In a reversal of policy, Royal Caribbean has begun charging $4.99 for its new RFID bracelets, known as WOWbands, on Anthem of the Seas.
Guests aboard the first commercially available Anthem of the Seas sailing this week discovered Royal Caribbean is now charging for the WOWbands, although WOWbands are still complimentary for suite guests.
Guests may purchase WOWbands at Guest Services and purchased WOWbands are reusable on future cruises.
When Royal Caribbean originally announced the WOWbands product, there was a small nominal charge of $2 per band, but Royal Caribbean quickly changed that policy to make them free to all guests.
WOWbands are RFID enabled bracelets that that allows passengers to connect with a number of Royal Caribbean experiences, such as purchase goods and services, access stateroom doors and check-in for activities or entertainment. They are essentially a replacement for the traditional SeaPass card.
Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Kenneth Jarvis for updating us on this news.
UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has issued a statement regarding the change:
Royal Caribbean International is currently testing a new pricing strategy for the WOWBands found onboard Anthem of the Seas. Guests who wish to use a WOWBand in place of their SeaPass card may purchase one in the onboard gift shop for $4.99. Guests in Suites (Junior Suites and above) will continue to receive the WOWBands in their staterooms at no charge.
This is currently only being tested on Anthem of the Seas and guests on Quantum of the Seas will continue to receive their WOWBands at no additional costs.