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My top 5 favorite Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club perks

In:
02 Oct 2021

While cruising is a wonderful vacation all on its own, who wouldn’t like some extra perks to enjoy? 

As you cruise more frequently, you’ll earn discounts and gifts along the way through the loyalty program.  Today I’m going to focus on the top tiers of the Crown and Anchor Society and which ones I love the most.

These are just a few of the many perks offered to Crown and Anchor members. While they have changed over the years, it’s still a great program!

Diamond (80 points to 174 points)

Suite and Balcony Discounts

Photo tour of Category 6B Spacious Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony on Independence of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

I like to have a balcony to enjoy watching the sunrise, so saving money on a balcony is always nice. 

Once you become Diamond, you can get those rooms for less, thanks to a balcony discount. 

For example, on a seven day sailing, Diamond members receive $225 off of their cruise fare.  The discount applies one per cabin, not per person but every little bit helps!

One free photo

Video: Is a Royal Caribbean photo package worth it? | Royal Caribbean Blog

I have gotten some amazing photos over the years from the ships photographers, but paying $20 or more for those 8x10’s gets pretty pricey. 

We use this discount on every one of our cruises. Since it’s per person, my husband and I can both get a free photo.

One free day of Voom internet

Voom | Royal Caribbean Blog

Many people like to unplug on their cruises, but we need to stay connected so having a free day of internet is convenient. 

Diamond members get one free day of internet access, which doubles when you reach Diamond Plus.

If one day just won’t be enough, you could instead get a discount off of a package that is equal to the cost of one day of internet.  That way you can keep in touch with home and upload those cruise pictures to social media!

Crystal blocks

Once you reach 140 points, you will receive a beautiful crystal block that is etched with the name and outline of your ship.  You will then receive one every 70 points thereafter. 

I have mine in a display case that has current and former ships represented. 

Access to the Diamond Lounge

Royal Caribbean changes complimentary drinks offering on Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

This was, and still is, one of my favorites perks. 

I am always looking for a quiet place onboard during the day and that can be found in the lounge.  They offer continental breakfast in the morning as well as specialty coffee throughout the day.  There is a light lunch option with small sandwiches, fruit and desserts. 

The evening happy hour features appetizers and bar service. Royal Caribbean changed the drink benefit, where you get four free drinks per person per day that can be used at any bar at any time.

Diamond Plus (175-699)

You receive all the same discounts as you did when you were Diamond, except now your balcony/suite discount is $250, the internet is for 2 days, and you get five drinks per day added to your SeaPass card. 

Buy one get one free specialty restaurants

99 days of Harmony: Chops Grille | Royal Caribbean Blog

A BOGO offer for specialty restaurant means you can dine at any specialty restaurant and pay the cover charge for one person, but get the second person's cover charge for free.

It cannot be used for Izumi Hibachi or Chef’s Table. 

Since each Diamond Plus person gets one, I can use a BOGO for the first night and my husband can use it the second night.  It’s a great deal!

Backstage tours

Suites | Royal Caribbean Blog

This is a pre-pandemic perk that I hope comes back soon. 

On cruises at least seven nights, you will receive a card in your cabin on embarkation day that lists complimentary tours you could take. 

Some common options were behind the scenes of the ice show, the main theater and the bridge.  You could choose one or all of them, you just need to drop the card off at the Loyalty Ambassador’s desk and take the tours usually the last sea day of your sailing.

While Diamond members also had access to the theater tours, the bridge was exclusive to Diamond Plus and Pinnacle.

Lunch with an officer

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - Sea Day | Royal Caribbean Blog

Lunch with an officer is available once you reach 340 points for sailings seven days and longer. 

Lunch is offered in the main dining room on a different floor than the regular sea day lunch, with a special menu that includes wine.

Pre-pandemic an officer would sit at your table, and it was nice to get to know their jobs and ask questions about cruising in general.

It is now being offered as a “toast with an officer.”  You still get lunch but now the officers come around the tables and chat for a minute or two and do a champagne toast.  It usually takes place on the last sea day. 

Extra amenities

At 340 and 525 points, you receive extra bonus gifts.  There is a list to choose from that includes towels and tote bags, but we choose the wine. 

On a seven day sailing we received three bottles, which we bring to the restaurants for dinner.

The Top Tier Event

Cruising 101: Crown and Anchor parties | Royal Caribbean Blog

When I started cruising, this would have been known as the repeaters party.  Now though, only Diamond Plus and Pinnacle are invited to the event. 

I’ve always liked them because they recognize the top cruisers and tell you a little bit about the new ships being built. 

Pinnacle Club (700 points and beyond)

Your balcony discount increases to $275, there are 6 free drinks added to your SeaPass card and you now get free internet!

The Pinnacle Kit

Top 8 things repeat cruisers seem to say all the time" - Royal Caribbean Discussion - Royal Caribbean Blog

Once you reach Pinnacle Club status, Royal Caribbean shops you a kit after your 700 point sailing.

It includes your stratum (a tall “crystal block” that has your name, the ship and date of your Pinnacle cruise engraved on it), luggage tags, passport cover and your lapel pins. 

Free cruise certificate

Radiance Class | Royal Caribbean Blog

At 700 and 1050 points, you get a certificate for a free 7 night Caribbean cruise in a balcony stateroom. 

At 1400 points and every 350 thereafter you qualify for a complimentary Junior Suite!

Daily breakfast

Is food included on a Royal Caribbean cruise? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Chops is usually the location of your Pinnacle breakfast.  Its hours vary but will match the main dining room.

The Pinnacle Club

Pre-pandemic, Pinnacle members had access to the suite lounges.  To promote social distancing, there is now a separate lounge for Pinnacle members.

Just like the Diamond Lounge, there are appetizers and bar service during happy hour.

Access to Coastal Kitchen

Since the restart, this benefit depends on the ship.  Some allow access for all meals while others only allow you to make dinner reservations. 

Pathway to Pinnacle: How I reached the top of Royal Caribbean’s Loyalty Program

In:
24 Sep 2021

You’ve heard of frequent flyer miles, but did you know that cruise lines also have loyalty programs?

Royal Caribbean’s customer loyalty program is called the Crown and Anchor Society. You earn points based on how many nights your cruise is, as well as your cabin type or if you are going solo.

There are six tiers in the program:

  • Gold: 3 points
  • Platinum: 30 points
  • Emerald: 55 points
  • Diamond: 80 points
  • Diamond Plus: 175 points
  • Pinnacle Club: 700 points

As you progress through the tiers, you earn rewards such as discounts on internet, onboard merchandise, beverage packages and certain fares, just to name a few.

It may seem like getting to 700 cruise points is impossible, but it can be done. There are many different ways to achieve it, and I wanted to share how we did it.

Starting out

My husband and I took our first Royal Caribbean cruise on the Freedom of the seas in 2006 for our honeymoon. After that, we cruised once a year, always in October for our anniversary.

In 2010, we started doing weekend cruises on Monarch of the Seas. One morning, we went to the next cruise desk to book our annual anniversary sailing. The crew member there told us we really should be striving to become Diamond. He then told us how to earn extra points to help us ascend the tiers faster. His advice was to start booking junior suites. By doing that, we would earn two points per night. So for many years, that’s what we did.

By February 2011, we were Diamond. Then it became a goal to get to Diamond Plus. We continued to book junior suites exclusively and reached Diamond Plus in October 2015.

At this point, we were content (at least I was). Diamond Plus is a great tier to be at. It’s a large tier (175-699 points) and as you progress through it, you get more benefits.

At 340 points you receive what is called a “single supplement discount”, which is great for solo cruisers. Typically, if you cruise by yourself, you are paying double occupancy (unless you find the rare single cabins which are only available on select ships).

With the single supplement discount, instead of paying 200% fare, you’re only charged 150%. Sailing solo also earns you an extra cruise point per night.

This became important to us as now achieving Pinnacle status before turning 50 years old became my husbands goal.

Full speed ahead

New Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in Port Canaveral delayed | Royal Caribbean Blog

In 2016, we started what I call “points chasing;” booking like crazy to get to Pinnacle as fast as we could. We are lucky that we live in Central Florida, because we have access to four cruise ports ranging in drive time from 45 minutes to 4 hours. We also have no children, so we weren’t tied to school schedules. We were able to cruise any time of the year.

Our game plan was to fit in as many weekend sailings as possible to maximize our points. We ended up doing nine cruises that year.

To keep all of these cruises straight, we made up an Excel spreadsheet with not only our budget for each cruise, but also how many points we would accumulate per sailing. We literally titled it our “Pathway to Pinnacle” spreadsheet.

In 2017, we crossed the 340 point mark and I started doing solo cruises. Not only did I sail alone, I was also in a junior suite. That earned me three points per night! Since we’re married, my husband was able to share my points, even without having to sail. That year ended with 14 more cruises sailed, three of which I did as a solo traveler.

In 2018, we were assigned a new Royal Caribbean vacation planner who told us what a lot of her clients were doing to make it to Pinnacle faster. On the cruises where my husband and I were together, she suggested I book the junior suite we always sail in by myself and have my husband book an interior room. That way we’d always be getting the maximum points on every sailing.

I thought that would be way out of our price range, but in reality it only ended up being a couple hundred dollars more because of the single supplement discount. We dubbed that our “triple points scam.” We were now earning three points per night on every sailing.

That moved us up fast. From January 2018 until the end of 2019, we earned 246 points. By this point, we reached 661 points.

Road block

Stuck at sea: One year since Covid-19 shutdown cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

In 2020 we did two weekend sailings in January and February for a total of 697 points. We now just had to wait until our April cruise on Harmony of the Seas to turn Pinnacle. And then, two weeks after our last sailing, the pandemic struck and the entire cruise industry was shut down for the next 15 months!

We were literally going crazy. Just three points away!

We booked and rebooked every month. Our disappointment grew with each subsequent cancellation until finally in June 2021, we were able to book the first sailing in North America. We flew to Nassau to board Adventure of the Seas and finally earn that coveted 700th cruise point.

In all, it took us thirteen and a half years to get to Pinnacle, not counting the year and a half the cruise industry was shut down.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we did make it before my husband turned 50, with one month to spare!

Royal Caribbean announces it will add new lounge for its top tier cruisers

In:
24 Aug 2021

For the people that cruise Royal Caribbean the most, there will be a new dedicated lounge just for them.

Royal Caribbean announced on Tuesday it will add new lounge exclusively for its Pinnacle Club cruise members.

In order to be at the Pinnacle Club, you must accrue 700 points, making it the very top level of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

The new Pinnacle Club Lounge is a result of Pinnacle Club members having access to the Suite & Concierge Lounges temporarily revoked due to Covid-19 protocols. These venues will operate with capacity limits and will only be available to guests staying in Suites.

While Pinnacle Members were still able to go to the Diamond Lounges on ships, the change did not sit well with some Pinnacle Club members.

Just like the Diamond and Suite Lounges, Pinnacle Club members will be able to enjoy light hors d'oeuvres and full bar service in a dedicated venue each night.

The new Pinnacle Club Lounges will operate through November 1, 2021. Further updates on its future will be communicated as the situation evolves.

In addition to the new lounges, Royal Caribbean is offering Pinnacle Club members a Flexible Arrival option to check in at the terminal no earlier than one hour before the 30-minute arrival window you select ahead of your sailing, or one hour after.

Pinnacle Club members sailing on Oasis and Quantum Class ships will receive a $25 dining voucher per member, per sailing to enjoy at any Specialty Restaurant of their choice.

Royal Caribbean made a number of other changes to its customer loyalty programming following the restart of operations, which in many cases was necessitated by the need for social distancing onboard.

This includes Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members receiving beverage vouchers for drinks up to $13

Each day of the cruise, Diamond members receive four vouchers, Diamond Plus members receive five vouchers, and Pinnacle Club members receive six vouchers. These can be used at any bar, at any time, in the Diamond Lounge during Happy Hour or in our private destinations.

How Royal Caribbean's free drink vouchers for Diamond and higher members works

In:
03 Aug 2021

Did you know Royal Caribbean gives away free drinks to its top tier Crown and Anchor Society members?

If you are Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle, you can get a set amount of complimentary beverages every day of your cruise, which includes alcoholic beverages.

This is a fantastic perk, and Royal Caribbean recently revamped their offering by giving guests more options with their daily drinks.

So how does it work, and what can you get exactly if you are eligible for Diamond drinks benefits? Here is what you need to know about Royal Caribbean's beverage vouchers.

Who qualifies for free drink vouchers?

Royal Caribbean provides complimentary drinks each day to its Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle guests.

Guests who are at a lower tier of Crown and Anchor Society (Gold, Platinum, or Emerald) do not qualify for the drink vouchers.

In 2021, Royal Caribbean updated the policy to move away from a few select drinks guests can use each evening, to all-day vouchers.

Royal Caribbean has revamped its offerings to allow at least 4 beverage vouchers for Diamond and higher guests in Crown and Anchor, which are good all day and at any bar (except Starbucks).

  • Diamond: 4 beverage vouchers valid all day at any bar (except Starbucks)
  • Diamond Plus: 5 beverage vouchers valid all day at any bar (except Starbucks)
  • Pinnacle: 6 beverage vouchers valid all day at any bar (except Starbucks)

This includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, and includes any beverage up to $13 per drink ($14 on ships from the UK).

How do the drink vouchers work?

Drink vouchers are loaded automatically every day on a guest's SeaPass account. There are no paper coupons or physical vouchers to present.

Simply go to any bar, restaurant or lounge, and when ordering a drink, inform the waiter or bartender that you wish to use your Diamond drink benefit.

When you get the drink, you should receive a receipt for $0.00. 

It is up to you to remember to ask to use your drink vouchers, as well as to keep track of how many vouchers you have left.

Each Diamond or higher member gets the daily drink voucher allotment, and you can use your vouchers to pay for your drink.  Think of them like a coupon that you are applying when you order.

One other change Royal Caribbean made by upgrading the vouchers to all day options with no drink menu limit is there is no longer unlimited drinks in the Diamond Lounge in the evening.  Drinks consumed in the Diamond Lounge count against your voucher count for the day.

Royal Caribbean says the drink vouchers work at their private destinations of Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee.

Should you get a drink package if you have drink vouchers?

The new question many loyal cruisers are trying to determine is if it is worth it to get a Royal Caribbean drink package if they are a Diamond member or higher.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on the person, but the fact the complimentary drink vouchers offer the same menu of choices as the drink package makes a compelling alternative.

Even if you use all your drink vouchers every day, and pay out of pocket for an addition 3-4 cocktails every day, the overall cost should be less than the total cost of a drink package.

One benefit the drink package has for someone who might exceed the daily drink voucher limit is you can pre-purchase the drink package before the cruise to avoid running up your bill onboard the ship. For some cruisers, not having a big bill at the end of the sailing matters to them.

Your itinerary will also factor in the decision of which option to get. A port intensive itinerary where you will be off the ship often on tours, may make investing in a drink package not a great financial idea.

Read more2021 Royal Caribbean Drink Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Royal Caribbean reverses decision to get rid of popular customer loyalty perk after fan backlash

In:
14 Jul 2021

Hours after Royal Caribbean announced it was making changes to its customer loyalty program, one change has been rolled back.

In a webinar on Wednesday, Royal Caribbean told travel agents one of the benefits for their top tier members was going away.

Crystal blocks are given to Diamond Plus guests periodically after they accrue enough points, but evidently many of these heavy blocks were being left behind on the ship.

Royal Caribbean said over 60% of guests that received a crystal block left it on the ship for one reason or another, leading the cruise line to announce they would distribute whatever stock they have left and then end the amenity.

That decision did not sit well with many cruise fans, who told Royal Caribbean exactly how they feel about that change.

While there may have been some guests that did not care for them, many others felt strongly about getting them.

Clearly Royal Caribbean heard the feedback loudly, and decided to continue the crystal block program.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted on Facebook on Wednesday evening that a formal announcement will be made, but the crystal blocks will continue.

"We will be posting an official update on the future of Crystal Blocks tomorrow, however, here’s a sneak peek.   Crystal Blocks will remain!"

Mr. Bayley said Crown and Anchor members will now have the option to either have the bocks delivered onboard, delivered at home, or decline them completely.

The new options are aimed at ensuring many blocks do not end up in the trash.

The same cruise fans who were upset at the change celebrated the policy reversal.

barbeyg loved the change back, "It is funny how the smallest of things can lift the spirits. Made my day!"

smokeybandit thinks cruise fans may have surprised the company with their response, "I assume they got a bit more negative feedback on that move than they expected."

Royal Caribbean is no stranger to reversing policies due to strong customer feedback.  From honoring the $18 drink package error, to grandfathering in Oasis Class neighborhood perks, the cruise line listens very closely to their loyal customers.

Read moreFive times Royal Caribbean changed its mind after announcing something

How to earn a crystal block

Crystal blocks are a recognition of loyalty and for achieving milestones in the Crown and Anchor Society.  

Once you reach 140 points in Crown and Anchor Society, you earn a crystal block from the ship you happen to be on at the time.

You then earn a new block every 70 points you accure thereafter. 

The block you get is from the ship you are on when you cross the point threshold.

Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program changes: What's temporary and what's here to stay

In:
14 Jul 2021

With Royal Caribbean restarting cruise ships again, comes many changes, including to their customer loyalty program.

The Crown and Anchor Society program has undergone a number of changes, some temporary and some permanent.

Nancy Ramos, Royal Caribbean International's Director of Onboard Branding, Communications & Loyalty, spoke to travel agents in a webinar on Wednesday to go over the changes made, and outline which will revert back later.

Guests sailing on early cruises have experienced many of the changes, but other changes may have gone overlooked.  More importantly, it was not clear which changes would be reverted at a later date.

Most of the changes are enhancements or additions, although there are a few benefits that have been temporarily rescinded and fewer that have been permanently removed.

Here is a breakdown of the changes, and what to expect going forward as you cruise.

Permanent changes

One of the most popular changes so far has been Royal Caribbean's shift with drink package vouchers.

Instead of a few select drinks they can use in the evening, Royal Caribbean has revamped its offerings to allow at least 4 beverage vouchers for Diamond and higher guests in Crown and Anchor, which are good all day and at any bar (except Starbucks).

This includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, and includes any beverage up to $13 per drink ($14 on ships from the UK).

Royal Caribbean also made enhancements to the youth benefits, where kids can now qualify for the same internet WiFi discount that their parents have always had.

Other program enhancements include changes to some entertainment offered to Crown and Anchor Society members, along with standardizing some other offerings.

"Because we can no longer take our members behind the scenes and take them backstage to see the actual props and costumes and all of that. We're trying to bring this to life through a masterclass type event onboard."

Ms. Ramos said they tested this out on Adventure of the Seas, but it is being refined so it offers a combination of live entertainment and backstage videos of where guests can no longer visit.

In terms of the reserved seating, this benefit is changing due to limited capacity and health protocols.

"What we agreed to do is that let's open the theater doors earlier to our Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members, allowing them to come into the theater and select the see that benefits them."

Something else Royal Caribbean did was to simplify the loyalty status match between Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society and Celebrity Cruises' Captain's Club.

Temporary changes

Some of the changes made to Crown and Anchor Society are in place now, but the plan is to revert them later on.

Most of these temporary changes are due to social distancing and other Covid-19 related protocols.

The most notable change is the reduced capacity in the Diamond Lounge, but the expectation is to roll that back once the cruise line is able to based on government guidance.

"The reality is that we are dependent on the local authorities and health guidance from the CDC, " Ms. Ramos explained to travel agents. 

"And as soon as we can lift this restriction and this capacity limit, we will and it will be like it was pre pandemic."

Discontinued benefits

Royal Caribbean completely got rid of three benefits due to either limited guest use or other program changes.

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has reversed the decision, and will continue to offer crystal blocks.

The crystal blocks have been a cornerstone of the Crown and Anchor program, where a guest would recieve a paperweight block every so often after accruing enough points.

Ms. Ramos said according to the cruise line's internal data, over 60% of guests were leaving their crystal blocks on the ship when they left for any number of reasons.

"It's a beautiful recognition. However, we understand that a lot of people didn't have space in their luggage, it was heavy to carry back home, et cetera.

The plan right now is to distribute whatever crystal blocks they have left, but then end that benefit.

"We are looking at other ways to still recognize our members through a special appearance with the loyalty ambassador and something that they can still use to commemorate that that milestone."

The tuxedo rental program was something very few people were using, according to Ms. Ramos.  

And the reduced rate upgrades has become obsolete with the RoyalUp program.

Royal Caribbean changes complimentary drinks offering on Adventure of the Seas

In:
07 Jun 2021

With Royal Caribbean about to restart cruises in North America on Adventure of the Seas, the line is changing up some of the offerings for its customer loyalty program.

Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society program is one of the most generous customer loyalty programs in the cruise industry, and guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas can expect a few changes.

Royal Caribbean sent an email to guests booked on Adventure of the Seas to inform them of what to expect onboard as it relates to their loyalty benefits. To be clear, these changes are for guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas.

First and foremost, it appears the Diamond Lounge will be open, but to reduce crowding in the venue, the cruise line is going to give guests more flexibility with their complimentary beverages for Diamond and higher guests.

Ordinarily, guests who are Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle in Crown and Anchor Society can enjoy complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages each evening in the Diamond Lounge, as well as up to 3 drinks at bars or restaurants onboard each night.

On Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is increasing that offering.

Each day of the cruise, Diamond members receive four vouchers, Diamond Plus members receive five vouchers, and Pinnacle Club members receive six vouchers. Each voucher is for drinks up to $13.

These vouchers are open to be used all day long, not just at night. Moreover, it looks like these drinks may not be limited to the usual Diamond Drink menu of select offerings.

UPDATE: As it turns out, it looks like the drink vouchers will be counted if you redeem them in the Diamound Lounge.

A guest booked on Adventure of the Seas reached out to the Adventure of the Seas Diamond Concierge for clarification.

This is a change Royal Caribbean first made to Quantum of the Seas when it restart cruises in December 2020.

The cruise line also says there will be "newly reimagined" behind-the-scenes entertainment tour and a Meal with an Officer, priority access to all shows, and new ways of recognizing our new Pinnacle Club members.

At check-in for the cruise, while all guests will have to adhere to a new check-in process in Nassau, Bahamas to help manage crowding, Pinnacle Club members will not have to do so.

Pinnacle Club members can enjoy Flexible Arrival — a new program allowing the freedom to check-in up to one hour before or after your scheduled check-in time while
the terminal is open.

Onboard the ship, access to Suite and Concierge lounges will only be limited to members staying in Suites. This means no Pinnacle or Diamond Plus members will be admitted into these venues.

The Crown and Anchor changes are in addition to other health protocols announced for Adventure of the Seas, which include requriring the Covid-19 vaccine for adults, a new check-in approach, a digital muster drill, and more.

Adventure of the Seas sets sail from Nassau, Bahamas on June 12 from Nassau, where she will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay twice, Cozumel, and Freeport, Bahamas.

This will be the first Royal Caribbean International ship to restart from North America, and the second ship in the fleet to sail again following Quantum of the Seas.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog will be live blogging from the first two sailings of Adventure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean temporarily suspends certain Crown and Anchor Society benefits for health reasons

In:
26 Mar 2021

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has reached out and informed me that the information posted earlier on Royal Caribbean's website was not completely accurate, and as a result, I have remove the content of this post.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said the new protocols and changes for guests onboard is still being developed.

"We’re still working through our member benefits and this does not accurately reflect member experiences onboard. As a result, we’ve turned off commenting on this post and will delete shortly. We promise we won’t let our intern near the enter key any time soon again. Thanks!"

The goal of this site is to always deliver the most accurate information possible, and providing the wrong expectation for guests is anything but that.

When there is updated information, I will be sharing it with all of you immediately.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean changes complimentary drinks offering on Quantum of the Seas

In:
08 Jan 2021

Royal Caribbean has been making changes to its only cruise ship sailing right now, including one that now affects one of the most popular customer loyalty perks.

A guest sailing on Quantum of the Seas received a letter in their stateroom informing the Diamond Plus guest that the complimentary drinks offered each night will be conducted in a different manner.

Y.C. Tan shared a photo of the letter from the Loyalty Ambassador on Quantum of the Seas that listed a change to how guests can get complimentary drinks as part of the Crown and Anchor Society.

Redeeming these are easy - simply provide your SeaPass Card at the time of purchase and the benefits will automatically be applied. You can now redeem your drink vouches all day at any bar.

Read more: Quantum of the Seas live blog posts

Instead of Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle guests going to the Diamond Lounge to receive their drinks each evening, they can enjoy four or five drinks per day, per person anywhere and anytime throughout the day.

  • Diamond guests get 4 drinks per day
  • Diamond Plus get 5 drinks per day
  • It is not clear how many Pinnacle guests get

The complimentary drinks are not limited to the Diamond drink menu, but just like a drink package must not exceed a value of above $12. Specialty coffee is allowed as well. 

You also have the option of paying the difference if a drink is above the $12 individual drink limit.

It is unclear if this change will be replicated across Royal Caribbean's fleet of ships once they restart sailings, or this is a change just for Quantum of the Seas in Singapore.

Royal Caribbean's policies have always been different for Asia sailings compared to North American or European cruises, although with the current global health crisis, all policies are subject to change in order to encourage social distancing and best practices.

Read more5 ways to save money on drinks if you are not buying a Royal Caribbean drink package

Mixed thoughts from cruisers

Anytime there is any change to Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program, there are plenty of strong opinions all around.

Most people seemed okay with the change within the context of social distancing, but are concerned this may be a temporary change that remains in place.

Read more9 Royal Caribbean Cocktails You Need To Know About

Aaron Lewis described this concern in his comment, "I think a lot of these changes are in fact because of Covid. My fear is that once companies learn new ways of doing business, things will never go back to the way they were."

Susan Westfall likes the change for the flexibility it provides, "What I like about this is that you can get drinks anywhere and any time of the day. We are Diamond Plus and usually stop by the lounge for a pre-dinner glass of wine, and have never used all three drinks available to us. However, there have been times when a tropical-type drink by the pool would have been nice. I would have no problem with this change."

Vance Lewis thinks it would be a bad decision to make this a permanent change because it would cut at the cruise line's profitable drink package sales, "For some reason I don’t think that they will keep some of these new changes around permanently because it would decrease the number of drink packages they would sell. If you’re getting four or five free drinks, why get the drink package at all?"

More information

Crown & Anchor Society Member Ambassador part of recent Royal Caribbean layoffs

In:
25 Apr 2020

In an email to Crown and Anchor Society members, Royal Caribbean announced its Member Ambassador was among the many cruise line employees let go as part of layoffs.

Molly Paolini had served as the face of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program since being appointed to the role in July 2019.

Last week, Royal Caribbean reduced its workforce by 26% through a combination of permanent layoffs and 90-day furloughs with paid benefits.

Royal Caribbean Director, Onboard Branding, Communications & Loyalty, sent an email to Crown and Anchor Society members announcing Molly's departure.

For those who know Molly, you quickly perceived how passionate she was about representing the Crown & Anchor Society. Most of all, I know getting to know you was one of her favorite aspects of the job. The new ideas and dedication she contributed to this family were inspiring — and that type of commitment will continue, you have my word.

Ramos emphasized the she and her team are still available to answer questions and ensure perks and benefits are available to guests.

Guests can still reach Royal Caribbean by their Facebook page, signing in to a Crown & Anchor account, or reaching out to the dedicated Loyalty Call Center at ‌1-800-526-9723‌.

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