a friend of mine was so excited about seeing a commercial on tv for a free 2 night cruise to the Bahamas that she called me up to ask about it as a possibilty for her and her husband..it stated that only the first 500 folks that register from our tv area would be eligible and it gives the appearance that the Bahamas Board of Tourism endorses it
i told her there is no such thing as a free cruise (unless i pay for it for her) and happen to catch the commercial on late night tv and went to their website...after reading the small print, it reaffirm my original statement
what concerns me is how many consumers fall prey to a misleading tv commercials about free cruises
A friend of mine would attend trade shows in the advertsing industry and at every show there would be a booth from a legitimate cruise line offering a free 5 day cruise for attendees . I assume I can mention the trade association that ran the shows :ASI
There may be no such thing as a free cruise in the manner you described, however, I am living proof that one can actually WIN a free cruise in a ballot box contest at the mall! The travel agency that sponsored it wanted to book me a more expensive one, but we knew how to do our research and managed to book the cruise AND the airfare for the limit price of the cruise!
I won a free 7 day cruise in a mini suite on the Norway by entering a contest sponsored by Miller Lite - it was 1st prize. (Grand prize was 2 tickets to all the Florida sports teams - but you had to pay your transportation ... Miami Dolphins, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Bucs, etc. - thought my prize was much better.) It was the first time I travelled alone only cuz friends were working or didn't want to leave their spouse.
Except - it's not entirely free as you have to declare it on your income tax for the full price of the cruise ... they won't accept any discount prices.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
my point exactly about the tax liability...plus on this promotion there were so many stipulations and penalties and waivers that it would actually end up costing my friend more $$$$ out of their pocket then it would to just book a regular weekend cruise to the Bahamas on one of the major cruise lines
i won a free river cruise on peter deilamnn but they did it in a very unique way..i won a $3000 travel credit (which covered the cost of the basic cabin)..great cruise by the way
"There is no such thing as a free lunch" was a book by economist Milton Friedman. It means a person or a society cannot get "something for nothing". Even if something appears to be free, there is always a cost to the person or to society as a whole even though that cost may be hidden or distributed. The saying itself is from the 30's when American bars would offering a "free lunch" if you paid for at least one drink. The lunch maybe free, but the cost was returned by the cost of the drinks. In the economic sense you are saying if this is "free" then who is really paying in the long run, because someone has to pay. Most of the time it is you in another form.
So Venice's statement there is "no such thing as a free cruise" applies. Ask yourself this when you get a 'free' cruise who is really paying? Is the cost of your 'free' cruise reflected in higher drink prices, prices for bingo cards or pictures etc. How is the cruise line getting their money back? Are the costs of your 'free' cruise hidden or distributed. I'm with Venice "there is no such thing as a free cruise. Aren't you in the end paying for the 'free' cruise once you get on board? Do these 'free' cruises have black out periods during high season (summer)? The cruise line can't make money off an empty cabin, better to give away the cabin for 'free' andl generate revenue from you once you are on board. My last cruise the waiters selling bottles of water for a contest; winner got the afternoon off. I boght a bottle when I normally would not have so the contest worked in the cruiseline's favor.
__________________ One part age; three parts liquor!
Freedom of the Seas 2012
Carnival Splendor 2010
Carnival Freedom 2008
Carnival Elation 2007
Celebrity Infinity 2006
Carnival Ecstasy 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
Star Princess 2002
Viking Serenade 1994
Around here (Florida) the "free cruise" is usually a cruise line that runs only overnight to the Bahamas, and the taxes, port charges, and handling fees are more often than not, more than that cheap, piece of crap cruise would cost if you walked up and bought it! Occasionally, I'll see a "free cruise" offered on NCL, RCI, or Carnival, but upon further investigation, you can't choose when you want to sail, and the above charges once again, add up to more than the cruise would cost if you just went out and bought it. Bottom line is, that except in VERY rare caes, Venice is absolutely correct!
Sky..since you live in Florida I suspect you know exactly the tv commercial that I am talking about that is played here in heavy rotation..it just upsets me that unsuspecting folks, who really want to go on a cruise but cannot afford it, will be vulnerable to this type of bait and switch..i worry about our senior citizens on fixed incomes
most of us are pretty savy so we know when we enter contest for cruises, there are certain charges (taxes, port charges, fuel charges, 2 for 2 etc) or when you have to give your time (for time share promotions) etc., so we know free is not free..less alone the air fare
corporate incentives usually are a good deal because your employer covers the tax liability..i prefer the types of contest that will give you a 2K credit towards a cruise
Of course you are absolutely right Captain. They do want something, to be reviewed and that is of course why the cruises are "comped." But they're only "comped" to established Cruise sites etc and recognized reviewers and journalists. It's the same as Travel Agents traveling aboard airlines, cruiselines, railroads, etc. and visiting resorts, cities, as a result of reduced or sometimes free travels or visits -- they receive an education as to what those conveyances and destinations offer to the average traveler.
However, in case someone thinks that means the reviews can't be honest nor mention negative aspects, all one has to do is read them.
In any event, if a cruiseline is so bad that it has very few reedeming features, nobody would sail them anyway, regardless of "wonderful" reviews. Therefore, the claim (as occasionally made) that someone who gives a favorable review and is subsequently comped another cruise must be "in the tank" as a result, far more often than not, doesn't hold water.
In any event, just the cruise itself is free. The reviewer still must pay their own travel to and from the port of departure/entry, must pay for all extraneous items such as alternative restaurant dining, laundry, beverages other than those included with the price of the cruise (usually coffee, tea and lemonade), all tips, any excursions even those sponsored by the cruiseline, just to mention a handful of possibly hundreds of additional possible expenses. As one can see, even that "free cruise" is often going to not only amount to hundreds of dollars in cost to the reviewer just for the travel to and from the port(s) but also a significant amount aboard the ship itself (much of which, by the way, goes into the cruise line coffers). So when all is said and done, even a "free" cruise is quite an expensive proposition.
the industry term is called "fam" (familiarization) trip so that travel professionals can experience and then be able to consultative sell to the public..with the introduction of the internet sites such as ours and others, the texting/twit/youtube aspect, compounded with the cruise line websites where one can view all aspects of the ship I would suspect that "fam" trips are not as necessary as they once were
we are blessed in that Kuki, Paul etc., do a good job of providing objective reviews of their cruises that are "comp" with the added touch of understanding the particular needs/questions of the regular posters of this board..i.e. I would expect that Paul will visit the Jazz Club on the Epic because he knows that I would be interested in that component and the fact that he booked the single cabin so that he can give us first hand experience for the many single cruisers on these boards..he will force himself to go to the Salsa club so that CQ will know if the sound system is up to her high standards8)8)
my point in starting this post is that the particular tv ad for a "free" cruise is very misleading to the portion of the population that is thinking about going on a cruise and feel this might be a great introduction at little or no cost..hopefully they will not be suckered and either seek out the advise of a professional travel agent that specializes in cruises or come to this board for some balanced perspectives..i don't deny them for the marketing scheme, just be more honest as opposed to burying all the restrictions in small print
i live by the motto "if it sounds to good to be true, it ain't"