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  #61 (permalink)  
Old August 2nd, 2011, 12:30 PM
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Default Wow! I'm actually at the next step and didn't know it.

My wife just sent me an email that she found in her SPAM inbox from the Ultimate Cruise Passport folks. They actually sent it on July 8th which is 8 days after they received our check. The information in the email sent us included an activation number and the address to their web site. I had to log in to their web site with the ID and password they gave me. The site listed a lot of cruises and dates available. It let me select a range of dates that I would be interested in leaving for our cruise. I gave the date range of 1/7/2012 through 4/8/2012. There should be something in that range we would like. I got a confirmation email back.

So it seems I’m at the point where I can request a cruise date and wait until I receive my cruise documents. I was told there would be more charges such as port fees, fuel surcharges etc. I expected these. We’ll let you know what happens as it happens.

jd
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 12:41 PM
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EDITOR'S NOTE: We have now written an article about this scam - you can find it here:

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/Free-Cruise-Scams-Return-080111.cfm


Thank you JD.

I am still pulling for you (and waiting to see what happens next). There is a chance they will see the article I have written about cruise scams and just maybe they will come through for you.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Sounds a little fishy to me, please do keep us posted, very curious....Good luck, hope it all works out.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Default ...and the answer is!!!!!

I need the help of folks on this site. I received an email back with prices/fees for 2 cruises. Below is the cruise for January 7, 2010.

Sailing Date: 1/7/2012 Itinerary: 9n Bahamas
Ship: Enchantment of the Seas


Client Pays
per per breakdown
Category N inside
$ 129.00 Process
$ 75.00 Port
$ 75.00 Xtra Nite
$ 292.53 NCF & Tax
$ 571.53 Total PPDO

Category I ocean view
$ 129.00 Process
$ 75.00 Port
$ 75.00 Season
$ 100.00 Upgrade
$ 292.53 NCF & Taxes
$ 671.53 Total PPDO

Category D2 Balcony
$ 129.00 Process
$ 75.00 Port
$ 75.00 Season
$ 525.00 Upgrade
$ 292.53 NCF & Taxes
$ 1,096.53 Total PPDO

Since I've only been on one cruise, I don't know how these fees line up with what I could have done if I went to a well known online travel site, where by the way this cruise is going for $609.00 PPDO. This does not include the process, port, and taxes.

My question is: I've already paid $312 for my wife and myself for this FREE Cruise. If I add the minimum from above which IS the FREE cruise for $571.53PPDO, it comes to $1455.06 for the two of us on a 9 night cruise to the Bahamas. Is this a fair price for a FREE cruise or could I have done better with Expedia?

This sounds like a trick question but remember, I was told there would be taxes, port fee's etc.

I thank everyone on this site for following me on this journey. I wanted to see this through so I could share my experience. I invested the $312 to answer the question on top of this thread and possible help others who receive a similar offer in the future. Of course I was hoping for the FREE cruise too however I found more value in sharing the experience with you.

Unfortunately, there are people out there, like the person from Cherry Hill NJ, who will scam you if they can. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone to a well known agency to book the cruise. The agony of not knowing if I was being scammed or not is just not worth it. As you can see, the FREE cruise is NOT FREE.

I might continue to try to book this cruise depending on what I hear from all of you. The bottom line is, my wife and I are now hooked on cruising and we will go on future cruises one way or another. Maybe we can meet some of you on our next cruise.

Thanks again,
jd
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 11:33 AM
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There is something I am not understanding. You just stated that this is for a 9 day cruise to the Bahamas?? That just can't be right. Those numbers look strange as well. May-be go online and price this cruise, it looks like you are not getting anything "free"?
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Default Phone number not working

I also received the post card and when you call the number - 1-800-595-6510, it either does not give you a ring tone or you end up with 1=866-595-6510, which belongs to a totally unrelated company. Wonder who is sending postcards out.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 09:11 PM
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I assume these prices are in addition to what you ave already paid?

Here are your answers: Cruise Details - Royal Caribbean International

Client Pays
per per breakdown
Category N inside
$ 129.00 Process
$ 75.00 Port
$ 75.00 Xtra Nite
$ 292.53 NCF & Tax
$ 571.53 Total PPDO

This cruise is currently selling for $609 per person. So, if you have already paid out about $160 per person you are overpaying by $130 per person. Taxes pp are $65.66

If you add taxes & fees this is the prices for TWO people:

Summary of Charges

Stateroom Stateroom Total $1,349.12 USDGuest 1Guest 2Cruise Fare:$609.00 $609.00 Taxes/Fees:$65.56 $65.56 Per Person Total:$674.56 $674.56

So - you could have saved about $106 by booking directly. The taxes & fees should be the same no matter what category you select - so the outcome is about the same. I don't think you saved a cent - just the opposite.

You can figure it out at the link I gave you - just go through the booking process until you see the full price - then just quit the process.

Category I ocean view
$ 129.00 Process
$ 75.00 Port
$ 75.00 Season
$ 100.00 Upgrade
$ 292.53 NCF & Taxes
$ 671.53 Total PPDO

This is currently selling for $699 per person.

Category D2 Balcony
$ 129.00 Process
$ 75.00 Port
$ 75.00 Season
$ 525.00 Upgrade
$ 292.53 NCF & Taxes
$ 1,096.53 Total PPDO

That cruise is currently selling for $1199 per person.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2011, 05:40 AM
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Default The Free Cruise offer is a Scam

I did attend a 90 minute presentation in Sacramento this summer after receiving a free cruise offer. I sent in activation fees for the free cruise, and received a package of other vacation vouchers requesting more activation fees. I had to call several times a day to get questions answered like are there any more fees, do I deal directly with cruise, etc., and I finally got a answer that its another $59 per person more, plus $100 per person on top of that but that the 100 bucks is applied to the taxes and port fees which are between $170 to $250 per person. So now our free cruise is coming out to be about $700!
Google those numbers and names, and you will find out from BBB and other sites that they have to change their name so many times because of complaints. I've been trying to get a refund of my money, but it doesn't look like its going to happen. Their "offices" are unprofessional and one of the phone numbers is someone's personal cell number because I googled it and it came up on a Craigslist ad in the vacation voucher scammers town.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND THESE PEOPLE MONEY. IM NOT SURE WHY THEY ARE NOT ARRESTED YET, BUT THEY SHOULD BE. the company that I went to was Eagles Choice, and they answer the phone Travel Center and the cruises are from Fun Time Vacations. STAY AWAY FROM PRESENTATIONS, or attend to WARM OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT THEM!!!
August 5, 2011
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2011, 06:56 AM
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On a positive note a friend of mine entered a competition to win a holiday in Barbados....& she won, being miserable I advised caution but no she believed every word & SHE WAS RIGHT!! free holiday no catches no snags!! Good news for a change!
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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Ejay...

Your is the same scam we are referring to here - same offer, same tactics, probably the same postcard. Yes - it is a scam - sorry! But the people have been arrested! at least some of them, but it looks like the scam is so good that others pick up the ball and run with it even when some people go to jail.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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These things are usually a scam ...if it's too good to be true etc....
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old August 18th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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Hi, I also received one of these postcards the other day. It is a little bit different though. It has a picture of the Carnival Victory on it. Also, the phone number is different - 1-855-468-0311. The real kicker though is that despite the picture of the Victory and the Carnival logo on the front and back of the card, part of the fine print reads "This promotion is not sponsored by or affiliated with Norwegian Cruise Lines." I didn't call the number but did a search on it and it is listed as being suspicious.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old August 18th, 2011, 03:25 PM
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Default Free Cruise Scam now might have another new name

Hi,

Well, the people whom I dealing with didn't get caught because I just called them yesterday so ask when my refund was coming. I contacted the BBB and I received a call from Eagles Choice a couple days after BBB contacted them and they asked what was problem. I told them everything and the guy "Charles" was still trying to get me to pay for activation fees. Finally, he said to send in all paperwork and they will refund my money. This was August 6, and still no sign of my money.

I've been researching and it looks like they may hava a new name,again, Packaged Vacations LLC. Check out thier website. Looks suspicious . . . no address and the logos that they are affiliated with are not too legible. I read someone online that someone said they are affiliated with the same scams as Celebrity Productions, Eagles Choice, Divine Getaways and Fun Time Vacations.

My "free" cruise was first started by postcard from Divine Getaways, then Eagles Choice sent me my vacation vouchers, and I had to call Fun Time Vacations and every time I called to get info on things they answered Travel Center . . . crazy confusion.

Anyway, I'm prepared to not get my refund, and want to get this word around to hopefully stop people from sending them money. To JD, I believe, you will get your cruise, but it's not for free like they mislead us and say "who told you it was free, I'm sorry for that but we never say free."

Research these names and especially the new Packaged Vacations LLC. They say they've been in business for years, but yet there's nothing about them online, but just several things from themselves.

I'll let you know if I ever receive my refund.
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old September 8th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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I received a card and went to a presentation of Packaged Vacations. Selling discounted vacations for an upfront fee of around $9,000. When I asked to see proof of the discounts or to look at the booking website I was very rudely told to leave. I did get the voucher for a free cruise. I called Eagles Choice and was told that once I paid the $49 per person activation fee I could book my cruise directly with the cruise line, paying them the taxes and port fees. Instead, I received a request for $55 more per person for another activation fee, this time from Fun Time Vacations. At this point I decided to cut my losses and run. I filed a complaint with the BBB and received an email from Eagles Choice saying if I sent them a copy of the canceled check they would "consider" a refund. I am not holding my breath. I am just thankful I am only out $98.
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old September 8th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJay View Post
Hi,

Well, the people whom I dealing with didn't get caught because I just called them yesterday so ask when my refund was coming. I contacted the BBB and I received a call from Eagles Choice a couple days after BBB contacted them and they asked what was problem. I told them everything and the guy "Charles" was still trying to get me to pay for activation fees. Finally, he said to send in all paperwork and they will refund my money. This was August 6, and still no sign of my money.

I've been researching and it looks like they may hava a new name,again, Packaged Vacations LLC. Check out thier website. Looks suspicious . . . no address and the logos that they are affiliated with are not too legible. I read someone online that someone said they are affiliated with the same scams as Celebrity Productions, Eagles Choice, Divine Getaways and Fun Time Vacations.

My "free" cruise was first started by postcard from Divine Getaways, then Eagles Choice sent me my vacation vouchers, and I had to call Fun Time Vacations and every time I called to get info on things they answered Travel Center . . . crazy confusion.

Anyway, I'm prepared to not get my refund, and want to get this word around to hopefully stop people from sending them money. To JD, I believe, you will get your cruise, but it's not for free like they mislead us and say "who told you it was free, I'm sorry for that but we never say free."

Research these names and especially the new Packaged Vacations LLC. They say they've been in business for years, but yet there's nothing about them online, but just several things from themselves.

I'll let you know if I ever receive my refund.
At any time did you talk to a guy with a foreign accent named "Peggy"?
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  #76 (permalink)  
Old September 8th, 2011, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
I did get the voucher for a free cruise. I called Eagles Choice and was told that once I paid the $49 per person activation fee I could book my cruise directly with the cruise line, paying them the taxes and port fees.
I would REALLY like to know what the cruise lines say when they get calls from people expecting a free cruise.

Anyone can "book a cruise directly with the cruise line, paying the taxes and port fees" so he didn't lie. He just left out the part about also paying for the cruise.

This is such an odd scheme if actually rattles me. They must have a complete gameplan mapped out on the office wall of what to say when, because they play so many angles.

If they get you in the travel club then you just paid $9000 (!!!!!!!!!) for the privilege of being able to use them as a travel agent.

If you don't join the club you get a "free cruise voucher" but you have to "activate it"and then "pay port fees" (before you even know where you are going) and other fees. Every step takes months, but when you finally get to the next level you are told you are "there".... once you pay the next fee.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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I smell a scam

Just got a mailing offering a free cruise. It read "To celebrate your birthday, you were verified and as a result of this offer your name and ticketing have been issued."

What a deal, I have been "verified", I wasn't sure if I existed until now. Reminds me of the SNL "Target Lady" skit where she runs a credit card and says "Congratulations, You've Been Approved!" as if the shopper was concerned. Also my name has been issued. I thought my parents did that on my original birthday.

I'm thinking about sending this on down to Miami. I'm not sure if Carnival would be interested in companies that might be giving them a bad name.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Hi Green....

Definitely some new slants but most likely the same old scam. Some of the people have been arrested - but there seem to be enough people who have figured out the scam that they just pick up where the dead left off..

What does the postcard look like - pictures?

BTW: I am sure Carnival knows all about these scams - they are now extremely common. I guess they just can't do anything about them. They aren't the police, and it really isn't their fault or problem that these people are doing this.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 07:08 AM
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Paul,

No pictures, the only image on the page is the Carnival funnel logo. Yeah, I suppose any body can say they will give you a cruise on any cruise line.
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  #80 (permalink)  
Old September 26th, 2011, 11:16 PM
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For the record, here's a clearer scan of my postcard (and no, I will not reply)
See Attached:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CruiseCard.jpg (30.8 KB, 14 views)
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Old September 27th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Tom...

Thanks for the picture - that IS the typical scam postcard, so if you get one of these don't even bother replying.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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Several years ago, we got one these offers and some friends whom we had cruised with before talked us into going with them to the presentation. I hate to admit this, but I do get some amusement out of yanking high pressure sales people around. But, after some serious digging, and some insider help from a friend in the cruise industry, I found out the gimmick.
They do actually book cabins on cruises to "give" away...if you don't count all those stupid bogus fees, but every time you pick a date, you will hear back that it is not available. You have to give them the money before you get which sailing dates you can choose from. Then, they are always unavailable. They basically just hold onto your money until you give up. I sicced my credit card company on them and got mine back.
But, booking a couple of cabins to dangle as prizes is how they avoid the government coming down on their cheating.....ahem, hearts. Just don't expect to ever get on a ship through them.
Also, at the presentation, I could not believe how many people actually believed their lines. You pay them up front to be your travel agents for the rest of your life. What? It looked like it "might" have some value if you flew around the world a lot, but people who can afford that are not going to go to a free cruise scam presentation in the first place. Definitely pitched to make middle class suckers feel like they could be living the high life. "Concierge service" was mentioned so many times I started giggling.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Default Still no money

As mentioned previously I was told to send a copy of my canceled check for them to "consider" a refund. I sent the copy but still no refund. I tried calling and instead of answering the phone Eagles Choice they now answer Travel Center and deny even knowing about Eagles Choice. After trying several numbers found on the internet I was told that Eagles Choice was now Celebrity Productions and was given an email address. This came back as not valid.

I am resigned to never seeing my $98 again. I am just glad I decided not to go further and lose even more money. I am a much wiser person now and will not fall for these scams again. I only wish these people would be arrested.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 03:22 PM
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I am with you Dog, would be nice if these people scamming others took responsibility for what they did. Just glad you didn't loose more than the $98....Lessons learned the hard way.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 08:03 PM
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Just happened upon this thread....

This scam is also going on here in California.
We received the post card and called the phone number. A nice man answered the phone and told us we would get an "ocean view room" if we attended the 90 minute presentation.

The presentation was almost exactly as others described...a $9,000 fee to join their travel club. The guy giving the presentation even used his "family" in the slide show to say how great the club was
We stayed after and asked several questions, all of which were answered non-specificly.

We declined purchasing and were sent to another desk to get our free cruise voucher. Here we were presented with another sales pitch for a "trial version" of the travel club for $999. We thought this might be a good way to go, so we said yes. After giving up our credit card, they presented us with a contract to sign. The gal wanted us to sign each page as she went over it, but we decided to read the whole contract before any signing was done.

GLAD WE DID!!!!

The gist of the contract was...it does not matter what you were told verbally by anyone during the presentation, it only matters what is in writing in this contract. No guarantees of ANYTHING!

We asked to see their business license and another gal showed up with a piece of paper saying they could sell travel services. It was a photocopy. We also asked if they were ok'ed by the BBB and she said no.

We then declined this service (luckily we did not sign the credit card slip), slipped the credit card slips in my purse along with the unsigned contract and then had to initial the "free cruise" paperwork. This paperwork also said it did not matter what was promised at the presentation verbally

We were told this was the last time we would ever be offered this wonderful deal and that we really missed out on a great opportunity.

WE WERE THEN LITERALLY WALKED OUT THE BACK DOOR!!!!!!!

Needless to say, we are not sending in any money for a free cruise

Best part of the story......
yesterday we received ANOTHER post card in the mail
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:09 AM
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Those who have been scammed by this need to contact the US Postal Inspector's office since they are using the mail system it is part of their investigatory jurisdiction...meaning if they used the postal system to scam monies from you (theft) they have the jurisdiction, over the phone and using the computer is the US Secret Service’s Jurisdiction, but to be honest I would work with the postal inspectors office first…you will never see your money again, unless you used a major credit card, and they may help you if your within a certain time frame in refunding your money since you never received the “goods” you paid for with their card…
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Old October 6th, 2011, 07:06 PM
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So I just got this postcard yesterday and have done a lot of research on it (at the request of my husband) and I have now read all of depasqjj's ordeal, but am curious as to how it ends. Everything I had heard before finding this board (which seems like a great board, by the way) said that you'd end up paying more for your cruise at the end of the day, and that does seem to be the case with depasqjj, not to mention all the aggravation! However, I'm still here wondering what has happened in the last two months since he's posted! I felt like I was "reading" a soap opera - what would happen?! And I still don't know. Come back depasqjj and fill us in!
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Old October 6th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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I had a chance to speak to "Happily Ever After" (who posted above) on the telephone and I got a lot of info.

My gut says depasqjj's just quit because he was partly doing it for our benefit, but he must have hit a brick wall where he couldn't go any further, and he left it up in the air.

The scam is to frustrate to user until they give up - he kept going, but they will even just get to the point where you can't get them on the phone, or to reply to an email, etc.

I think they may have a few cruise cabins reserved - which is all they need to keep them "legal," but if you want to sail on one of them you can't because then they wouldn't be available as a "Free Cabin" anymore.

It is enough to know it is a scam - maybe one that is very hard to prove as illegal - but it IS a scam no matter how hard you presss them. Maybe the law can't really stop them (laws often have loopholes - look at the Windjammer debacle - they stole millions and as far as I know no one was ever arrested).
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Old October 9th, 2011, 10:48 AM
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Default Divine Getaways Perpetuating Vacation Club Membership Scam

On August 5, 2011, I filed formal complaints with the Attorney Generals of the States of California, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Postal Service Investigations-Fraud unit against Divine Getaways, Reservations Services International, Celebrity Productions LLC, Passport To Travel, Fun Time Vacations, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Corporation.

The formal investigation were sought to identify what appears to be a joint conspiracy and fraud perpetrated by these entities with regards to the business practices of conducting vacation membership clubs and which appear to be a scam. I alleged that each of these entities played a specific role in the perpetration of the scam which has resulted in tens of thousands of purchasers paying tens of millions of dollars for services and products which these entities after signing agreements have failed to fulfill. I sought an investigation for the purpose of having the States take specific actions resulting in injunctions against these entities from conducting such business practices and to further pursue legal complaints against these entities as individuals and companies, as applicable.

In March 2011, I received a complimentary promotion card sent to me in a mass mailing through the U.S. Mail in Southern California. It invited me to a promotion presentation of Divine Getaways, a vacation membership club business. Apparently, they had set up a permanent office in one of the local hotel banquet rooms and were using a private drop-off post office box as the business address.

The promotional card provided that the entities sending the card were Carnival Cruise Corporation and US Airways. It provided that a “Complimentary 8-Day/7-Night Cruise for 2 with an outside cabin, leaving from any major port in the U.S.” had been awarded to me as a complimentary gift by simply calling a toll free telephone number and attending a presentation whether or not I purchased the vacation membership club package. The card also indicated “This is not a timeshare or land sale offer”. The promotional card had the official logo of Carnival Cruise Corporation and US Airways imprinted on it and a picture of a Carnival ship.

I returned a telephone call and was advised that this required me to participate in a 90-minute presentation conducted by Divine Getaways. Before attended the presentation, I investigated as to whether or not this company was a reputable vacation membership club business and travel seller authorized to transaction business in the State of California. I contacted the State of California Office of the Attorney General and was advised that Divine Getaways was registered with the State (Registration #2104377) and that the registration expired March 14, 2012.

I recently called the 800 number on the promotional card and was advised that the same program had relocated from its original location and was now being offered under the name “Package Vacation” at a different hotel.

On March 16, 2011, I attended the 90-minute presentation. During the presentation it was represented that Divine Getaways was the legal representative and affiliated with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Corporation, and Reservation Services International. The vacation membership club was offered at a one-time $8,995.00 membership fee and an annual fee of $149.00, and contained certain terms, conditions, limitations and restrictions. Based on the presentation, representations and negotiations of the terms and conditions, I purchased the membership package for $2,995.00 and paid the first year’s annual fee of $149.00. After signing all of the documents, I was provided with the “certificate” that would allow me to receive the complimentary and “free” cruise.

In order to receive the free cruise, I was required to mail in a “cruise certification card” to Celebrity Productions LLC in Woodbridge Virginia with a fee of $98.00 payable to Celebrity Productions LLC as the “Vacation Activation” fee. The certificate provided “Upon receipt a reservation forms would be provided within 15-days. The certificate also stated “When you receive your reservation form, you will be responsible to pay your taxes, all services charges, fuel charges, additional security fees due to 911, which will range from $179 to 259 per person, depending on the destination”. The signed certificate and $98.00 was mailed on March 19, 2011 to Celebrity Production LLC. The certificate indicated that the cruise would be on a major cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian Cruises.

In addition, a second certificate for two round trip airfares was sent to Celebrity Production LLC with a required fee of $70.00. This certificate also had a provision that stated “When you travel you will be responsible to pay your taxes, all service charges, fuel surcharges, additional security and surcharges due to 911 which may range between $50.00 to $65.00 per person”.

I then received from another company, Fun Time Vacation located in Clarksburg Maryland, a "vacation voucher” card which set forth the “Cruise Vacation Details”. In addition, to the card stating the details of the vacations and cruises, it had the logos of Carnival Cruise Corporation, Royal Caribbean, Caribbean Cruise Line and Discover Cruise Lines printed on the card. It was represented that Fun Time Vacation was a legal arm of these companies. Further, the card indicated that in order to register for the free cruise, the vacation voucher had to be registered and that “Travelers are responsible for $29.00 registration fee, government taxes, and cruise fees starting at $59.00 and up depending on length of the vacation. A small fuel charge may apply during peak season”. It also stated "There is a $50.00 per person processing fee require by Carnival/Royal Caribbean cruises only”. Finally, the voucher stated “Celebrity Productions LLC (stamped on the voucher) is not responsible for the fulfillment of these reservations. Fulfillment is the sole responsibility of Fun Time Vacation”.

In order to receive the reservation, on March 13, 2011 a credit card charge of $58.00 and on March 19, 2011 a credit card charge of $100 was processed by Fun Time Vacation in order to receive the reservation.

On or about April 22, 2011, I received a U.S. Mail certified envelop that contained the “Registration Validation Form” as a brochure from Passport To Travel located in Tamp, Florida, now a third company in the process as I was trying to secure the free trip. It provided that the Registration Validation Form be completed and mailed to Passport To Travel with a fee of $75.00 as the “cruise deposit”, and that the participating sponsor was Fun Time Vacation. The Registration Validation Form was issued on April 26, 2011.

At this point, it appeared that in addition to Divine Getaways receiving the initial vacation membership club fees, that three separate and distinct companies, Celebrity Productions LLC, Fun Time Vacations, and Passport To Travel had intervened and had sought and received fees for the processing of three different documents to simply get to the point of being able to make a reservation. I had already spent $326.00 ($98.00 to Celebrity Productions, $70.00 to Celebrity Productions, $100.00 to Fun Tim Vacation and $58.00 to Fun Time Vacation). I chose to pay no further fees to Passport To Travel. After considerable chaos, emails going back and forth, and the threat of litigation, I requested refunds of the prior amounts. On April 13, 2011, I received a refund from Fun Time Vacations in the amount of $58.00. On April 22, 2011, I revived a refund from Fun Time Vacation in the amount of $100.00. On May 13, 2011, I received a refund from Celebrity Productions LLC in the amount of $98.00 and then $70.00. I never received a refund from Divine Getaways or any of the services which were provided for in the Vacation Club Membership I purchased.

Throughout this ordeal that began in March 2011, a Ms. Leslie Lenel, Director of Administration for Divine Getaways had consistently represented in emails and telephone calls that she would resolve this matter and arrange for the cruise reservation. She failed to follow through on any of her commitments.

I now understand that there is a parent entity by the name of Global Holidays, Inc. also involved. Additionally, I have determined that there are other entities involved in this matter including LifeSource Foundation, Inc. and God's Luv International Ministries Church. I have also determined that the lead person involved in the religious and vacation club membership entities is a Pastor Pierre Bennett. Pastor Bennett is the President and founder of LifeSource Foundation, Inc. and is the creator of God’s Luv International Ministry, both of which are non-profit religious institutions that are promoted to be philanthropic and faith based.

In addition to Pastor Pierre Bennett being affiliated with all of these entities, it is shown on the LifeSource Foundation website that Ms. Leslie Lenel is a member of the Board of Directors of LifeSource Foundation, Inc. and the direct contact person for Pastor Bennett and these entities as the Administrative Director of Divine Getaways and the other travel companies. In addition, her husband is a member of the Advisory Board of LifeSource Foundation, Inc.

There are tens of thousands of individuals in States throughout the nation which are victims of the vacation club membership scheme that is being implemented by Pastor Bennett and Ms. Lenel through either LifeSource Foundation, Inc., God’s Luv International Ministry, Global Holidays, Inc. and the various other affiliated entities.

Other companies related to Pastor Bennett include Paradise Escapes, Inc. also doing business as Divine Getaways, Packaged Vacations and Fantasy Vacations, and Package Vacations, LLC, and Global Holidays, Inc. As it becomes publically known what the schemes are that are being offered by these entities, they relocate to other geographic locations to re-establish business activity using the same tactics. They most often establish temporary business offices in hotel conference rooms to conduct their activities and implement their schemes. They avoid establishing permanent business locations where they are conducting their business.

In Johnson County, Olathe, Kansas, the District Attorney in August 2011 filed a temporary restraining order against the vacation companies Paradise Escapes, Inc., also doing business under the names Divine Getaways, Packaged Vacations and Fantasy Vacations. Similar actions are being initiated in other states, while some states have not pursued this due to not having received adequate complaints to date to begin an investigation and not having conducted the required investigations.

I have confirmed that Pastor Bennett is the founder and president of Global Holidays, Inc., a travel and marketing company which is stated to be based in Vienna, Virginia. Global Holidays, Inc. is a corporation formed in the State of Virginia (SCC ID: 06418552) July 22, 2005. Their address is 12020 Sunrise Valley Road, Suite 100, Reston, Virginia 20191.

I have also confirmed that Pastor Bennett is the President and Executive Director of LifeSource Foundation, Inc. which is stated to be based in the State of Virginia (SCC ID: 06310353) and formed February 4, 2005. In addition, God's Luv International Ministries, Inc. was formed by Pastor Bennett in the State of Virginia (SCC ID: 07312200) on December 15, 2010. The principal address of these entities is 2427 Cabots Point Land, Reston, Virginia 20191.

The website for LifeSource Foundation indicates that their contact information is LifeSource Foundation, Inc., 12138 Central Avenue 664, Mitchellville, MD 20721, 703-956-5066, info@lifesourcefoundation.org, Pierre@lifesourcefoundation.org, pierrebennett1@yahoo.com.

The website for God's Luv International Ministries Church indicates that their contact information is Lake Anne Village Center, 1609-A Washington Plaza N., Reston, Virginia 20190, 703-395-1430 godsluvinternationalministries@yahoo.com

Ms. Lenel’s and Divine Getaways contact information is Divine Getaways, 12020 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 100, Reston, Virginia 20191, 703-476-2286 (office), Traderbaby@yahoo.com

On October 3, 2011 I filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service to seek appropriate steps related to these entities seeking civil and criminal remedies.

The actions of these entities are clear evidence that these entities appear to have conspired and conducted fraud resulting in direct damages to me and other.

As one reviews the Internet, it appears that this scam is being conducted all over the United States and that there are hundreds, if not thousands of people that are being misled and taken advantage of. They are continuing to conduct business in California and in the States of Florida, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. without any enforcement of State and Federal laws, rules and regulations. Their conduct is continuing the perpetration of fraudulent business practices on others, thereby causing damages in the tens of millions of dollars.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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In April of this year we got a post card for a free cruise, we went to a presentation at a local hotel, listen to the sales pitch declined to enroll and got a certificate for a cruise to anywhere we want for 7 days, we mailed in the information, about 5 weeks later we received a packet and a nonrefundable fee for $99, we paid the $99, and got a form in the mail about 4 weeks later asking us to book when we wanted as long as it was off season and it had to be this year.

We found a cruise we want to go on in December of this year, we have mailed in the information and have talked with them via email,....they told us we will be responsible for all taxes and port fees,...and a travel agent will call us 30 days prior to our date of port. the fees will range around $150-$200 per person, im assuming we will also have to pay a travel agent fee,...i just received an email from them confirming my dates and they will be sending me the confirmation of dates in the mail, and someone will be calling us in November.

So far we have invested $99 bucks it has taken them on average about 5 weeks to respond to our mailouts and emails , im thinking if and when i get a call, i will know for sure, i know if its a travel agent they will be willing to give me all the information i need upfront, they also want us to have a good time "if its a real traval agent". in all the paperwork we have been given, and on all the carnival websites they say the travel agent will handle all the fees directly through them, my thinking is the travel agent when i speak to them, will let me know if it is a hit or miss, and for the record we know we are not dealing with carnaval cruise direct, not until we are talking with a travel agent

When we went to the presentation, it was for a travel company the guy selling it said he gets cheap cruises he can give away or sell during off season, ..whatever, ...the problem im having with this site and all the others, is no one goes as far as booking the cruise or talking to the travel agent to see if this is a real thing, i went on other scam sites as well but i havent heard of anyone going through with it to see if it was free or not, well... paying fees so not really free

We found what cruise we wanted to go on and if the travel agent isn't giving me what i want to hear i plan to book the cruise off of the carnival website anyway, its about 700 per person

if anyone has paid the port fees and booked a cruise with a travel agent or has actually went on a free cruise can you please post, ...ill keep you informed as to if this is a scam or not

the name of the company is cruisegift, its address is in houston, you can look them up online most of the info is people saying its a scam but no one has paid any port fees or went through with the offer, im just dying to find out, we just got another add the other day in the mail for another free cruise,.....bla bla, ill soon see
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