Mike and I recently went to Vegas for just a couple of days to celebrate his birthday. It was my first time there and we had a fabulous time, I can not wait to go back!
We arrived Monday afternoon and were to leave Wednesday afternoon, so our only full day was Tuesday, and we really jam packed it with activities and amazing food! Delicious breakfast at Hash House A Go Go, followed by some gambling on The Strip, after which we went over to The Venetian because Mike said I needed to see how beautifully painted the ceiling is. It was indeed stunning! Painted to seem as if there’s a bright blue sky above you, even fading to pink in one area to mimic a sunset. Absolutely gorgeous.
One really cool feature of The Venetian is the gondola ride that Venice, Italy is so known for. There is an indoor and outdoor version where you get to take a leisurely float while being serenaded by a man in traditional gondolier garb. We were heading upstairs to look from the balcony at the outdoor ride when a woman stopped us and asked if we were interested in going on the ride because she had an offer for us! They would give us a discount on the gondola ride, free dinner at some well-known restaurant and something else that I can’t recall at this time, and all we’d have to do is tour some new hotel…
While it did seem interesting, we declined because, other than the ride, it just didn’t seem like it would fit into our schedule since we already had reservations for dinner that night.
We decided to do the indoor ride, so we left to go find where it starts, which probably sounds not at all difficult, but let me tell you! Along this indoor river there are restaurants that have outdoor seating so patrons can overlook the water, so It’s not like we could just follow it to get to the beginning. We encountered all sorts of dead ends and what appeared to be dead ends but when we went back and looked more closely, turned out to be where we needed to head…we definitely walked way further than was necessary.
While on our trek we encounter another one of these people trying to get us to tour this fabulous, new and grand hotel, only this guy is offering a cruise!! You should know that at breakfast, I had asked Mike what he thought about a cruise as a possible vacation, so this was right up my alley! And all we had to do was spend a couple hours touring a hotel and go tell everyone we know how great it is and we get to go on a ‘free’ cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. A lot of hemming and hawing took place and ultimately, we did decide that it would be worth it. We did all the necessary stuff to sign up and the next morning we were to click on a link and an uber would be summoned to whisk us away to what I’m imagining to be the fanciest hotel in which I’ve ever stepped foot, where we will be provided ‘breakfast’ and tea or coffee.
Wednesday morning: Uber arrives without a problem and takes us to this ordinary looking hotel about 10 minutes away and now I’m a little confused but just going with it to see how this all unfolds. We’re directed to this small room in which to check in and have a seat to wait. I’m listening to what’s going on around us, listening to other conversations when we hear the word ‘timeshare’ and Mike and I just look at each other and say ‘oh no.’
Yup! We got sucked into a freaking timeshare presentation! It was actually quite an interesting concept with Hilton properties all over the world, you could purchase different packages worth points and each property has a point value. However, the packages are so expensive that they generously offer to finance you at an interest rate of 24%. To put it into perspective, the one they were offering us was $21,000. There is also a yearly maintenance fee of $1,800 and you’re locked in for life to this deal; Mike even inquired with our salesperson about what your options are if you no longer wanted this, and he had some cagey answers.
Obviously, we declined, but our super nice, non-pressuring sales guy had to go get his boss to sign off. New dude comes and throws out new numbers ‘what if I offer it to you for this amount?’ No, bro, give me my cruise so I can leave. Ah, but he needs to get his boss now! Now I’m getting annoyed that what was supposed to be 90 minutes is approaching 2 hours and there are still a couple more hoops to jump through in order to leave, cruise in hand.
Finally, they release us and all we have to do is check out with an employee who gives us all the information we need about the cruise…this was where I got really mad. She said to me “I don’t have any more cruises available, would you like blah blah blah instead?” At this point I’m wondering if we’re being penalized for not falling into the timeshare trap.
My dear readers, I have a very expressive face and she could see how irritated I was, so she fortunately followed this up by saying that what she could do is take my contact information and let me know when a cruise becomes available. I was skeptical but she gave me her name and phone number so that helped appease my mind, but I still wasn’t convinced I was ever going to get that call.
Lo and behold! She did call me!! I got the information about our ‘free’ cruise, and she walked me though everything and it seems fairly straight forward.
Later today we’re going to look into what’s available, which I’m sure will have restrictions and whatnot, but whatever. Regardless, this promotion will save us some money on a future vacation and saving money is my favorite thing in the world!