Received a free cruise from foxwoods,but not sure if there are catches.

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#1
boston
10 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Hi Everyone this is my first post. I read all of your wonderful reviews before booking my honeymoon cruise last May and it really helped . Cruise was an amazing time by the way yaaay !!!!! I now have won a free cruise from Foxwoods . When I called to book I was told port fees and taxes were 335 per person. So a total of 671.20 for the two of us !!!! is this too high ? Have they made it more costly as a way to make money because the trip is a prize? Am I being naive in thinking that this really is a free cruise ? Or is this just what it costs for these things? When i looked up the particular cruise we wanted to book (Boston to Bermuda) the cost for an inside room ( which is what is I won ) was around the same as fees they would be charging us . Thank you for any information. We want to book soon, but I also dont want to be ripped off.
#2
Philadelphia area
6,726 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by bulldogsnuggles
Hi Everyone this is my first post. I read all of your wonderful reviews before booking my honeymoon cruise last May and it really helped . Cruise was an amazing time by the way yaaay !!!!! I now have won a free cruise from Foxwoods . When I called to book I was told port fees and taxes were 335 per person. So a total of 671.20 for the two of us !!!! is this too high ? Have they made it more costly as a way to make money because the trip is a prize? Am I being naive in thinking that this really is a free cruise ? Or is this just what it costs for these things? When i looked up the particular cruise we wanted to book (Boston to Bermuda) the cost for an inside room ( which is what is I won ) was around the same as fees they would be charging us . Thank you for any information. We want to book soon, but I also dont want to be ripped off.
What ship and how many days is the cruise?
#3
Vancouver, BC
1,282 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by bulldogsnuggles
Hi Everyone this is my first post. I read all of your wonderful reviews before booking my honeymoon cruise last May and it really helped . Cruise was an amazing time by the way yaaay !!!!! I now have won a free cruise from Foxwoods . When I called to book I was told port fees and taxes were 335 per person. So a total of 671.20 for the two of us !!!! is this too high ? Have they made it more costly as a way to make money because the trip is a prize? Am I being naive in thinking that this really is a free cruise ? Or is this just what it costs for these things? When i looked up the particular cruise we wanted to book (Boston to Bermuda) the cost for an inside room ( which is what is I won ) was around the same as fees they would be charging us . Thank you for any information. We want to book soon, but I also dont want to be ripped off.
Nothing in life is free.

Paying taxes and port fees for something like this is typical. You'll most likely have to pay the gratuities which are approximately $10 per day per person, depending on which cruise line you sail with.

I would absolutely SCOUR the contract and FINE PRINT before you actually book the *free* cruise.

Buyer beware.
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#7
boston
10 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I believe it is random. If you are a gamer at foxwoods , you are just entered by having a Foxwoods card. My dad and my best friend both play waaaay more than i and they didnt receive one. so we went with random)
#8
Romsey England
11,067 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by bulldogsnuggles
.
If you are a gamer at foxwoods , you are just entered by having a Foxwoods card.
.............then 99.9% chance its simply a method to sell you a cruise.

JB
#9
3,656 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Originally posted by John Bull
.............then 99.9% chance its simply a method to sell you a cruise.

JB
Nah, our local Indian casino has these contests all the time -- cars, trips, whatever. If you win a car you have to pay the taxes (excise/registration and income), etc.

The agency I used to work with did these deals with several casinos in Northern California. Many cruise lines have programs set up for exactly this type of promotion (CCL and RCI are the ones we used back then).

These programs worked like this:
Casino decides on a budget for the promo and how many prizes it want to give away. We go to the cruise line and "buy" whatever combo of certificates are need -- 10 7-night cruises in OS cabin, 20 3/4 night in interior cabins, whatever.

The casino gives them away through any means they like -- raffles, hit a jackpot win a cruise, amass so many loyalty points/comps, employee of the month awards. Whatever works for them.

After that, the winner doesn't deal with the casino anymore -- they go to the TA and book the sailing, pay the taxes, and pay any additional due of they want to upgrade the cabin. We didn't care if the winner never came in and booked his cruise -- our commission was paid to us upfront at the time the certificates were delivered to the casino.

Really the only thing to watch out for are any possible black-out dates and if there is an expiration date on the certificate. To the best of my knowledge the certificates were always transferable so if you want to give it away that was OK but selling them on eBay or similar was not allowed.
#10
1,744 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
What type of cabin?

(I think you might have gotten a great deal, but I was just looking up how much you would be paying if you just purchased the cruise)
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#11
McMurray, PA
5,687 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
I think a lot has to do with the cruise line.

I got a free cruise from my local casino last year on NCL. For a week-long cruise on the Norwegian Spirit, the taxes and fees were $512. (I didn't end up going on that cruise, choosing to stick with Royal Caribbean instead.)

This year, they gave away another cruise, this time on Royal Caribbean. I only got a 4-night Bahamas cruise, so it would be less anyway, but the taxes and fees were $128, seemingly rather significantly cheaper than NCL's.

One big factor in the taxes and fees is the ports that the ship goes to. The more ports, the higher the port taxes will end up being.

The best thing you can do is go to NCL.com and price out the cruise yourself. You'll be able to see what you'd have to pay if you were paying for it yourself, and then you'll know exactly how much you're saving with this "free" cruise from Foxwoods. With that, you'll know whether the cruise is discounted enough to make it attractive for you.
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Marc

#12
4,811 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
So who do you pay the fees and taxes to? Directly to NCL? That would tell me what the deal is, when you give your Credit card does the entire charge go to NCL or does part go somewhere else? Can they tell you how much your prize is valued at for your taxes, you need to figure that in too.

If the charge is going somewhere else besides the cruise line there is no way of knowing what is going on and if I could get the cruise for close to the same money by booking direct that is what I would do.
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#13
Oviedo, FL
18 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
This sounds correct. I looked at a sailing in August for you on the Dawn and it showed port charges 175 and taxes 160.60 for total of 335.60 pp. Bermuda cruises tend to have higher taxes than other cruises. Looks like the cruise fare itself is free. Even though it may sound high, looks like it's still a good deal.
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#14
Moon Township, Pa
23,139 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Also beware, if the total cost of this cruise exceeds the taxable limit, you will have to declare the value of this cruise and pay tax on it. It's like winning anything of value---the government gets its cut. I won a radio contest a few years ago and was shocked to receive a W2 G form in the mail and had to declare the value of the prize on my taxes.
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Darcie
#15
Arizona/Missouri
14,848 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by kitty9
Also beware, if the total cost of this cruise exceeds the taxable limit, you will have to declare the value of this cruise and pay tax on it. It's like winning anything of value---the government gets its cut. I won a radio contest a few years ago and was shocked to receive a W2 G form in the mail and had to declare the value of the prize on my taxes.
So true, so true.

A few years ago, AA had a contest where you won a 1,000,000 miles. The guy that won wouldn't accept them because the IRS figured the actual value was $75,000 (10 first class trips any place in the world with a value of about $7500 per trip). Taxes on that jumped his income by a HUGE CHUNK. He declined after extensive conversations with the IRS.

A trip to Bermuda won't add $75,000 to your income but you most likely WILL get a 1099 (miscellaneous income) which will need to be added to your tax return.

If I am not mistaken, the latest winner in the AA 1,000,000 miles contest paid about $8700 in additional taxes. BUT he is enjoying something that would have cost him well over $100,000.

ALL casinos are VERY diligent about sending out the 1099's. I won $54,000 playing baccarat in 1971. Imagine my surprise as a college student to have to pay taxes on that amount. Stupid me thought it was FREE money. Thank goodness, I hadn't blown the entire amount.
#16
3,656 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Originally posted by kitty9
Also beware, if the total cost of this cruise exceeds the taxable limit, you will have to declare the value of this cruise and pay tax on it. It's like winning anything of value---the government gets its cut. I won a radio contest a few years ago and was shocked to receive a W2 G form in the mail and had to declare the value of the prize on my taxes.
Actually, even if the cruise is valued at $1 it's your duty to report it. It's only if you exceed the limit that an additional obligation falls on the casino to issue you a 1099 with a copy to the IRS.
#17
3,656 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Originally posted by happy cruzer
So who do you pay the fees and taxes to? Directly to NCL? That would tell me what the deal is, when you give your Credit card does the entire charge go to NCL or does part go somewhere else? Can they tell you how much your prize is valued at for your taxes, you need to figure that in too.

If the charge is going somewhere else besides the cruise line there is no way of knowing what is going on and if I could get the cruise for close to the same money by booking direct that is what I would do.
You would contact the TA the casino is working with and all would be handled the same as a regular booking. The TA takes your credit card info and forwards that to the cruise line. The actual certificate would be sent to a special department at the cruise line that handles these things -- the certificate amount would be credited to your booking.

As far as computing the value of the prize you've won just go online (or have the TA do this for you) and get a total figure for that sailing, subtract the out-of-pocket amount you paid, and the net is the value of your prize.

If you do get a 1099 it will come from the casino, not the TA or the cruise line.
#18
North in summer/Texas winter, but a Texan forever!!!
6,852 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
If you check this out over on the NCL board you will see that Foxwoods does this quite often. It is legit. The tax and port fee's on this cruise are pretty high. Mostly because it's Boston and Bermuda, a couple of the most expensive, plus you are spending a lot of time in Bermuda. When you look up the cost of this cruise on NCL, you will see the cost of an inside on this trip is pretty reasonable, but that taxes and port charges basically double the cost. All of the charges go directly to NCL not a third party.
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#19
349 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
My advice is to decline this "Free" cruise. Yes, you will still have to pay various port charges and port taxes and the daily service charge. But the real problem is the cruise line will send you a 1099 next year for the full amount of the cabin you were in - this means the brochure list price, which no one pays. That amount will have to be reported on your tax return as income, increasing the amount you will pay in taxes.

Do some research - you can take the same cruise, in the same cabin, for less money if you book it yourself.
#20
3,656 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Originally posted by nfcu
My advice is to decline this "Free" cruise. Yes, you will still have to pay various port charges and port taxes and the daily service charge. But the real problem is the cruise line will send you a 1099 next year for the full amount of the cabin you were in - this means the brochure list price, which no one pays.
No. You will receive absolutely no 1099 from the cruise line. The cruise line is not involved in the process in that way. Heck, as far as they know you did pay the full brochure price for the certificate so they have absolutely no way of knowing what, if any, value the certificate itself had.

For example, it's quite common for these certificates to be used in charity raffles where, because the proceeds go to the charity and in the spirit of generosity, the winner of the certificate may have actually paid more than the market/brochure value for the cruise. The cruise line has no way of determining these facts and it's not their business to do so.

If a 1099 is issued it will be from the casino and the most that they can disclose as the value of the "gift" to you is what they paid for it.