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  1. yes, but WHICH ships? we were looking at the Odyssey and it appears that its lounge is restricted to Diamond Plus and above. No lounge for Diamond. this was my question. who maintains a Diamond Lounge? not just the "4 drinks on your Seapass a day" thing? The Harmony? Liberty?
  2. after a 2 year lay off , looking to get back to cruising. getting differing information. Do RCCL ships still have Diamond Lounges? or is it just the 4 drinks on a card now? I hope that's not the case! that was a big reason to keep coming back to RCCL. if there are few if any real advantages to Diamond members now, what's the point? I won't be paying for a suite and I will never cruise enough to be Pinnacle. if someone could give me a synopsis of where we are at as of september 2021 as I am looking at various ships/dates
  3. couple of possible reasons. In general, MSC is not considered in the same rating class as RCCL. not even close (RCCL has a middling rating). See link below. This january 2020 rating has MSC dead LAST among major cruise lines. "The Switzerland-based cruise line fell to the bottom of the 2020 ranking for the second year in a row with a score of just 57 percent, with its customer service and food ranking poorly." https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/best-cruise-lines-worst-viking-ocean-msc-which-a9303346.html Also, let's assume all these people who had cruises cancelled from March to July mostly took the 125% credit and are now bidding up cruises later in the fall and into the winter. supply and demand.
  4. I'd say it's 50/50 at best. We booked for January 2021. I feel more certain of that. i just didn't want to get all invested in an early fall cruise and have it fall through like our April one. but the risk is low. If they cancel you, they cancel you and you get a credit or your money back. and can push the booking out.
  5. https://allears.net/2020/05/18/news-royal-caribbean-cruise-line-announces-they-may-eliminate-buffets-when-they-resume-sailings/ read a couple of stories on this on Monday. Not a good sign. Not the end of the windjammer as a place, but the end of the buffet style. It will be open, but you will have to be served, which is harder to picture - really big menu? I want some of this, and a pile of that, please?? Hard to picture I only really used the Windjammer for breakfast, but I liked that aspect. Occasionally used smaller aft buffets for a quick lunch. so I will miss them. My kids pretty much ate at the Windjammer exclusively (they couldn't be bothered with the dining rooms except upon request). Also the Windjammer took a lot of pressure off the main dining rooms by eliminating those that don't actually want to clean up, put on decent clothes, and sit down to a meal with others. So I guess the dining rooms will become more crowded again especially with the advent of anytime-type dining. Unclear if this change will be permanent or not. More changes coming I'm sure according to a number of youtube cruise bloggers
  6. well it's pretty much all over now for the season in the Caribbean anyway. ours got cancelled. they gave us 125% credit. Not thrilled but what can you do?
  7. No, it allows people who don't wish to go to the lounge to still get benefits. Nowhere on their website does it say the goal is to reduce attendance in the DL. Not that they could police this anyway. are they going to mark your hand with a sharpie to show you already had 3 drinks in the lounge? LOL. you can get 20 drinks in the lounge if you wish. it's a benefit (and one of the few) of being Diamond and above. it's just a benefit. clearly it says you can do both on their website. read it. 🙂
  8. well they did. On the Harmony. Independence. and Brilliance, Oasis, to name my last 4. What can I tell ya
  9. as others have said, it's limited. only very basic mixed drinks included and not top-shelf brands. but we skipped those. know what we did? We loaded up on the mixed drinks we wanted in the lounge, then before the Diamond 3-drink bennies ended at 7 pm, we went up to the schooner bar, took 3 beers each unopened (Stella or Heineken), tipped the bar tender in cash, and brought them to our room. we drank some of them during the daytime, but ended up bringing 2 six packs home with us. worked real well. the bartender by day 3 recognized us and already knew what we wanted
  10. nevertheless, a huge downgrade in location and size
  11. Been on the Liberty three times, but it's been 4 years now I think. The DL was sliced out of, and walled off with a door, from a part of the old Viking Crown Lounge on the top. It wasn't big, but it never felt crowded. had nice windows and deck/ocean views. I presume it's still there? was just on the Independence. Liked that lounge. frankly it was better than the one on the Harmony - plenty of room, windows. pleasant. the one on the Harmony (and other Oasis class ships) puts you into what feels like a dark oversized conference room near the entrance to the comedy club and theater. not nearly as nice
  12. yes, they do, but I know in the Oasis, they moved the D lounge from a great location mid-ship, with windows looking towards the open back of the ship (where Wonderland is now), to the same windowless smaller space down on 4 where the comedy club, etc, is. huge downgrade in location.
  13. To me, the Diamond Lounge is so much more than "free drinks". If it was just that, then I could accept the vouchers on my card and be done with it. I love the DLs. Why? It's a place to quietly (usually) relax. A place to meet other people like ourselves (usually older, frequent cruisers). People who cruise a lot have a different perspective on cruises than those that don't. We've met friends this way. Interesting people. It's to us part-and-parcel to only booking with RCCL. Plus there's the breakfast aspect to the lounge. I get up, I go down to the lounge and have my latte/espresso combo. I might have a bagel and lox, and some fruit. It's quiet. It's not the mad house of the Windjammer. but of course the free drinks are nice, but yes, we could get the 3-each drinks outside the lounge. if they truly do away with the lounges, it probably will send us to look at other lines given that outside of the DL, I don't see very many benefits any longer to being a D or a D+ and I doubt I will cruise enough or live long enough to ever reach Pinnacle. So if you remove the DL, I think we become free agents again...after more than 20 years of cruising 2-3x a year on RCCL.
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