There are some unprecedented bargains being offered in the cruise industry these days.
Here is an offer from BJ’s Wholesale Club for a four-night cruise for an amazing $149 — just $37 a night.
Besides that, they are promising getting up to $500 of credit to spend on the ship and even, possibly, a BJ’s gift card of up to $200. Sounds like they are going to pay you to take this trip.
When you begin to get the details of the trip, the promises change.
In one place, it indicates that the onboard spending is only “up to $100” and in another place the onboard spending is a $200 coupon booklet. Neither of those is the up to $500 promised. Worse, when you click the “see details” link, more bad news is delivered.
Looks like we do not qualify for any shipboard credit on two counts: (1) it only applies on trips of six days or longer; and (2) the advertised $37 rate is for an inside cabin, and only outside cabins qualify.
As one clicks further, hope is restored with this:
And hope is dashed by the fine print footnote:
Carnival onboard savings booklet offer is valid only for new individual bookings made between 3/3/09 and 4/1/09 for oceanview staterooms on all sailings of 5 nights or longer, departing after 5/1/09.
Finally, what about that BJ’s $200 gift card that was advertised? Well, we lose on that score too because we don’t meet the minimum purchase requirement.
On checking with a reservation specialist at BJ’s Travel, one further learns that the $149 rate is an interior room with only bunk beds (ouch), and with taxes and fees comes to $201.73. To upgrade to two lower beds is an additional $30 per person.
When asked whether the email advertisement was deceptive because the advertised price did not include the extras stated, she said that it was not misleading because the advertised rates have certain restrictions and criteria for getting those rates.
But there is good news, we do qualify for a reduced deposit. Thanks for nothing.