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Does cruising too much make you too critical?


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DH and I just returned from a fantastic cruise on Wonder -  We were on a casino comp in a Junior Suite with the Unlimited Dining and Beverage Packages (just using this for reference).  This was also our first Oasis Class and longest cruise (previously longest was 6 days on Odyssey).  We're only Diamond level C&A).  We've been fortunate to have travelled now on each class of ship and while some had more "WOW Factor" we've loved them all in their own way.  

On this particular cruise I ran into several Pinnacle level folks and they were the ones I heard complaining the most.  One lady in particular:  "Food is horrible" "Service is horrible" "My room attendant took 3 hours to get me a lounger on my balcony" "I told the restaurant manager they needed to retrain their staff" were just some of the things I heard.  I just wonder if everything was REALLY that bad or were they just burned out on cruises?  Does it become less enjoyable as time goes on (seriously, I can't even imagine and we cruise 4-5 times a year)?   I don't ever want to get that jaded about a vacation.  I'm still excited about upcoming cruises and hope to stay that way for many years to come.  

Our experience on this ship/cruise was completely the opposite.  We thought the service, food, and amenities were fantastic.  We had some meals that were better than others, but there was nothing inedible or anything I would complain about.  it really was just a matter of personal taste we felt.  It was noticable towards the end of the cruise that there were quite a few folks out due to COVID.  It's just the world we live in today and I feel like I have to come expecting some deviations and even perhaps a degradation of service at times due to shortages (whether it be supply chain or service).  The staff on these ships work their behinds off for months on end while we're treated like kings and queens -  I can't even imagine being that tired and still smiling.  

For you more experienced folks (and new ones also), what are your thoughts?  

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8 minutes ago, fishernrex said:

DH and I just returned from a fantastic cruise on Wonder -  We were on a casino comp in a Junior Suite with the Unlimited Dining and Beverage Packages (just using this for reference).  This was also our first Oasis Class and longest cruise (previously longest was 6 days on Odyssey).  We're only Diamond level C&A).  We've been fortunate to have travelled now on each class of ship and while some had more "WOW Factor" we've loved them all in their own way.  

On this particular cruise I ran into several Pinnacle level folks and they were the ones I heard complaining the most.  One lady in particular:  "Food is horrible" "Service is horrible" "My room attendant took 3 hours to get me a lounger on my balcony" "I told the restaurant manager they needed to retrain their staff" were just some of the things I heard.  I just wonder if everything was REALLY that bad or were they just burned out on cruises?  Does it become less enjoyable as time goes on (seriously, I can't even imagine and we cruise 4-5 times a year)?   I don't ever want to get that jaded about a vacation.  I'm still excited about upcoming cruises and hope to stay that way for many years to come.  

Our experience on this ship/cruise was completely the opposite.  We thought the service, food, and amenities were fantastic.  We had some meals that were better than others, but there was nothing inedible or anything I would complain about.  it really was just a matter of personal taste we felt.  It was noticable towards the end of the cruise that there were quite a few folks out due to COVID.  It's just the world we live in today and I feel like I have to come expecting some deviations and even perhaps a degradation of service at times due to shortages (whether it be supply chain or service).  The staff on these ships work their behinds off for months on end while we're treated like kings and queens -  I can't even imagine being that tired and still smiling.  

For you more experienced folks (and new ones also), what are your thoughts?  

I think that there will always be a certain segment that will complain about anything.I also think that as you do things more you just notice things that others don’t.  However I think the complainer group also had a lot of “do you know who I am” when it comes to status and think they should have more say in things. I’m a “problem solver” as part of my career, so I do write suggestions and leave them at the front desk when things are “off”, but there really has to be some major issues for me to complain about something.

I’m curious how you know they were Pinnacle? I would never think to mention my C&A status and would find it weird if someone asked me about it.

We are more of a “go with the flow” type of traveler.

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11 minutes ago, fishernrex said:

DH and I just returned from a fantastic cruise on Wonder -  We were on a casino comp in a Junior Suite with the Unlimited Dining and Beverage Packages (just using this for reference).  This was also our first Oasis Class and longest cruise (previously longest was 6 days on Odyssey).  We're only Diamond level C&A).  We've been fortunate to have travelled now on each class of ship and while some had more "WOW Factor" we've loved them all in their own way.  

On this particular cruise I ran into several Pinnacle level folks and they were the ones I heard complaining the most.  One lady in particular:  "Food is horrible" "Service is horrible" "My room attendant took 3 hours to get me a lounger on my balcony" "I told the restaurant manager they needed to retrain their staff" were just some of the things I heard.  I just wonder if everything was REALLY that bad or were they just burned out on cruises?  Does it become less enjoyable as time goes on (seriously, I can't even imagine and we cruise 4-5 times a year)?   I don't ever want to get that jaded about a vacation.  I'm still excited about upcoming cruises and hope to stay that way for many years to come.  

Our experience on this ship/cruise was completely the opposite.  We thought the service, food, and amenities were fantastic.  We had some meals that were better than others, but there was nothing inedible or anything I would complain about.  it really was just a matter of personal taste we felt.  It was noticable towards the end of the cruise that there were quite a few folks out due to COVID.  It's just the world we live in today and I feel like I have to come expecting some deviations and even perhaps a degradation of service at times due to shortages (whether it be supply chain or service).  The staff on these ships work their behinds off for months on end while we're treated like kings and queens -  I can't even imagine being that tired and still smiling.  

For you more experienced folks (and new ones also), what are your thoughts?  

As I've stated in many posts in the past, our first Genie was Marla.  She was fantastic and she has set the bar for all other Genies.  Now, I haven't found any other Genie that can live up to Marla's service, and professionalism.  I'm not shy and will voice my opinion of other Genies.  Our last on the Symphony wasn't the best I've had but not BAD.  I didn't let it ruin my cruise and I didn't complain to him or anyone else of importance on the ship.  

What am I trying to say here?  Well, I believe it is Okay to judge one cruise compared to another.  But, it's how you deal with it that counts.  I have not and will not say the not so great Genie's name in public and I will not disparage him in any way in public.  I did make the best of the cruise, in fact it was one of my best cruises, despite the Genie experience.  Again, the Genie experience wasn't bad, it just didn't live up to Marla's service and professionalism.  

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Some people are only happy when they have something to complain about.  I think it’s easier than thinking of interesting or valuable to talk about.  
I was a waiter 30 years ago and had regulars that complained or were at least unimpressed with everything but they came in all the time.  I asked one older couple why they come back, when they don’t seem thrilled with the food, or even the service.  They were shocked, said coming in for dinner was the highlight of their week.  I think the complaining gave them something  talk about.  Some people are just miserable and want others to be miserable too.  Some people like to act like they’re above everything.  

It seems like sad way to go through life if you ask me.

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@jay1021We had Marla (our one and only Genie experience) on Odyssey this year and I agree, she was amazing.  She read us so well we never even asked for anything special -  She just seemed to know what we wanted/needed and this was a last minute royal up bid so we never even did the survery!  Funny, Odyssey was our least favorite ship (and absolute BEST room) -  Quantum class isn't my favorite, but still travelling on it for Alaska.  This is one of the things that prompted me to post this.  We weren't crazy about the ship layout (especially the esplanade and playmakers location), but the ameneites (north star was beyond cool) and service were perfect.  If the times and itinerary worked out best, I'd sail her again in a heartbeat.  

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I personally find it to be a matter of expectations (and managing them!). If people are chasing D, D+, Pin, etc. because they *expect* better ____ (service, food, experiences, etc.) then they will be disappointed. The benefits should be like add-ons.

My wife and I enjoy the cruise experience. The idea that we don't have to cook, clean, etc. just by itself is wonderful, especially for a vacation. Our other vacation go-to is a timeshare where we do have to do those things. Never quite feels like a vacation to me. But I get a lot of relaxation in, anyway.

That said, having a waiter remember my name, drink order, etc., makes the cruise exceptional and I can ignore even mediocre food with great service. I don't go hungry on a cruise, even if the MDR quality is subpar. We enjoy the suite lounge when the regular crowds get to be too much, or the extras the genies provide, or the early boarding, etc. But we are not cruising for the perks.

We find that if we set our expectations at "we will enjoy this come what may" then the extras just ratchet it up to "we really enjoyed this immensely."

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9 minutes ago, fishernrex said:

@jay1021We had Marla (our one and only Genie experience) on Odyssey this year and I agree, she was amazing.  She read us so well we never even asked for anything special -  She just seemed to know what we wanted/needed and this was a last minute royal up bid so we never even did the survery!  Funny, Odyssey was our least favorite ship (and absolute BEST room) -  Quantum class isn't my favorite, but still travelling on it for Alaska.  This is one of the things that prompted me to post this.  We weren't crazy about the ship layout (especially the esplanade and playmakers location), but the ameneites (north star was beyond cool) and service were perfect.  If the times and itinerary worked out best, I'd sail her again in a heartbeat.  

I think you hit the nail on the head, something I just couldn't come up with/figure what it was.  MARLA KNOWS HOW TO READ PEOPLE, that's it.  She'd probably make a good detective.  Within the first hour of the cruise she was sitting down with us, very relaxed, not looking at her watch/phone and just talking to us, asking fact finding questions.  She must have done that for about 45 minutes.  After that, we didn't want for anything.   

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17 minutes ago, fishernrex said:

We had Marla (our one and only Genie experience) on Odyssey this year and I agree, she was amazing

7 minutes ago, jay1021 said:

MARLA KNOWS HOW TO READ PEOPLE

We've only had two genies (Hannah and Israel), so far, and both were exceptional.

However, Marla was the Genia in the cabin next to us on Odyssey when we had Israel. We did interact with her since this was in October and the ship was only around 30-35% capacity.  I will say she did impress us and even though she wasn't our assigned genie, we felt like we could rely on her as much as on Israel!

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Cruised in February with 2 of the worst waiters I’ve ever seen.  Kids dining room and meals took 2 hours.  Promises of refills on water/bread never happened.  They must have known they were bad because when it came time to ask for a good rating in the survey they could barely get the words out.   Same ship, the next week, different dining room and I had impeccable service,  chair pulled out for me, attentive to details,  not overbearing, asked if we needed to be at the show at “x” time, properly moved utensils, informed us of next day dining for breakfast lunch and port disembarkation and all aboard.  I couldn’t think of a thing they could have improved on. They even brought us Indian food one evening, just because someone asked a question about it….

same ship following month, different dining room….an overbearing waiter who insisted you wanted more, couldn’t ask enough times how the food  is and how important it is we are happy (multiple mentions each meal EVERY night) however he was good in a lot of respects.  I finally spoke with him 2Nd to last night regarding his repetition of asking, only because it was driving my table mates nuts, I had tuned it out. I also praised him for all the things he did well.   He seemed receptive, who knows.

anyhow 3 very different service types on the same ship and I enjoyed each cruise.  Dinner is only one item out of a cruise so I won’t let it ruin my cruise.  The survey is there for a reason.

I think the more cruises we do the more things we can compare.  If it’s “that bad” the complaints can be made to head staff or guest services and/or on the survey.

some complainers just like to complain or have the “all” approach….it’s all this it’s all that….they cannot see any good.  Hit them with the positives, sometimes they come around.  

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Once a person has done something quite a bit, in this case cruising, I believe they start to let their guard down and just start showing more of who they really are.  If one complains a lot in real life, they will start to see more and more faults in their crusing life.  If one is an "any day can be an adventure" kind of person, that will come out in their cruise life too.

DH & I fall into the latter category.  Although we do completely understand that people pay good money to take these vacations, we are fascinated with the quest for a perfect trip and have seen the melt downs when perfect doesn't happen.  We also plan our trips as best we can, but once we get started driving to the airport or cruise port the adventure starts.  We make our greatest memories in the imperfect moments - in real life and in our cruising life.  They become some of the best stories we have to share.

And we have definitely have great, good and sideways stories regarding crew on the ships.  We are careful about how we speak to the crew if something is not working for us - treat people how you would like to be treated and all that - but the only way for the crew to get better is by speaking up in a polite way. 

My DH thinks it is funny that I am still so giddy as we arrive at a terminal and start checking in.  I have told him that if I stop feeling that way, we have to stop cruising - he doubts it will ever happen.

Just got home from the Anthem this morning and we have all kinds of stories from the trip.  The best is the Great Earl Grey Tea Shortage of 2022 - none in the WJ, none in Cafe Promenade or the pastry/coffee place, none in MDR on Day 1.  Our assistant waiter went searching for some for me before dinner on Day 2, but did not find any and started apologizing over and over again about being out.  His eyes got really big as I pulled out 2 Earl Grey tea bags from my pocket.  I swore our dining team to secrecy about the stash I was able to find until the ship took on more provisions.  I swear I only took a few tea bags from the motherlode I found (ok it was 4), but I really, really didn't want to have to start a mutiny over not being able to have a cuppa in the morning or after dinner.  🏴‍☠️

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

The very nature of cruising where you end up forming some relationship with crew members leads itself to setting high expectations for future cruises.

THAT is one of the things I really enjoy about cruising, especially on Royal, is the relationships that are built with some of the crew.  I love hearing about their story, why they work on cruise ships, how the living conditions are on the ship, the hours, and so on.  They always, if they have time, seem to want to share their story with you.  

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9 hours ago, fishernrex said:

The pin they were wearing.  (I can only assume they didn't buy it off e-bay -  LOL) 

That makes sense. We just received our platinum and emerald pins and it never occurred to me that people would actually wear the pin on a future cruise.  One of the first things I did when we unpacked from our cruises with the pins, was to put them on our pin board with our Disney Pins (in the “cruise area” of course 🙂 )

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10 hours ago, jay1021 said:

As I've stated in many posts in the past, our first Genie was Marla.  She was fantastic and she has set the bar for all other Genies.  Now, I haven't found any other Genie that can live up to Marla's service, and professionalism.  I'm not shy and will voice my opinion of other Genies.  Our last on the Symphony wasn't the best I've had but not BAD.  I didn't let it ruin my cruise and I didn't complain to him or anyone else of importance on the ship.  

What am I trying to say here?  Well, I believe it is Okay to judge one cruise compared to another.  But, it's how you deal with it that counts.  I have not and will not say the not so great Genie's name in public and I will not disparage him in any way in public.  I did make the best of the cruise, in fact it was one of my best cruises, despite the Genie experience.  Again, the Genie experience wasn't bad, it just didn't live up to Marla's service and professionalism.  

We had Marla as our first genie last month. I couldn’t agree more about her being an awesome genie. She has definitely set the bar. 
 

our next SC cruise is in October on symphony. I’m already concerned that the next genie will not match her qualities. 😭

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10 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

 I finally spoke with him 2Nd to last night regarding his repetition of asking, only because it was driving my table mates nuts, I had tuned it out. I also praised him for all the things he did well.   He seemed receptive, who knows.

 

@PattycruiseI like this approach of talking to the person directly MUCH better than going to a manager.  You've given them an opportunity to improve rather than be disciplined for something they may not have even been aware of. 

 

@YOLOmy main reason for the thread wasn't complaining about others complaining... It was simply  " Does it become less enjoyable as time goes on?"   I'll use the example of work travel.  When I started travelling every week for work 23 years ago, I absolutely LOVED the adventure.  I looked forward to trips and made plans to do anything and everything in a new town.  23 years later, it's just another week and I rarely leave the hotel for anything except work.  Maybe I should have titled the thread "Can you go on too many cruises?" -  Understanding the perspective can be different based on your own attitude.  No doubt, we will keep cruising until it becomes a chore or I find myself nitpicking everything and making myself or my husband miserable.  

 

 

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12 hours ago, Pooch said:

Many pinnacles wear their gold name tags. I saw quite a few.  Frankly I think they’re pretty silly.  Put my pin on every morning??  Heck I’m happy I remember my underwear!!!!  Hubby wants one though 🙄🙄😄

I like to call them billboards....they are certainly proud of them and it is quite an accomplishment but silly IMO.

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Pinnacle Pins: I completely understand they take years and years to get. I understand in terms of total dollars spent with Royal Caribbean,  each one of those pins costs a minimum of $160,000 and likely much, much more. $200,00+ likely a better average cost.

But the pins are the definition of pretentious. After all that time on board you shouldn't need a badge to clue in the crew to kiss your butt. 

 

I'll become Pinnacle in January; when that badge arrives at my doorstep I plan on leaving that pin in the same box it arrives in. It will be a surprise for an unsuspecting future estate sale bidder.

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On 4/10/2022 at 5:50 PM, fishernrex said:

Does it become less enjoyable as time goes on (seriously, I can't even imagine and we cruise 4-5 times a year)?   I don't ever want to get that jaded about a vacation.  I'm still excited about upcoming cruises and hope to stay that way for many years to come.  

For me….no. It does not. I love cruising, and everything about it. From researching, booking, following price changes, cruise planner purchases…all the way to packing, traveling and boarding. I love it all! And that’s even before I’m aboard. The cruise itself is always a relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining vacation. I refuse to let it be anything else. I’m easygoing and usually like to be on my own. So I travel solo most of the time. No need to make plans or arrange schedules with others so everyone gets what they want. I absolutely HATE drama and the kings and queens who feed on it. I can’t stand loud complainers, even if they’ve got a point. Take it elsewhere! I have learned to really appreciate and respect the crew. With me being solo, it seems many of them love to spend time talking about their experiences if someone is really interested in listening. I’m a good listener. 
I think repeat cruisers learn more about service differences based upon comparisons from cruise to cruise. I know I do…but I really like to focus on the positive. I’m on a cruise! Again!

As soon as I step off the ship on disembarkation day, I can’t wait to get back on! I don’t think I will ever tire of this…I’m on the Wonder now, on cruise number eighty-nine since 2015. It’s still as special as cruise number one.😎

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I think that there are people who are critical of most things in life, and there are others that are Pollyannas.  Some of us see the glass as half full, others as half empty.  Some have gratitude in their hearts for the little things, some can't find anything to be grateful about.  Add cruising to the mix for each type, and you have some that complain about everything, while some see the entire experience as great.  🙂

We love traveling.  We have never had a bad trip, even though we have had some difficult circumstances happen during those trips.  Most of the time, we have an optimistic attitude, and once we have recovered from the shock of something bad happening, we make the best of it.  Even when our transmission went out in our car while on vacation (when we were young and money was tight), we were thankful the resort we stayed at had loaner bikes.  Instead of whining and complaining about our circumstance, we have a great time riding those darned bikes everywhere! lol  Not to say there wasn't stress, because there was, but we didn't want to let the stress ruin our vacation.  I have friends that would have come back home from the same situation, and complained bitterly about it, seeing none of the good that happened that week.

I don't know why some people cruise, because I've heard the complaints too.  I think we all have.  And we avoid those people when we run into them, because we don't want our joy over the blessing of being able to cruise to be diminished.   🙂

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I think it's the sense of entitlement that bothers me most about the way some people conduct themselves in these types of situations.  If you have reached a certain status, you should reap the benefits of that, but it doesn't give you the right to treat staff poorly, or  to expect to be favored/prioritized over other guests (meaning above and beyond the documented benefits).

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We will be Pinnacle this Fall and I have zero intention of wearing a pin. One of our "cruise friends" (older lady we met on an Alaskan cruise last year we have kept in touch with and will be coordinating for September cruises) is longtime Pinnacle and said she stopped wearing hers when she saw a lady get out of the hot tub and transfer her pinnacle pin from her bathing suit to her wrap.  Some folks like the attention. I personally do not, though I am looking forward to the other perks!

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9 minutes ago, Riley said:

Some folks like the attention. I personally do not, though I am looking forward to the other perks!

If we ever make it to Pinnacle (which would be really great for the benefits), I hope RCI will simply mail our free cruise certificate to us, bypassing the announcement of the achievement at the Top Tier Party.  😂 

I really dislike being recognized for any kind of achievement in front of a crowd.  👀

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9 minutes ago, Riley said:

We will be Pinnacle this Fall and I have zero intention of wearing a pin. One of our "cruise friends" (older lady we met on an Alaskan cruise last year we have kept in touch with and will be coordinating for September cruises) is longtime Pinnacle and said she stopped wearing hers when she saw a lady get out of the hot tub and transfer her pinnacle pin from her bathing suit to her wrap.  Some folks like the attention. I personally do not, though I am looking forward to the other perks!

I normally cruise in Star Class.  I save hard to do that, I do without some things in my normal life to be able to afford to do that, I just love the cabins, the service, and the perks.  One of the many reasons I wear my "Sea Pass" card in a lanyard is for the recognition by the crew.  For example:  On my very first Royal cruise on the Oasis I was in a Grand Suite (not Star, but this led me to want more - Star), I had the suite class Sea Pass card visible.  My wife and I were standing in the line to go into the MDR when a MDR staff member saw us and immediately came over to us and asked us to follow her.  We did not knowing what was going on.  We walked up to the kiosk with her and she introduced us to the maitre d' where he told us that we didn't need to stand in line, just come to the kiosk and they would take us immediately to a table.  I would not have know that that was a perk if it wasn't for the Sea Pass card being visible.  I would not have known about the Coastal Kitchen either if it wasn't for a crew member asking us what we though about it.  We were shocked.  Coming from being a loyal Brand X customer, we thought that being in a suite only intitled you to a larger cabin and very little other perks  So, no, I'm not looking to be recognized by other passengers or trying to be better than anybody else, I'm just trying to get every bang for my buck, something I worked hard for and paid for.  

So, I have no agenda for wearing my sea pass card on a lanyard other than what I've mentioned above, I have other reasons but not agenda.  I've always had my sea pass card or whatever the cruise company calls it, hanging around my neck on a lanyard, even when I had absolutely no status on Brand X.  I'll not be made to feel guilty about it either.  That's not to say that is what your were/are trying to do, Riley.  No, I don't wear any little pins that show my C&A status which isn't much, yet,  Cruise after next, we'll be Diamond. We did achieve "Status" on Brand X, didn't wear a pin there either.  The only status I show proudly is my Veteran status - on hats and Ts.  

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41 minutes ago, Riley said:

We will be Pinnacle this Fall and I have zero intention of wearing a pin. One of our "cruise friends" (older lady we met on an Alaskan cruise last year we have kept in touch with and will be coordinating for September cruises) is longtime Pinnacle and said she stopped wearing hers when she saw a lady get out of the hot tub and transfer her pinnacle pin from her bathing suit to her wrap.  Some folks like the attention. I personally do not, though I am looking forward to the other perks!

I can see wearing it at top tier events and in the pinnacle lounge. I wouldn't wear it around all day as I have seen some pins do.

 

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Moving to Emerald from Platinum (would be diamond now if not for you know what) in two weeks, and my plan is to put the pins I get on my rattiest RC hat, wear it on the beach, get sea water on it and let them get nasty.

I've had MDR lunches with several Pinnacles on cruises and find the ones I've met to be really nice and great sources of knowledge, especially ones who you have to drag their status out of them.

 

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14 hours ago, jay1021 said:

THAT is one of the things I really enjoy about cruising, especially on Royal, is the relationships that are built with some of the crew.  I love hearing about their story, why they work on cruise ships, how the living conditions are on the ship, the hours, and so on.  They always, if they have time, seem to want to share their story with you.  

Same!

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11 minutes ago, DunkelBierJay said:

Moving to Emerald from Platinum (would be diamond now if not for you know what) in two weeks, and my plan is to put the pins I get on my rattiest RC hat, wear it on the beach, get sea water on it and let them get nasty.

I've had MDR lunches with several Pinnacles on cruises and find the ones I've met to be really nice and great sources of knowledge, especially ones who you have to drag their status out of them.

 

Happy cruising and Dunkel to you!  

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17 hours ago, Pooch said:

Many pinnacles wear their gold name tags. I saw quite a few.  Frankly I think they’re pretty silly.  Put my pin on every morning??  Heck I’m happy I remember my underwear!!!!  Hubby wants one though 🙄🙄😄

I can't stand these types of people. I don't cruise very much, but I do travel excessively for work and am top-tier in airline, hotel, and rental car programs. But I keep it quiet. I take advantage of the perks, for sure, but I don't advertise it. I can't stand the people that flaunt their status, especially if they start trying to pull the DYKWIA card. 

My favorite story is when two of us top-tier National Car Rental folks showed up at the Oklahoma City Airport for cars at the same time. They said there was just a rush of returns and we'll need to wait about 15 minutes for a car. "No problem", I said, "appreciate your hard work". Other guy pulled the "DYKWIA, I am Executive Elite, I need my car nowwwwwww and demand an upgrade". A car came around which was clearly not an upgrade, they said it was for him, and sent him on his way all angry. Next car comes up - an upgraded BMW 5-Series, which they gave to me with a smile and a "thanks for being nice". 

At the stoplight getting out of the airport, I pulled up to my angry friend, looked over, and waved. Oh man, I thought his head was going to pop when he saw my upgraded wheels, and I loved every moment of it. 

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14 minutes ago, Zacharius said:

I can't stand these types of people. I don't cruise very much, but I do travel excessively for work and am top-tier in airline, hotel, and rental car programs. But I keep it quiet. I take advantage of the perks, for sure, but I don't advertise it. I can't stand the people that flaunt their status, especially if they start trying to pull the DYKWIA card. 

My favorite story is when two of us top-tier National Car Rental folks showed up at the Oklahoma City Airport for cars at the same time. They said there was just a rush of returns and we'll need to wait about 15 minutes for a car. "No problem", I said, "appreciate your hard work". Other guy pulled the "DYKWIA, I am Executive Elite, I need my car nowwwwwww and demand an upgrade". A car came around which was clearly not an upgrade, they said it was for him, and sent him on his way all angry. Next car comes up - an upgraded BMW 5-Series, which they gave to me with a smile and a "thanks for being nice". 

At the stoplight getting out of the airport, I pulled up to my angry friend, looked over, and waved. Oh man, I thought his head was going to pop when he saw my upgraded wheels, and I loved every moment of it. 

Love that story.  What goes around, comes around.  😀😃😆

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There are definitely more D+ complainers but that's just because there are more D+ members.  On a cruise with 20 - 30 pinnacle there may be 400 - 500 D+.  

There are complainers at every level but mathematically the odds are better you'll run into a non-pinnacle complainer.  

3 hours ago, bobroo said:

But the pins are the definition of pretentious. After all that time on board you shouldn't need a badge to clue in the crew to kiss your butt. 

Actually crew reaction to the pin tends to be a friendly welcome.  It's more like they treat you like you a crew member, one of them, as opposed to some sort of "must kiss butt" reaction.

10 out 10 times I wear my pin when I visit guest services.   Guest services makes up a lot of BS as excuses or policy that isn't real.  When I don't wear the pin 50% of what you hear is made up BS.  When I wear the pin that drops to around 25%.  

2 hours ago, barbeyg said:

If we ever make it to Pinnacle (which would be really great for the benefits), I hope RCI will simply mail our free cruise certificate to us, bypassing the announcement of the achievement at the Top Tier Party.  😂 

I really dislike being recognized for any kind of achievement in front of a crowd.  👀

You don't have to do the presentation.  Before the shutdown there were no top tier events on short cruises and if someone made pinnacle on a short cruise there was nothing.  Many people choose to arrange their pinnacle cruise to be on a 7 night sailing on a favorite ship just so there would be something.  In your situation if you ever get there when you board your pinnacle cruise talk to the loyalty ambassador and tell them no mention at top tier.

2 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

If Pinnacles were really serious about their status, they'd get a tattoo on their chest where they usually put the pin.

Mine is somewhere else and despite @Matt's best attempt the shot count has never gotten high enough for it to be seen.

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My wife and I have been cruising since we were married in 1983 and we scraped up enough money to take an Anniversary Cruise on Song of Norway.  We had a cabin on Deck B and was awestruck by literally everything about cruising. As the years went by we were fortunate enough to be able to afford many more cruises (we could never afford the new loft suites with a Genie) and enjoyed every one.  Cruising, like people, change over time and we found ourselves adapting to these changes.  We still enjoy cruising and interacting with other cruisers and crew members. I now find it a bit harder to cruise as we have in the past but that is because of my health and nothing to do with experiences onboard any ship. Luck holding out, I plan to take a few more cruises in my lifetime. Here's to many more and may we continue to enjoy! image.thumb.jpeg.737fc99c969ec79066fd7b9c24e63651.jpeg

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We cruise an average of once per year, although 2022 will be a make-up year for 20 and 21.  We find that we notice things that are different as we sail different ships, e.g., the furniture on an older ship was a little scratched, and we hated the shower curtain.  However, we were bothered most by the attitude of rude guests, some of whom sat at our dinner table.  We note differences in customer service, but they are due to the differences in people.  On the whole, we find the more we cruise, the more tolerant we are, the more realistic our expectations become, and the more coping strategies we employ.   I can't think of any cruise we didn't rate a "10", even though some were better than others.  Any cruise, for us, is fantastic.  Do we notice it when something we like is missing?   Yes, but inevitably we find something else to enjoy just as much.  If one dessert dish is no longer served, there are many others to choose from!

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When I was in the Army (decades ago!) it was customary to complain about the food. If the mess hall was good, you might not complain but complimenting the food in the Army just wasn't done. I think some folks carry that attitude around in their personal life. Only to a degree of course, civilian griping is absolutely incomparable to what goes on in the military. Still, for some folks complaining seems to be sort of a hobby and there's really not much to be done about it other than to avoid letting it become infectious. 

 Me, I'm happy to see things returning to some semblance of normal. We're departing out of Galveston on Grandeur in a few weeks and planning to have a great time! 

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