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Value of C&A Diamond status


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IF the cruises I currently have booked (2) make it out of port with me on them (and the odds are decent since 1 is Alaska 8/21 and the other is Caribbean 1/22), I will have 79 points at the end of the second cruise-obviously one away from Diamond.  I have looked at several options to take advantage of the double points, but nothing is jumping out at me, except the Panama Canal crossing, which I am not sure I can make work logistically, even though I have decided a balcony room is fine-what a sacrifice, right?  

Having said all of this, should I really try to find something to get that extra point?  Should I really focus on 2021 to get the double points because they will be valuable in the future? 

My hope is to do one or more cruises in Europe in the summer of 2022, if that makes any difference.  That was also the goal for 2021, but we all know how that worked out!  In the past, some of the Celebrity itineraries in Europe have been more appealing.  I know that Diamond is the highest match on Celebrity; should I focus on Diamond status prior to trying Celebrity?

I have several weeks of unused vacation-if I don't use it, it will automatically go to sick leave-not as bad as losing it since they will pay out sick leave at retirement, but I'd rather use it!

I know each situation is unique, but I am interested in the wisdom and experience that this group so freely shares. 

On a somewhat related issue, I may need to change my user name....I chose it because I didn't want people to make mean comments when I was truly new to Royal and relatively new to cruising.  I needn't have bothered.  Ya'll are all wonderful and kind to everyone!

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32 minutes ago, Fairlynew said:

Having said all of this, should I really try to find something to get that extra point?  Should I really focus on 2021 to get the double points because they will be valuable in the future? 

I would. with the two cruises we have planned next year it will make us diamond..  Maybe a weekender to get  the extra point you need? 
 

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Yeah, the only issue with a weekend cruise is that getting to port will cost more than the cruise.  I'm slightly beyond driving distance-at least any distance I'm willing to drive!    I can tack a short cruise on the January cruise-going to Labadee and Key West to get the point for Diamond, but it won't give me the double points, so I'm not sure it's worth it.  

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I think it's a worthwhile goal.  You get a bunch of freebies that can make a difference between getting a drink package or not.  Depending on your habits, you have the complimentary drinks for a few hours in the evenings in the lounge, and access to coffee machines all day.  You'll get a couple extra water bottles in your stateroom, and can also get those in the diamond lounge in the evening.  

Diamond Plus will get you more, like tours, crystal blocks, invites, little bit more discounts, but otherwise once you hit Diamond there really isn't any big reason to reach for more.  You'll get a good reciprocal status on Celebrity (Elite), which gets you more at that level than Royal gives you with Diamond.  

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22 minutes ago, Fairlynew said:

Yeah, the only issue with a weekend cruise is that getting to port will cost more than the cruise.  I'm slightly beyond driving distance-at least any distance I'm willing to drive!    I can tack a short cruise on the January cruise-going to Labadee and Key West to get the point for Diamond, but it won't give me the double points, so I'm not sure it's worth it.  

That's true.. Being Landlocked here in the Midwest we cant do 3 day cruises either.. Airfare is more than the cruise would be 

 

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Diamond is the single most important or meaningful level within the Crown and Anchor Society.   You gain more in this achievement compared (relatively) to any other level.  

Diamond Plus has some small incremental benefits that worked out nicely for my needs but nothing like the incremental gains from achieving Diamond.

That Diamond matches to Elite on Celebrity is another factor that makes Diamond more important to folks who sail both lines. 

Having said all that be cautious chasing status unless you don't plan on taking more cruises ever.  Spend money on vacations that have meaning to you.  Diamond will happen on some next cruise and once achieved it will be there for the next cruise and the next cruise and the next cruise after that. 

The Panama Canal remains to be one of my best cruises ever.  It's an amazing destination with incredible history and an accomplishment we'll likely never see the likes of again in our lifetime.  If you can't make it work this time there will be more opportunities at some point on Royal or Celebrity.  The canal transits on Millennial look just as interesting to me although Radiance class does have the open helipad which should be awesome during the canal (but it will be crowded). 

Given the length of a typical canal cruise you might want to level up before boarding a cruise through the Panama Canal so you can enjoy the benefits for the full two weeks.  Diamond status isn't achieved until the cruise is over and the points are added to your account so I'd be tempted to reach Diamond before boarding a Panama Canal cruise. 

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35 minutes ago, Fairlynew said:

I can tack a short cruise on the January cruise-going to Labadee and Key West to get the point for Diamond, but it won't give me the double points, so I'm not sure it's worth it.  

January 2021?  That should get you double points but I'd be more concerned with these cruises actually operating.  My money is on Navigator sailing soon but beyond that my ship prognosticating is very murky for the winter and early spring of '21.

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OP we are in exact same situation as you.  I looked at upgrading us to a JS for one of our cruises next year, which would put us above 80 after 2021, but the price difference isn't worth it to us.  It would be $1k-$2k depending if we stayed refundable or took a gamble on non-refundable. That could pay for a drink package.  So for us, we will wait one more cruise to get to Diamond. We also can't fit another cruise in (and this is based on the fact that we are most likely cancelling our early cruise in 2021). I was going to ask if you live near a port so you could fit in a short cruise for small cost, but I see you posted below you can't quite drive.

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42 minutes ago, twangster said:

January 2021?  That should get you double points but I'd be more concerned with these cruises actually operating.  My money is on Navigator sailing soon but beyond that my ship prognosticating is very murky for the winter and early spring of '21.

January 2022-I would not think of booking anything before late summer 2021-I'm slightly concerned about my late August 2021 sailing.

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We’ll be at 79 points by the end of 2021.   We considered having me do a short solo cruise to hit 80+ but decided against it. I’m already doing a 7-night solo after my wife’s and my 7-night in august.  I have more vacation time than her, but I would feel like a jerk doing two cruises in one year without her (although the opportunity to do more diving in the Caribbean would be great).

I can’t justify booking a cruise for the sole purpose of raising our status.  Diamond will come for us in 2022. 

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58 minutes ago, twangster said:

Diamond is the single most important or meaningful level within the Crown and Anchor Society.   You gain more in this achievement compared (relatively) to any other level.  

Diamond Plus has some small incremental benefits that worked out nicely for my needs but nothing like the incremental gains from achieving Diamond.

That Diamond matches to Elite on Celebrity is another factor that makes Diamond more important to folks who sail both lines. 

Having said all that be cautious chasing status unless you don't plan on taking more cruises ever.  Spend money on vacations that have meaning to you.  Diamond will happen on some next cruise and once achieved it will be there for the next cruise and the next cruise and the next cruise after that. 

The Panama Canal remains to be one of my best cruises ever.  It's an amazing destination with incredible history and an accomplishment we'll likely never see the likes of again in our lifetime.  If you can't make it work this time there will be more opportunities at some point on Royal or Celebrity.  The canal transits on Millennial look just as interesting to me although Radiance class does have the open helipad which should be awesome during the canal (but it will be crowded). 

Given the length of a typical canal cruise you might want to level up before boarding a cruise through the Panama Canal so you can enjoy the benefits for the full two weeks.  Diamond status isn't achieved until the cruise is over and the points are added to your account so I'd be tempted to reach Diamond before boarding a Panama Canal cruise. 

Based on this, it looks like I should try to reach Diamond before trying Celebrity.  I also will postpone the canal until I make Diamond, then I can choose between Celebrity and RC (although RC seems to transit the canal very rarely).

The historical significance is the reason this particular cruise is on my bucket list.  The engineering feat continues to amaze me!  My daddy was a civil engineer and loved David McCullough's book.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Given the length of a typical canal cruise you might want to level up before boarding a cruise through the Panama Canal so you can enjoy the benefits for the full two weeks.  Diamond status isn't achieved until the cruise is over and the points are added to your account so I'd be tempted to reach Diamond before boarding a Panama Canal cruise. 

This is good advice.  Thank you @twangster

Our “long” cruise plan for 2022 is a repositioning not the Canal, but the advice still makes sense. 

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13 minutes ago, Fairlynew said:

Based on this, it looks like I should try to reach Diamond before trying Celebrity. 

I was Gold on Royal when I did my first Celebrity cruise.  I chose Celebrity over Royal on that occasion taking all aspects of status and climbing the C&A ladder out of the equation.  It was a better ship for money.  I could have climbed Royal faster and deferred Celebrity but I took status off the table and looked at the choice on the basic merits of the ship (itinerary was identical).  No regrets.    

Even as I have reached C&A milestones it wasn't lost on me I would have been here one cruise sooner if only... yet looking back I made the right choice and I'd do it again.  

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I currently have 67 points, and am about to go up in leave for next year, unfortunately due to the wife being new and only getting two weeks vs my 6 I would have to cruise alone.  I know she would not be a very big fan of this but I am seriously contemplating taking a cruise alone which would put me at the Diamond status.  I would love for her to go but at this point I am honestly looking at the cheapest cruise which would be at times that she would not be able to go.  I know that I would enjoy the cruise, and knowing that I would be able to use my new status on the next cruise.  I find it HARD to resist them throwing double the cruise points at us for the whole year.... I may have to book one or two more for next year if the prices are right! We shall see, we normally go on one when the kids are with their dad over spring break, if it is not going to happen this year then I am going to have to make something happen sooner than later! 

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26 minutes ago, bhageerah said:

I currently have 67 points, and am about to go up in leave for next year, unfortunately due to the wife being new and only getting two weeks vs my 6 I would have to cruise alone.  I know she would not be a very big fan of this but I am seriously contemplating taking a cruise alone which would put me at the Diamond status.  I would love for her to go but at this point I am honestly looking at the cheapest cruise which would be at times that she would not be able to go.  I know that I would enjoy the cruise, and knowing that I would be able to use my new status on the next cruise.  I find it HARD to resist them throwing double the cruise points at us for the whole year.... I may have to book one or two more for next year if the prices are right! We shall see, we normally go on one when the kids are with their dad over spring break, if it is not going to happen this year then I am going to have to make something happen sooner than later! 

If your spouse and the kids are under 18 then you all become Diamond if you are in a declared relationship and the kids are associated with your account, all by you cruising solo and becoming Diamond.  Under current rules the kids would be Diamond for life even when they grow up.  That's a pretty good gift.  

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I am fairly sure I have a win/win for me.  Baltimore is the most easily accessible port for NC, and I have found a 5 day Bermuda cruise in October 2021 that looks great.  2 people in a jr suite is only $150 more than 1 in same room.  There are aft jr suites available; my daughter and i need some bonding time, and I have always wanted to go to Bermuda.  I am planning to book it for 2-my husband can fight with our daughter about who goes with me, but since it’s not a golf trip, I think she’ll win.  I will be happy with either companion.  With the double points, this will get me to Diamond at the end of this cruise, with added points for the January 2022 cruise.  We will even get to spend at least a day and half at my favorite place in the world-the Smithsonian before heading home.  With that incentive, I won’t even be sad to disembark.

Of course, Covid and Mother Nature will still have total control.  After an earthquake woke me up here in Charlotte this summer, I’m not taking anything for granted!  

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@WAAAYTOOO, I would love to hear your thoughts on Enchantment.  I have only sailed Voyager and Oasis class.   My daughter is somewhat prone to sea sickness.  Is that going to be a big issue on this itinerary on this ship?  Also, should we go for a jr. suite in the middle of the ship instead of the aft ones?  I really love watching the wake, so unless you, or someone else thinks motion will be a huge problem, I would really prefer an aft cabin.

As always, thanks for your shared wisdom!

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1 hour ago, Fairlynew said:

@WAAAYTOOO, I would love to hear your thoughts on Enchantment.  I have only sailed Voyager and Oasis class.   My daughter is somewhat prone to sea sickness.  Is that going to be a big issue on this itinerary on this ship?  Also, should we go for a jr. suite in the middle of the ship instead of the aft ones?  I really love watching the wake, so unless you, or someone else thinks motion will be a huge problem, I would really prefer an aft cabin.

As always, thanks for your shared wisdom!

I wish I could help, but I have never sailed on Enchantment.  🤭

I have sailed on Grandeur, which is the precursor of Enchantment.  It’s a very different experience on a smaller ship than on the mega ships.  @Matthad an excellent blog write-up on the virtues of the smaller ships.

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When we took our very first cruise, it was Bermuda out of NYC.  My daughter is/was very prone to motion sickness and she spent the entire trip down in bed.  She has since cruised 3-4 times in the Caribbean with no problem but the Atlantic was way too rough for her.

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14 hours ago, Fairlynew said:

@WAAAYTOOO, I would love to hear your thoughts on Enchantment.  I have only sailed Voyager and Oasis class.   My daughter is somewhat prone to sea sickness.  Is that going to be a big issue on this itinerary on this ship?  Also, should we go for a jr. suite in the middle of the ship instead of the aft ones?  I really love watching the wake, so unless you, or someone else thinks motion will be a huge problem, I would really prefer an aft cabin.

As always, thanks for your shared wisdom!

Aft facing JS on Enchantment:

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5 minutes ago, Fairlynew said:

@WAAAYTOOO My assumption is that the motion will be roughly the same on the Enchantment as on the Grandeur.  My question for you is how rough the sail from Baltimore to Bermuda is likely to be on that class ship.  

Any ship of any size is subject to motion when the ocean is prime for it.  Waves don't tend to create motion as much as ocean swell creates motion.  Swell are a form of waves but much larger and subtle.  They can be harder to see unless you know what you are looking for.  A flat calm sea on a sunny day can have swell from a weather system a thousand miles away.  It's a bit like asking if it will be sunny for a cruise sometime next year.  

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Thank you for the pictures!  I was excited before, but seeing those pictures has increased my enthusiasm.  It was less than $200 to add a second person to the room (pricing is so weird), so if my daughter decides she will get too sea sick and my husband decides no, I really will not lose much money on a solo sailing.  

 

These days, I am not worried about guaranteed sunshine for this time next year-I will be happy with a guaranteed sailing.

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