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Diamond PLUS Status Secrets !!


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Many have wondered how long does it take to reach Diamond PLUS status. When asked, I reply that there are many factors to take into consideration to reach this status. With that in mind, how long has it taken you to reach Diamond PLUS status and what & how did you do it? Feel free to share your techniques and experiences.

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18 cruises over 14 years. Some of which were in JS to get the double. We actually booked a 5 night in a JS to get us to exactly 175 in preparation for our B2B two months later.

 

But...I also think we made out quite well when they switched the points system from one point per cruise to one point per night. We ended up with more C&A points than nights we had cruised when the switch was done.

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Just now, Susie said:

Thanks, will take me a while to get to Diamond+. 

I can tell you that since you're at Diamond, I wouldn't be that concerned with moving up. D+ is nice, but honestly once you hit Diamond, you reap the lion's share of C&A benefits.

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The D+ also used to get priority seating in the theaters but they have now taken that perk away in many cases as well.  With The Key program my guess is that the D+ are going to be SOL for priority seating from now on.

Denial of entrance into the Suites lounge and lack of priority seating in the theaters are the 2 primary reasons we cruise exclusively in suites these days.

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3 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

The D+ also used to get priority seating in the theaters but they have now taken that perk away in many cases as well.  With The Key program my guess is that the D+ are going to be SOL for priority seating from now on.

Denial of entrance into the Suites lounge and lack of priority seating in the theaters are the 2 primary reasons we cruise exclusively in suites these days.

If I remember correctly, D+ and above used to have the option of breakfast in Chops. We used to comment on that, but haven't seen that in a while unless they still do it on the smaller ships. 

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16 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

The D+ also used to get priority seating in the theaters but they have now taken that perk away in many cases as well.  With The Key program my guess is that the D+ are going to be SOL for priority seating from now on.

Denial of entrance into the Suites lounge and lack of priority seating in the theaters are the 2 primary reasons we cruise exclusively in suites these days.

Wow!! Seems as Diamond + is turning into a Cubic Zirconia !!  ?

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I became Diamond Plus by marrying someone who was Diamond and then we cruised 2-3 times per year for a few years.  ?

 

We have some young kids 2 and 4.  And the concierge lounge used to allow kids where Diamon lounge didn’t, which was an advantage. But now the DL also allows kids.  Don’t worry. If we go there, we bring iPads and headphones to keep them entertained and quiet as to not bother other peoples’ experiences

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  • 8 months later...
On 1/26/2019 at 9:33 AM, Gears said:

18 cruises over 14 years. Some of which were in JS to get the double. We actually booked a 5 night in a JS to get us to exactly 175 in preparation for our B2B two months later.

 

But...I also think we made out quite well when they switched the points system from one point per cruise to one point per night. We ended up with more C&A points than nights we had cruised when the switch was done.

It took us 18 cruises also to achieve the Diamond Plus status and some were in JS for the double points. Now we are recently retired hope to add many more points starting with 6 B2B's in an attempt to get out of the snow and ice this winter.

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On 1/28/2019 at 12:52 PM, Matt said:

It was still present on Symphony in AquaTheater. That was a really nice perk because we got some great seats.

DSC_0065_4.jpg


When was that picture taken?  We were just on Symphony in a suite for the 9/14-21/19 cruise and sat right next to that sign, except on our cruise, that sign said “Suites, Pinnacle Club, The Key”.

 

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Back to the discussions from January, we're Diamond and will be a stone's throw from Diamond Plus at the end of 2020, based on our current bookings.  I had to look it up after mentioning in another comment earlier that I didn't know exactly how many points I had, LOL.  So doing the math we'll be pretty close.  

So wondering if it's still not really worth trying to reach the D+.  If it doesn't get me anything different than what I'm currently getting anymore, then why bother?  I was thinking just to reach the status before benefits or levels are changed again would be good, just to get grandfathered in to whatever happens. There's been so much chatter about the ever-growing numbers of Diamond folks that they're starting to worry about being pushed out of Diamond lounges and other places.  

We've done so many cruises now that all bookings 2020 and out will be for a specific reason - the ship, ports we have not been to, groups.  We're getting tired of visiting the same places over and over, we've been on every class of ship, hit most of the Caribbean islands, we're looking to spread out a bit.  But since we're so close to D+ maybe we'll hit that first, to lock in our status, just in case.

Opinions welcome!

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The differences between Diamond and D+ are pretty minimal.  It took me 6 cruises to hit Diamond (lots of solo in suites even when traveling together with friends).

What I'm really looking forward to between D+ and Pinnacle (at 340 points) is seeing the single-supplement drop from 200% to 150%.  That's a genuine, tangible benefit I'll get a lot of value out of.

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3 minutes ago, KathyC said:

Back to the discussions from January, we're Diamond and will be a stone's throw from Diamond Plus at the end of 2020, based on our current bookings.  I had to look it up after mentioning in another comment earlier that I didn't know exactly how many points I had, LOL.  So doing the math we'll be pretty close.  

So wondering if it's still not really worth trying to reach the D+.  If it doesn't get my anything different than what I'm currently getting anymore, then why bother?  I was thinking just to reach the status before benefits or levels are changed again would be good, just to get grandfathered in to whatever happens. There's been so much chatter about the ever-growing numbers of Diamond folks that they're starting to worry about being pushed out of Diamond lounges and other places.  

We've done so many cruises now that all bookings 2020 and out will be for a specific reason - the ship, ports we have not been to, groups.  We're getting tired of visiting the same places over and over, we've been on every class of ship, hit most of the Caribbean islands, we're looking to spread out a bit.  But since we're so close to D+ maybe we'll hit that first, to lock in our status, just in case.

Opinions welcome!

I wouldn't chase status, cruise to enjoy each cruise.

The notable exception is the 340 reduced single supplement for solo cruisers.  That has real cost savings IF you cruise solo.  For me that has unlocked access to affordable bucket list type cruises which is exactly why I chased hitting the 340 mark, but I do a lot of solo cruising. 

In many ways Diamond Plus benefits are being scaled back to be a very small incremental over Diamond.  With more ships losing the Concierge Lounges or denied access to the Concierge Lounges when there are high numbers of C&A on board this benefit is becoming harder and harder to enjoy and you don't get anything unique in the CL, it's just another version of the Diamond Lounge with different occupants.  

An extra day of free internet only has value if you tend to buy Voom.  The 30% off the Deluxe beverage package only has meaning if you tend to buy the beverage package and sometimes you can get 30% pre-cruise.  The free bag of laundry is nice and has value for me.  Being a cruise nerd the additional behind the scenes tours were great but once you've seen the bridge on a ship do you need to see it again for every return visit?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Later reaching the level to get Meal with an Officer is still enjoyable for me because I am a cruise nerd who likes to learn unique details through this interaction.  

Crown and Anchor Society is very successful and while there is rumor and speculation of changing levels and thresholds they are are from unsubstantiated sources.  The program is working quite nicely so why would they mess with it?  They will continue to fine tune benefits for each level but changing points required for each level is very dangerous.  If they do ever merge the loyalty programs across the brands there could be some changes but who knows how that would work out, it's not worth speculating or taking action on a theoretical change that might never occur.  

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Just an observation....we are on Grandeur now (5 night Bermuda) and I noticed that our list of D+ bennies does not include the complimentary wash & fold laundry.  It shows a $10 discount on W & F on cruises of 8 nights or more, but not the free one which we have always gotten (even on 5 night cruises). We will still put our bag out and see what happens.  It’s kinda shiesterish for them to intentionally leave that benefit off the list, IMO.

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10 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Just an observation....we are on Grandeur now (5 night Bermuda) and I noticed that our list of D+ bennies does not include the complimentary wash & fold laundry.  It shows a $10 discount on W & F on cruises of 8 nights or more, but not the free one which we have always gotten (even on 5 night cruises). We will still put our bag out and see what happens.  It’s kinda shiesterish for them to intentionally leave that benefit off the list, IMO.

Here on Majesty and it's listed as a benefit for this 5 night.  The bag was left in the cabin last night so the best one could do is send it on the morning of day 5 of this 5 night cruise.  Timing would be tight but I'm B2B so I'm waiting until day 1 of the next cruise to send my stuff.  

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On 1/26/2019 at 10:33 AM, Gears said:

18 cruises over 14 years. Some of which were in JS to get the double. We actually booked a 5 night in a JS to get us to exactly 175 in preparation for our B2B two months later.

 

But...I also think we made out quite well when they switched the points system from one point per cruise to one point per night. We ended up with more C&A points than nights we had cruised when the switch was done.

Us too. We just reached Diamond. We got more nights from 4 cruises prior to the switch. Now on to Diamond Plus! 

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1 hour ago, Jill said:

Us too. We just reached Diamond. We got more nights from 4 cruises prior to the switch. Now on to Diamond Plus! 

We lost nights in the transfer, and it still kinda annoys us, especially as we get close to reaching each new level.  It seems that we end up 3 points short each time.  Why should someone who paid for a 3 night get 7 points, when I paid for a 10 night and got the same 7?   We lost 4 points total, we had an 8 night and a 10 night that each got us 7 points.  The suites can buy there way up faster, but we paid for nights and didn't get them in the switch so at the time we felt very short-changed.  But hey, it is what it is and I'm getting there the old fashioned way, one night at a time, one point at a time.  Stayed in a couple JS but only because there was 4 of us in the room and it was cheaper than 2 separate rooms.  But otherwise we're crawling up slowly...we know we're never reaching pinnacle, would love to earn a crystal block once before we die, and that's truly the real goal with Royal for us.  I'd love that block to be from the very first ship we sailed, Majesty of the Seas as that was the ship that addicted us to cruising, but by the time we get that block she may not even be in service anymore.  May have to buy one off of someone if it't not possible when the time comes.

We also know we're not planning on cruising Royal exclusively - we've already done NCL twice, Carnival twice, and Disney once.  We go on Celebrity next week.  It's more about experiencing the world than achieving status for us.  Looking forward to our first Europe sailing next year!   

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4 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Just an observation....we are on Grandeur now (5 night Bermuda) and I noticed that our list of D+ bennies does not include the complimentary wash & fold laundry.  It shows a $10 discount on W & F on cruises of 8 nights or more, but not the free one which we have always gotten (even on 5 night cruises). We will still put our bag out and see what happens.  It’s kinda shiesterish for them to intentionally leave that benefit off the list, IMO.

The laundry was something we really enjoy when we do reciprocated diamond (Elite) benefits on Celebrity.  My husband even got his suite dry cleaned on the summer Alaska cruise.

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My Diamond Plus status secret is cruising solo. Getting two points per night adds up quick. I have eight cruises completed and just reached Diamond after my cruise in May. So the first time I was able to enjoy the benefits on board was this past b2b in Sept-Oct. The Diamond Lounge on the Anthem is very nice...and Federico, the concierge, helped me with some reservations. I will be Diamond Plus in two months after my December cruise.

I love cruising (obviously?) and agree that the cruise itself is the main reward. The benefits are appreciated and the C&A program is a very nice way to recognize loyalty. I’m already at the top level (over 700 points) at another cruise line and I can honestly tell you that the C&A benefits are far and away much, much better! Loyalty programs will always go through periods of tweaking and adjusting...hopefully for the better. But my goal is to enjoy my cruise...whichever one I happen to be on...and, when I’m back on land, to count the days until my next cruise. I am thankful that I’m fortunate enough to be able to do what I do. Thank you for this blog because you can never know enough, or learn enough, about cruising without friends sharing their insight and experiences.

Happy cruising!

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/13/2019 at 4:39 PM, KathyC said:

We lost nights in the transfer, and it still kinda annoys us, especially as we get close to reaching each new level.  It seems that we end up 3 points short each time.  Why should someone who paid for a 3 night get 7 points, when I paid for a 10 night and got the same 7?   We lost 4 points total, we had an 8 night and a 10 night that each got us 7 points.  The suites can buy there way up faster, but we paid for nights and didn't get them in the switch so at the time we felt very short-changed.  But hey, it is what it is and I'm getting there the old fashioned way, one night at a time, one point at a time.  Stayed in a couple JS but only because there was 4 of us in the room and it was cheaper than 2 separate rooms.  But otherwise we're crawling up slowly...we know we're never reaching pinnacle, would love to earn a crystal block once before we die, and that's truly the real goal with Royal for us.  I'd love that block to be from the very first ship we sailed, Majesty of the Seas as that was the ship that addicted us to cruising, but by the time we get that block she may not even be in service anymore.  May have to buy one off of someone if it't not possible when the time comes.

We also know we're not planning on cruising Royal exclusively - we've already done NCL twice, Carnival twice, and Disney once.  We go on Celebrity next week.  It's more about experiencing the world than achieving status for us.  Looking forward to our first Europe sailing next year!   

Kathy, Majesty was my first cruise back in 92. I went on her B2B  earlier this month solo and hit that magic 140 points. Had to ask 3 times but got my block right before I disembarked.

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On 10/13/2019 at 5:39 PM, KathyC said:

We lost nights in the transfer, and it still kinda annoys us, especially as we get close to reaching each new level.  It seems that we end up 3 points short each time.  Why should someone who paid for a 3 night get 7 points, when I paid for a 10 night and got the same 7?   We lost 4 points total, we had an 8 night and a 10 night that each got us 7 points.  The suites can buy there way up faster, but we paid for nights and didn't get them in the switch so at the time we felt very short-changed.  But hey, it is what it is and I'm getting there the old fashioned way, one night at a time, one point at a time.  Stayed in a couple JS but only because there was 4 of us in the room and it was cheaper than 2 separate rooms.  But otherwise we're crawling up slowly...we know we're never reaching pinnacle, would love to earn a crystal block once before we die, and that's truly the real goal with Royal for us.  I'd love that block to be from the very first ship we sailed, Majesty of the Seas as that was the ship that addicted us to cruising, but by the time we get that block she may not even be in service anymore.  May have to buy one off of someone if it't not possible when the time comes.

We also know we're not planning on cruising Royal exclusively - we've already done NCL twice, Carnival twice, and Disney once.  We go on Celebrity next week.  It's more about experiencing the world than achieving status for us.  Looking forward to our first Europe sailing next year!   

It's a different system You did not loose "nights" you got cruise points that are not nights.

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4 hours ago, Flacruiser99 said:

It's a different system You did not loose "nights" you got cruise points that are not nights.

Agree it's a different system.  But people who sailed on a 3 night sailing got 7 cruise points in the transition - where I cruised 10 nights and got the same 7.  I could've done two 3 nights & a 4 night and got 21 points for the same number of nights with the transition math.  But at this point, I really do not care.  I was annoyed back then, and now don't give two hoots about my "status." 

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  • 2 months later...

RCC have all but scaled out loyalty programs in favor of suite guests.  You can secure a suite and have all the benefits once accrued by reaching Diamond+ after multiple sailings.  Just completed a cruise on Mariner.  Diamond lounge was so crowed that it had no open seats. Ten minutes to get a drink from the bar.  Overflow into adjacent Viking Lounge was standing room only. This Diamond+ member in no longer loyal to RCC and seeks out suite level accommodations with other cruise Ines. Loyalty programs have gone by the wayside as cruise lines seek to secure higher paying customers.  One can certainly understand this rationale as a business decision but cruise lines must understand that suite guests now have the no reason for loyalty to one company. This Diamond+ cruiser just cancelled three cruises with RCC and secured suite passage with three different lines. Just realized that this concern will never be read by anyone associated with RCC.

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First sailing with RCCL in August 2018.....reach diamond on April 18th 2020 (2nd day of our 5th cruise)

We did it just by booking suites and only sailing 8 days on longer for each sailing....the suites get you double points per sailing and the longer trips add up fast. 

Didn't really do it for the points though....took what we thought would be a once in a lifetime kinda trip, fell in love with it, and just really like the big rooms so we keep going back (plus the casino keeps dangling carrots) ?

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I cruise because it is the best way to vacation. I've done backpacking, tour groups, budget and luxury traveling. The C&A program is nothing but a bonus: like my membership with AccorHotels, my Chase sapphire reserve(CSR) or any airline loyalty program. I was already going to do this; so them giving me free drinks, happy hour snacks, and other stuff is icing. I did my first sailing with RCC in January 2019. I did a couple of river cruises, tried NCL and Regent and will do my first Carnival in April. I decided that I liked everything about RCC better, Regent is nice but it really skewers older. I have three RCC cruises scheduled for this year: Enchantment-Oct 16th, Liberty-Oct 25th, and Navigator Nov 2nd. The middle is with family and the others are solo. I have 2 more scheduled, so far, for 2021: Mariner-Jan 25Th and Allure Oct 31st. I know that I will schedule at least one more cruise in 2021.

I mean, I hope to reach diamond by 2022. I personally don't care to get higher than that, but if I don't its not the end all be all. I will also be staying in suites in more than half of my sailings. I am paying for that privilege. I don't understand getting upset about the fact that RCC is catering to guest who are paying for something that is a PERK of your loyalty. I get Priority Pass with my CSR, if business or first class fill up the lounge before I can use it I don't get upset because they brought a business or first class ticket. Nothing that is a perk is a guarantee in my mind, everything is subjected to availability.

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Made Diamond January '08, Diamond Plus January '13, and Pinnacle November '19.  

 

As a solo cruiser since 2011, the reduced supplement at 340 points was HUGE.  

 

There is an additional welcome gift at 175, another at 340, and another at 525.  700 adds a few bottles of wine/champagne.  These are a variety of things you can choose from.

 

D+ gets 30% off the deluxe beverage package (sometimes offered to all in Cruiseplanner), and Pinnacle gets 40%.  Pinnacle also adds free Voom surf & stream.

Bottom line for me is that if I wasn't happy sailing Royal, no C&A perk would make up for it.  

A.jpg

B.jpg

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RCI has also whittled away at the supposed "Balcony Discount". Most of the sailings we book are longer (12 plus days) and our C&A discount  is supposed to be $350. If I mock book a cruise with my C&A discount I get a figure, then book without it and get a figure only $188 more. This amount was the last one I tried, the amount varies from booking to booking. I just took for granted that when I was told I would get X dollar C&A discount, I would get it........Oh, it still shows $350 discount in the pricing breakdown, but the other figures have changed a bit.

It was explained to me that my C&A discount was not able to be combined with a lot of the other figures that go into a cruise fare.....What??????

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On 2/13/2020 at 7:15 PM, Fran said:

RCC have all but scaled out loyalty programs in favor of suite guests.  ....... secured suite passage with three different lines.

As it should be, suites pay 2-3 time what other passengers pay per person. (when the additional cost falls below 2x balcony I seriously consider it)  It is no different than when booking a suite motel room, or first class airfare rather than economy.

Depending on which cruise line you book suite passage on some line don't necessarily reap huge benefits other than a bigger room

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:15 PM, Fran said:

RCC have all but scaled out loyalty programs in favor of suite guests.  You can secure a suite and have all the benefits once accrued by reaching Diamond+ after multiple sailings.  Just completed a cruise on Mariner.  Diamond lounge was so crowed that it had no open seats. Ten minutes to get a drink from the bar.  Overflow into adjacent Viking Lounge was standing room only. This Diamond+ member in no longer loyal to RCC and seeks out suite level accommodations with other cruise Ines. Loyalty programs have gone by the wayside as cruise lines seek to secure higher paying customers.  One can certainly understand this rationale as a business decision but cruise lines must understand that suite guests now have the no reason for loyalty to one company. This Diamond+ cruiser just cancelled three cruises with RCC and secured suite passage with three different lines. Just realized that this concern will never be read by anyone associated with RCC.

I certainly hope that you will send a strongly worded letter to the RCCL Corporate office.  I am just beginning to earn points but if what you say is true, it's an issue that should be addressed.  

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