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About BensonFan711

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Boston, MA
  • Interests
    Cruising (duh), TV (Star Trek, Law & Order SVU), Movies
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I just got back from a cruise with 3 other couples, and we just went to the MDR on the first day and made reservations for the week. One person can do it for the entire group, and as long as you have all of the cabin numbers, it won't matter what room number your party gives.
  2. I've never had a cruise flight get so much as a delay.....BUT, I've been on plenty of other flights where there were delays or cancellations. Air travel can be fickle. At an absolute minimum, I leave the day before the cruise, on the first flight out. That gives me a full 24 hours to screw around with airlines if I need to before we really run into problems. It's well worth the cost of the hotel room, just for the piece of mind. The superstitious part of me is also convince that the ONE time I think I know better and try to save costs on that hotel room is the time it will all fall apart. The ONLY city I travel to for a day of cruise is Boston....and only because that's a 30 minute cab ride from my house. An hour with traffic.
  3. I did a B2B on Oasis about 2 years ago in two different rooms. Towards the end of the cruise, they'll leave a notice for you that explains exactly what you need to do, but yes, the crew will move your luggage for you. The notice will also explain where you are to go on turnaround day to have your new ship cards issued for the second week, and all B2B cruisers will have to go through Customs and reboard the ship (I'm sure this is some regulation somewhere, and the ship really can't do much about it). It's quick, and once you're done, you're free to do whatever you like. When I was there, we were given tickets to a complementary lunch at Giovanni's table on turnaround day.
  4. Actually, yes, your friend IS more loyal to Royal. Those 5 cruise added up to 80 points, which is 40-80 nights, depending on whether or not there were double points on any of them. Your 11 cruises could have been 3 or 4 nights each, and unless you got double points on all of them, you didn’t get close to 80 points. Double points for suites are because of the price difference. A JS (generally) is about 2x the price of an interior - you get rewarded for that. Virtually every single business works this way. Ever change cell phone companies? If you have an individual plan with one phone, you won’t get much incentive to stay. Manage a corporate account? They will TRIP over themselves to keep you. I’ve been a decision maker in vendor selection in my professional life, and this happens every single day - the more money you spend with a particular company, the more appealing you are as a customer, and the more effort they will expend to keep you. Also, I never said I wasn’t nice to the guy buying groceries (or coffee, in your scenario). What I said is that I’m not going to offers a whole lot of discounts or perks, if that customer chooses to shop elsewhere. Same is true with Royal - the ship crew is (generally) a nice bunch who do their best to create a good trip for you. But, they have zero control over the rewards system - that comes from corporate. It’s not personal; it’s business. The better the customer (which means money spent); the more you work to keep them.
  5. Yep.....just because you book a specific category doesn't mean that's the category you'll be in. It means that's the LOWEST category you'll be in. Guarantee rooms are great...but only if you literally don't care where your cabin is (I pretty much only sail GTY). You can get a great deal on them, but it sounds like you have strong opinions over where you want your cabin, so I wouldn't recommend it for you, no matter how attractive the price is.
  6. Nope, you can specify at check out if you want to apply the credit towards the purchase or use a credit card. Single means (in theory) the entire $150 would go into your account. BofA and/or Royal isn't so good with this because my then-boyfriend was able to snipe my $100 credit I got from points. I was NOT happy. Shared means the whole thing will show up on the cruise planner for both of you and the first person to use it gets it (this is how my credit got swiped). At least a week before sailing. I just cashed in my points for OBC last week for a cruise I'm going on on the 27th.
  7. You're absolutely free to go check out the competition, and if you can get your gum cheaper somewhere else, more power to you. As the store owner, you aren't really budging my bottom line much, so what incentive do *I* have to retain *you*? You haven't given me any incentives either. Business is a two way street - the business has to be attractive to the customer, but the customer also must be attractive to the business. Cruising is no different. Repeat cruisers tend to fall into one of two categories - brand loyalists and deal hunters. Royal wants to take care of their brand loyalists, because those are the cruisers that will sail Royal and only Royal....unless Royal pisses them off to the point where they go shopping for another line. Deal hunters are just that - they book based on price, itinerary, sail date, etc, and they're not particular about which cruise line they sail on. If you've only done a few cruises with Royal, they're not sure yet which category you fall into. So yes, you get a few small perks for coming back (there's you meager incentive for you so far meager business), but there's not much incentive yet for them to give you deep discounts or any perk that's more than a nominal value. They'll give the big incentives to their brand loyalists, who come back cruise after cruise. All Royal has to do to get a deal hunter back is offer the best deal. Perks are irrelevant to those types of customers. As for that specific sale, since I don't have it in front of me, there's not much to say about it. My guess (and it's just a guess) is that there was something in the Terms & Conditions about who it applies to because there always is. No, I don't agree that Royal runs "fake sales" because the conditions are always spelled out in the fine print, if you take the time to read it.
  8. First off, I was speaking in general terms, not just about that specific promotion, which is obviously aimed at new to Royal cruisers. Secondly, you missed my point. At Platinum, you’re not a “loyal customer.” That label comes with Diamond, when you start seeing some really good perks. If I run a convenience store, and you come In and buy a pack of gum once a week, and threaten to leave, fine. You don’t spend enough in my store to be worth the effort to try to keep you. But, if you come in and buy, say, 10 cartons of cigarettes per week (yes, smoking is gross, but they turn a nice profit for convenience stores), that equates to about $120/week. Yes, I will spend some effort to keep your business. Airlines do the exact same thing. They will bend over backwards for their frequent flyers, but if you haven’t hit that status, you’re not one of their “loyal customers” they have any interest in trying to retain. You can become one of those customers, and you do it by flying a lot. Same thing with cruise lines. The difference is they give you “status” after your first cruise. I use that term loosely because and airline certainly won’t do that after 1 flight (generally...I got Silver on my flight to Australia, and that was one of the longest flights available in the world). But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention.
  9. Oh, for the love of all things holy..... First off, yes, of course you'd give discounts to first time cruisers. Two reasons: 1. You're giving people their very first cruise experience, which will likely result in brand loyalty OR 2. You're trying to poach customers from competitors (I gave up my NCL status to switch to Royal because of several factors....and I'm not the only one to ever do that). Now, let's look at this criticially. You say you're Platinum, correct? Ok, you've spent 15-30 nights on Royal Caribbean cruise ships (depending on your stateroom category, some of those could have been double points). I hate to break this to you, but you haven't actually spent a lot of money with Royal Caribbean. That's 2-8 cruises, depending on how long you cruised for and what your point accrual was during those trips. It seems like you're expecting them to give you every promotion out there, even the ones that you aren't the target demographic for. You're in that weird space between being a new customer and being a preferred customer worth keeping. There's a solution to this, of course. Work your way up the tiers and hit Diamond. At the moment, you're still paying your dues.
  10. Nope. I don't even do US cruises with same day flights. Couple of things to consider here: 1. A good headwind will delay you by several hours. 2. Airlines are notoriously fussy. The day you NEED everything to go perfectly is the day it will be a phenomenal disaster. 3. Jet lag. I've travelled from the east coast of the US to Melbourne Australia, and it takes a good 3-4 days to even start to acclimate to the time change. If I were in your shoes, I would do a few days in a hotel BEFORE the cruise instead of AFTER.
  11. Oooooo.....my FAVORITE kind of post! Walmart of the Seas....lol....yep! That's how I understand Carnival to be. They're the cheapest in the game, and so....yeah. Anyway, let's talk about Oasis. First of all, I love Oasis; she's my favorite ship by far. Let's go through some of your concerns one by one: Deck 10 or 11 is great. Both are sandwiched between other passenger cabin decks, though if you're toward the aft stairwell, I'd go for 11 over 12. The reason for that is that Dazzles is located on Deck 9 by the aft stairwell. If you're sensitive to noise, you may or may not be able to hear something from there. Personally, I've found that the rooms in Oasis are pretty quiet....I was on Deck 3 under the casino and heard absolutely nothing on the second week of my back to back (hey....I paid almost nothing for that week; totally worth it) 1. Food and drink packages - you will have to select your dining option (early seating, late seating, or MyTime), but none of those are an additional fee. You can book specialty dining and beverage packages through the cruise planner after booking (it could take 1-2 days to pop up on Royal's site). 2. Personally, I recommend doing some research and getting a TA. They'll handle rate changes for you. If you want to go through Royal, then you can cancel and rebook up until the final payment date. However, it will be on YOU to monitor, not the cruiseline. I have a TA do it, so I'm not sure if it freezes once you make your final payment or not. If it does, I would personally hold off on final payment until the last day to be able to cancel and rebook. 3. Oasis is a BIG ship, but she's wonderful. Prebook your shows, and anything else you want to do. Anything can be cancelled and refunded. The shows onboard are free, so if you don't go, no big deal. I booked shows for every night of my trip, and only went to about half of them. I'm a cruise geek, and I personally go on YouTube and watch ship tours before I sail so that I'm not totally disoriented when I get there.
  12. the insurance company still gets a ton of business from Royal, which creates a conflict of interest. I don’t buy flight insurance through airlines for the same reason. I either buy it through my TA or my bank. I want someone I know - for sure - is working for ME. Given how many issues people have had with insurance booked through Royal, my hunch doesn’t seem to be so wrong.
  13. Cabin steward - I have found that a friendly chat with the head of housekeeping resolves problems like that. I've only had one poor cabin steward, and it was fixed with a 5 min phone call. Same goes for towel swap. The stewards I've had generally will take them (but not leave them, because then you become responsible and potentially subject to a lost towel fee, should you fail to return it/leave it in the cabin). I don't mind that they don't leave them because I can get a fresh one at the pool or on my way off the ship to a shore excursion. Yes, no laundry. And I personally think that's fantastic. The last thing I want to do on vacation is laundry, and having a guest laundry area takes up more space on the ship that could be used for something else. This isn't completely unheard of either; many lines don't have guest laundry (besides the laundry service), and that's just fine (Norwegian and Royal most certainly don't). If you REALLY want to do laundry, there are laundromats on shore that are cheaper than what the ship likely would be.
  14. Definitely go independent. If something happens, and you need to file a claim, you want to be completely separated from Royal to make sure your insurance company is working for YOU, not Royal. I usually get mine through my TA.
  15. No, no need for a note. I generally bring the papers with the prescription on them that they staple to the bag in the envelope where I keep all of my cruise documentation and important paperwork, but I've never needed to show it. That's also quite possibly me being paranoid.
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