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This is very disappointing to hear, especially about restrictions to the Diamond Club. Perhaps they need to consider renaming it.

 

I think it's obvious that cruising is a growth business and the emphasis has shifted to attracting the never-have-cruised cruiser than enticing the veteran cruiser back as we're already hooked.

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Interesting you should take that one thing and comment on it.

Well, I didn't have any comments about the rest of your commentary. That particular statement just seemed odd that someone who would be trained to look for a gold SeaPass card wouldn't notice it upon looking at one.

 

I've been suspecting for some time that the explosive growth of the number of Diamond and Diamond Plus members will eventually lead to two lounges: Diamond Plus and Concierge (suite). They've been promising that this isn't going to happen in the near future, but there have been some signs that it may happen soon, so if it were to happen next year, I wouldn't be terribly surprised.

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Thank you for the lengthy post.  I appreciate the report on your experience and you sharing some of the changes you heard about.  I'll try to dig a bit more on the Diamond Lounge changes to verify.

 

I hope you will share your thoughts about policy changes in the post-cruise comments that are emailed to you.

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I hope that is not true about diamond losing their perks! I am getting close to that level now....

 

If that is the case, they need to change something...as the D+ and pinnacle are so far away that it is not possible for most to reach.

I get that the suite people deserve more when spending that kinda $$ on the cruise...but there should defn be something for us lowly ppl that book many cruises. I could book a suite once a year, or cruise 4x a year in oceanview or inside.....and someone who goes 4x prob spends more on those 4 trips that someone doing one cruise in a suite!

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I hope that is not true about diamond losing their perks! I am getting close to that level now....

 

If that is the case, they need to change something...as the D+ and pinnacle are so far away that it is not possible for most to reach.

I get that the suite people deserve more when spending that kinda $$ on the cruise...but there should defn be something for us lowly ppl that book many cruises. I could book a suite once a year, or cruise 4x a year in oceanview or inside.....and someone who goes 4x prob spends more on those 4 trips that someone doing one cruise in a suite!

 

I hate to say, but it is on all the sites, they are saying that the loyal cruisers are losing perks and benefits to the suite cruisers.

 

Just like they are pushing you into drink packages with the high prices of the individual drinks, or pushing you into photo packages when each photo is $20+, or the OK free in the main dining room meals into the specialty restaurants at a cost with much better food, they are pushing us into the suites with all the perks. Why do you think you'll find a lot of Diamond + and Pinnacles in the suites. Granted there are a lot of 1st time cruisers in the suites there is also a large percentage of upper tier loyalty in the mix too.

 

Why go through the thousands of dollars and time to get to the upper loyalty levels, when all it takes is book a suite?

 

You are definitely right about spending monies on board the ship. The cost of the actual stateroom just gets you on-board. They are counting on the casino, the drink packages, extra cost dining, the spa treatments, the the excursions, the photos, the gratuities, and the endless stream of t shirt-watches-picture-items on sale, to boost the monies up to double/triple the stateroom cost. And now they are charging for things on their own islands. I remember when all the island stuff was FREE (or included in your cruise cost).

 

I like the SeaPass for everything (boarding, paying for things, ect.) but it has it's drawbacks. When no money is exchanged on-board, or at least you don't pay for things with actual cash in hand, and you do not see the transaction in front of you, it is hard to track and manage. I always go to Guest Services before the cruise ends and get my bill.

 

Everytime, I have had to get them to take something off that is wrong. If you wait until the last second to go to Guest Services and try to get them to correct a bill, you will be waiting in line forever. At least now they are delivering your bill to your stateroom just prior to leaving.

 

Again, EVERYTIME they have added a charge or billed me for something that is supposed to be free.

 

Check your bill before the last day. The shell shock is less if you do it before you disembark.

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As a family we have been cruising with Royal for over 10 years now.We are diamond members soon to be diamond plus.We took many cruise before they changed the cruise point system in 2010 when before it was one point per cruise.We have done 3 B2B's cruise before and a 12 night cruise before the change so only counted as 2 points on the B2B's.I think Royal should allow us to have the new points added on to them.We would now be well over diamond plus.

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As a family we have been cruising with Royal for over 10 years now.We are diamond members soon to be diamond plus.We took many cruise before they changed the cruise point system in 2010 when before it was one point per cruise.We have done 3 B2B's cruise before and a 12 night cruise before the change so only counted as 2 points on the B2B's.I think Royal should allow us to have the new points added on to them.We would now be well over diamond plus.

I feel your pain, Shocked. Same thing happened to us and I am sure a lot of loyal cruisers. We had just got to Diamond and the rules got changed, and now, we are now going Diamond +, and the rules are again about to change. We find ourselves chasing points.

 

Get ready for the next changes coming Jan 2016. I have a feeling that we as the loyalty group will again be disappointed. I keep hearing that Royal Caribbean has put a lot of money, time, and planning into the new Suite Deals that will also be rolled out Jan  2016. They already have a brochure out with the new categories of staterooms and new perks and benefits. Already the New Suite Concierge Lounges look and feel like more than the Diamond Lounges (if they have both on board).

 

It is a fine line they walk. You do not want to get the "Loyals" so upset that they jump to another cruise lines, and you want to sell the ultra suites and offer all sorts of perks and benefits. Most people just cruise once a year, the Loyals cruise much more than that. You do not want to slight the Loyals just to try to get more of the one time a year cruisers. Or do you?

 

It's hard to bargain when you have no leverage. The ships are over capacity. Most are leaving the docks at over 100% full. We just checked on an upcoming cruise in 4 weeks and it is already sold out.

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I think there needs to be a new category of cruisers. Those that have cruised for 10 years or more. The Decade + Cruisers.

 

They could have 5, 10,15,20, & 25 years of cruising with Royal Caribbean. Create pins, levels, perks, benefits, Ha.

 

They are already creating a "separate but equal"  tiered system with the Suite cruisers and the Crown and Anchor cruisers.

 

Why not mix it up and have a longevity with the company tiered system too. Then, let's not forget the big whale spenders while on the ship. That could be another tiered system. The Money Tiered system. They could assign points to that. Oh wait, they are testing that market as we speak, aren't they.

 

This could get confusing, if it already isn't, and they could lose people because they just can't decide which tiered system is bigger and better and then opt for a simple cruise company that doesn't tier every cruiser into categories.

 

By creating more tiered systems, you devalue each and every tiered systems. There is no such thing as separate but equal.

 

Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading it.

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A couple comments on our experience on Brilliance last week.  This was our first cruise as Platinum Crown & Anchor members so I was interested to see what happened.  I am glad to report that at least at the Platinum level we were certainly recognized.  At Boston, they immediately flagged us to the shorter Platinum & Up check-in line, and made sure we were seated in the proper waiting area.  Once onboard, we had a sheet with the Platinum Seapass offers shown as soon as we got to our stateroom, along with the CAS robes.  On Day 3, our Platinum pins were presented by placing them nicely on our bed.  We were invited to both the Welcome Back event and the Top Tier event, both of which were well done on Brilliance.  The Top Tier event had plenty of great appetizers, free drinks for 90 minutes, a band, and the welcome speeches.  Overall I felt very appreciated by Royal Caribbean, even as a lowly Platinum member.

 

One other story to relate: After the Welcome Back event, we were with our friends who were in a Grand Suite (we were in a Jr. Suite).  Our friends invited us to the Concierge Club.  We were hesitant but they insisted that based on their experience there would be no questions, so we entered with them just to see what it is like.  After a few minutes, the Suite Concierge came over and checked first with our friends to see if everything was alright with their stateroom and made sure everything was going well.  She checked her list and noted that they had an issue with their bed which she immediately followed up on.  Then she turned to my wife and I and asked if everything was ok and if we wanted a refill on our wine.  We explained that we were in a Jr. Suite and had brought our wine up from the Welcome Back event, and were just there to socialize with our Suite friends.  The Concierge immediately welcomed us and said she was glad we were there.  She offered to refill our wine again and again I declined, noting that we were not in a real suite.  She was very gracious and would not take no for an answer, motioned to one of the waiters and had him bring two complimentary glasses of wine for us.  Again, I felt very appreciated by Royal Caribbean and pleased that she was so welcoming in a situation that could have been uncomfortable for us.

 

Well done, Brilliance of the Seas, for making us feel special!

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Steve it is so nice to hear a good news story on this subject ! Thank you for sharing it. It's nice to know that they are giving the Concierges the freedom to do the right thing. There's nothing more attractive (and appreciated) than graciousness and nothing more unattractive (and deplored) than officiousness and ungraciousness.

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