In our search for a cheap or low cost cruise we often become victims of cruise scams.
The word scam is a slang term meaning to cheat or swindle, as in a confidence game.
To swindle is to get money or property from (another) under false pretenses.
Confidence game refers to a swindle effected by gaining the confidence of the victim.
Cruise scams are usually offers of a two or three night cruise for an unbelievable low price. These offers are usually by postal mail but may also include e-mail.
In addition, especially in tourist destinations with high foot traffic, you may see someone dressed in a cruise ship type uniform selling cruises for an unbelievable low price.
Regardless of the offer, you will hear (what sounds like) a great reason to explain the low price.
You are often told that the low price is an introductory offer. You may also hear that the offer is limited in quantity or some other way.
With most types of travel scams you are told that you must act quickly or lose out on a great opportunity.
However, no matter the explanation given, your best course of action is to say NO. This is especially true if you do not have time to verify the offer.
Not all Cruise Offers are Cruise Scams
An unbelievable low price cruise offer (received through the US mail) may come from a legitimate source.
If you like the offer, the only safe course of action is to verify the information before you pluck down your hard earned money.
You should call the cruise line to verify every detail.
Additionally, call both the consumer protection division and the office of the Attorney General of the state from which you received the offer.
Inquire if there have been complaints. Ask specifically about the company that sent you the offer.
The above actions are small steps to take in exchange for protecting your hard earned money. Arm yourself with a lot of external information before you send money or use your credit card.
Do not become a victim.
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Cheap Cruise vs. Lowest Cost
Why You Should Sell Cruises
Cruise Scams - Also, See Cruise Terminology
ASTA - American Society of Travel Agents