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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2007, 12:24 PM
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The "official" word.....

Carnival Vacation Club

Carnival Cruise Lines has elected to discontinue sales of the Carnival Vacation Club. Effective Sunday, March 18, 2007, sales of NEW Carnival Vacation Club memberships have been suspended, although this does not affect current CVC members or any of their member benefits. Solutions At Sea (SAS) and Carnival will continue to work cooperatively to provide the best possible service to these valuable clients both onboard and through the Carnival Vacation Club Service Center

FYI
Managed and sold by Solutions at Sea. "Carnival", "Carnival Vacation Club"

and other Carnival related trademarks and logos are used by Solutions at Sea

under license from Carnival Cruise Lines. Solutions at Sea is not an agent

for, affiliated or in partnership with, Carnival Cruise Lines.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-23-2007, 11:54 AM
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Wow! It is too bad that I didn't find out about this "vacation club" before I got scammed.

This morning I tried, for the first time, to use my "cruise points". Before I did, I checked the prices on the cruise that I wanted to book. When I talked to the lady at the Carnival Vacation Club (CCC), I learned that my bottom rate for a 4A cabin (inside, king bed) was 3774 points or about $660 (according to them). I questioned her math because I purchased $7,500 worth of points (30,200) and that seemed more expensive than $660 ($858 by my calculations). She said that the cruise points were worth 17 1/2 cents each. So, I multiplied that by the number of cruise points that I have and told her that there must be something wrong because that only comes to $5,600 and I paid $7,500! She said that I paid for more than cruise points, I also got the membership and other benefits. But, I was told by the sales people that I not only got $7,500 worth of cruise points but I got more value for my dollar and the points were worth as much as $9,000!

Yes people! It was a scam. And I was one of the last people to get scammed.

Now what do I do? The cruise club won't even honor my "Past Guest" status for discounts on the lower cost cabins. I would have gotten much more for my dollars if I had put it in a non-interest bearing bank account and used it as needed for vacations.

Can I get a full refund? Is there a law firm that is working on this? Ugh!!!!

--Tom
Jacksonville, FL
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-23-2007, 12:23 PM
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I cancelled my CVC membership within the three-day period that is allowed by contract. I submitted this cancellation: #1) Over the phone during which time my request was supposedly "time-stamped." and 2) By fax - and I was told that there was no way I could receive a confirmation that they had received the cancellation. and 3) By Letter - send overnight FedEx and tracked down to the time of delivery to Solusions at Sea in Phoenix, the delivery location, the name of the person signing for the letter. The letter was received well within the three-day cancellation period.

My credit card company just now told me that the charge went through -- it was Carnival Cruise Lines that submitted it.

I just got off the phone with Solutions at Sea after speaking with someone in the accounting department. There is no record whatsoever of my cancellation she told me. I read her the list of names I had, documetation etc. She told me that it was Carnival that would have to submit for the credit and she cc'd me in on her request to Carnival to reverse the charge. One more time, I'm supposed to hear back from Solutions at Sea about this.

The woman I spoke talked a bit to me about the number of people that seem unhappy with the club versus the number of people who are pleased. There are plenty of both, apparently. She told me that no more CVC memberships would be sold but that Solutions at Sea will continue to sell, for Carnival, some type of membership in some type of club - that it would be an even better product etc. Meanwhile, the CVC members will be serviced.

The Solutions at Sea reps on the ships seem to have made a lot of promises to people that couldn't be kept (by anyone) - which is what I surmised from the threads about CVC. The telephone reps definitely lied outright to me. I was told things like, my call was time-stamped so there was no problem cancelling my membership. My cancellation request would be honored even if it fell outside the three-day cancellation period. It was on record that I was asking to cancel my membership and that my card would not even be charged for the first payment.

I kept a list of the names of people I spoke to. There were layoffs this week, I was just told. Those names -- not employed there any longer.

It's hard for me to think well of Carnival at this time for associating with this company. It is Carnival that has my money at this moment. Now I have to wait for a credit. In the meantime, I have it in dispute with the credit card company.

It's a bit of a headache. I wish someone had been on my roll-call thread for this cruise to warn about this.

Judy
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-24-2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomInJax:
Wow! It is too bad that I didn't find out about this "vacation club" before I got scammed.

This morning I tried, for the first time, to use my "cruise points". Before I did, I checked the prices on the cruise that I wanted to book. When I talked to the lady at the Carnival Vacation Club (CCC), I learned that my bottom rate for a 4A cabin (inside, king bed) was 3774 points or about $660 (according to them). I questioned her math because I purchased $7,500 worth of points (30,200) and that seemed more expensive than $660 ($858 by my calculations). She said that the cruise points were worth 17 1/2 cents each. So, I multiplied that by the number of cruise points that I have and told her that there must be something wrong because that only comes to $5,600 and I paid $7,500! She said that I paid for more than cruise points, I also got the membership and other benefits. But, I was told by the sales people that I not only got $7,500 worth of cruise points but I got more value for my dollar and the points were worth as much as $9,000!

Yes people! It was a scam. And I was one of the last people to get scammed.

Now what do I do? The cruise club won't even honor my "Past Guest" status for discounts on the lower cost cabins. I would have gotten much more for my dollars if I had put it in a non-interest bearing bank account and used it as needed for vacations.

Can I get a full refund? Is there a law firm that is working on this? Ugh!!!!

--Tom
Jacksonville, FL

Sorry you did not find this thread before your purchase.

Sadly there are no refunds unless you are within your 3 day window.

The 17.5 vs 25 cent is what we call the ole "slight of hand". You are suppose to "forget" that you just lost $2,265.00 (in your case) to pay their administrative fees. They use the 17.5 cents to make it "appear" that you are getting the cruise for a cheaper price. But of course, you are not.

For this $2,265.00 you will receive guaranteed VIP Check In and Debarkation on every Carnival cruise. Also on "some" Carnival cruises, you used to get a free cocktail party. That was just on the 6 or so ships that had CVC offices. With CVC closing down, I doubt the parties will continue. (Because they used the same parties to get folks drunk to sucker them in.) The strawberries in your cabin are hit and miss. But you will still get a discount at the Spa and a few other little goodies.

That is...as long as you sail only with Carnival. If you sail with another cruise line, you don't get anything.

The discount resort stays are limited at best and can be gotten by anyone off the street (without joining CVC) so they really don't have any added value. ICE mails us $199.00 offers for 4 nights all the time. And we never joined.

And then there are those "wonderful" companion airfare. We all know what a "value" that is??

There are no law firms involved, because ICE writes one of the tightest contracts around. They have been hustling timeshare units for years and are professionals at it.

The only lady I know of that got her money back after the 3 day waiting period was a lady from South Carolina. ICE (CVC) knowingly sold her a package which is illegal. The Attorney General made it illegal to sell these packages to SC residents almost immediately after they started in 2004.

I would suggest you simly mark it up as a learning experience. Book 1A or 4A gty during the off season and hope for an upgrade to get the most for your points. Remember that you get the VIP Check In and Debarkation for 5 years even after your points are gone and you don't have to book through CVC to get the perks.

By the end of 5 years, hopefully, you will be a Platinum member with Carnival and you will get these perks for free!

Good luck!!
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2007, 03:44 AM
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I got a question. Where do they get you to join this stupid thing?

No one has ever approached me with this and I have been cruising Carnival since 1993.

Is it for certain cruises for certain areas of the country? Like if I go on a 4 day from Texas or Alabama will they be there trying to sell this?

Or do they just round up people on all cruises that look stupid? I think it could be discrimination by not trying to sell this crap to all people.

Just makes me wonder why it seems is isolated to certain cruises.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2007, 09:17 AM
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IslandCruz:

Like most sales, I assume it's a numbers game. We were on a ship (Valor) out of Miami that was filled to its 3500 pax capacity.

By the way, we aren't particularly stupid-looking; just enthusiastic cruise fans, and we were looking to make an on-board booking for two cruises we are planning. Princess offers perks for on-board bookings and this is the only past experience I have in the matter.

I read the contract. It offers a three-day cancellation period (from time of disembarkation).

My attempts to cancel, so far, have failed. I have followed the letter of the contract. Solutions at Sea has not honored its end of the contract. This is disturbing.

Consider yourself fortunate, IslandCruz, that you have encountered enough warning about this company. While there are a few who believe they have benefited by their membership, there are plenty who are unhappy. I am glad I read this while I still had a legal leg to stand on (the three-day period); I just wish I had found this information before I cruised.

Reps at Solutions at Sea told me (by telephone) that while the current CVC has ended, they will continue to sell some type of membership product on Carnival ships (and probably on land also at some point).

The cancellation stipulation in the contract is written so that the process appears easy. It should be. There is always an easy way and there is also hard way -- and it seems that they will force me to use the hard way. This is bad business.

I'm bummed; I just want to cruise.

Please do many of us a favor IslandCruz, if you encounter these agents on your next cruise (and I don't say this because you sound stupid-looking), let them know and let their prospects know that this entire matter is risky - at best.

Thanks,
J
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2007, 11:36 AM
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I will do. And I should not have said it that way. Just don't understand all this chatter about something I have never seen. I cruise every year, and have never heard the name mentioned. I look stupid enough so maybe they will eventually find me and I will tell them.
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2007, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by IslandCruz:
I will do. And I should not have said it that way. Just don't understand all this chatter about something I have never seen. I cruise every year, and have never heard the name mentioned. I look stupid enough so maybe they will eventually find me and I will tell them.
I agree that the terminology "stupid" is a little harsh. Just like with timeshares, these are professional hustlers that are very good at what they do. But it is true that ICE came to Carnival (specifically) because (their words) it has a "less educated" clientele that would make "the easiest target".

Now (to me) shame on Carnival for letting a company that with opinion of their customers come anywhere near a Carnival ship.

The offices were only on about 6 ships, so if you did not sail on those particular ships...you would not have been exposed.

We first encountered them on the Spirit 2005 (Alaska) then again on the Pride 2006 and the Miracle 2006. (just lucky I guess)

These sharks took advantage of people being in the "Disney" (vacation) frame of mind, add LOTS of alcohol and make promises they knew they have no way to keep.

Although, personally, no one would get $3,500.00 (much less $10,000) of my money until I had done a full and complete investigation.
Obviously others are not as cautious as I am.
"You must make the deal while on the ship" was the first of many red flags for me.

Thankfully, that has ended....but it does make you wonder what other "tricks" are up their sleeves.
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2007, 01:50 PM
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Well after reading all about these "clubs" my motto is "just say no!"
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2007, 03:38 PM
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You have to wonder why they could only sell the memberships on the high seas and not on land.
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