‘The Bachelorette’: Those Free Cruises for the Audience Aren’t as Great as You Think

In last night’s episode of The Bachelorette, host Jesse Palmer promised the audience “news that would change their lives forever.” (Let’s be honest. This isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve heard this spiel before.) Every episode Palmer, and previous host Chris Harrison, make wild exaggerations. The Monday night statement, “This is the most dramatic episode yet!” has long since lost its effect, but by now, we all know what to expect. So, what was Palmer’s life-altering news for the audience? A “free” cruise, but it’s not really all that great of a gift.

'The Bachelorette' free cruise vouchers were announced by host Jesse Palmer, seen here on the 'Men Tell All' stage.
Host Jesse Palmer as he prepares to disappoint the entire audience. | ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Virgin Voyage cruises given out during ‘The Bachelorette’ only leave from Miami

In the preview for the “Men Tell All” episode of The Bachelorette, the clip implied Palmer’s announcement affected all of the audience, not just those in the studio audience. The clip conveniently left out that part of his speech. However, it seems as though Palmer left out some other big details.

The Bachelorette audience received free cruise vouchers during filming of the “Men Tell All” episode. The “Men Tell All” films in Los Angeles. This means the majority of the audience lives in, or at least somewhat close to, LA. Virgin Voyage cruises have one port in the United States, and it’s in Miami. So, while the audience received free vouchers for the cruise itself, they still need to pay for the travel that gets them to Miami. On the bright side, if you already planned a trip to Europe, you can also find some ports over there. The Virgin Voyage line sets sail from Barcelona and Athens, too.

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‘The Bachelorette’ free cruise vouchers require the audience members to pay taxes

I remember learning as a kid that the contestants on The Price Is Right had to pay taxes on all of their winnings on the show. It seemed like such a lie to tell all these people they won tons of prizes only to hit them with a bill at the end for taxes. Now, I’m an adult, and I still feel like it’s a scam, but there’s nothing I can do about it.

This rule also applies to The Bachelorette and the free cruise vouchers that Palmer handed out during the “Men Tell All.” Sure, sure, they get the cost of the cruise removed from their bill, but they still pay taxes on it. Plus, the voucher doesn’t cover the gratuity for the wait staff on the ship. To add a little more salt to the wound, the Virgin Voyage vouchers likely won’t cover any alcohol consumed on the trip. Everyone knows alcohol costs more than food, and well, if they plan on imbibing, it comes from their own pockets.

‘The Bachelorette’ should cool it on the dramatic statements that don’t deliver

We’re not sure anyone actually believes the claims made during The Bachelorette anymore. However, it seems like it might be time to retire the hyperbolic statements in favor of something a little more reasonable. It’s safe to say that the audience is well aware of the overly produced moments on the show. So, why not revel in them?

Take a cue from FBoy Island and learn to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. Regardless, we’re sure the fans will continue to tune in from week to week. Besides, Bachelor in Paradise premieres next month, and it’s not like we’re going to skip that.

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