What's the catch you ask? Well, about 6 months ago, my boyfriend and I attended a timeshare presentation with the promise of a free vacation. We listened to more than 2 hours of their sales pitch, but we've attended enough of these presentations knowing they are going to try super hard to convince you to part with your money, but you just have to be more savvy than they are.
Anyways, after we said "no thanks" multiple times to their timeshare offer, we got our free vacation certificate, where one of the choices was for a cruise. The timeshare company uses these marketing "freebies" to entice potential timeshare buyers to come listen to their spiel. After reading all the details and fine print on the vacation certificate, I filled out all the necessary information and mailed it to the designated travel agency handling the promotion vacation offer.
After confirming which cruise dates we wanted, the only thing we had to pay for was a $50 refundable deposit to the travel agency and port fees and taxes to the cruise line company. This is a great deal, most cruises are quite expensive! However, dealing with this particular travel agency was a bit of a nightmare. Everything was done via snail mail and the person assigned to our trip was not the most pleasant (or bright). She called us to upsell us on a better or bigger cabin, etc.. After saying "no thanks" multiple times, she became a irate and hung up.
Thank god, we got another letter in the mail from another agent about a week after speaking to that agent. This new agent said Carnival Cruise contacted them to extend an offer to us to upgrade to a cabin with an ocean view for the price of our deposit. Needless to say, we jumped at the chance, since we've already sent them the $50 check months ago.
To sum it up, the process to get this free cruise was long, frustrating and annoying at times, but in the end it was all worth it. We just got back from our cruise about 2 weeks ago and our experience was priceless. We will have many wonderful memories for years to come!
We have attended many other timeshare presentations and received gift cards, etc.. for our time. Read about how when we were staying at a resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico we attended a timeshare presentation and for our time we got enough vouchers to pay for our entire trip's meals! Savvy and frugal :)