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ValerieJo

Royal Eliminates Neighborhood Balcony Perks

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Just read this on Matt Hochberg's page.   FYI

 

Known as DINE • DRINK • DISCOVER program, Royal Caribbean will remove the program on all sailings departing on and after January 1, 2020.

Guests booked prior to September 18, 2019 in neighborhood balconies sailing from January 1, 2020 through April 2021 will receive a $50 non-refundable Onboard Credit per stateroom, as a consolation for the policy change.  Anyone booked on sailings from January 1, 2020 and after, following the announcement, will not qualify.

If you are wondering why Royal Caribbean made the decision to remove the perks, here is what they said, "Royal Caribbean is always looking for new ways to exceed your clients’ expectations. We’ve been conducting extensive research to better anticipate what matters most to them and will continue to offer countless ways for your clients to make unforgettable memories onboard. We are excited to share some game-changing updates to our inventory and amenity offerings in the coming months."

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Weren't we just talking about this in another thread?   Within the last day or two.  Can't find the thread now.

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The loss isn't a huge deal, but $50 OBC seems incredibly poor especially considering the value of the free soda package by itself was $150. Personally I think they should offer $150 OBC and allow people with non-refundable deposits to cancel without penalty.

 

What really gets me though is the official statement. They're taking away a benefit in order to exceed client expectations? That makes no sense at all; they're taking it away because it eats into their profits, but of course they can't say that. They could at least come up with something better though.

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11 minutes ago, awestover89 said:

 ...

What really gets me though is the official statement. They're taking away a benefit in order to exceed client expectations? That makes no sense at all; they're taking it away because it eats into their profits, but of course they can't say that. They could at least come up with something better though.

 

Royal is always trying to enhance our cruise experience!

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51 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

Weren't we just talking about this in another thread?   Within the last day or two.  Can't find the thread now.

Yes it was me saying how we didn't get our info fact sheet (and didn't have the lunch..) and you ... as it seems now correctly predicted they were going to bin it!!!

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2 minutes ago, little britain said:

Yes it was me saying how we didn't get our info fact sheet (and didn't have the lunch..) and you ... as it seems now correctly predicted they were going to bin it!!!

 

I'll bet in this particular case, the feedback from the ships was a contributing factor.  How many were trying to switch red wine with white wine. We're only two in the stateroom, can we bring two guests with us to our free JR lunch? 

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Excuse me for not understanding but why give them perks to start with? I normally book OV balcony and pay more without any perks. I can understand why they are less expensive but couldn't understand why they received extras.

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Takes away one reason for me to book a CP balcony.  I always get two rooms and we have used the free lunch for Sabor on both Harmony and Oasis.  But since Sabor is likely on its way out, I guess it won't matter for me in the future.  I still have the wine from both trips unopened here at home.  The free soda package was never an enticement for me in a Boardwalk booking as my kids and wife prefer the Refreshment package.

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36 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

Royal is always trying to enhance our cruise experience!

 

For your convenience. 

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2 minutes ago, crazyfrazee said:

Excuse me for not understanding but why give them perks to start with? I normally book OV balcony and pay more without any perks. I can understand why they are less expensive but couldn't understand why they received extras.

 

Could be at the time they instituted the perks, Royal felt those staterooms needed extra incentive to book. 

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This probably works out better for us.  We'd have purchased a RP and DBP anyways and let the included soda package go to waste.  $50 is better than nothing but it does seem kind of cheap considering what folks would have paid had they purchased it separately. Perhaps $50pp vs. per stateroom would seem a little more fair.

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1 minute ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Could be at the time they instituted the perks, Royal felt those staterooms needed extra incentive to book. 

Thank you Bob. That makes perfect sense.

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The free soda was the reason I tried a boardwalk room for the first time and booked it again for my trip next month.  I don't buy the drink package so it was a benefit.  I'm sad they are ending it, but now I'd need to save a lot more to get a boardwalk over an ocean view balcony to book it.  I'm curious if they will see lower sales on the neighborhood balconies going forward. 

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Back when you could do C&A preferences online, and free upgrades were still happening,  there was a block you could check about your upgrade choices regarding the CP and BW balconies.  I think it said something like  “automatically upgrade my cabin unless it is to a CP or BW balcony cabin”.  They did have problems filling those categories at the time.  

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42 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

Excuse me for not understanding but why give them perks to start with?

 

Partially because the neighborhood cabins are basically inside cabins with zero privacy balconies and no view of the ocean. They do let in natural light and fresh air, but they're charging near ocean view balcony prices for them. Many people (myself included) have no interest in them over insides or non-balcony oceanviews. If I'm booking a balcony cabin I want a real cruise ship balcony cabin - ie one with a view of the ocean.

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I just told the news to a friend who has an upcoming cruise on the Oasis. He booked a neighborhood balcony cabin specifically for the soda package, and he's pissed. As he put it, the 50 OBC doesn't even cover a third of the total worth of the soda package and the Johnny Rocket's lunch. He would have booked an Ocean View balcony, but it's too late now because prices have gone up. They couldn't have grandfathered in people who've already booked it?

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5 minutes ago, tomservo said:

 ... They couldn't have grandfathered in people who've already booked it?

 

 

Sure, they could have covered it on all booked cruises, but that would have been the fair and ethical way to handle it. 

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1 hour ago, awestover89 said:

The loss isn't a huge deal, but $50 OBC seems incredibly poor especially considering the value of the free soda package by itself was $150. Personally I think they should offer $150 OBC and allow people with non-refundable deposits to cancel without penalty.

 

What really gets me though is the official statement. They're taking away a benefit in order to exceed client expectations? That makes no sense at all; they're taking it away because it eats into their profits, but of course they can't say that. They could at least come up with something better though.

It was truly cringe worthy.🙄

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Not only are they reimbursing themselves for the $18 dollar drink package------

 

But also the Oasis repairs, and the extended sailings of those during Hurricane Dorian.

 

 

But, what I still cannot comprehend is the prices that are listed on ships sailing the Caribbean next summer--the highest I have seen in awhile.

 

But, watching closely for reductions.

 

Safe travels.

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1 hour ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Royal is always trying to enhance our cruise experience!

I hope they don't take away the DL to enhance our cruise experience!!!!!

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1 hour ago, crazyfrazee said:

Excuse me for not understanding but why give them perks to start with? I normally book OV balcony and pay more without any perks. I can understand why they are less expensive but couldn't understand why they received extras.

The neighborhood balconies have no privacy and imo they gave the benefits to bribe people to book them.

We book ocean view balconies every cruise.

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