I'm sure this new "policy" will upset some people. Apparently, RCI is now charging for ALL sodas in their dining rooms (or will be soon). Let me make myself clear.....I don't care one way or the other! I have also read that children and adults will be allowed to use their soda cards in the dining rooms. Please don't take all of this as gospel because we know how policies change from ship to ship.
Do you think RCI will also change their policy and no longer allow people to "smuggle" their own soda onboard? Wooooo! I can see the complainers coming out of the woodwork now! Reminder: This is NOT the case as far as I know, just a thought to "get people going." lol
Again.....I could care less what they charge for! If I can afford the cruise, I can also afford the "extras" onboard that I choose to pay for! A soda now and then with a meal wouldn't break me!
My gosh, where will they reach into our pockets next? How about coin slots in our cabin bathrooms? A cover charge to get to the pool? Extra if you want to swim? Special nights at the shows, buy one ticket get the next at half price? Or the one some of the islands like to charge........a departure tax?????
Weren't they the only "mainstream" cruise line that didn't charge for soda? I'm not including the budget buster lines in this comment (Crystal, Seaborn, ect) just the average people lines (Carnival, Holland American, Celebrity, ect).
I heard it was only RCI and Disney that was not charging, so you're probably right!
It brings up another interesting question. Who gets the tips now when a passenger purchases a soda card? I'm not positive how they were handling it before among the bar staff. By rights, shouldn't the dining staff serving the drinks be given a portion of the tip too? OR if a glass of coke is purchased during the meal and the assistant waiter is serving it, does that tip get split three-ways (waiter, ass't. waiter & head waiter) the same as the wine purchases do? Hmmmmmm???????
I agree with you entirely, John. I'd much rather pay bare bones for the cruise ticket and then have the option to pay for the other stuff I consume. I'd also like to see the tickets go down, say, $150.00 per person and then have the option to pay for the dinner I choose. Some nights I'd rather just get a burger on the deck than dress and sit for a two hour dinner.
I realize that some, maybe most, people enjoy the elegant dinner every night and consider that part of the "cruise experience" and that is fine for them. I also enjoy that occasionally, but I prefer to have as many choices as possible.
How soon we forget! Up until less than a year ago, RCI was popular among the mass market lines for its little benefits like the soft drinks at dinner and the ability to carry on one's own liquor and beer to control individual costs. And RCI's step by step elimination of these little benefits is really so "Mickey Mouse" if you do the math. Their wholesale cost for a Diet Coke is about $.20. Congrats, RCI, you have just hacked off a whole new group of people to save yourself $1.40 per guest on a seven day cruise, while at the same time you run those mega-dollar TV ads. Go figure!
Now this is confusing! Mikey just got back from the Explorer, and was charged extra for soft drinks in the dining room. Paul B just got back from the Radiance, and soft drinks in the dining room were at no extra charge. I'm sure both these posters are being absolutely truthful and accurate about their experiences. It sounds like RCI is "playing it by ear" again, just as they have on so many issues in the past year!
Say this isn't so!!!!! I guess RCI has gone and joined all the other cruise lines. I will miss my diet coke with my meal, so it's back to water. Another nickel & dime gripe, this one is not a biggy for me, I love cruising way too much to have a glass of soda or lack of ruin my day. :-)
RCI's deletion of free soft drinks in the dining room at dinner, by itself, does not amount to much. We all agree on that. But take it in the context of RCI's policy changes over the past year. These include impediments to bringing one's own liquor or beer aboard (no, I don't want to start that discussion again), up-charges on liquor bought onboard for onboard consumption, increasing costs for bottled water, elimination of the wine steward, a very lame policy and operation of their "drink card" program, and the elimination of or changes to a lot of little things that made RCI -- well, RCI to those of us who used to be loyal customers. And does anybody out there think that RCI is through with what is obviously a program of elimination of things that used to be RCI benefits (however individually small), in the interest of increasing onboard revenues at the expense of the guests? Let's watch and see. I predict future, similar actions in the next month or two. What do you think?
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Dean: Unfortunately, you are not wrong that RCI's ever-decreasing hospitality will continute untill it impacts their bottom line. But fortunately, IMO, this will happen in time. For the seller of a service or procuct that is used or purchased only occasionally by consumers (cruises, cars, law firm services), it takes a long time of good product and service to build up a good reputation and resulting customer base. RCI did that in years past. Conversely, for such a business, it takes a while for it to errode its customer base by poor product or service. IMO, RCI is in the process of doing just that right now. Only a few cruise customers follow these boards closely as we do in this changing market, and it will take them a while to learn that the new RCI is not the old RCI. But they will learn eventually, and react.
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And I think the other side to your last point is that while it will take awhile to erode RCCL's goodwill that's been in place for a long time now, it will take even longer to rebuild it, once it's eroded.
You know, from now on I think I'm just going to smuggle on all my Coke, Rum, 7-Up, beer.........................
Hi, travelitis. The dining room soda was but one of a host of small perks that RCI offered, and its competition didn't. By itself, the elimination of the soda will surely have no impact on RCI revenues, one way or another.
But during the past year, RCI has gradually and slowly been eliminating these perks, so maybe we won't notice. Some of us have. So now, why should we go RCI instead of HAL where we can still BYOL, or Carnival where we can get lower fare and larger room, or maybe even Radisson where the additional fare is less in the end than you may think and where more perks are offered than RCI ever had?
So it's not a matter of RCI putting itself at a marketing disadvantage. It is a matter of RCI giving up its marketing advantages. And thay may well eventually have a negative impact on RCI's bottom line.