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cruisellama

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Posts posted by cruisellama

  1. 1 hour ago, Doug_Texas said:

    So the D+ to Elite Plus mapping is clear - 2 bags of laundry, great.  No dinks vouchers and no 2 days free WiFi but you get a limited “happy hour”.  Applaud the new enhanced tier matching but not really compelling.  Does anyone know what 20% off drinks package is?  Is it additional 20% of their advertised packages pre-cruise or is it like Royal where the 20% off is off list price and in reality more expensive than their “specials”.  

    A good number of Celebrity cruisers will buy through an inclusive rate so kinda hides the package in the rate.   You would care about losing the 5 drink voucher  if you didn't go with the up charged rate. (Except for the high tier happy hour which I  think provides pretty weak offerings.)

  2. 2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

    👎still no cross matching with points 

     

    11 minutes ago, USFFrank said:

    Too bad Celebrity doesn't give daily drink vouchers like Royal Caribbean does. I'm in the Diamond / Elite tier and would rather have the vouchers to use as I please instead being limited to just the evening cocktail hour.

    Hopefully that will change by early 2026.

     

    1 hour ago, Rackham said:

    From TPG article on this change,

     

    No single loyalty program for now

    The new status match program for all three wholly owned Royal Caribbean brands stops short of what some loyalty experts see as a logical next step for the company's loyalty program efforts: a single combined loyalty program for all three brands.

    When TPG asked about this, Liberty suggested the company wanted to be sure it understood what loyal customers at its three brands wanted before making a more radical change. But he hinted more change might be coming.

    "This is kind of step one. We want to tie these [programs] together," he said, calling the new status match program "basically kind of the beginning of a common loyalty platform."

    Saying there was "more to come," Liberty added, "You'll see here over time that you're building status and other things across the family of brands."

    When asked specifically about whether Royal Caribbean Group might shift to a single loyalty program similar to what Marriott offers with its massive Bonvoy program, which allows for earning and burning points across more than 30 hotel brands, Liberty suggested that might not be the right model.

    "In some ways Marriott put Bonvoy in front of the brands," Liberty said, suggesting that stays at Marriott hotels had become all about earning points in the Bonvoy program and not the allures of the individual hotel brands and hotels. That's something Liberty suggested Royal Caribbean Group doesn't want to do.

    He said the company wanted the individual brands in its portfolio to always be the focus for its customers and the "guest facing" part of the business, not the company's loyalty program.

    "We don't have what I just typically describe as the earn-and-burn customer," Liberty noted. "Our customers actually appreciate more the recognition [from loyalty status]. Like, they want to go to the cocktail party for their tier. They want to have free dry cleaning. Those things are more important to them [than earning and burning] points."

    Liberty noted that people don't cruise as often as they stay in hotels, so an "earn-and-burn" model for a cruise loyalty program that resembled the Marriott Bonvoy program didn't make as much sense.

    "We get you one, two, three times a year. We don't get you one or two, three times a month, which you have [with] the earn-and-burn type players ... mainly hotels and airlines."

     

    Make of this what you will, but to me it sounds like they haven't decided yet if points will accumulate seperately across brands or together in one pot.

    The point accumulation models are different.  One RCL you either earn 1 or 2 pts/ night depending upon non-suite or suite (also solo traveler pick up a point).  Celebrity tiers by room class from 3 pts/night up to 24 pts/night depending on the suite level ($$ buys you love).  IMO I think  points a  function $$ spent is pretty fair.

     

     

  3. 4 hours ago, MindiLou said:

    Hi

    when I was on Royal, I was able to order a fillet from chops grill in the MDR.  It was an up charge, of course but well worth it.
    my question is does celebrity do the same thing between the MDR and their steakhouse?

    thanks for any advice.  

    .  There's a premium offering in the MDR, but have not seen the ability to order it directly from Tuscan, Muranos, or Fine Cut (Edge class) from MDR (but I believe the premium steak ordered in the MDR is actually from one of the premium restaurants).   If you're in Retreat class, you can request from Luminae but you pay the uncharge (my wife did it once).  

  4. On 2/1/2024 at 12:01 AM, RoyalGreek said:

    My wife and I are currently on Millennium and there is no wait staff at the bars to take orders at your seat. Also only one or two bartenders at the bars. This is our first Celebrity cruise. Is this the norm?  If so, not good at all. 

    Still see staffing shortages.   Initially due to labor pool shortages, now some of it is deliberate.   Trying to do more with less and it isn't working - its demonstrably less.

  5. On 4/21/2024 at 2:59 PM, SpicyCherry said:

    Ok so @twangster, @WAAAYTOOO, @USCG Teacher and anyone else out there….What about Azamara? I was eyeing them as well. Last time I looked, they were offering itineraries for the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Since my DH loves anything Fast &/or Furious…what say you cruising experts?

    Sailed Azamara just after the sale was announced and early post Covid.  Was pleased with the experience.  Small ship (Quest) with about 380 crew and around 600 guests, but we sailed with about 300..   Food and service was excellent.  Smaller number of people allowed them to be pretty creative in presentation and menu complexity.   Even had a mid-night chocolate buffet one night (but it was a holiday sailing).   You got to recognize / know much of the crew and even many of the guests.  Thought the food was above what was offered by Celebrity.  Entertainment venues more intimate.   The performers will engage more with the guests as they also carry on additional duties to help with on-board activities.   The cruise director and staff are also part of the talent pool.   Small ship is easily to get around.   Small boutique elevators.  Azamara is big on excursions and providing guests with lectures on various destinations.   Discussed history, politics etc of the destinations.   Offered classes such as water color and cooking classes (included).    Basic rates include a basic drink package.  No casino or toys.  Largest library that I've seen at sea.  On board self laundry is also available as many of the cruises are multiple weeks long.   Also had a BBQ on deck one night with  charcoal grills and real flames one night.   Not used to seeing that on a ship.  Command crew out and about and seen all the time.  Officers would help out in the buffet or outdoor activities - didn't see any egos - just wanted to make everyone happy.  Will sail them again.  I want to seen if it's still as pleasant as before being sold by RCL.  I thought the pricing with the offered perks of drinks and internet to be at a very attractive price point at the time.   Starting to research them again for something in 2026.   Early pricing is pretty good 2 yrs out.

  6. On 12/3/2023 at 9:22 PM, Doug_Texas said:

    We are in Texas and sail out of Galveston often.  The majority of sailings on RCL are Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Honduras.  There are a few variations on a theme like Progresso Mexico or sometimes a Grand Cayman but mostly limited ports.  NCL and Carnival have more variety.  We are retired and care a lot about ports which is why we’ve been flying elsewhere to get on RCL sailings.  Every time I make mention of desire for port variation out of Galveston I’m told either the ship is the destination or I need to go to Celebrity.  I would very much like more variety from Galveston from RCL - and it doesn’t need to be more Oasis sailings.  Love Freedom and Voyager class ships.  Agree Corpus and Mobile are non-starters.

    Agree with your observations. I think they've just optimized routes to maximize revenue, not necessarily guest preferences.   When they intersect - there's goodness on both sides.  But as a Texas resident, I too would like more RCL options from Galveston.  There is an occasional 8, 9, and 11 when meshing between rotations - but they're far and few between and difficult to plan for.

  7. The cabin upgrades were welcome and nice.  Many of the public areas and specially restaurants did not get a renovation.  Retreat upgrade from Michaels club isn't spectacular, as they really don't have the space to create the same experience as Edge class.   Matching color palette is fine for marketing, but didn't add to service experience.  

  8. On 5/25/2023 at 5:13 AM, twangster said:

    There have been rumors of "Project Discovery".  Royal likes to call new ship class developments a "project".  However that's all that been known.  

    Considering that Vision and Radiance class are all that can use the Panama Canal, it stands to reason that Royal would look to create a new class that could.  Mega ships are great but they are a PITA when deploying ships between the Atlantic and Pacific.  They need something that can.

    Without any proof or facts, I've always thought that taking the Edge class platform, the basic hull design, not an Edge class ship and painting a Royal name on it, they could leverage a successful hull design and save that engineering cost, and by using LNG engines, build on that hull design to create a new class for Royal.  

      

    Vision and Radiance class appear to intersect at the Millennium class for displacement and  passenger count.  I liked that the M class ships had 3 elevator locations (F, M, A) as opposed to 2 found on later designs.

  9. On 4/22/2024 at 4:10 PM, Doug_Texas said:

    I have seen some cruiser comments on other blogs that if you try Celebrity make sure it is an Edge class ship as the quality difference is huge.  Any commentary from frequent Celebrity cruisers?

    We've greatly enjoyed Edge class.  As with any cruise line, enhancement and experiences can be expanded with a larger and more up to date ships.  It's the nature of upgrading a fleet.  When Millennium was the only class, we enjoyed that, and following Solstice improved the experience over Millennium class.  But with each class, so has the passenger capacity increased;  so as the ships get bigger, so do the crowds.   At this point, as we sail suite class, and do not favor going back in ship class (M,S).   The legacy ship class Retreat experience is far inferior to what Edge class offers (by design) when sailing in a suite.  So to us, that's the most notable change that makes Edge class our new preference.

  10. On 4/26/2024 at 8:09 PM, ultimate_ed said:

    https://www.chron.com/gulf-coast/article/galveston-port-biggest-cruise-ships-19424517.php

    Galveston is always getting the hand me downs from Royal, but in this case, I'd be Ok with Icon coming.  I don't see any chance we'd get one of the new Icon class ships debuting in Galveston unless Carnival starts making a serious dent in the market with Jubilee.

    Would agree on the "hand-me downs".   But will take what ever we can get.....

  11. On 3/5/2024 at 10:34 AM, judgen said:

    Doing my first celeb cruise on May 26 out of NJ. Trying to find info like the RC blog but haven't had much luck. Anything out there?

    There are many Celebrity cruisers on this site.  You've found the right tab to ask a question.  There isn't a Celebrity roll call area like Royal roll calls  so if you're looking to join or follow a roll call there's FB, Cruise Critic, or Shipmate.   However, there's a good chance you can get informed answers to Celebrity questions here.

  12. On 1/26/2024 at 1:56 PM, CNA Jacksonville said:

    We recently completed a five day Mexico cruise on Mariner of the Seas.  When we booked we specified we wanted Early Dining (5:30pm) and that was reflected in the Cruise Booklet we received.  Once on board our Sail Passes said My Time Dining.  We stopped at the MDR reception deck and asked why the change.  The attendant could not offer a good explanation, instead saying that the "system" might not be updated yet.  We politely pressed the question as to who made those changes without our consent.  Again, no good answer except that we could come back later.  He continued to keystroke when we asked to speak to someone who could provide an answer.  After a minute he asked if we would be okay with Early Dining seated with other passengers.  We said that was totally acceptable.  He wrote out a Main Dining Room reservation card and said that it would be reflected on our Sail passes.  We stopped by Guest Services and lo and behold we had our MDR Early Dining specified.

    Has this happened to anyone else?  Does anyone know why these sort of dining arrangement changes are done without your approval or input?

    Happened to my son on Allure.

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