Cruise scams can be like a bad toothache, they just won’t go away. Sadly, many people fall victim to these scams as the allure of a “free” cruise is too great to pass up. Here are a few cruise scams that just won’t go away and how you can avoid them.
The most common cruise scam are letters that are sent in the mail congratulating you with a free cruise. They usually will have the official logo of a cruise line at the top of them to make them look legit. The most common logos you will see are Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian.
If you get one of these letters, look and see who the letter is from. They are usually from travel agencies that will charge you a healthy booking fee for booking your “free” cruise and will hard sell you on upgrading from an inside stateroom. By the time you end up paying the booking fee, port taxes/fees, and the upgrade, you will find that your free cruise is anything but free.
The only thing these letters are good for is starting a fire in your fireplace at home. Use common sense, do you really think that someone is just going to give you a free cruise out of the blue?
Another cruise scam that won’t go away are random phone calls saying that you won a free cruise. I received one of these phone calls one day and in order to get my free cruise, I had to first give them my credit card number. Why would I have to give them a valid credit card number if the cruise is free?
Anytime someone asks for your credit card number over the phone that you do not know, just hang up. You will likely see many extra charges to your card if you give it to them.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that since your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, the call must be legitimate. Scammers don’t abide by the law and they certainly aren’t going to abide by the rules of the registry.
The 3rd cruise scam that has gained in popularity over the past couple of years is on Facebook. If you have been on Facebook for any amount of time, you have most likely seen posts by “Disney” or “Royal Caribbean” saying that if you share a post, you will be entered into winning a free cruise.
First, these posts are not by Disney or Royal Caribbean or any other cruise line. Always look at the page that posted the picture and if you do not see the blue check mark by their name, it is not their official page.
These pages are run by scammers and there is no free cruise that they are giving away. They are just trying to build a large Facebook page so they can start filling your newsfeed with products or services they are trying to sell.
However, cruise lines and large travel agencies will often have legitimate contests where they give away free cruises, but the contest is ALWAYS held on their website.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.