Thousands Win Mary Kay Cruise!

Mary Kay’s “Destination Red” promotion offered a free cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas in October. And apparently it was a HUGE success with 3,700 winners, according to NSD Kristin Sharpe. The old line “there has never been a better time to be in Mary Kay” is being used again.

So is this a huge deal? After all, THOUSANDS of consultants and directors won the cruise!

Of course it’s not a big deal. It sounds impressive until you crunch the numbers. There are about 500,000 Mary Kay consultants and directors in the United States. 3,700 of them won the cruise. That is less than 1% of the sales force. And how many of the winners did so with legitimate recruiters who were really interested in doing MK? How many of them “won” with people they signed up after begging or paying their fees and/or by making the initial inventory purchase for them?

Once again, we have a tool used to make Mary Kay look like a legitimate business opportunity with women who are having lots of success. And once again, the numbers themselves reveal the lie. Less than 1% of the sales force met the requirements of the promotion. Is 99% of  the sales force lazy and unmotivated? Or is the truth that Mary Kay is a loser “business” that is really nothing more than a pyramid scheme designed to lure in women and con them into making inventory purchases for the benefit of the upline and the owners of Mary Kay Inc.?



  1. Coralrose

    I love the line “Is 99% of the sales force lazy and unmotivated? Or is the truth that MK is a loser ‘business’?”
    So true!

    Also, if we *pretend* every person who qualified for the cruise legit qualified and didn’t spend their own money on starter kits or qualified orders, how much money would they actually earn by meeting this goal? My guess is not a lot. A cruise is great but it doesn’t pay the mortgage or buy groceries. I’d much rather have a job that pays a good salary than reward me with short cruises and cheap jewelry.

    1. Mountaineer95

      Exactly…how about MKC require records of actual RETAIL sales in determining who truly earned this cruise? What if MKC were to announce that only proven RETAIL sales dollars count towards this cruise…how much would that 3,700 number fall?

  2. raisinberry

    And it has a dual purpose that these ladies are unaware of.
    They will now be a captive audience for further indoctrination aboard a floating seminar/conference/retreat/.

    The only way a crumbling mlm stays in business is by RECRUITMENT, and the only way to keep the indoctrinated hopefuls on track to replace themselves and their teams is to dangle “free” cars and Directorship at them to lock in monthly production. There is no earned car, there is no earned Unit. Get that through your head, lurker. You LOSE your car and you LOSE your Unit if you do not KEEP humping out new recruits and new production. How great for you. You just signed up to bring in 4500.00 a month for Mary Kay, Inc., or face humiliation and criticism…(“She didn’t work her business”)

  3. Char

    I have a request. I know it’s the term MK has trained everyone to use, and it has inadvertently stuck, but it’s subconsciously misleading. Exactly MK’s intention.

    I think everyone needs to stop referring to consultants as the “sales force”. If anything, call them the “buying force” and break the old habit. Better yet, call them MLMers and cast a wider net.

    Your thoughts and suggestions encouraged.

    1. TRACY

      Yeah, I cringe a little every time I say sales force. I try to say distributors, but that’s a misnomer too. One good thing about using these terms is that they help us when people are doing google searches, since they are commonly used.

      1. Mountaineer95

        I’d say, based in the importance of the Google results, that we still use the term, but that maybe we put it in quotes when we use it, or add a running footnote every time we use the term, such as *while we use the term sales force, there is no proof of any actual sales. Actually, using the footnote in correlation with the “sales force” term might hav more impact.

        1. Coralrose

          This is a good idea. I also think there’s some value in using terms those currently in MK are familiar and comfortable with. If our language is too inflammatory, they will completely dismiss what we say and not return or listen. If we use language they’re comfortable with, they may be more likely to stay, read more, and gradually the scales will fall off their eyes.

          1. Char

            Thanks for the feedback everyone. Your points make sense.

            I’ll just throw in a “sales force” comment now and then. Hopefully this very discussion will be read by an active consultant and strike a chord…… using the term for SEO even though they’re just a bunch of big spending buyers participating in a pyramid scheme.

  4. enorth

    “3,700 winners”

    The capacity of the ship is around 3,800.

    Does that 3,700 number include the guests? Or is that just reps? Each winner can bring a guest, so is that number double?

    And what does she mean by “chartering more cruises”? If I had already blocked out that week for the cruise, either as a rep or as a guest, is MK now forcing me go on a different cruise at a different time?
    Or is MK going to hold five more “cruise contests” because it was such a money-maker for it?

    1. PeachyNotPink

      There was an announcement on InTouch by Nathan Moore that said because “so many people qualified” that one cruise couldn’t take all of them. Because the ship sales to the Bahamas multiple times in the Fall, Royal Caribbean opened up 5 consecutive cruise dates to accommodate all the “winners” .

      Right around the 21 second mark of the video he admits that Destination Red promotion was to help IBC’s “focus on building teams of teams” and that this is the first such trip that allowed ALL IBC’s (not just Directors) to qualify. So it sounds like he admitted they are a pyramid scheme focusing on building teams. It also sounds like MK Corp has to lower the bar by allowing all IBC’s in on the prize because of the decline in directorship.

      1. SisterHavana

        I feel sorry for non-MK people who’ve already booked cruises on that ship for the additional dates Mary Kay will be chartering. Either they’ll be booted and have to reschedule, or they’ll spend their cruise getting warm chatted like crazy by hundreds of Kaybots.

        1. PeachyNotPink

          The video on InTouch said that those who qualified first will have first choice of sailing date. So anyone who squeaked in under the wire has to wait for everyone before them to choose before they know what dates are available. However, I’m sure there is some sort of deadline for that.

          (Just to clarify: I signed up as a PUC to “help” a friend last June. I haven’t been deactivated yet as I placed an order last fall, again to “help”. I found PT shortly after that first order. This is why I have access to the video and the information I posted today.)

        2. BestDecision

          Oh, I’d HATE to be on that ship with them. You’re right they’ll be warm chatted everywhere they go, cringe at all the pins and strutting around like they’re filthy rich, and get the exact opposite impression of MK that corporate wants. I bet social media lights up that week with pictures and videos taken by other passengers and what they’re witnessing. Poor people!

        3. Just looking

          I thought chartering a boat/bus/plane/etc. trip meant paying the transport company to add an extra trip to their plans specifically for you and yours, not buying tickets in a trip the transport company was going to do anyway.

          So “…non-MK people who’ve already booked cruises on that ship for the additional dates Mary Kay will be chartering…” would be impossible.

          Like the way when my high school chartered a coach bus for a field trip (4 hours away otherwise they’d have used a school bus) no non-my high school people could have already booked seats that would put them on the bus together with our field trip.

          Did I get the meaning of chartering wrong?

          1. Lazy Gardens

            “Did I get the meaning of chartering wrong?” No, you have it right. They are using the word wrong, to make the cruise seem special. “Chartered a cruise ship” sounds way more special than “we booked a block of rooms on a boat that would have gone to the Bahamas anyway”

            Like they misuse “dual marketing”, “profit”, and a whole bunch of other standard business terms.

            1. enorth

              Exactly. It’s the minions who are saying, “MK is chartering a boat.”

              Chartering a boat is more like:
              — A day-long fishing trip from South Jersey “wid da boyz.”
              — The vessel in “Jaws”, as in, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
              — The S.S. Minnow.

        4. Jenna

          I found this thread because I’m currently on a ship with lots (and lots and lots) of ‘Destination Red’ tags, so I was curious about what it signifies. I haven’t seen any Mary Kay logo anywhere (like when Rodan + Fields books out something, it seems their logo is everywhere). I’m definitely in the minority here since over half the ship (by guesstimating alone based on tags and dining) is with Destination Red. It’s actually been great for us, though, because there aren’t as many kids on board, so the wait for the activities has been minimal to none!

  5. So, 3,700 winners; ship capacity 3,990. Winners bring 1 guest, 7,400 passengers.

    I’m almost positive they won’t be putting people in different price levels of cabins (imagine the catty mess that would be), so they will certainly have to spread out that many winners over 6 ships.

    I’d like to see the complete contest rules… I’m wondering if their was any disclaimer about the dates of travel, or anything like that.

  6. enorth

    As I recall, “the first 500 who qualify get a balcony suite.” So, what happens now? If I qualified for the balcony suite, but now decide to go on the fourth cruise, am I still getting a balcony suite? Has MK reserved balcony-suites on cruises two through five?

  7. Cindylu

    Once again this is delusional. There are many times great cruises become available at excellent prices. Also you can then go when you and your family choose to go. Why would I want to go with dozens of MK strangers and once again share a room with a bathroom hogging stranger? Also most of the women in my unit were not exactly friends or wealthy. I would be paired with someone I normally don’t hang around with and who could not afford to go for a drink. (Oops forgot I wouldn’t be allowed to drink with MK) lol. Another sad contest that simply probably cost way too much (time and money) to begin with 🙁 I wouldn’t have felt happy at the cost nor being away from my family which seems to happen a lot in MK.

  8. raisinberry

    I’m just now picturing all those women with a full face of makeup, lounging on the lido deck, sweating their faces off.

    Remember! You are the only Mary Kay a women will ever see! (cant be out in public without the product!)

  9. cindymouse6

    Okay, I found this website and it’s negative comments in 2006. I quit MK then because of this site….. I am still a personal use consultant, and find many of the critic comments unfounded and amusing…. I have researched numerous businesses from an entrepreneur standpoint ( tax liens, rent, unemployment taxes, matching SSN taxes, etc.) and I’m not in line with the complaints expressed….. being a self-employed contractor ( as I am in my non-MK business) is no different than a MKbusiness…. except MK doesn’t require to carry malpractice insurance for liability. I have just started a MK business for personal use and for family use and for tax deductions…. not sure what the complaint is.

    1. TRACY

      Mary Kay isn’t a business. You have no control over your what you sell, how you sell it, how you advertise it etc.

      The complaint? Please see everything on the website.

    2. BestDecision

      And, yet, here you are again 13 years later. I drove pink Cadillacs, and the cheating is rampant. I have a major problem with that as well as a list a mile long from my own personal experiences or that of which I witnessed others having. Even though I could still be a personal use Consultant today, I didn’t want to support a company that las LIED about animal testing for decades and turns a blind eye to the cheating that happens. They don’t get money from me anymore, and I easily found a far superior brand to use!

    3. Charles


      Exactly how is your Mary Kay business used for “tax deductions”? If you run a business you can only lose money at it for three years, then the IRS considers it a hobby and you can’t deduct the loss against other income. They expect you to make money at some point at pay taxes on that income. Businesses are not meant to be a tax deduction.

      If you have been purposely running your “business” at a loss for more than three years and deducting against the rest of your income, you are not following the tax rules properly. Expect to get an assessment notice from the IRS sooner or later.

    4. NayMKWay

      ” I have just started a MK business for personal use and for family use and for tax deductions….”

      Tracy is the resident CPA and can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure you can’t call it a “business” if you’re only signing up to get the discount. You can’t declare it a “business” if you don’t intend to even try to earn a profit from it. The IRS guidelines state that pretty plainly.

      But even if you get away with it for 3 years, that’s all you get before the hobby rules apply. Losses fir 3 out of 5 years automatically changes your business to a hobby, as far as the IRS is concerned. And in 2018 the tax law changed. Here’s 5he skinny, from Intuit’s site:

      “Beginning in 2018, the IRS doesn’t allow you to deduct hobby expenses from hobby income. you must claim all hobby income and are not permitted to reduce that income by any expenses. For tax years prior to 2018, you can deduct expenses as an itemized deduction subject to 2% of your adjusted gross income.”

  10. Juliet

    The complaint is that, over the 13 years you have slacked on your mary kay business lololol, millions of women have been robbed blind of their money by unscrupulous, lying ”sales directors”, ”independent beauty consultants”, ”national” MAKE ME THROW UP ”non sales directors”, and even you – the ”personal use consultant” who got roped into ”upping your game” as so many are guilted into by ”non-sales directors” who needed that INSANE ORDERING FROM MARY KAY QUOTA EVERY MONTH. Cause it sure ain’t sales.

    Real businesses are PROUD to declare their sales for the year when they ARE #1 in the country roflmaoooooo

    REAL business owners
    REAL job holders

    just yesterday out of sick curiosity I watched a pathetic abc or nbc news clip that might as well be a paid ad for mk AND guess what???? Those THREE BRILLIANT, SUCCESSFUL, CADDY DRIVING KBOTS —- the shining bastions of kbot glory —- when asked about income, TWO responded with ”I really don’t know!! I honestly don’t!” The 3rd brilliant sub-contractor, EXCUSE ME, business owner – when asked if last year’s income was six figures, ”oh well, not quite that yet!”. When pressed, “oh the high five figures, very close to six, definitely!”. “And that is after expenses?” she was asked. “Oh well, no I don’t know about the expenses but I BEE-LIEVE so!!!”

    Sure, watching the video and matching my words, word for word, NO, I am not verbatim, not by a long shot. But the summary is accurate.

    1. Charles

      I remember that show (Dateline, 20/20 or some show along those lines) and when they asked them about their income, two of the three couldn’t even fudge their way around the question! The third one’s numbers weren’t any more impressive than a run-of-the-mill job, if they were even that much. The news segment was kind of like an infomercial for Mary Kay right up until they got to the part about the income, and then like any MLM program, it all fell apart like a house of cards. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the company at that point. I was amused.

      1. BestDecision

        Yes, the 20/20 episode really showed how warped are people still in MK. If MK Ash really meant for people to not care about profit and just “People and Love”, why did she personally live in a mansion? Why did she take a profit to afford it?

        My income IMMEDIATELY increased the moment I sent my Cadillac back and resigned, and I’m proud to say I wasn’t like any of those Directors that didn’t track my numbers or even care about them. So ridiculous!

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