Thank you for your e-mail regarding your benefits. We apologize for any delay in our response. You are a valued member and we appreciate you taking the time to write us regarding your comments, suggestions and concerns. You will be happy to hear we have recently made some new adjustments. Please see the below letter to our members from Royal Caribbean International President, Adam Goldstein.
Dear Crown & Anchor Diamond and Diamond Plus Members,
I am writing to provide you with an update regarding the recent changes to our Crown & Anchor Loyalty Program.
Let me begin by thanking you for being loyal customers of Royal Caribbean International. These are remarkable times economic challenges, new modes of communication, amazing new ships and so many other changes that impact our lives at every turn. Especially in these times, we appreciate your loyalty as our Crown & Anchor Diamond and Diamond Plus members.
As you may know, we recently announced a number of changes to our Crown & Anchor Loyalty Program. Many of our Diamond Members have expressed considerable unhappiness about the change in eligibility for access to our Concierge Lounges. While we knew the reaction would be negative, it has been more negative then we anticipated. This underscores how phenomenally passionate our most loyal customers are about their Royal Caribbean experiences. We believe one of our strengths that inspires such loyalty is our ability to learn from others and especially from our Crown & Anchor customers. With this in mind, I will comment on the change in eligibility regarding our Concierge Lounges and also inform you of some new enhancements that will improve your experience onboard our ships.
Our decision to limit access to the Concierge Lounges was based on the unfortunate but inescapable fact that we cannot deliver an acceptable experience in lounges that were never designed to handle so many people. We regret that the crowding in our Concierge Lounges prevents us from delivering the experience we intended. It also prevents us from being able to grandfather in Concierge Lounge access for existing Diamond level members. We deeply regret having to restrict this access, but we are committed to delivering an exceptional Concierge Lounge experience. Having said that, we realize we should have provided more notice of our decision, which carries such consequences. To that end, we will delay the implementation date for the change in eligibility from July 1, 2009, to September 1, 2009.
Before I address the additional initiatives we will implement, I would like to summarize the physical or hardware status of our fleet as it relates to Concierge Lounges and Diamond Lounges, taking into account all 22 Royal Caribbean International ships that are now open for sale.
Five ships (our Freedom class and Oasis class) have both the Concierge Lounges and Diamond Lounges. We are excited about the Concierge Lounge overlooking the Boardwalk and the Diamond Lounge overlooking the Royal Promenade on our forthcoming Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Five ships (Monarch of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas) have no Concierge Lounges and two ships (Splendour of the Seas and Legend of the Seas) have limited Concierge Lounges.
Ten ships have Concierge Lounges but no Diamond Lounges (Enchantment of the Seas, as well as the ships in our Voyager class and Radiance class). While we dont currently have plans to add Diamond Lounges to these ships, we will look for opportunities to invest in Diamond Lounges as we go forward.
The strong response from our Diamond members regarding our recent changes demonstrates how much the Concierge Lounges are valued and we clearly should honor that response. The feedback we have received from Diamond members fall primarily into one of the three following categories:
Preserving the social aspect the ability to meet and mingle with other members
Maintaining free or reduced price drinks
And, access to concierge-type services for ice show tickets and other activities
In order to address the first two interests for Diamond members, outside the Concierge Lounge, effective September 1 we will offer them a dedicated VIP private party in one of our bars or lounges. This may be held in the Viking Crown Lounge, or any other bar or lounge designated by the ship. In this dedicated area, from approximately 5 to 8 p.m., we will offer complimentary wine and champagne and happy hour discount of 25 percent off all other beverages. This will be offered every day of each sailing and will replace our recently announced one-time per-cruise special Diamond party.
Additionally, we will offer a new continental breakfast from approximately 8 to 10 a.m. in one of the rooms adjacent to the main dining room onboard. During these morning hours, a crew member will be present and will provide services such as obtaining ice show tickets, and other assistance. We believe these changes will address the primary desires our Diamond members have expressed. These enhancements will be instituted on all our ships that dont have a Diamond Lounge today.
A number of Crown & Anchor members have placed the Concierge Lounge issue in the context of a perceived sequence of cutbacks that taken together have reduced the quality of the product we offer. We take these comments seriously. I am pleased to inform you that in 2009 we are seeing one of the most meaningful year-over-year improvements in our guest satisfaction ratings in memory. Apart from the obvious Independence of the Seas entering the fleet, Empress of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas leaving the fleet and Oasis of the Seas soon to join systemic improvements such as My Time Dining, our suite enhancements, the new debarkation process, and numerous smaller initiatives are being very positively recognized by guests, travel agents and the media.
While we understand not everyone is happy about every change taking place in our fleet, we appreciate your loyalty to our company and we sincerely hope you will continue to choose Royal Caribbean International. It gives us no pleasure to hear from aggrieved Diamond and Diamond Plus customers. Our goal is to earn your advocacy and your return to our fleet by providing you with truly memorable vacations and by recognizing and rewarding your loyalty.
Our mantra at Royal Caribbean International, besides delivering the Wow, is continuous improvement. We constantly strive to find the right balance, so our product evolves in ways that our guests, especially our most loyal guests, are comfortable with. Our ratings and most communications we receive indicate that the balancing is working. However, occasionally we stumble and when we do we try to react quickly. This may be such an instance. We are committed to earning the faith you place in us. I hope the additional enhancements explained in this letter demonstrate our commitment.
Thank you very much for being our customer and for your loyalty to Royal Caribbean International.
Adam M. Goldstein
President and Chief Executive Officer
Royal Caribbean International
Crown & Anchor Diamond and Diamond Plus Members, we look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon.
Crown & Anchor Society
RCI Serenade Of The Seas - Sept 2014 - Venice & Adriatic
RCI Explorer of the Seas - June 2013 - Bermuda
RCI Oasis of the Seas - Sept 2012 - E. Carribbean
RCI Allure of the Seas - Sept 2011 - W. Carribean
Explorer of the Seas - July 2011 - Bermuda
RCI Majesty of the Seas - Oct 2010 - Bahamas
RCI Jewel of the Seas - Aug 2010 - Scandinavia
RCI Majesty of the Seas - May 2010 - Bahamas
RCI Oasis of the Seas - Mar 2010 - E. Caribbean
Celebrity Equinox - Nov 2009 - W. Carribean
RCI Explorer of the Seas - June 2009 - Bermuda
RCI Brilliance of the Seas - Sept 2008 - Greek Islands
RCI Enchantment of the Seas - April 2008 -
RCI Majesty of the Seas - Feb 2008 - Bahamas
RCI Jewel of the Seas - Sept 2007 - Northern Europe
RCI Freedom of the Seas - July 2006 - W. Caribbean
RCI Splendour of the Seas - Sept 2005 - Mediterranean
Carnival Destiny - Apr 2005 - Caribbean
RCI Rhapsody of the Seas - Oct 2000 - Mexican Riviera
Princess ? - Caribbean
RCI Spendour of the Seas - April 1997 - S. Caribbean
RCI Song of America - May 1994 - Bermuda
RCI Nordic Prince - Aug 1990 - Bermuda