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Travel Club Contest -- Scam or Legit?

Book and Sea Travel Club is promoting a contest to draw people to a sales presentation to buy some type of travel club program. Whether it for $2,995 or $4,995, I don't care. If people wish to buy in that is free market capitalism, I suppose. My wife and I are interested in listening, most likely saying "No Thank you" and getting our door prize.

If the "door prize was a $50 voucher at Olive Garden that would make sense. However, they have four consolation prizes with the most likely awarded one being a cruise with Royal Caribbean cruise lines. The fine print on back side shows that the vast majority of people win a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise and air fare for only paying port charges, taxes and activations fees, to be used anytime within 12 months. So we don't have to go during the fall hurricane season or in the middle of July heat!

In checking with Royal Caribbean, they said that these charges might be around $150 per person, and that frequently travel agencies might buy a block of rooms and use for their various promotions.

I was told by Book and Sea Travel that if our prize is the cruise we would be given a confirm with the booking number on site. Royal Caribbean confirmed that with the booking number we would then have direct access to their log-in and go through check-in procedures, shore excursions, etc. A meal at Olive Garden sounds more reasonable as a give away, but a cruise is appealing.

However, we could pay $300 by credit card and be given a piece of paper with a cruise ship photo and fake confirm number, and be stuck with a credit card fight to get our charge reversed.

Anyone familiar with Book and Sea Travel Club and this promotion? Thank you.

Posted by
20638 posts

I have not seen that one but have seen others. And have friends who have gone on these cruises. They are OK. You seemed to have checked it out. If it turns out to be fraud, then that is far easier to get your money back from your credit card company than a disputed charge. You will also be hit for the ship's automatic gratuity which could range in the area of $10/day/person or another $140. You will probably have an inside cabin but that is not the end of the world. We have been there a couple of times. As a comparison see what RC is offering now. Often times a seven day Caribbean cruise is discounted to around $100/day/person depending on the week. We frequently grab these cruises out of Ft Lauderdale for less than $300 a couple in Jan and Feb. Cheaper than renting a condo in the Keys and it comes with pretty good food. Caribbean cruises are not very exciting but very relaxing as they are mostly sun, beach, and shopping.

Posted by
30973 posts

ted,

It's probably not a fraud but "borderline". It sounds like the same type of scenario as being offered a gift to attend a time share presentation. I've done that on a couple of occasions and NEVER will again. If you don't buy, you'll be badgered incessantly until you can manage to fight your way to the door. Your chances of winning one of the "consolation prizes" is going to be slim, and as you noted you'll still have to pay something even if you do win. The whole thing raises huge red flags for me.

Posted by
607 posts

Use an alternate disposable email address because you will probably get a lot of spam.

Posted by
1818 posts

This sounds like the old time share condo meetings where those who attended got a free meal and had to sit though the selling spiel. The outfit putting it on would snare enough gullible people to make it worthwhile. And then one would see time shares for sale.

Posted by
11575 posts

Ted, one more thing? You'll also have to pay taxes on the value of the cruise package - and that value could be inflated.

Posted by
1843 posts

What's the old saying: If it looks too good to be true..................

And: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

RUN..........

Unless you want a HUGE target painted on you for all future promos of this type (and likely from not only the entity making this particular offer).

Put on your jogging shoes and R U N !!