• Report: #445847

Complaint Review: Royal Caribbean International

  • Submitted: Wed, April 22, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, February 05, 2011

  • Reported By:Mounds Oklahoma
Royal Caribbean International
1050 Caribbean Way Nationwide U.S.A.

Royal Caribbean Royal Caribbean International RCCL must be having to have cutbacks because they are sure taking away Dimaond benefits Miami Florida

*General Comment: Enough Already

*Consumer Suggestion: Truce

*Consumer Suggestion: You Just Crossed the Line

*General Comment: You just stepped over the line

*Consumer Comment: Hole Gets Deeper

*Consumer Comment: Pearls Before Swine

*General Comment: A few ants short of a picnic

*Consumer Suggestion: It's obvious is it?

*Consumer Suggestion: It's obvious is it?

*Consumer Suggestion: It's obvious is it?

*General Comment: Agree - It's Obvious

*Consumer Suggestion: No cruising for me

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Caution of the Seas

*General Comment: ~ These Are Fake Reports ~

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

*General Comment: Lobster?

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

*General Comment: All Of you Need To Stop

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

*General Comment: Simply Amazing

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Sewage of the Seas

*Consumer Comment: RCCL Feedback Yields New Loyalty Points Program

*Consumer Comment: RCCL ~ Sewage of the Seas

*General Comment: That's Enough

*Consumer Comment: RCCL not Value of the Seas

*Consumer Comment: Complaints Get Results

*General Comment: Whiners

*General Comment: For what it's worth....

*Consumer Comment: Royal Caribbean loyalty perks "not fine to many"

*General Comment: Perks Seem Fine To Me

*Consumer Comment: Crown & Anchor Platinum/Diamond Perks Vanishing

*Consumer Comment: Get Over It

*Consumer Comment: Quit Whining

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My wife and I have been sailg RCCL for a number fo years now and we are part of the Crown & Anchor Society. We made Diamond level September last year and we sailed as Diamond for the first time in February 2009. One of the benefits of a Diamond and up was the use of the concierge lounge where you could get away from the rest of the sip for a bit, play a game fo cards, read a boook etc.... every evening from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. they had cockatails for these return guests.

I found out yesterday they have decided to no longer allow Diamonds level people anymore but Diamons plus and Suite guests still get the benefit.

It's the fact that they changed the rules in the middle of the game.

You establish a Loyalty program and set specific goals. Many guests reached those goals only to have them taken away after the goal was reached. RCCL could completely restore the benefits at this point but that would not change the fact that they treated a large number of their most loyal guests with disrespect.

It's a matter of trust and respect.

Are they having money trouble??...no other reason to treat customers this way!

John k
Mounds, Oklahoma
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/22/2009 01:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Royal-Caribbean-International/nationwide/Royal-Caribbean-Royal-Caribbean-International-RCCL-must-be-having-to-have-cutbacks-because-445847. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Enough Already

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

For what it's worth, it's also obvious to me the primary reporters here are all alter-egos. But that's my opinion. Who cares.

Personally, I think you all have let this go too far. Having to spew the last word, then accusing another of having to have the last word? Come on. This whole page has turned in to nothing but child's play. My suggestion is to just let it go. None of you are getting anywhere and a few of you (or is it just one of you) really look like fools from your angry posts.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Truce

AUTHOR: Sarge - (United States of America)

Cease fire! It's time for a truce. Nobody's writing about Royal Caribbean anymore.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

You Just Crossed the Line

AUTHOR: Windy - (United States of America)

whoa! ... man, I don't get it ... can't believe I was starting to feel sympathy for this michael/william guy ... then he just had to writein again ... like he has this wish to be despicable ... here we go ... now y'all stay with me on this ...


for several years now ... like people who read royal caribbean complaints posted here have no brains of their own ... this michael/william dude calls (in his words, not mine) complaints smears on royal caribbean or whining or tirades or lies or fakes or stupid or nasty rumors or invalid or diatribes or spewing inaccurate information or dumb or whatever insult he wants to write ... a self-proclaimed RCI defender ... baits arguments to "engage in a debate over your interpretations, or in most cases, misinterpretations" ... like people want to do that ... seriously deludes himself into claiming others offended by his insults or who oppose him are, stay with me now, one person changing names ... like that makes what they wrote wrong ... accusing without proof ... personally attacks instead of rebuts ... without provocation ... boasts "folks feel offended or even threatened by my tell-it-like-it-is personality" ... a behavior he believes is normal and acceptable ... which is his excuse to cross lines of common decency anytime he sees fit to "take it to that level" ...


but then this messagelike some webcop ... some falsely accused bad guy ... michael/william draws his own line and whines, "now you've crossed the line" ... can't even see his own hypocrisy ... he can crossanyone's line of decency whenever he wants, but don't dare cross his... again in his own words, "I'll dial 9-1-1 and dispatch a waaaaaaaaambulance for you." ... what next, planning to fabricate evidence to provehe's right? ... fits NPD ... we knowhe's gotta have the last word ... like that winsa debate ... blind to why this keeps going ... he doesn't know when to shut up ... we understand this will be a challenge ... michael/william can end this right now by stopping his inflammatory rhetoric ... even royal caribbean would appreciate it.

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#4 General Comment

You just stepped over the line

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

The hole between my back cheeks?

Folks may feel offended or even threatened by my tell-it-like-it-is personality, but to go as far to say something like that is crossing the line. I have no problem disputingthe multiple personality complaints on this thread, but if he/she/they/whatever support you taking it to that level, it speaks volumes, not only about you, but about them.

Supposedly, I'm the bad guy here (even though I'm not the one changing names and talking to myself) and evenI would never take it to that level.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Hole Gets Deeper

AUTHOR: Kruizin_Kelley - (United States of America)

Touch, Sarge!

If yougive Michahol aka William that much credit,then you insult all middle schoolers.

Talk about taking it waaay too far and being obsessive! "Must have Last Word" Michahol from Summerland Key has been harassing and insulting posters on this board for several years ... several YEARS people!

Michahol, the big hole that keeps getting deeper and deeper here is the one between your back cheeks.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Pearls Before Swine

AUTHOR: Sarge - (United States of America)

Ah Suzanne, what a clever choice of quotations! Too bad they went sailing over the heads of these middle schoolers.

"Cast not pearls before swine."

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#7 General Comment

A few ants short of a picnic

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

Lord have mercy. That hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper. I have noquestion why your cruise experience was so bad. You have a personality that just can't be satisfied and you take things waaaaay too far.

Contrary to what you may believe, some people don't spend all their time on this website, or the internet for that matter. Also, in case you have not noticed among your mulitple postings, the posts don't appear in real time. There is a dely of up to several hours.

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#8 Consumer Suggestion

It's obvious is it?

AUTHOR: Suzanne - (United States of America)

Tick ... tock .... zzzzzzzzzzzz .... time's up!

Hmmmm, I thought so.

B and C have the same author, "petercal". A is "maipenrai".

They are bothwriting about Navigator, a Royal Caribbean ship, on Cruise Critic. You can check that for yourselves on the internet.

It's obvious? No expertise required?Sign me upfor Mythbusters!

But it's time for a long winter's nap.

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#9 Consumer Suggestion

It's obvious is it?

AUTHOR: Suzanne - (United States of America)

Tick ... tock ... Time's up!

A & C are same author (Epictetus), B is Sir Francis Bacon. You can look them up on the internet.

Let's try another. Theseshould be a loteasier for you to read.

Three new writing samples. Same or different author? This is obvious, isn't it?

A. "I am not that picky and understand cooking for a large crowd, but there is no excuse. This will be our very last RC cruise."

B. "We usually get a balcony cabin, but this time we talked our daughter into sharing a Royal Family Suite. We figured we would get "royal treatment". What a stupid thought."

C. "The main dining each evening has also changed. Besides the fact that there is no more lobster tail dinner, the food was not as good as in previous years."

And I'll give you more time.

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#10 Consumer Suggestion

It's obvious is it?

AUTHOR: Suzanne - (United States of America)

I am watching the snow pile up, too. I have taken just one cruise on Norwegian and began thinking about taking another cruise. I wondered if Carnival or Royal Caribbean were better and decided to compare. The angry messages found here have helped make up my mind.

Seems to me like you do not remember, Imitation is the sincerest flattery. (Charles C. Colton)

School teachers and parents who home school their childrencan tell you readability studies are used to determine the grade level of textbooks. As "wordsmith" tells you, a readability index is the definitive way to prove whether you have one author using different screen names. He concluded they weren't. I think he's right.

But you confidently write, "It doesn't take any level of expertise to see these people are the same and ther writing, word usage, and grammar are exactly the same."

This is rich and I challenge your claims.
Let's put you and others convinced they have a single writer using multiple screen names to a little test, shall we?

Three writing examples. Same or different authors?After all, itshould be obvious.

A. "Therefore, if he judges from false appearances, he is the person hurt, since he, too, is the person deceived. For if anyone takes a true proposition to be false, the porposition is not hurt, but only the man is deceived. Setting out, then, from these principles, you will meekly bear with a person who reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion, "It seemed so to him."

B. "Therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not."

C. "Therefore, it is the action of an uninstructed person to reproach others for his own misfortunes; of one entering upon instruction to reproach himself; and one perfectly instructed to reproach neither others nor himself."

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#11 General Comment

Agree - It's Obvious

AUTHOR: Jonathan - (U.S.A.)

OceanGirl:

"I don't think either William (Sarasota) or Michael (Summerland Key) have a clue how their..."

"That probably means I've made spelling errors and typos that grammar gestapos will use to humiliate me.."

GM Cruiser:

"To Michael (Summerland Key), Jonathan (Fairlawn), and Kristian (Ft Lauderdale); I hope you do realize..."

NASCAR Lady:

"I better quit before I give that grammar gestapo more ammunition to humiliate me"

Wordsmith, your mechanism of detection is off. It doesn't take any level of expertise to see these people are the same and ther writing, word usage, and grammar are exactly the same.

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#12 Consumer Suggestion

No cruising for me

AUTHOR: wordsmith - (United States of America)

I'm sick of the snow and cold here and the sunny Caribbean is where I want to be right now. I have never taken a cruise,but after reading some postings here I don't want to. The reason for me writing is to give you a way to answer whether or not you have a single author using aliases or not.

The reliable and objective analysis tool you need to determine whether your authors are the same individual is called a readability index. Unique individual writing characteristics such as vocabulary, syntax, complexity, grammar and fluency are scored and calculated using well-researched and validated formulas and graphs. The most reliable readabilities averages multiple tests such as Fry, Gunning, Flesch-Kincaid, and Forcast. I work for a publisher and do readability profiles professionally. If your authors are the same individual, analysis of their posts will produce very close if not the same readability index. Consider it the difference between claiming someone is a baby's father based on looks or based on DNA.

My results show that SAH, MikeW, OceanGirl, GMCruiser and NASCAR Lady are unique and individual authors and not the same author using aliases. I do not expect everyone to just take my word for it. Many educational reading experts know how to do a readibility study. Skeptics should employ their expertise for independent confirmation of my findings. The answer you seek requires objectivity and will not beobtained through amatuer, emotional or subjective speculation. Sorry, there is no other way.

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#13 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Caution of the Seas

AUTHOR: OceanGirl - (United States of America)

RCCL ~ Caution of the Seas

Congratulations William, I guess you have given readers thinking ofposting a RipOff Reportunfavorable toRoyal Caribbean all the proof they need to get prepared for insane rebuttals from Beavis and Butthead.I posted a RipOff Report abouthow Royal Caribbean treated me after asewage spillin my stateroomon Serenade of the Seas - now I have to put up with even more crap frompersonaland juvenile attacks - not rebuttals - like this from you!

I guessWilliam isclaiming all educated adults whowrite a proper paragraph and post a RipOff Report unfavorable to Royal Caribbeanare the same person!

By that same reasoning, because allRCCL Voyager class shipslook a lot alike (Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas) they are the same ship!

I don't think either William (Sarasota) or Michael (Summerland Key) have a clue how their personal attacks (not rebuttals) on this threadcan domore harm than good to Royal Caribbean. With RCCL supporters like them, who needs enemies!

As I just wrote Michael (Summerland Key), your allegations need to be supported by facts.

Now run along and play on the Rock Climbing Wall, Zip Line or Wave Rider. You know the Solarium is for adults.

OceanGirl

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#14 General Comment

~ These Are Fake Reports ~

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

To be honest, I'mnot sure who I'm actually responding to. What was the point of your anger in your last response? All I'm saying is - well, nevermind.

It has now been made very clear on your several complaints that SAH, MikeW, OceanGirl, Nascar, and GM Cruiser are all the same person. It doesn't take a genius to see the similarities inyour posts under multiple names. I'm not sure what your agenda is, but I'm no longer buying it. I'm calling shananigans on these complaints.

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#15 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

AUTHOR: OceanGirl - (United States of America)

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

Ok William,

I think the nature ofRipOff Reports demands honesty. So if I tell everybody I was not served lobster on my January 2011 7-nite S.Caribbean cruise on Serenade OTS out of San Juan, PR, then I am certain. Got that? Not on formal night. Not on any night! And I amkeen tothe Fisherman's Platter designation for lobster/shrimp night.The closest 2nd seating on Serenade had wasshrimp and small (about nickel diameter) scallops.I'm really not so much of a lobster fan that serving it or not makes or breaks my cruise. But it goes to show how Royal Caribbean keeps cutting back.Royal Caribbeanstillserveda quartered duck, vealand a lamb shank. I think they used to serve Caribbean Spiny lobster tails rather than tastier Maine lobster. And Mediterranean RCCL cruises substitute giant shrimp for lobster tails.

I do need to make a correction. My friends whocruised Carnival Legend, Jan '11 out of Tampa, clarified that a gala party hadmany chocolate offerings, but it was not anything like RCCL's old all chocolate buffet. My bad. Sorry.

On my Jan '09 E.Carib cruise on Independence OTS, I noticed three dining room changes. First, the Fisherman's Platter lobster tail was teeny-weeny and served split and fanned open - I guess to help the puny thing look bigger on the plate - and with shrimp.I doubtthe lobster tailwaslarge enoughtohave been legal to sell in the US. Oh, you could have seconds (that sometimes getsfrowns from the snoots when a woman orders). The second thing I saw was being asked to pay extra for a cut of steak that was offered free in main dining before. How cheap is that? Thethird washow oftenIndian curry entrees made the menu whichhad the effect toremove one meal offering from consideration for everyone at my table. To me, these were big dining room changes effecting everyone from first-time to Diamond-Plus that added up to paying the same but getting less.

On my Jan '10 W.Carib cruise on Voyager OTS, I asked and was told the "lobster tail" being servedwith the Fisherman's Platter was actually langostino (whichsorta looks like onebut is not a lobster tail).This time I knew to expect itty-bitty. At the time Iactually thought is was a satisfactory substitute and I really have no complaints. The Royal Caribbean tightwad squeeze on that cruise came in the form of having topurchase a beverage card in order to get tomato juice or apple juice at breakfast! It used to be free for everyone in the Windjammer! Who would be satisfied with the watered down orange punch they serve for breakfast now? How cheap can Royal Caribbean get? Keep reading.

Idecided to cruise onmega-ships first because I figured it would be harder to get seasick on one. Serenade OTS is the smallest ship I've been on and even with patches and pills it was something of a gamble for me. This is the first time my carry-ons were closely inspected for any liquids. I had packed none. RCCL was confiscating not only booze, but also sodas and bottled water they found packed. I likedSerenade's ship size and smaller crowds, but miss the activities available on mega-ships. I guess it's unrealistic to expect both, huh?Buton Serenade OTSthe Royal Caribbean tightwad fist meant you had topurchase a beverage cardto get... OMG ... bottled water! Don't get me wrong. I have loved all the Royal Caribbean cruises I have been on up until this last one on Serenade OTS. Don't flame me over the sewage spill into my Deck 7 balcony stateroom. It wasn't even my toilet that broke! Malfunctions happen.My complaint is aboutwhatRoyal Caribbean did - or failed to do -afterwards. That's when I came face-to-facewiththe cold-hearted, uncaring business side and legal hair-splitting side of Royal Caribbean. It was like discovering the big jerk of a manyouhave after his romancing stops. Being a Crown & Anchor Platinum member meant nothing. And as if I didn't have contend with enough crap, hours went by and Royal Caribbean promises from Housekeeping and Guest Services to clean and sanitize mystateroom right away became nothing but a big bucket of bovine droppings! It was after 11pm,nearing bedtime when I was told I wastemporarily gettingmoved to an inside Deck 3 cabin. I was still there 4 nights later at the end of the cruise. I even askedto speak tothe Hotel Director (who I met at the Crown& Anchor meeting) who never contacted me (and I never saw again except at the last show.)

I was promised a refund of the difference I had paid between my Deck 7 balcony and the inside Deck 3 cabin. But when the final bill got slipped under my door, my refund was not there. Guest Services had "no record" and only when I produced myoriginal SeaPass Card showing my Deck 7 stateroom number did anyone act like they believed me. Even then, I had toaggresively demand (not typical of me)before anyonegot off their duffs. I received a credit for the difference between cost of Deck 7 balcony and inside Deck 3 staterroms (good toward a cruise for one year), but not a refund/credit ofthe whole base fare I paid (and that others have written they received).Let me tell you, Royal Caribbean was much more interested in limiting their loss than in getting my satisfaction. And to tie up legal loose ends, I had to sign their waiver papers or else forfeit the credit! Do I think I have been Ripped-Off? Yes, I do. Wouldn't you?

Royal Caribbean was all smiles and help so long as I represented potential profit, but when Ibecame a source ofpotential compensationor monetary loss then Ifelt treatedliketheiradversary. In the time sinceI'vereturned home no one from Royal Caribbean has called or written to express regret or request I "give them a chance to make it up."All the well-meaningassurances that something like this is a rare event and so it isn't likely to happen to me again is like saying the sameto a person who has been raped. My vacation became a crappy trip in more ways than one and it is nothing mega-ship, small ship, old ship, new ship or any ship in Royal Caribbean's fleetis able tocorrect.

Sorry this got long. That probably means I've made spelling errors and typos that GrammarGestapos will use to humiliate me. But I hope readers will understand how something like this can happen to themon any cruise.I sincerely hope that after such a trip spoiling crisis, Royal Caribbean will be much more responsive and compassionate to you than they were to me. But then again, being forewarned is being forearmed.

If I had a lot of Crown & Anchor points to transfer or lose, I'd consider Celebrity. But now that I met the big jerk that's been a'courting me, I think it's time to dance with a new partner. Don't you agree? Right now, upscale Princess is looking pret-ty good.

OceanGirl

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#16 General Comment

Lobster?

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

Oceangirl - are you sure about that? One of my more recent cruises (Dec) was the Serenade out of PR. Lobster was served on the second formal night. It was called the Fisherman's Platter. It was garlic shrimp and a full lobster tail. That's the standard lobster dish served on all RCI ships.

I'm not sure what's going on with the sewage problem. I think it has something to do with a design flaw of the Radiance Class ships. About a year before Serenade starting having problems, Radiance staring experiencing the same problems. Coincidently, Radiance is 1 year older.

I'm not sure how you feel about the mega ships, but Voyager, Freedom, and Oasis Class ships have been some of my favorite cruises.

Have you ever considered Celebrity? If not for the sewage problem on Serenade, how did you feel about the ship itself? If you thought Serenade was pretty, I highly suggest a Solstice Class ship. They are stunning.

Happy cruising, and I hope the bad luck on Serenade doesn't follow you on future cruises.
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#17 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

AUTHOR: OceanGirl - (United States of America)

Hi William (Sarasota),

January, 2011, Iwas on Serenade OTS (7-nite S.Carib from San Juan, PR) and, sorry,we had no lobster night and no chocolate buffet. Maybe it's just something RCCL does on bigger ships. And I'm justpassing alongwhat my friends told me about their Jan '11 Carnival Legend cruise so it's second hand.

I think #12 above talked about the new loyalty program.I'm not Diamond andso haven'texperienced the lounge, but ifyou askme it looks like the "squeeky wheel got the grease". Idid geta balcony discount as Platinum and that was before Royal Caribbean began this new loyalty program. But I don't know, maybethey're givinga bigger discount now. Whatever, I only got to spend 3 nights in it before the sewageoverflow forced them to move me to an inside Deck 3 for the rest of the cruise. What a disappointment! Now that I've learned other Royal Caribbean cruisers got their fare back when something like this happened to them, I can't help but feel "ripped off". Wouldn't you?

OceanGirl

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#18 General Comment

All Of you Need To Stop

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

First off, Ocean Girl, I am a frequent cruiser of RCI, Carnival, and a couple others. Carnival has not done a chocolate buffet in years, and RCI does have lobster nights on cruises of 5+ nights. The two cruise lines are the same in that manner.

Second, Michael, let it go. It's obvious 2 or more of these posters are the same people and they just want to incite an argument. They're known as trolls on other boards and the only reason they post here is they can get away with it easier. Your responses do not help.

As for the original complaint of this thread, the perk of going in to a Concierge Lounge on RCI was taken away for good reason. I was also Diamond when it was taken away, so I know the frustration. However, I also understand why they did it. The lounge was packed. There were way too many people. RCI has taken strides to make up for it though. Starting with Freedom Class, all ships have a dedicated Diamond Lounge. On the ships that don't have a lounge, a nightly Diamond Event is held in one of the ship's lounges. This means all the ships that didn't even have a concierge lounge to begin with now have this event. It actually worked out better. The first year was frustrating, but the program is better now than it was before the changes.

As for the Crown and Anchor program, they just changed it a few days ago to a per night credit, not per cruise. They added 2 new levels and more perks to each level. The biggest perk to Platinum and up are the balcony booking discounts. I was discounted $300 on my last cruise.

As I said earlier, I am a frequent cruiser, not committed to any one cruise line. That said, I do think RCI has the best loyalty program of all the mass market cruise lines, and that's probably why RCI has the highest number of repeat cruisers.

Of course, no one cruise line is perfect for everyone. That should go without saying.

Oh, and as for me, my favorite line is Celebrity because of their smoking policies.

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#19 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

AUTHOR: OceanGirl - (United States of America)

To Michael, Summerland Key:

You're one real-ly sick puppy! Here's my favorite sample of your maturity: "I'll dial 9-1-1 and dispatch a waaaaaaaaambulance for you."That speaks for itself, doesn't it?

I think I hear your Mommycalling you to get off the computer and go do your homework now. Byebye!

Wow! I don't know about the rest of you, but it's freakin' Royal Caribbeanpsychotics like thisMichael, Summerland Key,that give me the creeps.

I met with friends whocruiseda few weeks agoon Carnival Legend out of Tampa. To Royal Caribbean's disgrace, they had lobster night and chocolate buffet.

OceanGirl

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#20 General Comment

Simply Amazing

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

Wow. That's really all I can say. Wow.

The idea of creating multiple aliases and posting all at once on several threads just blows my mind.

Again. Wow.

The level of maturity around here is way below my level, so enjoy talking amongst your multiple personalities.

Oh, and one more thing. Grow up.

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#21 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

AUTHOR: OceanGirl - (United States of America)

Thanks GMCruiser for your post.I don't know why, but Iexpected Royal Caribbean to give me a courtesy call or send me a letter of apology about my sewage flooded balcony stateroom on Serenade of the Seas before now - or at least someonefrom RCCL to express,"give us a chance to make this up to you".Maybe I was under the wrong impression Royal Caribbeantook morepersonal interest inloyal customers like me.Wow, did they have me fooled!Well no more!I see now how they operate and what their true feelings are! They just takewhat money they can from you and run. I think good folks who read thisoughtto know there's acold business side to Royal Caribbean and I seen it first hand.

MikeW your RahRahMichelle post made me laugh to tears. It's even funnier when you discover how much you're quoting! LMAOROTF :))

I remember a conversation I had with some other Diamond members who were telling me about their Royal Caribbean Baltic cruise because I was curious about taking one myself. Most everything I read about that cruise tempted me to book it when I had saved up the money. But then they told me that this would betheir last cruise on RCCL. I was shocked to learn their reason. They said they were experiencing more and more anti-American discrimmination aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. I couldn't understand how they came to feel like that. Then theylisted too many incidents and reasons that I can't remember them all. Before they had finished, some other Diamond members had joined in and backed up their claims. First, they saw how Asian and Scandinavian passengers sometimes paid less for their Royal Caribbean fare than US cruisers were charged -Iverified thatone out myselfon the internet, but can't decide if that's anti-American or not.Second, they knew of times passengers (some first-timers) from those countries got cabin upgrades while Americans (some Diamond members) ona waiting list did not.What I heard themtelling me was they thought that if I had been Asian or Scandinavian,Royal Caribbeanwould havetried to put me in an upgraded cabin after the sewage spillinstead of the"steerage-class" inside Deck 3 cabin. Just the thought that I'm not getting fair treatment on ship because I'm American makes me want to boycot Royal Caribbean! But I need to hear from others before I make any drastic decision like that. Third they told how often crew members in positions of responsibility (not waiters, bartenders or stewards who depend on your tips) seemed to give Asians or Scandinavians preferential and/or priority considerationover Americans unless they were willing to "grease the wheels" with bribe money. I am probably just naiveand I admit to not paying attention, butI've heardpayola is"how business gets done" in other parts of the world. So it's just one more thing US cruisers have to be on guard about.

What I know for sure is Royal Caribbean keeps cutting back on "frills" then turn around and charge you extra if you want them. Another example: I talked to friends just returned from their E. Caribbean cruise on Canival and they could get a variety of fruit juices (apple, tomato, orange) at breakfast without a beverage card. So, yes! I am saddened tobelieve that Royal Caribbean reallyhas become the "Tightwad of the Seas".

OceanGirl

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#22 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

AUTHOR: GMCruiser - (United States of America)

RCCL ~ Tightwad of the Seas

To John J (OK), SAH (NC) and MikeW (Boston); I am a Loyal Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Diamond member who agrees with most everything you have posted in this thread. It is feedback like yours in forums such as RipOff Report that persuaded the tightwads at Royal Caribbean to revamp and improve the loyalty program ... somewhat.

To Michael (Summerland Key), Jonathan (Fairlawn), and Kristian (Ft. Lauderdale); I hope that you do realize how counterproductive your posts in this thread have been. It is ironic you may be beneficiaries of loyalty awards earned through, as you say, "whining" ... (or, for crying out loud, a "smear campaign"!). To me, if Royal Caribbean builds loyalty lounges on some older vessels, whenever you enter one you owe a toast to those you labeled "whiners"! Either way, to all, "Down the Hatch!"

Specifically to Michael, Summerland Key, I don't know who crowned you the resident Royal Caribbean expert, but I am also offended at almost all of your posts. There are mature and civil words to diplomatically correct the mistakes of others instead of feeding your ego by hurling insults, names and belittling others. I join with those who say your choice of words are offensive and juvenile. They certainly cast doubt on your claims to be Diamond Plus. If you are incapable of posting a helpful and constructive rebuttal then do yourself a favor and butt out.

Oh man is SAH right about the new Loyalty Program's "Terms and Conditions"! It looks to me like the corporate heads came up with a good and simple idea, then they turned the idea over to their accountants, actuaries and lawyers to work out the details and this is the result! Yikes! The best change, I believe, is the per diem aboard point system. Those who were building cruise credits taking short and cheap casino cruises lost their unfair advantage under the new system. And yes ... the jury is still out!

Right OceanGirl! You really do have to buy a beverage package to get any apple juice at breakfast ... at least on Radiance! It used to be available to everyone in the Windjammer! Now they serve really watered down orange punch (or coffee-mud) at breakfast. Anyone out there looking forward to thesesteerage-class amenities? The tightwads ofRCCLhave becomethemodern pirates of the caribbean! As someone wrote, Royal Caribbean passengers are paying the same but getting less. Who knew Royal Caribbean wanted to be like ... Carnival?

OceanGirl, I think you got "Ripped Off". My only experience with anything like this was on the Royal Caribbean Explorer. Near the end of an 11-day cruise, sewage somehow backed up into my upper deck stateroom through the shower drain and soaked the carpet throughout the cabin. I discovered it upon my return from dinner and called Guest Services. Like others have posted, Royal Caribbean immediately helped me move out of the stateroom. They moved me into a suite (!), laundered soiled clothes without charge, and credited my base fare paid toward a future cruise (to be booked within a year). I want to believe Royal Caribbean would respond to that kind of crisis the same way today and not like they treated you. I guess there might be circumstances (like a fully booked ship and available cabins) that limited RCCL's choices. Whatever their excuses, Royal Caribbean is capable of and had a duty to make you completely satisfied with their solution.

My own January, 2011, experience aboard RCCL's Radiance aka "Scourge of the Seas" (it had had a Novovirus outbreak on its previous cruise and should never have been allowed to sail on my cruise) made it obvious to me in ways I never believed possible, Royal Caribbean's corporate profit and public image is more important to them than even the health of thier passengers.

Anyonestill debating whether tobook a Royal Caribbean cruise should be alerted to proceed with a lot of caution. Chances are yours will be great. Just be aware that not all of them are.

GMCruiser

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#23 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Sewage of the Seas

AUTHOR: MikeW - (United States of America)

To OceanGirl,

For sure youexperience was a real trip spoiler! I don't know which offends me more, the sewage backup or the way Royal Caribbean treated you afterwards. When something like this happens the response needs to be immediate and compassionate.

I sincerely hope yourswas not an example of the typical way RCCL now handles this kind of issue. Ican offernothing but praise and I want to believe this is the way Royal Caribbean would handle such crisis today.In thesewage overflow accidentsI've experienced, Royal Caribbean staff could not have performed better. Both cases resulted inan immediatechange of staterooms. In both cases I received credit for the fare I had paid. And I amalmost certainRoyal Caribbean laundered clothing soaked by the spill at their cost.

But wait, this just in from RahRahMichelle:

"OceanGirl, it's your own fault. I have to correct all these misunderstandings and misinformations! Youneed toread the fine print on the back of the toilet tank. It plainly saysyou have to flush the toilet, close the lid and perform three cartwheels before leaving the bathroom. Otherwise Royal Caribbean cannot be held responsible for overflows. I think Royal Caribbean did you a favor to give you a new stateroom and you should be more grateful."

Heehee!:-)

Whatsomever and fortunately, I am willing to bet you will notexperience a plumbing failure during your next Royal Caribbean cruise. Happy cruising!

MikeW

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#24 Consumer Comment

RCCL Feedback Yields New Loyalty Points Program

AUTHOR: SAH - (USA)

January 21, 2011: Royal Caribbeanmakes changes in their Crown & Anchor loyalty program. To quote royalcaribbean.com, "We listened to your feedback and have made many of the changes you asked for."

Here is a measure of vindication to Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor members who felt "ripped-off" and posted their complaints about the loss of loyalty benefits on Ripoff Reports. Then they endured often unwarranted disparagement from those who rebutted by labeling them "whiners" or worse (i.e., "tirades", "diatribes"). [In my opinion someposts bear clear signatures of adolescent phony "expert" personas.] I have little doubt that public internet forums expedited Royal's Caribbean's urgency to revamp their loyalty program.

The question now is did Royal Caribbean make substantive improvements to their C&A loyalty program or is this "smoke and mirrors"? I am cautiously optimistic.

The GOOD: The most significant change borrows the practice from other cruise lines and awards points per day aboard instead of per cruise.

The BAD: Royal Caribbean added two new loyalty tiers to its existing 4-level tiers. One tier, the Pinnacle Club, has been created to recognize the topmost group. The second new tier, that affects many more "loyal Royals", is the Emerald Tier. The Emerald Tier has been created to add a step between Platinum (5 cruise credits) and Diamond (10 cruise credits). Under the new system, Platinum requires 30 points, Emerald 55 points, and Diamond 80 points. Though no one is supposed to be downgraded, a closer look shows, in theory,that a Diamond member could wake up this morning Platinum (i.e., one who took ten 3-day cruises; 10former cruise credits but now 30 points) or one who was Platinum is now Diamond (i.e., who took eight 10-day cruises; 8 former cruise creditsbut now80 points).

The UGLY: Benefitsdo not appear tohavebeen enhanced very much. None for Gold or Platinum. The only benefit an Emerald Tier recieves that a Platinum doesn't is a small 3-item welcome snack basket and a beverage (and the fine print adds conditions). Theremay benew benefits for Diamond members, where available. One may hope the quality of the loyalty award has been improved, (i.e., the coupon book.) Sadly, the posted "Terms and Conditions" fine print controlling the new loyalty benefits program contains even more pernickety exclusions and qualifiers. Here, the devil in the details, may be found ingredients to justify future "rip-offs".

One will know whether this is a sweet victory or a public relations gimmick for Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor members as soon as they take their next cruise. Until then, the jury is out. My advice to readers is if loyalty programs might become important to you, then carefully compare what cruise lines are offering. My guess is the other cruise lines will be introducing their own new and enhanced loyalty programs soon.

SAH

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#25 Consumer Comment

RCCL ~ Sewage of the Seas

AUTHOR: OceanGirl - (United States of America)

Wow! I read this messageand know exactly where SAH is coming from. I'm Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Platinum with 8 cruise credits. I have loved my previous five RCCL cruises and before my last cruise I would have considered this posting from SAH whining or worse. But I was just on the Serenade (7-nite S. Caribbean from San Juan, January, 2011) and mine was not such a pleasant cruise.
Yes SAH, the "Ultimate Value Book" isn't worth the paper it's printed on. That wasn't the case on my previous cruise. I was Platinum then and remembergetting more and better loyaltygifts than on this last cruise. Not that these are important reasons to cruise.

But I guess it was unrealistic to expect to be heard and treated respectfully when sewage backed up through the toilet into my balcony stateroom on Deck 7. It wasn't evenour stateroomtoilet that malfunctioned. Promises that it would bequickly repaired and cleaned up, mopped up, sanitized, whatever,went unkept. So several hours laterI call the Housekeeping and then later to Customer Relations produced only more promises excusing that "they were very busy",one morevisit to inspect the flooded stateroom, but more hours went by with no action.
As bedtime approachedmy Stateroom Attendent told methat I would be temporarily moved to an interior stateroom on Deck 3 until repairs were finished. And four nights later I was still there. I even tried to talk to the Hotel Director but never heard back.

I made an inquiry and Igot apromised that a refund of the difference I had paid between the Deck 7 balcony cabin and the inside Deck 3 cabin would appear on my final bill. But when I received my final bill,my refund was not there. Customer Relations had "no record" and only my first SeaPass card showing my Deck 7 stateroom convinced anyone behind the desk that I was telling the truth. Only then did anyone move to correct my final bill.

Royal Caribbean offered no apologies, no regrets and no compensation for inconvenience other than what they were legally required to surrender to me - and I had to get aggressive to receive even that. Do I feel "ripped off"? Yes, if this was your vacation cruise wouldn't you? So, SAH, I hate to admit it but Royal Caribbean Platinum promises are a bunch of bovine droppings!
SandyT.

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#26 General Comment

That's Enough

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

MikeW, I might have been able to engage in a debate over your interpretations, or in most cases, misinterpretations, but the second you felt the need to label me a Royal cheerleader, you showed your true intent. Your posts are nothing more than an attempted smear campaign and frankly, due to your writing style, I believe you and SAH are the same person. Why else would you be offended by my post that was not even directed at you?


The bottom line is, when you book a cruise vacation, regardless of the cruise line, you know what is in store for you. You know what your perks are and you know what you will be paying. Therefore, it's very hard for me to agree that a change in a loyalty problem is a rip off.


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#27 Consumer Comment

RCCL not Value of the Seas

AUTHOR: MikeW - (United States of America)

To Michael, Summerland Key,

I'm with SAH on this one.

So much has changed since the white glove "Spirit of Norway" welcome aboard reception era, but most changes have meant less and less for the cruiser even as the glitz and pizazz of their fleet reaches greater heights and gross tonnage.
If you have honestly taken your 60th cruise, then youcan bear witness tothis yourself. In spite of or possibly due to their success, things are not as ship shape aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as formerly. I have observed and experienced the significance, convenience and comfort of the individual Royal Caribbean passenger decline in correlation to the increasing practice of expedient "human herding". As I see passengers cue up to depart on an overpriced shore excursion, I recall the old TV theme "Rawhide". Because they have adopted the less desirable (but more profitable) practices of their competition, I can no longer justify telling
anyone Royal Caribbean Ltd. is a superior cruise line.

Come on, C&A D+ member 60 cruise credit Michael of Summerland Key, FL, own up to the truth that events once held for every passenger during a cruise (i.e., chocolate buffet, wine & cheese social) have been eliminated with no commensurate event scheduled to replace it. Remind passengers who now purchase a beverage card to receive fruit juices that the juices were once free to all during breakfast. Tell readers in this forum that Royal Caribben's menu selections once routinely served to everyone in Main Dining are now available for an extra fee or in premium fee specialty restaurants.

Now, Michael of Summerland Key, FL, let's correct some misinformation. I do not agree that SAH is, as youadolescently write,"spreading more nasty rumors of inaccurate information". Readers should evaluate this fromthe Federal Trade Commission report, "the Royal Champions community of onlineproponents received compensation from Royal Caribbeanin the form of an invitation to thepre-inaugural sailing ofLiberty of the Seas in New York and Miami." The FTC wouldn't be investigating this "nasty rumor of inaccurate information" unless there was the probability that Federal law had been violated, namely, the "Royal Champions"failed to revealtheir status as compensatable reviewers, effectively misleading readers of internet travel forums with their solicited and rewardable positive-biased comments.Moreover, this was the first time in the company's history that invitees to pre-inaugural sailings were "ordinary people" i.e. not VIP's, corporate executives, or top producing travel agent. This was not "free to everyone" as Royal cheerleader Michael would mislead readers.

In fact, Royal Caribbean's own Consumer Insights Groupwas obliged to admitthat"the key to their success" in its "viral marketing" campaigns thus far have been "to subtly influence the influencers without them overtly realizing theywere being influenced." One of the stipulationswas thequantity of posts, "withsomeposting over 10,000positivemessageson various Royal Caribbean topics." Enjoy your free RCCL cruise, Michael!

It is a sad truth that Royal Caribbean "nickels'n'dimes" passengers throughout
a cruise. I read an article that confirmed independently what I have experienced
personally. The writer took and compared the actual cost of an all-inclusive
"luxury" cruise with the comparable cost of the same cruise on Royal Caribbean
with the writer paying separately for the same things included in the "luxury"
cruise fare. You guessed it, Royal Caribbean proved the more expensive cruise.
And to add insult to injury, the all-inclusive "luxury" cruise line had the
larger and better equipped stateroom, superior meal quality and menu selections,
and superior experiences aboard. I am not a "blue-blood" and discovered that I
simply do not drink enough alcohol or require nightly gourmet meals to justify the
all-inclusive "luxury" cruise expense.

I bought my usual half gallon of OJ and discovered later it only contained 61 -
not 64 - fluid ounces. Though the price and carton were the same, I received less.
I'm trying to tell the reader that Royal Caribbean is doing the same on their cruises; the fare is the same, but the passenger is receiving less.

I have just completed my 31st cruise on Royal Caribbean International so you
might reason that I am a satisfied and experienced cruiser. I consider myself
fortunate to have been able to take a Royal Caribbean cruise at least once a year.
I have been a "Loyal Royal" introducing friends and associates to cruising and
advertising RCCL as representing the best cruise value on the seas. But I am convinced that is no longer true because Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL are now about equal. So if the reader is considering a cruise, book the lowest fare. Better yet, if you can, book a more upscale cruise line.

MikeW.

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#28 Consumer Comment

Complaints Get Results

AUTHOR: MikeW - (United States of America)

To Kristian, Ft. Lauderdale;

Maybethepostings here areexamples of "whining", but the truth of the matter is that big business, such as Royal Caribbean International, assume customer silence is tacit approval and in postings such asyours you may be hurting yourself! It was legitimate complaints that caused Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein to acknowledge that feedback from Crown and Anchor members caused the line to restore some (not all) lost benefits. Remember that the next time you are sipping your free wine.

I have witnessed and experienced as a Diamond-Plus "Loyal Royal" member that more and more patrons receive their entitlements only after they aggressively demand them. It is true that in some ports and aboard smaller ships, these "perks" are not available. I must add here that these benefits were once available on these same ships when they were the larger ships in the fleet. It is also true that these nowunavailable "perks" are not compensated. As a matter of principle, I consider that a "rip off".

Royal Caribbean has and continues to trim frills to better compete with NCL and Carnival. My advice to readers in this forum is that I believe Royal Caribbean is no longer the best value on the seas. I anticipatea rebuttal from a "Royal Champion" that readers should read with due caution, but to those who have narrowed their cruise choice to Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean, then all things being about equal, book the cheapest fare. If you can, seriously consider booking a more upscale cruise line.

MikeW.

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#29 General Comment

Whiners

AUTHOR: Kristian - (U.S.A.)

I am a Royal Caribbean Diamond member. There was a cutback in perks in early 2009 but that has since changed. Free wine is served nightly in aprivate lounge and onOasisand Freedom Class, all drinks are included. They even brought back the free photo coupon. I'm not sure what people are expecting, but the perks they give you are pretty darn good. Some people just can't be made happy. I met a few "me me me" people on board my last cruise. If they go to another cruise line, I say good riddance.

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#30 General Comment

For what it's worth....

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

Well SAH from Robbinsville, anyone can search the internet and find a handful of complaints about any business. Your little tirade and attempt to smear a decent program proves absolutely nothing. The internet is full of whiners who kick and scream any time something changes. Oh me oh my, why isn't this cruise line going out of it's way to give me a whole buch of freebies? Come on. That's just stupid.

In 2009, Royal Caribbean took awaya Diamond benefit - oh by the way, the Op was complaining about Diamond, not Platinum. Instead of diamond members being allowed access to a lounge that only existed on a handful of their ships, RCI now provides a Diamond event on every single one of their ships. Yea, that's so terrible. But that was 2 years ago and RCI is now building Diamond Lounges on their ships. All Freedom and Oasis Class have them and Radiance and Splendour are about to get one in dry dock.

Royal Champions - paid cheerleaders - By this, I can only assume you are referring to the incident that ocurred on Cruise Critic. Before you go spreading more nasty rumors of inaccurate information, you may want to do a little more research. 50 members of Cruise Critic were recognized by Royal Caribbean and labeled Royal Champions by their history of speaking favorably of the cruise line. Let me say that again - they were recognized for their past messages, not put there to post favorably. They were offered rooms on a 2 night pre-inaugural cruise on a Freedom Class ship. Thiswas a cruise that wasabsolutely free to everyone and was meant to showcase the ship. It was a pre-inaugural and people all over the World were invited to attend. So no, they were NOT paid anything.

Yes, I am a D+ member and I recently completed my 60th cruise credit on RCI. I am also a member of the loyalty programs of Carnival, NCL, Princess, and Celebrity. Of all these programs, RCI offers the best program and has the most perks.

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#31 Consumer Comment

Royal Caribbean loyalty perks "not fine to many"

AUTHOR: SAH - (USA)

This was about Platinum and Diamond loyalty perks, not Diamond Plus that probably do seem fine to you, Michael, Summerland Key.However, the unwarranted crassness of your first post to John K., raises doubts you are Diamond Plus.

Acasual perusal of the internet should convince one that Royal Caribbean considers loyalty perks expendable andchangeablecausing "Loyal Royals"to debatewhether to abandon the RCI ship. The following quotes should prove that declining Royal Carribbean Cruise Line loyalty perks are NOT fine with some Diamond Plus members:

"...due to the revolutionary fervor, Royal Caribbean is at least partially reversing course. In a letter sent to Diamond members Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein acknowledged "considerable unhappiness" over the change and announced the line would restore many of the lost benefits..." USA Today

"Diamond and Diamond Plus members are the bread & butter guests for Royal Caribbean. This is the time to reach out to them, not push them into the arms of another cruise line." GHC, Miami

"Anyone who has sailed with Royal Caribbean since the 1980's like I have would be shocked by the cuts. All Diamond Plus Loyal Royals I know agree Royal Caribbean is like a whole different cruise line from the way it was. Our thirst for budget travel has taken it toll on quality." KDD, Tampa

"RCCL decided to slap me in the face for my loyalty!!! For a "Nation of Why Not", I guess the have decided why not stick it to Diamond and Diamond Plus Crown & Anchor members! Ridiculous!!!!! I have always recommended RCCL to friends and family, even stated if you stick by them they will treat you well. HA - I'm done being a cheerleader for them!" JW, Houston

"To the delight of their competition, Royal Caribbean's decision to downgrade their loyalty program became negative public relations business. The cruise world received an unintended message that RCCL does not respect the fact that their loyalty program is an investment made by their frequent cruisers. Royal Caribbean's slow response to the "Loyal Royal" backlash served only to reinforce the fact that loyalty matters less than profits." Cruising Today

"I am outraged by the changes to the Crown & Anchor program. I have just completed my 50th cruise on Royal Caribbean and feel abandoned and betrayed by the changes." PW, Racine, WI

"Royal Caribbean developed a marketing strategy that used online bulletin boards to spread the cruise lines gospel, so to speak. The company created a program, dubbed Royal Champions, that enlisted rabid Royal Caribbean fans who happened to be frequent posters on Internet cruise bulletin boards..." Cruise Critic

Though RCCL was slow, complaints from loyal consumers produced some measure of resolution. Posts like "Perks Seem Fine to Me"encourage Royal Caribbean to stay the shrinking loyalty perks course. I'm wondering whetherMichael, Summerland Key, who seems a bit "off course" with others, is an RCCL PR mole or one of the "Royal Champion" paid cheerleaders.

SAH

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#32 General Comment

Perks Seem Fine To Me

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I am a Crown and Anchor Diamond Plus member.  I just returned from a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas.  As a D+ member, my room was discounted $250, had a free bottle of wine delivered to my room, had chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered cookies delivered to my room, had free access to both the Concierge Lounge and the Diamond Lounge - both of which provided free meals, snacks, specialty coffees and alcohol throughout the day, had a bridge tour, had a galley tour, had priority embarking and disembarking, had reserved seating in the theater, had 90 minutes free internet, had free robes, received 2 free photos, had a free meal in one of the specialty restaurants, attended 2 welcome back events with free food and alcohol, had the bow heli-pad reserved for sail-away from Nassau.......I'm sure there's more, but I just can't remember them all.  Yea, the perks for loyalty are so horrible.

By the way, all rooms had Ghiradelli chocolates on pillows every night. 

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#33 Consumer Comment

Crown & Anchor Platinum/Diamond Perks Vanishing

AUTHOR: SAH - (USA)

Maybe Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society Diamond member John K's complaint about his loss of concierge lounge privileges is whining, though in my experience with more justification than the authors of the two previous rebuttals seem to recognize. This comment will attempt to be more general and more applicable to the cruising consumer.

Gone are the frivolous ball caps, bags, pillow mints and trinkets. But also gone are many good discount merchandise coupons - replaced by modest discount coupons - in the Loyalty Member "Ultimate Value Booklet".  Also absent on our last RCCL ship were the wine & cheese social and ice cream social.

I'm convinced some loyalty benefits are deceptive if not false advertising. The advertised Platinum/Diamond "Exclusive Onboard Booking Bonus" was made available to even first-time cruisers (who ate at our table on our last ship). Though the departure terminal had the facilities, Platinum, Diamond and even Double Diamond members were turned away from promised express check-in, priority boarding, or hospitality room (at best just another waiting room.) 

A question regarding the noticeably declining platinum & diamond member appreciation perks was asked of an RCCL officer at a C&A social on our last cruise. Her reply was to the effect that as more and more cruisers attain platinum and diamond status, the costs of providing loyalty gifts increase to the point that force Royal Caribbean to determine those to continue or eliminate or raise everyone's fare.

To use a cruise term, I believe loyal cruisers are experiencing the consequences of Royal Caribbean "repositioning" in the market to better compete with Carnival and Norwegian. At the same time, RCCL is promoting more upscale Celebrity to better compete with Princess and Holland America.

Loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers experience the changes and first-time cruisers are generally unaware. Gone is the welcome aboard champagne toast. Gone is the Chocolate Buffet. Gone is surf'n'turf (lobster/filet mignon) night. The cruise line seems to be purposefully trying to draw loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers grown accustomed to now absent modest luxuries to their Celebrity fleet. Celebrity itineraries are gaining but have yet to catch up to Royal Caribbean itineraries.

As for us, we have traded our C&A Platinum for Holland America - who we've experienced appreciate loyal cruisers better than Royal Caribbean.

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#34 Consumer Comment

Get Over It

AUTHOR: Jonathan - (U.S.A.)

Let me get this straight. In these economic times, you are complaining because a cruise line took away a freebie?

To reach diamond level, you have to complete 10 cruises with Royal Caribbean. Are you, John K from Mounds, Oklahoma, saying that you took all these cruises and spent all this money just to get a few free drinks and a quiet place to read? That's stupid. How in the world did you survive the first 10 cruises?

I'm going to reiterate something Michael said. Two years ago, I booked an Owner's Suite on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas. The biggest perk to booking this suite was the concierge lounge. Just to be clear, as a suite guest, I paid for this lounge and for the concierge who works there. Come pre-dinner time, we could not use the lounge we paid for because it was full; shoulder to shoulder with people who were not staying in suites. I was furious over this. The concierge told me that this was due to all the Crown and Anchor members who were Diamond and Diamond Plus. Basically, they were in there freeloading and filling up on free booze. The concierge went on to tell me that he does not contact Diamond members pre-cruise like he does suite guests. There's a reason for that.

So I agree with Michael. You need to quit your whining. The changes they made to their program are not that big of a deal and, considering this lounge was free to you, this is not a ripoff. Now, the lounge is able to be utilized by the people who paid for it.
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#35 Consumer Comment

Quit Whining

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I'll dial 9-1-1 and dispatch a waaaaaaaaambulance for you.

I've got news for you. The concierge lounge was created for suite guests, not Crown and Anchor members. Diamond C&A members were granted access as an added perk, which no other cruise line has. The numbers of diamond C&A members grew so high that the concierge lounge was no longer enjoyable due to overcrowding. The suite guests, who paid for it, complained, as they should have.

As a replacement benefit, Royal Caribbean is offering a nightly happy hour in another lounge for Diamond C&A members. This perk is even being added to all the RCI ships that didn't have a concierge lounge.

The bottom line is that Royal Caribbean still has better loyalty perks than most other cruise lines. Only Princess can compete with RCI in the loyalty program.

You mentioned reading books, playing cards, etc. There are plenty of other places on the ships to do this in peace. Have you ever considered the card room, which rarely ever has anyone in it? What about the library?

I applaud Royal Caribbean for making these changes. If loyalty perks are your number one priority, instead of the enjoyment of a cruise, you need to find other vacation options.
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