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Fast Track To Diamond Status?


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44 minutes ago, ScooterScott22 said:

As a frequent traveler for work I can share there is a key difference in the cruise loyalty programs that will make purchasing the points problematic.  Hotel, car rental and airlines require an annual requirement to retain status and cruise lines your status is for life.  (There are a few exceptions such as million miler balances, lifetime diamond, etc.). 
 

The annual programs allow you to purchase up since there are always people that are leveling up AND down.  Since the cruise lines will never lower your status purchasing status would create an even bigger log-jam at the top tiers.  It is already getting strained as you can see by the threads on Diamond/plus status and the lounge and drinks.

Part of my point is that a lot of the integrity of the top tiers has already been lost--we don't even get free tattoos anymore. And, we top tier folks are constantly being told that Royal does not want to honor the perks freely given in the past--bacon wrapped scallops have been replaced by chicken balls.  

From a business point of view,  you want to become a Pineapple from Day 1??? No problem, please remit your payment of $227,500; we'll send your welcome letter and gold name tag in 2-3 weeks. Oh! there's two of you? No, the BOGO sale doesn't apply to cruise point purchases, sorry. Your total is $455,000. 

I don't believe there is a logjam at the top levels. At this point in time it's just that the top levels are continually spending money and re-booking without being provided the same incentives. Royal has seen that they can take away/restrict the bennies without much backlash. Royal can afford to give a lot of free booze to someone who paid at least $26,000 to get it. I don't see any logjam; I see a company that properly curated customers.

 

Listen, Royal over the years has been a wonderful way for me to vacation. I enjoy it and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I also highly recommend it to others when I think it will be a good fit for them. RCL has also enabled me to see places and experience things that I otherwise would never have done on my own; I owe them a deep debt of gratitude for this. These experiences have made me a better person. As stated in a previous thread, I don't need a lapel pin to tell others where my allegiance is, I think you can tell by the way I act onboard.

If there are people who would like to ignore the intangible benefits of cruising and travel by buying some instant happiness, why not just put a number to it? It's free money. 

Maybe this type of buy-your-way-to-the-top program will be more palatable if it's just looked as an extension of the Royal Up program? 

 

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I would like to reach Diamond plus before they change the plan. However, I don't like the notion of buying points.

@bobroo said that C&A points might sell for $325. That's like $68,000 to reach the D+ level. I get that buying the D+ status would last but the whole purpose of the C&A society is to reward loyalty. I mean you could just as easily take 4 months off and cruise B2B in a Jr. suite solo and get the status. It would be more enjoyable and cost less.

I think RC needs to do a better job of distinguishing the services. I think the real issue is that you could cruise at Star level enjoying all, if not more than, the perks you would receive at D+. Unfortunately that is hard to do when the bottom line is to make money. Its hard to justify a suite, concierge, diamond/D+ lounge on every ship. Then add in the Key and you have a bunch of people fighting for perks. Since the Key and Suite guest "actually" paid for the perks, its easier to push the loyalty group to the side.

I think RC could offset this by loading more offers on sea cards. I find there are more than enough bars aboard every ship, some stay perpetually empty for hours. Maybe do some recon and block off hours so those D/D+ members can enjoy when there are too many" fancy-pants" aboard the ships. Maybe allow happy hour at multiple places across the ship. There are plenty of ways to keep RC bottom line black, without treating their loyal patrons like garbage.

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4 hours ago, wstephensi said:

Is not The Key a way of buying into the upper levels of the loyalty program, at least for one cruise?  At least that is how I see it.

The Key offers a subset of benefits that partially overlap.   Early boarding and departure, reserved seating areas.  No one gets dedicated hours at activities but the Key.  Lunch on boarding day.  Voom internet.  

Key doesn’t get Suite Lounge or Diamond Lounge access.  No Coastal Kitchen access on ships that have them or Chops Breakfast.  

The Key is sort of Sky Class light.  Some but not all Sky Class benefits. It’s closer to that than to a CAS level.  
 

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