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Old June 23rd, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Default Royal Caribbean Ends The "December Celebration" Promotion

RCI has quietly announced they will not have the December Celebration this year and this likely means it is gone for good. The promotion was held the past few years, offering double points to Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club members who cruised during the month of December.

The program proved popular, perhaps too popular, with ships being filled with upper tier loyalty members seeking the bonus points as a means to move up to the next member level. And yes, I am one of them. I made D+ as a result of doing back-to-back cruises on Liberty Of The Seas last December. I guess I am lucky that I got what I wanted before they ended the program.

An e-mail is slowly making it's way into the inboxes of C&A members. It reads:

"It is with our deepest regret that we must inform you that the Crown & Anchor Society will not be hosting a December Celebration for the 2013 holiday season. In the past, this promotion served as a surprise appreciation to our top tier members. Here at Royal Caribbean International, we are always thinking of new ways to reward our most loyal guests. While we understand the disappointment this announcement may cause, we ask for your continued patience as we prepare new and exciting programs for the future."

Anyone else think this means they are going to tweak the program again and change the tiers? Perhaps require more points to make Diamond and Diamond Plus level? I'll admit those levels are getting pretty crowded.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 01:39 PM
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Dave,
I think you may be right, only time will prove it...
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 02:22 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that. I had booked the Freedom of the Seas from Dec 1st to the 22nd for the purpose of getting 42 cruise credits. I will have to consider canceling one or two of those sailings since they will not be giving the double credits this year. Oh well.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 02:56 PM
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A friend of mine had back-to-backs on the Explorer booked for December and now he is going to cancel one of them.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:53 PM
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There are a lot of people who are cancelling December cruises or at least half of a b2b.

There are also a lot who are whining about not getting double points. I don't really understand why. It has been a specific program, and like all programs, it has run its course.

Not on this site, but another, someone wants to start a write in campaign to force RCL to put the program back.

I think that absurd and greedy.

I'm glad for what I receive as perks and will remain satisfied with them. We will never make p but are happy to be D+.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Yeah, felix, I know what you mean. Too many people think a promotion is suddenly a 'right' of theirs and by God they better not ever take it away. It was fun while it lasted and I am glad I got the extra points, but it was always a gift and not an expectation. As it is, I would have made D+ on our last cruise so in the end my cruising last December just speeded up the process by a few months - during which time I wasn't cruising anyway.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 08:19 PM
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Oh well, that is too bad. DW and I have been D+ for several years now and have enjoyed the December Celebration. We racked up some pretty good points while it lasted. My next three cruises are booked in December. Two this December, the Jewel the 7th-14th and the Adventure the 15th-22nd. Then we are on the Quantum in December of 2014 the 1st- 12th all in hopes of taking advantage of the December celebration. I'm sad to see it go but I'm glad I got in on it. It brought us a little closer to Pinnacle.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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I think I see what happened just by the posts here. It was too good of a deal and effecting the bottom line too much. On paper it looked like a good way to fill the ships during a traditionally slow season. But in practice it was too costly in terms of added when compared to the revenue collected. The bean counters always win. I know I am one.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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I haven't received the email yet but my question now is, is RCI going to go back to the policy of one cruise point for each night and one cruise point for everyone who books a Jr. Suite and above.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 03:34 PM
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It will be exactly what it is now. DID was a program they offered for a few years to fill the ships - now it will be as it is the rest of the year. 1 night 1 point - JR and up 2 points per night.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

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Old June 24th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by seadog2 View Post
>>> Then we are on the Quantum in December of 2014 the 1st- 12th.....

We are going on that cruise. Thank God we booked when we did the prices have gone up a bit since we booked!

Being new to RC I was hoping that they would keep that promotion. Oh well. We will just have to move up slowly One night & one pt. at a time.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 08:45 PM
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It was nice while it lasted
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Old July 8th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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Got my conformation today. December celebration is over. RCI rep. told me that there is something else in the works for their top tier customers. All she would say is that "you will be very surprised" at the new program. She did not say when though. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 04:02 PM
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The pickle that the cruise lines are in is this - they designed their loyalty programs to never expire - so as time goes one eventually every cruise aficionado will be a diamond member.

The airlines have programs where you have to spend your points for rewards and eventually to start over. The cruise lines don't do this.

And so - as they have discovered - people who join these loyalty programs tend to be the most detailed-oriented people in the first place, so they make sure they get the best of every little thing the loyalty club offers, and it adds up for the cruise line.

Or to put it another way - some of those people (not all) are like the people on the other site who tend to believe that since they are loyal customers they essentially have a seat on the board of directors and can boss the company around.

Every year they have more & more people like this, drinking up complimentary cocktails, using the laundry services, getting upgrades, etc, etc. They will have to reduce benefits some day, or else find some way to make you "spend" your rewards points.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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To make up for it, they added this sale:

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES HOLIDAY CRUISE SALE

Guests Receive up to $200 Onboard Credit on Five-nights or Longer Sailings in December 2013

MIAMI, July 11, 2013 This July, Royal Caribbean is offering guests up to $200 onboard credit for all new individual bookings made from July 15 through July, 31, 2013, to enjoy on a five-night or longer itinerary, sailing December 18 through December 31, 2013.

Vacationers who book a Royal Caribbean cruise from July 15 through 31, 2013, on any a five-night or longer sailing departing December 18 through 31, 2013, will receive $100 onboard credit per Interior and Outside stateroom, and $200 onboard credit per Balcony and Suite-category stateroom. The Holiday Cruise Sale is applicable for all new individual North and South America bookings.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Sooner or later the cruise lines are going to have to rein in the monsters they've created in the loyalty programs. The problem is managing the uproar they'd create if they said 'you have to cruise with us X times over X period of time to maintain your status' or spend so much money per cruise, etc.

But regardless, the programs will have to be controlled somehow or havoc will ensue. The Diamond Lounges on RCI ships are already zoos on some cruises.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadog2 View Post
All she would say is that "you will be very surprised" at the new program.
Surprised in a good way.. or a disappointing way...


And when will we find out what the details of the new program are?? Maybe I'll be demoted to Gold...
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Old July 11th, 2013, 07:50 PM
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I would say RCL made a huge error when they changed the format and grandfathered in all those Floridians who whipped up to Diamond + on 3 night inside cruises. The credits should have been given as they were earned. 1 night = 1 credit. Those people really got 1 night = 2/2.5 credits. They didn't help themselves the way they did it.

Same with allowing recognition from one of their lines to the other. First cruise on Celebrity should not have allowed so many to be elite.

One day we will all pay for that. As soon as they can figure out how not to make too many super angry I guess.

As for the airlines etc that have an expiration date, you get something for your points with them. You actually have to surrender your points to get your free air or whatever.

Perhaps the cruiselines have to do something like that.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
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Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
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Old July 11th, 2013, 09:06 PM
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I remember doing the math on being a 'Florida cruiser' and how if I lived in south Florida I could make Diamond Plus (no Pinnacle at the time), with just twelve three - night cruises in a junior suite. The rules at that time being 1 point per cruise (regardless of whether it was 3 days or 12 days), and 2 points if in a suite or if it was 13 days or longer.

If you had the time and money you could go from new cruiser to the highest member level in 36 days. If I lived within an hour driving time of a cruise port I'd be doing at least monthly cruises too.

And let's be honest - that is how "Super Mario" made his lofty record.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
I remember doing the math on being a 'Florida cruiser' and how if I lived in south Florida I could make Diamond Plus (no Pinnacle at the time), with just twelve three - night cruises in a junior suite. The rules at that time being 1 point per cruise (regardless of whether it was 3 days or 12 days), and 2 points if in a suite or if it was 13 days or longer.

If you had the time and money you could go from new cruiser to the highest member level in 36 days. If I lived within an hour driving time of a cruise port I'd be doing at least monthly cruises too.

And let's be honest - that is how "Super Mario" made his lofty record.
That is how DW and I climbed the ladder. When RCI had ships in the port of Los Angeles we did a lot of 3, 4 and 5 nighters in a Jr. Suite. We came through the ranks pretty quickly. That was good while it lasted.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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I don't begrudge the way you made it, but for someone like me, in the middle of Canada, doing 3 or 4 night cruises just isn't in the cards. We always do 7 to 10, 14 nights yet when they made the changes all we received for 7 points for each of our 10/14 night cruises. Hardly seemed fair then and still doesn't.

And now there are still some whining about not being able to get there with the 3 and 4 night cruises from Florida.
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Dec. 13 - Windstar sailing yacht. Wonderful!!


Just completed - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
One day we will all pay for that. As soon as they can figure out how not to make too many super angry I guess.
That is the problem - creating a loyalty program is essentially making a "promise" of future benefits based on your actions now. So, if you make promises and then take them away people actually have a right to be upset.

However - we all know that "promise" has not stopped some cruise lines from changing their loyalty programs before, so Felix is absolutely right - they should have counted people on a "per night basis" rather than letting them stay at their level. Yeah, it would have been tough on them, but ultimately actually more fair to everyone - especially people who can't take 3 days cruises all the time.
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Old July 13th, 2013, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
The pickle that the cruise lines are in is this - they designed their loyalty programs to never expire - so as time goes one eventually every cruise aficionado will be a diamond member.

The airlines have programs where you have to spend your points for rewards and eventually to start over. The cruise lines don't do this.

And so - as they have discovered - people who join these loyalty programs tend to be the most detailed-oriented people in the first place, so they make sure they get the best of every little thing the loyalty club offers, and it adds up for the cruise line.

Or to put it another way - some of those people (not all) are like the people on the other site who tend to believe that since they are loyal customers they essentially have a seat on the board of directors and can boss the company around.

Every year they have more & more people like this, drinking up complimentary cocktails, using the laundry services, getting upgrades, etc, etc. They will have to reduce benefits some day, or else find some way to make you "spend" your rewards points.


If I were a betting person I would bet that RC will create a level between Diamond Plus and Pinnacle. I would guess a new level at 500 days. I am positive this would cause an uproar but it would also eliminate crowding in the CL . Again this is all guess work so don't hate the poster.
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Old July 13th, 2013, 04:31 PM
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I don't begrudge the way you made it, but for someone like me, in the middle of Canada, doing 3 or 4 night cruises just isn't in the cards. We always do 7 to 10, 14 nights yet when they made the changes all we received for 7 points for each of our 10/14 night cruises. Hardly seemed fair then and still doesn't.

And now there are still some whining about not being able to get there with the 3 and 4 night cruises from Florida.
We did what was available to us. Now that the short getaways are gone we still cruise. The bad thing is that now we have to pay airfare. Not paying for airfare was one of the main reason we did the 3, 4, and 5 night cruises. We also did 7 nighters out of LA. No doubt the advantage is to the Floridians. Short cruises and no airfare. More power to them, go for it. If I lived in Florida I would be doing like I did when RCI had ships in the port of Los Angeles.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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i got to say - rewarding those that are loyal to you is only good for business and is really no big deal.
i mean i know venues are becoming crowded but its nice to be on sailings with many repeat cruisers and i much rather this then being with many first timers. they are usually way nicer people, some what classier of higher social level and people and are just more relax about the whole cruising scene

i dont see no creating a monster.....what is the big deal.....so they give us a little booze they buy for nothing anyway and sell others for a fortune (bottle of cheap rum or vodka duty free wholesales for about $5-8 and they get some 40 drinks out of it each at apprx $6-8!!!)
when you attend CL or DL ,even if you consume 3-4 drinks and evening, which most dont it really doesnt cost them so much (maybe at the end of 7 day sailing i cost them one bottle of vodka) and they get me exclusively to sail on RCI ships, most on expensive cabins!
i have already easily invested well over $25k the last 4 years on frequently cruising with RCI...so few drinks are well worth it for RCI (really its more about the special treatment feel they give you)

being on the point, i dont see why the make the distinction between CL and DL (Conceirge Lounge and Diamond Lounge). I mean yes, i see how venues are getting full so if they just need extra space and therefore create another location that is all great. however on same of the ships they also limit the choice of alcohol provided etc or sale you drinks at a discount (well they only give wine and champagne free ) and that is just wrong.
besides,wine and champagne cost almost the same as hard liquire....and once you calculate that in a bottle of wine you get about 6 servings while with mix drinks you can get 35-40...so they are not saving any money but just annoying the members for no good reason!

12 sailings to become a diamond members, some times more to get to 80 nights is already a huge $$$(at least $15k-20k) commitment and should be rewarded with few events and some free drinks....most people that are not there now or are only starting the program will find it is hardly worth while and very hard to achieve.
for those that are there its a way to keep them coming back and not checking out other companies....not to mention that most D or D+ usually sail numerous times a year and take the best cabins so we spend the money on services, massages, hair cuts (they charges my wife $200!) etc

i love sailings, love what they give me and my statue and we sail 4 times a year nowadays....but dont talk to me about monsters or as if rci is doing my a favor....
the way i see it its the other way around.....we spend big bucks and are very loyal - hence we deserve special treatment !

that is just how i feel....

eli

Last edited by theman7676; September 28th, 2013 at 08:18 AM.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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I don't know why you think RCL owes you anything - they don't. You get what you pay for - period - the rest is a gift.

And you don't get classier by sailing more. You are who you are.

Arrogance doesn't make you special -- arrogance makes you ignorant.

You are not special. I would strongly suggest you get over yourself.
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Dec. 13 - Windstar sailing yacht. Wonderful!!


Just completed - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 05:01 PM
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You should also keep in mind that when booking a cruise, the fare doesn't even cover the cost of your cabin. They make up the difference with selling drinks, shore excursions and pictures, etc.....
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Old September 28th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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I don't think extolling the advantages of being in a loyalty club makes you arrogant.

But keep this in mind - the problem is not so much the cost of the drink they give you during the cocktail party. It is people loading up on booze at those parties and then not buying drinks for the rest of the night.

It is the drinks that you do NOT buy that costs Royal Caribbean, not the (no so) "free" booze they give away.

I personally do think its a bit of a monster because it is very bad publicity to take away loyalty privileges. After all, the line has a covenant with the people who took the cruise to get the points. The should keep their promises. But after some time it inevitably gets to the point where you have more and more (never less) top tier members.

And so you have to change the rules. But hey - the AIRLINES do it, they even take your miles away, so...
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Old September 29th, 2013, 11:10 AM
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But keep this in mind - the problem is not so much the cost of the drink they give you during the cocktail party. It is people loading up on booze at those parties and then not buying drinks for the rest of the night.

It is the drinks that you do NOT buy that costs Royal Caribbean, not the (no so) "free" booze they give away.
I agree some members hang out for a few hours in the lounge drink alot and take up space. Then the rest of the night hardly buy a drink.

The lounge is meant to be a little thank you from RC to the past cruisers with a drink or 2 before or after dinner. There are members that do take advantage. Maybe RC should have a 2 drink limit per person each night in the lounge.

I do see at times cruisers in the lounge with their nose up in the air with the "RC owes me" attitude.

I use the lounge for one before dinner drink and a piece of cheese. My stay is 15 to 20 minutes.
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Vision Of The Seas
Independence Of The Seas
Allure Of The Seas
Carnival Breeze
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Old September 29th, 2013, 07:43 PM
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To take the other side of this argument, there seem to be a lot of folks here that are anti cruisers rights. When you earn rights they should not be arbitrarily taken away. I have sailed on Royal six of the last eight weeks. My experience was that the vast majority of those visiting the lounge did so for a half hour to an hour before their respective dinner times. The problem is that the majority have early dining and the lounges are not large enough to accommodate the early rush. Royal has addressed this by using available space in rooms and/or bars on their larger ships when a large number of Diamond and above are aboard. The past two weeks the Allure they held Happy Hour in the Blaze night club and it worked beautifully. We don't need cruisers who are Diamond Plus or above trying to change the rules after they "got theirs." Cruisers need to stand united and make the cruise lines make reasonable changes to accommodate us all. I find it particularly disturbing that travel agents would see cruisers as "greedy" and wanting something they do not deserve. Using that logic maybe the cruise lines should save money and offer discounts to cruisers with no compensation to travel agents. Same logic different result. It would probably save cruise lines more money than reducing the benefits on the "greedy" cruisers who don't deserve the benefits for their loyalty. Conversely, travel agents who do not act as advocates for thei clients deserve nothing for bookings they are not involved in. Not a probable or "fair" alternative, but just the reverse logic of that being expressed here by some.
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