It’s been a long year and you’re thinking of taking a vacation with your family. Then, you receive a call offering you a free 2-day cruise. You know it’s a little too good to be true so; you do the astute thing.
Scour the internet for reviews of Royal Seas Cruises company to determine if the free cruise offer is a scam, legit, or something in between.
Though there are several scathing reviews of this cruise company already online, the offer is too good to entirely give up on them just yet. So, you are seeking several other opinions to give you a sliver of hope.
This objective review of Royal Seas Cruises will address your queries and more on the legitimacy of this cruise company.
What Is Royal Seas Cruises?
It is a cruise company offering two guest Grand Cruise Ships – Grand Celebration, and the Grand Classica; sailing from the Port of Palm Beach, Florida. Royal Seas Cruises ships promise to be well fixed with all the amenities cruisers want for relaxing travel at sea.
Also, they promise to provide a luxurious spa and salon with beauty treatments, massages, saunas and steam rooms, full casinos, night club, a state-of-the-art performance center that will provide nightly entertainment. And also lounges, duty-free gift shop, gym, pools, jacuzzi, and age-appropriate kid’s programs that always involve complete supervision from well-trained staff.
Although they are South Florida’s only year-round 2-night Bahamas cruise sailing company, they put into consideration the comfort of their passengers. Their 6:00 pm departure time and morning return to West Palm Beach adds to convenience for passengers who work or need to coordinate flights.
Royal Seas Cruises claim to offer great flexibility when choosing a cruise date though they offer Bahamas cruises sailing every day of the week.
Royal Seas Cruises also promises the following means of entertainment:
What Are The Destinations, Ships, and Departure Port Of Royal Seas Cruises?
The Grand Celebration and Grand Classica are the two cruise ships Royal Seas Cruises advertise and they depart from the Port of Palm Beach. Now, this is a bit doubtful because Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line which is a verified and reputable cruise company sails the same ships from the same port.
Also, Royal Seas supposedly sails the Bahamas on two-day cruises exactly replicating Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line itineraries.
Are Royal Seas Cruises And Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line The Same Thing?
If the ships, departure port, and destination are the same, are they both the same company?!
A review of the Royal Seas Cruises revealed that the two companies are not the same company. Rather, the Royal Seas is most likely a third-party supplier that sells cruises and books them for the customer, usually on a cruise with BPCL.
Are Royal Seas Cruises safe?
With financial acquisitions, your instinct is usually a powerful tool. If you feel the way the salespeople market and promote the products is iffy, try checking somewhere else.
Using Royal Seas Cruises as a case study, since their website is not secure, we do not recommend making payment through their site. They don’t have a valid SSL certificate which means that all information that goes through its website could be easily hacked, garnered, or intercepted.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Royal Seas Cruises?
Here’s a list of the pros and cons of this cruise company:
Pros Of Royal Seas Cruise
Cons Of Royal Seas Cruise
How Do I Travel With Royal Seas Cruise?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has reported people receiving phone calls from radio stations like Chase 88 and Quest 102, offering a chance to win a free cruise for answering trivia questions. Some get their free cruise offer as an ad on Ticketmaster on the confirmation page for a theater ticket purchase.
You’d then have to sign up online to receive a call from them. Some people have received postcards in the mail with an 800 number to call. However, these calls usually do not come from a cruise line, though the phone reps might make it sound like that’s what they are. Some offers came from Royal Seas Cruises, others are from Holiday Cruise Line and other companies.
These are travel sellers, not cruise lines!
The ship they offer to get you on is often Grand Celebration. It is an existing cruise ship however, it’s owned by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. (They do not readily give out that information).
You’d get an email confirming your interest in a free Royal Seas Cruise. And, about a day or two later, a representative would call you about the free trip. Now, they try to sell you some more on the idea and also every other package they offer.
The problematic part of the phone call is that you would be asked to decide on the spot. You really can’t hang up and call back; they’d rather suggest to put you on hold. They may also promise you the possibility of transferring the booking to someone else for a $9.95 fee if you book a reservation.
However, unlike a regular cruise reservation, when you pay for your free cruise, you don’t walk away with a cruise booking number. Instead, you’d get a Royal Seas booking number that you use when you’re ready to confirm a sailing date.
Although they’d sell the idea as free, the cruise isn’t free. The cruise fare is ignored, but you still have to pay government taxes and fees upfront – $65 per person. On your cruise, you will need to pay $12.95 per person, every day, for gratuities. And, the cruise line reserves the right to impose an additional fuel surcharge, up to $12 per person, per day.
We would not call Royal Seas Cruises a scam, however, compared to legit cruise companies that are transparent about their prices, they wouldn’t be one of my top choices.
Is Royal Seas Cruises Legit Or A Scam?
According to the Yelp reviews; some people actually get a cruise out of the deal. However, there are countless complaints about the pressured sales tactics, bait and switch with hotels, forced timeshare presentations, cruise cancellations, and high fees when people don’t book their cruise in the allotted 18 months and want an extension of the offer.
Although with Royal Seas, none of the reviews include a case of stolen credit card numbers. Also, there has not been a report that someone put down a deposit and did not receive the voucher to book.
Obviously, the actual scam seems to be the bait and switch tactics, uncooperative customer service, concealed fees and requirements, and the difficulty of obtaining a refund for canceled cruises. It may not be a phishing scam, but there’s a high probability of not getting the vacation you envisioned.
How Do I Protect Myself From Being Scammed?
Everything comes at a price. However, you get to decide the length you’re willing to go to get a “vacation at a cheap rate”. If you receive any of these too-good-to-be-true calls or emails, here are a few tips to guide you:
Do Your Research
Just as you’d research a new job or a new school for your kids, you should also review an offer of a free cruise from a company like Royal Seas Cruises. This is doable if you are to receive a confirmation call a few days after signing up online. This time allows you to take a look at the reviews of Royal Seas Cruises on Yelp and the BBB website.
These reviews give you a ton of information on the companies that really own and actually operate the ship cruise. You can also read the editor and reader reviews of ships to confirm if the Royal Seas Cruises is legit or a scam.
Also, Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) protects against unsanctioned cruise sellers and asks all taxable travel sellers to register with the department. They are also a source for your verification. You can check with them to see if the company you’re dealing with is registered or has broken any rules.
Do Not Readily Give Out Your Credit Card To Unknown Sources
According to FDACS, “Never give out a credit card or checking account numbers over the phone unless you initiated the call and are certain of the company’s credentials.”
You receive a call out of the blue requesting your credit card details in exchange for a vacation voucher, and there’s no way to prove the legitimacy of that company just yet. It’d be advisable to ask for a number to call them back, though they might not oblige you.
Do not give your credit card number for any other reason other than making a particular purchase. However, document the conversation if you decide to take the risk.
It’s alright to ask questions if the pitch doesn’t seem very possible. Any deals that require an immediate reply is cause for concern. You should ask for the name of the cruise ship and the cruise line, and if they withhold that information, drop the call!
Try To Ask For Credentials Or Any Proof Of Their Legitimacy.
Enquire about additional fees you might be asked to pay, restrictions on travel dates, or necessities like attending timeshare pitches as is common with free travel offers.
How and when you’d be able to book your cruise and get the travel vouchers is another answer that’s important in determining the legitimacy of the company.
Lastly, the possibilities of switching your travel dates, extending the date of expiration of your voucher, transferring the booking to another person, and the penalties for canceling a booking should all be answered comprehensively.
Believe me! It’s not overdoing it. These questions will equip you to make the decision wisely.
Speak To A Supervisor
When dealing with customer service requests, you may ask to speak to a supervisor or higher-up.
Sometimes, they are allowed to offer more than first-line phone reps. They would attempt to allay your suspicions and satisfy your concerns. However, if you still need some more convincing, take some time to make more researches.
Book Through A Reputable Cruise Line Or Travel Agent
With the need for more vacation cruises, there are several great cruise deals from legitimate travel agents and cruise lines. A free cruise may be advertised as cheap but you’d waste hours trying to organize the trip and still end up with a sub-par experience.
Ensure you garner as many tips and tricks, and then choose the trip of your choice.
At first glance, the idea is totally amazing. A free cruise in a nice ship with a loved one!
However, considering all the skipped (or intentionally omitted) requirements, it’s obvious that they are a lot of underlying factors that may bring that perfect dream of yours to an abrupt halt.
Though it can’t outrightly be called a scam, a review of the Royal Seas Cruises reveals that the various shortcomings of this cruise company don’t portray it as exactly legit.
We’ve given you as much information as there is, but it’s entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take the deal.