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Beware the "Loyalty NRD"


DCPIV
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Yesterday, we had an unpleasant experience booking a new sailing.  After discovering that we had some time to cruise in February, we poked around on the website and found something we liked and that also had a relatively attractive price for a CS.  We went ahead and booked it.  During the booking, I went ahead and added my Captain's Club number and state of residency to see if we qualified for any "discounts."  The rest of the booking went normally and as expected.  We were pleased to see a very substantial "Loyalty NRD" discount at the checkout page (along with the current 20% promotional discount).  Only after I paid the deposit did I see that we had booked a "simply sail" fare.  I was rather confused and none too happy about that.

 

I immediately got on the phone and (after about a 30 minute wait) discovered that entering my CC number triggered that "Loyalty NRD" that stripped all the perks away from the suite as if it were a guarantee booking.  Absolutely nothing indicated that until after I paid the deposit.  In fact, everything indicated the contrary (i.e., that all the suite perks would be there).  I had to point that out to the first person I spoke to over and over because she kept insisting that we had chosen that.  I was clear that I had chosen nothing but that I was about to choose to cancel the whole dadgum thing and tell Celebrity what they could go do with themselves.  She said that the only thing she could do was to add those perks back a la carte, which pretty much totalled to the amount of the "discount."  I asked for a supervisor.

 

After another 30 minute hold, I spoke to a supervisor and explained the situation once again.  I explained that I had been lied to and that Celebrity was operating a bait-and-switch with their marketing.  She sympathized but said that her hands were mostly tied, but she also explained that she could restore the Retreat perks for an amount that was roughly 40% of that discount.  I do my best to be a reasonable and rational person, and I still found the price relatively attractive, so I went ahead and took that option in order to momentarily resolve the situation. 

 

Before I got off the phone, I reiterated how displeased I was, how I felt lied to like I was dealing with a sleazy used car salesman, and how making these "discounts" more transparent would have saved us all a lot of time and strife.  Again, she sympathized and said she would do what she could to get word to someone who could do something about it.  As it turned out, she had been speaking to a number of customers with the same problem.  I actually believed that she was concerned about losing a lot of customers over something like this.

 

So, watch out what you're actually getting.  It's not obvious.  In fact, it is downright deceptive.

 

If there is any sort of upside to this, it seems that folks may be able to get a "simply sail" fare on just about any booking.  I've seen many wish they could.  All you need do is pop in your Captain's Club number when you book. 

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Very interesting.  I always sign in before booking and our Captains Club number is displayed.  I have never come across the situation that you mention.  Just booked Apex last week and everything was just as I expected.  Perks of AI were there, including the refundable deposit.  I don’t understand how this happened to you.  I hope someone else who had your experience chimes in.

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I booked a cruise the other night, but had read on another thread about this problem.  I thought it had been resolved.  I tried it two ways, one with nothing, and one with my loyalty number and "Florida".  The booking with nothing gave my a choice of "Always Included"  and a Gateway Veranda (you can't choose your cabin and it is a TA in Oct 2022)!  Using my loyalty number, I lost all perks.  This was booking directly with Celebrity.  When I looked at my online TA  I use, no TA OBC, discounts, or anything was included.  Wow, things have changed!  So much for loyalty... So, I booked AI.   

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I just did two mock bookings for our September 2022 cruise and the AI was listed on the summary page for both bookings. One with and one without my CC number and state. I didn't sign in. 

Edited by davekathy
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Never found it deceptive since it started just have to read what is showing.  But most people want it in big bold letters, tbh that is mostly all people read,  If it doesn't show it on the final booking page then its not included.  As with most contracts must read what it says and being offered, dont assume that it does unless stated.  

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this exact thing happened to me about 2 weeks ago.

I found a nice C1 (sunset veranda?) with the AI  available for a good price. I booked it online and took screenshots of the 2 pages of my confirmation showing AI and specifically listing drink pack, wifi, etc along with the cabin number, price, and deposit paid along with amount due. My CC number was also there.

Then the email confirmation shows up and I notice my remaining payment is lower than the original. So I look closer and see the loyalty NRD and 20% discount instead of AI.  So I call, wait on hold, and get someone who also tries to tell me that is what I booked. I said..No I have screenshots that say otherwise.

So she says OK, and I have to read her everything on my screenshot. After which she says Ok again and that she can match what my screenshot says. Well, I would hope so since I had just booked it online an hour ago.

So the next email confirmation comes in. Lo and behold, it is now an AI rate but $300 some dollars higher than my original booking. So I have to call again. This time I made her stay on the phone till I received a revised email confirmation with all details correct.

So this book and switch is definitely happening and I have no idea why.  So examine online confirmations carefully.

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1 minute ago, bikerunner said:

Never found it deceptive since it started just have to read what is showing.  But most people want it in big bold letters, tbh that is mostly all people read,  If it doesn't show it on the final booking page then its not included.  As with most contracts must read what it says and being offered, dont assume that it does unless stated.  

And don't get off the darn phone until you have reviewed it all with the rep, they will and do answer all of your questions and are happy to review the email with you line by line.  I am tired of folks, who while well meaning, mess up on their own then slam Celebrity.  Celebrity is not trying to rip anyone off or do bait and switch, we all make the choice to book with them.  Do your homework already.

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14 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

Unless your booking confirmation on this page confirms WiFi/OBC/Prem Drinks/Tips you have booked a cruise only rate. 

 

2125133606_ScreenShot2021-10-19at1_32_21PM.thumb.png.062cb6d5e80ce82f4fc4d02e2bcec13d.png

 

2 minutes ago, bikerunner said:

Never found it deceptive since it started just have to read what is showing.  But most people want it in big bold letters, tbh that is mostly all people read,  If it doesn't show it on the final booking page then its not included.  As with most contracts must read what it says and being offered, dont assume that it does unless stated.  

 

The problem is that there is nothing to indicate that the perks aren't included.  Just this:

 

1231722286_Screenshot(9).thumb.png.76ce26086dee97f1cb357c2755c38e95.png1231722286_Screenshot(9).thumb.png.76ce26086dee97f1cb357c2755c38e95.png

If you don't know to look for some sort of confirmation, then you don't know that it's missing.  That's especially the case after you go through all this on the way to that screen:

 

1187271899_Screenshot(7).thumb.png.24fc34ff862b38d573bcabafa5de6955.png1187271899_Screenshot(7).thumb.png.24fc34ff862b38d573bcabafa5de6955.png2037373711_Screenshot(10).thumb.png.2013408b29aac3ce2c7657b228effdc5.png

 

Both of those show up after I put in a CC number.

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2 minutes ago, DCPIV said:

 

 

The problem is that there is nothing to indicate that the perks aren't included.  Just this:

 

1231722286_Screenshot(9).thumb.png.76ce26086dee97f1cb357c2755c38e95.png1231722286_Screenshot(9).thumb.png.76ce26086dee97f1cb357c2755c38e95.png

If you don't know to look for some sort of confirmation, then you don't know that it's missing.  That's especially the case after you go through all this on the way to that screen:

 

1187271899_Screenshot(7).thumb.png.24fc34ff862b38d573bcabafa5de6955.png1187271899_Screenshot(7).thumb.png.24fc34ff862b38d573bcabafa5de6955.png2037373711_Screenshot(10).thumb.png.2013408b29aac3ce2c7657b228effdc5.png

 

Both of those show up after I put in a CC number.

Me thinks the problem is you are doing something wrong.

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3 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

And don't get off the darn phone until you have reviewed it all with the rep, they will and do answer all of your questions and are happy to review the email with you line by line.  I am tired of folks, who while well meaning, mess up on their own then slam Celebrity.  Celebrity is not trying to rip anyone off or do bait and switch, we all make the choice to book with them.  Do your homework already.

 

I beg your pardon, but look at my post above and tell me where the "mess up" is.  

 

If I advertise that something comes with A, B, and C, and I continue to reinforce that throughout the process including when I'm quoting you a price for that something, then there's no reason for you to believe the price I quoted does not include A, B, and C unless I tell you otherwise.

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The problem is if you put your Captains Club # in and your state, then you will get the room rate cheaper but with no WiFi, No OBC, No premium drink package, No prepaid Gratuities.  If you do not put your CC# and State, then you will see a higher room rate but all of the above included.  There is a flaw in their website that needs to be fixed. This is causing the phone lines to be swamped! Anyone on IT with Celebrity reading this....

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10 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

And don't get off the darn phone until you have reviewed it all with the rep, they will and do answer all of your questions and are happy to review the email with you line by line.  I am tired of folks, who while well meaning, mess up on their own then slam Celebrity.  Celebrity is not trying to rip anyone off or do bait and switch, we all make the choice to book with them.  Do your homework already.

 

I booked via the website, not via the phone.  Believe me, when I did have someone on the phone, I stayed on until I received a guest copy and went over it with her.

 

As far as the comment about messing up and then slamming Celebrity, the supervisor I spoke with agreed with me that the marketing and website were misleading in this case.  Had that final "lock it in" page merely said "simply sail" or something along those lines, then there would be no problem whatsoever.  

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2 minutes ago, r2h2 said:

The problem is if you put your Captains Club # in and your state, then you will get the room rate cheaper but with no WiFi, No OBC, No premium drink package, No prepaid Gratuities.  If you do not put your CC# and State, then you will see a higher room rate but all of the above included.  There is a flaw in their website that needs to be fixed. This is causing the phone lines to be swamped! Anyone on IT with Celebrity reading this....

 

Exactly.  The real problem is that there's no indication that's happening.  

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When I have a screen shot of my online booking showing name, CC number,  booking number, cabin number, AI rate, and lists perks, price, deposit and amount due; I would fully expect the email confirmation to show that same information. But that doesn't seem to be something you can count on.  Whatever system they have that is changing things on its own is a major issue. They need to address it.

And when the first phone rep I spoke to quotes me the numbers and says she is fixing it, again I expect what she verbally tells me to show up on the confirmation email. 

Obviously I learned my lesson and held the 2nd phone rep on the line until I received and checked the final confirmation.

People just need to know this has been happening and to double check everything in your email confirmation.

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2 minutes ago, DCPIV said:

 

I booked via the website, not via the phone.  Believe me, when I did have someone on the phone, I stayed on until I received a guest copy and went over it with her.

 

As far as the comment about messing up and then slamming Celebrity, the supervisor I spoke with agreed with me that the marketing and website were misleading in this case.  Had that final "lock it in" page merely said "simply sail" or something along those lines, then there would be no problem whatsoever.  

Your experiences IMO is why others should heed what you experienced and call Celebrity directly (if they don't want to use a TA) to book their cruises and not thru the website. But not everyone has had bad experiences either. How many times has someone posted on CC how horrible Celebrity's website is. Never mind, I know the answer. A lot. Only speaking for myself I always book over the phone or at the future cruise desk while onboard. Again, thanks for posting your experience. 

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1 minute ago, davekathy said:

Your experiences IMO is why others should heed what you experienced and call Celebrity directly (if they don't want to use a TA) to book their cruises and not thru the website. But not everyone has had bad experiences either. How many times has someone posted on CC how horrible Celebrity's website is. Never mind, I know the answer. A lot. Only speaking for myself I always book over the phone or at the future cruise desk while onboard. Again, thanks for posting your experience. 

 

Thank you.  That's really what I'm trying to get across.  Well, that and the lack of clarity on the "lock it in" page.

 

To be fair, this is the fifth Celebrity cruise I've booked through their website, and I've had no issues at all with the process until yesterday.  I really don't have much in the way of complaints when it comes to Celebrity website other than this particular issue (and a few things that are just sort of clumsy, but those are nothing to get worked up about at all).

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1 minute ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

I agree with the OP that this should not have happened.

 

However, this is one of the reasons to use a good TA to avoid such situations - while also saving money! 

This was my 1st online booking since my longtime online TA (who shall remain nameless) hasn't responded to my multiple emails regarding another booked cruise. I will be searching for a good brick and mortar TA for future bookings and hopefully future savings.  

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As I put in another post I booked a retreat room that ended up with ZERO perks. I had to end up calling and paying basically the standard rate for the package.  I find that deceptive no matter how you put it based on the following terms on their website:

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/things-to-do-onboard/staterooms/suite-class

 

"Terms & Conditions

All guests who book The Retreat on or after November 17, 2020 will receive the Indulge Package at no additional charge. The Indulge Package provides a Premium Beverage Package, an Unlimited Stream Internet Package, Gratuities Included, and an OBC for all guests in the stateroom. OBC amount varies by length of sailing: $200 per person for 1-5 night sailings, $300 per person for 6-9 night sailings and a value of $400 per person for 10 night or longer sailings. OBC has no cash value, is applicable to cruise only, non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, and will expire if not used by 10:00 PM on the final night of the cruise. Prepaid gratuities provide gratuities for your Personal Retreat Host, headwaiter, waiter, and assistant waiter in the amount suggested by Celebrity’s guidelines."

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1 minute ago, Morecruises1 said:

As I put in another post I booked a retreat room that ended up with ZERO perks. I had to end up calling and paying basically the standard rate for the package.  I find that deceptive no matter how you put it based on the following terms on their website:

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/things-to-do-onboard/staterooms/suite-class

 

"Terms & Conditions

All guests who book The Retreat on or after November 17, 2020 will receive the Indulge Package at no additional charge. The Indulge Package provides a Premium Beverage Package, an Unlimited Stream Internet Package, Gratuities Included, and an OBC for all guests in the stateroom. OBC amount varies by length of sailing: $200 per person for 1-5 night sailings, $300 per person for 6-9 night sailings and a value of $400 per person for 10 night or longer sailings. OBC has no cash value, is applicable to cruise only, non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, and will expire if not used by 10:00 PM on the final night of the cruise. Prepaid gratuities provide gratuities for your Personal Retreat Host, headwaiter, waiter, and assistant waiter in the amount suggested by Celebrity’s guidelines."

 

Yes, I saw that in your post.  That's even more plain.  

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5 minutes ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

I agree with the OP that this should not have happened.

 

However, this is one of the reasons to use a good TA to avoid such situations - while also saving money! 

Disagree. Calling Celebrity directly to book works great and is no different than calling a TA to book. Then transfer the booking to a TA if they can sweeten the deal. And not all TAs are created equally. I've got a B2B RC cruise I booked while onboard and transferred when I got home to a TA for paid gratuities.  After the fact the TA at the agency couldn't be more clueless about cruising or customer service. I refuse to talk/Email her. I go directly to the agencies after sales dept. 

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38 minutes ago, r2h2 said:

The problem is if you put your Captains Club # in and your state, then you will get the room rate cheaper but with no WiFi, No OBC, No premium drink package, No prepaid Gratuities.  If you do not put your CC# and State, then you will see a higher room rate but all of the above included.  There is a flaw in their website that needs to be fixed. This is causing the phone lines to be swamped! Anyone on IT with Celebrity reading this....

I just figured out this "feature" with the website when I went in to do a dummy booking to look at the pricing on an upcoming cruise. The price on this cruise has been reduced twice already, so I periodically check to see if it's reduced again. I have not paid my final payment yet. So I went in the website and put in my CC # and the price was about $400 lower than the lowest price I paid. It was such a big difference that I looked really hard at it - and realized that the AI perks were not included. Nowhere did it say that - the banner that says AI on top of the picture of the cabin was simply missing. It also didn't say "Simply Sail". Just nothing. If I wasn't comparing previous cruise pricing I would not have known.

 

Bottom line - I can't price compare to see what the actual price would be with my CC or Florida resident discount. And my TA is worthless - I even had to tell him the deadline for final payment had changed to 60 days before. I won't use him again but right now I'm stuck.

 

I have to believe this is a glitch in their website and not an intentional feature.

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59 minutes ago, bikerunner said:

Never found it deceptive since it started just have to read what is showing.  But most people want it in big bold letters, tbh that is mostly all people read,  If it doesn't show it on the final booking page then its not included.  As with most contracts must read what it says and being offered, dont assume that it does unless stated.  

Notice the big bold letters saying that you receive these perks? Well, they're not included if you actually book it. 

retreat.png

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20 minutes ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

However, this is one of the reasons to use a good TA to avoid such situations - while also saving money!

 

We actually do have a good TA.  She's good at what she does, and she's responsive.  We use her when we need to or when we have a more complex trip. We actually have a couple of Silversea bookings coming up that we did through her.

 

I sort of feel a little bad about it when I book a cruise online.  However, by the time I'm done looking at itineraries, pricing, and stateroom availability, I only have a few more clicks to complete the booking.  If I could easily do a courtesy hold from the website, I would love nothing more than to do that and then refer it to her so that we could go over things and then let her complete the booking.

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