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Ive cruised enough on Royal to achieve Diamond Plus status in the Crown and Anchor Society.  Im fascinated by cruisers loyalty to the brand.  I think the tier levels and rewards has something to do with it, even though some of the perks are really no big deal.  Super Mario and a few like him are anomalies . These people live on ships and I know Royal is very good to Mario.   I personally like the suites on Royal and the Coastal Kitchen cuisine. I have never eaten at any of the specialty restaurants to date. Sometimes I switch it up and go to MDR if I see some specialty items I like. Since I am a gambler and member of Casino Royale Signature status, all of my Royal cruises are comped. Most of them suites., along with free play. My next cruise comes with $1,000 free play. or OBC whatever I choose.  The Oasis class of ships have the biggest casinos, and that makes a difference too.  So I would like to know why other people are loyal to Royal?  And if Royal ceased to exist , what would be your second choice of cruise line?

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At the cabin level we cruise at, most lines would be the same for us, so we just decided to stick with Royal Caribbean.  
 

We were talking about this together today…if we cruised another line, we’d probably end up comparing it with our experiences on Royal anyway.  We have always been content on our cruises, so why change what we’ve come to enjoy  

In addition, the fact that we will hit Diamond in less than a year and be able to have the daily drink vouchers is a decent enough reason for us to continue with Royal  

 

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You could probably guess why we are by the nickname I use.  We love the Flowrider!  All the fun activities… ifly, laser tag, bumper cars, I forget what the trampoline ball thing is called with the 3D goggles.

Really enjoy Coco Cay!  The Broadway shows are a lot of fun.  Prior to the pandemic I feel like the shows were a lot better.  

The crew is a lot of fun to interact with… especially at the flow rider.  We’ve had a lot of amazing people there that have been so kind to our family.

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I think Royal has found a good balance that brings value for the vacation dollars spent.  A luxury cruise experience sounds great but they costs luxurious dollars.  A budget cruise sounds easy on the wallet but are often too budget oriented - you get what you pay for, or not.  

Certain companies I gel with.  I have tried other lines, several of them as I sought to check out the grass to see if it was greener over there.  This has helped me validate my feelings about Royal.  In the end Royal feels like home, if there is such a concept, for a cruise line.  

I like that Royal doesn't include everything as that would drive the price up and I'd pay for things I don't want or need.  

I like that Royal offers activities for a wide variety of ages.  I may not have young kids anymore but the kids areas and activities keeps them occupied so they aren't all swamping my space because they are bored with nothing to do.  When I travel with family or friends that have younger kids the kids programming allows me and my friends to spend some time together while their kids are occupied.  

Sometimes I want to jump in a bumper car or lace on a set of skates and sometimes not.  On Royal there are those things for me if and when I feel like it.  Even when I don't sometimes it's fun watching other people have fun.  

I cruise Royal not because of the Crown and Anchor Society but those benefits certainly don't hurt and it is one of the best loyalty programs in the industry.  For me I just enjoy many different aspects of a Royal cruise.  I haven't had bad experiences on other lines but it just doesn't feel like home like it does when I first board a Royal ship at the start of any cruise.  

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We’ve only sailed Royal and honestly have had no desire to experience others. We will be Diamond Plus by October. I will admit, we booked more cruises than we normally do in a year due to double points but we also are doing a bit of “revenge travel” too due to no cruises during Covid. I don’t see us getting to Pinnacle. We’ve never sailed in a suite before (have a JS for Alaska) so we’ll never generate the points to get there. 
 

Becoming Diamond Plus was never a real goal until double points came along. Suddenly it became attainable so we are going for it. 
 

Going forward we are most interested in the “bucket list” cruises. We’ve got 2 this year. I like that our status will be matched by Celebrity as that opens up some different itineraries overseas. 
 

We’ve never been disappointed or dissatisfied with Royal. If they went “poof” we’d probably head towards NCL. Carnival is just not our style. I’ve heard enough from friends and message boards that leave little to be desired. 

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16 minutes ago, Jill said:


 

Becoming Diamond Plus was never a real goal until double points came along. Suddenly it became attainable so we are going for it. 
 

 

Because there will be so many new Diamond and Diamond + members in the future, due to the double point sailings, I wonder if the benefits will be watered down in the future to save costs?

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10 hours ago, twangster said:

I think Royal has found a good balance that brings value for the vacation dollars spent.  A luxury cruise experience sounds great but they costs luxurious dollars.  A budget cruise sounds easy on the wallet but are often too budget oriented - you get what you pay for, or not.  

Certain companies I gel with.  I have tried other lines, several of them as I sought to check out the grass to see if it was greener over there.  This has helped me validate my feelings about Royal.  In the end Royal feels like home, if there is such a concept, for a cruise line.  

I like that Royal doesn't include everything as that would drive the price up and I'd pay for things I don't want or need.  

I like that Royal offers activities for a wide variety of ages.  I may not have young kids anymore but the kids areas and activities keeps them occupied so they aren't all swamping my space because they are bored with nothing to do.  When I travel with family or friends that have younger kids the kids programming allows me and my friends to spend some time together while their kids are occupied.  

Sometimes I want to jump in a bumper car or lace on a set of skates and sometimes not.  On Royal there are those things for me if and when I feel like it.  Even when I don't sometimes it's fun watching other people have fun.  

I cruise Royal not because of the Crown and Anchor Society but those benefits certainly don't hurt and it is one of the best loyalty programs in the industry.  For me I just enjoy many different aspects of a Royal cruise.  I haven't had bad experiences on other lines but it just doesn't feel like home like it does when I first board a Royal ship at the start of any cruise.  

I am on board with your comments.  Once free drinks for all in introduced, prices will go up.  Whether you are single, married, have kids, old or young, Royal has worked out something for all.  Ya,  you can call it mainstream generic cruising...but it works.  As I posted, I particularly enjoy the Casino Royale loyalty points program. Its the best of all cruise lines. But it was complicated at first. Took me 2 years to digest and go deep to figure it all out and gamble strategically to optimize all the perks., without going broke.  They recently made some great changes to the program that very few people know about.  You have to stay on top of it.

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My first cruise was on the Carnival Fascination. The next one was on the Disney Magic, which was fun because I had four of my 5-6 yr old godchildren sailing with their families.  So I've tried other cruise lines.

Then came my first cruise with Royal on the Harmony. I felt instantly "Loyal to Royal;"  I never looked back.  I don't even know why.  I do know that I love sailing with Royal.  Sailing on ALL the Royal ships in the fleet is on my bucket list.  I have 11 to go, 12, if I count the "Icon".  Of course, other new ships are coming too.  

Now that I'm D+, I think I will stay with Royal until I get to Pinnacle. (One can always dream, right?)

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16 minutes ago, VACruiser said:

Because there will be so many new Diamond and Diamond + members in the future, due to the double point sailings, I wonder if the benefits will be watered down in the future to save costs?

Whatever cost-cutting measures they implement in the future, I hope that they keep the drink vouchers.

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Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line I ever cruised with on the Adventure of the Seas out of San Juan immediately the cruise bug bit me and I was hooked. I'm loyal to Royal or book the most cruises with Royal because they really do have the best people onboard their ships, the service is outstanding, the ships themselves have been ground breaking, however I must say I have not been on any Vision Class vessel.  

I have cruise with Carnival once and I told myself afterwards I would never set foot on another Carnival ship.  Full disclosure I do want to sail on Madi Gras I just don't know if it is worth it to my promise to myself. I've also sailed multiple times on NCL they are great but they are not Royal I can't explain it I like NCL I am looking forward to getting on Prima perhaps in 2023 but they are not Royal Caribbean.  And I've also sailed 3 times on MSC and I'm putting MSC in a category just above Carnival. I will entertain the idea of getting on another MSC cruise but I don't envision myself doing so for at least a couple of years. 

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For me, it was the way they took care of me and my wife on my very first cruise. It was out 10 year anniversary and we booked the inaugural cruise on Grandeur of the seas in 96. We had a interior room, but with a new ship, our room was creaking badly to the point we could not sleep. They gave us ear plugs for the next day as I’m not a big complainer. We tried that, but they would not stay in and another sleepless night. They said they had a ocean view room to replace our interior. So they gave us the key to room and we grabbed our stuff to move in. We got to the room, I opened the door and a woman was changing right in front of me. Before I made it back to the desk, they already called and said someone entered there room. I guess these people also had room issues. Well after that, the lady behind the desk said they only had one room left. She took us up to the room, and it was a owners suite. I was beyond myself going from a interior to owners suite plus $200 OBC. So that left a lasting impression on me that they wanted to take care of me. The only downside to it, once I had the balcony, I have not gone back to interior, so that experience cost me a lot of money since, but I love it.

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While I echo what Twangster said about Royal's value proposition and balance, I believe the itineraries are important. I don't believe I would have ever visited the Canary Islands but for a Royal Caribbean cruise, and while many lines sail the Med, I don't think the price tag would have been in our budget.  Our best cruises occurred before we made Diamond, so the free drinks weren't a factor, but the Crown and Anchor celebrations were a plus -- being welcomed back and treated like VIPs.  Our only explorations (not yet booked) with other cruise lines have involved seeing French Polynesia, which Royal seldom visits.  So it is a combination of the total value plus itineraries.

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1 hour ago, VACruiser said:

Because there will be so many new Diamond and Diamond + members in the future, due to the double point sailings, I wonder if the benefits will be watered down in the future to save costs?

I think you are right here. Lots of people catapulted to Diamond status with double points especially if you had suites.  My wife does not drink so now I get 12 free drinks a day... .   I think that includes fresh squeezed orange juice and starbucks coffee ... right?

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15 hours ago, Edmund said:

Ive cruised enough on Royal to achieve Diamond Plus status in the Crown and Anchor Society.  Im fascinated by cruisers loyalty to the brand.  I think the tier levels and rewards has something to do with it, even though some of the perks are really no big deal.  Super Mario and a few like him are anomalies . These people live on ships and I know Royal is very good to Mario.   I personally like the suites on Royal and the Coastal Kitchen cuisine. I have never eaten at any of the specialty restaurants to date. Sometimes I switch it up and go to MDR if I see some specialty items I like. Since I am a gambler and member of Casino Royale Signature status, all of my Royal cruises are comped. Most of them suites., along with free play. My next cruise comes with $1,000 free play. or OBC whatever I choose.  The Oasis class of ships have the biggest casinos, and that makes a difference too.  So I would like to know why other people are loyal to Royal?  And if Royal ceased to exist , what would be your second choice of cruise line?

"And if Royal ceased to exist , what would be your second choice of cruise line?"

This is "Crazy Talk".  This is what 2 years of stress does to people.  The next question will be: "Is anyone taking up knitting???"

😉

For my soul mate and I (2 very, very deprived cruisers) there is only Royal.  Value, choice (over "all" included), variety ... we have tons of fun with Royal.

Curt from Canada

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1 hour ago, Templecruiser said:

We had a interior room, but with a new ship, our room was creaking badly to the point we could not sleep.

They said they had a ocean view room to replace our interior.

... the lady behind the desk said they only had one room left. She took us up to the room, and it was a owners suite. I was beyond myself going from a interior to owners suite plus $200 OBC. 

Oh man, they offered to move me to another room because of a creaking (plus a water draining) sound on the Brilliance.  I was too lazy to move my stuff so I declined their offer.  Now I can't help but wonder if an owner's suite was the only room available at that time.

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Our reasons for being loyal to Royal are the the abundance of activities offered on board combined with the quality for price we feel they offer.  Our kids have grown up cruising and have enjoyed participating in the variety of offerings.  By far, Flowrider is the biggest draw and the sports staff on every sailing have just made our weeks so much more enjoyable as they interact with the kids throughout our holiday.   Getting to Diamond status a few years ago of course has it perks but even without, I don't think we would be enticed to leave the brand.  We have sailed with NCL, Disney, Carnival and Celebrity early on but Royal is just the best fit for our family.

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2 hours ago, Edmund said:

I am on board with your comments.  Once free drinks for all in introduced, prices will go up.  Whether you are single, married, have kids, old or young, Royal has worked out something for all.  Ya,  you can call it mainstream generic cruising...but it works.  As I posted, I particularly enjoy the Casino Royale loyalty points program. Its the best of all cruise lines. But it was complicated at first. Took me 2 years to digest and go deep to figure it all out and gamble strategically to optimize all the perks., without going broke.  They recently made some great changes to the program that very few people know about.  You have to stay on top of it.

We are just starting to look into the Casino Royale program - we usually play poker which doesn't rack up the points but spent a little more time on slots last cruise and earned a free cruise.  Will be prime over the next few sailings.  Any advice or insight into the program - as well as the recently made changes which better the program, would be appreciated!

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I really started frequent cruising in 2015. I began on another line and accrued enough points being solo in suites to get to their top tier (700+). But, although I loved the crew members and the line, I didn’t like the way the area around the port was changing. It was getting more difficult getting through the traffic at the tunnel from New Jersey, and there were several incidents either going or coming back in Manhattan that really concerned me. I felt less safe.

For me, Bayonne is much closer and easier to get to. So I tried Royal. And I was hooked. The ships are beautiful, with large open areas such as the Promenades. On the Anthem…the Esplanade, Via, Two70, SeaPlex, enclosed family pool and the Solarium are phenomenal! Especially during winter sailings out of New York Harbor! The other line only had an Atrium which was always crowded with events, had crowded access points and a casino midship on a main level…pretty much forcing you to walk through it. I love Royal’s huge open areas concept! Always feels less crowded, much brighter and airy. And the crew members are wonderful! Plus, Royal also has triple points for solo cruising in suites. Add to that Royal’s double point promotion and I earned six points per cruise night. Makes sense, since I would have accrued the same amount of points had the shutdown not occurred. I really love Royal’s Crown and Anchor rewards program. Attaining higher levels gives lots of rewards and recognition, and Pinnacle gives so much more than the other line’s top tier. On the other line, I am top tier but get virtually nothing unless I pay for a suite. So I get the same access and benefits as someone on their first cruise. Very disappointed, but I didn’t know any better…until I found Royal! And, in particular, Matt’s blog and the people on these forums. Thank you all! I know that I am very fortunate, and I’m thankful that I am able to cruise so often. I’ll be Pinnacle on my next cruise…and I loved every moment along the way. Can’t wait to get back aboard! Happy cruising!😎

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1 hour ago, PG Cruiser said:

Oh man, they offered to move me to another room because of a creaking (plus a water draining) sound on the Brilliance.  I was too lazy to move my stuff so I declined their offer.  Now I can't help but wonder if an owner's suite was the only room available at that time.

She didn’t say what room it was, but said I think you will like it. That was a understatement.

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For me I have sailed a lot of lines, with the exception of Disney, and RCG hits the sweet spot. On CCL they do very much have a party atmosphere, it is hard to go on any deck and be able to read or relax. I also thought the design and decor was too garish for my taste. NCL is a cruise line that wants to be basic. They don't have too many bells and whistles so if you aren't port intensive, they can come off a bit boring. European lines are for ports. 

RCG is a just right for me. It attracts better behaved individuals all the way around, imho. I can read if I want or do the Skypad/Abyss/Flowrider. I can eat free food at a decent buffet or place like Solarium Bistro. They have pretty decent specialty restaurants and pre-covid the shows were pretty good. I feel like since covid we have been getting the B squads if you know what I mean.

Their loyalty program does have the best value: 4 free drinks on a 7n cruise is a $400+ value alone, plus the other stuff like a free photo, internet etc. I am going to cruise because I like cruising so I might as well stay loyal to a company that rewards me for it.

RCG ceasing to exist would change things for other lines, they compete with each other. I can't say what other line I would be loyal to, but it would be the one who offered what I wanted. 

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16 hours ago, Edmund said:

I am on board with your comments.  Once free drinks for all in introduced, prices will go up.  Whether you are single, married, have kids, old or young, Royal has worked out something for all.  Ya,  you can call it mainstream generic cruising...but it works.  As I posted, I particularly enjoy the Casino Royale loyalty points program. Its the best of all cruise lines. But it was complicated at first. Took me 2 years to digest and go deep to figure it all out and gamble strategically to optimize all the perks., without going broke.  They recently made some great changes to the program that very few people know about.  You have to stay on top of it.

Not to thread hijack but do you have some of those strategies written down somewhere or would be willing to share? I was platinum at MGM prior to my son being born this last year and since COVID we haven't been going to Vegas near as much but I could take that money over to casino Royal for the benefits.

 

ETA and to stay on topic: My first cruise was on my honeymoon in 2019 on RC and I was hooked. Between the numerous options of activities and food, as well as being partnered with MGM I've received some great deals. Plus now that my wife and I have started a family I feel it's one of the best options to start building loyalty as cruising is one of the best options for a younger family with the adventure ocean program.

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On 2/5/2022 at 8:00 AM, VACruiser said:

Because there will be so many new Diamond and Diamond + members in the future, due to the double point sailings, I wonder if the benefits will be watered down in the future to save costs?

I doubt Royal will water things down [much] in the future for the simple reason of benefits offered not costing the company that much money; yet the benefits encourage repeat customers. While a drink might cost us $13 (plus 18%) it doesn't cost Royal anywhere near that amount. And while it appears RCI is leaving money on the table by offering discounts to loyalty members when booking balconies and suites, they're still making a profit on the booking and know they have the cabin sold for that sailing. During less pandemic times, Royal wants every cabin on the ship sold. The loyalty program helps with that objective. I believe it was the recent earnings call where one of their executives stated the average guest spends around 50% of their fare on voyage additions after booking. For example, let's say the cost of a balcony was $1,800 before taxes and after a $250 Diamond discount. On average, then, Royal can expect an additional $900 spent aboard. Without knowing the expenses per person and service this is a shot in the dark, but I'm going to assume Royal is coming out nicely (even after discounts and freebies) at $2,700 spent. 

In some ways, their loyalty program is working similar to a theme park annual pass program. It's encouraging repeat visits, and then because of the perceived value from benefits received encourages onboard spending. Eh, they're comping my drinks this week, maybe I'll spurge one night on an expensive bottle of wine? Saved hundreds on the room so let's go for that unlimited dinning package. Maybe we'll do that customized, private excursion this time we've been wanting to do for years.

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We split our cruises between Royal and Princess.  Each has something I like.  I feel entertainment is much better on Royal.  Also, we often book suites and I like the suite lounge atmosphere (and the fellow cruisers) much better on Royal.  The suite cabins themselves are much nicer on Princess.  Except for Junior Suites, which I feel are better on Royal.   Our main decider though is usually itinerary and length of cruise.  

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I like to sail with my adult kids. Royal offers great activities for everyone and I'm diamond now, so the perks are getting nice.

We tried Carnival.  Never again. Food made me sick and we were bored.

If I had to pick a second choice it would be princess or celebrity 

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On 2/5/2022 at 8:32 AM, Curt From Canada said:

"And if Royal ceased to exist , what would be your second choice of cruise line?"

This is "Crazy Talk".  This is what 2 years of stress does to people.  The next question will be: "Is anyone taking up knitting???"

😉

For my soul mate and I (2 very, very deprived cruisers) there is only Royal.  Value, choice (over "all" included), variety ... we have tons of fun with Royal.

Curt from Canada

Several years ago, we were very loyal to Carnival.  But, a couple of very frustrating things happened and we made the decision to try another cruise line.  We went with RCCL, Oasis of the seas, Aqua Theatre Suite, Star Class.  We haven't looked back.  Since we always go Star, loyalty points really don't mean too much to us.  Star Class actually turns our cruise into an ALL INCLUSIVE with 

If RCCL went away, not sure.  Maybe we'd try the Haven.  But, I really don't like the smaller ships.  Had enough of small with Carnival.

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3 hours ago, Bobbie said:

Just found out that free laundry for Diamond Plus members is no longer a perk.  Now only $10.00 off the current price for a bag of laundry.  With btbtb cruises planned, this is one perk I will really miss.

On which ship are you on?  From @twangster’s post, it was still on the flier in January 2022

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OK, time to show just how weird I can be at times when it comes to thinking.

I have pretty much remained Loyal to Royal for several reasons, but here is just a few.
 
16 cruises, 12 with Royal

Royal (Majesty of the Seas) was the first cruise I was ever on I think it was back in 1997. From that point I was deeply hooked on cruising. I have also tried, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and regrettably paradise Bahamas. (That's a story for another day) but have always came back to Royal.

I have always been someone looking for the so called Cruise Hacks type of thing while remaining Loyal to Royal.

I am originally from NJ, now living in SC..looking to move to FL.
 
 Interested in moving to FL for several reasons, but some of them are cruise related. I was playing on paper one day to figure out, just what we spend on travel to and from ports, luggage fees, hotels the night before, and sometimes a night the day we arrive back to home port. Alcohol package, and Internet. Sometimes, adding this all up came to 2-3 thousand. Sometimes more/less.
 
 When it comes to the Alcohol package, we tried with and without a package. Without, we found it to be stressful (Always counting, or looking at the bill every evening) we lost $ every time. Our daily routine We found that with a fresh squeezed OJ in the morning, a water or two for excursions, a coffee or two that is not pee pee water, a Gatorade, and then 2 or 3 drinks a day each was way more then the drink package. So the package pays off for us big time. You have to have at least 5 drinks or a combination of about 5 of anything on that list per day to make it work.

So then I was thinking if I became Diamond or above, I would get 4-6 free drinks a day depending on what tier you are at, and discounted Voom (about 20%).

A while back I had hoped to be able to push myself up in tier levels with purchasing points. NOPE, Royal does not offer this. So had to come up with a new plan. I started listening to Matt @ RCB, and now shop early and often to lock in rates on everything cruise related. I do 99% of my bookings downstairs in Next Cruise for the added OBC and reduced Deposits of only $100 pp, then have the reservation switched over to my TA. If we have to cancel or make a change, we only lost $100 pp or during the Cruise with confidence no loss at all. This made it even more easy. We also were purposely booking Jr. Suites because they will normally let us board around 11am, and you get double points for each night. Since we normally sail BtB or longer sailings, we have been getting 28 points per sailing. A added plus is when Royal has a special (like during the early time of Covid) they had double points. So our 28 points were 56 points for a sailing. We pompously booked cruises for cheap at times knowing that they would be canceled during Covid so we would get a 150% FCC. With the extra 50% FCC we switched up to a Jr. Suite We hunkered down and booked as much as we can just to take advantage of the double double points and extra FCC's, pushing us up to Dimond Plus real fast. Now we can relax a bit. We can drop down to a regular Balcony room, with the added discounts for Diamond, made a regular balcony even cheaper, and we get 5 drinks a day each. so no more drink package a savings of around $1,000, per sailing and we even get a discount on the Voom.
 
Also staying Loyal to Royal, keep an eye on RCCL stock. The days leading up to Covid, the stock was about $135 ish. This morning it is around $75. I have seen it up to around just under $100 in recent weeks. It is up & down but I am sure over time, it will go back up and even pass the high of $135. The day the CDC announced a shut down for Covid in 2020, the stock dropped to around $19. If you got in then...Score!!! If you own 100 shares or more, you get OBC for each sailing that range from I think $50 up to $250 per reservation depending on the length of sailing for as long as you own the stock
 
Now here is what we are really excited about.

With Celebrity Honoring our Diamond status in whatever they call their comparable status, we have a whole new list of Itinerary's and ships to try and we still stay within the family. BUT, if you ever feel the need to "Jump Ship" (no punt intended) some other lines are honoring your RC status on their lines as well. Such as MSC if you sail with them. But we are Loyal to Royal...and staying here.

P.S. When we move to Fl, we cut out flights, baggage, hotels so there is a nice savings as well.

Yep.....told ya we are weird and or to much time on our hands to think.

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On 2/5/2022 at 9:32 AM, Curt From Canada said:

"And if Royal ceased to exist , what would be your second choice of cruise line?"

This is "Crazy Talk".  This is what 2 years of stress does to people.  The next question will be: "Is anyone taking up knitting???"

😉

For my soul mate and I (2 very, very deprived cruisers) there is only Royal.  Value, choice (over "all" included), variety ... we have tons of fun with Royal.

Curt from Canada

Hypothetical question of course!  in 2020 I did 6 cruises. 2021  I did 5.  Obviously I enjoy Royal for the same reasons you do, plus more., being Diamond Plus. I'm simply one of those kind of people that like to be in the "know"  I like to know what other cruise ships offer.I like to know what I might be missing. Whats crazy about that?  For me I would search out Celebrity as it appears to be a notch up from Royal. ( I know they are same owners)  Also less kids.   Nobody crazy here.  

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OK, time to show just how weird I can be at times when it comes to thinking.

I have pretty much remained Loyal to Royal for several reasons, but here is just a few.

 

16 cruises, 12 with Royal

Royal (Majesty of the Seas) was the first cruise I was ever on I think it was back in 1997. From that point I was deeply hooked on cruising. I have also tried, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and regrettably paradise Bahamas. (That's a story for another day) but have always came back to Royal.

I have always been someone looking for the so called Cruise Hacks type of thing while remaining Loyal to Royal.

I am originally from NJ, now living in SC..looking to move to FL.

 

 Interested in moving to FL for several reasons, but some of them are cruise related. I was playing on paper one day to figure out, just what we spend on travel to and from ports, luggage fees, hotels the night before, and sometimes a night the day we arrive back to home port. Alcohol package, and Internet. Sometimes, adding this all up came to 2-3 thousand. Sometimes more/less.

 

 When it comes to the Alcohol package, we tried with and without a package. Without, we found it to be stressful (Always counting, or looking at the bill every evening) we lost $ every time. Our daily routine, we found that with a fresh squeezed OJ in the morning, a water or two for excursions, a coffee or two that is not pee pee water, a Gatorade, and then 2 or 3 cocktails a day each was way more then the drink package. So the package pays off for us big time. You have to have at least 5 drinks or a combination of about 5 of anything on that list per day to make it work.

So then I was thinking if I became Diamond or above, I would get 4-6 free drinks a day depending on what tier you are at, and discounted Voom (about 20%).

A while back I had hoped to be able to push myself up in tier levels with purchasing points. NOPE, Royal does not offer this. So had to come up with a new plan. I started listening to Matt @ RCB, and now shop early and often to lock in rates on everything cruise related. I do 99% of my bookings downstairs in Next Cruise for the added OBC and reduced Deposits of only $100 pp, then have the reservation switched over to my TA. If we have to cancel or make a change, we only lost $100 pp or during the Cruise with confidence no loss at all. This made it even more easy. We also were purposely booking Jr. Suites because they will normally let us board around 11am, and you get double points for each night. Since we normally sail BtB or longer sailings, we have been getting 28 points per sailing. A added plus is when Royal has a special (like during the early time of Covid) they had double points. So our 28 points were 56 points for a sailing. We pompously booked cruises during covid knowing that they would be canceled so we would get a 150% FCC. With the extra 50% FCC we switched up to a Jr. Suite We hunkered down and booked as much as we can just to take advantage of the double double points and extra FCC's, pushing us up to Dimond Plus real fast. Now we can relax a bit. We can drop down to a regular Balcony room, with the added discounts for Diamond, made a regular balcony even cheaper, and we get 5 drinks a day each. so no more drink package a savings of around $1,000, per sailing and we even get a discount on the Voom.

Also staying Loyal to Royal, keep an eye on RCCL stock. The days leading up to Covid, the stock was about $135 ish. This morning it is around $80. I have seen it up to around just under $100 in recent months. It is up & down but I am sure over time, it will go back up and even pass the high of $135. The day the CDC announced a shut down for Covid in 2020, the stock dropped to around $19. (I scooped up a 100 shares) If you got in soon...Score!!! If you own 100 shares or more, you get OBC for each sailing that range from I think $50 up to $250 per reservation depending on the length of sailing for as long as you own the stock

Now here is what we are really excited about.

With Celebrity Honoring our Diamond status in whatever they call their comparable status, we have a whole new list of Itinerary's and ships to try and we still stay within the family Loyal. BUT, if you ever feel the need to "Jump Ship" (no punt intended) some other lines are honoring your RC status on their lines as well. Such as MSC if you sail with them. But we are Loyal to Royal...and staying here.

P.S. When we move to Fl, we cut out flights, baggage, hotels so there is a nice savings as well.

Yep.....told ya we are weird and or to much time on our hands to think

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On 2/6/2022 at 10:33 AM, Goethite said:

I doubt Royal will water things down [much] in the future for the simple reason of benefits offered not costing the company that much money; yet the benefits encourage repeat customers. While a drink might cost us $13 (plus 18%) it doesn't cost Royal anywhere near that amount. And while it appears RCI is leaving money on the table by offering discounts to loyalty members when booking balconies and suites, they're still making a profit on the booking and know they have the cabin sold for that sailing. During less pandemic times, Royal wants every cabin on the ship sold. The loyalty program helps with that objective. I believe it was the recent earnings call where one of their executives stated the average guest spends around 50% of their fare on voyage additions after booking. For example, let's say the cost of a balcony was $1,800 before taxes and after a $250 Diamond discount. On average, then, Royal can expect an additional $900 spent aboard. Without knowing the expenses per person and service this is a shot in the dark, but I'm going to assume Royal is coming out nicely (even after discounts and freebies) at $2,700 spent. 

In some ways, their loyalty program is working similar to a theme park annual pass program. It's encouraging repeat visits, and then because of the perceived value from benefits received encourages onboard spending. Eh, they're comping my drinks this week, maybe I'll spurge one night on an expensive bottle of wine? Saved hundreds on the room so let's go for that unlimited dinning package. Maybe we'll do that customized, private excursion this time we've been wanting to do for years.

Some valid points.  I think the extras work out to 30% however.  This is where the real money is made for cruise ships. The extras.  Average  spent I think is under $2000. You can google these numbers to be exact... but I think you are high.

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10 minutes ago, RorySC said:

OK, time to show just how weird I can be at times when it comes to thinking.

I have pretty much remained Loyal to Royal for several reasons, but here is just a few.

 

16 cruises, 12 with Royal

Royal (Majesty of the Seas) was the first cruise I was ever on I think it was back in 1997. From that point I was deeply hooked on cruising. I have also tried, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and regrettably paradise Bahamas. (That's a story for another day) but have always came back to Royal.

I have always been someone looking for the so called Cruise Hacks type of thing while remaining Loyal to Royal.

I am originally from NJ, now living in SC..looking to move to FL.

 

 Interested in moving to FL for several reasons, but some of them are cruise related. I was playing on paper one day to figure out, just what we spend on travel to and from ports, luggage fees, hotels the night before, and sometimes a night the day we arrive back to home port. Alcohol package, and Internet. Sometimes, adding this all up came to 2-3 thousand. Sometimes more/less.

 

 When it comes to the Alcohol package, we tried with and without a package. Without, we found it to be stressful (Always counting, or looking at the bill every evening) we lost $ every time. Our daily routine, we found that with a fresh squeezed OJ in the morning, a water or two for excursions, a coffee or two that is not pee pee water, a Gatorade, and then 2 or 3 cocktails a day each was way more then the drink package. So the package pays off for us big time. You have to have at least 5 drinks or a combination of about 5 of anything on that list per day to make it work.

So then I was thinking if I became Diamond or above, I would get 4-6 free drinks a day depending on what tier you are at, and discounted Voom (about 20%).

A while back I had hoped to be able to push myself up in tier levels with purchasing points. NOPE, Royal does not offer this. So had to come up with a new plan. I started listening to Matt @ RCB, and now shop early and often to lock in rates on everything cruise related. I do 99% of my bookings downstairs in Next Cruise for the added OBC and reduced Deposits of only $100 pp, then have the reservation switched over to my TA. If we have to cancel or make a change, we only lost $100 pp or during the Cruise with confidence no loss at all. This made it even more easy. We also were purposely booking Jr. Suites because they will normally let us board around 11am, and you get double points for each night. Since we normally sail BtB or longer sailings, we have been getting 28 points per sailing. A added plus is when Royal has a special (like during the early time of Covid) they had double points. So our 28 points were 56 points for a sailing. We pompously booked cruises during covid knowing that they would be canceled so we would get a 150% FCC. With the extra 50% FCC we switched up to a Jr. Suite We hunkered down and booked as much as we can just to take advantage of the double double points and extra FCC's, pushing us up to Dimond Plus real fast. Now we can relax a bit. We can drop down to a regular Balcony room, with the added discounts for Diamond, made a regular balcony even cheaper, and we get 5 drinks a day each. so no more drink package a savings of around $1,000, per sailing and we even get a discount on the Voom.

Also staying Loyal to Royal, keep an eye on RCCL stock. The days leading up to Covid, the stock was about $135 ish. This morning it is around $80. I have seen it up to around just under $100 in recent months. It is up & down but I am sure over time, it will go back up and even pass the high of $135. The day the CDC announced a shut down for Covid in 2020, the stock dropped to around $19. (I scooped up a 100 shares) If you got in soon...Score!!! If you own 100 shares or more, you get OBC for each sailing that range from I think $50 up to $250 per reservation depending on the length of sailing for as long as you own the stock

Now here is what we are really excited about.

With Celebrity Honoring our Diamond status in whatever they call their comparable status, we have a whole new list of Itinerary's and ships to try and we still stay within the family Loyal. BUT, if you ever feel the need to "Jump Ship" (no punt intended) some other lines are honoring your RC status on their lines as well. Such as MSC if you sail with them. But we are Loyal to Royal...and staying here.

P.S. When we move to Fl, we cut out flights, baggage, hotels so there is a nice savings as well.

Yep.....told ya we are weird and or to much time on our hands to think

You are not weird. I think and do the same thing., with one exception. My wife and I are gamblers. High rollers you might say. So we take full advantage of the Casino Royale program and thus all of our cruises are comped. As most of our cabins were suites we were catapulted into Diamond Plus status during Covid.  My wife dont drink, so I can use 12 a day, and drinks are free in the casino anyway.(and drinks are free in Coastal Kitchen as well) Further we have never paid for internet as well. I usually bring the amount of cash to gamble what the cruise would cost . If I lose it all, I just paid for my next cruise. It took some time to figure it all out., but it works for us.  You have to be very strict and responsible. Do not chase your losses and go to the ATM!   

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On 2/6/2022 at 5:32 AM, Ray said:

This made me laugh so much i dropped a stitch .... 🤣 

 

On 2/6/2022 at 5:32 AM, Ray said:

This made me laugh so much i dropped a stitch .... 🤣 

Whats the difference between a Scotsman and a canoe?   A canoe tips!  Need I say more?  I feel sorry for your room steward.

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On 2/7/2022 at 9:04 AM, RorySC said:

OK, time to show just how weird I can be at times when it comes to thinking.

I have pretty much remained Loyal to Royal for several reasons, but here is just a few.
 
16 cruises, 12 with Royal

Royal (Majesty of the Seas) was the first cruise I was ever on I think it was back in 1997. From that point I was deeply hooked on cruising. I have also tried, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and regrettably paradise Bahamas. (That's a story for another day) but have always came back to Royal.

I have always been someone looking for the so called Cruise Hacks type of thing while remaining Loyal to Royal.

I am originally from NJ, now living in SC..looking to move to FL.
 
 Interested in moving to FL for several reasons, but some of them are cruise related. I was playing on paper one day to figure out, just what we spend on travel to and from ports, luggage fees, hotels the night before, and sometimes a night the day we arrive back to home port. Alcohol package, and Internet. Sometimes, adding this all up came to 2-3 thousand. Sometimes more/less.
 
 When it comes to the Alcohol package, we tried with and without a package. Without, we found it to be stressful (Always counting, or looking at the bill every evening) we lost $ every time. Our daily routine We found that with a fresh squeezed OJ in the morning, a water or two for excursions, a coffee or two that is not pee pee water, a Gatorade, and then 2 or 3 drinks a day each was way more then the drink package. So the package pays off for us big time. You have to have at least 5 drinks or a combination of about 5 of anything on that list per day to make it work.

So then I was thinking if I became Diamond or above, I would get 4-6 free drinks a day depending on what tier you are at, and discounted Voom (about 20%).

A while back I had hoped to be able to push myself up in tier levels with purchasing points. NOPE, Royal does not offer this. So had to come up with a new plan. I started listening to Matt @ RCB, and now shop early and often to lock in rates on everything cruise related. I do 99% of my bookings downstairs in Next Cruise for the added OBC and reduced Deposits of only $100 pp, then have the reservation switched over to my TA. If we have to cancel or make a change, we only lost $100 pp or during the Cruise with confidence no loss at all. This made it even more easy. We also were purposely booking Jr. Suites because they will normally let us board around 11am, and you get double points for each night. Since we normally sail BtB or longer sailings, we have been getting 28 points per sailing. A added plus is when Royal has a special (like during the early time of Covid) they had double points. So our 28 points were 56 points for a sailing. We pompously booked cruises for cheap at times knowing that they would be canceled during Covid so we would get a 150% FCC. With the extra 50% FCC we switched up to a Jr. Suite We hunkered down and booked as much as we can just to take advantage of the double double points and extra FCC's, pushing us up to Dimond Plus real fast. Now we can relax a bit. We can drop down to a regular Balcony room, with the added discounts for Diamond, made a regular balcony even cheaper, and we get 5 drinks a day each. so no more drink package a savings of around $1,000, per sailing and we even get a discount on the Voom.
 
Also staying Loyal to Royal, keep an eye on RCCL stock. The days leading up to Covid, the stock was about $135 ish. This morning it is around $75. I have seen it up to around just under $100 in recent weeks. It is up & down but I am sure over time, it will go back up and even pass the high of $135. The day the CDC announced a shut down for Covid in 2020, the stock dropped to around $19. If you got in then...Score!!! If you own 100 shares or more, you get OBC for each sailing that range from I think $50 up to $250 per reservation depending on the length of sailing for as long as you own the stock
 
Now here is what we are really excited about.

With Celebrity Honoring our Diamond status in whatever they call their comparable status, we have a whole new list of Itinerary's and ships to try and we still stay within the family. BUT, if you ever feel the need to "Jump Ship" (no punt intended) some other lines are honoring your RC status on their lines as well. Such as MSC if you sail with them. But we are Loyal to Royal...and staying here.

P.S. When we move to Fl, we cut out flights, baggage, hotels so there is a nice savings as well.

Yep.....told ya we are weird and or to much time on our hands to think.

The stock was a good buy at $75. It will go higher until  another media reported disaster, or more Covid variants. Its still a gamble. Do you know the perks of owning 100 Stocks?  

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On 2/4/2022 at 9:46 PM, twangster said:

I cruise Royal not because of the Crown and Anchor Society but those benefits certainly don't hurt and it is one of the best loyalty programs in the industry.  For me I just enjoy many different aspects of a Royal cruise.  I haven't had bad experiences on other lines but it just doesn't feel like home like it does when I first board a Royal ship at the start of any cruise.  

It is the same with us as well. Took a cruise on NCL, good cruise, but it just did not feel right. Like you said, Royal just feels like home. 

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