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Suites vs loyalty status


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it seems with royal carribean that if you have deep pockets,and are able to buy grand suites and above,you get to go to the suite lounge,get all the perks,and more,but if you have started from the bottom and have worked your way up this so called ladder,and through the good and bad times you have stayed loyal to royal,it doesn't count for anything,i was in business for 34 years and two things we treasured,our name and our customers loyalty,we are diamond members,and want to keep going to diamond plus and above,but it appears if you book a grand suite and above you get everything,no longer is it kool to be loyal,only money talks,so sad.

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  • Matt changed the title to Suites vs loyalty status

Suite guests have always gotten better benefits, but remember that they are paying for those benefits.

As a Diamond Plus guest, you get to book an inside cabin if you like and get similar benefits.

I'm not sure why there's so much disdain for suite guests because it's been this way for decades in terms of suite guests getting additional benefits.

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I wonder david hannay if in your business that you treated your most profitable and highest revenue generating customers with perks that you didn't offer to a first time low margin, low revenue customer.  Then as that customer created a longer history with your business perhaps you began to reward that loyalty with additional perks not offered day 1.

If so, that describes Grand Suite guests getting perks right out of the gate and folks like you and I clawing our way to them not through transactional profitability but loyalty and lifetime profitability.

I understand that it can be distasteful to watch someone buy something for which you had to work over many years, but Royal Caribbean is a business after all.

I wouldn't say RC has money as their only interest, if they did there would be no loyalty perks.  It's not surprising that money is their primary interest.

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Suite guests get suite lounge.  Diamond and above have diamond lounge.  Diamond and Diamond Plus get discounts on laundry, suite guests don’t. Diamond and above get drink vouchers, suites get happy hour.  Unless you’re star class (11 or less rooms on Oasis or Quantum ships), the only “real” benefit is maybe Coastal Kitchen.

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Royal Caribbean is a business - they are trying to make as much money as they can. 

Obviously, repeat business is highly important and they get that by giving guests a great cruise experience and also by providing great benefits for frequent cruisers.  

They also make more money if they can charge more per passenger.  Suite passengers are charged significantly more than other passengers.  They are not going to pay more and have the same benefits as passengers who booked a regular fare.  

Both systems can coexist, if fact they need to if the business is going to be successful.

It is no different than airlines having several different class systems on the same plane.

 

I would argue that Royal has one of the better, if not the best, loyalty program out there.  It really allows loyal customers to cruise relatively inexpensively vs other vacations when you factor in the free drinks and other perks.  We can argue about what could improve the program and where the balance should be between loyalty vs suite perks, but let's not miss the bigger picture.  At the end of the day, you get what you pay for and you have the same option to pay extra for the suite perks.  They will actually give you double loyalty points if you do.

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I like my Diamond perks and do not begrudge Suite guests at all. I have gone from Gold to Diamond in 6 months or so. I got Signature pretty quick also. The policies are very clear and fair. 16 cruises since October 2021 and happy as can be.

P.S. Sitting in a free Sea Class Suite, in St. Thomas, at this moment.

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17 minutes ago, Jkaczano said:

Suite guests get suite lounge.  Diamond and above have diamond lounge.

The switch to vouchers only for Diamond and above has made these very different. 3-hour open bar in the suite lounge plus 11-11 free beer, wine, seltzer, soda, bottled water on Oasis class.

I'm happy with my Diamond vouchers, and have no issue with the suite perks vs. loyalty perks in general, but there's much more of a difference than just CK, IMO.

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Having different levels of accommodations is pretty common in the travel industry.  Planes and trains have first class for example which can be purchased at a higher cost and come with better accommodations and perks.  Hotels have larger rooms with better amenities.  Theme parks get in the game with premium ticket options that include more perks and better access.

Having different levels across the product portfolio is pretty common in any business.  Premium products come with a higher price and offer better amenities for those that desire them.

Loyalty programs are great and encourage return business.  Loyalty programs have no bearing on premium products and vice versa.  The two are mutually exclusive but there can be overlap to some degree.

As a Pinnacle member in the Crown and Anchor Society I do enjoy a range of perks that reward me for my loyalty.  The benefits of being Pinnacle include some of the same perks that suite guests pay for.  I appreciate that Royal does give me these perks at no additional cost as a reward for my loyalty.  

I don't view it that suites are able to buy the perks I have earned in the loyalty program.  It's the opposite really.  Some of these perks exist because of the suites product.   As a loyalty member Royal gives me some of the same perks that suite guests have to pay for and I think that is great.  

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Citing the suite lounge as an example of a perk for suite guests at the cost of loyalty guests is a good example.

The suite lounge exists for suite guests.  It does not exist for loyalty guests.  If there was not a suite product the suite lounge would not be there.  Eliminating suites would not make the suite lounge available to loyalty guests because the suite lounge wouldn't exist without the suite product.  

As a loyalty guest the presence of a suite lounge has no bearing on your loyalty perks.  You've lost nothing as a loyalty guest because the suite lounge exists.  

As a Pinnacle member I am given complimentary access to the suite lounge which is a pretty great perk of the loyalty program.  

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As someone who has done all our sailings in grand suites I feel very hated on and targeted.

First..I wouldn't say I have deep pockets. Up until this year we would cruise on average every 18 months to be able to afford the luxury of a GS.

Second...there are MANY Diamond and Diamond Plus perks that I think either match or exceed what one gets in the standard level suites (aka not counting Star Class) and while, yes, they come with repeated sailing, they are great and you get them no matter what type of room you have, length of sailing, or ship (in most cases).

Third...that's kind of how things work....as others have mentioned there are plenty of other travel companies and places that do the same. You can pay a bunch for First class airline tickets OR save up points and get a free upgrade/flight...

 

I'm sorry you...for some reason...feel slighted but....uhm...don't...

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4 hours ago, david hannay said:

it seems with royal carribean that if you have deep pockets,and are able to buy grand suites and above,you get to go to the suite lounge,get all the perks,and more,but if you have started from the bottom and have worked your way up this so called ladder,and through the good and bad times you have stayed loyal to royal,it doesn't count for anything,i was in business for 34 years and two things we treasured,our name and our customers loyalty,we are diamond members,and want to keep going to diamond plus and above,but it appears if you book a grand suite and above you get everything,no longer is it kool to be loyal,only money talks,so sad.

Well, welcome to the 21st century where the more money you spend with a company the greater the perks.

If you want the perks that come with grand suite then purchase a grand suite or higher. 

When I first stated cruising I could not afford a any suite it wasn't in my budget. However things have changed for me financially and now I can comfortably afford Sky Class suites.  My husband and I had achieved diamond status before we were ever able to afford suites and when we first stated cruising we could only afford 1 once a year in a balcony.   Loyalty has nothing to do with perks we now get onboard when we book a grand suite or higher.  

Take a look at the airline the perks are different if you book an international a basic economy ticket v.s. a business class ticket.  You loyalty to the airline is not a factor.  You could have been loyal to an airline for 30 years and purchased a basic economy ticket and I come along no loyalty at all but purchased a full fare business class ticket I get perks that you don't get.  You might as a member of their frequent flyer plus get to go to the general airline club where everyone goes.  However, I because I purchased a business class ticket get access to the premium club within the club that has way more perks and benefits than what you find in the regular club.     

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It’s generally true that you have to pay to play. I personally think RC loyalty program is rather generous. I think there is and always should be a clear line between what you pay a premium for (suites) and what you earn via loyalty to a brand. It sounds like maybe you should just book Grand Suites and take your double points with the added benefits. 

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As @twangsterpointed out, most of the suite perks were made for suite guest and some have trickled down unto C&A members. 

As a consultant, I am technically a business within myself. A client that pays a lot will trump a long-term client that gets a loyalty discount from me. I am not saying that the long-term client won't get the best services, but I would start and finish with the higher paying client first. That is the way of the world. As a business owner I am sure that is the case with you as well.

I don't begrudge anyone for their status in life and we often don't know a person circumstances. I recall a bad experience for suite guest who were gifted a "fancy" cruise because their child beat cancer. They were from very humble means, but all people see is that suite guest get priority this or that. As some others have stated they only cruise so often and chose to make them as memorable as possible. I can afford suites, but I don't always sail in them as I sometimes see little value in them as a solo traveler. 

I was able to, as a solo traveler, make it to Diamond fairly fast and will make it to D+ in Jan. I found the perks to be outstanding; it is literally at least $60 a day in drink perks plus once you add in other dink, food, photo and laundry discounts that number can double. It is all about money. You pay upfront or you pay over time. 

 

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Here we go on the envy train....

I paid more for one of my trucks than the other.  For that extra money, I got a truck that makes it easier to enjoy activities I want to do.  Should the person who bought a stripped version of the same truck be bitter because I have more options?   Should my other, less-equipped truck be jealous?  Should my wife be envious that her vehicle isn't capable of towing or going off road...or should I be upset because her car gets better mileage????

To each their own.  Stop worrying about what other people do and be thankful that you are able to go on a cruise.

Now, to make this relate to cruising:

Once our kids grew up and moved out, we discovered cruising and really enjoy it.  We've decided that we'd rather book two or three (or four) cruises a year in Interiors or Balconies than one (or two) in Suites.  We do this because it fits our budget.  I do not care what other people do when they cruise.  Full Stop.

 

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

As a Pinnacle member I am given complimentary access to the suite lounge which is a pretty great perk of the loyalty program.  

I was unaware of this, it's buried in the fine print of the PDF. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/countries/crown-and-anchor/pdf/CAS-member-grid.pdf

Thank you for posting, I would love to book an interior cabin and get access to the suite lounge! Only 590 points to go!

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7 hours ago, david hannay said:

it seems with royal carribean that if you have deep pockets,and are able to buy grand suites and above,you get to go to the suite lounge,get all the perks,and more,but if you have started from the bottom and have worked your way up this so called ladder,and through the good and bad times you have stayed loyal to royal,it doesn't count for anything,i was in business for 34 years and two things we treasured,our name and our customers loyalty,we are diamond members,and want to keep going to diamond plus and above,but it appears if you book a grand suite and above you get everything,no longer is it kool to be loyal,only money talks,so sad.

Sooooooooo, in your 34 years in business, if a brand new customer agreed to pay you 10-15 times more for a widget than an established customer paid, would you not treat that new customer a little special? 

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I'm more than happy with the loyalty perks that I've already earned and look forward to some additional ones when I get to the next level. The only thing I've done to be entitled to those perks is cruise at a price that's within my budget, which I would have done anyway, so essentially they're free. And not only that, they have reduced my onboard spend to virtually nil (yes, I am one of those cruisers who probably costs the cruise line money to have on board).

Suite guests pay big money for their cruises, far more than I do for my obstructed balcony or promenade interior view cabin, so why shouldn't they get extra perks that I don't get?

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12 hours ago, david hannay said:

when money is the only interest,and your true loyal family means nothing,its time to cruise with another company, that really treats true loyalty with respect.

Please don't take this as an attack, I truly don't mean for it to come off as such, but if you think C&A does an insufficient job of recognizing brand loyalty, good luck with the next cruise company you're headed to.

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15 minutes ago, USCG Teacher said:

Please don't take this as an attack, I truly don't mean for it to come off as such, but if you think C&A does an insufficient job of recognizing brand loyalty, good luck with the next cruise company you're headed to.

This is a true statement. RC has a pretty great loyalty program (and suite program). The competition has done catching up to do. Let’s also not forget about the grand slam that is Coco Cay! None of the other cruise lines are making these significant investments in not only the programs but also the infrastructure. 

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9 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

No real difference between premium accommodations and loyalty status than any other travel industry.

 

Airlines are no different. Same for hotel

Yes - just the same as flying (and paying for) first class on airlines - or even most trains!

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13 hours ago, david hannay said:

it seems with royal carribean that if you have deep pockets,and are able to buy grand suites and above,you get to go to the suite lounge,get all the perks,and more,but if you have started from the bottom and have worked your way up this so called ladder,and through the good and bad times you have stayed loyal to royal,it doesn't count for anything,i was in business for 34 years and two things we treasured,our name and our customers loyalty,we are diamond members,and want to keep going to diamond plus and above,but it appears if you book a grand suite and above you get everything,no longer is it kool to be loyal,only money talks,so sad.

I sense a certain amount of frustration, which I have experienced, but I do think Royal supports loyalty.  Most guests on a given ship are not suite guests, and the crew know this, yet they still greet everyone with a smile and work hard on our behalf.  Thus, I believe the crew are being loyal to me as a guest.  Royal as a corporation is loyal to me in other ways, such as the Diamond benefits. I really don't mind that it took us many years to reach Diamond, because I enjoyed each cruise along the way.  

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Our first 20 cruises were not in a suite, for the 4 of us, we usually got 1 balcony room and then when money got a bit better we would get adjoining rooms (Kids in one us in the other).  Few years ago, we finally had the funds to start doing suites, and yes it is an addiction!!  Expensive, and to us worth it, four years ago we did the first Star Class and wow, $$$ and we love the perks. We do not do suites every cruise, with the diamond lounge and the casino benefits we still have a great time. 

Even if you are in an inside cabin, your loyalty still shows with some perks, this is one of the reasons why we ARE loyal to Royal.  Nowadays, we go for the fun and that is it, still enjoy most everything and it is getting better all the time since Covid.  

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Can anyone confirm if Pinnacle is allowed to go to Coastal Kitchen for dinner or not?  My wife and I are going on Oasis on Sunday in a suite and we are traveling with my mother who will be on her first Pinnacle cruise and we were hoping to go to CK together.  The Royal website description of Coastal Kitchen says "Exclusively for suite guests and Pinnacle Club members, Coastal Kitchen fuses Mediterranean influences..."  But my mother says RCL customer service said it was not included.

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13 minutes ago, Peter D said:

Can anyone confirm if Pinnacle is allowed to go to Coastal Kitchen for dinner or not?  My wife and I are going on Oasis on Sunday in a suite and we are traveling with my mother who will be on her first Pinnacle cruise and we were hoping to go to CK together.  The Royal website description of Coastal Kitchen says "Exclusively for suite guests and Pinnacle Club members, Coastal Kitchen fuses Mediterranean influences..."  But my mother says RCL customer service said it was not included.

Yes. 

Pinnacle members were never banned from CK but during the initial six to eight months of the restart Pinnacle members required reservations to dine in CK.  

In certain circumstances such as transatlantics sailings when there are typically several hundred Pinnacle on board they will often limit Pinnacle to two dinners in CK for the voyage as a means to ensure suite guests have fair access.  As long as your sailing doesn't have excessive numbers of Pinnacles on board your mother will be able to join you.    

During the initial six to eight months of the restart Pinnacle members were banned from the Suite Lounge.  That was different from CK access.  Perhaps your mother is getting Suite Lounge access confused with CK access.  Suite Lounge access for Pinnacle members was restored on March 15, 2022.  

You should have no issues inviting your mother to dine with you if you are in a full suite.  Just have her cabin number available when making CK reservations.

I am Pinnacle and have enjoyed many CK meals over the past 12 months.

Here was the announcement from Feb 28, 2022 when Pinnacle were invited back into the Suite Lounge.

image.thumb.jpeg.e6f5e0f279b86bf15cefa2aaf807ec88.jpeg

 

 

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On 8/17/2022 at 11:17 PM, Xaa said:

I wonder david hannay if in your business that you treated your most profitable and highest revenue generating customers with perks that you didn't offer to a first time low margin, low revenue customer.  Then as that customer created a longer history with your business perhaps you began to reward that loyalty with additional perks not offered day 1.

If so, that describes Grand Suite guests getting perks right out of the gate and folks like you and I clawing our way to them not through transactional profitability but loyalty and lifetime profitability.

I understand that it can be distasteful to watch someone buy something for which you had to work over many years, but Royal Caribbean is a business after all.

I wouldn't say RC has money as their only interest, if they did there would be no loyalty perks.  It's not surprising that money is their primary interest.

so true,but i treated every one the same,weather you had money or not,it was the service,and the continuine service,we also gave discounts,and extral at no extra cost,old school.

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I hear ya David.  Someone in this thread said it the best.  Most of these perks wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the customers willing to pay more for their staterooms and associated benefits.  Thus the loyalty program allows guys like you and I to gain them through loyalty instead of through cash.

It's great to hear about some of the nice perks, but honestly, on our cruise, those not visiting this site won't even know they exist and they will all have a wonderful time.  I hope the same for you on your next cruise.

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