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Old March 14th, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Default Royal Caribbean changing "Next Cruise" onboard booking benefits

Travel agents probably know about this already, but Royal Caribbean is making some changes to it's onboard booking programs, effective March 15.

Previously, if you made an 'open booking' by buying a future cruise certificate while you were on a cruise, for a $100 deposit you got an unassigned booking number with OBC that varied based on cruise length, but offered $100 for a 7 night cruise. The new program drops that down to $25 for 7 nights. If you book a specific 7 night cruise then you still get the $100 OBC, however if you later change that specific booking to another ship or itinerary Royal Caribbean 'reserves the right' to adjust the OBC to the levels offered for an 'open booking', meaning if you decide to change your booking to a different week but on the same ship and itinerary, suddenly your OBC will drop from $100 to $25.

Cruises booked while aboard will offer different amounts of OBC that are based on cabin category. Book a Grand Suite for a 7 night cruise and get $200 OBC. A balcony cabin is $100. Oceanview is $50 and an inside cabin is $25. Again, this is for a specific cruise and not just an open booking for some future cruise yet to be decided.

Bottom line is that is seems the "Next Cruise" open booking certificates are not going to be as worthwhile as they used to be. The new OBC levels start at $25 for 5-7 day cruises and top out at $100 for cruises of 15+ days. So, either book a specific cruise and stick with that booking, or I suggest just forgetting the whole thing and not bother with booking while on a cruise any more. The benefits are definitely being diminished.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 09:26 PM
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They never were any good once you were in a position to get balcony discounts. It seems to be this is just another way to get ppl to book direct. They are not walking the walk as they claim, only giving lip service.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 06:13 AM
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Question On Board Bookings

Any idea how this affects bookings already on the books? We booked three cruises while on the Grandeur in January, and got $150 per cruise on two of them.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 12:18 PM
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It won't affect bookings already made as long as you don't change them to a different cruise.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 04:18 AM
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How about future cruise certificates??? I just bought a couple when we sailed on Celebrity. We got one for Celebrity and one for RCCL. For $25 why would you even bother?
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Old March 16th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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I've begun to wonder if Celebrity and RCCL want to squeeze long time cruisers out, especially those who don't sail balconies and above and don't spend a lot onboard.
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Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
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Old March 16th, 2014, 11:35 AM
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If you bought certificates prior to March 15 they are good for whatever OBC they had at the time you bought them. The changes are for Next Cruise certificates going forward.

They obviously want to kill the open bookings and focus on people making specific cruise bookings while aboard. Hence the changes to the OBC for those bookings, which reward cabin selection as well as cruise length. They are not worth the trouble for those booking an inside cabin for a 5-7 day cruise getting $25 OBC, but if you book a GS you get $200 for the same cruise. Also, note that you can't book anything under 5 days any longer.

You can see/download the pdf file of the new program here.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 08:08 AM
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This is going to bite RCI in the butt.

Many people cannot forecast a specific cruise a long time in advance...but this discourages loyalty to RCI. We've used these certificates on virtually every cruise to date...but now...we'll never get one again.

With 2 RCI cruises booked already for this year...it seems it's time to begin to research other cruise lines for the future.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 05:27 AM
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I never bought an Open Booking so I guess I won't miss it when it's gone
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Old March 19th, 2014, 12:05 PM
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I think Royal caribbean needs to do a lot of things to cut back on loyalty promises - and all cruise lines are in the same boat.

The problem has always been that those levels never go away, so after a certain number of years more and more people qualify for the special "loyalty club" entitlements and it cuts into their bottom line.

With frequent flier miles and least people have to "burn" them to get the advantages they offer - but not so with most cruise line loyalty programs.

Obviously, some day that is what we will see. If you want to get the benefits of your loyalty status you are going to have to "pay for" the perks by using your accumulated points. I am kind of surprised the cruise lines have not figured that out already.

of course, now that I have said it they will do it, because they always use my ideas
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Old March 19th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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of course, now that I have said it they will do it, because they always use my ideas

I f they are using your ideas they should pay you for doing it....


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Old March 19th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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Celebrity has gone one step towards making money spent count by revising their Captain's Club points system. While Royal does give you 2 points for a suite (any suite) per night, and 1 point for all other cabins, Celebrity now awards points from 2 to 18 points per night. Inside and standard outside cabins get 2 points, a balcony gets 3, and then the suites are 5, 8, 12, or 18 points depending on the suite level. Quite a point spread. Thus to make their new Zenith loyalty level (akin to Pinnacle Club on Royal), you need 3000 points and you won't easily get there by booking the cheapest cabins.

But the loyalty club monster continues to grow and they all will have to do something about it. In order to control crowding at the nightly Diamond member cocktail party, Royal is now putting 3 free drinks on member cruise cards that are valid at any bar during the hours the Diamond lounge is open - trying to get people to go somewhere else for their drinks. They tested it on the Independence a few months ago and I understand they started it again on that ship.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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The nightly Diamond Lounge is getting out of hand way too many cruisers. On A&O Diamond lounge is great since they open Blaze Nightclub for the event.

I'll be on Indy soon so the 3 drink plan may work if the lounge is jam packed with cruisers.

And let's face it some Members take advantage and sit there for much longer then they should taking up seats.

On the Freedom there were two couples who were cruising together and they would go to the lounge right when it opens go to dinner then after dinner go to the lounge again.

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Old March 19th, 2014, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by thecruisequeen View Post
The nightly Diamond Lounge is getting out of hand way too many cruisers. On A&O Diamond lounge is great since they open Blaze Nightclub for the event.

I'll be on Indy soon so the 3 drink plan may work if the lounge is jam packed with cruisers.

And let's face it some Members take advantage and sit there for much longer then they should taking up seats.

On the Freedom there were two couples who were cruising together and they would go to the lounge right when it opens go to dinner then after dinner go to the lounge again.

What do you mean "longer than they should"? They have a right to be there as long as they want.

I like it when vouchers are given out. I can go to other bars and drink w/friends I am cruising with & use my vouchers or drink with Pax I have gotten friendly with on board. Also, I can take a glass of wine to the MDR.

As far as the future cruise certificates, they are no good to shareholders, discounted cruises or anything else RCL can think of.

O F C'er
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Old March 19th, 2014, 09:57 PM
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But the loyalty club monster continues to grow and they all will have to do something about it. In order to control crowding at the nightly Diamond member cocktail party, Royal is now putting 3 free drinks on member cruise cards that are valid at any bar during the hours the Diamond lounge is open - trying to get people to go somewhere else for their drinks. They tested it on the Independence a few months ago and I understand they started it again on that ship.



That would work out fine for me.


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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OldFartCruiser View Post
What do you mean "longer than they should"? They have a right to be there as long as they want.

I like it when vouchers are given out. I can go to other bars and drink w/friends I am cruising with & use my vouchers or drink with Pax I have gotten friendly with on board. Also, I can take a glass of wine to the MDR.

As far as the future cruise certificates, they are no good to shareholders, discounted cruises or anything else RCL can think of.

O F C'er

They may have a right but sometimes it's nice to be considerate to your fellow cruisers. But that is just me....I would not sit there for two hours while other cruisers have to stand. Some members do take advantage and drink and drink and drink in the lounge then don't buy any drinks the rest of the night.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:33 PM
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That would work out fine for me.


TM
It's fine with me too....however I don't need the 3 drink credit only one is good. I have one drink in the Diamond lounge before dinner and two drinks much later in the night at Bolero's or the nightclub.
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Freedom Of The Seas x3
Navigator Of The Seas x2
Explorer Of The Seas x2
Voyager Of The Seas
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Old March 20th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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It's fine with me too....however I don't need the 3 drink credit only one is good. I have one drink in the Diamond lounge before dinner and two drinks much later in the night at Bolero's or the nightclub.

I usually have two drinks before dinner. I have some wine with dinner and a couple of drinks ( or more ) during the evening. If I have a bit too much, Mrs. TM will make sure that I make back to the cabin.

TM
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