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Old May 5th, 2002, 06:01 PM
marinjoe
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Default Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

Ok. I am on now the Infinity cruise thru the panama canal and I booked an outside cabin for $2400 last November. (2 people) Sounded like a good deal for the 13 day Panama Canal cruise. This of course did not include airfare which we did separately. Keep in mind we have cruised as captain club members (now gold) about 8 times.
On board we have about 900 Brits and probably 300 other Euros who paid a lot less for the same cruise and got a hell of a lot more. Booking in UK during the same month of November, they were offered a cabin with a balcony, airfare from UK, a hotel night in Ft Lauderdale, and one night in San Diego for a price (after currency changes) for about $1600.00 or $3100 for two people.
Now the Brits I talked to on the ship had never heard of Captains Club, or Celebrity for that matter and for the ones I met (12) had never sailed Celebrity before. Stay with me on this one....
Celebrity overbooked the cabins with Balconies, and offered the Brits several good deals and many wound up with upgrades to suites, free cruises in the future if they took a cabin without a balcony (outside) and a ship credit. Net cost to one Brit was about $600. for this cruise, the free one in November and a shipboard credit.
Yet Celebrity refused to upgrade our cabin back in November, or issue a credit as a result of skipping one of the 4 ports they promised in the brochure. So I guess if you have cruise line loyality, have been a frequent user, it does not count for squat, however if you have never taken celebrity, and happen to luck up in an over booking arrangement, the sky is the limit. I would have thought if they were offering super deals on cabins with balconies, that as a captains club member I would have been made that offer when I booked. Moral of story is do not waste your money on the captains club membership it is worthless.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

It sounds like someone in Britain put together a pretty fair sized group, with group rates. Not at all uncommon.
We got terrific pricing on our CruiseMates Group Cruise on the Summit next week. No doubt there will be people onboard who paid considerably more.

Also quite common for all the cruise lines to sometimes offer regional specials. So those people living in a certain area will get offered better pricing than others.

The key is to shop for these deals before booking.

One thing about cruises.. every ship you go on, when you talk to people about prices, you'll ALWAYS find people who payed less. Though in many cases the differences might not be so great if everyone had so show receipts <G>

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Old May 5th, 2002, 11:13 PM
Carole Dunham
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

Kuki is absolutely correct. If you can afford what you got and the cruise is beautiful, ship gorgeous, food good andf service just fine, how can that be a rip off. Prices can be so darned flexible that what people tell you about the price they pay is simply not relevant to your situation. In June, Captain's Club comes back under RCI's umbrella. It had been farmed out and got horrible reviews. I think it will be considerably better back in house.

Carole
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Old May 6th, 2002, 02:05 AM
Ray Dooley
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

SORRY guys but I am with marinjoe on this one. I am a firm believer in customer loyality and a retailer showing some kind of appreciation for it. I am a captain's club member (my sixth celebrity will be the Mille 11 day this summer) and feel like we are taken for granted. Yes, I am mostly satisfied with celebrity have had many small problems and NONE were ever resolved by Celebrity) but overall, service and food are important to me and Celebrity usually provides that. But... I am sure other lines do too and this is a buyer's market with many new ships and a recession and fear of travel at the moment. It was irk me tremendously if i found that I had paid substantially more with fewer perks that others who never traveled on celebrity. Two cruises ago I talked a co-worker who was looking for a family cruise for 19 people into going with me on Celebrity. Last year I had 6 people I talked into going with us to Alaska. Yes, I am mostly pleased with Celebrity but continue not because they give us any incentive but because the devil I know is better than the devil i don't. But a situation like marinjoe would convince me to at least try another line and damm with customer loyality!!
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Old May 6th, 2002, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

Ray,
My personal belief is NONE of the cruise lines offer a consistent enough product throughout their fleet, or in their customer service as to earn my blind loyalty.

I want to try them all!! I have favorite ships, but I don't have a favorite cruise line, for just these reasons.

I've hosted groups of 100 + people, where no one has been upgraded, and met first time cruisers on the ship who have been upgraded. Perhaps with such a large group, we should have expected the upgrades, but it didn't happen. However, we were pleased for those first timers who did get them.

As for pricing.. with EVERY cruise line.. the onus is on the passenger to do his/her own shopping, and find the best combination of price and service from their TA.

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Old May 6th, 2002, 11:32 AM
Marnie
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

I'm sailing with Celebrity for the 1st time next year. I've read a lot of recent postings criticizing the captain's club. It sounds like the possible room upgrades are a joke, they'll give you basically the same cabin but on a more desirable deck and call it an upgrade. Maybe for some people it is, but I don't see that as being much of a perk. And do you get the captain's party with complimentary drinks? I doubt I'll sail with them enough times for that to be a great deal. I just hope they don't start hounding me asking me to join while I'm on the ship. They don't solicit, do they? I've heard some cruisers complain about annoying photographers, although they've never bothered me.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 01:33 PM
Kathy B
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Default Re: Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

They don't try to sell you the Captain's Club on board and yes they do have a very short cocktail party (Not as nice as the repeat cruisers cocktail party) and they held it at 11:30AM (Yes AM) on my last month's Millie Cruise.......
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Old May 6th, 2002, 06:05 PM
David Starkey
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

Celebrity is not perfect but the price is very fair when you consider the product they they offer. I have cruised for many years on many ships on many cruise lines and have found them to deliver the "best product" for the best $$$( have never sailed HAL)

I will be enjoying them again on the Galaxy in late May, for an 11 night Canada New England iten from Baltimore.

I am so tired of people expecting free cruises and unreal compensation for just missing a port or not getting an upgrade.....Get REAL...if you want a suite...pay for it or shut up and don't complain, after all , YOU didn't pay for it.

Captain's Club in't perfect, but to this sailor its well worth the $.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 06:21 PM
Babette
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

Unfortunately, the pricing structure marinjoe describes is quite common in the UK and Europe. It is not a group rate, it is an International FIT rate and not available to those of us in North America.

On my past Celebrity cruises (7) during the past 12 months I have met many UK and other EU pax with similar deals. In Nov on Century some were sailing for two weeks in a SS, with rt air, pre and post hotels for less for the double booking than I paid for my RS for one week without any air or pre and post hotels stay.

Unfortunately, we in the travel biz do use different rate cards based upon geographic distribution.

As far as the CC is concerned. Hopefully, now that Celebrity is using their new software, Da Vinci, to keep track of the CC members, if upgrades are available, they will make these upgrades available FIRST to CC members... especially those of us who book above Cat 4's and are otherwise ineligible for the one-category upgrade at time of booking.

Revenue..........are you listening???????????

BTW, the new CC membership benefits will be unveiled completely June 1st. Membership will now be tiered... Classic, Select and Elite. Naturally, the benefits will increase the higher the tier you are. However, what I've seen so far of the new and improved............... my C&A benefits are still better. I'm Diamond/Elite status with the lines.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 07:01 PM
ribaholic
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Default Re: Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

marnie writes:
"It sounds like the possible room upgrades are a joke, they'll give you basically the same cabin but on a more desirable deck and call it an upgrade. Maybe for some people it is, but I don't see that as being much of a perk."

if something is more desirable (deck, location, etc), does that not make it an upgrade? it is not *less than* what one had before and it is not the *same* as what one had previously, so it must be an upgrade.

what anybody would *expect* beyond that for *free* escapes me.
now, if one is PAYING for the same upgrade it might be a joke, but that's all part of deciding what value is and how much you are willing to pay of that value.

tim
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Old May 8th, 2002, 01:02 AM
Soon to sail Infinity
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

I just think that it is a shame that someone spends their time lamenting the price of a cruise instead of ENJOYING it...who compares prices once the deed is done? not a good idea for vacation enjoyment if you ask me. And to spend time writing about it WHILE you could be having fun, just doesn't make much sense.
Enjoy and don't ask questions if you don't want to live with the answers.
Marinjoe, Relaxing is the idea. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your cruise.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old May 8th, 2002, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

I can't believe that Marinjoe is actually taking the time to complain about this WHILE ON THE CRUISE! You must be one boring or bitter person.
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Old May 8th, 2002, 01:06 PM
hcat
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

Sorry, but no one likes to get the same room for more money--best approach is to shop around & keep checking prices. One time the cabin next to the one we booked early was on the website & listed for $1000 less pp To their credit they did meet the new price because we had a very assertive travel agent ..but as with airline tix it leaves a bad taste for non-indutstry insiders to have all these disparate prices. I am not a cheap person but it's one of the main negatives to booking a crise trip--the hassle of disparate pricing!
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Old May 9th, 2002, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

In regards to the captians club being a rip off I completly disagree. $35.00 for life time is well worth the early disembarkation. I would willingly pay $35.00 every cruise not to have to sit and listen to every color in the world get called before mine. My first cruise we waited almost 2 hrs before our color was called. Well worth the $35.00

In regards to upgrading people in the tour group ahead of a repeat customer. Let's see. I upgrade the repeat customer they are happy and tell 10 people. I upgrade members of the 1200 tour group. although they all don't get upgraded I'm sure they all tell at least 2 people. So 2400 people hear how great their experience is. You do the math. As a company I'd rather have 1200 people talking me up rather than 2.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 04:31 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

>I am a firm believer in customer loyality and a retailer showing some kind of appreciation for it. I am a captain's club member (my sixth celebrity will be the Mille 11 day this summer) and feel like we are taken for granted.<

I agree with you. Customers show loyalty by returning for more cruises. There should be incentives to retain this loyalty by giving a good product at a good value. Even though the $35 is a life time charge, I think it shows a lack of appreciation for returning customers and is just another place to nickel and dime clients. I know of no other cruise line that charges a fee for their previous traveler clubs. They are happy to know that this is a person who cruises and would like to have them chose their product again.

As far as bemoaning a price one pays for a cruise when others seem to be sailing for less, I personally book a cruise that I think has the best value. This not only includes the type of cabin but also the itinerary. And in some cases, I'd prefer a cruise to nowhere because I'd rather be at sea than in a port. JMNSHO.
Frank-in-CA
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Old May 11th, 2002, 05:48 PM
George In NY
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Default Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

I agree many way with marinjoe although I hopefully will never allow it to impact on the cruise itself. Yet saying they are bitter or whatever is inappropriate, it's a valid opinion. I myself have been recently a tad tickesd off about the loyalty subject. I started sailing Celebrity before most knew what it was, when it first started sailing NY to Bermuda as the high end product for an established line. I have also always recommended them when I did various cruise pages including the old Mining Company cruise guide page. So I am not here to bash Celebrity/RCI but to make a point that customer loyalty should be more important and better handled by not only them but all lines. Personally I don't think any of them do very much for their cruiseaholics loyalists. Like with NCL, this wil eventually coe back to bite them in the aft section.

Captains Club - I was a little disappointed I admit when they updated and failed to even note 7 or so of the cruises I had been on with them. They had many but still, come on it hurts a little that they didn't even have a record. So having a coupon for 25% off issued after the 9-11 move to Baltimore last year I attempted to use it. Sailing June 7th it was invalid for June and July. I contacted customer service, Captains club and so forth in an effort to get it honored with absolutely no success and lots of run around, my agent recieved the same. Couple this with the fact that I also captains Club and alledgedly entitled to an upgrade and that this also proved useless since wanted cat 2 and cat 3 was priced HIGHER than the higher category. Conveniently negating the upgarde for the most popular category onboard the Galaxy, outside veranda cabin. Since Cat 3's are but a few aft cabins one must know that someone figured out that making a lower cat higher priced worked well to screw Captains Club members.

Having sailed over thirty cruises between Celebrity and RCL alone I felt I was worthy of some consideration for the losey weeks difference and wrote Mr. Fain, CEO of Celebrity. He was very kind and replied that they would apply the credit and also honor an $100 onboard credit that was in effect when I booked. That being said his letter indicated that the price would be adjusted prior to final pay. NATURALLY his letter dated March 29 was postmarked April 18 and recieved April 22, after final pay was made. Despite a letter from Mr. Fain personally I have yet to get the difference credited, it now has to go through accounting of course. Though I am hopeful that I will indeed get the credit and although I appreciate Mr. Fain taking the time to address my letter personally, it still amazes me that a good customer must have to resort to addressing his problem directly with the CEO fo the Line. Someone much lower on the food chain should have been able to satisfy my complaint. It is also speaks a little to the condition of the operation when even the CEO's authority has yet to have the situation handled. Frankly I am retired but I know as a boss when I issued a personal letter my staff took just a little notice and moved a bit to get it done. Here they didn't even get it mailed on time nor did they get the action done now weeks later. At least I tale comfort in the fact that my staff never dared disrespect me that way.

If and when I get the credit issued I will certainly send a thank you to Mr. Fain, yet it all took a toll on my feeling toward the line when it didn't have to. I believe the same is true when you are faced with issued coupomd that are for the most part useless despite pretty letters and brochures proclaiming your importance as a customer. How many ever use the coupons, most of us find a better deal available not using the coupon.

The same holds true for Friends party's when no one but hostess even nothers to show up, just get your free drink and go type situation. Or captains Club parties where the whole focus is booking another cruise. Treating the " special " guests, well special, does that with out the sales pitch. Originally such gatherings were hosted by Captain and Hotel Manager and they actually hung a bit and chatted about the goings on and reminissed with those that had sailed many times. Now just an infomercial and painfully an infomercial on MY vacation time.

Like most companies, eventuallythey grow large enough, secure enough that Management loses all touch with both customer base and thier own staffs. This alienates staff who in turn reflect the atitude that they feel unimportant also and further erode the customer base. NCL was a perfect example. In 1984 NCL was one of the best and thier staff loved working for them. Years later they staff hated being there. The Kloster family started thinking resident ships and ignoring thier people and customers. Led them right into almost bankrupcy until Asians Star line took them over.

So YES I think it is important to take care of your known and good customer. If not you leave yoursel open for the new kid on the block to take away your business. Just as Celebrity did to NCL when THEY were the new kid on the block. Let's see, I love the ships, I love the staff, I love the food, yet land based operations has managed to get me to consider going to Carnival owned lines. In the meantime myself and cruise friends have spent lot's of bucks, I alone tale two cruises a year almost always on RCI or Celebrity product and almost always with one or more cabins of friends. I brought friends met on Carnival in 1988 over to the line. I am 52 and retired, my wife 47 and retiring next year. I plan to increase my cruising to possibly every other month. That means I will be spending lot's of money on some cruiseline somewhere. Doesn't that make me have an expectation of some amount of notice by the company that gets my business? Been drinking and eating in same bar 31 years. I expect and get special consideration. Doesn't have to be major things, I don't put money on bar, they keep my tab. If I walk in at the same time as a non-regular my drink gets up first and fast. Bar keeps a personal shot glass for me and several regulars behind bar. When groups of non regulars hit the joint the regulars get a better than normal buy back ratio. All small stuff but all stiff that makes one feel appreciated. Costs bar next to nothing but goes a mile with theregular guys and gals. We are Gold Card customers and it makes us happy.

What can I say, everyone wants to feel a little special I mean isn't that what cruising is all about anyway? Any good business knows it's customers and takes pains to address them properly. Same reason Atlantic City casinos are hurting and Indian casinos in CT. are growing by leaps and bounds. While CT hosts are coming up and noting you and giving you unasked for VIP passes to special lounges AC has you waiting in line at ATM type comp machines. All the same basic business sense.

Now that there aer fewer actual corporate entities through consolidation I guess the lines are thinking more and more that they will get the business anyway no matter how they respond to the customer. That just makes me anxious for the new kid # 2 to come on the scene and sooner or later they will.

George in NY
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old May 13th, 2002, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

did you ever stop to think it was because he felt ripped off strongly enough to write a review from the ship?? That says a lot to me. Most of the postings are no more than old fart "we love crusing comments" but for those of us who really want to know the ins and outs of cruising, this information is useful.
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Old May 24th, 2002, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

is the $35 pp or for 2 ppl..on Celebrity's site it almost alluded that it was covered 2 ppl?


-possibly going on millenium Sept '02
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Old May 24th, 2002, 11:55 PM
Ray Dooley
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Default Re: Re: Re: Infinity price rip off- Captains club is a joke

the $35 is for a couple.
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