all that much. Thanks for the heads up!
#5
M.S. EARTH
10,075 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by grimmy35
I didn't know where else to post this under, so I chose this board. We received a card in the mail recently that said that if we called we'd receive a free carnival cruise for 7 days. A co-worker of my husband had gotten one before, but never called, so I decided to do so. Basically we sit through 90 minutes of why the travel agency can help us in the future, with no requirement to use them and we get a free cruise. We have never done these things before - I always toss them in the trash. But a coworker told me a few years ago that she and her husband had taken lots of cruises (and other vacations) and never paid for them because they always sit through these things, so I decided we could try it one time. Still, we are cautious. Has anyone else done one of these or knows someone who has, and any words of advice you'd like to offer?
why not just post it under the tens of others that have started the same post.

i got my third free cruise yesterday, and threw it right in the trash.
#6
Baltimore, MD
34 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by H82seaUgo
why not just post it under the tens of others that have started the same post.
As I said - sorry I didn't search first.....
#7
M.S. EARTH
10,075 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by grimmy35
As I said - sorry I didn't search first.....
lol. you probably wouldn't have found it anyway. each one seems to get its own unique title.

happy cruising!~
#9
Florida
20,184 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Don't wast your time...
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We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
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#10
Baltimore, MD
34 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Stu, I actually did set it up, but it isn't until next week. I knew we'd have to pay port fees, etc., but was thinking that if we could still get a cruise for half price or so, then no biggie. I am working through the other threads now though and see that sometimes it's very difficult to get the cruise, so most likely we will cancel.
#11
The Mississippi Gulf Coast
1,452 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Can you say "scam". They send out thousands of those cards every few weeks hoping to get a few suckers to bite. The free cruise ends up costing almost as much as it would if you had booked it yourself without all the strings attached. If you read the fine print it actually has nothing to do with Carnival, they use a picture of a Carnival ship as a hook. I have always wondered why Carnival lets them get away with it and then I figure they are paying Carnival for the rights to use the photo.
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XENOPHOBE : One unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin.
#12
Tampa FL
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Me and my son took a "free" cruise a couple years ago. Their stratagy is to make you jump through so many hoops and include so many eroneous rules you never actually cruise. But we were persistent and jumped through everything. It took about 6 months and we were finally given a confirmation on a ship we did not want, out of a port we did not want to drive to, on a cruise over Valentines Day (this was a father/son trip). The booking agent told me that I could not call back to confirm, I had to commit IMMEDIATLY without calling DW, work, etc.

What an ordeal! The cruise was great once we were on the boat, but we wont be dong it again. Spirit Incentives out of Ft Lauderdale was the company, bt the way
#13
Richardson, TX
71,091 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by ericstacie
Me and my son took a "free" cruise a couple years ago. Their stratagy is to make you jump through so many hoops and include so many eroneous rules you never actually cruise. But we were persistent and jumped through everything. It took about 6 months and we were finally given a confirmation on a ship we did not want, out of a port we did not want to drive to, on a cruise over Valentines Day (this was a father/son trip). The booking agent told me that I could not call back to confirm, I had to commit IMMEDIATLY without calling DW, work, etc.

What an ordeal! The cruise was great once we were on the boat, but we wont be dong it again. Spirit Incentives out of Ft Lauderdale was the company, bt the way
You beat me then as it took me a year. Every time they would say to pick dates, and each date has to be so far in the future and so far apart, but they wouldnt tell you until you are almost at the first date, that the date isnt possible, so I played the game for a while of picking wrong dates. (to me January is cheap so it must be a off month, nope all dates are too close to legal holidays, feb, the same problem).

You cant get a straight answer all along the way either, they keep saying you will hear when you get to the date you picked. As I said I now have a way of going cheaper and Iv gotten much better cabins, not the awful one they gave me .. just daring me to complain and they can say full priced upgrade.

OP do plan on jumping thru hoops. Dont forget the part where they told me by sending in the money you dont hold them to anything promised in the post card. (like my postcard promised to go out of Galveston or I would never have sent in the money).
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#14
Ohio
1,251 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Our daughter "won" a cruise but because of her student status, she didn't qualify for the presentation. They allowed my husband and I to go in her place. We listened to the presentation and then said "no" firmly to 3 levels of sales agents. (We're good at saying "no" firmly - we have 12 kids). We received our voucher and our daughter received a free 3 day cruise with free air transportation also.
Later, our son listened to the presentation and he and his wife purchased a budget friendly version of the travel plan and they also received their free cruise and free air. He has enjoyed his budget vacation deals from the plan also.


The catch:
Yes, you have to pay some fees, but they were much cheaper than the cost of a cruise. With the free air thrown in - it was substantially cheaper. The biggest catch is trying to book the dates. They had limited dates available - mostly off season I believe. She went in October 2010 on the Sensation. When you book, they let you pick 3 dates and you have to make up your mind which one you want while on the phone with them. So....if you're willing to listen to a hard sell presentation and jump through some hoops with bookings, there is such a thing as a free cruise.

(Of course this experience will vary depending on the company that is giving the promotion. Our experience was with a vacation plan company.)
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#16
Richardson, TX
71,091 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
blessedwith 12, I can get cruises cheaper than what I paid for my free cruise .. there are better ways of booking if you are willing to choose from limited dates/groups.

this is not it.
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#17
Florida
33 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Hi! As many posts have said, there are no free lunches! Janice Lieberman (Consumer Reporter) of CNBC always says,..."if it seems to be 'to good to be true, it usually is"!
Enough said!!!
#18
Ohio
1,251 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
First of all, I was speaking specifically about my daughter's experience and not ALL offers that are put out there. To lump them all together and say that either you will definitely save money or you will definitely lose money does not make any sense at all.

Also, you do not know what my daughter paid in fees, so for you to say you can cruise cheaper than that does not make any sense because you do not know that for a fact. Especially with the free air that she and her friend had - I know that they could not have cruised that cheaply.

You really have to evaluate every "free" offer individually. We have received other offers and refused to participate. I checked with the BBB before we went to hear the sales pitch so I knew the integrity of the company before I went to the presentation.

Also, we have received "free" offers from other lesser known cruise lines that when I went to investigate the cruise lines, knew I didn't want to be involved.

So, for the OP, do your homework and check out the company making the offer. Start with the BBB. Don't let anyone tell you that it will be a scam or a fantastic offer until you see the background of the company involved. They are not all created equal.
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#19
Richardson, TX
71,091 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by blessedwith12

Also, you do not know what my daughter paid in fees, so for you to say you can cruise cheaper than that does not make any sense because you do not know that for a fact. Especially with the free air that she and her friend had - I know that they could not have cruised that cheaply.
Arent you doing what you accuse me of?? generalizing and not knowing what I paid.

You have no clue what Im paying for the group cruises I speak of, but then jump up and down saying I cant know I can do better. You dont know either. The cruises in my signature range from $200 to $600 (total for 1 or 2 people) .. Ill put numbers out there even if you are not. I signed up for SW credit card, so the cruise for $200, thats total, for 2 people I got a free flight on too (in fact SW gave me enough pts to book 3 free flights, one more to go).

If you can get cruises that cheap and beat the prices Im booking at, go for it... I too did what you did and I said FOR ME I could have booked cheaper. I was comparing WHAT I PAID for the free cruise I got from listening to the sales pitch. I also have seen what others have said they paid for their free cruises, even if you dont give any numbers to back your point, others have.

I for sure saved over the price advertised on carnival. .. but because of the hassle and the lousy cabin, is why it wasnt worth it because Iv found a better way is all. You seem pretty ready to blast me when you dont know what Im even comparing it to.

I will agree for the average person who believes that you cant discount Carnival prices by large amounts .. you are correct, this is a savings. Sorry if I got you upset.. I was stating my experience and you were stating yours.
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#20
Trinity, Fl
2,351 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Its a scam don't fall for it
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