Hard sells on ships???

Hi, My friend is on her first cruise, a 7 day cruise with Carnival.  She sent me a message saying though they were having a good time, that the hard sales and time share pushes on the ship were making it less than perfect.  I am going on my first cruise in April on Royal Caribbean.  I have not heard this in any reviews in ref to this happening on the ships.  I've even decided against some excursions due to natives hard selling.  Is this true about the ships?  Is this all ships?  Or just Carnival?

Tags: Royal Caribbean

20 Answers

Hi - I've seen charter cruises where the point is have a captive audience for selling time shares, etc. . . but that is not part of any cruise I've ever taken with CCL, RCL, or NCL on any of their brands. I'm thinking perhaps your friend was on one of those "free cruises" and not a traditional CCL voyage. If this is a new CCL trend, it is another reasons that we won't go on another Carnival cruise.

Apparently there are quite a number of variations to this. It appears the one that is getting the most attention is the so called "free cruise" on an established cruise line for listening to a time share sales pitch before hand. It looks like you get a partial payment voucher for a short duration cruise after the presentation, which may or may not be a very good deal. What I don't understand for certain is if the sales pitch ends there or after you are on board are you subject to more of the same? There is also an outfit called Caribbean Cruise lines (no affiliation to RCL) who provides short cruises on an little known ship where you do get the "sock it to me" treatment to purchase a time share, every day.

These gimmicks have been used for decades now. Years ago we had to find accommodations in Hawaii to kill some time before our condo opened up. My wife got a deal in the Marriott Resort in Kauai for 5 days courtesy a time share sales gimmick, no requirement to do anything was attached. No sales pitch before hand, but when we were there we got mild arm twisting to go out and take a look at some of their new time share units. I have always believed that time shares are a waste of dough and with one rare exception all our friends and relatives who bought them later regretted it.

Here is a sampling of pertinent comments from: http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/302912-timeshare-presentation-free-cruise-good-true.html

"I received a mailing the other day about one of those 90 minute timeshare presentations. If we attend, we supposedly get a free cruise for two on either Carnival, RCL, or NCL, 7 nights, Mexican Riviera. I called and the rep said we just have to cover the airfare to the port and tax and port fees (around $300 per person). Does this sound to good to be true? How can there timeshare companies afford to offer this? Any other catches? I have no plans on purchasing a timeshare so we would just go up there to sit patiently through the presentation, but I don't want to waste 90 min of our time if the deal has some hidden catches."

"No free cruise for us. We sat through a high pressure, boring presentation and received our "voucher" for a free cruise. The only way to book it was to send a check for about $100 (for port taxes and fees) and 3 travel dates to the company within 30 days. Information about the cruise was minimal (blackout dates weren't defined, only stated that we couldn't cruise a week prior or after holidays; cruiseline wasn't defined: several were listed, but you'd only find out after they booked you.) There was no way to contact them by telephone or e-mail, only regular mail. I wrote them to ask for specific sailing dates so I could pick one; also asked how much it would cost to add a 3rd/4th person (our kids) to our room. Never did receive a reply.

Looking back at your post, you can sometimes get 7 night cruises in the off season for a little more than $300, especially in the lowest category, using a guarantee. And, you can pick the cruiseline you want to sail on. Whatever you choose to do, I hope it works out for you.

PS........you might want to call again and ask who actually does the booking; in our case, it wasn't the timeshare company, it was some unknown company (couldn't find any information on the web about them) only reachable by US mail. If you are able to talk to the people booking the cruise, that would be great. I might have been able to take the "free" cruise if that would have been the case in our situation. For us, I just didn't feel comfortable sending $$ in mail without any real details of the cruise."

Watch out for those. I have been pestered now for a while because I answered my phone one Saturday. I am a partner in a time share and we do use it and we also have folks that use it on a regular basis through us. Is it worth it , in the long run, probably not. But Hawaii is cheaper using it.

The reason I brought up our experience with a time share deal at the Marriott Hotel in Kauai is it appears analogous to what is going on now with the cruise industry where you get a relatively good deal on a short voyage in exchange for taking part in their pitch attempts to sell you a time share.

As I mentioned, we didn't have to agree to anything or attend a time share presentation before we checked into the resort. As it turned out, in a bored moment, I decided to go with them and take a look at their new development during our hotel stay. Although very high endish, it was otherwise your typical time share sales show.

What struck me was the large number of people they were actually signing. I can't recall for sure but there were perhaps a couple dozen of us they picked up with a nice coach and took us to an extravagant meeting location on the edge of the development. From there they paired us up by couples and assigned us to a sales person (In our case a very nice local young lady) who first took us to visit some of the new completed units then into a little room for the hard stuff. She did an excellent job and for me it was very interesting since I was a marketing management major years before. But because we weren't going to buy anything I began to feel sorry for the agent, in that I realized we were wasting her time. So I apologized and told her why. She accepted that but wondered why I was dead set against the purchase.

I explained that it simply didn't come anywhere close to penciling out for us. They were selling two week time shares. Since we almost always go to Hawaii for 4 weeks we would need two. There was a sizable payment for each share, plus the unknown annual maintenance charges. Everything for us would be times two. I explained that we are investors but extremely conservative ones, we have never taken a financial shellacking in the big market drops but never gain much during the fat times either. So I explained, if I take the payment money, that you want here, and place it into one of the conservative investments in my portfolio, I can expect, at the very least, X amount of interest and returns per year on that money. That X amount, not including my share of grounds fees etc, would more than pay for four weeks per year from here on out in a condominium the size and quality or greater of that which you have shown us here, including our air transport back and forth. Furthermore, at the end of an extended period of time we should have a lot more in the account than we started with. I also pointed out the nice catalog for world wide time share trade options that they have available after purchase. I explained why that was really of little value to us, mainly due our cruising. In short, I said, we can invest our money just as well as Mr. Marriott can. We departed amicably.

I don't have a problem with anyone who gets on a cruise under this type of agreement, but if an errant sales person starts focusing his/her pitches on passengers who have not consented to be subject to these this, then I have a big problem with it. They are not the one getting a free cruise out of the deal and should not have to be on the receiving end of the sales pitch.

I've done 7 and I have never had anyone approach me about buying a timeshare while I was on board. Maybe these people are posing as travelers and figure that we are the perfect target market. If this is happening on board the ship, I wonder if Carnival is aware of this.

I have never experienced any hard selling on a ship. If anything, I did some selling when I talked the young man who was selling watches into which one to buy for his wife. I used to sell jewelry.

I remember that Carnival did have time share deals , I do not think they do that anymore

I remember the old adage that "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is" and politely decline.

More---- Do they get to go to the Greybar Hotel?

"DeJongh testified he founded ESG, a registered nonprofit, to raise awareness of political issues he cared about, spread his political message and conduct meaningful political surveys so he could market the results to political parties, political action committees and news outlets.

When a person answered an ESG phone call, an automated voice asked them to take a political survey, and promised at the survey’s completion they would be eligible for a “free” cruise to the Bahamas. Once the survey was complete, people interested in the cruise were connected to a representative with Caribbean Cruise Line. Though the cruises were “nominally free,” court documents noted people who took advantage of the offer still had to pay taxes, port fees, gratuities and fees for amenities or activities. Those customers were also offered an upgraded package if they agreed to take a timeshare tour at a Berkley facility."



*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top