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Crown and Anchor Loyalty Society Benefits

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean International' started by jetblue, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. jetblue

    jetblue Guest

    I was just looking over the 'new' benefits Royal Caribbean will put in place starting 9/1/2009 and I have to say I am a little appalled by what they term a 'benefit'. I'm not talking about diamond benefits here which is why most other people are upset, I'm referring to the lowest level:

    Gold status which is 1-4 cruise credits entitles you to:

    Coupon Book
    Recognition at Captains Welcome Aboard Party (Beverages available for purchase)
    SeaPass Card Recognition

    Now if you ask me the only thing worthy of the term benefit is the coupon book. Gold will no longer get a welcome back party so instead the captain will 'recognize' them at the welcome aboard party and of course no free beverages. Oh but Gold gets SeaPass Card Recognition! I can't tell you how many passengers are going to come running back to RCI to see their SeaPass Card now says GOLD on it!

    I think Royal Caribbean needs to seriously rethink their loyalty program if they want to attract returning guests.
     
  2. Cruizer

    Cruizer Guest

    There isn't a cruise line yet that offers much of a benefit to the lowest tier. In all of them you have to move up into the higher tiers to get anything of any value. But then again, since it only takes one cruise to get into the lowest tier, that is to be expected. Airlines don't offer a free flight after only one flight. Hotels don't offer a free night after only one night. Car rental companies don't offer a free day after only one rental. I've got platinum credit cards. What do these cards offer that is different from a standard credit card or a gold credit card?

    The only perk that I know of from Carnival as a gold member is that the crew is supposed to say welcome back. So far that has happened to me once (not one cruise - one time) and I've been on five Carnival cruises (though to be fair, the second cruise was before the gold & platinum cards).

    Royal Caribbean made a mistake by making Diamond their top tier after only ten cruises. Many made this in only three years by taking weekend cruises (a total of 30 days at sea). I've got 21 days at sea with NCL and I've only been on two cruises with NCL. I have 31 days at sea with Royal Caribbean and I've only taken five cruises with Royal Caribbean.

    Realizing its mistake, Royal Caribbean was forced to add a new top tier, called Diamond Plus. And to get to Diamond Plus after having made Diamond requires more cruise credits than it took to get to Diamond from the beginning (Diamond is 10 cruise credits and it takes 14 more to get to Diamond Plus).

    Carnival has made the same mistake with its Platinum being the highest level after only ten cruises. The result, when I was in a suite in May 2004, I walked up to the priority boarding line at around 1:30pm and was the only one in line. The next cruise, in April 2006, when I also had "priority boarding" half the ship was in the same line as I was. There was no "priority".

    The first tier, which should cover cruises two through five should be something with very little extra. The next tier, which should cover cruises six through ten, should offer a little bit extra. The next tier, which should cover cruises ten through twenty, is the first tier that should start to offer something with some real value. The final tier, which should cover cruises over twenty (with something else special at 25, 50, 75 & 100) is the one that should offer something that is special.

    Otherwise it dilutes the value of the top tiers. For example, I was in a suite on the Freedom of the Seas. I wasn't treated any better than anyone else and I spent $12,000 for the cabin. The next two cruises with Royal Caribbean I was in an ocean view and I was treated like someone special. Now why should I book a suite costing $1,700 per night when I get treated better in an ocean view costing $240 per night?

    The same with the tiers. Why bother offering the tiers if after the first cruise you are already getting something special? There is nothing to look forward to. If you want the top tiers to feel special, then the top tiers have to offer something that is special when compared to the other tiers. The result, I have no desire to book a suite on Royal Caribbean again unless I need the extra room. In my experience it offered nothing of any value beyond the size of the room. Now on NCL, you get treated like a king or queen when in a suite. Even on Carnival, where the suites are really just bigger cabins (the only perk is priority embarkation), I felt like I was treated better than on Royal Caribbean when I was in the Royal Family Suite.

    I don't understand where the idea came from that someone should be treated special because they came back a second time. Loyal customers should first prove they are really loyal before being treated like someone special.
     
  3. jetblue

    jetblue Guest

    I understand what you are saying Cruizer. I guess I felt a little appalled to see that the benefit for Gold is 'SeaPass Recognition.'

    Something as simple as a welcome back party would suffice for the Gold but I guess they decided it was time to do away with that too.
     
  4. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca Guest

    I think it's just the sign of the times at RCI. Even as Diamond Plus, we get fewer benefits than we used to. They often "forget" to do the behind the scenes tours and very few D+s get upgrades any more. I never found the coupon books to have much value to us and it has been a long time since we attended a welcome back party......way too crowded and they serve cheap drinks. The Concierge Lounge has gotten so crowded.....even the over flows.......that it was more of a frustration to me to try to get a seat. With their putting all their efforts and money into the huge ships, I think that they are after attracting a different type of cruiser.....ones that are new and don't seem to balk at all the extra charge items on board. I'm not upset at the changes, I just know that RCI is no longer meeting my idea of cruising, so, time to go elsewhere after I burn off the next two RCIs.

    Now, I just cruise to cruise, not to cash in on benefits.......we think it's time to switch full time to Celebrity which, for us, is more like RCI used to be 5 or 10 years ago,
     
  5. jetblue

    jetblue Guest

    Interesting, I wonder if in 5 to 10 years Celebrity will become todays RCI and Azamara will become the next step. Certainly seems like an interesting strategy on RCI's part.
     
  6. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca Guest

    It's almost like RCI is working very hard to develop ships that insulate the passenger from being at sea. The Freedom and Oasis class seem to have all the amenities that get people to forget that they are at sea......they all seem to be focused inward.

    My son just came back from a trip to SEA on Virgin America......he compared the airline favorably and similar to Jet Blue in service and liked the experience a lot.
     
  7. jetblue

    jetblue Guest

    Yes Virgin America offers a very nice and interesting product. Will be curious to see how they develop it further. We certainly have our eye on it at JetBlue.
     
  8. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca Guest

    Yeah, you have to hand it to Branson [Sir].........he usually makes really good decisions and almost always is very successful. I guess the US is trying to increase the percentage of the company that is US owned.....I think it's now 70%.

    Do you fly for JetBlue?
     
  9. jetblue

    jetblue Guest

    Yes that has been the main concern for VA being a legal US airline. They have to make sure to keep their percentages at a level to prove it is owned by an American citizen which is why they had some trouble starting in the first place.
     
  10. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca Guest

    Yes, I remember, they had a couple of new A319s sitting at SFO unused for quite some time.
     
  11. azmavis

    azmavis Guest

    I tend to disagree. We still thoroughly enjoy the Concierge Lounge and if it is too crowded, the overflow venues (especially when they do it upstairs in the Viking Crown Lounge) are usually very good. As Diamond Plus members we will have our choice going forward, but the idea is to meet fellow cruisers that have a lot in common. We like the Radiance Class ships the best so I don't know if that makes a big difference or not. (although we have been on all classes). I think the Concierge him or herself can make a big difference too. We loved Mario on the Liberty, but Kenneth on the Serenade remains our favorite! We find Celebrity far too stuffy and they don't have the Concierge benefit anyway.
     
  12. dougfw

    dougfw Well-Known Member

    RCCL Rewards

    The last time I sailed with RCCL was 4 years ago and was the third cruise I took with them. I don't know if they do this anymore but almost everyday they would put a "gift" in our cabin...a mug, a fannie pack, a cloth beach bag, etc. All things considered, my wife and I were impressed, if just a little bit. We'll be sailing with RCCL again in Sept. and it will be interesting to see if they still do stuff like that.
     
  13. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca <h2>His Lordship</h2>

    You won't see any of the stuff that you mentioned on your September cruise......the past few years, they have given one gift per cruise to C&A members....it has been a baseball hat.....the one gift is going away Setember 1.
     
  14. PH8

    PH8 Well-Known Member

    These past months the gift has been tote bags........the white zippered ones........
     
  15. gx94111

    gx94111 Well-Known Member

    Even they are gone now. I was on Mariner for the last cruise in August, they gave out the white/blue tote bags and that's all folks. No more hats, totes, picture frames, etc. I don't really mind, I have enough hats and totes to last me a lifetime. The bedtime chocolates are also gone. Not being able to combine benefits, now that hurts my pocketbook.
     
  16. PH8

    PH8 Well-Known Member

    I dont mind either........towards the end,I usually just left the stuff.........dont need anymore............
     
  17. CCLETZGO

    CCLETZGO Active Member

    Going to miss the bed time chocolates though
     
  18. Jeanie

    Jeanie Well-Known Member

    I miss the little bottles of body lotion and bed time chocolates. They are taking away all the little things that many cruise enjoy getting. Just another way to correct $'s. What can you do?
     
  19. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    We got baseball caps this past Feb. I gave one away and one is just hanging around. :D
     
  20. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca <h2>His Lordship</h2>

    There was no Crown and Anchor gifts given on the Serenade cruise that ended October 3. They have gone back to giving the little bottles of shampoo, lotion, conditioner etc. to Diamond Plus.....not sure if Diamonds received the same though.
     

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