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JohnUK

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About JohnUK

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    Emerald

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Near Southampton, UK
  • Interests
    Photography, walking, sightseeing.

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  1. Yes, MEI are great - very proactive, which is something that doesn't happen in the UK. However, they were unable to use my FCCs as they were in GBP and Royal doesn't allow them to be used in another country.
  2. I think there might be restrictions. I had FCCs that were issued in GBP for a cancelled cruise and I asked Stephanie (MEI) if I could use them for a cruise I had booked through her. She told me I couldn't as RCCL do not allow her to accept FCCs in a different currency. For this reason, I have not booked any further cruises with MEI so far, as it complicates matters too much (especially with all of the recent cancellations). Other than that I have had a really good service from Stephanie.
  3. Yes, that is correct. However, when we priced up the equivalent itinerary and cabin on Anthem to match our cancelled Independence sailing, it was a lot more expensive! No additional compensation was available.
  4. For me, the Lift and Shift offer is brilliant and I think RCL is to be commended for providing this option. We were due to sail from Fort Lauderdale in October but, as we are in the UK, we have no idea whether flights will be back to normal by then, or even if we will be allowed into the US. We changed to the same cruise for October 2021. We retained our current price and package (drinks, OBC, etc.) which is great. This year's cruise is 33% lower in price for a like for like cabin compared to next year. Final payment has been moved from July this year to July next year. (This is for a Celebrity cruise through the Panama Canal but the principle is the same.)
  5. As a different slant on this issue, I was due to sail on Anthem, transatlantic, on the 12th April. However, as I am a UK citizen and living in the UK, I am no longer allowed to enter the USA. Even if I could get to embarkation, Royal would refuse an attempt to board the ship as I would have been in the UK in the previous 15 days. So, my cruise cannot happen regardless of whether I choose to cancel or not. The decision is not in my hands. I have no idea if I would qualify, in these circumstances, for a refund or 125% FCC as I have not seen any communication that addresses this. I will hold off of initiating a formal cancellation under the Cruise with Confidence programme until I have a better understanding of this specific situation. I would be interested in discovering if anyone else is in a similar situation.
  6. We made the journey from, and back to George Bush Airport, and Lyft was definitely the cheapest. We had an excellent driver as well! We stayed in Galveston at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, 3228 Seawall Boulevard. This hotel is nearly brand new and very pleasant. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The location is good, just opposite the beach and a short walk away from the pleasure pier.
  7. We have just done this on Liberty. Our stateroom attendant asked if we would mind writing a note and sign it, just to sat that we had given him the wine as a gift. That way he is covered in case his possession of the wine is queried by anyone.
  8. We are on the same cruise. But I don't think I can be much help with your question. As we live just 20 minutes from the port, we tend to take our time and get off around 9:00. Southampton usually provides a very quick disembarkation process so you could easily be out of the terminal, with luggage, a lot earlier (say 8:00). I know we have been home by 9:00 in the past.
  9. Hey, we are British; we don't line but we do queue - and we are very, very good at it! Of course we would not give up an opportunity to indulge in a national obsession.
  10. I have just received another message from Concierge with regard to the D+ BOGO. It reads: Good morning John, Just wanted to inform you that you can still use the BOGO voucher from CAS, let me know how you would like to use it. We have had a few past loyalty ambassadors which made a bit of a mess. We have one now, she came yesterday and confirmed that we are still offering the CAS BOGO. Great news! This contrasts with the original message: I will take care of your dining room request no problem, however please note that the BOGO voucher from the CAS has been discontinued. Whilst this is great news (and I apologise for inadvertently propagating "fake news"), it gives more evidence of the lack of consistency and the prevalence of misinformation within Royal. I am surprised that individual loyalty ambassadors can mess things up to the point that perks are denied to people, as implied in the message above. The trouble is that, as @Mljstr reported, C&A don't seem to be able to apply a common policy, reliably, across the fleet. So I quite understand the desire to find someone - anyone - to resolve, what should be, a simple question. And, as it turns out, Concierges aren't always provided with correct information. I think I will have a chat with the loyalty ambassador next week and try to understand what is going on.
  11. This is an ongoing debate as to who is more entitled: Suite guests or Pinnacle. I think the answer is both are entitled to their own set of privileges. I don't particularly have a vested interest as I have taken around 30 cruises with RCCL, mostly in Grand Suite or above, and am currently just 50 points away from Pinnacle. I have been happy to receive Suite level perks but will also expect some meaningful perks when I reach Pinnacle. It is quite an achievement. After all, the revenue that Royal has had from me (or from anyone in non-suite rooms taking 60 plus cruises) is just as real as the amount generated from a person taking one cruise in a Suite. Privileges are always paid for one way or another. I agree that the number of people in the upper levels of the loyalty programme is a problem and some privileges have been removed over time, accordingly. Nevertheless, one of the differentiators between Royal and other cruise lines is the quality of that loyalty programme. To reduce that too far may well be counterproductive. So I hope they can find a balance that retains the equivalent value of loyalty privileges whilst addressing the overcrowding issues.
  12. Hi - I found this link a long time ago that is pretty good but never 100% accurate: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Pz4Im5qh4cqd1zE5A9srLm3wGd0_SNZwTdbLTa59EF4/edit#gid=0 I don't think a Concierge is duty bound to respond to requests in advance other than to Suite guests, who they usually contact in the week leading up to sailing to elicit requests. However, they usually do respond out of courtesy. It also helps if you know the Concierge from a previous voyage. Even so, I would not presume too much upon them - for courtesy's sake on my part. For the same reason I would not try and contact a Concierge more than a week in advance of a sailing. It may be more appropriate to contact C&A directly to ask these questions as they should be able to give answers that cover all ships. I hope that helps.
  13. No - technically you may be correct. We have never purchased the standard BOGO. Effectively, the Concierge is only making a reservation ahead of time for us, which could be for any sort of booking. We always tell him/her we will be using the D+ BOGO but it is not really relevant until we arrive at the restaurant. This time he informed us that the D+ BOGO was no longer available and asked, therefore, if we still wished him to make the reservation. Last year we sailed on Vision around the Mediterranean and did have access to the Concierge lounge. I am hoping the same holds true this year as the itinerary is similar. I think there tend to be fewer Pinnacle and D+ on European cruises so the Concierge lounge is not quite as crowded.
  14. We are due to board Vision next Tuesday and have just discovered (via Concierge) that the BOGO benefit for speciality dining is no longer being offered. We usually ask the Concierge to make a reservation for us before we board which is how we found out. I am rather disappointed that a worthwhile perk for D+ has been withdrawn. This is very recent as we certainly had the perk available on our last cruise on Explorer in June this year.
  15. Thank you for the information. That is very useful - sounds like you had a great cruise.
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