Time to Take A Stand - Elimination of In Room Consumption

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#1
335 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
I just got off the phone with RCCL customer service regarding this idiotic, short-sighted decision by RCCL elimnating our ability to purchase our favorite spirits in the gift shop, pay the $9.50, and enjoy a pre/post dinner cocktail in our staterooms. The person in Customer Service was very nice, made note of my views, but suggested that I write a letter as it may be more effective. While I was talking to him, I could hear another person next to him responding to a similar complaint from another customer.

If we are serious about taking issue with this decision, we need to be vocal about our views and communicate them in a constructive manner to the management of RCCL. E-mail is great, but working for the greatest? bureaucracy on earth, the U.S. Government, I speak from experience whe I say a written letter gets more attention than an e-mail. E-mail generally results in a "head count" whereas a letter requires someone to put a hand on it and, in the interest of "keeping the customer satisfied", generally results in a personalized,written response, not a canned e-mail reply.

Also, if you're a member of Crown & Anchor, make it known to them They make such a big deal about the C&A people being the core to their success, let them know how we feel. We're Diamond members, made a mention of it and suggested they take a page from Princess if the distribution is an issue and let us buy it up front like you do with Princess.

It seems like the PR department at RCCL is out to lunch.
#2
Fenton, MO
175 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
The following is a message I recieved from RCCL when I asked who to escalate this question to:

Royal Caribbean International reviews its policies periodically. Upon review of the policy regulating onboard alcohol purchases for stateroom consumption, our Corporate Office has made the decision to alter this policy. As of August 5, 2005, the revised policy now states that all bottles of alcohol purchased onboard will only be delivered to the guest's room on the last day of the voyage. We regret any disappointment this change has caused you.

You may send your comments to the following addresses or fax number.

E-mail: [email protected]
Royal Caribbean International
Customer Service Department
1080 Caribbean Way
Miami, Fl., 33132
Fax: 305-373-6697

Please include your name, ship, sailing date, and reservation number to ensure a speedy and accurate reply.

If you prefer to speak with a Customer Service Representative directly, please call 1-800-256-6649 (option number four.)

Thank you for choosing Royal Caribbean International.

Pedro Curbelo
Customer Service Representative
#3
Ottawa, Canada
16,742 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Do you feel they're doing this to be mean? It's likely become an insurance issue. I can't imagine RCCL giving up the revunue voluntarily, knowing most people will smuggle some onboard now.
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#4
Fairfield, CT USA
1,767 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Since I am not one to bring a bottle aboard nor purchase one for consumption
I would normally be apolitical on this issue.

HOWEVER - since I have not heard a reason other than "this is a change of policy" I will vote with the folks who want to see the new policy abolished.

Here is the question though. Does Celebrity allow this?

I hear that RCCL was unique in allowing it and does Princess, HAL etc allow it . If that is the case you are right that this may be an insurance issue - YET if that's the case then they would have to eliminate the mini bar and stop offfering packages to be delivered to the room. Hmnnnn I smell a rat here.
#5
335 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Being the cynic I am, I doubt it's an insurance concern. They've got lawyers that have vetted this situation long before this vhange took place. All you have to do it look at the cruise contract or their guest policy to see that they have almost no exposure on any issue. Those lawyers are drawing down big bucks.

This is all about the bottom line, as is everything with the cruise industry these days. They're taking a beating on fuel costs just like everyone else and they've got to make up the deficit somehow. All you have to do is go to dinner to see evidence of that. Remember the days when they would have a basket of rolls on the table when you came into the dining room? No more. They hand them out individually. I'm sure the bean counters took a look at the bar bills, compared it to the in room consumption numbers and decided they were missing a revenue flow. No different than the airlines that drop pillows, blankets, etc. I'm waiting for them to add a surcharge before final payment if you don't pay the balance in full at the time you make a reservation.
#6
Arvada, CO
318 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Does this include bottles purchased at one of the ships bars or only those purchased in the gift shops?
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#7
Ottawa, Canada
16,742 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I think a mini-bar is prohibitively expensive for bingers who are most likely to be an insurance issue whereas selling someone a cheap bottle of hootch does, in fact, encourage them to drink up.
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#8
7,482 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I will have my plastic bottle of Bailey, Grey Goose & some dark rum we bought in S Carib (I forget the name but they are famous). For a week cruise on FOS, we have free before & after dinner cocktails, but after shows we like to sit back with a SeaBreeze or BayBreeze from Maui, Irish Coffee is a great way to start the day, and a mai tai with friends also goes over BIG TIME! At the pool I do lemonade & vodka.

We are not wine drinkers, so dinner is nothing but food for us.


Reading is $9.50 charge, which must be a RCCL thing since I got Baileys & Grey Goose over our 2 week TA by just bringing my navy blue Celebrity tote to the shop, putting it atop the salesman's feet behind the cash register & he drops the bottle in it & away I go. Next day do it again, & again next day. One bottle per day & we had a gift for my BIL who was picking us up.

Did the same on a week cruise on Infinity for more Baileys & Grey Gosse. They are liter bottles not 750 ml you usually get for $16 each.
#9
West Milford, NJ
2,525 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
I ust got off of the phone with RCCL. She gave me the "policy answer". Well I told her that I wanted it explained. So she said that it was a "decision of the REVENUE department". So I said "that explains alot. It is another way of RCCL making money off of their customers". "OH no", she says "It isn't about that". So I asked "well what does revenue deal with".....MONEY!!!" She then said that "we still could have drinks brought to the room from room service". I answered "two bottles of absolute cost $40.00 with the consumption fee. At $7.00 per drink, (she said that she didn't know how much a drink costs). I said, "I do. It is $6.93". That is approximately 6 drinks for 40.00. You do the math. She got really annoyed at that one.

She said to write letters to customer service. I told her that this is going to force people onto other lines and the smugglers will come out in force. She said that people already smuuggle liquor on board.

She also gave a lame story about taxes and controlling what people drank in their staterooms....come on...it's all about REVENUE!!!

Write those letters!
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#10
Ottawa, Canada
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Joined Feb 2005
[quote=*****]For a week cruise on FOS, we have free before & after dinner cocktails, but after shows we like to sit back with a SeaBreeze or BayBreeze from Maui, Irish Coffee is a great way to start the day, and a mai tai with friends also goes over BIG TIME!
QUOTE]

How did you get free drinks before and after dinner?
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#11
Houston, Texas USA
599 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Is it insurance, maybe if their liability has increase over the infamous missing groom that was reported to be snockered over a bottle of Abstinth (sp?) that was summgled on board. There has been so much hoopla on the news about why did RCCL serve him so much liquor, how many passengers are out of control, how much crime, blah, blah, blah. I dont know how many of you see this, but I have never found this to be true - and what about personal choice and responsibility?
Now they find it was the grooms own stash (or the Russia Mafia gangs he was seen with?) of a type of liquor that is not even offered in the ship store so I guess the luggage will be triple search to insure their image is intact. Never mind what their patrons perfer. Or perhaps it is wanting to make more money out of their own bars, I would think in part.
#12
335 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Seems the party line story is beginning to unravel. It'a all about money; it's always about money. They've got a captive audience. Sure it's their ship and they can do as they please, but how about a little consierdation for the little things that mean a lot and make a cruise an experience worth remembering and not a hassle? I go on a cruise to get away from the hassle factor, not deal with it in a different setting.

Anybody play the slots lately on a RCCL ship? We were on the Empress a week ago. The Casino was strangely quiet. No one was winning with the slots. In fact, the thing would spin, come to a stop and than back up or go forward. I'm not a gambler ($10 for the slots per cruise), but it sure seemed a bit strange to me.

Come on RCCL, restore the simple pleasures. You'll reap your rewards tenfold down the line.
#13
Ashburn, Virginia (Northern VA)
2,615 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by Robinob
I ust got off of the phone with RCCL. She gave me the "policy answer". Well I told her that I wanted it explained. So she said that it was a "decision of the REVENUE department". So I said "that explains alot. It is another way of RCCL making money off of their customers". "OH no", she says "It isn't about that". So I asked "well what does revenue deal with".....MONEY!!!" She then said that "we still could have drinks brought to the room from room service". I answered "two bottles of absolute cost $40.00 with the consumption fee. At $7.00 per drink, (she said that she didn't know how much a drink costs). I said, "I do. It is $6.93". That is approximately 6 drinks for 40.00. You do the math. She got really annoyed at that one.

She said to write letters to customer service. I told her that this is going to force people onto other lines and the smugglers will come out in force. She said that people already smuuggle liquor on board.

She also gave a lame story about taxes and controlling what people drank in their staterooms....come on...it's all about REVENUE!!!

Write those letters!
If this is true then there is no room for debate or justification...

Sounds like Robinob found the real truth here! I for one am going to do exactly as the RCI rep said.... smuggle, since they obviously are aware it happens, what's the big deal if I do it now? Game on!...
#14
335 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
If you're a Diamond member of C&A and the ship has conceirge service, you can get free pre-dinner drinks and snacks as well as after dinner drinks free of charge. A nice deal if you qualify. But what about the passenger that hasn't reached that level? Let them buy what they want and take it back to their stateroom.
#15
Dayton OH & St Pete Beach FL
190 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I've never minded paying the $9.50 consumption tax...err ..I mean "fee". It was no more expensive than buying a bottle of Jack Daniels at home and packing it in my luggage. What RCCL doesn't realize is that fewer people will buy booze from their Duty Free Shops if they can't consume it at sea. On our Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Navigator of the Seas last summer, the booze was cheaper in the Duty Free Shops in St Thomas (Havenstocks?? Shopping Center) than on the ship. I'd rather buy it in St Thomas at a cheaper price, and have them box it, than give RCCL extra money.
#16
8,500 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
[quote=Schplinky]
Originally posted by *****
For a week cruise on FOS, we have free before & after dinner cocktails, but after shows we like to sit back with a SeaBreeze or BayBreeze from Maui, Irish Coffee is a great way to start the day, and a mai tai with friends also goes over BIG TIME!
QUOTE]

How did you get free drinks before and after dinner?
Probably concierge. 5-830 each evening.
#17
Northeast Florida
3,211 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
It's about the bottom line---profits! It can't be about liability, because they are just as liable for someone sitting in the bars getting plastered and then falling down or getting hurt from being drunk.
They just want you to use their bars and lounges and buy drinks there-----more $$$ for them. Pretty crappy PR, in my opinion.
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#18
Lake Jackson, Texas
513 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Sorry, but the cruise lines are no different from any other for profit business. Last time I checked, restaurants in my area that sell alcohol don't allow people to bring their own. Why should the cruise lines do otherwise?

I would guess that at least a small part of the reason for the policy change is that enough people have abused the system to hurt those who just want to enjoy an after dinner drink or an occasional in-room cocktail.
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#19
Rochester, NH
229 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by lindslea
Sorry, but the cruise lines are no different from any other for profit business. Last time I checked, restaurants in my area that sell alcohol don't allow people to bring their own. Why should the cruise lines do otherwise?

I would guess that at least a small part of the reason for the policy change is that enough people have abused the system to hurt those who just want to enjoy an after dinner drink or an occasional in-room cocktail.
No, Restaurants don't but hotels/motels allow you to bring your own bottle to the room.

This is all about money.
If you where the cruise line what would you rather do...charge $9. 50 per bottle, or don't allow bottles and charge $6 a drink?? How many $6, $7 drinks (1.5oz shots) are in bottle….20, 25….???


You force people to purchase from the bars and/or room service.
Forget insurance...it's the almighty dollar pure and simple. It’s nickel and diming to the max.
Larry
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#20
West Milford, NJ
2,525 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
But you are not bringing your own. You are buying theirs. It just doesn't make sense. I will FAX my letter tomorrow.

FAX # is 305-373-6697
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