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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/26/2023 in all areas

  1. Dion was good to us, we paid it forward
    9 points
  2. BrianB

    Diamond Lounge

    My opinion… Royal panicked (understandably so) when the unprecedented shutdown occurred. The entire business was rocked with huge losses that had to be balanced with enormous, expensive debt in the form of long term loans with very unattractive interest rates. There was no bailout, no subsidies, no government assistance of any kind…to my knowledge. They were left adrift on their own without a paddle. Some say they had significant profits stored away for emergencies, but I don’t think anyone could have ever imagined or prepared for such a long period of zero income. They realized their industry was being demonized with everything from ‘Petri Dish Cruising’ to ‘Covid Cruises’. Public perception was at it’s worse. So they relied on their loyal cruisers when the restart occurred. Nobody knew how many would just stay away. So they offered incentives…double points, lower pricing, cheaper extras. Anything that would help bring back the regulars and help attract new customers. We were the priming for the pump. But I don’t think they were expecting such a huge response. For whatever reason…cruise bookings have exploded. Ships are sailing at over one hundred percent capacity. Cruise Planner purchases are at an all-time high. Onboard spending is better than ever. Loyalty levels are saturated with new upper level members. So they do what any other business would do…they start raising prices and see if demand continues. It did. So they raise prices even more. And people are paying more. Demand keeps rising so prices keep rising. I really think they are flabbergasted (and I don’t use that word lightly) that passengers are really paying such ridiculous prices for things that were so less expensive such a short time ago. Just as an example, CocoCay Beach Club was $88. Now…some sailings are over $300. Overwater cabanas have risen to a price where instead of renting it for a few hours, it’s more like taking out a mortgage. Yet people are paying. The demand is there. I don’t blame the company for acting like a for-profit business. But I think they should be able to figure out better ways they can reward their most loyal cruisers who helped ‘prime the pump’. At least come up with some way to improve the perception that we are as important to them now as we were at the beginning of the restart. For me…I really appreciate what I get with my loyalty status. I know any of the perks can be removed or changed at any time. I really don’t care about the lounge access…it’s not important to me. But, it is important to so many others. I love the new MDR menus and don’t eat in CK…even when I’m in a suite. I appreciate the drinks and…especially…the WiFi. I don’t know what can be done…but it’s fairly apparent that reading blogs and posts show there are many who feel under appreciated. This period of huge profits may eventually slow…or even reverse. And they will once again rely on the ‘Loyal to Royals’ to prime their pumps once again. Or, judging by the amazing comeback, maybe they realize they don’t have to anymore… Just my opinion.
    7 points
  3. Excellent question ! currently I will be retiring in 2 months but unfortunately my wife doesn't want to retire for two more years so at the risk of being bored I have decided to spend 200 days aboard a Cruise ship (Not all 200 at once but all within the year). The first reason is to determine if I would like staying on a ship for extended periods of time so that when my wife does retire we can do the same for her. We have only taken one B2B cruise because of my wife's dedication to her job. Me.... Not so much. The second reason is that I am not in great health and have always wanted to try "Living on a cruise ship." I may never get the chance if I don't start soon. I am not actually "Chasing" pinnacle per se but it will be a bonus when my wife does retire as she will enjoy the added Perks as well. After 40 years of work I am convincing myself that I deserve this while I can still enjoy it and am healthy enough to do it. Also, I live close to the pier in Los Angeles and it is a minimal cost to get to the Cruise ship. After calculating everything I will be spending less than 30K for B2B2B2B2B2B... (You get the idea) cruising. I will be out nothing if I do not choose to continue and will not be disheartened if I do not or can not reach my dream of spending my retirement years on a Cruise ship. Pinnacle is just a milestone and not a goal I am reaching for in this endeavor. I am hoping that I will enjoy it as much as I have been wanting to do this for over 40 years since my first Royal Cruise in 1983.
    6 points
  4. FionaMG

    Test load for Europe 2025

    There are a few Europe cruises up on Royal's website for summer 2025. It looks like it's going to be same old, same old. These are the ones I'm seeing:
    4 points
  5. There are some good discounts for booking specific restaurants ahead of time. For my Symphony cruise in February I got hibachi lunch for $31.99pp, Hooked dinner for $43.99pp and 150 Central Park for $51.99pp. If I had wanted a third dinner, and depending on what restaurants I chose, I could conceivably have got them for only a few dollars more than the 3-night package but securing the times and days I wanted rather than having to wait to book onboard.
    4 points
  6. Echo this 100%. Our cruise group on FB has made at least 30 post this week about dress code because Halloween falls on the typical "formal" night, so it was unclear what day it would be on. I don't think I've ever seen more panic over something so trivial to us. They finally uploaded it to the app, but we literally had people fighting about what day is white night/ Caribbean/ formal...people were even making up their own nights just to be funny. DH's "formal" is close toed shoes and jeans. If I can get him to wear a shirt with buttons on it that might as well be a tuxedo for him.
    4 points
  7. We're starting to actually put ironed clothes in packing cubes and suitcases, so I can see the light at the end of the laundry tunnel! Most of the packing for the kids will happen today. We lose tomorrow because of our co-op. Finish up packing on Saturday and drop the dogs off at the kennel. Then it's real. They have no clue what's going on yet. It always surprises my how into theme nights some people are when in reality, we're talking about a 30 minute event on the in the promenade. Am I missing something? We made a point to dress for tropical night on the kids first cruise (just floral dresses for me and DD and tropical shirts for DH and DS) and besides the waiters, it seemed like we were the only people in the dining room who got the memo? We got cute pictures in match-y-ish tropical outfits, but beyond that I don't see what the hoopla is about. I'm a spiller, so there's no way I am going to participate in white night. I don't even have to be eating anything, and I'll get back to the room with something on my shirt. I understand everyone cruises differently, but what am I missing? We're in that weird period before a trip where we are trying to clean out the fridge, but may not really have enough leftovers to last through Saturday night. I teach cooking and baking classes to the 7-12 graders at our co-op, and I foresee us having class leftovers for dinner tomorrow night.
    4 points
  8. smokeybandit

    Diamond Lounge

    It's that ole supply and demand thing. If people weren't paying those prices, the prices would go down.
    4 points
  9. You can exchange it for non-alcoholic beverages. I have exchanged Champaine for wine and have also exchanged it for a bottle of juice.
    4 points
  10. OCSC Mike

    Diamond Lounge

    FYI, no CL restrictions on Allure’s 1st sailing from PC that left yesterday. Nice view while I enjoyed some breaded shrimp before dinner. It wasn’t full at 5:00 but there were a good number of seats taken.
    4 points
  11. I’ve read all the nasty sniping since I posted our dining experiences. Let me put a bit to rest. 1. We are normal people that have enjoyed cruising since around 2005. 2. We are not food snobs 3. We consumed what we were served without complaint. Unlike several tables around us that were loudly complaining/unloading on the poor server. 2 even had the head waiter come to their table to air their complaints. 4. Our windjammer experience was similar to numerous folks around us. We took this experience as an exception rather than the rule. We are already booked on our next cruise in March. We are NOT one and done and all this sniping is a waste of brain power
    4 points
  12. Thanks for the hair love, y'all. @jbrinkm fortunately we got to avoid that drama. Some of her friends have phones, some still do not and are older. To be honest she didn't really need one since she was with us most of the time, and an adult I knew could have gotten in touch with me if there was an issue when we weren't there. But she went to DFW's homeschool homecoming this year which was over an hour away with over 500 kids. I certainly wasn't going to volunteer to chaperone so we figured it was time. Jayson, the suite concierge, got back to me within 30 minutes this morning. We'll get transit cards before we leave on our turnaround day excursion, and he said he would explain in more detail once we are onboard.
    4 points
  13. Then there were two. Unfortunately my kids like to eat, so I'll have to stop to feed them dinner before their taekwondo class. I also have to make a batch of macarons for tomorrow's baking class, so I may not make any more progress until Saturday afternoon. I scheduled a massage for Saturday morning, and I'm not bumping that. Sunday's weather isn't looking great here or in FLL for our flight. The forecast for Monday may cancel our pre-cruise beach plans too. Rain, rain, go away!
    3 points
  14. DH has been given strict instructions to pack himself today while I'm at work. "Oh yeah, now worries there. How many shirts do I need? Four?" The man has never traveled farther than Florida, so I'll forgive him this once. I will possibly be packing for two tonight though. The wind and rain forecast have changed probably three times since I last looked at it. Supposedly CCC was closed yesterday and today. Currently looks like we'll have perfect weather that day, but again everything can change. Hoping for the best is all you can do. I know they'll make every attempt to dock since they have so much money there.
    3 points
  15. Just gave a bottle of champagne to the crown and anchor loyalty person onboard. I did ask if she drank champagne and if she could accept the bottle. She was thrilled.
    3 points
  16. I have taken to Diamond lounge and given it to someone. To dining room and did the same. Or offered to cabin attendant, who usually are eager to accept it. But they do not usually take it until last day, so I just leave it in cabin for them in that case. Another interesting case was the time I had a bottle of champagne called Michelle, I stood by by cabin door and the next couple to come by I gave it to them. Funny as her name was Michelle and it was their first cruise! I was thrilled.
    3 points
  17. Reigert2008

    Locked checked bags

    Now I want to know what they are planning to put into the bag!
    3 points
  18. @Ampurp85 here's the before... and the after... I had forgotten how dark my natural color actually is. It still surprises me every time I walk by a mirror.
    3 points
  19. I actually stayed in 7658 the last time I was on Radiance. It does not have obscured views but the balconies above look down onto yours. The bigger balcony was fantastic though!
    2 points
  20. I’ll resist ranting about those, lol. They’re a mess. On the plus side, my wife did find a nice couple on there to split a taxi with us to go to Nachi Cocom in Cozumel tomorrow so they’re not completely useless.
    2 points
  21. They took Michael's Club away from Elites and now after so much vitriol and negative feedback they are giving something back but only two nights on a seven day cruise. I don't see how that draws any conclusions about merging loyalty programs. They alienated loyal customers, got called out for it and came up with a compromise.
    2 points
  22. We alswys bring extra singles, you never know for sure how many you will go through. We were just lucky he had a short name
    2 points
  23. Ditto. Booked a couple Mason Jar Brunches on Wonder. Every little bit helps.
    2 points
  24. @melmar02 - sorry for hijacking your blog. I have to speak out. @jbrinkm - I have to agree to hold off on getting the kids phones until later unless the phone is a simple cell phone to make calls to home. 2 of my 3 kids were bullied in junior high school (11-13 year old). I could not get their school principal to do anything about the bullying until I threaten to go directly to the bully's parents. I can only imagine the horror that they would have endured if the bullies had access to their phone number or social media accounts (if they had phone numbers and social media accounts). High school was soon enough for my kids to get their first phones and social media accounts. Our community have been plaque with pre-teen and teen suicides. So this topic really hits home. But I will also agree that each child is different in their mental development. Therefore, each parent needs to make their own decision about their own kids. Where are my kids today? A military Major, a nurse practitioner, and a software engineer; each in a solid relationship with 2 kids of their own.
    2 points
  25. PL8SWPR

    Beware

    Yep. The last week, they bombard with emails every day starting with this one.
    2 points
  26. We’re in the same boat now… err… you know what I mean. Hoping to dock there Sunday with our new itinerary but the wind doesn’t seem to want to let up. I thought we were in the clear when they moved us. Wishing us both good luck!
    2 points
  27. Good man for not mentioning the wife
    2 points
  28. Oh! and I have two adult children that have lived with me for 15 years and 3 dogs so just being away for months at a time far outweigh any Pinnacle perks!
    2 points
  29. She will never get it right......she calls me leesha even though she knows I hate it and it is not my preferred nickname. I believe it is the same ports. We plan to do all our excursions the first week and enjoy the ship the second week. I have already narrowed my excursions down, so my cost isn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. I used that CP hack to send the vintages a CP to look at so they can choose excursions......it's all about the whales for them.
    2 points
  30. Saying the food was horrible vs I didn't like it = a word game to me, so I guess I just can't see it. But what I'm saying is if you (or many on here) can say "take a bad food review with a grain of salt" then you open yourself up for people to say "take a good food review with a grain of salt". I personally (to myself) question folks who say they never had had a bad meal on board. By my standards and life experience that's not even mathematically possible. However, I don't question the way they feel. I don't question their taste buds. Etc. There choice of words aside. I just wish we could be more open to excepting negative food reviews here at face value. Without questioning their choice of words, motive, taste buds, etc. Just to respect someone feels how they feel. No two cent dissection of their personal feelings needed. Everyone seems to be having a hard time with this concept today. It's not a good color on anyone. Respect the negative opinions and the positive. And since we don't know each other personally, I suggest doing it at face value. No more, but no less.
    2 points
  31. twangster

    Diamond Lounge

    There are too many levels in the program today. Adding more levels isn't a solution. Moving the goalposts (changing thresholds) is a non-starter. Disaster move from a customer relationship perspective. The best solution will always be adjusting perks and benefits to adapt the program to suit the overall goals of a free loyalty program over time. That is what they have done in the past, that is what they are currently doing and that will be what they do in the future.
    2 points
  32. I was saving the tales of the 900 as a separate post but I will mention it all now. Also there was a group of swingers, but they will be mentioned in the recap. Yes, there was a large group that kicked off in two ports actually. I was waiting to hear about whether the alpha, alpha, alpha was okay because some said the person died. I am still unsure because my brother also witnessed them fighting in Costa Maya and several were removed from the ship. These are the things I know from experiencing........ There was a guy claiming to be someone important to Jadakiss hitting on women/underage girls, he took several back to his suite and parents complained so he was kicked off in Cozumel. There was a group filming their OnlyFans on the decks, card room, and hallways when it was after 1am The third day there was a girl giving you know what to men on deck 5 when it got dark and was removed from the ship, she was crying because she had no money and was put off in the rain in Roatan. They would get drunk and smoke and argue everywhere, the time I went up to the WJ for pictures, they were smoking and screaming in there. Several women were slapped in public and/or told they would be getting something in the room. They had roofies.......I will leave that there. I saw a woman fall out in the casino and didn't put two and two together until this aggressive "stud" kept trying to give me drinks. My brother went to Blaze for the night club experience and had to leave after having a nice time when one pulled out a knife they had kept from dinner. I wasn't privy to all the shenanigans; I heard more and don't know what was true or not.
    2 points
  33. Keep an eye out for transatlantic deals if you really want to climb the ladder fast and have time. Great value especially on older ships. Twelve to fourteen nights doubles to a nice big number for climbing the ladder. Splurge on a suite solo transatlantic and 14 x 3 = 42 points. Also keep an eye when they have to re-deploy a ship like Rhapsody in Panama. Sometimes they waive single supplements or offer reduced single supplements quietly without telling the world about it.
    2 points
  34. WAAAYTOOO

    Diamond Lounge

    So agree. Royal has a very unfortunate pattern on making an unfavorable change followed far-too-soon by another even more, unfavorable change. Eg, (1) saying that Hideaway Beach would be complimentary and then announcing a significant admission upcharge, (2), "THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE IN ADMISSION TO THE CROWN LOUNGE" followed by an almost immediate announcement of potentially limiting Diamonds' access during certain hours and (3) Increasing gratuities while simultaneously reducing the service provided (once a day room servicing). You would think that the marketeers would have shouted - At least let a LITTLE time pass before immediately making us look like liars/money-grubbing scoundrels !
    2 points
  35. Current situation - 1 down, 3 to go. Plus carry-ons. We're planning on 3 smaller bags and one large, but my hair dryer and straightener may make it a tight fit and necessitate 2 big bags. We'll each take a backpack as our carry-on. Planning on laundry at least once on the ship with our $10 off diamond discount. Do we get the discount on the 4 day as well? While DH didn't love how busy we were in Star Class, he sure loved the benefits. He keeps asking if we're coming home with clean clothes again and if Sabor is included. Guess it's time to pull the purple tags off the luggage.
    1 point
  36. Jayson is a pretty awesome concierge. About the menus and activities populating on the app, when we sailed LB in August, those things did not pop up until a day or two before sailing. I thought it was super late as well. Then, on the day of sailing, they moved all the shows around yet again. People were mad because they actually removed Saturday Night Fever all together, and then added it back in later on a totally different day. I don't know. It was Coco Colette's first sailing as CD so I just assumed her team just needed some time to get things together.
    1 point
  37. teddy

    Diamond Lounge

    We fit this description. Sure, it actually took less cruises for us to reach Diamond than we would have if there was no pandemic. However, we also jumped through the testing hoops, vaccination hoops, and masking hoops to go on cruises during the pandemic. There’s also flying….flying to Florida from Maine ensured we got to spend all day in masks. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it was to fly coast to coast. The fact in all of this is that if there had been no double points promo, we’d still be Diamond at this point in time because we would have been cruising during the time the industry was shut down.
    1 point
  38. Doug_Texas

    Diamond Lounge

    The C&A web site still shows the "personalized gift" while the C&A benefit sheet in our stateroom last week had it clearly removed and we only received water. I have no idea what is going on. IMG_0785.pdf
    1 point
  39. I love both but there is something about fresh color and the new cut to go with it. I also love that you waited to get your daughter a phone. I see so many little children with them and wonder what it will do to their attention span.
    1 point
  40. Shari

    Royal Caribbean App

    I had issues yesterday on my Android so I went to Google Play and upgraded the app on my phone then it worked. So check for an update.
    1 point
  41. I went to the Crown Lounge and it was packed. So now I am in an empty casino.
    1 point
  42. Day 3......at sea The rest of the group went to breakfast, despite having Giovanni's booked for lunch. It was a lot of hubbub because my mother is selfish with the bathroom. She gets up early to go in but its like 2hrs of prep for NOTHING . I went to change our second Samba to Sabor because too much meat. The concierge in the Crown Lounge was really frazzled ......she isn't a fan of this ship. The Lounge was packed at 8ish. I went to the top tier but got a call and missed it. So I went to the casino. I had a good run and I'm up to 1400pt and still at fifty cents for a point. I might be able to get a balcony for two with OBC and freeplay for $1k. It's really hard to live blog with vintages. I have so many shenanigans but they fry my mind and take my time .
    1 point
  43. Also no. The blind gentleman can't stand the new vintage.
    1 point
  44. Okay after all the hubbub we are on here. I have a lot to catch up on. This sailing has 6720 pax so getting things squared away has been a hassle. I almost got all the times but Izumi was not happening.
    1 point
  45. Point of clarification: Is the crazy dude the blind gent? If so, a full box of Pop Tarts after eating 4 Chick-fil-A sandwiches is impressive. If crazy dude is not blind gent, did you adopt another vintage into your menagerie? Whoever crazy dude is, i sorta don't blame him. It sounds like you could've used the full armor of God to make it through the 23 hour train ride! Vacation is no fun when you're exhausted so i hope you can get plenty of rest before you board!
    1 point
  46. @WAAAYTOOO I would watch the movie and think this can't be true . Unfortunately it is and it continues to be a good mess. @SweetPea she has booked her flight for the morning and we will get her an Uber from the airport to the hotel. So new vintage has the gift of gab. She talked the staff into letting all of us board through the assistant lounge. Its for seniors and those infirmed. We sat there and enjoyed our hot meal which was different for everyone and from Chick-fil-A, Robinsons ribs, and Sbarro pizza. There was also more food brought and stored in hot/cold bags. People brought tons of junk snacks and no real food or fruit. But back to the lounge, it was clean and sectioned in a way that made it feel like you weren't at a crowded station. We boarded and all the vintages sat separately in window seats even though I mentioned more people would get on. As soon as that happened they all were brand new. The new vintage proceeded to flirt with all the train personnel, it was so funny. The blind gentleman could hear and proclaimed loudly that all the women with him are off limits and " if you trying to holler" you need his approval . The new vintage told him to stop messing up her game. Thankfully only a few people were on because she gets a ton of attention. I was also informed that I need to plan an Alaskan cruise on Norwegian for the group. I just walked away.
    1 point
  47. @Lovetocruise2002 I wore this joker, insane shirt particularly for this trip.
    1 point
  48. Day 2 IT IS TRAVEL DAY!!!!!! The blind gent made it on his plane safely and has currently landed but they are taxiing on the runway. His special driver will be picking him up at 8:30. Bff and his mom scrambled to pack and be ready for their Uber at 10am today. I received a couple of text around midnight asking for addresses that were included in the emails I am packing my snacks and vacillating between bringing a blanket. I sleep with a fan because I run hot and imagine a blanket on a train would be too warm. It is a wonderful, rainy 55 degrees in Chicago so I could just put on my rain jacket. My mother has been up since 4am, talking loudly with her bf. I am not used to having people stay over and man it messed up my sleep. I am trying something a bit new this time and bringing half my casino budget in cash. I don't know why I decided to try this: knowing I will be on a long train ride, but I can't leave the money at home, can't 100% trust the plumber, and I won't be near my bank. Also, I told my mother I won't be planning anymore cruises like this, and it went over like a lead balloon with her.
    1 point
  49. Day 3 It is technically 3 days until we board Allure. But less than a day before we start travel. We leave on the train tomorrow. Bff's mom has been home since noon and then went to get her hair done for the vacation. She barely has a voice, but she said she don't need no stinking voice. I think I did talk a little crap to @asquared17 about her vitamin/supplement game. But she has converted me. Don't judge I take most of my stuff in gummy form. But man are those individual pill bags a great way to keep track. I got new glasses as my eyesight has improved a bit and my prescription changed. But the new glasses are massive. I went to my local bookstore and the youth said I was giving "eclectic, white, soccer- mom vibes." Granted I was wearing leggings, an oversized-sweater that gave off "shawl," and my Tar-zhey branded knockoff Birks with socks because it is fall. But when did "white" become a "vibe" and an "adjective"? But as my life is cuckoo bananas, all of my favorite, tried and true salons got shutdown for migrant solicitation. I have anxiety and a natural fear about going to salons I haven't been to before a vacation. So, I did my own gel manicure and regular pedicure. It came out pretty good for first time. I probably won't post the vintages because they barely do Facebook, but I probably will throw in a few selfies and photos of my brother and I.
    1 point
  50. If anything Royal is probably trying to figure out how to de-emphasize the focus on the loyalty program. Carnival has loyal followers yet VIFP is mostly all about nothing. Who is better off? Carnival offering very little to the masses and some very minor perks to the top elite, or Royal, offering so much to the growing masses?
    1 point
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