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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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Default Free 4 day cruise

I went to the County Fair with my wife and daughter today.
Normally I would go strait to the ticket booth with my daughter and ride carnival rides and eat junk food for hours. This year my ride buddy is 15 and the sky is falling and she was pouting. My back and neck are really bothering me so we both went with my wife to look at the exhibits.
In one of the buildings there was an exhibit offering a free 4 day 5 night cruise for 2. I was curios enough to pony up the 20 bucks to "reserve our spot". We have to attend a promotional meeting to get the cruise. So I made an appointment for Monday at 6:00. We are supposed to get 40 bucks when I walk in the door.
I'm curios what they are selling. The booth was run by GoldRush Getaways.
I have not looked into this company yet but this should be fun.
Can't wait to see how this pans out.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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You will get the "free" cruise, but fair warning, it will cost YOU more in extra fees and taxes than if you booked on your own. Also, usually it involves putting in 3 dates you want to cruise, but you only get a date if the ship has a cabin available. It likely is on a ship like Celebration.
I can't say for sure that your cruise will be like this, just keep your guard up. You may choose never to go on that free cruise.
Who knows what this will entail. Likely selling a vacation (old name is timeshare).
Years ago when in Vegas, we went to every timeshare presentation we ran into. We were there a week and never spent a dime on meals, shows etc. In fact we went home with $50 in cash too. Went to a presentation while waiting to go to McCarron to fly home.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:26 PM
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If they tell you the cruise ship is the Imperial Majesty, check out this link.(

Imperial Majesty Cruise Line - Ship Layout Regal Empress

Consider all the angles, add ons. air fares etc, then think again...if you decide no, you have $40.00 in your pocket.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:45 PM
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Not to worry, I have my skeptickle goggles on

If I get back my 20 bucks I'll be ok having a little fun with this.
I work two jobs most days. Monday is my night off so this is my night out
If I have to pay for more than my tips it's not free. The paper I have spells out that the taxes are included.
Airfair is not included and I'm only interested in sailing from LA. I can drive to that port or get $99.00 air fair from Oakland to LA.

I already have a time share.

Stay tuned I'll let you know how it goes Monday night.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:48 AM
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Mac,
At least you are going in with your eye wide open, please keep us posted how it goes....I already have a feeling that this "free" cruise will not be so free...good luck..
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Old July 5th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Talking Free cruise

This is very interesting.

You are already into it by $20. I have a large hunch the $40 at the door will be a discount voucher for something or the other ...

Twenty bucks for an evening's entertainment is not a bad price.

We are all looking forward to your report.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Also be ready for the "hard sell". It's like they can't take "no" for and answer. Most likely has something to do with selling you travel opportunities with some type of points system or timeshare.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:23 PM
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My daytime occupation is Controls Engineer.
My business is retail firearms sales.

I like to provide my business card at the onset of any meeting
It's hard for a guy to push hard when I say no.

I really am looking forward to going to this meeting.
Disney couldnt get me to sign up for their vacation club.. these guys dont have a shot.

Last edited by BigMac; July 5th, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Please search on "free cruise" in this forum to see what others have gone through with such companies.

For the most part these offers are scams where people NEVER get the "free cruise" they were promised. One guy paid out almost $400 in processing fees before he dicded it just wasn't worth it any more. He never got a cruise.

These people should be shut down and some have been arrested, however other people pop up to replace them. They walk a thin line of legality by actually having a few cruises available for people like you, but they make it impossible for people to actually get them. They put roadblocks in your way at every possible step, most requiring some kind of payment to get to the next step.

Most of the seminars (as you are about to visit) entail joining a travel club for an extravagant amount ($18,000....) that only gives you the right to pay full fare for a cruise through the club. A complete ripoff.

I advise everyone to stay away from these people - whatever you decide to do - just do enough to get your $20 back and do not buy into anything they claim to have to offer. And do not give them another penny.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Did I mention I didn't buy into Disney's club?

I am duely warned. I am not joining anything! I have too many irons in the fire as it is. I am working hard at illiminating bills so I can go on cruises, not to buy imaginary property

I posted to share the experience and plan to keep doing so. If it is bull I will post it as bull. If I go on a cruise, I will post pictures of my very suprised face.

I sugest you hope I don't get to go... you don't want to see my ugly mug.

Its already stirred discusion
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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Absolutely nothing personal here at all. It is just that I have extensive experience with these shysters and I do not want anyone to get sucked in.

One guy tried to help us here in the forums by taking the experience as far as he could and reporting back - and he ended up spending about $500+ with no "free cruise" in sight, before he just dropped off the face of the earth and we never heard from him again.

Please read this VERY imformative thread:

Has any actually taken a "free" cruise
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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They are in business to take money from you, not give money to you.

Even if you don't agree to this scam, just giving them $20.00 gives them the drive to keep in business knowing it draws people to them. You are in a way keeping these scam artists alive and well.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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So I went to the GodRush Getaways presentasion last night.

They gave me back my 20 plus 20 like they promised.

Their angle is selling you into being a travel agent. You pay almost 8000 dollars to become one of their agents. Then you can buy travel cheap like a travel agent.. They sold to at least one couple.
While I was in their presentation I was googling them.
You find them listed in the ripofreport.

When I didn't buy anything, I was given certifates for a cruise and a stay in Aruba. Both of which you have to pay to secure.

I think I will frame them
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Old July 10th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Good job
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Old July 10th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Yeah, a lot of people probably go home, look them up on the web, and then decide not to go to the presentation.

Those people who bought in will be very sorry when they see the prices they are offered even as "travel agents" are not any lower than what they could get.

See, the travel sellers are all already fully aware of these scams and so they have ways of checking credentials to see who is a real travel agent and who is just a paper hanger.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Exclamation Travel Agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post

Those people who bought in will be very sorry when they see the prices they are offered even as "travel agents" are not any lower than what they could get.

See, the travel sellers are all already fully aware of these scams and so they have ways of checking credentials to see who is a real travel agent and who is just a paper hanger.
My DW actually IS a Travel Agent at a local brick and mortar agency. She does have an IATAN card, which is generally accepted as the card of a legitimate travel agent and which is demanded whenever she uses any TA perks. In order to earn that card, she has to qualify with a certain level of commission every year, and it is not a low level. Most work at home agents, especially novices, are highly unlikely to qualify for an IATAN card. Simply a business card or an ID card issued by an agency will not work.

The perks that my DW does get include some fairly nice ones. Provided she books enough nights at Marriott hotels, we can get up to four nights per year at most Marriotts for $59 a night, a pretty good rate for hotels that nice. Years ago many airlines would give a TA a first class upgrade if it was available but that has long since stopped. Now and then, there are "fam" (familiarization) trips offered at good prices, often 1/2 off or more, and occasionally some free things like lunch on board a ship in port.

One "fam" we took was an Alaskan cruise/tour. She went for 1/2 price and I went for 2/3 price. All the TAs on the trip were on a single bus. There was Bus A, Bus B, and our bus was Bus F (for "fam" I guess) so we called ourselves the Remedial Bus. Here is our report:
Alaska Cruisetour The Cruise

Otherwise, we have found that even when special TA prices are offered on cruises, she can almost always equal and frequently beat them just by doing good TA work and researching prices. In all honesty we have never booked a cruise at TA rates.

By and large the small perks are hard earned by the amount of work a good Travel Agent does for their clients. There is no way in the world that even over the course of a career they could mount up to $8000! The suckers who fall for that scam are not thinking, somehow!
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Old July 10th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Thank you Mike for articulating the specifics of what I knew to be true but don't have the details at my fingertips.

There was a company out a few years ago, YMT Vacations, that was selling "travel agent" franchises where they would set up a personalized web site for you and issue you their own "Travel Agent" identity cards.

All of your sales, however, went through their clearing house and they kept all of the overrides (the best commissions) and only gave you a small percentage of your full commission.

The "sales pitch" for hopeful agents was multi-level-marketing (MLM) where you were supposed to sign up more people as travel agents and then you got a cut of their commissions. These are generally considered pyramid schemes, and the main reason people bought in was for the Travel Agent credentials.

After one YMT agent grossly underquoted a group cruise and accepted a deposit (then found out she couldn't supply the cruise at the price she quoted) YMT had to step up and cover her mistake (to the tune of five figures). Still the (major) cruise line said "we won't accept bookings from this company anymore" and they were hosed. They eventually changed their entire business model, and as a result a lot of people ended up not getting what they were promised.

As Mike said, IATA has several minimum requirements to get that credential (it is airline related) and only fulltime agents usually qualify, YTM agents did not get that card, and that is the one most travel suppliers want to see before they give out any perks.

Now - there are legitimate cruise franchises you can buy into that will train you and help you get set up. One is Cruise Planners. You will be a fully qualified agent with them, but you still have to make sales to qualify for that IATA card and get those perks.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Thats exactly what I had going in the back of me head as they said their pitch.

took mt too long to post and Paul got one in there.
I did not believe they could deliver a trip at the price they said.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Last edited by BigMac; July 10th, 2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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BigMac.....How much did you want to go smack the head of the person who bought it? Ya did good
Thanks for the follow up.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
By and large the small perks are hard earned by the amount of work a good Travel Agent does for their clients. There is no way in the world that even over the course of a career they could mount up to $8000! The suckers who fall for that scam are not thinking, somehow!


That is exactly the opposite of their pitch. They insist you can't loose unless you don't use it.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Thanks BM,
For reporting back, I think we all kind of figured there would be some kind of sales pitch to go along with the "free cruise"...It was the basic hook and sinker we all hear about all the time, glad you didn't fall for it and got your $ back.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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A local credit union here was running a "close your loan with us and get a free cruise" promotion using some company who had approached them about offering it. After their first 4 "winners" they discontinued it based on the complaints from their members while dealing with the company. It sounded like they "won"....but the taxes and others fees required to be paid were horrible.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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I attend something like this every other year or so.

I enjoy the cat and mouse a little
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Old July 10th, 2012, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac View Post
I attend something like this every other year or so.

I enjoy the cat and mouse a little
True

I think their issue was the "travel company" was just not what the members were expecting
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Old July 11th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyKayden View Post
True

I think their issue was the "travel company" was just not what the members were expecting
Of course, the great penchant to get "something for nothing" runs rampant here. A FREE cruise just sounds too good to be true.

If you check the reviews of the particular company mentioned in this thread, you will find that it has been taken to court several times, and won each time, due to the fine print in the contract. Many many large famous companies in every line of business engage in HYPE advertising with details hidden in the fine print ("plus postage and handling"). It is just that in the "free cruise" business, the hidden costs are so high compared to the value received.

It is a long established principle of the law "caveat emptor", let the buyer beware. Allowing people to cheat themselves is not illegal.

It was fun reading this report! Thanks.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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That is exactly the opposite of their pitch. They insist you can't loose unless you don't use it.
Sales are a funny thing. Outfits like Mary Kay skirt the edge of MLM scams, but they have some very successful operators. For every successful career Mary Kay representative, I wonder how many people there are with a box full of unsold stuff in the garage?

This company actually has a few defenders who repeatedly post glowing endorsements. I think they may actually be true and not shills. The thing would be how hard you work it.

A couple, experienced in travelling and in the travel business, with a home office stocked with good computers and communication equipment, can actually work as "outside" TAs with some success. Putting in full 8 to 10 hours days, working the phones assiduously, cold calling constantly, practicing hard upsells, spamming emails, it is all hard work. After your 8 hours on the phone you then spend more hours pouring over research so you can give good advice to your customers.

After you have done all that, then it would be possible to work over all the faxes you receive about TA perks, rates, and fams. Diligent study could well turn up those few that are actually of serious benefit. You could wind up with a lot of free lunches and reduced hotel nights, and now and then an actual FREE trip someplace. (My DW actually took a very nice trip to Israel and Petra, at the cost of airfare only. They spent about half the time on tour inspecting hotels and listening to sales pitches, but got to do some very nice "touristy" things the other half.)

The other small perk is that you, of course, get a portion of the commission on your own trips. This can basically amount to a savings of perhaps 5% to 7% on the "commissionable" portion, "taxes, fees and insurance not included!"

So, is it possible? YES. Is it easy, just "selling to your friends"? NO. Is it a tough job, like any other? YES IT IS. Would you pay $8000 for the chance to work that hard??? HAH.

Actually my DW got her start with free courses at the local Junior College. After the second advanced course, the instructor offered her a job!

She is considering retiring to "outside contractor" status. We are looking very hard at the idea, and figure that she could make a few thousand a year in commissions and keep her IATAN by "selling to her friends." Then we might have more time (and less money) to take those "fam" trips more often. Instead of retiring completely she will likely do that. The profit or loss is less important than keeping her busy!
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Last edited by MercedMike; July 11th, 2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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If these people were not operating legally they would have been shut down a long time ago. Now some of them have been tripped up and ended up in jail, but the smarter ones know the pitfalls and do just enough to keep it legal.

Does that mean they will ever tell you how many people they approach get a "free cruise". No, and I don't know ANYONE who has actually taken a free cruise based on these promotions.

I signed up at a fair once myself, but it was a "contest" to win a cruise. Guess what, I won!!! But after the phone call where they wanted a credit card number just for "the deposit on the free future cruise you are guaranteed to get" I said no.

Two days later a friend of mine said to me "guess what? I won a free cruise!" And then three weeks later I won again (got another phone call to tell me I had won).

These folks have to keep at least a few cruises on hold so they can say "yes, we do have cruises available as gifts" and they might even said a "lucky" person once in awhile (their nephew) to prove people go. Its a $99 cruise on the Bahamas Celebration in most cases anyway.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Paul,
I did the same thing at a mall, never again...I too got the call that I won the "free", cruise. I sure learned my lesson way back then, so when I hear the same thing is still going on today, makes me wonder....
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Old July 11th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Not too long ago a top star on TV was a paid spokesperson for a company that promised a free cruise now get this, To the first 100 callers in your area...how gullable are people. I bet most people who fall for this are people that cannot believe that a star would tell them anything dishonest.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Have you got the number to call?
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