CRUISES

IS THAT FREE CRUISE OFFER REAL, OR A SCAM?

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Since I have joined so many cruise sites, I am always getting free cruise offers.  Therefore, I have done a lot of research on to determine if they are real or not.  Here is some of what I found out.

First I get that call, “Congratulations! Caribbean Cruise Line has selected you to receive a free 2 night Caribbean cruise for 2” to the Grand Bahama Island.  You first think “Hooray”, but then immediately think “What’s the scam”?  You are given an 800 number to call to receive your prize.

When you call, to get further information, you quickly find out that it is actually not free.  You will need to pay fees of about $69 per person.  This does include accommodations, food and entertainment so this still seems like a great deal for a 2 night cruise.

People who have called in to book this offer have reported encountering some serious issues.  Some of these are misleading pricing issues, forced time share pitches (up to 5 hours). There is oftenconfusion as to the company offering this deal.  Caribbean Cruise Lines, which sends the deal, or Celebration Cruise Line, which operates the ships.

Callers have also been given an actual price of $199 when they call.  This an attempt to upgrade them o an ocean view cabin.  Then there are addition taxes and fees that bring your total to about $270 per person. This for a total $540 for the two of you.  That is a far cry from the free cruise you were offered.  Don’t forget, if you live out of Florida, you will also be responsible for your airfare as well.

There apparently much confusion among callers as to exactly if you had to attend the time share pitch or the pitch was located.  I have gone to several time share pitches over the years to get thas free Las Vegas hotel room or that Free Hawaiian luau.  2 things to remember about these time share pitches. One is that you should go in with a strong determination that you are not going to buy anything and tell the salesperson just that.  If you do fall into this trap, make sure you have the usual two day right of cancelation so you can cancel, the next day, when you come to your senses.

While I was writing this article, I did my own research.  I found Cruises to the Bahamas that were 4 nights for as low as $159 for an inside cabin, or $179 an ocean view (before taxes and fees) as opposed to the $199 mentioned earlier.  This is without any time share pitches.

The long and short of this is.  While I would not actually call it a scam, it is clearly not free at all.  If you are willing to do your own research, and follow the guidelines presented in other articles in the bog, you can probably do far better than that free cruise.

If you have come across these free cruise offers, please comment on your experiences below.

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