Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Congratulations, Pack Your Bag Cruise Scam

Postcard Offers "Complimentary" 8-Day Caribbean Cruise

LABELLE, FL. -- The latest "free" travel opportunity scam comes in the form of a postcard offering a "Complimentary 8 Day Cruise," in what is described as a limited time offer, "one cruise per household."

Personalized, the offer says "Congratulations, Pack Your Bags!" with the recipient's first name inserted.

(photo: back of the "Complimentary Cruise" postcard. Note the photo-shopped "Caribbean Dream" on the ship's bow!)

The postcard says if you "call within 48 hours you will also be eligible to receive" 2 roundtrip airline tickets plus a $100 dining certificate.

The small print says "call for complete details of rebate participation." Also, it notes customer will be responsible for "minor taxes and processing fees."

You can be sure the fees and requirement to apply for a rebate will not make this "complimentary" offer much of a good deal, let alone a free deal.

This cruise offer in past years came from a Sarasota company called License to Travel LLC. They went out of business in September 2009.  The owner Donna J. Doyle later moved from Arizona to Florida and started Focus Ten of Tampa, Inc. and Focus Ten of Florida, Inc operating four Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area.  The four stores filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

The postcard shown above is mailed from Tampa, Florida, permit #78.

Calling the toll free number (855)-878-4054 one will find you will be required to make a reservation to view a presentation at a local hotel. Expect to sit through a high pressure sales pitch to buy into a travel "Club." The "Club"will cost you several thousands of dollars.

If you ask the person on the phone about who exactly the company is, expect an incomplete or no answer, and some reports says the salesperson will even hang up on you.

After the travel presentation at the hotel, you will be presented with a complimentary "certificate" for which you mail in with a check for "fees" to theoretically get the "free" cruise.

Although there is no company name whatsoever mentioned, or address on the postcard, for several years this type of "travel club" operated out of Sarasota, FL, owned by Donna J. Doyle of  Scottsdale, AZ. Doyle now shows a Tampa area address of 28705 Bennington Dr., Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

45 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:19 PM

    We actually received this postcard today. So very glad I came across this info.

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    1. Anonymous4:52 PM

      I received it also. The name on the ship says Caribbean Dream.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2:43 PM

      I received the postcard today... thank you everyone for the 411...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous8:20 PM

      We received one today as well.... the second in the last few years. Have been leery of anything that says its "free" so never called.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous10:49 PM

    I received this today also...thanks so much for posting this warning...

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  3. Anonymous5:19 PM

    I wonder what Royal Caribbean might have to say about this scam? At the top of the post card and to the far left of the postage permit that particular cruise line's name is boldly featured, but it is not the official Royal Caribbean trade logo. At the bottom of card just above the toll free number it says, "WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONTACT YOU (THIS IS NOT A TIMESHARE OR LAND SALE OFFER)." Guess it's time for me to disconnect my telephone and get a P.O. Box. These business sharks need to starve to death!

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  4. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Note! the real Royal Caribbean is " Royal Caribbean International" and all their ships names end with "of the seas". Those differences probably allow these scammers to slip by. I'd send a "thank you " note to Ms Doyle but the way the law works I'd be the one to lose.

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  5. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Thanks for posting this warning. I too received a postcard this week.

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  6. Anonymous10:03 PM

    My first clue was the name of the ship. The Dream is a Carnival cruise vessel. Thanks for posting this. I was curious.

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  7. Anonymous10:09 AM

    I have an appointment today, but after reading this, I called to ask a few simple questions. Andrea answered and told me that Royal Caribbean is the sponsor of this, so I asked again for her to clarify....and she immediately said she would transfer me to Crystal....who never answered the phone. Yea, I'm not going........

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  8. Anonymous2:43 PM

    I received a postcard today Oct. 7, 2013 with a different phone # 1-855-300-8972 but everything else the same. If you call within 48 hours now you receive a $100 bonus gas offer from Chevron. So this is still going on. I live in Wesley Chapel, FL the same city Donna Doyle most recent address. Interesting!! So beware before you call.

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  9. We were heading to see what the catch was this afternoon until I read this. I knew it was some type of sales pitch. We have actually gotten some pretty good deals before, spending a couple of hours listening to them trying to sell timeshares etc. Seen some great shows in Vegas for little to nothing and free nights in hotels in Myrtle Beach. I am interested in what the real deal is but we have decided today is not the day.

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  10. Anonymous5:24 PM

    I rec'd my postcard today, 11/1/13. Very similar looking to this sample, but phone # to call is 877-562-0579. It states in very tiny print that "This promotion is not sponsored by or affiliated with Carnival, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, but they are a major supplier." If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's nothing but a stinking scam intended to separate you from your money.

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  11. Still operating. Got one last Friday - 11/15/2013 - Card titled Royal Caribbean - same scam - free 8 day cruise from Tampa or Bahama's to Virgin Islands.

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  12. Anonymous9:41 PM

    I got one today. It had the phone number of 855-300=8972. It says between 9-9pm, I have been on a few cruises and don't really recall ever seeing one for the Caribbean for 8 days. Regardless, round files this baby...

    They didn't try to hard to reach me, I live near Tampa never heard of them.

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    1. Anonymous3:03 PM

      I got one in today's mail 12-5-13. Have received several phone calls from these people prior to getting this card. Have always hung up on them without listening to the spiel. Live in Land O Lakes. This skeptical New York'er didn't believe it for a N. Y. minute!

      Delete
  13. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Got mine today. I always check. There is no such thing as a 'Free Lunch' or anything else. I am my own travel club. In the trash it went.

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  14. Anonymous4:48 PM

    I got one today 12/7. The phone number is 855-596-0668. I actually got duped into joining a travel club once, a long time ago. I won't fall for that again!

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  15. Anonymous9:29 PM

    I also got a card today on 12/7/13. Thanks everyone for the posts. It's a shame that this outfit can continue to "scam" people and not get arrested! Different number on my card however (1-855-596-0669).

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  16. Anonymous6:09 PM

    I GOT THE SMAE ONE TODAY 12/12/13. I travel a lot on Carnival they don't advertise this way..SCAM.

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  17. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Received postcard yesterday 12/14/13, Jacksonville FL. Branching out...Thanks for posting!

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  18. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Got mine on 12/17/13 in Des Moines, IA. Talk about branching out. But the number I have is 877-448-6697.

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  19. Anonymous2:07 PM

    Thanks for confirmation. I smelled it.

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  20. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Got one in the mail today, I'm in S. Florida. On the back it says Royal Caribbean - Carnival
    Phone number is 855-334-7112 Monday to Sunday. 9AM to 9PM. They must be scamming a lot of people to afford all those phone numbers and 12 hours of phone people, 7 days a week.

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  21. Anonymous5:53 PM

    My husband got one. We're in Winter Sprongs, FL just north of Orlando. Phone # is 855-334-7114. And they are offering a "$100 gas rebate voucher", how generous! Lol

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  22. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Typo... Winter SPRINGS. LOL!

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  23. Knew this was a scam but looked it u just for laughs..
    Don't get fooled folks...never give money without checking wither the "real" criuise line first

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  24. Anonymous7:41 PM

    Got one in the mail today 1/22/2014 in Tucson, AZ. Thanks for the info!

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  25. Anonymous3:45 PM

    got one in the mail today, different phone number everything else is the same. Thanks for the warning.

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  26. Anonymous3:54 PM

    got one today 1/23/2014 in Kissimmee, fl. thanks for the warning.

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  27. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Got one in mail today 1/23/2014 in Palm Bay, FL. Thanks for the heads-up!

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  28. Anonymous8:22 PM

    Yep, got mine today, 1/23/2013 in Rockledge, FL. There is no free lunch...

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  29. Anonymous7:15 AM

    Got one yesterday 1/23/2014 in Weston, FL. Phone number says 855-334-7112. Thanks for the posts.

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  30. Anonymous11:56 AM

    My mother got one today, she thought it was legit... I told her that it was a scam. The phone number is 1-855-828-6034. She lives in Orlando. Watch out for the elderly.

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  31. Got one today addressed to my husband who is in his 70's. I suspected a scam but rather than throw it in the recycling bin decided to check it out online. Glad to run across this. I may pass it on to our local city officials to put out an e-alert. We, too, are in Orlando area.

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  32. Anonymous11:35 AM

    Got mine today 1/27/2014 in Scottsdale, AZ. Same pics, same swirly watermarks, except the photo-shopped "Caribbean Dream" logo has been deleted from the ship's bow. The "One Time Offer" BANNER has also been changed to "Final Offer" on the photo of the drink with the cherry on top. The phone number changer to 1-888-482-6021 and they dropped the free $100 dinner/gasoline offer but still offer the "free" airfare for 2 Otherwise it is identical to the one posted above. I'll pass...

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  33. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Got one in the Orlando area today, 1/28/2014, exactly as pictured and noted above, including the photo shopped ship name, permit #, everything is identical, except the phone number: 1-855-828-6034.

    "WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONTACT YOU! (THIS IS NOT A TIMESHARE OR LAND SALE OFFER"

    Maybe not, but they sure are going to try to take my money. Another one for the fire kindling stack.

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  34. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Got mine today, 1/30/2014, Cocoa, FL. Except mine says "Exclusive Offer" on the drink picture, different font on "Complimentary 8 Day Cruise", and it offers 2 round trip airfares. No mention of any cruise line name but Caribbean Dream is on the bow.

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  35. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Thank you. Last year I did receive a free cruise from Carnival and it was legit. Now I receive this post card and think twice it can't be real. Thank you for all your information because I might have called.

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  36. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Got one today 2/13/2014 and I live in Jackson, Mississippi but the cruise line is Norwegian.

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  37. Anonymous3:06 PM

    The phone number is for World Wide Travel and the phone number to folks who live in Mississippi is 1-855-665-4679. They ask you to call the phone number on the post card and to give them the 4 digit code on the post card. They want you to bring your DL and major credit card to the presentation. The ship is Norwegian. I guess Mississippi is the new target.

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  38. Anonymous5:32 PM

    Got a postcard called "Southwest Florida Celebration" today, March 11, 2014. New versioin of the scam, I guess: They selected me, in honor of 2014 (!) to receive two round trip airfares to anywhere in the contiguous U. S. If I call within 48 hours, I'll receive a 3 day 2 night hotel stay at Hilton brand hotels. To claim, call 888-482-6021. Thanks for this site!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous2:45 PM

      Received the same postcard today (March 26th, 2014). Knew it was a scam, but searched online because I was interested in finding out who was behind it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2:37 PM

      Just got this exact same postcard, April 1 2014. Quite appropriate for April Fool's Day!

      Delete
  39. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Now, (April 10, 2014), they have changed the pic on the card front and added Norwegian Cruise Lines name to the deal. 8 day cruise for free.......and, if you hurry up you get a round trip flight to a "major U.S. Airport" as well. Woohoo, Tampa, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Wow now if only Obama will pay my mortgage I'll be in damned fool heaven! Just remember folks, like the famous movie line reminds, "Stupid is what stupid does."....... But go ahead and get your Bone us, I mean bonus by hurrying it up. hope Jimmy Buffet is the mainliner in the ships ball room! Maybe his opening act will be Tupac Shakur or Little Wayne or Shakira or Willie Nelson and the boys. Ding Dang, I gotta hurry up or I'll miss my "free flight to a major airport". I hope it's SFO, I have some friends in the CAL I'd like to see before I go cruising with Tupac and Jimmy and Willie. At any rate, have fun, thats what life is all about!

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