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Benefit of Star Class Genie


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On 6/27/2021 at 2:07 PM, Fairlynew said:

I am currently booked in a Sky Class suite.  I sailed Sky class several times and love it.  I am considering upgrading to a Star Class suite, but it is a lot of extra money.   There are no kids in our group-a lot of discussions about Star talks about the benefits to kids.  What are some of the intangible benefits for adults?  I know things will be different post-Covid.  Do you think this will make the Genie more valuable?  I am pretty self-sufficient.  What can the Genie do that I can't do for myself, with the help of the suite concierge?

 

Many thanks.

I agree with @WAAAYTOOO, the value of star class will vary from person to person.  My husband loves the perks of star class but would be ok without the genie. (Probably because he has a live in genie ?)  I need a few more star class sailings, but I am very much #teamstarclass and don’t think that will ever change. One of the intangible benefits on our first star class was having a genie to deal with a last minute weather related itinerary change. Our genie was invaluable in securing us a cabana at Labadee. The genie may be even more valuable in a post pandemic world, at least for a while. The star class program offerings are consistent but the genie experiences can vary from genie to genie and ship to ship. Some genies excel in a particular area and all bring their own set of strengths.  This was a big aha moment for me as I assumed my genie experience would look like others.  I think our next star class experience will feel different; I have the experience gained from our first star class cruise, a great TA and the experience of so many seasoned cruisers on this forum.

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On 6/29/2021 at 3:46 PM, sammy79 said:

  ...It’s cheaper than a Disney suite and seems like you get so much more perks...

If I had a nickel for every Royal Caribbean cruise and every class of cabin that this is true for. Honestly, the service is as good and sometimes better. Don't get me wrong I love Disney. A lot. But I can't justify another Disney cruise...plus how can you put me on a Casino less cruise!?!

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On 6/27/2021 at 5:52 PM, WAAAYTOOO said:

Hmmm....this is really a hard thing to quantify.  Some people truly enjoy the service of a Genie and some think they are completely overrated and unnecessary.  How's that for a non-answer ?  I'm going to be completely honest, here.  I am one who loves, loves, loves the Genie and Dan honestly doesn't really care for the Genie service.  The first time we did SC it was so new and so different from anything we had ever experienced, we both really enjoyed it.  The second time and the third time, etc. Dan began to resent that the Genie always seemed to be interrupting us for one thing or another.  The door bell and/or phone seemed to ring incessantly...which is true. They were always bringing something or dropping by to take something away.  If Dan got his way every time, we would probably never do SC again.  It's just too much commotion for him.

To answer your question, yes, I think having a Genie is going to be even more important in the restart than they ever were before.  Once they start to ramp occupancy back up I think things like specialty reservations are going to be more and more difficult to get.  I think things like expedited boarding and disembarkation are going to be more and more valuable.

One of the services of SC that I really love is the fact that they do your laundry for you.  You can have it sent out once a day, twice a day or never. I really enjoy this service.  They bring it back to you on hangers with your unmentionables in a bag.  There are so many things that are nice....

Is it worth the money ?  I guess I think it is. Many disagree.  It's hard to really quantify the level of service that SC provides.  Many will say....I'll just buy the UDP and the DBP+Voom and I will have the same thing, minus the Genie and save myself $$$.  But that's really not all there is to it.  On the first 2 SC cruises, I hosted the CC Cabin Crawls.  We had no less than 40 people on each of those who came to our cabin and were offered all the beer, soda, water, and food from the specialty restaurants (most of that food came from Jamie's/Giovanni's).....all at no charge.  We also offered champagne and wine (which we paid for but it was very inexpensive).  It was so much fun to show off our suite and have everyone enjoy themselves.  On each of those Cabin Crawls I know for SURE that we "sold" Star Class to at least 3 couples....so it's probably in Royal's best interest to cover such events.  Sky Class gets complimentary room service from the MDR menu.  Star Class gets room service from any and all of the Specialty Restaurants.  Big difference.

As far as what the Genie can do that you cannot do for yourself, the only thing that really comes to mind are the reserved seats at entertainment venues.  It's nice to be able to arrive at an entertainment venue just minutes before it begins and have the specific seats that you want, reserved for you.  Here is another example.  We had a credit card issue on one of our SC cruises.  The CC company (which was the Royal Caribbean Visa card, BTW !!!) began declining our onboard charges.  YIKES !  That was a real problem for us almost instantly as we charge considerable $$ to our onboard account at the casino.  The Genie talked with the revenue dept. and it was resolved - or so we thought.  Next day....charge declined.  By now, Dan was furious not to mention the fact that it was embarrassing when the casino pit boss had to tell us that our cash withdrawal had been declined.  Oh boy....  We tromped down to Guest Services, hoppin' mad.  It just so happened that another one of the Genies just happened to be there...and b/c the Genies all know who the SC guests are, even if they are not the Genie, he recognized us and asked if he could help.  When Dan explained the problem, the Genie disappeared behind the GS door and reappeared very shortly - this time with the ship's Revenue Manager - and this time, the problem was fixed...for good. Perhaps our Genie should have done this in the first place, but it was nice that it finally got handled properly by a fellow Genie.  They truly are a team.  We are always told that if, for some reason, our Genie is not available, feel free to ask any Genie for help. 

If you can afford it, SC is definitely a treat.

You are an incredible wealth of knowledge assuming things go back to the way they were we are very excited to for a Harmony ATS experience July of 2022. As Sky class veterans but Star Class newbies this info is invaluable.  From what you told us I think the general idea is to ask as needs arise and to not be shy about being denied. Other than not covering accompanying non-star class passengers IN specialty restaurants (which makes sense) do you any examples of a denied request? Or what they can't do? For example will a normally expensive behind the scenes ship tour be covered within the auspices of asking the genie to set it up?

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12 minutes ago, CruiseRoyalDad said:

You are an incredible wealth of knowledge assuming things go back to the way they were we are very excited to for a Harmony ATS experience July of 2022. As Sky class veterans but Star Class newbies this info is invaluable.  From what you told us I think the general idea is to ask as needs arise and to not be shy about being denied. Other than not covering accompanying non-star class passengers IN specialty restaurants (which makes sense) do you any examples of a denied request? Or what they can't do? For example will a normally expensive behind the scenes ship tour be covered within the auspices of asking the genie to set it up?

Thank you so much.  I love what I do...?

I do not recall ever asking the Genie for something that I didn't, ultimately, get.  But we are fairly easy customers.  We really have never asked for anything outrageous.  There is a VERY BIG gray area where the Genies are not permitted to reserve seats.  The Jazz Club, the Music Hall, Dazzles are all officially off limits for reserved seating.  According to Joyce (who was always willing to share her insider information !!!), anything that is considered "revenue generating" cannot have SC reserved seating.  Presumably, entertainment venues are ok but not bars or clubs.  HOWEVER, the Genies can and do get around that fairly easily.  We've had reserved seats in the Music Hall on Anthem and Oasis (which is formerly Dazzles).  Here's another little bit of insider info thanks to Joyce.  The Genies will never EVER tell you anything over the phone or in an email that is counter to the official "rules".  So if you ask for something pre-boarding that is technically against the rules, the Genie will say NO.  Once you are alone with the Genie they will do whatever they can to get you what you want but they won't put it in writing and they won't say it in front of anyone else.  An example of this is when we had one of our friends along on the cruise with us (this was on Allure).  He was not SC and he was solo.  We told Charlie up front that we were bringing a tagalong with us and that we would expect for him to be included in all of our activities. He wrote back that only SC guests would have the service of the Genie.  Once we got on board, he gladly included Jim in everything we did....we had reserved seats with us for all of the shows and enjoyed meals (which Jim did pay for) with us and we never had a minute's problem.  When we got our end-of-the-cruise gifts from Charlie, Jim got something, too. It wasn't a huge gift...just a coffee mug, but it was the thought that counted.  Charlie treated Jim just like one of his regular SC guests and it was appreciated so much.

The Genie certainly can get you special private behind the scenes tours but a lot depends on what you ask for and who the Genie is.  A few years back, during one of the very active hurricane seasons, we managed to slip in a cruise between a whole bunch of cancelled and modified cruises due to hurricanes.  As a result of the weather, there was a TERRIBLE mosquito problem on Harmony.  We were in an ATS and we couldn't even go out on our balcony due to the brazillions of mosquitos out there.  Reyno called the pest control officer to come and take care of it.  It just so happens that the pest control officer on board the Harmony is the head horticulturist in charge of Central Park and on Harmony (the newest O class ship in the fleet, at the time) was none other than Laszlo Turos, who is the creator of the entire Central Park concept and has created every Central Park garden on every Oasis class ship.  When Laszlo showed up at our suite with a spray can of some kind of bug spray, we giggled.  We said, "you're gonna need a bigger can"....and once he went out on the balcony and saw the magnitude of the problem, he kinda skulked away and came back with a big plastic "pump" power sprayer.  Anyway, he did take care of the mosquito problem on our balcony but he also asked us if we would be interested in a private tour of Central Park.  Dan (HUGE plant guy !!!) was so excited...and I enjoyed it too.  Laszlo took us from one end of the gardens to the other, into private areas, really gave us an in-depth tour of how he created and manages the parks.  Such a nice guy.  So there ARE ways to get such private tours (we also did a similar one on Allure for the ice skating rink which was fascinating, too) but the public tour "All Access Tour" is not free for Star Class guests.  I definitely think it's worth the money, so I recommend doing it, but SC won't get it for free for you.

The Genie really is so much more than just a Concierge.  They visit you every night at dinner to go over the schedule for the next day.  They meet you before the show to personally escort you to your seats and get you a drink (if you want one).

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1 hour ago, Kathleen said:

What is a standard tip for the Genie for a 7 day cruise?

This so very, very subjective.  Someone that asks a lot of their Genie should definitely tip more, as you would a Concierge.  If your Genie went above and beyond for you and anticipated your wants and needs and completely made your cruise experience, of course you want to reward that.   If you look up basic tipping guidelines for hotel concierges and consider the $5 here and there tips for making each arrangement for shows/meals, multiply that by the number of people, number of shows you can piece together a rough idea of what your Genie should deserve at a bare minimum.  I think even at a bare minimum, if the whole experience was a bust, I would give $100 per person at a minimum to the Genie for the entire week.  The room steward(s) would get a separate tip.

If you received any OBC, you can go to Guest Services and they have a form you can fill out so you can use that OBC for the Genie too.

You will also read that some folks like to give gifts to their Genie.  It's a nice gesture but never should be in lieu of cash. Cash is king! Also keep in mind with gifts that they're living in a tiny crew cabin, so space is at a premium.  Consumable gifts can be a treat and they can be shared with other crew members.  If you have a delicacy from your home area that you could share, maybe grab some to gift and share to the Genie and room steward(s) any other crew members.

We brought back snacks from port stops for the Genie on one cruse and even gifted a wall charger that our room steward had made a comment about.

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4 hours ago, Kathleen said:

@WAAAYTOOO @Jax @AshleyDillo @Lovetocruise2002and all the SC “influencers” What is a standard tip for the Genie for a 7 day cruise? We have an amount in mind but since we’re SC Newbies we want to make sure it is adequate. 

Agree with @AshleyDillo, totally personal and subjective and actually really dependent on how much you ask of your Genie (I think). 
The average consensus (from other SC cruisers) seems to be around $100pp for a 7 night sailing. Some lower if they did not see much of their Genie and some way higher. Go with your gut and what you are comfortable with. 

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17 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

...The Genie really is so much more than just a Concierge.  They visit you every night at dinner to go over the schedule for the next day.  They meet you before the show to personally escort you to your seats and get you a drink (if you want one).

Wait!? What? They come to where you are dining to go over what schedule? They make a schedule for you?

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11 hours ago, Pooch said:

Not to hijack the thread but on the subject of tips, what about the concierge for Sky Class?  I truly have no idea and don’t want to underestimate.

There's usually 2 concierge's we tipped $100 each for a 7 night cruise, we did need assistance several times from the time of embarkation. Just go with what you feels right to you.

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2 hours ago, 12thman said:

Wait!? What? They come to where you are dining to go over what schedule? They make a schedule for you?

First off the schedule is extremely flexible, exception might be Izumi hibachi. You'll go over the week when you first get onboard or if you arrive early and they are able to sit with you prior to boarding.

Core of it is dining venue, shows, and special/bonus activities. At dinner the Genie will come by and go over the next day, see if any plans need to be changed or need to be kept in mind, and a general welfare check of how things are going on board.

Key thing is be upfront with the Genie. Tell them in advance if you have any plans or prefer different dining arrangements. Pre-cruise when the Genie reaches out tell them if you have any preference for an exact time and date for a particular restaurant.

I'll have to dig up (unless someone beats me to it) the initial schedule I've received on one of my sailings.

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9 minutes ago, CGTLH said:

Here is an example of a schedule taking into account some changes plus the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise activities factored in.

This is one of the amazing things about Star Class.  You can see from that schedule, they took the RCLBlog group cruise activities schedule that we gave them before the cruise and incorporated it into our itinerary.

 

2 hours ago, 12thman said:

Wait!? What? They come to where you are dining to go over what schedule? They make a schedule for you?

They pop in sometimes during your meals just to check in for the day and if there were any changes to anything for the evening or the next day, they will go over it with you then.  Or if you asked for something, like to get into a class or specific activity, they will come and tell you what they ended up getting.  Basically anything that's changed from the initial agenda for the week.  

With the all of the Star Class cabins having different wants and schedules, they have to work with the restaurants, tours, and activities to make sure they have room for everyone.  They don't want it leave it where Star Class doesn't have to make reservations and can just walk up for everything, so they make all your reservations ahead of time.  

When you communicate before the cruise you can let them know about your rough plans for the cruise and they will work around it all.  They will make sure that you get to see every show and to eat at every specialty restaurant at least once (if you have a long enough cruise).

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16 hours ago, CGTLH said:

Here is an example of a schedule taking into account some changes plus the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise activities factored in.

20210702_082141_copy_817x1090.thumb.jpg.1c94b71d7dd7f300f03cf50bf518fe50.jpg

This was what's in your cruise planner correct? They access it and go over the next days activities?

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The Genie creates a tentative itinerary for you based on a number of things - your Cruise Planner reservations, your pre boarding email and questionnaire discussions and ship activities which you may or may not know about prior to boarding.  He/she will go over the itin when you board and then again daily (or more often, as necessary) so that it can be adjusted to YOUR desires.  It helps the Genie keep your reservations timely and helps them manage their time.  Let’s say you have a plan to go to the beach on Coco Cay but that the morning the ship docks at Coco Cay, it’s pouring down rain.  The Genie will help you with alternate plans.  Maybe now you decide you want to get a massage.  The Genie will make that schedule adjustment for you and take care of everything.  At dinner, the night before you get to Coco Cay, the Genie might tell you, “Looks like it will be raining tomorrow.  Do you still want to get off the ship ?”

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On 6/29/2021 at 1:29 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Woohoo!!!!

And shhh!  We're going to get blamed again. lol

Never blamed you guys, instead THANK YOU.  Were it not for reading what the two of you wrote about Star Class I would have never given it a thought.  I've stayed Star Class twice and trying to figure out how to get a third stay.

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On 7/2/2021 at 8:18 AM, CGTLH said:

Here is an example of a schedule taking into account some changes plus the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise activities factored in.

20210702_082141_copy_817x1090.thumb.jpg.1c94b71d7dd7f300f03cf50bf518fe50.jpg

Day 5 pier runners???  I'm dying laughing here.  I'm totally going to do that on  my next cruise when we leave Cozumel. 

WHICH....btw is on Odyssey in our first SC suite.  I'm over the moon excited.  We have the OLS. I'm trying to figure out how things might be changing post-covid but no one really has any idea. 

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33 minutes ago, seetheworldAli said:

Day 5 pier runners???  I'm dying laughing here.  I'm totally going to do that on  my next cruise when we leave Cozumel.

Have to love the sanctioned Royal Caribbean Blog group events! Still kicking myself that I didn't request the Genie to have someone bring up nachos for the group...

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