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Star Class with others who aren’t


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We currently have on hold a Star Class suite and are sailing with friends who aren’t. Having sailed Star Class just one additional time, I had a few questions of what they may benefit from and I use that term lightly. First, I don’t expect they will be able to go to CK or the suite lounge but there are some things I was wondering. When we go to the shows, can the Genie add them along with us. I’d hate to have to sit separately. They have the dining package so that’s not an issue and I assume he can add them to our reservations for 4 people. Can they eat in the room with us? They have forgone purchasing the drink package thus far but I assume having bears in our room would be allowed since the refrigerator keeps stocked, or it was on our first Star Class sailing. Any of you had this experience? How was it for you. 

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30 minutes ago, Kathleen said:

but I assume having bears in our room would be allowed

They frown upon bears in the suite.  No pets allowed unless registered service animals.   🤣

A lot of what you are asking about can vary by genie and ship.  Some ships have strict rules about how far a genie can go and seating for non-Star guests is unlikely to be allowed but you can always ask.

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1 hour ago, Kathleen said:

When we go to the shows, can the Genie add them along with us.

The answer is it depends.

Officially, the answer is no. Star Class benefits are only for Star Class guests.

Have I been able to get a +1 with us? Yes. But it's not the policy and you can't bet on it.

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27 minutes ago, Matt said:

The answer is it depends.

Officially, the answer is no. Star Class benefits are only for Star Class guests.

Have I been able to get a +1 with us? Yes. But it's not the policy and you can't bet on it.

Fair enough

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To me, this is one of the weaknesses of the Star Class program, even the suite program.  A lot of people travel with extended family and want to be able to meet up.  There really should be some middle ground.

As an example, I think that you should be able to add an extra room for kids or extended family and add Start Class benefits to it (at a reasonable cost).  Even with an adjoining room, you can't do that now.

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A lot depends on how many “extra” people we’re talking about.  Of course, @Mattis correct…the official answer is “no”, but if you are just looking to have 1-2 people join you for a show, my guess is that you will be accommodated.  More than that ?  It would put the Genie in a very uncomfortable position of having to really bend the rules.  Don’t be “that guy”.

From my experience, when you ask the Genie this question, he/she will recite you official policy and tell you that only Star Class passengers will be entitled to SC amenities.  They will never put anything in writing or even over the phone, that contradicts official policy.  But when you speak with them personally, they will let you know what they can and cannot do for you and the other passengers.  My experience has been that the reserved seating for an extra person or 2 has never been a problem.  
 

Regarding food and drinks in the suite - this will not be a problem.  More likely than not, you will have waaay more food and beverages in your suite than you and 25 people could ever consume.  We have yet to be in SC when we did not have to tell them to STOP with the food and drinks !  It just keeps coming and coming and coming !  They do not care who comes to your suite nor what they eat or drink. I have had as many as 35 people in the suite for which food and beverages were provided.  You do NOT need to worry about this one…

I agree with @twangster.  Leave the bears at home.  They will be constantly trying to climb on the railings of the balcony and are likely to scare your neighbors.  😜. …and the tip you would have to give your suite attendants for cleaning up after them would be prohibitive.

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9 minutes ago, Kathleen said:

Thank you so much @WAAAYTOOO. It is just another couple so that helps greatly. Entertaining in the suite will be a great plus. It’s a 10 day cruise so we will be able to take plenty advantage of! 

NICE.  You won’t have any problems.  We’ve had 2 separate SC cruises where we had additional friends cruising with us in non-SC cabins and in both cases they were always included in whichever plans we asked for…whether it was dinner, shows or being escorted off the ship at ports of call.  The exception to this was, as you have already noted, admission to the Suites Lounge or the CK. But other than that, absolutely no problem. Just be discrete.

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1 hour ago, wordell1 said:

A lot of people travel with extended family and want to be able to meet up.  There really should be some middle ground.

The problem is where do you draw the line that X is too many? 2? 4? 8? Whatever number you come up with, there's going to be someone that says "C'mon, what's one more person going to hurt anything?"

This is no different that first class on an airplane. Doesn't matter who you know in the first class cabin. If you didnt buy a seat there, you dont get their benefits.

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We had a similar situation this past Christmas on Oasis where another couple joined us without star class or suite benefits. As others have said it depends on a host of factors; how many, whether they have the unlimited dining and refreshment packages, policies can vary from ship to ship and genie to genie so the extent to which they are included in activities and dining may vary. When the genie initially reached out he asked if others were joining us so that allowed me to ask how the process for scheduling dining and entertainment would work for our friends. I didn’t request any star class benefits for our friends and acknowledged up front that I knew they were not entitled to any.  Our genie said he would take care of it and he did. He surprised us by including our friends in CK on night 1 (filet night) but at the last moment the food and beverage manager said it wasn’t possible.  Which we totally understood because it was a Christmas sailing with reduced capacity limits. He included our friends in our escape room session, BINGO and rising tide bar. Our friends tipped our genie throughout the cruise.  Dining was made easier due to the fact they had the unlimited dining package and refreshment package.  Dining in your suite will not be a problem. 

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7 hours ago, twangster said:

They frown upon bears in the suite.  No pets allowed unless registered service animals.   🤣

A lot of what you are asking about can vary by genie and ship.  Some ships have strict rules about how far a genie can go and seating for non-Star guests is unlikely to be allowed but you can always ask.

I agree with Twangster that it depends on the Genie but our Genie on Oasis was able to take care of folks that had a missed showing of the 80s Aqua show. We only knew this person through these boards. Our Genie was able to work it out and in my opinion, that is what makes Genies special. Shout out to you Leticia. 

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In threads like these it's important to understand the difference between what the benefits are officially supposed to be versus what some guests may have been able to exceed beyond that.  When responding I choose to lean closer to what is supposed to be allowed, here's why:

Over the years when crew have exceeded policy and allowed something that ventures past the published benefits that is always great to hear and well received by the benefactors.  The problem becomes when that experience becomes the expectation.  Other guests or when on a different ship with different management/genie may not realize the same stretching of the policy.  When that occurs some guests who believe they are entitled to it feel they are let down or being cheated because they are not getting something that others have.

Years ago there was a long serving Hotel Director who was able to get away with doing things that he wasn't supposed to do.  He could get away with it given his tenure and reputation.  He would do special things that other Hotel Directors could not.  In the days before genies existed one such benefit he was in the habit of providing was a Pinnacle party on CocoCay.  He would host the event that included special food and beverages and all the Pinnacles who participated loved it.  Over time his generosity became an expectation.  Some other HD's did something similar.  Others did not.  When sailing on a different ship with a different HD some Pinnacle became offended when the special event was not offered.  Instead of appreciating the uniqueness of what that one HD did they decided to complain when they didn't receive the party they had become accustomed to.  Upon receiving these complaints the cruise line president at the time said "What Pinnacle party?  That's not supposed to be happening".  As a result they clamped down and killed the event for all ships and all HD's.   The HD at the root of it was strongly reprimanded.  

This cycle has occurred many times over the years when one loyalty ambassador, or guest services manager, or hotel director, or genie gets in the habit of doing something beyond the intentions of the cruise line.  It always results in the company having to set the record straight and stopping it.  It sets the wrong expectation and when expectations are not fulfilled you have unhappy guests.  

Now with social media guests are able to communicate faster and written words are read by many who don't participate actively in the discussion.  They cherry pick threads like this not getting the nuances and that becomes their expectations.  When their expectations are not met it ruins their experience.  Someone else got something they didn't.  How unfair.  Time to complain.  

All this to say understand what the genie is supposed to do.  That should be the basis of your expectation.  If there is a request beyond that it may or may not be realized.  

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It is a hard pill to swallow, for sure. I do cruise suite class most of the time.  BUT, not all the time.  So, I know what it's like to be sitting in a venue watching suite guests being coddled or whatever.  I've also sailed with friends/family members that weren't suite class.  It's tough to segregate one's self from others that you know/love, at times.  However, I am of the opinion that if you PAY for a service, you should get it, if you DON'T/DIDN'T pay for a service, you shouldn't get it.  No or very very very few exceptions.  

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1 hour ago, Suite Snob said:

It is a hard pill to swallow, for sure. I do cruise suite class most of the time.  BUT, not all the time.  So, I know what it's like to be sitting in a venue watching suite guests being coddled or whatever.  I've also sailed with friends/family members that weren't suite class.  It's tough to segregate one's self from others that you know/love, at times.  However, I am of the opinion that if you PAY for a service, you should get it, if you DON'T/DIDN'T pay for a service, you shouldn't get it.  No or very very very few exceptions.  

Similar situation.  If it is just myself and the wife, we cruise suite class.  If it's a larger group (July for example, our kids, their spouses, and grandchildren); we skip the suite, and we book a row of balcony cabins and open the balconies (6 rooms this trip)

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17 hours ago, Sea Squirrel said:

I agree with Twangster that it depends on the Genie but our Genie on Oasis was able to take care of folks that had a missed showing of the 80s Aqua show. We only knew this person through these boards. Our Genie was able to work it out and in my opinion, that is what makes Genies special. Shout out to you Leticia. 

That was me! Shout out to @Sea Squirreland Leticia, we were only in a CLS and she cleared us into the theater albeit no reservations and we enjoyed the show that was finally happening after so many cancelations. I remember thinking what kind and generous people we were sailing with. We were really touched. We didn't have reservations because they were not available to book as the shows schedules were crazy. Not for lack of trying. 

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It was all Leticia @Neesa, she’s definitely a rock star. Fyi, when you weren’t able to reschedule your hibachi, we were just one grill station over and saw you and your amazing family come in. I know the Evian was a struggle, lol; so glad you were able to enjoy the 80s Aqua and food show!  It’s a small Oasis class world out there, maybe next time will get the courage to introduce ourselves, haha. 

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My personal opinion is that if you want to spend time with friends/family on a cruise it needs to be like/like. If said person want to spring for Star class but their other travel companions don't, expectation need to be meted out. I know a lawyer who works part time at my company who cruises RCG a lot (he was actually the reason I tried RCG back in 2019), but his best buddy always does star class and this guy always a balcony. In the beginning of the restart, several Genies allowed him to be included in all the plans. He was a single dude with a UDP and DX. This was of course made easy with reduced capacity. This past March his friend had a Genie on Wonder, and they weren't so inclusive, and he threw a fit. He had crafted several emails and was going to flood RCG FB/Twitter/Insta with all these negative posts. I had to inform him his entitlement was showing, and his main argument was that people who pay Star class should get whatever they want, including adding others. Just like @twangster brought up in his post, I asked him when would it stop?

Having drinks in the room and including them with specialty dining reservations, isn't too big of an ask. But anything beyond that isn't really fair to those who paid for this service and might feel the burden of another wanting to include none-star class pax.

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1 hour ago, Sea Squirrel said:

It was all Leticia @Neesa, she’s definitely a rock star. Fyi, when you weren’t able to reschedule your hibachi, we were just one grill station over and saw you and your amazing family come in. I know the Evian was a struggle, lol; so glad you were able to enjoy the 80s Aqua and food show!  It’s a small Oasis class world out there, maybe next time will get the courage to introduce ourselves, haha. 

Oh wow, I wish you would have! To be honest I totally understand though. I was in a panic when I landed in the @Lovetocruise2002 star class take over! Would I mesh with the group? Would they think I was a jerk? OMG, the panic! All for naught, everyone could not have been friendlier. I have been fortunate enough to meet so many wonderful people from this site, I hope I can remember them all, @wordell1@SebagoSue and @bellemiche everyone kind and smiles for days. I even waved at @Matt on our first return to sailing cruise from the Bahamas when we both had cabanas in the CoCo Cay waterpark. Back then I didn't want to encroach on his family time and he was clearly documenting the sailing for this blog, so I kept my distance as well. I get it, I really do! Thanks again for your efforts for us on that sailing. 

My daughter always says "mom I'm not allowed to meet any of my on-line friends, how are you meeting the cruise blog strangers any different?" Because it is! Gees 🙂

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On 6/25/2022 at 9:26 PM, WAAAYTOOO said:

A lot depends on how many “extra” people we’re talking about.  Of course, @Mattis correct…the official answer is “no”, but if you are just looking to have 1-2 people join you for a show, my guess is that you will be accommodated.  More than that ?  It would put the Genie in a very uncomfortable position of having to really bend the rules.  Don’t be “that guy”.

From my experience, when you ask the Genie this question, he/she will recite you official policy and tell you that only Star Class passengers will be entitled to SC amenities.  They will never put anything in writing or even over the phone, that contradicts official policy.  But when you speak with them personally, they will let you know what they can and cannot do for you and the other passengers.  My experience has been that the reserved seating for an extra person or 2 has never been a problem.  
 

Regarding food and drinks in the suite - this will not be a problem.  More likely than not, you will have waaay more food and beverages in your suite than you and 25 people could ever consume.  We have yet to be in SC when we did not have to tell them to STOP with the food and drinks !  It just keeps coming and coming and coming !  They do not care who comes to your suite nor what they eat or drink. I have had as many as 35 people in the suite for which food and beverages were provided.  You do NOT need to worry about this one…

I agree with @twangster.  Leave the bears at home.  They will be constantly trying to climb on the railings of the balcony and are likely to scare your neighbors.  😜. …and the tip you would have to give your suite attendants for cleaning up after them would be prohibitive.

You can fit 35 people in a suite and have enough booze for them!? Jesus Christ, how big are the suites? Also, are any of you fancy pants suite people cruising on Oddessy of the Seas in September... me and my wife are great fun at parties when invited 🤪 

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5 hours ago, Eddie Ireland said:

You can fit 35 people in a suite and have enough booze for them!? Jesus Christ, how big are the suites? Also, are any of you fancy pants suite people cruising on Oddessy of the Seas in September... me and my wife are great fun at parties when invited 🤪 

"Fancy Pants"!  You guys keep coming up with these great nicknames that I may use for my next log-in handle and avatar.  

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17 hours ago, Neesa said:

My daughter always says "mom I'm not allowed to meet any of my on-line friends, how are you meeting the cruise blog strangers any different?" Because it is! Gees 🙂

The difference is obvious.  Kid online friends, you never know what kind of person is behind that screen name. Cruise blog online friends, well you know for sure they're going to be strange people.

 

It's like that old joke about the guy picking up a hitchhiker.

Driver - "well I know you couldn't possibly be a serial killer"

Hitchhiker - "How could you know that?"
Driver - "because the odds of there being two serial killers in this car is astronomical"

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9 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

The difference is obvious.  Kid online friends, you never know what kind of person is behind that screen name. Cruise blog online friends, well you know for sure they're going to be strange people.

 

It's like that old joke about the guy picking up a hitchhiker.

Driver - "well I know you couldn't possibly be a serial killer"

Hitchhiker - "How could you know that?"
Driver - "because the odds of there being two serial killers in this car is astronomical"

Generally speaking, people that you become friendly with in blogs like this meet up in a CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT, like on a cruise ship in a very public place.  Kids that meet up with so called internet friends are meeting on street corners, McDonalds, ....... very uncontrolled locations and without the parents knowing about it.  AND, we ain't kids.  Comparing blogs like this among adults with kids on the internet is like comparing Apples to Oranges.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

We had no expectations of what our genie could do for our immediate family and we were pleasantly surprised when we were able to sit together at shows (behind the other star families). Dinner reservations, as you mentioned, were easily done since we all had the dining package. Our genie allowed us to have my parents (non star) take the place of my two kids (star class) at chefs table and I simply paid the additional for my parents. In suite the family could come and go and help themselves to the drinks and snacks. 

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It very much depends on the genie. We had a relatively recent sailing where we were SC and our friends were in a suite. We never asked the genie to help our friends out. I think that since our reservations were linked together, when he made all the dinner and show reservations, he included them with us. 

I completely agree with others that this shouldn't become an expectation. I also look at it from the perspective of the genie... our friends also tipped him well for his help/services, so if the genie can make more money for a cruise, he is going to find a way. Whether RCCL cracks down on them for doing so, that is an open question. 

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