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Old August 24th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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Default Time Share "Gifts"....

I'll bet just about everyone reading this has received a phone call or a post card ad in the mail, telling you there is a wonderful gift reserved for you, and all you have to do is sit through a 90-minute presentation for a time-share property.

We've done this at least twice: Once in Hawaii about 20 years ago, garnering free Luau tickets (we felt it was worth the 90 minute pitch), and once a few years back, receiving a free trip to the Hilton Las Vegas (also worth the 90 minute pitch to us)...

Most of the others we've tossed....but one came in the mail yesterday offering a "free" 7-day Carnival cruise for two (our of either Los Angeles or Miami). We called them. You have to pay the taxes and port fees, which they said come to $296/per person (that sounds high to me) and restrictions on the cruise are that you can't go on major holidays or peak travel periods. The travel period restrictions are not really a problem for us, as our children are grown and our jobs allow us to take our vacation time pretty much whatever time of year we want to (and we know that the first two weeks in December are usually considered one of the "low" periods, and our wedding anniversary falls in those weeks!).

Does anyone know how much the taxes and port fees REALLY are on a Carnival cruise? So far, the cheapest 7-day Carnival cruise we've found out of Los Angeles was about $549/per person. That's still a savings of about $250 per person, which IMO would be worth the 90 minutes spent listening to their sales talk before saying "No" (which we do very well!)....

Has anyone else done anything like this....and if so, was it legit? How did it turn out for you? Any other restrictions other than what they told us over the phone? (With a $250 discount on the cheapest price, we could afford to upgrade to a nicer room, if upgrades are allowed)....
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Old August 24th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

I have seen somewhere that Carnival is trying to/ or already set up a timeshare program. I believe it started this past January.

So this might be part of it. I would check to see who the "selling agents" are.

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Old August 24th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

No, it isn't part of time-shares of Carnival....it is for a resort in Tehachapi! (Anyone in California probably knows that it wa-a-a-a-y-y-y out in the high desert)

Heck we'd definitely listen to a presentation about time-sharing on Carnival cruise ships!
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Old August 24th, 2004, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

Port charges run between $100 to $135 each and taxes are approximately $30. $296 sounds high to me.

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Old August 24th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

Now correct me if I am wrong... But I have seen most 7 day cruise's stopping a 3 ports...


So if most ports and taxes range around $100.... isn't that then $300? and add taxes in so that is $330...

So $296 sounds about right to me.

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Old August 24th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

sounds right to me too. i think that seems right for a 7 day cruise. i would take advantage of it. LUCKY!!

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Old August 24th, 2004, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

Well, we've made our appointment for the presentation....I'll let you all know if there are some sort of "strange" restrictions that make these certificates worthless.

We're supposed to get a set of luggage when we go to the presentation, too.....man, they must REALLY want to sell this place! **
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Old August 24th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

I posted "Port charges run between $100 to $135 each". This means each person not each port. Our port charges AND taxes are about $150 EACH PERSON for our 7 day, 4 port cruise this coming Sunday. That's why I said I thought it was high. I never said it wasn't worth it though. : )

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#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
Retirement Celebration

#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
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#38-Celebrity Solstice 4/8/13
17 night Tahiti -- Sydney-Honolulu
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270 days at see; soon to be 302
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Old August 24th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

Once we listened to the sales talk, we got a certificate. We had to register that certificate by mailing it in within 21 days from the date we received it. About 3-4 weeks after we sent in that certificate, we received a letter confirming they received our certificate. This is the basics from that letter:

" We have received and registered your certificate.
At this time you must select two dates. The first date must be at least 60 days fro the date of this letter and the next date needs to be at least 21 days later. These dates must be in chronological order......
You have indicated your departure port choice as Los Angeles. As per the terms and conditions of your certificate the traveler is responsible for all taxes and port fees. The approximate port charges are $123.08, totaling $246.16.... These taxes must be received, with your valid dates within 21 from the date of this letter or your certificate will be void.
Once we receive the applicable taxes and two valid dates you will be notified 45 days prior to the date of sailing. "

I sent that back in with 2 travel dates (there were quite a few blackout dates, but I managed to come up with 2 travel date).

2 weeks later, we received another letter:

" We have received your deposit check and requested dates. Your requested dates are ....... One of our representatives will contact you, usually about 45 to 60 days prior to your dates. ......
In the unlikely event you have not been contacted by a (agency's name) agent and your requested travel date is less than 45 days away, please assume that your first travel date is sold out, or otherwise not available. If your second requested date is less than 45 days away, please call Customer Service at (agency's phone number) to provide us with new dates. "

That was last year.....my first travel choice was in Mar 2004, 2nd choice April 2004. They never contacted me so I never ended up going on my "free" cruise and I'm out $246.

I have contacted them a couple of times and still no response. These posts have just lit the fire under me, so I will be trying to contact them to see if I can get another choice of travel or get a refund (taxes and port charges paid on something I didn't use).

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Old August 24th, 2004, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

There is no such thing as a free ride. That said I get these "offers" and have "won" on the average three to five cruyises a month. So far I have never taken one and have no plans to ever take one of these "offers". I haven't heard one word from anyone that has done this and thought they got a deal. I have heard of many complaints.
Jim

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Old August 24th, 2004, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

Yeah....I agree with you Jim...there are no such things as "free" cruises...lol In the past we have always just thrown away those offers, but in this particular case, I don't know what came over us....we thought we'd give it a try. We could kick ourselves now. We KNEW better. I guess we were just suffering from our most recent post cruise depression...lol...and we thought this could be something that would work.

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Old August 24th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

I beg to differ with you!!! There is such a thing as a FREE CRUISE! The lovely Mrs. and I went on a 5 day cruise many many moons ago, and we charged it on our credit card. The cruise line went chapter 11 just a few days later, and we never ever got billed for this cruise. (Just watch. It'll probably show up on my next bill) Anyway, that's probably the only way you'll get a free cruise. Lots o luck, and I hope you do get a free one....
Oh yes,,,one of my co-workers won a free cruise at bingo aboard one of the Carnival ships. She actually took that free cruise just last month....
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Old August 24th, 2004, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

kwjones....

You are right...I suppose there IS such a thing as a free cruise because my niece also won a cruise at bingo on Carnival.
Its just those, "come-listen-to-my-sales-pitch-for-90-minutes" type free cruise. There is always a catch to them.

However, your free cruise doesn't count. That is a billing error. You may have just jinxed yourself now by talking about it....

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Old August 25th, 2004, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Time Share "Gifts"....

We already know that this cruise isn't "free"....since the price told to us regarding taxes and port fees seemed a little high....However, it did look as though there could be a big discount.

Can anyone tell me exactly what dates are the LOWEST travel periods?

And Laurie M, its sounds as if you got much the same "offer" as we did....once receiving the certificate were you then dealing with Carnival or some third-party middleman? Were you only able to communicate via mail, or could you call Carnival to ask questions?

There is no way I want to be out even $10 without receiving something in return! I'd be contacting our local District Attorney, who rather likes to take on fraud cases!
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