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4 minutes ago, Quilter620 said:

I am going on a chartered cruise (Star Trek IV) in March, and it is the first chartered cruise I have done. Can anyone who has done a chartered cruise before tell me how it differs from a regular cruise on RC. I am just trying to be as prepared as possible. Thanks.

i looked at this one!  I have no info for you, but hope you keep us updated on how it goes!

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I haven't done a chartered cruise, but I've picked up a couple bits of info from various spots on the web.  My understanding is that a charter cruise may or may not earn you points and may or may not recognize your existing loyalty benefits.  It is up to the organization that charters the ship to decide whether to pay extra for Crown and Anchor benefits (they aren't included by default on a charter).  For a full ship charter, I think that's the only difference.  For a partial ship charter, the organization would also have to pay extra to close venues for private events.  These costs would not be shown separately, they would just be part of the cost of your cruise.  Therefore, it would not always be obvious if the charter won't have C&A benefits.  You'd have to ask the organizer.

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@Quilter620, I have been on two full ship charters (High Seas Rally 2017 and 2019 -- Brilliance of the Seas) and a partial charter (High Seas Rally 2013 - Freedom of the Seas).  The following are my experiences:

 

1.  C&A points were awarded as usual.  On the 2019 HSR cruise, we had a Junior Suite, and received double points as expected (14 points for a 7-night cruise).  I agree with Atlantix2000 that it would behoove you to confirm with the chartering organization to ensure that you'll receive standard C&A points.  As far as the other C&A benefits, we just made Platinum with the completion of this cruise, but we did receive our Gold letters with attendant benefits/price reductions in our cabin on the first day.  I don't believe that we had a Diamond+/Diamond Lounge on Brilliance -- it was used for other things.  They did use C&A status for boarding purposes as well.

2.  Activities.  Our activities included both those associated with High Seas Rally, and some of the 'ordinary' Royal Caribbean activities.  I'd be happy to scan/share the daily Cruise Compasses if you'd like to see them.  Interesting note, though -- we had (perhaps) 3 children on this cruise, but as  far as I know the children's areas (i.e., pool, Adventure Ocean) weren't open or staffed (I'm not 100% sure of this, though -- there are no hours listed in the Cruise Compass for the Kids' Pool, for example). 

3.  Dining.  Everything was pretty much 'My Time Dining,' as far as I could tell.  We queued up on Deck 5, and were seated pretty quickly.  Most evenings we ate in groups of six or eight, and the staff preferred that we were all together before we were seated.  We didn't elect any specialty dining, but it was available.  We did do the Chef's Table, however -- it was awesome!  Unfortunately for me, it coincided with our Pirate Biker Bingo, so I had to skip out of two courses in order to play my Bingo cards -- didn't win anything, but at least they saved me some of the wine from the courses I missed :-)

4.  Due to the charity/fundraising nature of our cruise (it benefits kidney dialysis), there was no CruiseNext (or whatever it's called) 'office' or activity -- all other support activities were present and staffed (Shore Excursions, Guest Services, Internet, Spa, etc.)

 

Hope this helps!  Feel free to reply with any additional questions, and let me know if you want me to include the Cruise Compass dailies.

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Every charter is different.  I've been on a full music charter and it was basically like being at a music festival but on a cruise ship.  They had some of the typical cruise ship experiences (belly flop contest for example) but gave them a bit of a twist as they had celebrity judges.  It's a great way to cruise with a bunch of like-minded folks.  For the music cruises they usually cover up one of the pools for a stage, so that was really one of the big differences from a normal cruise.  The focus for the cruise was on the live performances and it was only a 4-night cruise so my experience may differ from others.

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@Quilter620 I was on STTC-I on Norwegian.  In general I noticed very little difference between that chartered cruise and a normal cruise. Some of the small differences were:

1) An extra layer of ‘customer service’ in the form of ECP.  

2) ECP staff essentially replaced the cruise director staff.

3) Lack of traditional “cruise” activities, which were replaced by celebrity hosted activities.

The gym was a ghost town and I never saw more than 5 people in it at once.  The MDR was also a ghost town - it was a buffet crowd.

 

I am also on STTC-IV so looking forward to seeing you.

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  • 2 months later...

@Robert in SF the Star Trek cruise was amazing.  It was a nonstop convention at sea. People who had never been to a convention were upset by the lines for autographs and pictures, but I thought the lines moved very fast and were well organized. We booked again for next year and can't wait. I highly suggest that you join the Facebook group for cruise V. If you have any specific questions I will be glad to answer them if I can.

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