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Bean Counters vs Diamonds


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I have asked this question on these boards before but never seem to get a reply, trying again in light of some if the responses here.

 

If the loyalty lounge was turned into something like an experienced cruisers lounge where those with status could get their pre loaded drinks included but anyone who has previous cruises regardless of line could go and pay for drinks would you still go?  Many say we don't go for the drinks or exclusivity but to socialize with like minded cruisers and this would accomplish that.  Maybe those with experience on other lines can share their tips and tricks which may be different but just as valuable.  Thoughts?

 

BTW, we are Diamond and have only been to the lounge once, prefer to be out and about on the ship.

Edited by akcruz
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18 hours ago, davekathy said:

Agree. I believe most of us, whether a CC member or not feel the same way. Just a few here on CC. I also believe some of the downers have never stepped foot in a DL or CL (we've never been in the suite lounge) due to not being a card carrying  member. 😏 Possibly envious?. Which was very apparent to some of us when the fun, tongue in cheek DS thread was alive and well. Looks like you're about a month out for your Harmony cruise.  Rock on my DS friend. 😎🍻 

 

Thanks!  And totally agree.  😉  The nay sayers are what ended up killing that fun thread we had...sigh.  Some just don't understand.  🤨

 

Yes, we board Harmony exactly four weeks from today.  Looking forward to it, first time on that ship as the "flavor of the month" now in PC.  Hope to finally match up our cruises someday.  Happy future cruise adventures my DS friend.  🚤🛳️🥂

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8 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

 

I've mentioned this for years.  I do think it is a valid issue.  Over the past few years some of the best areas, panoramic views, signature lounges/features that were available to all have been eroded.  Without capacity to regularly service all guests, more public spaces run risk of being closed off to all in lieu of some.  

 

I have been on several cruises where specialized groups are booked who have taken over venues that we usually like to visit.  Case in point...the Jewish holiday group on Oasis one year.  They took over Wipe Out Cafe and Blaze for the whole cruise.  Compare that to C&A upper tier for just a couple of hours a day?  And now supposedly no more over flow areas anyway...though they have threatened that for years...sounds like it finally happened.  Moot point on those now.

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3 hours ago, island lady said:

 

I have been on several cruises where specialized groups are booked who have taken over venues that we usually like to visit.  Case in point...the Jewish holiday group on Oasis one year.  They took over Wipe Out Cafe and Blaze for the whole cruise.  Compare that to C&A upper tier for just a couple of hours a day?  And now supposedly no more over flow areas anyway...though they have threatened that for years...sounds like it finally happened.  Moot point on those now.

What you’re referencing are two different situations. 
 

The cruise line will often close venues to the general public to accommodate partial charters. Sometimes the venues are closed for an event, or sometimes they are closed for the duration of the cruise.   Unfortunately, there is no way to know in advance if you are on a partial charter with a large group.

 

When the cruise uses an unused lounge for an overflow, it is because, the venue is generally unused at that time. We’re talking about a nightclub/disco being used at five in the afternoon as an overflow lounge for cocktails.   That  venue that was used as overflow, will be up and running for all passengers as intended later in the evening.

 

m
 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, davekathy said:

Agree. I believe most of us, whether a CC member or not feel the same way. Just a few here on CC. I also believe some of the downers have never stepped foot in a DL or CL (we've never been in the suite lounge) due to not being a card carrying  member. 😏 Possibly envious?. Which was very apparent to some of us when the fun, tongue in cheek DS thread was alive and well. Looks like you're about a month out for your Harmony cruise.  Rock on my DS friend. 😎🍻 

 

Great post.  When I saw this thread and saw it was 17 pages long, I knew I'd see those comments from the usual envious suspects.  Oh well.  Their problem.  😉

 

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Whether people are Downers/Envious or Bragging/Reveling in their Elite status,  it's kind of fun to watch the two factions poke fun at each other. 😀

 

In a good nature way, of course.

 

In My Humble Opinion.

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3 hours ago, cruisegirl1 said:

What you’re referencing are two different situations. 
 

The cruise line will often close venues to the general public to accommodate partial charters. Sometimes the venues are closed for an event, or sometimes they are closed for the duration of the cruise.   Unfortunately, there is no way to know in advance if you are on a partial charter with a large group.

 

When the cruise uses an unused lounge for an overflow, it is because, the venue is generally unused at that time. We’re talking about a nightclub/disco being used at five in the afternoon as an overflow lounge for cocktails.   That  venue that was used as overflow, will be up and running for all passengers as intended later in the evening.

 

m
 

 

 

 

Yeah and Crown & Anchor is now a very successful program. Less then 20yrs ago at most was 6-10 Diamonds, no such thing as Diamond Plus or Pinnacle. Many dont even realize the Diamond Lounge wasn't even on Royal Ships 20yrs ago. Before we had it we had access to Concierge Lounge and older ships we had special Events in Crown Lounge. Though was Mandatory Jacket/Tie to attend it included all Senior Ship Officers/Crew. Was better back then to be a Diamond then to be in a Suite, and Diamonds were first(besides Wedding Parties) and Last off Ship. 

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1 hour ago, ONECRUISER said:

Yeah and Crown & Anchor is now a very successful program. Less then 20yrs ago at most was 6-10 Diamonds, no such thing as Diamond Plus or Pinnacle. Many dont even realize the Diamond Lounge wasn't even on Royal Ships 20yrs ago. Before we had it we had access to Concierge Lounge and older ships we had special Events in Crown Lounge. Though was Mandatory Jacket/Tie to attend it included all Senior Ship Officers/Crew. Was better back then to be a Diamond then to be in a Suite, and Diamonds were first(besides Wedding Parties) and Last off Ship. 

 

I think even the cruise lines did not expect people to start taking so many cruises as some do nowadays. Cruises used to be once every few years for regular cruisers, and every decade or even once a lifetime for most. Once cruising became a destination vacation in itself with the ship the main attraction, coupled with the huge explosion in capacity over scores of ships, it was inevitable that the loyalty programs would practically burst. With the multipliers for suites, with "inherited" or spousal auto-status, and with cruises cheap enough that you routinely hear of people cruising 20 or more times a year, it has become chaotic. The bean counters probably are all in asylums by now.

 

Airlines routinely change their mileage requirements, and they have created systems that require yearly qualifications with few lifetime entitlement levels. Cruiselines may need to figure out a way to limit the rapid expansion of membership, either by adding a renewal requirement or by changing the number of cruises needed for future members, or for current ones like me in the lowest tier.

Edited by mayleeman
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7 minutes ago, mayleeman said:

 

I think even the cruise lines did not expect people to start taking so many cruises as some do nowadays. Cruises used to be once every few years for regular cruisers, and every decade or even once a lifetime for most. Once cruising became a destination vacation in itself with the ship the main attraction, coupled with the huge explosion in capacity over scores of ships, it was inevitable that the loyalty programs would practically burst. With the multipliers for suites, with "inherited" or spousal auto-status, and with cruises cheap enough that you routinely hear of people cruising 20 or more times a year, it has become chaotic. The bean counters probably are all in asylums by now.

 

Airlines routinely change their mileage requirements, and they have created systems that require yearly qualifications with few lifetime entitlement levels. Cruiselines may need to figure out a way to limit the rapid expansion of membership, either by adding a renewal requirement or by changing the number of cruises needed for future members, or for current ones like me in the lowest tier.

True, Cruising is so inexpensive now then 25-30yrs ago. I'm spending same on Royal for a 21 nite Balcony Cruise next Fall as did for a 7nite Cruise in Tiny Deck 2 Port Hole Cabin in 1988. Though get lot Discounts now. Use be cheaper spend a week at Disney, now week Cruise with Family is Cheaper. My one Daughter 20yrs old, been on only 2 cruises from 18-21yrs ago and is Diamond Plus. Other Daughter has her Father's Cruising bug, also a Diamond Plus but has now earned it now in own Cruises..

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20 hours ago, cruisegirl1 said:

What you’re referencing are two different situations. 
 

The cruise line will often close venues to the general public to accommodate partial charters. Sometimes the venues are closed for an event, or sometimes they are closed for the duration of the cruise.   Unfortunately, there is no way to know in advance if you are on a partial charter with a large group.

 

When the cruise uses an unused lounge for an overflow, it is because, the venue is generally unused at that time. We’re talking about a nightclub/disco being used at five in the afternoon as an overflow lounge for cocktails.   That  venue that was used as overflow, will be up and running for all passengers as intended later in the evening.

 

Will be interesting to see if Royal has finally...actually...done away with over flow lounges.  Perhaps another push to get them to use the 3 drink vouchers in other lounges.  

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14 hours ago, mayleeman said:

 

I think even the cruise lines did not expect people to start taking so many cruises as some do nowadays. Cruises used to be once every few years for regular cruisers, and every decade or even once a lifetime for most. Once cruising became a destination vacation in itself with the ship the main attraction, coupled with the huge explosion in capacity over scores of ships, it was inevitable that the loyalty programs would practically burst. With the multipliers for suites, with "inherited" or spousal auto-status, and with cruises cheap enough that you routinely hear of people cruising 20 or more times a year, it has become chaotic. The bean counters probably are all in asylums by now.

 

What we've seen in the product is purposely attempts to make it more accessible to more people. For as many people who complain about "cutbacks" and how it has alienated them from the product, multiple new people will take their place. That's because not everyone demands all of the nonsense that the veterans complain about. New cruisers don't know the difference and may be more likely to buy add-ons like drink packages, excursions, etc. People are also traveling in record numbers. They have more money to spend too.

 

I've watched many hotels stop giving away free alcohol in their lounges, simply because they don't have to. Way more are removing it than they are adding it. Sure they could make for a "wildly successful loyalty program" by doing so, but so could everyone else, and they don't. That is because people will still come. You don't need to give away hundreds of dollars of alcohol each night to people who will bring in everyone they know.

 

And in the hotel, could I meet people in the lounge? Sure can. I more often than not can meet more people at the main bar than I could at the executive lounge. So it seems like a bit of a reach when we keep talking about it as some sort of mecca of meeting people. Justify it in any way you want. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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16 hours ago, ONECRUISER said:

Yeah and Crown & Anchor is now a very successful program. Less then 20yrs ago at most was 6-10 Diamonds, no such thing as Diamond Plus or Pinnacle. Many dont even realize the Diamond Lounge wasn't even on Royal Ships 20yrs ago. Before we had it we had access to Concierge Lounge and older ships we had special Events in Crown Lounge. Though was Mandatory Jacket/Tie to attend it included all Senior Ship Officers/Crew. Was better back then to be a Diamond then to be in a Suite, and Diamonds were first(besides Wedding Parties) and Last off Ship. 

 

Baby boomers.  

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15 hours ago, Lady Hudson said:

I will now report on the premise of this thread — reliable source saying no more overflow lounges after 11/1/19.  Am currently on Grandeur and there are overflow lounges for both the DL and the CL.  Never did like those “reliable sources”.  😁

 

Looking forward to my first time on Grandeur next September!  🙂  

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16 hours ago, Lady Hudson said:

I will now report on the premise of this thread — reliable source saying no more overflow lounges after 11/1/19.  Am currently on Grandeur and there are overflow lounges for both the DL and the CL.  Never did like those “reliable sources”.  😁

 

I'm sure the idea has been tossed around in the boardrooms. Perhaps they will do a trial run on a specific ship for a certain amount of time? The OP mentions the Harmony of the Seas so perhaps that is the ship they will experiment on to see how the change is received.

 

The OP also states that the need for an overflow lounge will depend on the number of upper tier cruisers. Meaning this week, there may be an overflow lounge while next week there is not.  No doubt, this will lead to confusion and angst among those not in the know.

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28 minutes ago, island lady said:

 

Will be interesting to see if Royal has finally...actually...done away with over flow lounges.  Perhaps another push to get them to use the 3 drink vouchers in other lounges.  

 

And more importantly, how long before they bring them back?

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15 hours ago, mayleeman said:

Airlines routinely change their mileage requirements, and they have created systems that require yearly qualifications with few lifetime entitlement levels. Cruiselines may need to figure out a way to limit the rapid expansion of membership, either by adding a renewal requirement or by changing the number of cruises needed for future members, or for current ones like me in the lowest tier.

 

 

I'm not sure that comparing cruise line loyalty programs with airline & hotel loyalty programs is a fair comparison as the latter two are geared more towards frequent business travelers, hence the yearly requirement.  In fact, by adding a renewal requirement it might actually hurt Royal. A Diamond-level person that does not sail with Royal for 5 years costs Royal nothing but the fact that the person could still receive Diamond-level benefits - whether it be the balcony discount, free HH drinks - might entice them to come back to Royal. Where as if they were to lose those benefits and start over at Gold, they would be less likely to come back.

 

I don't think the rapid expansion of membership is as much of a burden on the cruise line as we like think it is. An overcrowded DL just means that Royal has many repeat, frequent cruisers which justifies the expense of operating the DL. On the other hand, an empty or half full DL means Royal is not getting the full ROI on said DL and make it more likely to shrink it down or do away with it.

 

 

 

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@HBE4 Your post's first paragraph illustrates very eloquently why the travel industry has not hired me to come up with 5 minute solutions to these issues!

 

Maybe a better solution to the overcrowding would be to let upper tier have a couple drinks added to their seacards that could be used anywhere in a longer happy hour period, plus another one or two that would be usable only at dinner. That would let people who want appetizers go to the lounge, but people who go only for drinks need not crowd in. And maybe don't count water against the drinks.

 

Anyone who always needs more than 4 drinks in that period and considers this an attack on loyalty might want to consult the daily calendar for a less-crowded get together with Bill's buddies....

 

Anyway, another 5 minute solution. The only common complaint I heard on the Allure over two weeks, from virtually every D and up, was about the crowding.

 

 

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1 hour ago, island lady said:

 

Baby boomers.  

Right on! United we stand, divided we fall. 😎 ✌️ Tell Bucky for me "welcome home brother" and enjoy Veterans day. 🍻✌️ I'm jumping on my HD with some other Vietnam vets (currently a sunny 40 degrees, yikes) later this morning and going to a ceremony at our scaled down Vietnam memorial wall. OK, now to stay on topic, the DL/CL is another good place to meet other veterans. 

Edited by davekathy
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56 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

I'm sure the idea has been tossed around in the boardrooms. Perhaps they will do a trial run on a specific ship for a certain amount of time? The OP mentions the Harmony of the Seas so perhaps that is the ship they will experiment on to see how the change is received.

 

The OP also states that the need for an overflow lounge will depend on the number of upper tier cruisers. Meaning this week, there may be an overflow lounge while next week there is not.  No doubt, this will lead to confusion and angst among those not in the know.

Don’t disagree with what you have written.  But my interpretation, when the OP said diamond clubs, that the OP meant all ships. But I guess we will all have to wait and see,

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33 minutes ago, Lady Hudson said:

Don’t disagree with what you have written.  But my interpretation, when the OP said diamond clubs, that the OP meant all ships. But I guess we will all have to wait and see,

 

Agree.

 

And thank you for your first hand report.

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53 minutes ago, mayleeman said:

@HBE4 Your post's first paragraph illustrates very eloquently why the travel industry has not hired me to come up with 5 minute solutions to these issues!

 

Thank you. Not sure how eloquent I am as the travel industry is not busting down my door to hire me either.

 

I've had many 5 minute solutions that - had I spent another 10 minutes thinking it thru - would have never posted. 😄

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49 minutes ago, mayleeman said:

@HBE4 Your post's first paragraph illustrates very eloquently why the travel industry has not hired me to come up with 5 minute solutions to these issues!

 

Maybe a better solution to the overcrowding would be to let upper tier have a couple drinks added to their seacards that could be used anywhere in a longer happy hour period, plus another one or two that would be usable only at dinner. That would let people who want appetizers go to the lounge, but people who go only for drinks need not crowd in. And maybe don't count water against the drinks.

 

Anyone who always needs more than 4 drinks in that period and considers this an attack on loyalty might want to consult the daily calendar for a less-crowded get together with Bill's buddies....

 

Anyway, another 5 minute solution. The only common complaint I heard on the Allure over two weeks, from virtually every D and up, was about the crowding.

 

 

I think this is a good solution.  I am tired of being unable to find a seat by 4:04 . Give more drinks on the card  instead of providing appetizers.  Also a special coffee or two.

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2 hours ago, squadron said:

I think this is a good solution.  I am tired of being unable to find a seat by 4:04 . Give more drinks on the card  instead of providing appetizers.  Also a special coffee or two.

Just for general information - at 4:04 you can find a seat at just about any bar on the ship.   They will be more than happy to serve you a drink using one of your FREE drink vouchers.

enjoy

 

 

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