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twangster

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Posts posted by twangster

  1. 5 hours ago, Chili said:

    I think the subject is Oasis class down under?
    Oasis could do the north island from Sydney and I think it would be a good itinerary.

    Sydney ,Auckland , Tauranga  maybe Picton and up to Lelepa.

    Probably 10 nights but what a itinerary ,it would be the best of everything.

    But that's all predicated on Sydney doing something to accommodate Oasis class which so far has been very slow to gain any traction and that was before the pandemic.  

    They can't start planning a deployment on good intentions and wishes that something might occur in Sydney at some point in the future.  Until firm plans are put in motion with firm dates Royal will not waste any energy planning an Oasis deployment from Sydney.

    At this moment the only sure thing is Brisbane as a home port for a mega sized ship as much as you dislike that fact.

  2. 5 hours ago, wordell1 said:

    The drinks are no longer free during happy hour.  You will get 4 free drinks per day a a Diamond member regardless of when/where you order them.

    Diamond drinks are free, there is just as limit to the number of free drinks.  No where has it ever been stated that Diamond happy hour was endless free drinks even if that is how it was once implemented.

    Plenty of bars on land offer happy hours.  Happy hour as a concept does not equate to open bar with free unlimited drinks. 

  3. 1 hour ago, Mike.s said:

    Or they might pass them on to brands they are linked with. Marella (owned by TUI) currently sail 2 x Royal ships, Legend and Splendour and will soon be sailing 3 x Celebrity ships. I know Royal have a joint venture with TUI cruises in Germany, not sure if it extends to Marella in the UK.

    Some of those line have been arguing to acquire new builds, not take on hand-me-downs.  The failure of Pulmantur has temporarily ended the RCI "graveyard" where it could send old ships to die.  It remains to be seen if any of the other business interests can be swayed to take Pulmantur's place as the line to send old ships to die.  

  4. Ah man!  You were able to eat in the MDR!

    Since Royal has neutered My Time Dining by starting at 6:45pm I haven't had the fortitude to stand in line for 45 minutes starting at 6:15pm to attempt to eat in the MDR.   If they offered bar service while standing in line for MTD it might be better.  Heck I'd pay $20 per drink plus 18% gratuity while standing in a line that doesn't move for an MTD hour to get a drink.  

    Instead I've been relegated to the WJ where I can always find something and as someone who has eaten exclusively in the WJ for the 80 nights I've spent aboard in 2022 (so far) it does change nightly which is why the WJ is truly underrated.  

    The only reason I'm not giving up on Royal despite how they have ruined MTD is because the WJ is actually a pretty decent dinner venue.  I can choose from several different types of salads (more than that's offered in the MDR), more variety of dinner rolls and many different foods that aren't offered in the MDR at all and I can choose how much of each to load (or not) on my plate.  

    Naturally since you are busy not enjoying the MDR you aren't in the WJ to see the ever changing nightly selections so I understand you don't see the variety available in the WJ.  

    Wait... did I just find your YT channel?

    Pop Culture Education GIF by PBS Digital Studios

  5. 9 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

    I can't confirm any policy change, but I can certainly confirm you can still get OBC if the cruise fare drops.

    One of the couples we're sailing with on our 1/7/23 sailing just called Royal this morning via their travel agent and they have been credited OBC (not a refund) due to the savings/price drop. This may be another example of when you don't get the answer you like, call again... it never hurts!

    The policy changed May 2022.

    For cruises booked after May 2022 there are no price drops after final payment due date.  

  6. 4 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

    I would think it’s in Royals best interest to leave sold out cruises on their site with a “sold out” sign across the ship  it might spark people to book sooner I  cruises they are looking at rather than think about booking. 

    Not long ago Royal sold out most cruises so listing them all as sold out would result in page after page of sold out cruises on the website.   Everything in the near term would be sold out. 

    Royal has decided its better to produce search results that contain cruises that are available. Given that 50% of bookings are new to Royal these guests are likely shopping across more than one cruise line website.   I'm not certain there is wisdom in trying to educate new to cruise that they should have booked sooner.  I dont know that would be the effect.  Perhaps it's better to focus them towards what is available rather than what they missed.  

    Here is the perfect cruise but you missed it, it's sold out versus here are the great cruises you can book. 

    If I'm buying a car it's not at all helpful to see the cars that other people beat me to and purchased before me.   Much better to show what is available and hope I'll see something that I like. 

  7. 48 minutes ago, CrznTxn said:

    We found talking to the poolside waiters that they are the ones who actually make the drinks in the back room from the bar. We always tip them and the wife makes it a point to read their name badges and call them by name when they serve us later. Much easier to get a little stronger drink when she is around. We also see waiters from other ships and it absolutely floors them when she calls them by name ( a big gift she has, a fantastic memory). Either way, the tip goes a long way in getting superb service.

    Name recognition is a big thing.  I always try to read name badges and use names.  

  8. 52 minutes ago, HtownHolly said:

    None of those apply. It’s swapping out one “never cruised before” 14 yo for another. The sailing currently doesn’t show up on the website so maybe it’s sold out. But we aren’t impacting capacity or changing rooms or anything. Just names. I’m pretty frustrated with this, honestly. TA basically said all he can do is try calling daily, and no reason for blocking out TAs has been given to him.

    When a cruise is sold out and Royal "closes" the cruise or the category you are booked in is closed it does severely limit all options, with or without a TA.  However sometimes things change so keep checking.  

  9. Unless there is some extenuating circumstances such as FCC in that's guests name, casino discount from that guest, Crown and Anchor discounts based on that guest or something similar you should be able to swap a guest so long as at least one guest name from the original reservation remains on the booking.  

    If guest #2 of 2 changed names 3 months ago then guest #1 can't change names, ever.

  10. 12 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

    I'm guessing that's boilerplate

    Agreed, but if the point was to try to motivate people to leave tips perhaps they should have considered that.  

    I tip cash every drink regardless so for me it's moot.  Recently the bar staff who had been around before didn't give me paper once they saw cash, but newer bar staff clearly had been told to print and they followed those instructions more consistently.  

  11. 22 minutes ago, bobroo said:

    Currently on Enchantment for the past 11 nights…….Zero Diamond and above members have received a drink count quantity on their diamond drink receipts. Zero, and I mean ZERO; Diamond and above have received ANY receipt for ANY diamond drink.
     

    Our receipts are all “Duplicate Receipt” and taken away because they are Royal’s receipt.

     

    So, the story that Diamond and above members have said they have had trouble tracking their free drinks was all BS. This diamond drink receipt after every drink has been about trying to get diamond and above to sign for more Royal communal tips all along.

    Don’t lie to us Royal! 

    Yet if you read the receipts it states gratuity has been included.  At least mine did.  

  12. 53 minutes ago, Toby said:

    My concern is cruise line pricing going the way of some of the airlines where any service provided beyond an economy seat on a plane is fee based.  

    Not all airlines take this approach.  As consumers we choose which to do business with. 

    I choose not to fly the ultra low cost carriers for this reason.  Other's embrace low cost and frills cost extra.  

    Sometimes adjustments in service are a method to avoid having to charge extra for certain items.

    If any particular cruise lines goes in a direction that you dislike vote with your wallet.  However I wouldn't fear it before it occurs.  

  13. 43 minutes ago, _1stTimer said:

    @twangster, you provide some good info in your posts, but I gotta say...

    The following responses are painfully obvious and worn out:

    Don't buy it if you don't like the price. Of course. No one is forced to buy extras. Some are, however, more compelled to need something.

    It's not a human right. Goes without saying. Assuming that someone considers internet on a cruise a human right is kinda insulting to them, actually.

    Circumventing is wrong. At a minimum, it's unethical. It may be a policy violation, but I don't know where to find the policy. Sounds like some people here have tried or done it (routers etc.). I'm not judging them. I hope no one is judging me for asking the question if it can even be done.

    I'm old so I I use old cliches and references.  

  14. 16 minutes ago, _1stTimer said:

    Or, to be equitable, why not charge by the amount of data used? Some passengers may watch several movies. Others may just chat or check the news, but all pay the same package fee? 

    Edit: better yet, offer unlimited and metered options. 

    There is a lot of marketing effort that goes into offering a product. The trend in cruising has been to move away from buckets of minutes or usage based fees.  Metered plans create uncertainty.  Consumers prefer to know what the cost will be.  

    They used to offer different levels of drink packages but that caused a lot of confusion so they consolidated down to one alcohol based plan.   

  15. I'd agree we have the next 5-10 years to enjoy the existing small ships.  During that time they may shed one or two, probably Vision class, IF the opportunity presents itself.  If no buyer appears that isn't also a competitor or a business that would look to steal market share in a given region then they won't shed any Vision class ships until they reach the point that scrapping them is the only logical choice.

    I don't see them deliberately or eagerly looking to abandon small ships, they'll go away through natural attrition.

  16. 9 hours ago, _1stTimer said:

     @Xaa, you are virtue signaling and ignoring that I explicitly stated I do not plan to circumvent. Obviously people can go elsewhere. The main reason for buying intenet is for safety/communication with my kids. I read horrible reviews of the RC app for chatting. If there's something someone questions about a service or charge onboard can they not discuss it here? If you don't like discussing the subject of internet cost maybe just move on to the next thread?

    ------------

    Interesting article about O3b which RC used (or still uses)? RC doesn't have to pay for their satellites or their rockets. Not sure what they pay to O3b.

    Anyone know which ships are using Starlink now? "SpaceX unveiled Starlink Maritime for boats at a cost of $5,000 per month, on top of a hardware investment of $10,000."

    I'll make some possibly conservative assumptions here... let's say 5,000 passengers on a ship and 10% of passengers get internet for one device on a 7-day cruise, so 500 x 7 x $23 = $80,500 for one cruise. 3 cruises in a month = $241,500. Cut that in half if my assumptions are off, and they've still covered the monthly Starlink fee and hardware, and made a fat profit.

    We are all eagerly waiting to see what Royal will do once Starlink is available on all of the oceans around the world.  Right now their maritime is rather limited so it's unknown if Royal will use their legacy providers as a fall back or just let the ship go dark when Starlink dead zones are encountered.

    I'd love it if Royal were to make basic chat free like some airlines have done for years.  Southwest has allowed WhatsApp, Messenger and iMessage for free for some time as an example.

    As far as I know the existing satellite suppliers charged usage fees i.e. per MB fees while Starlink does not.  That could be a huge cost savings and it could mean they can let little text messages that consume very little bandwidth through at no cost.  However that's a business choice cruise lines get to make. 

    In a few years time once Starlink is fully built out perhaps Royal will pass along their savings to guests in the form of lower Voom plan prices.  We don't know.

    Regardless it's not really any of my business what Royal pays their suppliers versus what I pay for something they resell.  They pay a supplier very little for a bottle of liquor or a case of beer yet they charge resort and bar type fees for these items.  Their ship, their rules.

    Presumably my local cable company has recovered their investment in their cabling many years ago so one could argue they should give away internet nearly free.    Yet they have decided to make huge profits from it instead.  Their business, their rules.

    Internet on a ship is not a basic human right.  We are at the whims of the cruise lines to pay for the privilege of having internet on board and there are many cruisers who don't want it while on vacation.  To that end it should not be included since that would increase cruise fares for folks that don't want it.  The result is that cruise lines charge for internet and only guests who desire to be connected pay for that choice. 

    I don't think Cabanas on CocoCay should cost $1,800 for a few hours of use yet that is what some of my fellow cruisers are willing to pay so that is the price.  Their island, their rules.  I don't like that price but that doesn't mean I should try to sneak into one and use it without paying the charge they have established.  

    Voom is no different.  It's not a basic right to have it.  Cruise lines are able to charge and make a profit doing so just like a bottle of beer or a cabana.  If you don't like the prices don't buy it.  Stealing is not a solution if you don't like the price. 

  17. What I like about the Esplanade on Quantum class is that I can bypass it and walk above it looking down into the Esplanade by using deck 5.  You are not stuck fighting your way through as the only means to move forward and aft like you are on Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class Promenades.  T-shirt sale on the Promenade?  Forget it, take an elevator to the pool deck to go forward.  At least on Q class I can use deck 5 on port or starboard, by way of the rarely used Bionic Bar or the Wonderland side to walk above the t-shirt sale. 

    I really wish the Promenade on other classes had an interior walkway one deck above the Promenade like Quantum class do.  Great for people watching.  Great for events like parades.

    The Schooner Bar on Q class is disappointing since there are no windows.   

  18. Another potentially related bit of news comes from China where Carnival has floated out their first Chinese built Vista class ship.  It's set to sail beginning in 2023 servicing the Maritime Silk Road, assuming cruising restarts in China in 2023.

    Royal was seeing some success in China before the pandemic.  Once cruising restarts in China (and it will eventually) now they face some new locally made competition that will take away some of Royal's market share in China.

    The glass half full view is that Royal may need to out-wow Adora Cruises and they can do that with Oasis class.

    The glass half empty view is that with reduced market share there may not be the market to sustain a mega ship and Spectrum.   

    Depending on the business impact Royal could decide that Spectrum is new enough and wow enough to take on the new competition from Adora by itself and that could impact the reasoning to put an Oasis class into the Pacific.  

    Time will tell.

  19. 2 hours ago, Chili said:

    I have friends who are currently on Ovation in N.Z.

    They just called ,they are docked in Auckland at the container terminal and apparently they where told,the container terminal can take a Oasis.
    There’s a shuttle bus into the city but they said must better that tendering.

    So one more Oasis port for down under.

    There are likely other NZ ports that are Oasis capable but can you make an itinerary out of them that is optimized for this class?

    Then there is the right sizing the ship to the itinerary.   They have enough sales data to know what size of ship can be sold to achieve desired load levels without having to discount to fill the ship week consistently week after week. 

    It's not just about can they operate that route with an Oasis class in the black.  When they stand back and compare how much they could make with that same ship in a different market if they can make more money somewhere else then that is where the ship will go.  

    How many NZ cruises are 7 nights from Oz?   They might only be able to make that work by using a NZ home port but now we talking about a whole other business case. 

  20. What category is your current booking?  Does the screen shot show a mock booking for the exact same category?

    Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, etc. are NOT categories.

    4V, 2N, 2D etc. are example of categories.  If your screenshot and your current booking both display the same exact category code then you need to call.  Emails will be processed when ever and if that pricing isn't available when they get around to looking at an email in a few days you will have a very hard time getting a price adjustment.

    Most people use a TA so the TA has to spend time on the phone dealing with Royal.  When people choose to be their own TA they get to spend hours on hold just like a TA does to get these things done.

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