So I won a cruise.

See, not so long ago I was at the mall and there was this pretty little Ford Mustang there for giveaway. I signed up for it and checked a box that said I was interested in winning a free vacation too and went on my merry way.

So today I’m sitting around surfing the straight dope and chatting away when I get a phone call. It’s some fellow from Diamond Holidays calling to let me know that I’ve won a cruise for two to the Bahamas. It’s from where I put my name in to win that car. Instead I won a vacation.

It seems legit to me, but I’m not a very good judge at such things. It’s a crusie that leaves from Ft. Lauderdale (sp?) and goes to the Bahamas where I go for a 4 day 3 night stay. The cruise and the hotel are part of the package and I have to pay for whatever else I want like gambling (not a problem I’m only 18) and gifts and such. There is a 77 dollar administration fee (per person) and port taxs of 99 dollars. I also have to find my own way down to Ft. Lauderdale.

Considering the actual cost of a cruise and hotel stay this doesn’t seem like a bad deal. I’m still wary though that it’s some sort of scam or something.

Any dopers ever win anything like this? Is it worth it? Am I getting conned?

(here’s to hoping I put this in the right forum)

Well, you didn’t exactly Win a cruise, but evidentally it’s legitimate:

better business bureau’s report on it

BBB’s comment is that you need to be aware that it’s a marketing package for a Bahamas trip, not a prize. Taxes, additional expenses are your responsibility, and can add up.

But if you’re in the market for a little vacation, it doesn’t seem like a horrible deal. FWIW, most of those “Win this Car” stands at malls, etc, always land you some sort of “You-won-this-instead-of-the-car” phone call.

I’ve always thought of a cruse being prison with the option of drowning


I win a few cruises a year… the extra fees and airfare and food and stuff always make my “free” cruise too expensive for me.

Hey, fizzestothetop, the cruise ship will be registered in the Bahamas meaning you only have to be 18 to both gamble and drink.

Oh, and don’t think you’re going to get one of those big Carnival ships. It’s going to be a relatively small ship that will make you pay for everything including drinks on board (that includes soft drinks).

I’m still not sure if I want to take this deal or not. I’m pretty broke as it is, so my ‘free’ cruise will be more money than I have. But then I have 12 months to take it.

They said all meals and entertainment was included on the ship. Which I figure is two meals (it’s a 6 hour cruise) and what they have for entertainment I don’t know. The ship itself carries 1200 passengers. I’m not sure if that’s a lot for a crusie ship or not.

I’m not expecting to much out of it if I take it and I could always give it away to someone else.

Anybody wanna go to the Bahamas?

Meals and entertainment are always included in a cruise package–but drinks of any kind certainly aren’t. I’m convinced that’s where they’re making all of their money. It’s like $3.00 for a Diet Coke with dinner for goodness’ sake!

I guess it would be a fair deal if you have a couple of hundred dollars floating around to get yourself down to Ft. Lauderdale. You say you’re 18; if you have some graduation present money to spend, that might be a fun way to blow it, and you’d have a great story to write in the thank you notes.

For my honeymoon 8 years ago, we took a cruise to the Bahamas where my parents have a time-share condo that they let us use that year. The cruise was 6 hours long and only cost us about $130 each. The 1200 people is probably about right. The entertainment they had was pretty lame. The casino, a couple of older movies and maybe some group activities. Around that time, I worked in a Chinese restaurant for a woman who use to serve drinks on the ship I took. Word of warning: DO NOT PAY FOR DRINKS WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD! They do their best to get you drunk and then run up your credit card bill with stuff you didn’t order. Also, I found them quite snotty when you didn’t tip outrageous sums of money to them. I mean, we were very poor college students, and yet they seemed to think we owed them everything.

I would advise you to skip this. I’m almost positive that the hotel you’ll be staying at in the Bahamas is a time-share place and they’ll pressure you to go on a tour. It may even be in your contract.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I’m probably gonna skip out on this package. I’d like to go to the Bahamas but I’m pretty broke (already wasted away most of my graduation money) and I’m afraid they’ll sucker me into something that’ll cost me more money that I’d be willing to spend. Besides I’ve got my trip to Portland in July and I’m to busy saving up for the day I can run away to Italy. No time to worry about a cheapo cruise package.

If I find anyone who’s willing to risk it and take the package I’ll give it to them. It’d be a shame to let it go to waste.

My SO hates the concept of cruises. She’s gonna LOVE this quote!