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51 minutes ago, Sea Squirrel said:

Hi All. We are interested in folks opinions on Star Class. In our opinion, something is missing and Star has lost some of its luster and we may be ready to move on from Royal. We have noticed a difference pre vs post covid and would love to hear your thoughts.

More specifics please.   I have done many Star Class cruises pre-pandemic and only one, post-pandemic.  Other than going through 3 Genies, on our last cruise because the first 2 supposedly got injured, most, if not all of the things we felt that we didn't get our money's worth had nothing to do with Star Class.  Activities canceled, some foods not available, mechanical items/venues out of service, services impacted and maybe a few other things I can't remember right now.  Obviously going through 3 Genies has some impact with the level of contact we would have had with a dedicated Genie throughout the entire cruise.  However, I can't think of anything, Star wise, that has changed, reduced, ignored, whatever.  I have noticed, and this is obvious, that different Genies offer different experiences/levels of service, some better than others.  

I'd like to know what you have heard or have first hand knowledge of what's missing, loss of luster, whatever.  That may make me realize that I was missing something and didn't know it.    

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These issues are not unique to Royal, or cruising in general.  Every industry is still having lingering issues from the pandemic - which is most certainly not over as it relates to the cruise industry.  What other industry does regular testing of all employees and must quarantine them when testing positive - even with no symptoms?

I'm not sure it's fair to use "post covid" at this point.

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Our first post-covid is a great example. We could start by the champagne in a bucket with no ice. It is a small detail but clearly made embarkation toasts impossible. It stayed empty for the entire week. We never drank it. Sure we could have asked for ice but we wanted to see if our dedicated “Star” crew would notice. They didnt. They lost our luggage first day. How does that happen in Star?  Our bags went to the Star porters but it took 8 hrs to get them. First day…lost. I could go on but why. It was a sub-par experience at best. Our Genie for our upcoming cruise contacted us yesterday. We emailed and have not received a response. It may be just my style, but I expect acknowledgement within 24 hrs. It is that way in my office, i expect the same when I pay for this service. 

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23 minutes ago, wordell1 said:

These issues are not unique to Royal, or cruising in general.  Every industry is still having lingering issues from the pandemic - which is most certainly not over as it relates to the cruise industry.  What other industry does regular testing of all employees and must quarantine them when testing positive - even with no symptoms?

I'm not sure it's fair to use "post covid" at this point.

@wordell1, i could not disagree with you more.i am not interested in using the travel industry as a benchmark. The fact is I am only interested in my ROI on Star Class.  Royal has not lowered prices, therefore I will not lower my expectations, especially when paying for Star. I know the difference in service pre vs post pandemic and I am well aware of pricing.it is absolutely fair to compare the two when pricing is higher post pandemic and service is less than what was received pre-pademic. This discussion is about Royal’s highest level of service. Not Sea Class, not Sky Class but Star. It is unimaginable that Royal would make cuts here.  

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28 minutes ago, Sea Squirrel said:

@wordell1, i could not disagree with you more.i am not interested in using the travel industry as a benchmark. The fact is I am only interested in my ROI on Star Class.  Royal has not lowered prices, therefore I will not lower my expectations, especially when paying for Star. I know the difference in service pre vs post pandemic and I am well aware of pricing.it is absolutely fair to compare the two when pricing is higher post pandemic and service is less than what was received pre-pademic. This discussion is about Royal’s highest level of service. Not Sea Class, not Sky Class but Star. It is unimaginable that Royal would make cuts here.  

You raise some very valid points.  However, the deficiencies you describe, I have not experienced.  So, therefore, I'll back out of this.  

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45 minutes ago, Sea Squirrel said:

@wordell1, i could not disagree with you more. Royal has not lowered prices, therefore I will not lower my expectations, especially when paying for Star. I know the difference in service pre vs post pandemic and I am well aware of pricing.it is absolutely fair to compare the two when pricing is higher post pandemic and service is less than what was received pre-pademic.

Yes, but the question is whether it will be different elsewhere.  Other cruise lines will have the very same issues.  

Prices are supply and demand and Royal is competing against other cruise lines and also other travel choices. 

Hotels have had even bigger service drop offs - It's hard to even get a basic daily cleaning service in most.  Restaurants in general are also much worse - and also significantly more expensive that pre covid.  I'm not sure what vacation you would book that is giving the same service it did pre covid.

It has been a little over 1 year since Royals first post covid cruise on AOS out of Nassau (June 2021).  All of us were begging to get cruises started in any form.  Royal just got all ships back in service a few months ago.  The question (that you asked) is whether the Star Class experience will return to its pre covid state.  My answer is simply "I think it's too soon to tell".  There are simply too many issues that are beyond Royal's control to judge.  

It's totally understandable if you don't think the service is worth the money.  I actually agree with you - just not for the same reasons.

 

 

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When you pay for Star, you are not paying for a list of tangible items. Star is an experience. The greater industry is not germaine. By your logic, you are saying if you paid for first class on an airline on a transatlantic and was seated in economy plus or coach, you would be ok with that due to changes in the travel industry post-pandemic. I dont think you would find that a good value. The fact is Royal is 100% in control of their genies and how they market and execute the Royal Class program. I am not interested in comparisons to the industry at large. If I spend 15k on a vacation, I expect 15K in value based on previous experience in Star. I am not comparing Royal to NCL, Carnival, Holland America. I am comparing Royal to Royal. The pandemic has nothing to do with customer service, that is up to the Genie. What Royal allows as acceptable in respect to their Genies is completely up to the company but in my opinion, customer service costs nothing to the company unless the customer decides there is no longer any value. The fact that Star suites sell fast is no reason for half-tailed service. Lets be serious for a moment, a bucket of champagne with no ice at embarkation, lost luggage and human fluids on the wall after a “special” cruise. The hotel manager himself scrubbed our walls while we were in port at CoCo Cay. In what world would you consider that luxury. The fact my daughter had to see that much less live with that for 2 days is disgusting and not what we paid for.  

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On my Oasis sailing in May my table was essentially served stale bread, practically every day.  It became the running joke at our table.  However it annoyed the crap out of me, because it’s not the quality we’ve had on past sailings.  Looking back I realize I was wrong to not complain about this.  I should have started with our server and if it wasn’t better the next day I should have spoken to the head waiter.   While one would expect an ice bucket to have ice if it’s holding champagne it’s clear your attendant did not know, or presumed you’d let them know, that you wanted ice.  Just as I should have spoken up perhaps a simple note or spoken word likely would have alleviated the problem and  if it did not I imagine a word to the genie would have been suffice and your week would have been better. I hope you eventually made someone aware of your dissatisfaction so the level of service can be brought back to where it should be for the next passengers, wether it be you or someone else.

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There have been reports of genies testing positive and in one case two genies tested positive on the same cruise.  When that happens they have to quarantine.  Suite cabin attendants can also test positive and need to quarantine.  They can try to move a regular cabin attendant to cover but that person hasn't normally proven they are capable of serving suite accommodations.  

There are scenarios right now that can impact all levels on a cruise including Star Class.  Star Class is not immune from the potential from impact.  Those are the risks cruising right now.  The entertainment cast might test positive and that prevents a show from going on.  Everyone on board is impacted.  When Star Class resources are made unavailable unexpectedly it can impact the Star Class experience directly.

Perhaps now is not a good time to travel if this potential outcome is unacceptable to you.   That is a perfectly acceptable and understandable position to take given the money spent for the elevated experience you should expect but that may not always be possible at the moment. 

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You make a great point and we have no way of knowing what is going on behind the scenes. I believe Moby experienced reduced Genies on his sailing due to circumstances. Don’t get me wrong, we are still happy to sail but the Sea Squirrel family will do it with more patience and understanding. Thanks all for putting it in perspective. I would recommend that in each theater of sailing (Alaska, Med, Caribbean) Royal keep a Genie shoreside in quarantine. Sure it expensive to the company but nominal compared to the prices folks pay for Star. Heck, even the yachts on “Below Deck” do this because their customers are not paying for excuses. Before anyone says, “well than rent a yacht” keep in mind that Star was Royal’s answer to folks who choose to rent their own yachts. RC wanted to enter a lucrative market and target folks willing to pay top dollar for an experience. Easing up on how the Star program is executed should concern shareholders. Face it, RC makes a lot of money from top tier. The cheapest interior rooms are not money makers for shareholders…it is the suites. 

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I experienced 2 genies on my Alaska cruise. One the way to the cruise, we got switched, the Day 5 our Genie came down with Covid and we got the first genie back. We then had to get tested as we were close contacts with them.

 

It got off to a very bad start.  On the way to the port I get a Whats app message at 10:45 saying I have a new genie due to the first being unfit for duty.  We had a horrible experience prior with a new genie and specifically requested an experienced genie onboard. Our new assigned genie was also new.  It really put a damper on the first day excitement.  When we get to the port, we were met by the concierge not the genie to be walked on the ship.  Our genie met us onboard and basically introduced himself and said "since you were on Odyessy, you know the layout, you have lunch at Chops at noon, I will take your bag to the room.  Enjoy."  We were not escorted to the room, did not have the requested items except the bottle of champagne with ice.  Going to the room after lunch, many people had their luggage by the doors, not us.  Ours was in the baggage room off to the side.  I pointed to our bags and asked if the attendant could help me with my 4 bags and he said, I only do this side. Okay then, by this time I was upset with my experience.  I texted our genie and said we haven't gotten our bags yet and there are many bags in the hallway and they said, they are still working on them.  

How it should have been handled in  my thoughts:  Have the concierge meet us and walk us through and personally explain what has happened to our first genie and act as a genie until ours was ready to give us the full genie experience.  That would have been more professional and hospitable then the way it happened.  Should the genie have went up and checked the baggage area for our bags or asked the room attendant to check on them, yes.

Was this due to Covid and protocol yes, but this was also due to poor training and communication on how Star Class should work. I have been on several Star Class Cruise spre covid and 2 post covid and I have definitely  seen a decline in service, protocol and overall experiencenot accounting for covid exposure on activities and supply chain. 

The one thing that was different is the gifts.  The ones we received post covid were from the onboard shops where as the ones pre covid were thoughtful, hand chosen and ordered based on our survey responses. In the past we have received books, mugs, figurines, inspirational mugs that I look at and remember the great time I had onboard versus the last minute I have to go get something from the stores that will probably be thrown out.

In the end,  everything worked out with our genie and our experience with them was great with them but I am hesitant to book another Star Class for a while until the program gets back to what it was.  The VP responsible for creating the program has left Royal so I feel that the Star Class experience will also suffer.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sea Squirrel said:

You make a great point and we have no way of knowing what is going on behind the scenes. I believe Moby experienced reduced Genies on his sailing due to circumstances. Don’t get me wrong, we are still happy to sail but the Sea Squirrel family will do it with more patience and understanding. Thanks all for putting it in perspective. 

Yes, our first Genie, Rahul, two days in, apparently hurt his ankle.  Our second Genie, Dexter, 4 days in, apparently hurt his ankle, leg, or back, I never did get clarification on that, not that it was really any of my business.  The funny part about it, we asked if we were going to be able to see them on debarkation day to give them a token tip for their time with us.  We were told that they were restricted to their cabins and couldn't come out.  So, as a person that made a living reading between the lines, I was a little skeptical about the excuses we were given.  I am naturally and professionally (now retired) suspicious/doubtful of most people at face value.  I'm slowly rehabbing myself to civilian level.

 

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19 minutes ago, MLH said:

I experienced 2 genies on my Alaska cruise. One the way to the cruise, we got switched, the Day 5 our Genie came down with Covid and we got the first genie back. We then had to get tested as we were close contacts with them.

 

It got off to a very bad start.  On the way to the port I get a Whats app message at 10:45 saying I have a new genie due to the first being unfit for duty.  We had a horrible experience prior with a new genie and specifically requested an experienced genie onboard. Our new assigned genie was also new.  It really put a damper on the first day excitement.  When we get to the port, we were met by the concierge not the genie to be walked on the ship.  Our genie met us onboard and basically introduced himself and said "since you were on Odyessy, you know the layout, you have lunch at Chops at noon, I will take your bag to the room.  Enjoy."  We were not escorted to the room, did not have the requested items except the bottle of champagne with ice.  Going to the room after lunch, many people had their luggage by the doors, not us.  Ours was in the baggage room off to the side.  I pointed to our bags and asked if the attendant could help me with my 4 bags and he said, I only do this side. Okay then, by this time I was upset with my experience.  I texted our genie and said we haven't gotten our bags yet and there are many bags in the hallway and they said, they are still working on them.  

How it should have been handled in  my thoughts:  Have the concierge meet us and walk us through and personally explain what has happened to our first genie and act as a genie until ours was ready to give us the full genie experience.  That would have been more professional and hospitable then the way it happened.  Should the genie have went up and checked the baggage area for our bags or asked the room attendant to check on them, yes.

Was this due to Covid and protocol yes, but this was also due to poor training and communication on how Star Class should work. I have been on several Star Class Cruise spre covid and 2 post covid and I have definitely  seen a decline in service, protocol and overall experiencenot accounting for covid exposure on activities and supply chain. 

The one thing that was different is the gifts.  The ones we received post covid were from the onboard shops where as the ones pre covid were thoughtful, hand chosen and ordered based on our survey responses. In the past we have received books, mugs, figurines, inspirational mugs that I look at and remember the great time I had onboard versus the last minute I have to go get something from the stores that will probably be thrown out.

In the end,  everything worked out with our genie and our experience with them was great with them but I am hesitant to book another Star Class for a while until the program gets back to what it was.  The VP responsible for creating the program has left Royal so I feel that the Star Class experience will also suffer.

 

 

It sounds like you had the same experience with the bags that we had. We received a last minute Royal Up and even checked our original room for our bags. Guess what?  We had Sea Pass cards on that door too. We tried them and they worked…we had 2 cabins. Scary that cards linked to my credit card were left on the door of a cabin we’d never use. Our bags were not there and the welcome aboard spread was better in our original cabin, lol. 

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10 hours ago, Sea Squirrel said:

When you pay for Star, you are not paying for a list of tangible items. Star is an experience. The greater industry is not germaine. By your logic, you are saying if you paid for first class on an airline on a transatlantic and was seated in economy plus or coach, you would be ok with that due to changes in the travel industry post-pandemic. I dont think you would find that a good value. The fact is Royal is 100% in control of their genies and how they market and execute the Royal Class program. I am not interested in comparisons to the industry at large. If I spend 15k on a vacation, I expect 15K in value based on previous experience in Star. I am not comparing Royal to NCL, Carnival, Holland America. I am comparing Royal to Royal. The pandemic has nothing to do with customer service, that is up to the Genie. What Royal allows as acceptable in respect to their Genies is completely up to the company but in my opinion, customer service costs nothing to the company unless the customer decides there is no longer any value. The fact that Star suites sell fast is no reason for half-tailed service. Lets be serious for a moment, a bucket of champagne with no ice at embarkation, lost luggage and human fluids on the wall after a “special” cruise. The hotel manager himself scrubbed our walls while we were in port at CoCo Cay. In what world would you consider that luxury. The fact my daughter had to see that much less live with that for 2 days is disgusting and not what we paid for.  

This is exactly my assertion. I agree with it 100% especially the airline scenario. The second  disgusting thought I didn't love & I would assign a disgusting response if there was one. There is NO excuse for the failure pertaining to human fluids. It just seems everywhere I go prices are up and quality is down. Star is about the experience & while I loved it and MAY book it again waaay in the future Sky is still my happy place, but taking a break from Royal right now sadly makes me happier. Just want to give her a minute to figure things out instead of me feeling my experience is meh for the $$. I am a glass half full person in life, but I can also see a diluted experience/product that should not be. I know this is a fan site so I'm sorry ahead of time if I offend with this post. 

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I hesitate to comment on this thread since I have not cruised (any class) since the re-start, but I will say something about the luggage delivery situation since this has been a pet peeve of mine for some time.

There is really no excuse for your luggage not being delivered to your suite in a timely manner.  I concur that this is a matter of poor training and lack of oversight.  Even though your Genie is not the one delivering your luggage, he/she is the one responsible for making sure you are happy (don't read too much into that statement...I fully realize no one but YOU can "make" you happy)...and delayed, incomplete or piss-poor luggage delivery will not make a guest happy...and it's a very bad way to start the cruise.

TBH, I feel like the luggage delivery schema for SC has been sketchy all along.  I totally understand about reduced resources but as I said, I think this has been a problem from the beginning even when "reduced resources" (how much do I hate this excuse !!) were not necessarily an issue.  The promo video shows Reyno climbing the stairs, swinging a suitcase, smiling all the while.  So much wrong with that picture....

This is the primary reason that we have, in the past, insisted that our luggage remain with us during embarkation.  The reasons are:  (1) You know where your luggage is at all times !  It never leaves your sight.  (2) We make sure that the luggage "handler" (BTW, this can be a complicated situation.....particularly in Bayonne where there are, in most cases, 3 separate "groups" of people touching your bags.  It could be like this at other ports too but I know for sure that the Longshoremen in NJ require only Union labor touch your bags prior to them getting onto the ship) takes the bags UPSTAIRS, not just leave them at the foot of the stairs or worse, outside (which HAS happened to us even when SC) !  (3) Of course, if you and your bags arrive at the same time then you can begin unpacking immediately, if this is your choice.  If not, do whatever you choose to do...but you will know that your bags are there and waiting.  One less thing to worry about.

Certainly there are situations where your room is not ready yet or for whatever reason, you do not go directly to your suite, in which case, we have them go ahead and take the bags to the suite with instructions for the bags to be taken upstairs.  We haven't had that scenario fail us YET.

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I've been thinking about this since my post where I said I'm out.  This really has got my goat for some reason.  Here's why:

First, I'm no apologist for Royal, not one bit.  However, I can think of a lot of, supposedly first class, state of the art, the best, and/or remarkable venues I've visited with my family, including with my Grandkids, pre-COVID (decades before) and post-COVID.  Well, just to make this as short as possible, DISNEY WORLD, supposedly the best, most beautiful, meticulously maintained theme park in the world. We visited when my Grandkids were really at the age to fully enjoy the majesty of Disney.  I'm guessing this was circa 2005.  We load up the Grandkids, we go to Shades of Green (and that's where we stayed too) and get our military discounted tickets.  The next day, here we go kid, lets have a great day and enjoy ourselves.  Get to the park and the Haunted house is down for maintenance, the Racetrack is down for maintenance, it's a small world (which I hate) is down for some reason, the presidents animatronics is down, I can't remember the rest that were down, this is terrible, the kids are so let down.  OH, the trash blowing around, I/we were really disappointed.  That is not the Disney World I grew up with.  I did find a member of management, I don't know if he managed the horse poop shovel guys or the food services in the park, I really didn't care.  I told him that I was very disappointed in the state of the park and I didn't understand how, with a clear conscious Disney could not reduce entrance fare because about 25 to 40% of what the kids really wanted to do wasn't available to them or us.  I also told him that we talked to another couple (which we really did) that paid FULL price (not military) and they were very disappointed, too.  I have been back to Disney since but NOOOOOOO more as of a year or so ago, enough said, to political for here.  Well, we got what I would call the usual Corp canned response that amounted to word salad and nothing resolved or even attempted.  So, this is how I now judge my criticism of services for then on because I have since realized, or I should say, reminded that NOTHING is perfect and NOTHING is fair.  That's not to say that I turn the other cheek, far from it, I voice my discontent and move on.  But, other than for political reasons, I'll always give a venue a chance to improve or correct themselves. AND, I voice my opinion/discontent at the time of first discovery, I don't wait to see if THEY notice it and self correct.  Again, nothing is perfect, as much as we would like it to be.  

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@WAAAYTOOOI agree, it is sketchy. Pre-pandemic, Star porters always kept bags with us in site. Not the case now. We haven’t always sailed in Star and knew to keep some things with us when boarding when that is the case. However, with Star, you are led to believe different by the standard “company email”. Regardless of unions in ports, when I hand my bag to RC, it now belongs to RC and they are responsible and that is where blame lies. I do not blame subs for what a prime is responsible for. 

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@Moby Dick i understand the comparison but Disney deals in volume and unless you pay extreme amounts of money (far beyond my reach) Disney is self-guided whereas RC markets Star as a personalized experience. Don’t get me wrong, we still love Royal, just saying they might want to put a little elbow grease on the star and make it shine again. If you are selling intangibles (ie an experience) and market it that way, a company should be prepared to deliver. They are selling that fab anniversary, that amazing 16th BD, that memorable family reunion. Seems to us that has been lost somewhere in the numbers. Star is not supposed to be nor should be routine. 

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12 minutes ago, Sea Squirrel said:

@Moby Dick i understand the comparison but Disney deals in volume and unless you pay extreme amounts of money (far beyond my reach) Disney is self-guided whereas RC markets Star as a personalized experience. Don’t get me wrong, we still love Royal, just saying they might want to put a little elbow grease on the star and make it shine again. If you are selling intangibles (ie an experience) and market it that way, a company should be prepared to deliver. 

The point, it didn't matter if my Disney visit was the very top of their VIP guided tour and the top of the amenities, "A" list, these venues weren't available to even the richest (Musk) of folks and the dirt and blowing trash was readily visible and in some cases brushed up against.  It ain't perfect.

In premise, we are almost exactly aligned.  "If you promise it, deliver it".  NOTHING is perfect, though.  Let your discontent be known at the time of discovery and give them a chance to correct it.  As a former leader in the military and civilian life, my job was to train the youngers, reinforce the training and correct any discrepancies on the spot.  Nothing will change/improve if nothing is done.  People don't know if they are doing something wrong if they don't know that they are doing something wrong.  

I think, as I just stated, we are on the same sheet of music, just have a little different approach and expectations.  Before my last cruise, I wrote/emailed to our Genie that my expectations were very high and I wouldn't accept anything but excellence.  I let him know exactly what I expected (we don't like champaign and told him so.  But, I did tell him that I wanted my ice bucket filled ALL THE TIME and it was).  Other than going through 3 Genies, as mention earlier, he did not disappoint.  Before he "hurt" himself, he had the entire cruise planned out for us.  The replacement Genies only had to visit with us, at various venues, to make sure things were going on as expected and accomplish the reserved seating, they were except for the none Star Class amenities/venues that I already mentioned.  Those amenities/venues weren't available to the none Star Class folks as well as the Star Class folks.  Just like I alluded to with my experience at Disney.  No matter what class you are, there IS going to be disappointments and the feeling like your not getting the most Bang for Your Buck.   Also, as I've been told, I don't look like the kind of guy that takes any crap.  I promise, I'm an over stuffed teddy bear unless you are breaking the law or an enemy of the country.

We complained to the Customer Service Manager about the many disappointments that we experienced on that last cruise.  She said that she was sorry and that she was going to take care of us, exactly what, I had no idea at the time.  We did tell her, up front, that we weren't looking to get something for nothing.  She said she was going to do something anyway.  Well, we got a letter in our cabin later that day saying that we were going to get a 5% discount on our NEXT cruise and an email confirmation will be sent to us in a couple weeks.  We got the email a lot more than a couple weeks later, we actually for got about it until it showed up.  There were so many limitations, IFs, AND's, or BUTs that it wasn't even worth trying to use it.  

OUT

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4 hours ago, Sea Squirrel said:

It sounds like you had the same experience with the bags that we had. We received a last minute Royal Up and even checked our original room for our bags. Guess what?  We had Sea Pass cards on that door too. We tried them and they worked…we had 2 cabins. Scary that cards linked to my credit card were left on the door of a cabin we’d never use. Our bags were not there and the welcome aboard spread was better in our original cabin, lol. 

Pre covid, the bags were loaded by room by the porter and taken directly to the room.  now they put them all on the same cart to be sanitized before getting to your room and dumped with all the other bags in the storage area to be delivred by the room stewards.  Not as advertised for sure.

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4 hours ago, Neesa said:

This is exactly my assertion. I agree with it 100% especially the airline scenario. The second  disgusting thought I didn't love & I would assign a disgusting response if there was one. There is NO excuse for the failure pertaining to human fluids. It just seems everywhere I go prices are up and quality is down. Star is about the experience & while I loved it and MAY book it again waaay in the future Sky is still my happy place, but taking a break from Royal right now sadly makes me happier. Just want to give her a minute to figure things out instead of me feeling my experience is meh for the $$. I am a glass half full person in life, but I can also see a diluted experience/product that should not be. I know this is a fan site so I'm sorry ahead of time if I offend with this post. 

I am with you.  After the last few cruises since the restart at high capacity, I am no longer booking as well.  The problem is capacity is way too high for the service to be where it was before covid.  Supply issues, covid among guests and crew and entertainers, covid protocols in place restricitng access to many things.  Just not worth it too me.

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Star Class has changed a lot since the restart, have had two experiences with Star Class after the restart and a few before Covid.  I am focusing on the restart, one Genie was over the top ~ and the other Genie was not and RC totally heard about both.  

The Genies due to protocol were not around as much, one Genie we saw every day from a distance (we were walked on and off), and the other Genie we were lucky to see (if ever) even when we disembarked.  I have mentioned this before, you "pay a premium price for Star Class" and that is what I expect.  Prices on everything is going up and for our vacation dollars I don't want less for more, and when we do the next star class - hopefully RC and the Genies will be better.

 

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34 minutes ago, not easy being green said:

Genies will be better.

I have very little doubt they will.  I don't hold out much hope for Royal's landside, though.  

Your post made me think of something else though.  What if so many other venues/services on a ship have gotten so bad, the Genies are embarrassed or shying away from the complaints their suite passengers may have.  That's not an excuse, BTW.  

I'd be willing to bet that things are actually getting better all the time now. Just a slow recovery. 

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9 hours ago, Moby Dick said:

The point, it didn't matter if my Disney visit was the very top of their VIP guided tour and the top of the amenities, "A" list, these venues weren't available to even the richest (Musk) of folks and the dirt and blowing trash was readily visible and in some cases brushed up against.  It ain't perfect.

In premise, we are almost exactly aligned.  "If you promise it, deliver it".  NOTHING is perfect, though.  Let your discontent be known at the time of discovery and give them a chance to correct it.  As a former leader in the military and civilian life, my job was to train the youngers, reinforce the training and correct any discrepancies on the spot.  Nothing will change/improve if nothing is done.  People don't know if they are doing something wrong if they don't know that they are doing something wrong.  

I think, as I just stated, we are on the same sheet of music, just have a little different approach and expectations.  Before my last cruise, I wrote/emailed to our Genie that my expectations were very high and I wouldn't accept anything but excellence.  I let him know exactly what I expected (we don't like champaign and told him so.  But, I did tell him that I wanted my ice bucket filled ALL THE TIME and it was).  Other than going through 3 Genies, as mention earlier, he did not disappoint.  Before he "hurt" himself, he had the entire cruise planned out for us.  The replacement Genies only had to visit with us, at various venues, to make sure things were going on as expected and accomplish the reserved seating, they were except for the none Star Class amenities/venues that I already mentioned.  Those amenities/venues weren't available to the none Star Class folks as well as the Star Class folks.  Just like I alluded to with my experience at Disney.  No matter what class you are, there IS going to be disappointments and the feeling like your not getting the most Bang for Your Buck.   Also, as I've been told, I don't look like the kind of guy that takes any crap.  I promise, I'm an over stuffed teddy bear unless you are breaking the law or an enemy of the country.

We complained to the Customer Service Manager about the many disappointments that we experienced on that last cruise.  She said that she was sorry and that she was going to take care of us, exactly what, I had no idea at the time.  We did tell her, up front, that we weren't looking to get something for nothing.  She said she was going to do something anyway.  Well, we got a letter in our cabin later that day saying that we were going to get a 5% discount on our NEXT cruise and an email confirmation will be sent to us in a couple weeks.  We got the email a lot more than a couple weeks later, we actually for got about it until it showed up.  There were so many limitations, IFs, AND's, or BUTs that it wasn't even worth trying to use it.  

OUT

Suite Snob?  Is that you??!

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34 minutes ago, Pooch said:

Signatures don’t show on my iPhone in portrait mode.  But I could tell!  

I'm 10-42, Jay1021, Nimrod, Suite Snob, 1st Mate, and now Moby Dick and maybe a couple others.  LOL

 

EDITED IN:  I need to clarify, I do not have more than one current login in here at a time.  I don't argue with myself.  

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21 minutes ago, Sea Squirrel said:

Just curious, is it anyone’s experience to wait days without a reply from your Genie after initial contact. It has been our experience that responses come almost immediately. For our upcoming sailing, it has been more than two days.  

For my May cruise, I think we waited a few days for Dexter's response to my response to his initial email.  Dexter was our original Genie until we changed our cabin/suite.  Then we were assigned Rahul because of the cabin change, our doing.  

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10 hours ago, Sea Squirrel said:

Just curious, is it anyone’s experience to wait days without a reply from your Genie after initial contact. It has been our experience that responses come almost immediately. For our upcoming sailing, it has been more than two days.  

That is normal.  Depending on the genie and what you request in the email.  They have to verify information before responding.  I have had genies respond the next day and some genies say give them 48 hours. The farther out you are from sailing the longer delay of returning emails I have found.  What ship are you on?

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Some Genies are better at pre-sail comm than others.  I can't remember which Genie (I do recall that it was a male), but I have read a number of pre-sail concerns b/c that particular Genie was a poorer pre-sail communicator than previous Genies.  When the time came to board, they found this Genie to be exceptional but simply didn't communicate that well up front.

Concur with @MLHthat the Genies have to be very careful about what they put in writing.  I had a Genie tell me that when it comes to emails and phone cons, they will never "say" anything that is contrary to official policy...but when it comes down to private conversations in person, the Genies will be more spontaneous.

I wouldn't worry too much about a short lapse in return comm....but if it goes more than 3-4 days I would send a follow-up just to be sure that everything is a-ok.  With Genies moving in and out of isolation so much, you never know what might be a legitimate concern and what might simply be overwork.

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16 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Some Genies are better at pre-sail comm than others.  I can't remember which Genie (I do recall that it was a male), but I have read a number of pre-sail concerns b/c that particular Genie was a poorer pre-sail communicator than previous Genies.  When the time came to board, they found this Genie to be exceptional but simply didn't communicate that well up front.

Concur with @MLHthat the Genies have to be very careful about what they put in writing.  I had a Genie tell me that when it comes to emails and phone cons, they will never "say" anything that is contrary to official policy Yep, they walk a thin rope in written communications...but when it comes down to private conversations in person, the Genies will be more spontaneous.

I wouldn't worry too much about a short lapse in return comm....but if it goes more than 3-4 days I would send a follow-up just to be sure that everything is a-ok.  With Genies moving in and out of isolation so much, you never know what might be a legitimate concern and what might simply be overwork.  Totally agree, tis better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

Rahul actually sent me his company phone phone number in our 1st or 2nd email conversation.  I only used it twice, once to verify that it was, in fact, his phone and the 2nd time to let him know we were at the terminal.  This was on our last Alaska cruise in May.  That was a first.  Before that (pre-COVID), we relied on email.  For me/us, the availability to Whatsapp and virtually live communications with our Genie is a vast improvement compared to pre-COVID. I actually had a situation that I felt needed my Genies attention, in the Pub.  I sent him a text and he was there in less than 5 minutes.  All I told him was that I needed him in the Pub "ASAP".  Poor guy had no idea what he was walking in to.  All went well and clear-up.  

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12 hours ago, Sea Squirrel said:

Just curious, is it anyone’s experience to wait days without a reply from your Genie after initial contact. It has been our experience that responses come almost immediately. For our upcoming sailing, it has been more than two days.  

Yes. Our Genie that we had in March 2022 would not return a reply for days. He turned out to be one of my favourites. How fast they respond is not a good indicator of what they will be like onboard (from my own personal experience).

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13 hours ago, Sea Squirrel said:

Just curious, is it anyone’s experience to wait days without a reply from your Genie after initial contact. It has been our experience that responses come almost immediately. For our upcoming sailing, it has been more than two days.  

We sailed in January when the original Omicron was spiking. Our initial emails occasionally took up to 48 hours. Once I reached out to him a second time in between and he apologized and explained that often times he spends the whole day helping his clients currently on board so the only time he gets to respond to his upcoming cruisers is late at night after everyone on board is taken care of. I must say, he was fabulous and if I could have him on every sailing I would! He also spoke 5 languages so he was often needed to solve issues when there were language barriers outside of his star class duties. 

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Hi All. Thanks so much for the responses. My wife reached out last night and she did receive a response from the Genie. Immediately. All our other SC sailings have been surprises so this planning part is new for my wife. I believe the Genie addressed her concerns and made her feel much more comfortable giving up that control, lol. Should be a great week on Ovation! 

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