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RCCL Continues to Minimize Customer Loyalty and Customer Service

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Of course I know that Royal and Celebrity are owned by the same company. But just as Princess and Carnival are owned by the same company, at this time in my life, a Princess ship is a better fit for me, just as Celebrity seems to be a better fit than Royal.

The point I was trying to make in my post on the Key Program was that as time goes on, all of the cruise lines will begin to ask the customer to pay extra for things that in the past we all took for granted as part of the basic fare.

A cheap fare is not cheap if one has to add on all sorts of extra fees.

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Looking at the KEY perks I can see how they offer some enticement to those sailing if they are interested in the offering.

 

 

For us , no.  Because we already pay for them.

And we get what we pay for.

 

We sail in suites by choice and yes we select to pay for what we get.

And yes our gratuities are higher, it comes with the suite.

 

Free Wifi

Embarkation lounge 

Priority boarding

Suite lounge Select beverages 

CK (Allure)

Reserved seating except for comedy club. (In fact the balcony seating is really nothing to write home about, you have to look above the railing to see the show). But at least we do not have to rush through dinner.

The Ice skating show seats are nice.

Luggage valet

Priority disembark, walked off to head of line to get to customs

Golf cart ride to barefoot,  but, we walk that short distance.

Barefoot beach and upgraded luncheon.

 

I have done zip line on board  and once had a 30 min. wait, yup just waited my turn, no biggie.

As far as the flow rider, could you really see a 62 year old mom (aka me) on it, not gonna happen

Rock climbing wall, uh no.

And besides some cruisers have posted the times for these offerings are minimal.

 

The Chops luncheon I am sure is nice, we have had dinner there on a number of occasions, and enjoy the food.

Drop off carryons so you do not have to lug around till cabins ready. Means nothing to us.

We only board with one carryon and it has our medicines, and important papers in it so it stays with us till cabin open.

 

Priority disembark at ports???  It really does move quick on the Allure, not really a biggie. And since it does not tender, there is no problem.

 

And besides, I am reading on some of these threads that some of  the perks are non-existent on some sailings and have been varying from ship to ship.

I hope that people are getting what they pay for.

 

But I am sure cruisers will select and pay for what makes them happy when they sail. Like me for example paying for suites.

 

So the key for me------- suite passenger/Diamond, has no impact

 

I hope all have a great day and safe and fun cruises.

 

Sea Ya

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, trivia addict said:

Of course I know that Royal and Celebrity are owned by the same company. But just as Princess and Carnival are owned by the same company, at this time in my life, a Princess ship is a better fit for me, just as Celebrity seems to be a better fit than Royal.

The point I was trying to make in my post on the Key Program was that as time goes on, all of the cruise lines will begin to ask the customer to pay extra for things that in the past we all took for granted as part of the basic fare.

A cheap fare is not cheap if one has to add on all sorts of extra fees.

 

You are not obligated to go for the extras.  Just like when you buy a car--you choose what options you care most about.   The Key program is an option for some Paxs.

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Cruise lines have not built ships to keep up with promises made to loyal cruisers, because cruise lines have underestimated the marketplace and loyal followers , and therefore not provided the commensurate facilities and services needed to meet the expectations of the number of higher tier and long term committed loyal cruisers. All of these new ship builds need expansion to meet the demand for the projected future  number of higher tier and long term committed loyal cruisers.       

Edited by ssb

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24 minutes ago, ssb said:

Cruise lines have not built ships to keep up with promises made to loyal cruisers, because cruise lines have underestimated the marketplace and loyal followers , and therefore not provided the commensurate facilities and services needed to meet the expectations of the number of higher tier and long term committed loyal cruisers. All of these new ship builds need expansion to meet the demand for the projected future  number of higher tier and long term committed loyal cruisers.       

It's a far cry from the hole in the wall where they held the Ds nightly events to the D lounges of today with spirits, beer, etc. instead of pretzels/nuts and some wine and water.

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30 minutes ago, nelblu said:

It's a far cry from the hole in the wall where they held the Ds nightly events to the D lounges of today with spirits, beer, etc. instead of pretzels/nuts and some wine and water.

We made Diamond in 2011 and remember the nightly events well and everything you say is perfectly true.

The DL is by far the best loyalty benefit RC gave us.

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1 hour ago, ssb said:

Cruise lines have not built ships to keep up with promises made to loyal cruisers, because cruise lines have underestimated the marketplace and loyal followers , and therefore not provided the commensurate facilities and services needed to meet the expectations of the number of higher tier and long term committed loyal cruisers. All of these new ship builds need expansion to meet the demand for the projected future  number of higher tier and long term committed loyal cruisers.       

They don't build new ships to 'keep up with promises made to loyal cruisers' --- there was never a 'promise' made to a cruiser.  New ships with their new features are to attract a NEW TYPE of cruiser -- who wants more things to do while on board and is not so amused by just a pool deck and sitting in their lounge chair on some deck.  

 

I love the new builds with their amazing features....don't get me wrong trivia games and water games are fun....but waterslides and all the rest....GREAT.   We have logged 27 cruises to date and we enjoy tremendously the DL which we have, but the location or size of the DL isn't why I cruiser.   I enjoy it and what they provide in it, but it is just a 'perk' I have earned with my cruises.

 

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2 hours ago, Paulette3028 said:

They don't build new ships to 'keep up with promises made to loyal cruisers' --- there was never a 'promise' made to a cruiser.  New ships with their new features are to attract a NEW TYPE of cruiser -- who wants more things to do while on board and is not so amused by just a pool deck and sitting in their lounge chair on some deck.  

 

I love the new builds with their amazing features....don't get me wrong trivia games and water games are fun....but waterslides and all the rest....GREAT.   We have logged 27 cruises to date and we enjoy tremendously the DL which we have, but the location or size of the DL isn't why I cruiser.   I enjoy it and what they provide in it, but it is just a 'perk' I have earned with my cruises.

 

Yes you are right , but many seem to think the perks are being taken away . And there are so many that are reaching for and spending for the higher class and tiers . This is opposed to cruising for the fun , travel and comradeship. 

Heard recently at a conference , a cruise Tourism expert say recently that only 3 % or so of the potential cruise marketplace has been tapped . Your comments are correct about building for the new type of cruisers . Yes I am saying they are not building ships for the top tier and long time committed loyal cruiser . 

Edited by ssb

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1 hour ago, ssb said:

Yes you are right , but many seem to think the perks are being taken away . And there are so many that are reaching for and spending for the higher class and tiers . This is opposed to cruising for the fun , travel and comradeship. 

Heard recently at a conference , a cruise Tourism expert say recently that only 3 % or so of the potential cruise marketplace has been tapped . Your comments are correct about building for the new type of cruisers . Yes I am saying they are not building ships for the top tier and long time committed loyal cruiser . 

I don't believe they have ever built ships for the top tier or 'long time committed loyal cruiser'......they build new ships with new amenities to attract new cruisers --- either people who have never cruised and find that what they put on cruise ships to entice them to try a cruise is worth their investment of money.....or pick up cruisers from other cruise lines, that have become dissatisfied with what they were getting (one company's loss is another company's gain).  

 

I cruise because I like the experience and Royal has kept building new ships with new things on them for me to do and enjoy and I keep sailing with them....simple as that.....and yes as the cruises have accumulated they have given up some perks, which we enjoy also.

 

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This diamond plus member misses the embarkation priority boarding and special seating at ice shows.  We have solved the boarding problem by arriving after 2 pm, no lines then, but it was a nice perk. 

 

We appreciate most of all the happy hour and 3 drinks loaded on our card so that we can enjoy a free drink almost anywhere on the ship. Also really appreciate the wifi. 

 

The crew and staff have always bent over backwards to make each cruise special, so even though they have taken away some of the perks we were used to, the most important ones are still there.  Just my opinion, thanks for yours.  

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19 minutes ago, Oneluckywoman said:

This diamond plus member misses the embarkation priority boarding and special seating at ice shows. 


Diamond and D+ still get priority boarding.... why are you "missing" it?

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Plot twist: 

- OP flees to a different cruiseline

- Doesn't have a loyalty status with the new line

- Ends up buying their version of the key to get back some of his lost perks  

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1 hour ago, Oneluckywoman said:

This diamond plus member misses the embarkation priority boarding and special seating at ice shows.  We have solved the boarding problem by arriving after 2 pm, no lines then, but it was a nice perk. 

 

We appreciate most of all the happy hour and 3 drinks loaded on our card so that we can enjoy a free drink almost anywhere on the ship. Also really appreciate the wifi. 

 

The crew and staff have always bent over backwards to make each cruise special, so even though they have taken away some of the perks we were used to, the most important ones are still there.  Just my opinion, thanks for yours.  

We just reached the D+ level, and from what I can see, sometimes where they put the 'priority seating' is in MY estimation NOT a top notch location.  I can skip that.

 

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1 hour ago, brillohead said:


Diamond and D+ still get priority boarding.... why are you "missing" it?

I think the OP is talking about the security check. In Port Canaveral. There is no priority line for security check for Diamond, Diamond+ . Only a special line for Suites, Pinnacles, and the Key program. 

Once you get upstairs there are priority lines.

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On 4/3/2019 at 7:02 PM, Justmekaren918 said:

Boarding line of Diamond and up perk has been after 1st board! Unless you get there in the very beginning u r now shuffled to main line, which on Oasis last September looked to be hours long & out the door & this solo with disabilities would not have been able to stand in that line! Now it seems I have to buy the Key or stand in that line to board Harmony in September. That is what Royal has done! Now ur caught up!

 

That happened pre Key. 

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19 minutes ago, rt1092 said:

I think the OP is talking about the security check. In Port Canaveral. There is no priority line for security check for Diamond, Diamond+ . Only a special line for Suites, Pinnacles, and the Key program. 

Once you get upstairs there are priority lines.

 

2 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

That happened pre Key. 


Exactly.... they still get Priority Boarding if they get there super-early... has nothing to do with The Key, so there's nothing that they're "missing" out on.

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9 hours ago, nelblu said:

It's a far cry from the hole in the wall where they held the Ds nightly events to the D lounges of today with spirits, beer, etc. instead of pretzels/nuts and some wine and water.

When first made Diamond over 20yrs ago, Top Tier at time, at most 6-10 Diamonds on the Newest ships on Prime sailings. We'd meet Formal dress with Captain, Chief Eng, Doctor, Cruise Director and Head of Hotel. Was about 1 on 1 as they closed Crown Lounge for us. Free Drinks and hot food, not nuts/pretzels. Back then Diamonds went to Concierge and were first on and off ships except for Wedding Party. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 2:44 AM, grandgeezer said:

My base price for my last cruise in October was over double what I paid in 2014, dollar for dollar for a much cheaper, value wise, experience. Cutbacks and cheaper ingredients.

 

I find that extremely hard to believe. Pricing is flat

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On 4/5/2019 at 9:40 AM, Paulette3028 said:

I have to say, boarding has gotten easier (at least our experience) for us.  We arrive early and most times NO wait....or a handful of cruisers in front of us.....sure the line into the building looks long, but moves through quickly to get to the last spot and viola we are up the escalator to ship.  In November and February took 20- 30 minutes, from walking in building/dropping off luggage to onboard -- that isn't a long time and I walk slow (not disabled, just short legs and small steps)

 

It can take an hour to get into the terminal in Pt Canaveral if you are not in suite or Pinnacle 

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3 hours ago, rt1092 said:

I think the OP is talking about the security check. In Port Canaveral. There is no priority line for security check for Diamond, Diamond+ . Only a special line for Suites, Pinnacles, and the Key program. 

Once you get upstairs there are priority lines.

 

Last time I boarded Oasis no line for Key until you got inside terminal 

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8 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

It can take an hour to get into the terminal in Pt Canaveral if you are not in suite or Pinnacle 

I am glad I don't cruise out of Port Canaveral then....because Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are terrific.  Our next cruise is out of NJ, so I will let you know what that experience is like.....but we tend to arrive early on embarkation day anyway.

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19 minutes ago, Paulette3028 said:

I am glad I don't cruise out of Port Canaveral then....because Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are terrific.  Our next cruise is out of NJ, so I will let you know what that experience is like.....but we tend to arrive early on embarkation day anyway.

 

Embarkation is easy.  If you get too early you'll be seated/called by tier group until ready to board ship est. 11-11:30. The Suite group is at the other side of the terminal.  From what I could determine they board by a separate entrance. 

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Common topic on all the cruise boards that I follow. All have the same underlying theme of being loyal to one line. If you’re not willing to give up what’s left of your top status perks and keep coming back do you really think the cruise lines will care what is said on these boards? Try Celebrity to wean yourself off of Royal. For starters they will match you status so it won’t be too much of a financial shock.

 

 

 

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As you can see I'm new to this board and fairly new to Royal (have been on 6 cruises so far), but so far we absolutely love the service we've received. We have always stayed at GS level or higher so I know this affords us some nice perks, but I believe you get what you pay for. In our 6 cruises we have heard a lot of fellow cruisers complaining about one thing or another about their treatment because they were D or D+, but they typically were staying in interior rooms and eating at MDR and doing no excursions. I could be WAY out of line here, but loyalty also goes to those that are spending the money to keep the boat moving?? We will keep sailing Royal, they have treated us awesome and we enjoy the experience.

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1 hour ago, stevogator said:

As you can see I'm new to this board and fairly new to Royal (have been on 6 cruises so far), but so far we absolutely love the service we've received. We have always stayed at GS level or higher so I know this affords us some nice perks, but I believe you get what you pay for. In our 6 cruises we have heard a lot of fellow cruisers complaining about one thing or another about their treatment because they were D or D+, but they typically were staying in interior rooms and eating at MDR and doing no excursions. I could be WAY out of line here, but loyalty also goes to those that are spending the money to keep the boat moving?? We will keep sailing Royal, they have treated us awesome and we enjoy the experience.

That has always been my thought as well. The cruise lines make their money through on board spending. I don't know why their loyalty program isn't  geared  to reward on board purchases. Instead they reward repeat cruisers who tend to spend less with each cruise. Now I known this doesn't apply to everyone but I know through my own experience that we don't spend money in the shops or for pictures anymore, don't book specialty restaurants unless there is a discount offered  and my wife stoped using the hair and nail salon years ago. Our only on board spend is the drink package.

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