We get these checks at my house all the time as well, and I personally always toss them, because at the very least what will happen if you call them is they will ask you for a lot of personal information - including a credit card number (to "secure" the cruise reservation which you have not made yet).
They will tell you are responsible for any additional fees (port taxes, sales taxes. etc) and then also offer you upgrades (at a price). There will be blackout dates when you are not allowed to travel.
What they do is play a phone tag waiting game with you where the "free" cruise is never quite available, but if you want to book another date and accommodations, they can do that. The trick is that they will already have your cash deposit, which may be non-refundable. Most people eventually walk away which is what they are hoping you will do.
Now to confuse the situation, Carnival has given away a LOT of free cabins in the past month. That is a legit promotion done by Carnival and not a 3rd party. Hundreds of people were given free cabins and could upgrade them for $40 pp per category. Taxes & gratuities also had to be paid. I know several who received them.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
The ladies that schedule these presentations at the Highlands actually get a little rude when you call to cancel.
My reason to cancel was two-fold, and legit. My wife did have plans already set for Sunday when I went and double booked up us.
But after reading in a previous post that....
20830 North Tatum Blvd, Suite 125, Phoenix, AZ 85050
...was the Highlands Resort scam address...that sent off the warning light above my head.
I told the lady we had other plans, and after a little research I think this is a scam and we were not going to participate. That offended her and she became extremely defensive. More warning lights! Desperation set in on her side. She went on and on about the Highlands being in biz for 10 years, and associated with a Sedona resort. Eventually I told her in a non-threatening, nonchalant way...."Ya know, I kinda do enjoy coming to these presentations and F&^%ing with people who sell this stuff, but I don't want to waste anyone's time."
THAT really offended her. So I guess this scam is hiring cotton eared church ladies to set appointments. She wanted to know if I "kiss my wife with that mouth." I told yes I do and she likes it.
She hung up.
If this were a reputable firm I would not have talked to her like that. But if this were a reputable firm I doubt she would have responded the way she did - and then hung up.
That confirms it in my mind. SCAM + SCUM = Stay Away!!!
Lately I have been getting the "windows" scam phone call all the time.
That is the one where someone calls (east Indian accent) and says "This is greg, I am calling you from "Windows" about your computer. We are getting messages here from your computer that tells us you have a virus."
The first time I played along to see where it would go - they eventually asked me to search and find a specifc file (a .dll) and then told me to delete it.
That was where I called their bluff.
After another four or five calls I started doing what AZ-cruisin' did. I got extremely rude and pornographic with them. The giy on the phone was aghast at what I was saying for a few minutes, until I stopped and after a silence he said "... hmmm, haha, yah, good fun" and still tried to get me to delete that file. So, I started up again, he finally hung up.
I have done timeshare demos here in PHX that led to a night in Sedona. It was legit and a nice place, but one night is not worth the drive up there.
I got the same postcard in the mail recently. We were thinking about going to the "reception" but it sounds like a too good to be true offer. Did anyone attend one of these travel company receptions? Is it legit? I free cruise sure sounds nice but I don't want to waste 90 minutes of my life if it is not what they make it out to be. Thanks!!
I been on carnival many times the offer is real I met fellow passengers on the cruises who got the promotion I receive the offer but iam requesting carnival to wait until the carnival pride sails out of balto. in 2015 as I have med. problems
on the last day of cruising the casino players club gives people the fee cruise promotion or you get letter in the mail if its FROM CARNIVAL ITS LEGIT matter of fact I was mad because I been on 7 cruise within six months but never got the offer but talk to people on the ship every day who got the offer I finally got mind but the ship is not leaving port in my city until 2015 its being renovated hope I can get the promotion when the ship returns
I just got a letter from a casino we visit fairly often with a free cruise offer on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Only thing we are supposed to pay is government taxes, port charges and fuel supplements. Is this worht trying???
I got a phone call myself last night - there was no free cruise involved, but there was a promise of three hotels nights, a free flight anywhere in the US and $80 in dinner coupons. (red Lobster, etc)
All I had to do was attend a seminar. They gave me an address here in Phoenix:
20830 N Tatum Blvd,
Desert Ridge Corporate Center #125
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Company name" Highland Resorts"
They promised me "not a single penny would come out of your wallet" - when I asked where they got my name they said "a friend or relative recommended me."
This last part seems to be a new thing with these scams - they want those recommendations.
By the way, I put her on hold & walked away. She actually had the nerve to call me back. When I said "I want you to take me off of your calling list" she said "as soon as you agree to come to our seminar."
I got the same call from Tiffany, am supposed to be there at 3:00 today. Glad I found this and even glader I gave out no personal info.
Hello to a fellow Phoenician. I would invite you to come to our yard sale instaed but we are just packing up.
Anyway - yes, these companies bother me a lot. They do know exactly how to ride on the edge of lawfulness, and I have no patience with the brazenness of anyone who would say "I will take you off of my calling list when you promise to come to our seminar."
I am guessing that was a young person who had no worldly idea how wrong that is - in a legal sense.
But I am also glad you didn't go.
I have heard people brag about being in a "travel club" that got them great travel deals - my guess is that they had no idea how much they were getting cheated.
I went to a timeshare presentation and took the free cruise. Went to the western caribbean on carnival. with taxes, fees, and upgrade fees we ended up spending about $600. we had plane tickets included with our presentation as well, and the $600 included the plane tickets too. it was an incredible value, and much better than any sale you could find online.
the process requires you to jump through hoops because they hope you won't have a flexible enough schedule to actually use the cruise. we registered our gift, then waited about 45 days, then they got back to us with cruises. we chose a cruise location and 2 dates that worked for us. 45 days before the 1st date that we chose, you have to call them and they will let you know which cruise you got. neither cruise date we picked was available for mexico, but they counter offered with a date a couple weeks later for the western caribbean. you can either accept their offer if you have a flexible schedule or deny...we accepted since it didn't matter for us but if you deny, they will come back with one more offer. if that 2nd offer doesn't work for you they refund you your deposit and you can say bye bye to the free cruise. you must be flexible, but what do you expect, you are getting a cruise for 2 for very cheap. we looked at actual prices for the same cruise, we would have paid $1000/person for the dates we got before port taxes, and then $350 for the plane tickets. that is a total of $2350 value that we got for a 2hour presentation and $600. not bad if you ask me. not a scam but if you aren't flexible than you will not be able to use it.