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First Timer cruise done... upSelling Normal ???


bellatoad
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SO my first cruise is over... booohooo  :(  am we are looking at next one..

 

BEST:  

- The Service/The STAFF.. OMG... cannot fault.  impeccable.  My daughter and l are vegans and whether at MyDining or the buffet, they were trying to accomodate... i was actually a little embarrassed, and was like, a salad is fine... ohhh nooooo Jodie... hahaha... AMAZING>   Everyone (except the coffee man) were so friendly, so happy ALL THE TIME... 

- The entertainment; so much fun and sooooo talented.  I love stage shows, but never get to them, so l OD'd on them whilst on board.

- TEENS - did not see my kids, and when l did, they were never alone, they were happy and they had a ball.  Slept for 2 days when they got back...  :P

- check in and check out - SOOOO EASY and especially on the last day to get off the ship.  I had a 10hr drive in front of me, so was very pleased how this all went. 

- excursions.  Found these pricey however.  Next time, l will do my own exploring. 

 

NOT SO BEST:  cocktails...  :(  not fresh... I know not that dramatic. But when they picked up the cartons, l was like, is that it??  I asked to see the cartons (as a vegan l was a little sceptical) anways looked okay and they tasted yum... buT still not fresh.. 

and

MY only gripe really, was the upselling.. EVERYWHERE on the ship l went, they were selling something more, better, etc...I even went for a massage (which was not cheap at all) and then she trying to sell me 3 products.... OUr cost blew out... $3000 !!!!  I will know for next time... BUT, that part was a disappointment.

 

OTHER THAN THAT -  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  Loved it and will do again - and even better with my new found knowledge. 

 

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it is becoming the norm.....or at least to have to pay for everything besides the bare basics......

 

royal seems to be going the way of the cheap airlines where you have to pay for everything extra besides your seat and seatbelt on the plane.....lol

 

While  a lot of the other cruise lines and ships seem to be going the way of including more or letting  you choose some extra add-ons for free, Royal seems to want to make you pay extra and more for everything.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to start to see fee's and charges for things like the Flo-rider, premium seating at their shows and musicals, room service, maybe even for preferred seating times in the MDR as well in the near future.

 

Sounds crazy you say? I bet 5 years ago a lot of the things we pay extra for now would have sounded crazy.

 

Such is life in the travel/tourism industry.

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My biggest pet peeve with Royal is when they take something that was once complimentary and then start charging for it (e.g., room service after midnight, Johnny Rockets, etc.). In fact, I stopped sailing with them for a decade partly because of this before coming back. I also think that what they charge is higher than the competition for similar items, especially the specialty restaurants.

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Glad to hear you had an overall great time.

 

 

- TEENS - did not see my kids, and when l did, they were never alone, they were happy and they had a ball.  Slept for 2 days when they got back...  :P

As a parent, I know exactly how awesome a feeling this is.  Quite liberating for both you and them!

 

So the real question is... when is your next cruise?

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For what it's worth, I have seen much upselling onboard the Allure this week and have yet to be charged first my son to dinner in the specialty restaurants. In fact, he even walked away with a dessert care package from the waiter.

 

At my spa appointment, there was a suggestion to try some products that were used during the treatment, but I want hounded or pressured in any way.

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 I want hounded or pressured in any way.

 

I really think this is the answer.  I had a spa treatment on NAV last week and before I even went inside the room I told them to please NOT try to sell me any products...that I would not be buying anything...and they never said a word to me about it.  It's easier to just ward off the problem up front.  It really doesn't bother me too much to have them ask me if I want a beverage package or to purchase a specialty dinner.  I just say "no, thank you" and keep walking.  It's not that hard.  It's not like they pursue you down the Promenade like they do on the streets of Jamaica !

 

The one thing that DOES bother me is the servers begging for good reviews on the cruise review.  I guess they deal with people who cruise a lot and those that are new cruisers so they feel they have to try and cajole you into giving them a good review but it's irritating.  Luckily it only happened once on this past cruise but I have been on cruises where they continually "remind" you that they need at least an 8 on the review or they are considered "unsatisfactory".  Basically, this tells me that the review statistics are unreliable and meaningless.  If an 8 out of 10 is "unsatisfactory" then your ranking system is flawed !

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

The one thing that DOES bother me is the servers begging for good reviews on the cruise review.  I guess they deal with people who cruise a lot and those that are new cruisers so they feel they have to try and cajole you into giving them a good review but it's irritating.  Luckily it only happened once on this past cruise but I have been on cruises where they continually "remind" you that they need at least an 8 on the review or they are considered "unsatisfactory".  Basically, this tells me that the review statistics are unreliable and meaningless.  If an 8 out of 10 is "unsatisfactory" then your ranking system is flawed !

I agree, but that is Royal that is doing that. The employees are being told that unless they get a good rating the tips will be withheld. 

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Guest toodle68

I don't know how it is now, but I remember seeing a documentary of a cruise a few years back where they said the only way they make money is on the drinks and up selling.

 

As for the review scores, we had the same thing. Server said her 7 month contract was coming up and anything less than a 10 was bad. In the post cruise survey it asks if anyone told us to rate them higher. The thing is, she was amazing and got a 10 anyway..

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I agree about the upsetting but I find it tolerable, much better than on islands.

Some people say to bring a highlighter for the cruise compass but I bring a black marker to cross out the sales pitches. I would love to shop on board but the shops are crazy high end to me.

As for excursions being expensive, they can be, next time try a independent one. Booking through Royal is good for long excursions where you need to be sure you can make it back in time, but for a short one you can get the same thing for cheaper on your own.

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I couldn't agree with WAYYYYYYYTOO any more. A simple no thank you suffices. Yes, it is incessant. Doesn't bother me at all. I appreciate the business model of letting me cruise for what I consider a very reasonable rate, and then charge extra for certain things. Allows me to decide what's worth my $$$. Or not.

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Up-selling and drinks are major revenue drivers for all cruise lines. My business recently brought me into contact with a major cruise line (not Royal) and the internal figures for bar sales, particularly pool areas, show that this is a huge profit center. I agree with Michael above that I get to cruise at a reasonable rate and then chose how to distribute my $$$.

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When you check in at the pier, do they try to upsell you to a more expensive suite? Curious, cause we are going with our neice, and she got us an inside cabin, and I prefer to get a balcony. Its been almost 10 years since going and enjoyed the balcony. Johnny Rockets was free then.

Never in 25 cruises. You can inquire if a paid upgrade is available, but they won't volunteer the info. Rarely are there any cabins available, though.

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When you check in at the pier, do they try to upsell you to a more expensive suite?  Curious, cause we are going with our neice, and she got us an inside cabin, and I prefer to get a balcony.  Its been almost 10 years since going and enjoyed the balcony.  Johnny Rockets was free then.

Not at all. In fact, most cruises sail full, so very little room for upgrade anyway

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Guest toodle68

Do any staff ever expect or ask for tips?

The only slight evidence of this was when I got a drink at the pool side.  I was just grabbing the daily from the tray.. but the waiter wrote in  TIP: $______   on the receipt I had to sign.  It was only after I realized there is already a service charge built in.  I would prefer not to have that written in because then I have to cross it out and it feels like I screwed the waiter..   The total cost with a $2 tip was $19 which kinda shocked me..  thought the cocktails were $12.

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Do any staff ever expect or ask for tips?

 

This is my biggest gripe about RC.  The bar tab already includes an automatic 18% but they also have a tip line for you to fill in something more (this is also true in the spa).  If you cross it out you feel like a schmuck.   And I witnessed the bartender definitely giving better and faster service to those he knew added more on top of the 18%.  Everyone else sat and waited.

 

On Oceania the 18% tips are included and the tabs do NOT have an extra tip line.   If you want to add more you can, but you don't feel obligated by that blank line to fill in. Yes, the Oceania base price is more, but, in the long run, I think it really evens out.  The staff doesn't leave tip envelopes on your bed or at your tables either.   And they are genuinely friendly without it being a gimmick to get more tips.  I understand they get paid better.  Much classier.  

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This is my biggest gripe about RC.  The bar tab already includes an automatic 18% but they also have a tip line for you to fill in something more (this is also true in the spa).  If you cross it out you feel like a schmuck.   And I witnessed the bartender definitely giving better and faster service to those he knew added more on top of the 18%.  Everyone else sat and waited.

 

I have a similar gripe about the specialty restaurants.  It states on the receipt that a "small amount" has been set aside for the server, but it is not clearly stated that it is a tip or not.  Similarly, when I booked a spa appointment on the first day and had the gratuity automatically applied, the technician providing the service clearly stated that the gratuity that was prepaid was on the discounted spa price.

 

On the other side, when I used my drink vouchers, I always tipped $1 per drink in cash as I doubt they receive a tip from the complimentary C&A drinks.

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