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twangster

Recap - Enchantment OTS 3 Night Bahamas 9/21/18

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8 minutes ago, carlosalonsor said:

What cruises did you cancel?

Where will I be able to read your live blogs of your upcoming trips on Carnival and NCL? They sound very interesting!

Jewel - Panama 

Radiance - Hawaii

Spectrum B2B, Voyager and Quantum - Asia

Vision, Rhapsody, Anthem, Mariner, Freedom - Bahamas/Bermuda/Caribbean

Good question on blogging.  Not a fan of CC.  Maybe I'll launch NCLBlog  🙂  

Just now, ZOKUEL said:

Having read your periscope, looking, and reading through several other sites I contacted our travel agent. She was amazing, we have been switched to Mariner with a extra $190 in our pocket after car rental and hotel changes. We will however have to drive from Orlando to Miami then back up to Orlando to finish out our vacation.

Living in a small town in NW Arkansas it took several years to save for this one trip and piece of mind is very important to us.  

Stay tuned for my Mariner recap blog - coming soon.  You picked a winner in Mariner.  

The drive between Miami and Port Canaveral was just under 4 hours with stops.  Orlando probably similar depending on stops.  Some car rental companies have shuttles in Miami that go to the port.  I have status with Hertz so that's why I used them.  The Florida Turnpike between Orlando and Miami is a toll road but accepts cash at toll booths.  

 

6 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I doubt they even noticed.  As many have noted here and elsewhere, Royal's new target are millenials with children.  With all of the issues that Royal has created for itself with so many upper tier cruisers (overcrowded lounges, etc.), I'm sure they aren't biting nails and wringing hands about losing those of us who have put so much time and money into their coffers.  One less D+ to whine about not being allowed into the suites lounge (not that the sweet Twangbot would ever do that).

Exactly.  My cabins are already going for more than I booked for so they are thrilled I am cancelling.  On Panama alone it's a $1,000 more now.  Radiance balcony $700 more.  Someone at Royal HQ is reading this and thinking "cancel more!"

 

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10 minutes ago, twangster said:

Jewel - Panama 
Radiance - Hawaii
Spectrum B2B, Voyager and Quantum - Asia
Vision, Rhapsody, Anthem, Mariner, Freedom - Bahamas/Bermuda/Caribbean

My cabins are already going for more than I booked for so they are thrilled I am cancelling.  On Panama alone it's a $1,000 more now.  Radiance balcony $700 more.  Someone at Royal HQ is reading this and thinking "cancel more!"

That last sentence is seriously disheartening, if true. I know it's capitalism, and "just business", and all that. But seriously, if someone who has invested a bunch of time and money into being a loyal customer, and has quickly climbed up the loyalty ranks, then goes and does something as drastic as you've done based on the experience from a single cruise... Maybe alarm bells shouldn't be ringing, but what the heck ever happened to wanting ongoing repeat customers who convince other people to use them??

You've spread so much goodwill about the company, made so many live blogs that really drove home the experience and got a bunch of us to (want to) book even more cruises with Royal, and just done a ton to drive home that Royal, while a business, is also a really good experience. No, they don't know that. But they should at least be thinking you're talking to family members, friends, etc and getting them to think about sailing with Royal. Do they truly not care if you now start potentially telling people that this awful thing happened and you were treated like it was your fault the drain backed up, and cause them to stop booking or cancel their own cruises?

Would they have done the same to a Pinnacle member? I keep hearing about how the ship crews bend over backwards for Pinnacles, so I'd be hard-pressed to believe that if a Pinnacle member suddenly canceled 10 cruises that some high-level supervisor wouldn't have been flagged immediately and calling to find out what the heck happened to cause such a turnaround. 

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4 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

You've spread so much goodwill about the company, made so many live blogs that really drove home the experience and got a bunch of us to (want to) book even more cruises with Royal, and just done a ton to drive home that Royal, while a business, is also a really good experience. No, they don't know that. But they should at least be thinking you're talking to family members, friends, etc and getting them to think about sailing with Royal. Do they truly not care if you now start potentially telling people that this awful thing happened and you were treated like it was your fault the drain backed up, and cause them to stop booking or cancel their own cruises?

Would they have done the same to a Pinnacle member? I keep hearing about how the ship crews bend over backwards for Pinnacles, so I'd be hard-pressed to believe that if a Pinnacle member suddenly canceled 10 cruises that some high-level supervisor wouldn't have been flagged immediately and calling to find out what the heck happened to cause such a turnaround. 

Loyalty is a currency that can be earned and spent.  It appears Royal spent a lot of their loyalty with Twangster's last cruise.

Stuff happens beyond anyone's control, but the measure of any company is their response to it.  His own personal stench cruise was offensive and unhealthy, but the cruise line's response was a calculated choice, probably by someone hoping to save the cruise line a couple dollars in the short run.  And they did exactly that.  If nobody higher up cares, they reinforced that the employee acted in accordance with RCI expectations toward a frequent customer.  So noted.

I'd been thinking about trying MSC only because they do a status match.  I'll think a bit harder.  There's a lot of competition and some lines are willing to, well, compete.

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Just now, JLMoran said:

Would they have done the same to a Pinnacle member? I keep hearing about how the ship crews bend over backwards for Pinnacles, so I'd be hard-pressed to believe that if a Pinnacle member suddenly canceled 10 cruises that some high-level supervisor wouldn't have been flagged immediately and calling to find out what the heck happened to cause such a turnaround. 

Funny you mention Pinnacles.  The CL was full of them.  I may have been the only D+.  They were all regulars that the concierge knew well.  In once case a woman stays on the ship for weeks and her husband joins her for the weekends then goes to work during the week off ship.  I was the stranger in there.   That may have been a factor in her approach.  

I don't think anyone in Miami is plotting to get rid of top tier but the cold truth is the ships are sailing full.  In the current economy they have lots of younger people and new cruisers booking up ships and making rookie mistakes paying in excess here and there - the ideal customer.  A savvy elite who only books shore excursions or dining packages with a discount compared to a new cruiser who books everything on board?  An elite who uses a balcony discount compared to a millennial who pays $300 more for the same cabin?   An elite you have to supply with free drinks during happy hour compared to a newbie who buys every drink at the bar.  Elites produce less revenue, plain and simple.  But there is a catch.  

Only if the economy turns or the line of new cruisers dwindles will loyal customers become important again.  Until then we are a liability more than an asset - compared to the average guest on board.  Zero elites on board would be an ideal cruise manifest from a profit perspective.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't being said in angst or being bitter, I'm a business person, I get it.  This is business.  

Changes are coming in the loyalty program.  On Mariner they took the bar out of the diamond lounge.  Two waiters take drink orders, leave, walk down the hall to a service bar in a pantry, fill their tray and return.  It takes 20-25 minutes to get a drink during peak while standing around because all chairs are occupied.  The removal of the bar wasn't a mistake.  It was done on purpose.  I bet the Mariner DL consumes 1/3 of the stock compared to some other similar ships.  Once those numbers appear on paper month after month,  DL bars across the fleet will soon be changing.  

Just now, 4ensic said:

I'd been thinking about trying MSC only because they do a status match.  I'll think a bit harder.  There's a lot of competition and some lines are willing to, well, compete.

MSC Black isn't all that.  I did the status match.  You get a few things from it, but MSC's approach is simply lower prices for everyone and a few minor perks thrown to elites.  The products are different so you can't just compare them on paper.

NCL has made indications it may bolster its loyalty program. It's vision is a little longer term compared to Royal.  Royal is basking in the sun right now, where NCL is preparing for the coming storm.  It's just a matter time.  Maybe not this year, maybe not next year, but its coming.

Frank Del Rio, NCL CEO had this to say:

“No one knows when a recession will come; you ought to start thinking about it. We’re starting to think about how to increase loyalty; make sure you stay close to your customers. Maximize repeaters. Emphasize value and not price. Prepare to reorganize your resources to fill the funnel. You can’t cut costs enough in a recession; you need to increase efficiencies and invest in new products and markets.”

https://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Norwegian-CEO-Frank-del-Rio-Says-Its-Never-Too-Early-to-Prepare-for-a-Downturn

Royal is okay not handling their non-pinnacles with white gloves.  That's working for now because bookings are up.  Once it turns though, folks like me will be shopping the field for bargains without loyalty to keep them on Royal.  That is what Royal doesn't understand but NCL does.  

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On 9/25/2018 at 5:41 AM, twangster said:

You tell me - is sewage bubbling up into your cabin a 'nothing' event that we all should just accept?

No, that is not a "nothing" event.  Even if they claim it was only greywater.

I'm actually a little concerned now because I'm sailing Enchantment next weekend and picked another aft JS just a few doors down from yours.

Did you take the deal they offered?  Are you going to try to escalate further?

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8 minutes ago, Orange Crush said:

No, that is not a "nothing" event.  Even if they claim it was only greywater.

I'm actually a little concerned now because I'm sailing Enchantment next weekend and picked another aft JS just a few doors down from yours.

Did you take the deal they offered?  Are you going to try to escalate further?

I tried to have my travel agent escalate it. 

The resolutions department told her  "The normal offer is 15% FCC so the ship offer of 25% far exceeded the normal offer and no additional offers will be extended."

I've owned campers, trailers and motorhomes.  Dealing with black and gray water tanks goes with the territory.  This was nastier than anything I've had to deal with over years of dumping tanks while camping in the hot Florida sun.  That's why I have a Florida SunPass transponder, from the days of land cruising.

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First, I guess most of us here are loyal to Royal, mostly because the overall pakage that RC gives (service, qoulity, entertainment, etc...) But it doesn't mean we are following RC blindly , therefore when there are issues we need to raise our voice and speak so the overall pakage will keep being attractive.

I think the main issue here was the way the consiearge  handled your complain. If she is tired from people issues and show that she thinks everyone is a layer that try to get free stuff for nothing , she needs to find a different job to do for a while ...

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First let me say I am shocked and bothered by your treatment.  Three years ago I took my two daughters on a 4 night cruise on Enchantment.  We had a new Ocean View room and had the dreaded shower curtain issue.  I nicely informed the stateroom attendant about the issue and the staff went above and beyond trying to fix it.  They replaced the curtain, tried to pin it at the bottom and definitively improved the issue even though they couldn't completely solve it.  I was very thankful for all their efforts and told them how much I appreciated it.  Then at the conclusion of the cruise the provided me future cruise credits which I was not expecting and did not request.  Your situation was significantly worse and more disturbing than my inconvenience and your treatment by Royal deplorable.  So the question I need to ask is: did Royal significantly change their guest relations approach and we all should expect this kind of treatment in the future or was this just very poor guest relations by the concierge who needs to be retrained or transferred to a different position?

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What a disappointment....

Twangster is my "hero".

Earlier this year my wife and her sister decided to do an Alaska cruise on RCCL. My in-laws picked the cruise line and itinerary and even our balcony cabin. They  gave me a phone number to call to pay for our cruise and that's how we became an RCCL customer.

I am an addict - sober for 26+ years - so I do everything 110%. As soon as we were booked I started searching for info on the internet and that's how I ended up here. Twangster's live blog on the same ship/itinerary (Radiance Southbound, Seward->Vancouver) was the key to making that first cruise one of the single best experiences of my life. I don't think a day has gone by since we returned that I have not thought or talked about that cruise.

I check this blog almost every day because I found a group of people that love sharing information about their favorite cruise line. I couldn't believe the "signatures' of some folks with their long lists of past and future RCCL cruises. As a direct result of this blog we have 2 more cruises booked in the next 6 months including Enchantment next March. We're in JS 8122 but I can tell you that I just checked my reservation to make sure I wasn't in 7166!

Reading all 3 pages of this was a wake-up call for me. While I won't be doing anything regarding our upcoming cruises, I can tell you that I'm no longer concerned about my moving up the C&A ladder.

Is there anything in the "charter" for this blog that limits it to RCCL and affiliated cruise lines? Is there any reason why we can't include NCL and others? I'd hate to lose the insight and experience of some of the great folks on here because the opt to try other cruise lines and stop cruising with RCCL.

 

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1 hour ago, KJ1231 said:

Is there anything in the "charter" for this blog that limits it to RCCL and affiliated cruise lines? Is there any reason why we can't include NCL and others? I'd hate to lose the insight and experience of some of the great folks on here because the opt to try other cruise lines and stop cruising with RCCL.

This site is a private site owned and run by Matt Hochberg.  He deserves the credit for creating it and evolving it into everything that is great about it.  

There is not a charter that we all agree to when signing up but out of respect for Matt and all he has accomplished I would not introduce a non-RCCL brand here.  

I still have 9 RCI cruises left mostly in 2018.  I'm not going to avoid booking future cruises with RCI.  They've only lost my exclusivity, it's still a great product within the cruise industry.  

I doubt I'll blog those cruises though.  It's a lot of work and promotes a company that returns no value.  In other words the pay sucks 🙂 

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9 minutes ago, twangster said:

I doubt I'll blog those cruises though.  It's a lot of work and promotes a company that returns no value.  In other words the pay sucks 🙂 

I know how much work it is because I attempted it myself and live blogging takes a lot of time. Have you thought about starting your own blog? twangsterstravels.com has a nice ring to it.. 

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