I was until very recently an empolyee for Ramada Plaza Resorts Orlando Ft.Lauderdale Vacations, and I sold "an absolutly fabulous package" to Florida and the Bahama's. This package is not a really a scam as it is a true rip off. So before the "Director of Promotions" talks you in to buying this horrible package, please do take a minute or two and read the following, you will not regret it.
Now when you are called and are told that you are now speaking with a 'Promotions Director', do not believe it for even a second. Its a crummy call centre with about 45 "Directors", and you are speaking with someone who probably has no idea about what this wonderful company is about. You are at no point, selected demographically. The only demographic requirement you really need is a valid credit card. Every single person at the paticular show where you filled out this form has/is going to be called, this I promise you.
Your $3085 vacation package is not even half of that value of this package, think about it! Your package infact is only worth $698. The price you are paying. If you ask the agent "how many stars is the hotel in Ft. Lauderdale? The answer you will get is, that "Ramada Plaza Resorts offers Gold Key accomadations".
The reason you are told that is because, according to the Tourism Board in Florida, the hotel is a "one star" resort. If you look up the rates for the hotel in the off-season, the room is actually $54 net a night. You do the math. You will be getting your 3rd and 4th traveller at no additional cost. Lets be clear, this is not a 2nd room, it will just be you and your other three travelers in a room with two accomadating beds. So basically, what Ramada is providing you with is two free pillows and a couple of towels. (Not the romantic getaway you quite imagined)
Oh, you can go on the cruise too. Your "Port and Depature" fee of a $198 though, is a little too high, don't you think? It is actually the highest fee for any cruise out of Ft Lauderdale. So your "full dining and entertainment" is not acctually included, you do pay for it. Is the cruise worth is? Absolutly not. The Imperial Majesty is infact a rust bucket, with a tea cup for a swimming pool. The ship was christened by the queen sometime in the early 60's and had not been in active service for a while. Then the Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines(Ramada) bought two ships a few years ago (sister ships). The Ocean Breeze and The Regal Empress, the former actually sank and now lies somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. After the 'Ocean Breeze' was offically out of commission the wonderful Regal Impress was brought back out of retirement. The "State Room" that you are provided with is a jail cell, with no windows. An upgrade however is always available.
The Ramada Plaza resorts in Orlando is the "offical Universal Studios destination hotel" They actually do have a few and most of them are alot nicer. The Ramada is a poorly maintained resort that actually backs in to one of the bigger highways in the outskirts of Orlando.
Ofcourse, while you are on vacation, you are provided with a car from Alomo for a week with unlimited milege. However you do pay for insurance, and if you are below the age of 25, be very wary, you will be paying a healthy surcharge. Your car in fact is a sub-compact (something the size of a Geo). It may prove a bit of a problem to seat four adults with ease for an entire week. In addition to that, when you do go on your cruise, you will most certainly be paying some good $$ for parking.
You will also recieve two bonus vacations at 'no additional cost". Not true! There are all sorts of taxes you have to pay, and Ramada will make up for that cost when you get to either Nevada or Mexico. And once again you will be staying is some fantastically crumy resorts.
Now you will be required to ofcourse visit an "off site resort", this is infact time share and they will do every thing in their power to try and sell you a suite/villa at a real resort. They make you stay in a dump and then show you the grass on the other side, there is a reason you are being offered this vacation.
All your questions about the resort are answered by the director in a very simple manner, they read it off the the three tiny walls that surround the so important "Director".
Towards the end of the call, you will be put on hold for a while as your "tickets are being printed" No they are not, you are put on hold so you can hear the "fantastic details that make Ramada Plaza Resorts sound like a palace". The agent infact is sitting there and just waiting for a little while. Thats the level of proffesionalism that Ramada demands from contracting companies.
If the agent tells you that he/she is being paid by the hour, that is also in fact a lie, not only do they get paid on an hourly basis but receive commmission on every sale they make. But its really not their fault, they are told what to do by the managers of the call centre.
You see, this wondeful script, is actaully a very successful one. It has been perfected, and every negative peice of information you receive is actually followed by three or four pieces of some positives.
Finally, your verification call. Now this particualr formality is only completed to make sure that once you have athorized the charge of $698 with Ramada Plaza Resorts, you have now offically been ripped off. That call is done not for your protection but infact there's. You will also be pitched another vacation during this time, so at no point should you feel special, you and every single registrant from the show who signed the registration form will be called in the next few days, and they will only stop calling you when you tell them you are not interested.
So thats, your wonderful package. If you do purchase it, be prepared to be dissapointed. When I worked at Ramada, everyday before our shift we were told to provide the registrants with a "fantastic visual image", I was told to put on my "acting hat". That was "my job".
So be wise and vaction with a more proffesional and honest establishment.