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Tom.Terrific

Exhausted by the Upsell

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We took our first cruise in 2006 (Rhapsody of the Seas) and have managed to cruise once or twice a year since.  We haven't cruise exclusively with Royal, but have spent more nights at sea (Emerald) with Royal than all other cruise lines combined.  For years we really enjoyed the Royal Caribbean experience, then it seems like the effort to upsell everything really ramped up.  Not so bad at first, but the offer to upgrade your cruise experience went from reminding you of an offered option, to following you down the promenade nagging all the way and not taking no for an answer.  Not much different than walking by the shops in Cozumel.  We cruise to relax, not to be hassled.  

 

Our last cruise with Royal was in 2016, where we were badgered enough that we decided to take a vacation from Royal Caribbean.  We've taken 4 cruises since then with competing cruise lines, and while we were offered "opportunities" on these cruises, we weren't made uncomfortable about it like on Royal.  So here it is a few years later and we've booked a 7 day on Vision of the Seas from NOLA this February.  

 

We like Royal Caribbean.  We find them a good fit for us, and feel like they're a "cut above" similarly priced cruise lines, but the upsell experience is exhausting.

 

Does anyone else feel this way and moved on to one of the premium lines for a better experience?

 

Edited by Tom.Terrific

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On the Grandeur in November....we LOVED our cruise,  but for 12 days straight, were constantly, constantly badgered....especially for Giovanni's.   (which we already had reservations for).  In all fairness though, it was the first cruise  we were continuously harassed for. 

Edited by champagne123

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The last few cruises we were approached in the dining room while eating and got the specialty dining sales pitch.    This is one reason we have reduced the amount of times we eat in the dining room.  We recently had a 12-night cruise and used the dining room once.  So far, we've not been approached in Windjammer.

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11 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I know all ships and sailings are different but we were on Allure last week and were not approached once with an upsell.

 

I agree with this.

 

Two years ago on the Anthem, the up-sellers seemed to be overly enthusiastic. But since then, I've sailed the Oasis and Liberty and was never approached by anyone other than the photographer. We always let them take our picture even though we won't buy it 9 times out of 10.

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I think when things are slow in the specialty's they get out and offer some very good deals...this I guess could seem like they are being pushy...I always ask what deals they are doing....we got a sweet deal for Izumi on our last cruise...

 

The only time I feel they are a bit pushy is on embarkation day when they try to sell you the bev. package...but its not too bad.

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Other than mainly repeated cameras being shoved in our faces, I've not personally found in-your-face intrusion too bad.

 

What annoys me more is blatant rip-off captive audience prices (drinks, shop, excursions etc.), although that's not just an RCCL/cruise issue of course.

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13 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

I never feel hassled by the crew onboard. 

 

But they all know you, and know they'd better not!

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My very unscientific research on this is that speciality restaurants appear more popular with American cruisers and less so in other regions. The level of up sell you receive depends therefore where you are.

 

On our last cruise on Oasis from Port Canaveral we were not approached once to visit any speciality restaurant. Our previous cruises around Europe/Mediterranean it was constant hassle and on our cruise from Dubai you were literally dragged into Chops if you wandered near it!

 

 

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Like the stories of Nassau, it must be how some of you look.  Maybe like suckers. 😄  JOKING

 

We get asked occasionally, but never to the point of feeling harassed.  And yes, even in Nassau. 😄

 

 

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Have sailed 33 days the last 18 months, no upsell problems on Anthem or Mariner.

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I've never had anyone ever chase me down the Promenade trying to sell me specialty dining or a drink package.  

In the MDR, if you let your waiter or headwaiter know that you do not want to be disturbed by offers of dining deals / galley tours / etc., they will make sure that you are not bothered the entire week.  They don't want to waste time on someone who won't be buying, either. 

Similarly, I've found that the photographers will leave you alone if you shake your head or wave them off as they approach.  Again, they don't want to spend time taking photos that you simply will never ever purchase.  I haven't taken a photo while boarding, at a port, or at a "photo op" (the various stations set up at dinner time or with cartoon characters or whatever) in probably fifteen years or so.  

Regardless of the upsell being offered, I've always found that a polite but firm dismissal such as, "not interested" or "no thanks" or "I'm all set" has been all that is needed.  And I have no problem walking right by the tables set up selling drink packages, photo packages, dining packages, etc.

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I wouldn't say I'm personally hounded, but the sales pitches on RCL have become more overt. There can also be an element of the specific crew involved though.

 

One of my last couple of cruises were on Voyager and Explorer. Similar itinerary and region, a week apart. Both had a new OTT MDR event, with loud music blaring over dinner, a shouting MC... but one cruise had the bonus sales pitch at the end telling people about all the speciality restaurants (again) in a forced 2 min spiel while we wait, whereas the other skipped that.

 

Both weren't pleasant, but the heavy duty sales pitch was even more of a turn off.

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I haven’t cruised with Royal in almost 20 years when they didn’t have specialty restaurants to up sell. I would imagine that the upsells vary from ship to ship depending on how many purchase the dining packages or make reservations pre cruise. If bookings are down you could expect to be harassed. I’m sure that this applies to any line with slow selling services. 

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I rarely ever get bothered.

 

You are probably walking around with that confused, deer-in the-headlights look.

 

How many times shares do you own??

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Just off Mariner last week.  There was some dining & drink package upsells going on, but not to the point that it bothered us.  Besides just having the drink table set up outside the windjammer, they were just walking around with the menus from the pay restaurants to offer them, but not pushy at all-just said no thank you & that was the end.

I am more bothered by the barrage of emails prior to my cruise offering me discounts on drinks, meals & excursions.  "30% for 2 days only." "sale extended for 2 more days." The "Final chance for % off." sale, followed by the repeated, this time we really mean it-this is your final chance to get a % off.  Those daily emails drive me nuts! 

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Our group of 6 was anticipating the common sales pitches onboard our recent 10-day Ovation cruise, only to be met with a minimum of such "pitches".

 

Yes, we were all approached on 2 occasions...but with minimum vigor or interruption (barely a minor nuisance).

 

Perhaps the giant "Don't Sell Me Anything More" buttons we wore helped.

 

 

OK - that last part was just made up.

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Put me in the camp of not feeling overly harrassed with upsells.  A firm no and they move on.  I may have had someone in the Royal Promenade start walking along side me to do an upsell, but gave a "not interested" and they went by the wayside.

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Did not see any upselling on recent oasis cruise, did see some on some other cruises but did not find it annoying.

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3 hours ago, brillohead said:



Regardless of the upsell being offered, I've always found that a polite but firm dismissal such as, "not interested" or "no thanks" or "I'm all set" has been all that is needed.  And I have no problem walking right by the tables set up selling drink packages, photo packages, dining packages, etc.

 

Yeah, it's easy to dismiss but it's annoying that some of it is constantly being thrown out there.  

 

I'm not sure about a lot of other people; but one of cruisings MAIN appeals to me is to turn off from the real world.  I don't buy internet.  I disconnect from the negative energy of social media.  I don't have a phone plan.  I'm not on the ship to shop for anything.  I put out of my mind the stress and anxiety of daily life.  Being constantly solicited, having dollar signs and deals put in my face, or just being interrupted by numerous announcements is annoying.  It really negatively impacts my experience and when I get surveys I always put 'Stop trying to constantly sell me thing' 

 

I'm not a high end luxury goods kind of person, really.  But with the mass market lines cutting back and going for the a la carte upsell all week I am considering stepping up and going on the next tier of cruise lines that aren't going to be as in my face and provide a more restrained style of service.  

 

I can put my head down and ram through the terminal in Nassau too, but it's still annoying.  Why put up with it on the ship? 

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19 hours ago, Tom.Terrific said:

We took our first cruise in 2006 (Rhapsody of the Seas) and have managed to cruise once or twice a year since.  We haven't cruise exclusively with Royal, but have spent more nights at sea (Emerald) with Royal than all other cruise lines combined.  For years we really enjoyed the Royal Caribbean experience, then it seems like the effort to upsell everything really ramped up.  Not so bad at first, but the offer to upgrade your cruise experience went from reminding you of an offered option, to following you down the promenade nagging all the way and not taking no for an answer.  Not much different than walking by the shops in Cozumel.  We cruise to relax, not to be hassled.  

 

Our last cruise with Royal was in 2016, where we were badgered enough that we decided to take a vacation from Royal Caribbean.  We've taken 4 cruises since then with competing cruise lines, and while we were offered "opportunities" on these cruises, we weren't made uncomfortable about it like on Royal.  So here it is a few years later and we've booked a 7 day on Vision of the Seas from NOLA this February.  

 

We like Royal Caribbean.  We find them a good fit for us, and feel like they're a "cut above" similarly priced cruise lines, but the upsell experience is exhausting.

 

Does anyone else feel this way and moved on to one of the premium lines for a better experience?

 

Nope, after 30+ yrs Royal still best product and priced right for me and mine

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We usually try to cruise 4 to 5 times a year on both Celebrity and Royal and I don’t think I’ve ever felt harassed,. Approached, yes, but I usually just say no thanks and they move on to someone else.  We have gotten a few good deals this way like a Chef’s Table  BOGO offer, so sometimes it pays to listen.😂 

 

Sherri🙂

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After several years we are back on RC this spring. We have done Carnival the last couple years because of casino deals. Really tired of photographers blocking the promenade every night and taking pictures as you are eating in the MDR. Selling of everything, everywhere. Didn't remember RC as being as bad. We did Viking to Cuba in November and it was wonderful. No photographers, no one trying to sell anything. No charge for specialty restaurants. Wish we could afford to sail with them all the time!

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