My husband and I also joined and feel like fools for allowing ourselves to get caught in this scam. Just like all of you, we found out the club just isn't what we were told it was. I also just found out (after being in the club for a year) that I can't buy extra points if I need them because I live in Michigan. So, not only did I waste money buying into this scam, but will loose more if I don't plan my cruises just right. I will never cruise with Carnival after this is over.
I am a figment of my own imagination
I accidentally stumbled upon this cruise chat forum today. Unfortunately, although my husband and I are very experienced cruisers, we are suddenly feeling somewhat stupid as well after signing up for CVC. We signed up in January on Carnival Glory (our 5th Carnival cruise - brought along 6 other family members as a Christmas/New Year's present). My husband and I thought we read the fine print excessively, but apparently we didn't. We put 50% down on a credit card (thankfully), and the final payment is due by 7/5/06. I am now going to craft a letter to our credit card company and at the least, obstruct the final payment (we bought the lowest, Bronze, membership. Any suggestions from those of you who got money back or credited?
BTW, we made numerous phone calls over the past few months regarding the free companion airfare deal -it does seem to exist, its just that they don't send you any acknowledgment and you have to contact them to book it. For some reason, we got 3 of them - buy 3 tickets, get 3 free. But, otherwise, we are REALLY disappointed in Carnival and can't imagine why this is the group they contracted with.
What was the reason you were given for not being able to buy extra points because you were from Michigan? I have not, (nor never would)buy into something like this; but I am just curious reading this, why they target Michigan.
I am not defending Carnival, but I wouldn't discard sailing on them again. They may have made a bad choice in partnering with ICE, but legalities of a contract might not let them back out of it so quickly. They certainly are receiving alot of negative publicity as a result of their choice. Working as a Travel Agent back in 2001 I personally had a very negative deceptive experience with ICE. A reservation agent called the agency pretending to be a client to get a quote on a cruise, which he would then want faxed to him so he could undercut the quote for a real client. I was appalled at the extent this company would go in order to make a sale. Not someone I would want to do business with. They aren't thinking of your best interest in helping you find a perfect cruise for your vacation, it's only their pocketbook they're interested in.
I wish I had read these posts before we signed up also. We waited too late to cancel our membership, even tried to get refund through our credit card company to no avail. our only option is to use our points, paying extra for high priced "rented" points so that we didn't have to buy an additional membership. We're just using our points on a cruise we've already been on. They offer few options (a fraction of what was promoted at the sales presentation)and they really charge through the gazoo for those extra points. If we can use the vacation resort certificates it will even out I guess, but we are really ticked off and feel taken advantage of. We even introduced new friends of ours on that last cruise to the club - gee, I wonder why they don't keep in touch anymore.
I am curious, Sailin_Spanos, what your experience was with your credit card company. To the person who posted the BBB link, thank you. I am going to file a formal complaint with the BBB in Phoenix. We have paid for 50% with the other half due in a couple of months. The way we see it, we have not received anything for that "down payment" (and found discrepancies in the literature given to us re the down payment and "financing"). APparently,they can tack on a $199 charge because you "financed" it. We obviously did not notice this. We are willing to cancel our credit card in order to make sure that ICE cannot charge us for the balance. I am hoping that with an abundance of information about the deception of the company, we can get the downpayment refunded. If not, we are out less money than if we go ahead with the rest of it...
This makes us so angry with CVT. We too bought the $5000 package (pig-in-a-poke) in October 2005. We even sailed on the same ship again (Conquest) in January 2006 and met with the CVT reps on board to solicit their help. They gave us a lot of lip service and told us we were not logging into the website correctly and showed us on "their" listing on-line all of the avaialable resorts. Somewhat placated we came home and tried again and again to no avail. We finally spoke on the phone with a live person and got no help at all.
The location available (two weeks after our requested date), started only on Saturdays. This is an impossibility for us and it was a one bedroom, low class hotel. We were told it was for 4 people (what fun to have a 1 bedroom hotel for 4 on vacation).
The on board perks: No waiting to board. Right. To board the Conquest we did not get into the line to get our sail and sign but went to the "Skippers Club" office. This meant we sat at a desk for 5 minutes getting our paperwork together. From that point on, we were back in the masses. We had a small plate of chocolate covered strawberries in our cabin. Wheeeeeee- costs us about $100 apiece. Went to a couple of their cocktail parties, these were scheduled at the same time as our dinner and we tried to talk a couple of people out of the plan, but were over talked by the sales pitchers. VIP Debarkation (this means Very Irate Passengers) meant we were camped out, with everyone's carry on luggage in a very small room and had juice, coffee and cold pastries. This was a two hour wait. Of course we calculated that we only paid about $500 for this little perk. Who are they kidding?
I have booked one 7 day cruise so far with my points (20,000) and used over 8000 of them. I will continue to use my cruise points, and when I do I will warn everyone on board about buying into this plan.
I just found the E-mail address from our on-board representative for CVC and e-mailed him about all of these complaints. Probably won't do any good, but wanted him to know that he is indeed selling a farce.
If anyone travels on the Carnival Conquest soon, watch out for the pitch, go to all of their cocktail parties and drink and eat as much as possible, because this is all you will get for your money.
Somewhere, previously, I found a website regarding the start up of a class action lawsuit against CVC. If anyone finds it again, please e-mail me.
THE INTERNATIONAL CRUISE & EXCURSION GALLERY
(OUR VACATION CENTER)10030 N. 25th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021 602-749-2195
I am on this site because I was researching ICE - they are looking for a Marketing Operations Manager with 85% onboard travel required and my search engine in Monster pulled this up. On reading the requirements on their website and never having heard of "CVC" or ICE I became curious so here I am. WOW!!! I never cease to be amazed at what supposedly intelligent people will do with their money.
I was reminded of the time, while still in school, that I went door-to-door selling encyclopedias. I made a lot of money preying on parents by "selling" the dream of better education for their children. I quit when I woke up one night in a cold sweat realizing I was just steps away from moving up to a boiler room selling questionable securities to little old widows.
To be sure, I am not going to be sending these paragons of honesty my resume.
P.S. I have never sailed Carnival but I have over 150 days on Holland America's "dam Ships", 21 days on Seabourn, 24 days on Radisson, 14 days on the Wind Surf, 10 days on Crystal plus assorted other cruises; and I've been invited on the Freedom of the Seas this weekend (5/13/06) to participate in an inaugural two night "cruise to nowhere".
Warning Warning Warning--DO NOT JOIN THE CARNIVAL VACATION CLUB---a complete scam & liars will attempt to sell you this overpriced scheme!
We just returned from a cruise on the Valor, second on on Valor, 4th on Carnival. Always loved Carnival, but what are they thinking?
On our return, I attempted to book next year's cruise, as always, & found that we did not save any $$ by being members of the Vacation club. We were takin in by a charming young salesman who reminded me of my son (ha!--but I guess he was only trying to make a living).
We can always disembark easily (no perk there) and we even used the VIP embarkation because the line was empty & we were told to come over to it, so no perk there, either!
Anyway, I guess will try to get some cruises in to make our foolish decision less painful, but we do plan to camp out at the vacation club kiosk area to warn others of the scam.
Carnival is a great cruise line--why are they getting involved in this scam? We would have cruised with them anyway--not after we use up this point mess, we won't, and we do plan to give them a lot of free, bad publicity!
Just got off the Ecstacy and never saw or heard of anyone trying to sell this. We never saw an advertisement on the Capers or heard any announcement of the offer. We had already read on this forum of the dissappointment and were ready, but thankfully we did not encounter this offer. We were ready to say "No Gracias" and keep on walking, but we don't think they were trying this on our ship.