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Posts posted by cruisellama

  1. 18 hours ago, StuckInOhio said:

    Hello more experience travelers. Our family of four (2 adult sized teenagers) will fly to Seattle for an Alaska cruise. Checked bags are $30 each way. We'll have 2 backpacks (counts as personal items for flying) for excursions. Should we take four carry-ons and two checked bags to save $120 (2 bags * $30 * 2 flights) for a total of six bags? Or should we just take use four checked bags and have less luggage to deal with? Is carry-on luggage treated any differently at embarkation? BTW, it's possible I'm my luggage math is off, I'm not yet sure how much we'll need to pack. I'd just like to hear some opinions on carry-on luggage with a trip like this I guess. Thanks!

    Not sure what airline you're using, but some offer 1 or 2 free bags if you sign up for their credit card..  Some cards are free others have a small fee.   Just so the math to see if it makes sense.  Alaska is tougher to pack because of the swings in weather.    Pack clothing you can layer.    You can save volume by getting light weight (roll able) rain slickers that you can wear other clothing underneath.  

  2. 1 hour ago, SPS said:

    FYI: I sent a DM to Royal Caribbean's Twitter/X account to ask about the availability (or rather, the lack) of the "Safety" icon and the Muster Station Map on the app. The reply stated that these features become available once on board.

    (Perhaps these features are only available on the ship's wi-fi?)

    They updated the app and you can see a few new options like "for you", "cruises" , "videos" - but the safety icon is not there (-yet).   It will show up closer to your cruise.

  3. 10 hours ago, CHart said:

    These are just some random thoughts on the loyalty program. Do you ever feel Royal will move to more of a revenue-based system from points (nights) status today? Most if not all other reward programs I know of have moved to that including all the airlines. But then again, the reward program on the airlines is more of a bank and almost a larger business than flying people. I am not sure how it would work or if you would get multipliers depending on your status and then X amount of points after each sailing that would move you to the next level. It would be interesting if you could earn points that could be redeemed for cash value onboard or free cruises. Almost like the casino program $5/10 spent equals 1 point and you could redeem 1000 points for $100 onboard credit or 2500 points is a free drink package for a cruise up to 10 nights etc. Not saying that has to be the exact value but it would be an interesting thing to start trying to get people to spend more money onboard/generate revenue. 

    What are everyone else's thoughts on the CROWN & ANCHOR® SOCIETY? Do you think there will be revenue-based changes? 

    Similar to how the credit card incentive works for OBC.   I thought that might work to boost on-board revenue, as you mentioned, maybe you get 1 point for every $1000 spend on-board.   It could be attractive for those on the cusp of a new loyalty tier.    Celebrity awards loyalty points for participating in "Power-up" activities.   Taking quizzes on cruise line related marketing activities, participating in webinars, or booking certain cruises can allow you to pick up 1-10 points depending on the activity.  It was spawned during COVID to keep people engaged.   It's been scaled back, but they're still offering power up point opportunities.   I mentioned revenue point boosts for on-board sales (as you suggest for RCL) to Celebrities Captains Club VP, and she didn't say it was a bad idea and worth looking at.  But that's Celebrity and they run a different type of program.  I don't think that's in RCLs DNA, but seems like it could influence spending behavior if C&A points can be had.

  4. 9 hours ago, SpicyCherry said:

    So when we were on Edge last December, in a Sky Suite, we had a Butler and a stateroom attendant. The SA took care of our room and the Butler handled everything else, from room service orders to reservation reminders to any issues that came up to making sure our favorite nightcap was waiting for us each evening. So are Butlers now called Retreat Hosts and do you still have a Stateroom Attendant as well?

    On Edge class (pre policy change), we had a butler and a stateroom attendant (now the Retreat host per his card).  Under new operation, the butler is reserved for upper suites and the stateroom attendant (Retreat host) takes on duties that the butler would take on.  So if you want reservation - your attendant (Retreat host) can address (inexperienced attendants may not be comfortable with those tasks yet).   However, you can always go to the Retreat and have the concierge team address reservations and special requests.   On solstice class last month, we only saw the attendant - Retreat host.  The butler left a card in the cabin but stopped by the entire cruise.  The attendant (Retreat host)  took care of housekeeping as well as address any special needs like reservations.   We didn't notice an assistant attendant so he really worked - but still very attentive.  We felt no need to provide additional tips to any of the Michael's club (Solstice class) concierge - just didn't interact.  We have one more Solstice class trip booked.  If you want the "legacy" service experience, you have to book a Celebrity suite or above on any of the classes; however, the Edge class ships seem to have more robust Retreat staffs than the other class ships.  I'm sure what I'm describing may be a little different on various ships.  Sailed Apex (pre policy change) this year, Beyond (post change), and Eclipse (post change).  Reduced service was definitely noticeable on Eclipse.

  5. 30 minutes ago, barbeyg said:

    We returned last week from Celebrity Beyond.  We were in a Sky Suite, and had a great time.  The 'Retreat Hosts' are really room stewards who work their butts off.  We have no complaints about the service, but aren't high maintenance.  We asked for additional hangers and the ice bucket to remain full, and Domnick took great care of that.  He was grateful that we are up and out early, so he could begin with our cabin each morning.  🙂  The ship is beautiful, the staff very friendly, the Retreat lounge was really enjoyable.  We would sail the Beyond again in a heartbeat.  A very nice touch was that Captain Leo, cruise director Alexandro, and some of the officers were dockside to say goodbye to us as we left the ship.  So many times, once the cruise is finished, the staff is in a hurry to push you out the door because they have so much to do to prepare for the next one.  That goodbye made for a very nice finish to a great cruise.

    We sailed just before the change from butler to retreat hosts.  We observed service on the Edge class Sky Suites  is better than last month's Solstice class Sky Suite with "host".    Retreat on Beyond (and other Edge) "up" the experience on the ship.

  6. 20 minutes ago, Pattycruise said:

    I haven’t been to CoCocay since May and noticed 2 changes on this trip.

    1. The balloon is absent.  The ring it sits on is there, no sign of basket or balloon.

    2. The tram has  changed.  I took it back from Chill beach and when it got closer to the pier the 2nd tram is no longer “across the way”.  It’s nearby I’m sure…I didn’t see where.

    We're booked on a PDCC trip Oct 2024 and the balloon was on the cruise planner, in fact, there was a 50% discount during Cyber Monday.   Could be playing games, or maybe the unit needed a full up inspection/replacement/repair??

  7. Just returned from our 8-day Eclipse Mexican Riviera trip.  The destinations were very enjoyable - I thought the Mexican port cities of Cabo, Puerto Vallarta , and Mazatlan .  I enjoyed the offerings - nice change from east coast port cities.  The ship was alright, but in need of the revolution upgrade.  We were in a Sky Suite and experienced the reduced "butler service" - and found in  noticeable.   Not that the room steward didn't do a great job, but it was nice when the concierge butler would show up and asked if you had any need during the week.  Some of the touches with afternoon snacks and ice deliveries weren't there and you had to hunt down the overloaded steward to get things done.   After sailing Edge class ships, the I can't continue to appreciate the old Michaels club and it limited service.   We also noticed a pretty weak menu in Luminae which pushed us to other restaurant menus. 

    Nice vacation, but not the Celebrity I'm used to.

  8. 1 hour ago, icf75 said:

    Not specifically cruise related, but there is a current discussion on a British Disney forum r.e tipping.  I'm interested to know what US citizens generally tip in restaurant's, as it seems there is a growing expectation that 20% is the going rate for decent service? (or sometimes just avg service).

    I do feel a sense of pressure to tip when I probably shouldn't.

    In some of our local restaurants, I've seen a tiered tip rate - from 15% to 25%.  In other regions, I've seen a rule of thumb of 2x the sales tax.   I've been in the 18-20% level since Covid shutdown.

  9. On 10/26/2023 at 10:51 AM, Cruising to Retirement! said:


    Everyone might want to check their celebrity cruises for 2024 i got the classic drink packages and upgraded for $6.99 each!  Fantastic deal!  They did not work for our 2 cruises in 2025.  We just got off the Harmony and had an awesome time!  Really love that ship like the first time we sailed on it!  

    Excellent  price.  Some friends just upgraded also for $6.99 on Reflection Nov 24 - ABC itinerary - 

  10. Publicly traded companies have an obligation to increase the value of those companies to the stockholders - yes the mass marketed lines can increase the bottom line by increasing efficiencies through technology and automation, reducing personnel costs.   If the service / experience become negative to the point of losing a customer base, then they adjust the other way.  Those of us who remember a "better" days of more attentive cruising are not the new market lines are positioning to capture.   They're setting up for the next generations that don't have the same expectations (experience) we may have had.  They'll expect technology and experiences over the personal service touch.  

    If you like cruising, you don't have to necessary adapt.  There is also the option to go to a premium, inclusive experience line.  We're being nudged that way.  We'll see what things look like after getting through the planned 2024 bookings.

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