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Old April 23rd, 2005, 01:14 PM
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Default RCI charging retail instead of discounted prices??

I have reading that RCI will no longer allow TA's to discount cruise prices. Is this true? I don't really have a problem with paying retail prices, if the cruising goes back up to the standards of the early to mid 1990s'.

I remember my cruise on the Carnival Mardi Gras was much higher than the standards today. On the Mardi Gras wine and champaign was free with dinner. There was an afternoon tea party with free real homemade ice cream on the lido deck, not soft serve. The meals from breakfast, lunch, dinner and buffets in the dinning room were spectaculer and melted in your mouth. I still haven't ate food that good til this day. The buffet food on the lido was good not excellent(burgers, cold cut sandwiches, barbeque chicken), but well above the school cafeteria.

On the Navigator the food was fair to good in the dinning room. They did do a great job with lunch in the dinning room on port days. The Windjammer was decent. However, I did not come home trying to figure out the recipes from NOS like on the Mardi Gras. However, we got the Navigator for a little over 65% off retail value. The real value was $5,098 instead of $1,777.

The cabin attendant on the Mardi Gras was excellent. However, I never really formally met him. He just kind of slipped in and out when we weren't around. He not only cleaned room twice day, but changed sheets twice a day, hung up the clothes left lying around in the right closet, and put shoes on the right shoe racks. We couldn't figure out how he knew what closet or shoe rack belonged to whom. He also put away things like our traveling iron, cassette player, curlers etc.. nicely. However, this was category 11 suite. Maybe there is a difference between suites and other cabins

On the Navigator, our cabin attendant welcomed us moments after finding our room and introduced himself. I loved him. We had a superior ocean view room with balcony. He kept the room clean and bathroom spotless. However, the cabin service was not what the Mardi Gras was.

The crew and staff on the Navigator was the best. This was not quite the case on the Mardi Gras. The crew and staff on Mardi Gras treated us like royalty until the last night, then they got their tips and they were finished with us. They turned hateful. On the Navigator the atitudes and service never changed even after tip night. I had given my waiter a good bye hug after tipping him and I saw him later on that night and he wanted another hug. Our cabin attendant came to us the morning of disembarkment and told us he really enjoyed serving us and hope to see us again in the near future. We tipped him the night before as well.

The service on Navigator was fast, I never waited in my cabin for than 10 minutes for anything. In the dinning room, our assistant waiter made a drink that wasn't even on the menu and she served it to 2 of my tablemates and I. We didn't have any problem with crew not speaking english on Navigator.

Overall, I enjoyed the cruises. I just missed the food quality and taste of the early 1990s. There is way more nickeling and diming going today. The only reason you money on the Mardi Gras was for alcohol drinks outside dinning room, cokes, shore excursions, gambling and tips.

Now, you need money for certain resturants even Johnny Rockets, ice cream, shakes, any alcohol, for some of the recreation.

Post Edited (04-23-05 13:29)
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: RCI charging retail instead of discounted prices??

As of Jan 1st TA's cannot advertise or sell RCI associated cruises for less than the price you can buy them directly through the cruiseline. They cannot even give you any incentives like coupons, shipboard credit, washer/dryers etc. <G> The only time they can sell less than the direct advertised price is if it is a authorized group cruise and they have a booking Mr for that so no fudging on the part of the TA. Understand that the "advertised" price and the "Brochure" price are still very differant. The "advertised" price is the one you will see if you go directly to the RCI website. They are saying that this puts all TA's no matter the size of the agency, on the same footing.
Jim

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