As self-proclaimed “beach vacation experts,” CheapCaribbean claims to provide the best vacation deals to the Caribbean and Mexico, as well as unbeatable prices and unparalleled customer service. CheapCaribbean also claims to provide reviews, photos, tips, and insider information about the hottest vacation spots that you won’t find anywhere else.
But should you use CheapCaribbean to plan your next getaway? Let’s bask in the facts and see what they have to say.
CheapCaribbean claims to use technology that scans thousands of flight and hotel prices for your preferred dates and to displays the lowest fares, which include round trip airfare on major airlines. On top of the hottest deals, CheapCaribbean also claims to feature only legitimate customer reviews on their website, which are verified prior to being posted.
When looking for your next Caribbean or Mexican vacation, the CheapCaribbean website features the following sections:
- Deals & Packages – All-inclusive resorts, last-minute deals, and more.
- Destinations – Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and other Caribbean destinations.
- Resorts – Top-selling resorts, or search by interest (e.g. family friendly, honeymoon, best beach, etc.).
- Luxury – Top chains, spas, luxury villas, golf, and more.
- Cruises – Search by a specific cruise line, destinations, deals, and more.
In addition to these sections, you can also search for hotels and/or flights from different airports, or by specific departure and return dates, number of rooms, and more.
Once you’ve found a vacation package you’d like to purchase and have completed the process, CheapCaribbean claims to take care of everything, including booking your flight and hotel rooms.
CheapCaribbean Pricing & Refund Policy
Due to the nature of the packages provided by Cheap Caribbean, vacations can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars, to several thousand. The company claims that anything displayed on their website is the full price you’ll pay, less any upgrades chosen by you, and that there are no hidden fees. However, keep in mind of other miscellaneous charges (such as airline baggage fees) may not be reflected in these prices.
CheapCaribbean claims that by “signing up for exclusive deals,” you can receive $50 off your first online package purchase, and that you have the ability to make payments on your purchase. However, the full amount is due no later than 21 days prior to your departure.
If you’re concerned about finding lower prices elsewhere online, CheapCaribbean claims to match prices with any other U.S.-based travel website within 24 hours of your booking, in addition to a $150 voucher that can be used on your next CheapCaribbean vacation. In fact, CheapCaribbean provides an SPF100 guarantee that provides you with a $100 voucher if you experience any rain during your trip. Like most travel companies, CheapCaribbean also offers Standard and Enhanced travel protection insurance in case something unforeseen happens before or during your vacation.
CheapCaribbean’s refund policy is fairly detailed and wholly depends on the circumstances surrounding the refund request. However, based on many of the customer reviews we read during our research (see more about this in the following section), the vast majority of honored refunds appear to be in the form of vouchers, not in monetary compensation.
In order to inquire about CheapCaribbean’s refund policy, or to ask any other questions you may have, you can contact the company’s U.S.-based customer service team at 800-915-2322.
What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About CheapCaribbean?
CheapCaribbean.com. Inc. is based out of Doylestown, PA, has been in business since 2000, and was named as Inc. Magazine's Top 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in 2013. The company also has offices in Dallas, TX and Phoenix, AZ.
CheapCaribbean has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite having more than 100 closed complaints over the past three years. Most of these appear to reference difficulty booking trips (e.g. cancelled flights, incorrect travel dates, etc.) and poor resort experiences (more about this in the following section).
Outside of the BBB, most online customer complaints appear to be much the same, with the addition of difficulty reaching a CheapCaribbean representative for help while on vacation, poor customer service, and frequently overbooked hotels.
What’s the Bottom Line About CheapCaribbean?
While CheapCaribbean seems to offer good package deals to Caribbean and Mexican vacation destinations, there are a few important factors you should keep in mind prior to booking your trip:
First, the prices displayed on the CheapCaribbean website can change rapidly (even within an hour), so if you find a good deal that you’re interested in, make sure to book your trip as soon as possible. With this said, your airline reservations are made the minute booking, so it’s doubly important to make sure you’re ready to take the trip when finalizing your purchase.
Second, understand that CheapCaribbean only sells the resort and airline tickets, and anything that occurs outside of this agreement is beyond their control. As such, if your flight is delayed/cancelled or the resort is overbooked, it can greatly complicate the process (e.g. vouchers from the airline which are not redeemable through CheapCaribbean, etc.).
With this in mind, we read numerous customer reviews complaining that if something like this occurs, even if you’ve already flown to your destination, you may be essentially on your own to figure out a solution. In fact, we read more than one review where customers were forced to drive long distances and pay for different hotel rooms out of their own pockets, without any help from CheapCaribbean, and without being offered any kind of compensation. Even if you do manage to obtain compensation from the company, it will almost always be in the form of vouchers to use on future trips from CheapCaribbean, which could be problematic if you had a poor experience to begin with.
Next, perhaps the biggest complaint we found regarding CheapCaribbean is their lack of proper customer support. In instances like the one described above, countless customers complained that the company’s customer service reps displayed an “oh well, hope you get this sorted out” kind of attitude.
Bottom line: Despite some concerns regarding poor customer service, CheapCaribbean appears to offer Caribbean and Mexican vacation packages at steep discounts, which may be suitable for budget-conscious individuals and families. However, before booking your vacation, you may want to find out if a local travel agent will price match. Ultimately, this could give you the best of both worlds; lower fares and better/more reliable customer service.
False Advertising - Buyer Beware
I was in the process of booking The Premium Junior Suite Ocean View for the Secrets Playa Mujeres Resort in Cancun, Mexico, and when I clicked to pay, the flight was no longer available within just a few seconds. Their site shows when there are only a few tickets left, and there was no notification for this at all. The next best departing flight was an additional $80 per person. Therefore, I was forced to purchase the more expensive airfare which was scheduled to leave earlier than the departing flight I was originally in the process of booking.
After purchasing the trip, I checked other vacation sites because I was disappointed in how their prices jumped up immediately. Their site almost seems to be a bait and switch. I went to AppleVacation.com and I found the same exact room and flight for $149.82 less than their price. In addition, AppleVacation also includes a free round trip transportation to and from the resort, $400 in coupons, and you have the option to select your airline seats. This is my first time booking with CheapCarribean, so they were offering a $100 coupon which I never received in time for my booking. I have yet to receive the email by the way.
I have been on the phone waiting to speak to someone for over an hour about cancelling or price matching, but when I called on a second line to book a trip I got an immediate response. The company's priority is to book, so they intentionally make the cancelation process extremely difficult and will consistently blame their sites maintenance for all their issues.
After waiting for over an hour and the first person was completely helpless, I decided to ask to be transferred to a supervisor. The supervisor told me that I would not be able to price match and receive their $100 first time credit that was promised, so be sure to read their fine print on their website about coupons and price matching. While I was on the phone with the supervisor for almost half an hour, I was checking travel comparison sites and noticed the same exact trip, including airfare, dropped by $250. I thought this was an error since I had just booked the same exact trip, but when I looked up the trip again through CheapCarribean, it had in fact dropped by $250. Therefore, had I not checked and waited on the phone for two more hours, I would have been stuck paying that much extra. While speaking to her, I asked how a dramatic change like that is possible and again, it was blamed on their website maintenance.
I never received our trip confirmation, and never received the $100 coupon. When we called the next day to ask why, they again blamed it on the site maintenance. In total, I have spent over four hours on the phone with CheapCarribean (mostly on hold). I subsequently found out that the AeroMexico flight that I was taking was chartered through AppleVacation and I may not be able to sit with my significant other since we are not guaranteed seats.
The booking process with CheapCarribean has been a hassle to say the least, but at least you have the option to split your payment. I guess (one star for them). As their site states while selecting rooms, "This room is similar to the Junior Suite Ocean View but offers more space..." for $35 more per person. I was curious in how much more space the room had in comparison, so I checked the hotel website and contacted the hotel directly. The website states that both rooms are 602 square feet and when we contacted the resort they said the same about size of the room and that the layout was identical.
Overall, I would recommend to stay away from CheapCarribean.com as their prices may be cheap, but the headache, frustration and lost time will surely makeup for their "cheaper?" rates. Their customer service never even accepted responsibility or apologized and merely blamed all these issues on site difficulties that occur past 12:00 AM. Meanwhile, we had booked our trip several hours before, but were on hold waiting to speak to a representative until past midnight. This became a three day process.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
0 out 1 people found this review helpful
Wyndham V Samana
Workers work 16 hour shifts at least 5 or 6 days a week. Gym attendant would not even look up from his phone when you came in to greet you. So customer service is sketchy at best. Good gym, great food, great beds, great beach, shallow pool, lucky if it is 3 and a half feet deep. The parties are for the staff, not the guests, who probably don't want to listen to jungle music and "I love the coco". Couples resort. Good titanium tennis rackets. Great BLT's.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend