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ommboz

Crown & Anchor Program Revisions - join the merged discussions here

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I remember being more distressed on a CCL cruise, when I came into the room and there was a towel monkey hanging from the ceiling on a coat hook wearing my $300 Revo sunglasses. That is so not funny! :D

 

jc

 

 

 

Wonder who looked better with the sunglasses on :D:D:D

 

 

Has RCCL offered anything to make up for these changes ?

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It is against this background that Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean, said last week "We will accept slightly lower occupancy levels in order to keep pricing up and to maximize yields." :mad:

 

I think I read that Mr. Fain stated this in reference to the ultra-low last minute deals that we were used to seeing late last year. Upon a general query of various itineraries a couple days ago I didn't see any "steals" like I did late last year. Last year about 3 weeks before our 7-night Liberty cruise, they were selling inside cabins on that cruise for $399. I think he's saying they'll accept lower occupancy instead of offering the ultra low rates?

 

Sounds like they're on cruise control with making change after change after change, and trying to put out a lot of fires. I can just imagine staff meetings at RCCL, informing their CSRs to expect A LOT of calls about various changes within the company. The people who create the "canned" dialogue must be very busy!

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I remember being more distressed on a CCL cruise, when I came into the room and there was a towel monkey hanging from the ceiling on a coat hook wearing my $300 Revo sunglasses. That is so not funny! :D

 

jc

 

I actually started putting my Maui Jim's in the safe when I would leave the cabin in the evening just because they ended up on one too many towel animals.

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I thought that is why the July 1st date was picked, people who wanted to could back out of cruises without penalty once they knew of the changes (even though many, many have not been informed). RCI could say, look we put the changes on our website in March so you SHOULD have know about them.

 

Sadly that doesnt work for those booked here in UK..we would lose the deposit if we cancelled no matter how far from fianl payment...of course Miami always seems to forget about those over the pond when they are making changes in their rules :mad:

 

I dont think our website has been changed either :confused:

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I do think RC has made a marketing mistake -- with the lastest cutbacks and marketing fiasco I am not looking to RC for next spring cruise but will look elsewhere. Maybe they can turn it around, but for me, for now, I will sail with Carnival or possibly Princess.

 

Edited to add: I have sailed on RC a couple of times; but my past guest coupons & mailings are sporadic, never get them in time for planning; but boy Carnival sure loads my mailbox with past guest deals on a regular basis LOL

 

I have never even sailed with Princess but wrote to them once for a brochure and they have been mailing me regularly like clock work ever since. Someday I may book them just because they have been trying so hard!

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While I am a "discarded Diamond", the perk I would most like to see reinstated is being able to use the Diamond balcony discount and my stockholder's or booking while on a cruise or next cruise letter. I'd be happy if I could only pick one of the above in addition to the Diamond balcony discount.

 

The Diamond balcony discount has made the difference in my booking a balcony. Before we qualified, it was either a balcony or inside cabin. We decided the $400 or so "extra" for a window was not worth it long ago. With the balcony discount the price between balcony with the discount and inside without a discount has made it a no-brainer in "justifying" our choice of a balcony to our checkbook (lol)

 

Tucker in Texas

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I just ran across this on a travel website. From Richard Fains statement it wouln't appear that intend to reverse their latest take aways if they are willing to accept lower occupancy. Of course if "slightly lower occupancy" turns out to be more significant than he thinks....you never know.

 

 

According to Ryan Wahlstrom at Cruise Market Watch, this year is forecast to see a 2.9% increase in the number of cruise passengers but a 9.5% fall in fare revenue.

It is against this background that Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean, said last week "We will accept slightly lower occupancy levels in order to keep pricing up and to maximize yields." :mad:

 

I wonder what his definition of slightly is?

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Agreed. Especially since they clearly indicate in their terms and conditions that the program can change at their discretion, at any time.

 

I'm sure come July 1st there will be Diamonds that board the ships and have no idea they've lost the CL benefit. And they'll let it ruin their whole week, thinking that RCCL has wronged them, and they'll write to RCCL after they get home, demanding a refund. "OLD NEWS", will be many of the responses on Cruise Critic. :D

 

We're all lucky to be among such well-informed, well-seasoned cruisers here on Cruise Critic! Cruise Critic is, IMO, the best online forum for cruising. We all share a common interest - cruising - and we'll each continue to enjoy cruising whether we continue to patronize RCCL or try something new.

 

 

I'm with you, mountainboy. I have been cruising since the beginning of time, but I wouldn't dream of going anywhere without checking on CC first. It's the BEST for reseaching and getting the latest information.

 

I'm sad there are so many upset people over this, but it's pretty much unavoidable. I said for months and months that RCCL would roll back the fuel surcharge, because they did in the 1970's. No one would believe me, and yes, they did just that. I only hope when business is better they will reinstate these C&A perks, also.

 

It does encourage people to sail on the newer ships that have a dedicated Diamond Lounge, but that narrows the choice of itineraries. If it means a lot to someone, then that would be their decision to only sail on the newer ships with that amenity.

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I think I read that Mr. Fain stated this in reference to the ultra-low last minute deals that we were used to seeing late last year. Upon a general query of various itineraries a couple days ago I didn't see any "steals" like I did late last year. Last year about 3 weeks before our 7-night Liberty cruise, they were selling inside cabins on that cruise for $399. I think he's saying they'll accept lower occupancy instead of offering the ultra low rates?

 

Sounds like they're on cruise control with making change after change after change, and trying to put out a lot of fires. I can just imagine staff meetings at RCCL, informing their CSRs to expect A LOT of calls about various changes within the company. The people who create the "canned" dialogue must be very busy!

 

Wonder if they announce a change and then stare at the C.C. board waiting for the first thread on the subject to appear to get the reaction to their moves!:D

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Wonder who looked better with the sunglasses on :D:D:D

 

 

Has RCCL offered anything to make up for these changes ?

 

The Loyalty Ambassador last week told me they were thinking of possibly giving the Diamonds some free drink coupons, but DON'T QUOTE ME!!! It's all in the works, so we'll have to wait and see.

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A point for RCCI's side?????No so fast, while you may not be able to opt out of paying Social Security taxes you certainly have the option to cruise on another line.

 

I completely agree with you. But a comment was made to someone that he would not like it if his retirement benefits got changed mid stream as C&A benefits got changed. I was just pointing out that my, and millions of others, retirement benefits DID get changed mid stream. We are on the same side here.:)

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The Loyalty Ambassador last week told me they were thinking of possibly giving the Diamonds some free drink coupons, but DON'T QUOTE ME!!! It's all in the works, so we'll have to wait and see.

 

 

 

Really. Free tea or coffee :D or a soda card :eek:

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I was just shopping online from LL Bean- now there's a company that knows how to bring customers back... for every $50 I just spent I will get a coupon for $10 off my next purchase.

I did not purchase these items solely to get a discount, but because I wanted them. If I go to use the coupon and they tell me the benefits have been changed, it's not worth anything anymore,I won't be doing business with them again.

On the other hand....

After spending many thousands of $ with RCCL over the last 6 years (at least $50,000 at last count) I get from them........ umm? what do I get....oh yes, nothing.

I don't think it will break the budget for them to keep their word and provide a couple of watered down drinks to me in a lounge of their choice, once a year, for 7 days.

Sometimes it's not all about the money, it's a matter of a company being the kind of people who keep their word , that I want to continue to do business with.

RCCL disappoints on that score.

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Sometimes it's not all about the money, it's a matter of a company being the kind of people who keep their word , that I want to continue to do business with.

RCCL disappoints on that score.

 

Exactly!

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Really. Free tea or coffee :D or a soda card :eek:

 

Very cute...thinking legalistically;).

 

Here's my plan (and we just booked another line for our northern europe this summer....great price, same destinations): go for the itinerary on a reasonable ship (fairly new, similar amenities as RCCL....and the food IMHO is just about the same everywhere now) and use the $$$ saved (as it is AMAZINGLY less expensive than RCCL) to BUY whatever amenities I think are important to me, be it booze, massage, internet, shore tours, etc... I never did take advantage of all the C & A perks anyway (Diamond here), so I really won't miss them!

 

This plan works especially well when comparing other lines to what is available with RCCL aboard the non-Voyager (no DL anyway), non-Freedom class ships .... in other words, comparing them to the medium-sized RCCL ships. And, even with this, other lines have rock climbing walls, even putting greens aboard!

 

Overall, my plan will save me $$$$$ over traveling aboard RCCL, assuming I would do so to just "show loyalty" and build towards the distant hope of D+ (which may have no privileges with it by then, anyway):).

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While I realise that this thread is about the taking away of C&A benefits, if I can interject to this gentleman...........that either he was in an OS on the Voyager...........which has both a shower and tub.........or is dreaming.

 

There is not a GS to the best of my knowledge, on any Royal Caribbean ship, Oasis excluded, that has both a stand up shower and bathtub in that catagory.

 

Now back to the discussion at hand.

 

Rick

 

Thanks for posting this....I thought I was losing my mind! We did not have a separate shower in the GS on Adventure of the Seas.

 

Now, back to the topic.:D

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Two weeks ago I received the so called "form" letter from one of the RCCL C&A representives expressing their apology as a result of the letter I sent them along with three other individuals in my group also sent in regards to the changes that will be taking place July 1st. Their letters received were as anticipated verbatum to what I received. In our to C&A letters we expressed our feelings that this is not about the CL being overcrowded but another factors for them to save money by eliminating benefits that their Diamond members have achieved by being loyal for so many cruises taken. Then they go on to tell you about the new Oasis how spectacular it is and we should set our goals to book on it.

RCCL is gaining a lot of negative publicity by their policy changes where they should be concentrating on gaining passengers in these economic times. They seem to be turning their cheek and ignoring their loyal passengers while concentrating on gaining people to cruise their larger and much more expensive ships.

I sent an email to Princess Cruise Lines informing them on what RCCL has done to their loyal cruisers and were hoping that some sort of transfer-adjustment might be possible to gain new cruisers.( I know, slim to non) BUT I'm hoping to receive a reply where their sight says it takes 2-4 weeks to receive correspondence. Has anyone else sent Princess a letter and received a reply yet?

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I actually started putting my Maui Jim's in the safe when I would leave the cabin in the evening just because they ended up on one too many towel animals.

 

Too OT. Never mind.

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I don't think it will break the budget for them to keep their word and provide a couple of watered down drinks to me in a lounge of their choice, once a year, for 7 days.

Sometimes it's not all about the money, it's a matter of a company being the kind of people who keep their word , that I want to continue to do business with.

RCCL disappoints on that score.

 

So how about if they provide a couple of watered down drinks via a coupon in the coupon book, that you can get at any bar on the ship? You still get your drink, just not in the CL.

 

For me, visiting the CL would not be an enjoyable experience if I have to fight for space with hundreds of other Diamond members on the ship, in a room that holds 30-50 people.

 

Principle I understand - keep the perk and let the cruiser make the decision whether they want to brave the crowds. But I don't think the decision was based on withholding two watered down drinks from Diamond members. I think the decision was based on too many people using the CL. And on the larger ships (which I understand some people don't sail and have no desire to do so), they created a lounge especially for Diamond members - even non-Diamond Suite guests aren't supposed to enter. Had it been solely an economic decision, I don't think they would have created this benefit.

 

They kept their word - program subject to change at their discretion. It's now changing. And because I believe it's primarily not having the space in the CL to accommodate all of the Diamonds who want to use it, I doubt that they'll feel the need to revert back. If it hasn't happened already, it's only a matter of time before people complain about how crowded the CL is, and that RC should do something about it. Well they are.

 

It does disappoint me that companies, including RCCL, continually cut back, and I do understand feeling slighted after having enjoyed the benefit. It's almost like the mentality is "It's always been this way, so it should always remain this way." Very rarely, however, is that the way it works out.

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I was just shopping online from LL Bean- now there's a company that knows how to bring customers back... for every $50 I just spent I will get a coupon for $10 off my next purchase.

I did not purchase these items solely to get a discount, but because I wanted them. If I go to use the coupon and they tell me the benefits have been changed, it's not worth anything anymore,I won't be doing business with them again.

On the other hand....

After spending many thousands of $ with RCCL over the last 6 years (at least $50,000 at last count) I get from them........ umm? what do I get....oh yes, nothing.

I don't think it will break the budget for them to keep their word and provide a couple of watered down drinks to me in a lounge of their choice, once a year, for 7 days.

Sometimes it's not all about the money, it's a matter of a company being the kind of people who keep their word , that I want to continue to do business with.

RCCL disappoints on that score.

 

I don't understand why you think RCCL should continue this as long as you continue to buy their cruises. It's like you want the perks to be continuous. They didn't "give their word" that you would get perks indefinitely, so there's no "broken word" involved.

 

I also missed the part where you said, "I choose to buy cruises, which is my decision, and what I got in return is very nice vacations, plus a few frequent cruiser perks". Isn't the main reason you spent the $50k is for the fun vacation that they did deliver??????

 

Also, it isn't just you alone that got the free drinks, it was the other THOUSANDS of people that received them, and that's what finally overwhelmed the perks "system". I think a bigger perspective on the picture is needed. It's not just your individual situation, but the combination of all of it that caused the change in the program, IMO.

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The week before we cruised the Voyager of the Seas, we received the following email from RCL. "Due to limited capacity, the Concierge Lounge has not been able to accommodate our growing membership, challenging our ability to provide the optimum experience for our guests. Therefore the Concierge Lounge will now be accessible to our suite and Diamond Plus guests only. Diamond Members cruising on Freedom class, Oasis of the SeasSM, and Allure of the SeasSM will continue to be able to experience exclusive access to a dedicated Diamond Lounge on these ships, which feature a complimentary 'happy hour' from 5:00-8:30pm daily."

What does this mean?

A diamond club member can no longer enjoy the Concierge Lounge which we have been accustomed to and earned by believing the lines previous advertising and encouragement. They are taking benefits away that were earned. Surely they could have grandfathered current members that were enjoying these benefits. Does anyone feel diamond members will frequent the Voyager in the future when we know the lounge is no longer available. I don't think so. RCL is sacrificing long term results for short term results. Shame on you RCL. Loyalty works both ways, let's not forget.

This is still a five star ship even though management decisions are not guest friendly.

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The week before we cruised the Voyager of the Seas, we received the following email from RCL. "Due to limited capacity, the Concierge Lounge has not been able to accommodate our growing membership, challenging our ability to provide the optimum experience for our guests. Therefore the Concierge Lounge will now be accessible to our suite and Diamond Plus guests only. Diamond Members cruising on Freedom class, Oasis of the SeasSM, and Allure of the SeasSM will continue to be able to experience exclusive access to a dedicated Diamond Lounge on these ships, which feature a complimentary 'happy hour' from 5:00-8:30pm daily."

 

Ok, so you were accustomed to the CL. Can you now become accustomed to the Diamond Lounge?

 

Serious question to all losing this benefit - If access to the CL is not reinstated, what would it take to quell your anger and disappointment:

 

1) A Diamond Lounge on all ships that currently have a CL?

2) A Concierge in the Diamond Lounge to make your specialty restaurant reservations and sell you ice show tickets?

 

For ships that have a Diamond Lounge, what is it SPECIFICALLY about the Diamond Lounge that doesn't measure up to the CL? It's still a perk of the Diamond Level. Is it that "Diamond Lounge" sounds less exclusive than "Concierge Lounge"?

 

Really, I am curious and am not trying to stir. It just seems to me that the alternative provided (which does still include the free happy hour) by RC on some of their ships isn't being well received, so I was just curious as to why.

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For ships that have a Diamond Lounge, what is it SPECIFICALLY about the Diamond Lounge that doesn't measure up to the CL?

 

Specialty coffees and a nice quiet place in which to enjoy them with extended hours so WE can decide when we would like to enjoy. Give them that feedback (it's not about the booze for us).

 

BTW, we just booked a different line for our summer 14-day Northern Europe trip this year, and we will porbably cancel our Oasis for October 2010....still deciding.

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Ok, so you were accustomed to the CL. Can you now become accustomed to the Diamond Lounge?

 

Serious question to all losing this benefit - If access to the CL is not reinstated, what would it take to quell your anger and disappointment:

 

1) A Diamond Lounge on all ships that currently have a CL?

2) A Concierge in the Diamond Lounge to make your specialty restaurant reservations and sell you ice show tickets?

 

For ships that have a Diamond Lounge, what is it SPECIFICALLY about the Diamond Lounge that doesn't measure up to the CL? It's still a perk of the Diamond Level. Is it that "Diamond Lounge" sounds less exclusive than "Concierge Lounge"?

 

Really, I am curious and am not trying to stir. It just seems to me that the alternative provided (which does still include the free happy hour) by RC on some of their ships isn't being well received, so I was just curious as to why.

 

To me a DL is a CL only with a better view. The DL's I've been in have had a concierge who takes care of reservations, etc. I've been in the alternate lounges which are nice for wine before dinner and are fine as long as I can get to that coffee machine in the CL for the rest of the day. :)

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Hi tex latin1,

Very interesting questions. My opinion/belief is that some of RCI's long term, loyal customers (who really did believe in the Company and supported and helped build up the company over the years and were hurt and angered by the cutbacks and rescinding of benefits) may never come back. I think RCI really blew it with these customers and just may never see some of those folks on their ships in the future.

 

I truly believe that a lot of loyal RCI customers (myself included) OVERLOOKED a lot of the bad incidents on board and the slipping of quality in many aspects throughout the onboard experience and in customer service. I have sailed enough to have experienced many unfortunate/unpleasant incidents on board and yet never made a big deal out of it. I have never really complained about them except in a couple of incidents because they were so egregious, but all was eventually taken care of. All other incidents were simply overlooked and went unreported because we never expected perfection. We just want to enjoy our cruise, have fun and we do reward companies who appreciate us by continuing to be their customer.

 

RCI was one of those companies. When we took our first cruise on RCI on the Rhapsody out of Galveston in 2003 we had no expectations whatsoever. We had only cruised once before (Big Red Boat III). As we live in Texas we were happy to have a nice ship such as the Rhapsody to sail within driving distance of our home.

 

Little did we know we would become hooked. RCI just continued to reward us the more we sailed. And we reciprocated by booking RCI again and again. We only sailed another line once after that, the Carnival Conquest (out of Galveston) as some friends were already booked and wanted our family to come along on a Thanksgiving sailing. We had a blast on the Conquest but my husband and kids prefer the RCI ships so we booked them again and again.

 

My complaints about the policies of RCI came from the fast and what seemed furious cutbacks, rescinding of benefits and new nickle and dime "choices". As a loyal customer and stockholder I thought they were doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. That they should be giving MORE incentives to keep their loyal customers, especially in a bad economy. The rescinding of the Concierge service and use of the CL on Voyager Class and smaller ships was the last straw. Especially as I have already cruised the Voyager twice and was planning on booking her over the Christmas holidays. For me and mine it is the principle of it all. We do not appreciate the way RCI has handled the situation and feel it truly is a kick in the head to those of us who along with many, many others added to the growth of the company and spread good will about the company through word of mouth and with bringing new customers to the Line.

 

That said, I think RCI CAN salvage some of this. Several days ago I mentioned that if RCI were to admit to not realizing the extent to which these changes to the C & A program would affect some of their best customers and do a mea culpa of sorts they just might be able to gain some respect back from these customers. I do not think it is too late for them to turn this around. But I do believe that much damage has been done and the trust between RCI and a lot of its loyal customers is gone. That is really a shame in my point of view.

 

There are many (including me) who will never quite look at the company in the same way again. For a company to destroy that trust and loyalty between itself and its customers is in my opinion pretty shocking. I would think there would be many companies in this world (especially in this economy) who would love to have as one of its major "problems" too many Loyal Returning Customers. I would think that if a completely objective person looked at the current situation between RCI and its loyal customers they would think that RCI had lost its Corporate Mind!

 

Thank you for your last line of your post, I hope it works out too.

 

Colleen

 

Colleen, you have managed to express my thoughts exactly... We had 3 cruises booked 2 this year and 1 for 2010...- and had decided life is so short - We were going to take advantage of the pricing drops to book suites this year, and did ..But it's funny I guess - We would have qualified to get the perks as suite passengers - and would be + after these cruises.....but these decisions on the part of the RCL corp. world - all fast and quick - made us wonder if our loyalty was a one way street... and as a result that are loosing us - I have wondered if we will forget this - maybe ...but it will be years - and meanwhile we will keep cruising - but on other lines. We'll enjoy our upcoming cruise in a few days - and cancel the other 3 we have...

"RCI had lost its Corporate Mind!" - I think this is just the way I feel - I am just a number to them that drinks up their money & takes up their space...- and no other alternatives were thought of - except cut it off? The loyalty feeling is what I lost...and I even feel a little stupid for ignoring things on RCL ships - yet I didn't give any other cruise line a break if something was less than perfect...(kind of like favoring your own children and being blind to their faults?)... So maybe I needed this eye opener.. and the realization that I was prejudiced and slanted to RCI line...

 

"I think RCI CAN salvage some of this. Several days ago I mentioned that if RCI were to admit to not realizing the extent to which these changes to the C & A program would affect some of their best customers and do a mea culpa of sorts they just might be able to gain some respect back from these customers. I do not think it is too late for them to turn this around. But I do believe that much damage has been done and the trust between RCI and a lot of its loyal customers is gone. That is really a shame in my point of view. "

This is the only possibility I can think of to change my mind - a sincere apology - and their realization that my loyalty mattered.

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