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Sharing my experience with RoyalUp.
Patta_Conna posted a topic in Royal Caribbean DiscussionHi guys. I’m here to share my recent experience with RoyalUp, a program that allows people with existing reservations to bid for an upgrade to a higher room category. The reason why I’m sharing my experience is because prior to and after the upgrade, I had a ton of questions that I’ve been trying to look for answers all over the internet but couldn’t find any. Hence, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and hopefully it can give some answers to my fellow cruisers! A brief introduction: (or skip to the end for the answers to the “FAQs”) I’ve booked a last minute 4-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, also known as Cruise to Nowhere. It is basically a hospitality restarting program by the Singapore government with no ports of call. Strict restrictions are also put in place for the safety of the guests. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (J4) for me and my wife. The price displayed on the RC’s booking website was SGD 1399pp for 4-nights before pre-paid gratuities and port taxes. There wasn’t any other suite options left for booking, which I presumed was fully booked. Almost immediately after completing the reservation transaction, I received the RoyalUP email, and invited me to place a bid to a higher room category. Even though I could clearly see that none of the higher suite categories were available for booking, I still decided to give it a try at bidding for RoyalUp. Long story short, I placed bids on all categories, ranging from Grand Suite to Royal Loft Suite and kind of forgot about the whole RoyalUp thing. Until around 24 hours before the sailing, I received an email saying that my bid for a Grand Loft Suite was successful. My bid amount was SGD 1210 per person hence SGD 2420 was charged to my credit card on file immediately. In general, I paid about $2710 per person ($1399 (JS) +$1210 (RoyalUp) +$100 taxes and pre-paid gratuities) I’ve checked the price of a Grand Loft Suite on a different sailing date, and it cost around SGD 5400 per person and before taxes. Which means, I’ve gotten nearly a 50% off the original price. From Junior Suite to Grand Loft Suite is a big jump. In terms of Royal Suite class, it was upgraded from Sea Class to Star Class. At this point, I was very excited! But at the same time, I have a lot questions that needs answers to. To be honest, even with a “huge discount”, SGD 2710 (SGD 5k+ for 2 people) is almost double the original budget hence to me, it is still a lot of money to fork out for a 4-day vacation. As we know, Grand Loft Suite is a Star Class suite and it is practically All-Inclusive such as free specialty dining, deluxe beverage package, internet package etc and it comes with a Royal Genie. So naturally, some questions flashes through my mind, and since it was an upgrade through RoyalUP: “Am I going to get a Royal Genie as well?” “Will I be treated differently in terms of services than those guests who paid the original price?” “How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages?” I’ve tried searching for answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. However, after I’ve completed my sailing, I kind of gotten all the answers I needed. So now, I’m going share them with you guys. My very own set of FAQs: Q: Am I going to get Royal Genie as well? A: Yes! Even though I gotten the upgrade 1 day before the sailing, the Royal Genie got in touch with me via WhatsApp on the morning of the sailing and she already took the liberty to arrange all the activities for us! She already pre-booked all the shows, specialty dinning and some activities such as iFly and Flow Rider. And she was extremely flexible and accommodating on all our requests to change meal timings, shows timings. All you need to do is just let her know your preference and leave everything to her. Q: Will I be treated differently in terms of services compared to those guests who paid the original price? A: Not at all. From my observations, only 2 groups of service crews knew you are an “upgrader”. They are the Royal Genie, and the cruise terminal staff. Usually, Genie will contact you 1 month before your sailing to get to know you better. However, she does know that you are an upgrader since she contacted you just 1 day before the sailing, not the usual 1 month. As for the cruise terminal staff, our information was given to them by the cruise line at the very last minute hence our information was “hand-written” on their paper. They did “congratulate” us on the successful upgrade by the Cruise Line which is why I knew they knew we were an upgrader. Nevertheless, they escorted from the moment we reached the terminal until being handed over to the Royal Genie. Very good service rendered. Q: How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages A: They will be refunded to you and the Royal Genie made sure of that. It will be under “refundable” onboard credit and you can requested to get them in cash on the last night of the cruise. Otherwise, it will be refunded to your credit card. Q: How about my SeaPass card? Will I be recognized as a Star-Class guest? A: You will be identified as a Star Class guest on your SeaPass card, not the original room category that you were booked on. Q: Do I get the same perks and benefit listed under Star-Class suite even though I’m an upgrader? A: Yes! Complementary Dining Package, Beverage package, internet package, complementary mini-bar for the whole cruise with replenishment daily, complementary room-service, complementary laundry (I don’t think they set a limit on the quantity of clothes). For Izumi, there is no limit in terms of the amount you can order. If you have a Ultimate Dining Package, I believe per meal you will get USD35 credit per person for Izumi as it is based on A-la-carte pricing. But for Star-Class, there is no limit on that. The wait staff made it known to you before you order. Q: How about those chargeable activities? A: For our sailing, the chargeable activities are iFly (~$40) and Northstar (~$20) and strictly by reservation only. However, with the help of our Genie, reservation was done before hand. There is no charges for Star-Class guest for these activities. However, you are only entitled to 1 free session for each of these 2 activities. If you would like to go for a second-time, you will have to pay the charges. All other FAQs regarding Star-Class: Q: Can Royal Genie fulfill all your requests? A: Yes and No. I’d emphasize that your request must be reasonable. If you would like to change your dinner venue to another restaurant at the very last minute, you can kindly check with her. Most of the times it can be fulfilled. However, if the restaurant is full, she might suggest to change to an earlier or a later time for you. I’m not sure what kind of magic they have, but I’m definitely against them pulling out other guests from their original dining timing just to slot you in. Firstly, you are putting Genie in a difficult position, secondly, you are causing unhappiness to the affected guests. So I’d suggest to give the Genie some leeway. Do not force you request onto them. If it can be done in a gentle way, go ahead. If not, please do not force or blame them. Q: Do I need to tip the Royal Genie? A: Absolutely. They are not a receiver of the automatically gratuity system on board. Hence, the tips relies solely on you. Royal Genie is not just a regular butler, they are there to learn about you and make arrangements for you which you didn’t even think of. My wife somehow mentioned to the Genie that this is our 2nd anniversary trip when we were casually chatting. (but did not mention in details). The Genie caught it and arranged for a surprise decoration and cake in the room for us. My wife and I were surprised as initially, we really can’t figure out how she knew about our anniversary. It is only when we tried to recall every single thing we said to the Genie, and realized that it must have slipped out of our mouth at certain point. Their attention to details are just simply unbelievable. Hope this post is useful for whoever is looking for the same answers as I did. Happy cruising!