Monday, April 7, 2008

Free Cruise? No Way!!

You may remember a while back when I was asking if anyone knew how to get a free or discounted cruise that was legit. Well, I got this postcard in the mail (I know, I usually throw these away knowing they are a scam) that said you could get a free 5-day, 4-night cruise. All we had to do was come listen to a 90 minute presentation (not even about time shares).
Now, we have listened to the time share presentations in the past and have gotten free theme park tickets or free dinner for 2. We were a little skeptical about being able to get a free cruise. But, we figured we should at least try it out.
So, we drove an hour and a half to the location and listened to the 90 minute presentation of "you can vacation for the rest of your life for only $20,000". As tempted (feel the sarcasm) as we were to sign our life away, we just said no and asked for our "free" cruise.
They explained that we would have to pay for the taxes and port fees. We were o.k. with that because we were planning on a cruise anyway.
They gave us this piece of paper that we had to mail in to recieve our "reservations packet". Now, this piece of paper had to be received in less than 30 days. So, I mailed it out the next day.
We waited for our reservation packet to come and instead, we received another piece of paper with more "details" on it. This paper asked us to send them $200/person in a cashier's check to cover port fees and taxes and to choose our port and destination (you had to choose 2 different times that were at least 30 days apart). Now, I am started to smell the fish.
So, I decided to look up this company online and see what I could find in the reviews department. I started with the company we heard the presentation through (SunCoast) and I couldn't find any reviews. So, next, I searched for the company that was "giving away" this cruise (Certs). JACKPOT! Oh, the reviews I found!
I read and read and read and did not come across 1 (NOT 1!) positive review. Every person talked about the extensive hoops they try to make you jump through and even when you do jump through all the hoops, they can find something you didn't do exactly correctly. Once you do something incorrectly, you forfeit your free cruise. There is no adjusting.
In conclusion, I decided to save myself of any more headache and threw my "free cruise" in the trashcan. So, I would say if you want to get something for free by listening to these presentations, stick with the prizes that cost them less than $100. A free cruise or vacation is just too good to be true!
Oh, and if you ever hear of either of the companies I mentioned above wanting to give you something for free, run away!


Jaime said...

Oh stink! Yes, that is some smelly fish. What crooks!!! At least you didn't buy into the scam :)

Good luck on cruise shopping. Find that good deal!!!!

And good luck tonight on the "weigh-in!"

- Your sis-n-law

Brandi said...

Oh bummer! That sucks!

Love you,

Tammy said...

That sucks! I'm sorry, but have fun looking for a cruise. i always wanted to go on a Disney Cruise.

MacCárthaigh Family said...

I think it was good that you looked into this and that you blogged about the whole mess. There are just too many things out there like that. Well done.

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

Bummer dudette! I would love to go on a cruise too--our whole family went this year--the price for two people was around 750, so we figured for a family of 6 with one being a baby ours would be about 2000--we were way wrong!

Because we have 4 children we have to have a triple cabin(there rules!) I said one is a baby, will eat no food and would sleep in our bed--they still require a triple cabin, full price (no kid discounts!)
The price ended up being 1700 a night!--so while my grandparents get it for just 750--it was going to cost us over 5000!!
So we put the lid on that one quickly and waived goodby to half my family as they sailed away on an awesome cruise--boo hoo hoo

Anonymous said...

That's too bad about the scam. It's a good thing that you did the leg work and caught the scam.

It seems to me the cruises are less expensive in October. We went around Columbus day last year and it was $1500 for four of us. (My sweet sis paid for this cruise and Allison roomed with my parents) I have a personal preference to Disney cruises but, there are other cruise lines out there that offer good deals during that time. Be prepared to spend $75 - $90 each for a passport. They are required now for any kind of travel outside of the US.


Jan said...

Supposedly they just lifted the passport thing again. As long as you come back to the same port you leave from. Info came from my sister that is a travel agent. So maybe you won't need a passport.

Jenileigh said...

Oh dear! And I was hoping that were going to lead us to a reputable free cruise give away! Glad you found out before it became too much of a headache!

Anonymous said...

Hey Cassie, Dan and I did the same thing. We drove all the way to The Villages to hear this "presentation" Dan was very to the point saying really we are here just for the free cruise, we are not buying anything. I wanted to crawl under the table,,,,he was so to the point ;-) well this free cruise was going to run us around $450. That's if everything went accordingly.....which it never does. I promised Dan I would never drag him to anything like that again!!!!!

Billie said...

I'm always a skeptic for such things...although I do have friends that have gotten free weekend vacations for listeing the spiels.

Anonymous said...

I do not know if you live in an area with a Winn Dixie but they ahve cruise cards (most of them do) for a 3 day 2 night cruise for 2 for 99.00 plus tax (all fees included). Granted this is not a "long" cruise, but it is a cruise nonetheless.