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Old July 8th, 2014, 02:34 PM
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Default Shampoo - Say Goodbye!

Just got off Vision of the Seas last week and was a bit surprised to find out that they REMOVED all the Shampoo dispensers in the showers as part of the revitalization process last year. Per the head of housekeeping (whom I spoke to about this); she said that Quantum and all future ships will NOT have Shampoo provided in the cabins anymore; just the "hard bars" of soap. She did acknolwedge that it "can be" provided "upon request"; however, it took having to track down your cabin attendant; them explaining they no longer providing it; then you having to ask them to find you some in order to get it.

Honestly, this is just super disappointing as even the cheapest motel's on the side of the road for $49 a night give you shampoo; I do not understand why Royal Caribbean who uses the term on their own website as "...like a fine hotel..." would EVER think cheaping-out on this would be remotely acceptable.

Otherwise, had an awesome vacation; the ship was amazing, food was great; overall amazing experience; just sorely disappointed that this was considered a good decision at the corporate level.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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It's all about finding ways to get people to spend money, I am afraid. Since we are limited to how much liquid we can carry in our carry-on luggage I am thinking they will be selling shampoo in the gift shop for $7.99 for a 5-oz bottle.

Carnival had a good thing going with the free samples for years, but even that was limited and got scaled back.

I hate to see nickel & diming. But you always have the option of taking a different cruise line. The only problem is when something comes up as a surprise (like you were expecting shampoo and it wasn't there).

Also - I like Royal Caribbean, and in my opinion they would be better off posing it as an upscale product, not a mainstream one. Their ships are beautiful and amazing. I think they are one of the most interesting cruise lines out there.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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Royal Caribbean is also stopping the singing and parade performed by the dining room staff, which they normally would do once or twice per cruise and on the last night. The stated reasons being provided are that most of the dining room personnel really didn't like doing it and for some it was embarrassing. Anyway, it is rolling out across the fleet and will soon be history.

Personally it doesn't bother me one way or another, and I can easily do without the song and dance routine. But as with some of the other little things RCI is eliminating, such as when they stopped putting chocolates on pillows at night, a lot of loyalists are shocked and disappointed. I suspect it is more about the "traditions" of mainstream cruising that are fading away than wanting a piece of candy or waving a napkin in the air as a conga line of waiters swings by.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 07:39 PM
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I must say, I am a bit disappointed that they will no longer have shampoo, it was one less item I needed to pack...I hope the re-think that option...
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Old July 8th, 2014, 09:58 PM
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I feel that as time goes by they are giving me less and less reasons to go on a cruise.


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Old July 8th, 2014, 10:18 PM
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I always travel with my own Shampoo and Body soap because of products that I prefer.

It's most likely cheap shampoo in the ship Dispensers and hotel rooms.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 12:34 AM
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I can't imagine using what they provide.. I always travel with my own soap, shampoo and always have a bottle of hand soap on the counter from Bath and Body Works.. Maybe that's why I always have so much luggage..
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Old July 9th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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You can always do a hotel stay the night before your cruise and take the free shampoo from there.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:37 AM
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I understand that anyone can bring there own shampoo and stuff; it's just strikes me as just being VERY cheap. I would argue that it's these little things that just make no sense to me; it's laughable when their own website uses language such as "like any other fine hotel"; don't know about you but the last time I checked the holiday inn express gave you free shampoo and I would not put that in the same category as a "fine hotel".
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Old July 9th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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It's interesting that they are no longer providing shampoo in the shower. On my recent cruise, they provided the shampoo that was being sold in the spa. That was great advertisement for the products. I believe that it had tree oil in the product.

I usually bring my own shampoo and conditioner, but I enjoyed trying the shampoo provided in the shower.

Subtle cutbacks do help reduce rising costs, so I'm okay with it.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 02:05 PM
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To clarify this is ONLY on Vision of the Seas; they have not "removed" the shampoo pumps on the other ships that have them. This was done in October 2013 when the ship went through revitalization. Also, if you're staying in a Junior Suite or higher you still get the fancy little shampoos and stuff; that is not changing. This is only impacting Vision and for Balcony and below.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 03:03 PM
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It's been many, many years now, that we have been using the term, nickel and diming us. With every new cruise it seems, we find something gone, that we've had before.

I used to just bring conditioner, since I knew shampoo would be availalble. I'm sure it was not the quality I use at home, and I do remember many years ago, higher quality products being used.

Bringing the little packets of shampoo, enclosed in hair color, onboard,might be the way to get a better shampoo, without using a bottle, and saving it for another liquid as you go through security.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 03:55 AM
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Default Another example of their "fiscal prudence"

I was on a transpositioning cruise on RC few years back that started as something like $299 or $399 for over 10 days (I paid almost twice that much for traveling solo). Before I left I called their company and asked if cotton swabs and lotion would be in the room and she said yes. When I got there, they were not on, so I asked the steward if I could get some and he said yes. They sent a SUPERVISOR down to tell me because (in those words) this was the "cheap" cruise , they would NOT providing it (and that was the reason for not providing the chocolate at night.) One of the reason the cruise was so cheap, was because they were bringing this old ship back to their country (Norway?) to be refurbished and the buffeteria (I call them all that as I don't remember the name) was broken so they had to use trays with sterno fuel underneath (this caused such a ruckus, they had to fly someone from Miami to calm people down).

Later on the cruise, I had taken an excursion to go snorkeling which turned out to be just an expensive boat ride because I got too nervous to get into the water when the woman before me got too scared to get in but the good thing was that i met a woman who had also asked for some lotion and they refused saying you had to be on some high tier of their loyalty program and she exclaimed that she was. They gave her quite a few and she had spent the next 3 days looking for me to give me some. I think the bottle was something like 2 oz. and I thought for THIS they made such a fuss (and had they looked at my record, I with my mother had spent almost $10K on our last cruise!) it made them look very chintzy. The cruise originated out of the Dominican Republic (another reason I think it was cheap as they want to fill it up from people at the origin, and most of the people there don't have much money) I heard the crew complaining about them because they didn't spend money on drinks, gambling or excursions !!!

Last edited by evagoblog; July 10th, 2014 at 04:01 AM. Reason: Left something out...
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Old July 10th, 2014, 07:20 AM
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If this is a fact, it is a bit disconcerting. I've seen the gradual cutbacks but not supplying shampoo is a hard one to believe. Motel 6 gives you shampoo. OK: Hampton Inn gives you shampoo. I haven't stayed at a Motel 6 in 10 years so I can't say that with accuracy.

I hope this is just an isolated incident and truly not a fleet wide change. Personally, I don't care. I have no hair.

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Old July 10th, 2014, 06:49 PM
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This is only on Vision at the moment but the cabin folks said Quantum and all future ships will be of a similar situation.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 10:32 AM
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I have never used it as shampoo, I prefer to bring a small bottle of my own preferred brand, but it is a body wash, which I do use- so do I now have
to bring my own bar of soap?
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Old July 12th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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Hi Mat,
I believe they will still provide bars of soap, at least that is something,
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Old July 21st, 2014, 07:12 AM
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Just come back from 12 days on Brilliance OTS round Baltic Cruise. We usually go during October on a cruise and have done so for the last 10 years but due to significant birthday and wedding anniversary dates in July this year, we decided to celebrate on a July cruise.

Cruise and staff and table companions were best ever so my comment is only about the general topic of this thread, namely cutbacks.

It is true that over the last 10 years that we have been loyal RCI customers that we have seen cut backs. Now we go expecting them and this is disappointing. This time it was noticeable that staff numbers are again down. Waiting and cleaning staff around pool areas were almost non existent, but our let down this time was the decision by RCI to allow children into the 'Adults only' solarium in the afternoons. Kids had 2 other pool areas on the ship but although this new policy was not displayed anywhere, the kids descended in the afternoons and took over the solarium pool, driving out the adults. To be fair the kids were better behaved than the parents that came along with them.

For us, the attraction of a pool area where you could relax in peace and quiet was one of the main attractions for going RCI.

I know that this comment will upset some people but, sorry, you go on holiday for some R&R after a heavy work schedule and if RCI cannot guarantee that then here are 2 long term customers that will check out the other cruise lines.

RCI are now trying to push their loyalty band scheme and we see things such as segregated areas being inserted on their ships. The Viking lounge on the BOTS was almost completely out of bounds for anyone apart from Diamond plus members. The Champagne Bar has been axed and is now a wine bar that no one supported and was usually empty at night. Eventually even the staff gave up standing behind that bar. The lights were often switched off in the Colony Club shortly after midnight to encourage you to leave.

Some people take the view that small cutbacks can be accommodated by them, but RCI are missing the point. The customer should come first. This year they virtually increased their drinks prices by applying an automatic gratuity (about 12 per cent or so), then suggested you added another tip for outstanding service!

It won't affect our memories of a great cruise made by the people on the ship, but the bosses in Miami need to start thinking about their customers and not issuing memo on cut backs from head office. Too much attention to crazy gimmicks on the new large ships and not enough on the basic customer experience.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 02:59 PM
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Interesting feedback on Brilliance. I'd say that they probably staff certain areas of the ship based on route as well. Baltic in the summer aren't typically the "sun and fun" destinations like the caribbean; so I bet they reduced pool staff due to what they probably thought as a lower usage of the area. As for the solarium, I did see on their website they say that the adults only pool can be used for children during "incliment" weather (i.e., they can't use the main pool or the kids pool due to rain or something). Here I can understand and be flexible on; if you have kids and it's raining out and their is a pool that covered; I can see how the line is attempting to balance that out. As for they kids can use the adult pool anytime in the afternoon; that's new to me (first I've heard of it); that does sound like a poor decisions especially if they can use the other two pools.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt Island View Post
Just come back from 12 days on Brilliance OTS round Baltic Cruise. We usually go during October on a cruise and have done so for the last 10 years but due to significant birthday and wedding anniversary dates in July this year, we decided to celebrate on a July cruise.

Cruise and staff and table companions were best ever so my comment is only about the general topic of this thread, namely cutbacks.

It is true that over the last 10 years that we have been loyal RCI customers that we have seen cut backs. Now we go expecting them and this is disappointing. This time it was noticeable that staff numbers are again down. Waiting and cleaning staff around pool areas were almost non existent, but our let down this time was the decision by RCI to allow children into the 'Adults only' solarium in the afternoons. Kids had 2 other pool areas on the ship but although this new policy was not displayed anywhere, the kids descended in the afternoons and took over the solarium pool, driving out the adults. To be fair the kids were better behaved than the parents that came along with them.

For us, the attraction of a pool area where you could relax in peace and quiet was one of the main attractions for going RCI.

I know that this comment will upset some people but, sorry, you go on holiday for some R&R after a heavy work schedule and if RCI cannot guarantee that then here are 2 long term customers that will check out the other cruise lines.

RCI are now trying to push their loyalty band scheme and we see things such as segregated areas being inserted on their ships. The Viking lounge on the BOTS was almost completely out of bounds for anyone apart from Diamond plus members. The Champagne Bar has been axed and is now a wine bar that no one supported and was usually empty at night. Eventually even the staff gave up standing behind that bar. The lights were often switched off in the Colony Club shortly after midnight to encourage you to leave.

Some people take the view that small cutbacks can be accommodated by them, but RCI are missing the point. The customer should come first. This year they virtually increased their drinks prices by applying an automatic gratuity (about 12 per cent or so), then suggested you added another tip for outstanding service!

It won't affect our memories of a great cruise made by the people on the ship, but the bosses in Miami need to start thinking about their customers and not issuing memo on cut backs from head office. Too much attention to crazy gimmicks on the new large ships and not enough on the basic customer experience.
Was there shampoo?

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Mike
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondMember View Post
Interesting feedback on Brilliance. I'd say that they probably staff certain areas of the ship based on route as well. Baltic in the summer aren't typically the "sun and fun" destinations like the caribbean; so I bet they reduced pool staff due to what they probably thought as a lower usage of the area. As for the solarium, I did see on their website they say that the adults only pool can be used for children during "incliment" weather (i.e., they can't use the main pool or the kids pool due to rain or something). Here I can understand and be flexible on; if you have kids and it's raining out and their is a pool that covered; I can see how the line is attempting to balance that out. As for they kids can use the adult pool anytime in the afternoon; that's new to me (first I've heard of it); that does sound like a poor decisions especially if they can use the other two pools.
Ummmmm, out of curiosity, how is rain water any different than pool water (other than having less pee in it)? Now if you're talking about lightning, that's one thing but just a rainstorm.......kids can stay on their side then.
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 08:23 AM
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In answer to queries, it was up to 26 degrees and glorious weather for virtually all of the trip with not a drop of rain to report. (The kids came into the solarium between the hours of 4 til 6pm, however this was very quickly expanded until some were in all day. This area isnt very child orientated and unsupervised kids struggled to amuse themselves. An electricity cable to a very large speaker located under the bridge over the pool was swung on, the cable became detatched and live electricity cables hung within a few inches of the pool surface. This was pointed out to the staff and the pool had to be drained for access to repair the problem. The pool then was refilled with cold water that needed 2 days to come back up to a comfortable temperature.)

Shampoo was provided and very good it was too. On the plus side we did have a kettle in the stateroom - a first for us on RCI.

In a long conversation with a senior staff member it was mentioned that Miami HQ have new management and they are issuing changes around the fleet, however some ships still stick to some traditions. For instance the Italian night was gone form our cruise along with the late night buffet, but other ships still do it.
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 01:28 PM
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I'd say that each ship can vary the policies slightly to accomodate the facts/circumstances of that particular sailing and/or conditions.

As for friedshrimps comment as to the difference between rain water and pool water; I'd direct that to the fact that if there is a rain storm I doubt the adults would be swimming around the outdoor pool either; again it's a balancing act when you have multiple types/ages of guests the line is attempting to be fair with. I think this type of change should be more the exception than the rule of course; as I do enjoy the adults only section myself; however, I could understand from a reasonableness perspective if there are certain facts/circumstances that the line was addressing to allow the children in the adults only area.
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