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Letter to Diamond Members (Merged Threads)

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Just got this e-mail:

 

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your benefits. We apologize for any delay in our response. You are a valued member and we appreciate you taking the time to write us regarding your comments, suggestions and concerns. You will be happy to hear we have recently made some new adjustments. Please see the below letter to our members from Royal Caribbean International President, Adam Goldstein.

Dear Crown & Anchor Diamond and Diamond Plus Members,

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding the recent changes to our Crown & Anchor Loyalty Program.

Let me begin by thanking you for being loyal customers of Royal Caribbean International. These are remarkable times economic challenges, new modes of communication, amazing new ships and so many other changes that impact our lives at every turn. Especially in these times, we appreciate your loyalty as our Crown & Anchor Diamond and Diamond Plus members.

As you may know, we recently announced a number of changes to our Crown & Anchor Loyalty Program. Many of our Diamond Members have expressed considerable unhappiness about the change in eligibility for access to our Concierge Lounges. While we knew the reaction would be negative, it has been more negative then we anticipated. This underscores how phenomenally passionate our most loyal customers are about their Royal Caribbean experiences. We believe one of our strengths that inspires such loyalty is our ability to learn from others and especially from our Crown & Anchor customers. With this in mind, I will comment on the change in eligibility regarding our Concierge Lounges and also inform you of some new enhancements that will improve your experience onboard our ships.

Our decision to limit access to the Concierge Lounges was based on the unfortunate but inescapable fact that we cannot deliver an acceptable experience in lounges that were never designed to handle so many people. We regret that the crowding in our Concierge Lounges prevents us from delivering the experience we intended. It also prevents us from being able to grandfather in Concierge Lounge access for existing Diamond level members. We deeply regret having to restrict this access, but we are committed to delivering an exceptional Concierge Lounge experience. Having said that, we realize we should have provided more notice of our decision, which carries such consequences. To that end, we will delay the implementation date for the change in eligibility from July 1, 2009, to September 1, 2009.

Before I address the additional initiatives we will implement, I would like to summarize the physical or hardware status of our fleet as it relates to Concierge Lounges and Diamond Lounges, taking into account all 22 Royal Caribbean International ships that are now open for sale.

Five ships (our Freedom class and Oasis class) have both the Concierge Lounges and Diamond Lounges. We are excited about the Concierge Lounge overlooking the Boardwalk and the Diamond Lounge overlooking the Royal Promenade on our forthcoming Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Five ships (Monarch of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas) have no Concierge Lounges and two ships (Splendour of the Seas and Legend of the Seas) have limited Concierge Lounges.

Ten ships have Concierge Lounges but no Diamond Lounges (Enchantment of the Seas, as well as the ships in our Voyager class and Radiance class). While we dont currently have plans to add Diamond Lounges to these ships, we will look for opportunities to invest in Diamond Lounges as we go forward.

The strong response from our Diamond members regarding our recent changes demonstrates how much the Concierge Lounges are valued and we clearly should honor that response. The feedback we have received from Diamond members fall primarily into one of the three following categories:

Preserving the social aspect the ability to meet and mingle with other members

Maintaining free or reduced price drinks

And, access to concierge-type services for ice show tickets and other activities

In order to address the first two interests for Diamond members, outside the Concierge Lounge, effective September 1 we will offer them a dedicated VIP private party in one of our bars or lounges. This may be held in the Viking Crown Lounge, or any other bar or lounge designated by the ship. In this dedicated area, from approximately 5 to 8 p.m., we will offer complimentary wine and champagne and happy hour discount of 25 percent off all other beverages. This will be offered every day of each sailing and will replace our recently announced one-time per-cruise special Diamond party.

Additionally, we will offer a new continental breakfast from approximately 8 to 10 a.m. in one of the rooms adjacent to the main dining room onboard. During these morning hours, a crew member will be present and will provide services such as obtaining ice show tickets, and other assistance. We believe these changes will address the primary desires our Diamond members have expressed. These enhancements will be instituted on all our ships that dont have a Diamond Lounge today.

A number of Crown & Anchor members have placed the Concierge Lounge issue in the context of a perceived sequence of cutbacks that taken together have reduced the quality of the product we offer. We take these comments seriously. I am pleased to inform you that in 2009 we are seeing one of the most meaningful year-over-year improvements in our guest satisfaction ratings in memory. Apart from the obvious Independence of the Seas entering the fleet, Empress of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas leaving the fleet and Oasis of the Seas soon to join systemic improvements such as My Time Dining, our suite enhancements, the new debarkation process, and numerous smaller initiatives are being very positively recognized by guests, travel agents and the media.

While we understand not everyone is happy about every change taking place in our fleet, we appreciate your loyalty to our company and we sincerely hope you will continue to choose Royal Caribbean International. It gives us no pleasure to hear from aggrieved Diamond and Diamond Plus customers. Our goal is to earn your advocacy and your return to our fleet by providing you with truly memorable vacations and by recognizing and rewarding your loyalty.

Our mantra at Royal Caribbean International, besides delivering the Wow, is continuous improvement. We constantly strive to find the right balance, so our product evolves in ways that our guests, especially our most loyal guests, are comfortable with. Our ratings and most communications we receive indicate that the balancing is working. However, occasionally we stumble and when we do we try to react quickly. This may be such an instance. We are committed to earning the faith you place in us. I hope the additional enhancements explained in this letter demonstrate our commitment.

Thank you very much for being our customer and for your loyalty to Royal Caribbean International.

Sincerely,

Adam M. Goldstein

President and Chief Executive Officer

Royal Caribbean International

Crown & Anchor Diamond and Diamond Plus Members, we look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon.

Sincerely,

Cara Scott

Crown & Anchor Society

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what is your opinion of the new C&A updates for the dia. members. i think they are very very fair. considering whatever we get is a gift. ask carnival to match it. but don't hold your breath.

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See letting people know what you want and doing so in a respectful manner pays off. I think that this is a wonderful example of "meeting in the middle."

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Well done Diamond members. People power wins ;)

 

I'm not sure where you can feel that the Diamond members were victorious here. I'm not sure what you're looking for either. Many Diamond members have been upset and angry with the loss of some worthy benefits being Diamond. Now we gained paying for drinks with a 25% discount at a gathering? The date was moved from July 1st to September 1st. We can now and have a continental breakfast from 8-10 AM for Diamond members. better varieties can be had up on the Lido deck. What's the celebration all about? RCCL still maintains overcrowding is a prime reason for the cutbacks. Maybe ion some cruise weeks but not everyone. It goes on and on. Loyal members to RCCL are looking to spend their money elsewhere andd rightfully so.

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I'm not sure where you can feel that the Diamond members were victorious here. I'm not sure what you're looking for either. Many Diamond members have been upset and angry with the loss of some worthy benefits being Diamond. Now we gained paying for drinks with a 25% discount at a gathering? The date was moved from July 1st to September 1st. We can now and have a continental breakfast from 8-10 AM for Diamond members. better varieties can be had up on the Lido deck. What's the celebration all about? RCCL still maintains overcrowding is a prime reason for the cutbacks. Maybe ion some cruise weeks but not everyone. It goes on and on. Loyal members to RCCL are looking to spend their money elsewhere andd rightfully so.

 

 

Is beers-champagne and wine not free any other drinks is 25% off ?

 

 

I do believe it was a meeting in the middle.

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Although I applaud RCCL for conceding defeat, I hardly think the title of "RCI COMES THROUGH FOR DIAMOND MEMBERS" is an apt title for this new thread.

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Is beers-champagne and wine not free any other drinks is 25% off ?

 

 

I do believe it was a meeting in the middle.

 

His letter only says wine and champagne. Doesn't say beer. Sorry.

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what is your opinion of the new C&A updates for the dia. members. i think they are very very fair. considering whatever we get is a gift. ask carnival to match it. but don't hold your breath.

 

Think it is hysterical that there was such an uproar and backlash about the Concierge Lounge when the impact of the non-combining of benefits had a much larger dollar impact on diamond passengers. And an even greater impact if you also own RCCL stock.

Do hope everyone can now enjoy cruising.

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Good job everyone! I am so glad that our letter writing campaign with suggestions worked! While we didn't get everything we used to have, I think RCI did a good job of trying to address some concerns. It is certainly better than nothing and I am glad we got some benefits back. Well done!

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I think it is a great of Royal Caribbean to come through with these services, goes to show they do care what the customers think and are trying to "meet" somewhere in the middled. Great job Royal Caribbean

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I think with so many companies cutting corners at this time for Royal Caribbean to change the cutbacks because of all the responces they got from Diamond members is really saying alot. I will continue to cruise on Royal Caribbean and appreciate the free happy hour even if it is not the bar drinks. How many bars are out there right now offering discounts. Since I cruise for the whole experience and the relaxing get away. I really appreciate these extras. I also applaud Royal Caribbean for changing their cutbacks.

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Although this compromise may or may not suit everyone's needs or expectations, I am happy that the powers that be made this decision based on where and how the cruise line is right now. I'm sure it's always a difficult decision when cut backs in any form are necessary and no matter how it goes, some people will be ok with it, others won't. Keeping ALL customers happy is not an easy thing to do!

 

At this time, I believe there has been at least a better option given now than originally issued with the C&A policies so whether to go on and cruise with RCI at this time is a CHOICE each of us has. If you don't like the new changes, no one is making you purhcase RCI cruises and you do have other options. For those of us who are satisfied with the changes, regardless whether they are not as they were before, I hope we can move on and see cruising in the big picture...a great vacation where new friends and memories are made! I'm on the Carnival Conquest this Sunday and on the Rhapsody next month, very excited about both of them and only expecting to have the time of my life and not worry if whether I can get something for coming back! Happy Cruising Everyone!!!

 

Peace!:cool:

Edited by texlatin1

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It's just a marketing ploy.If I can paraphrase another poster "A company takes away a lot of perks so people complain,then they give some back and people say what a great company it is."

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It's just a marketing ploy.If I can paraphrase another poster "A company takes away a lot of perks so people complain,then they give some back and people say what a great company it is."

 

 

...and by the same token, please don't forget this one... "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time"

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It's just a marketing ploy.If I can paraphrase another poster "A company takes away a lot of perks so people complain,then they give some back and people say what a great company it is."
I would gladly trade a few drinks and the concierge club to get back the ability to use stock credit with the use of coupons and balcony credit.

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What do the non drinkers get out of this??

 

Continental breakfast, dedicated area to socialize with other Diamonds, a concierge-like staff person manning the breakfast area to help with tickets, etc. Who knows, maybe they'll add soda in their beverages available in this area. They were always available in the CL.

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It's just a marketing ploy.If I can paraphrase another poster "A company takes away a lot of perks so people complain,then they give some back and people say what a great company it is."

 

It's like the weekly "half off sale" down at Macy's. Jack the price up 100%, then put it "On Sale 50% Off." Where does that leave you?

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I'm still not happy. Wine and Champagne are free but you get a 25% discount on cocktails. Whoopee! I don't think that is fair!

 

I am an early riser and would usually be in the CL at 630a. There was no else there for at least 30 minutes. I could have my several cups of coffee, look at the sunrise on the water, and enjoy total quiet. I will miss this the most!

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"In order to address the first two interests for Diamond members, outside the Concierge Lounge, effective September 1 we will offer them a dedicated VIP private party in one of our bars or lounges. This may be held in the Viking Crown Lounge, or any other bar or lounge designated by the ship. In this dedicated area, from approximately 5 to 8 p.m., we will offer complimentary wine and champagne and happy hour discount of 25 percent off all other beverages. This will be offered every day of each sailing and will replace our recently announced one-time per-cruise special Diamond party. "

 

The free beer and mixed drinks will no longer be free. Although 25% off "other beverages" is a nice gesture, RCCL is still taking away a benefit once enjoyed by Diamond members by requiring a 75% "co-pay" on drinks such as a vodka & tonic. On our recent cruise on Independence there were over 300 Diamond members onboard. The Diamond Club was closed between 5 and 8:30 pm and the services of the lounge were moved to the nightclub on deck 3 to accomodate everyone. As a first time cruiser on the Independence I was looking forward to the new Diamond club. Luckily we had a suite bokked for this trip and were able to access the Concierge Lounge which was reserved for suite guests only.

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I will enjoy the lounge for a last time on my May Radiance cruise and bid a fond goodbye to RCCL after that. It took me 10 years to gain use of the lounge and I will not suffer another 15 years to regain it's use. In June I will be canceling my October cruise on the Explorer of the Sea and return to Princess where I have elite status.

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It's like the weekly "half off sale" down at Macy's. Jack the price up 100%, then put it "On Sale 50% Off." Where does that leave you?

 

It is a negotiation tactic, no doubt about it. You always ask for the most you would like and if you need to give a little back, you do it.

 

But I am looking at it this way. IF RCCL had come the first time with these changes, would it have been satisfactory with me? The answer is yes. I wouldn't have been thrilled, but understanding. In addition, I really do wish they would stop with the overcrowding excuse. We all know it was a revenue issue, otherwise they would have given back free drinks, not 25% off.

 

Those minor issues aside, I am OK with the changes and am happy there was something given back. As I stated in the other thread, this particular issue has opened up my eyes to my loyalty and why I had it in the first place. I am no longer going to be loyal because of this program. It helps and it is appreciated, but it isn't the correct reason. I am anxious to go try other lines and see for myself if RCCL is my preference. And if I do determine RCCL is the cream of my crop and if they ever do need to raise the bar again on the C&A benefits, next time I won't mind. Because I'll know I love RCCL cruises for the right reasons.

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I had been looking forward to 'becoming' Diamond, so I could combine our stocks, OBC etc. and watch the sunrise with my cup of coffee all at the same time:rolleyes:

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I will enjoy the lounge for a last time on my May Radiance cruise and bid a fond goodbye to RCCL after that. It took me 10 years to gain use of the lounge and I will not suffer another 15 years to regain it's use. In June I will be canceling my October cruise on the Explorer of the Sea and return to Princess where I have elite status.

 

Gee, I didn't know Princess even had a concierge lounge except for debarkation

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