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FL_Cruiser64

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  1. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='Elizanessie']Oliver I notice you keep mentioning this "a friend picks a friend" where on earth did that idea come from :confused:[/quote] Liz hun, by now you should know I do not pull stuff out of the magic bag. Sometimes it may sound like it (like the no more OBC cash out, casino fees, my so legendary chart) but it really is not. There is simply a difference between me and others. I am not running around and making big deals to who I talk and when I talk. I just state things and let them develop. Even among the ranks of big corporations not everybody knows everything and more often than not those in charge do not exactly know what really is going on and rely on information below. It is a maze you have to wander to get information at times and sometimes you find it on the bottom, sometimes on the top, sometimes in between. You can also not dismiss the fact that I am a business owner for the past - almost - two decades down here with a customer base stretching from Palm Beach County down to the keys. There are many events and functions in the business world where you get to meet people i.e. sporting events (Dolphins, Marlins, Panthers, Heat), official functions such as charity, fundraisers and/or chamber of commerce etc That's why I always have to smile about those "Adam and I are friends" type of posts. I think I made that pretty clear in one of the posts on this thread that I always have to smile a little when I read these posts. I really think what most people irks is that I am just not the type of person who says 'how great I am" as many do or 'who did I meet or talk to" as others do. Heck, I don't even talk about my onboard spending or what my C & A status is most of the time. A lot of my comments look like they are off the wall. But in the long run...you decide if they were really so off the wall. To be honest, initially I had to smile about this whole RC thing. Since so many were involved in this RC thing who already knew each other and then some added to it with less exposure on CC and less cruises but met some of those more prolific posters on previous roll calls it was pretty clear to me it was a group of cruisers. I always had to smile when RCs were asked how do you become an RC and the sloppy answer was either because you cruised a lot or "no clue". When one of the RCs mentioned a while ago that this is part of a marketing strategy I was a little dumbfounded. Having been involved in internet marketing since 1991 (anybody remembers AOL 1.1?) this group certainly was not a typical marketing strategy. There is absolutely no common denominator - none. But it sure didn't affect me one way or another. Of course it was annoying when an RCI newbee with an RC designation gave out wrong information on CC but that just emphasized my initial idea that it was just a loose group of of thrown together CC posters. I personally don't need any kind of designators in my signature to make a point or give valuable information. That's why you will never see a C & A status in my signature or any past cruises listed. Hey, there were many RC threads. Some were deleted, some stood. I guess the most common thing RCs had is that they all said they were 'selected' by RCI - which still might be true. The question is: how did RCI get those names? I got a little curious when that one thread was running a few months back, way before the 'second wave' of invites and a person had the designation Royal Champion in the signature. One Royal Champion just jumped on that person, accusing that person that they are really not. Well that person was really not an RC. I found out because these posts were off topic in that thread (was something about onboard activities) and I only found out that the person was not an RC because in the sequence of these three or four posts I placed an :confused: and the person e-mailed me (my e-mail is always in my signature). I still got the e-mail. I was trying to find that thread yesterday but there are just tooooo many threads. It'll take me days to find. It was kind of funny though thus my question in this thread which Jean answered. What really got me curious are the past few weeks. It really started out with a very innocent question by a poster. It ended up in a barrage of threads being deleted and this mommoth thread. And make no mistake, the curiousity went beyond CC. Because all these blogs and articles appeared after all these these thread deletions. The refusal by a lot of RCs to answer a simple question has turned this into something which it was not supposed to be. It gives to much credibility to RCs and of course the initial marketing strategy. A lot of curiousity has been created even by those who really don't care. So I am digging too, and I am still digging, peeling one layer after another. Not everyday, not every minute but one by one. Since most RCs really don't know, there is a solid - rather small group - who are part of the initiation of the program BEFORE what RCI calls it 'its brainstorming' event. But I still have some dots to connect but I almost can pinpoint to these cruisers. Initially I though CC was heavily involved. I am not so sure anymore. Maybe CC was or not but at this point it really doesn't matter. I am at the 'friends-pick-friends' investigation. LOL :D [quote name='Fury1995']If this was a question regarding my post it's because I am rarely on cruise critic anymore... I have zero communication with anyone on cruise critic (member or admin).. I have no clue as to the debate even being debated here and honestly don't really want to get dragged into it. I have sailed on RCCL for 29 years almost exclusively and that's my story.. I received an e-mail asking for my full legal name, date of birth, e-mail confirmation, full current address and phone number. In this day and age, any time I am asked for that information, I am hesitant to give it..bank, credit card company or even to my mortgage company.. wouldn't you be? My apologies if you weren't using my post as basis for making your point... [/quote] No no its OK. I just used your post as an example. It happened many times before. There was no hidden agenda against you at all. ;):D
  2. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='critterchick'] Oliver, we don't have a list, at least not an officially compiled one. Do you believe me? (Disclaimer: Oliver and I have sailed together, so we actually are personally acquainted, so if he doesn't believe me, he's in trouble:p).[/quote] Of course I believe you. Just the basic fact that people have to post publicly if a certain e-mail is legit or not shows that at least the majority does not have a list of RCs. :) That begs the question who among the RCs has a list and why? We have established two different levels already: the members, the 'charter' members..maybe there is a third level: a 'chartered charter member' :D ..a friend picks a friend picks a friends...yeah, I call that effective marketing. ;) Then again, I should have opposed you....I like getting in trouble. :D
  3. FL_Cruiser64

    Pullmantur Gets New Ship by end of 2009!

    [quote name='bigboffs']RCCL has made some stupid decisions lately. Their pricing is becoming less and less competitive and they are giving less and less for more money. It is sad because RCCL has been our first choice. We are still trying to be loyal to royal and hope they will be loyal to us.[/quote] Well, that's how RCI got its good reputation. It was always higher priced than other mass market lines and service and food was above and beyond. Maybe they are going back to their roots which I wouldn't mind. [quote name='Schplinky']Very cool~ We saw Pullmantur in Europe when we went. We often shared dock space with them and other lines most folks from here would never have heard of like Aida. We realised there was a whole world of ships out there for us to try.[/quote] AIDA is a german cruisae line also owned by Carnival. It is a more club med style line. I don't think you can book AIDA from the US. I heard that even brits had problems booking them. Just heard that.
  4. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='Kathleen Tucker']What is a Royal Champion? Over the past week there has been heated debate, conjecture, misinformation, and misinterpretation about the Royal Caribbean marketing program called Royal Champions, as a result of how it was portrayed recently on some blogs. Here is an official statement from Royal Caribbean about the program: Royal Champions are a small group of passionate travel enthusiasts and prolific individuals, who were identified by an independent third party on behalf of Royal Caribbean International, as frequently engaging in online discussions and sharing information about cruising on the internet. With the proliferation of online social networks, blogs and discussion boards on the internet – many of which serve as forums where vacationers visit consistently in search for travel information and advice – Royal Caribbean decided to engage these enthusiasts knowing that they would be a valuable source of information for our current and prospective customers. Thus in early 2007, in keeping with our legacy of innovation, we initiated a program in which the Royal Champions were invited to learn more about our brand, our ships and our amenities. We have provided the Royal Champions with the opportunity to experience our product during pre-inaugural sailings so that they can provide their independent opinions in the online spaces they are participating in. On a few occasions, they also have served as focus groups providing us with valuable feedback on a number of topics. Royal Champions have been invited - along with traditional media, top travel partners, and loyal Crown & Anchor Society members - to preview new ships and programs and share their opinions if, when and how they see fit. They are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses, which are not paid by Royal Caribbean. Royal Champions do not receive any compensation for their participation nor do we influence what they share, where they share it, or how they participate in their online discussions. We are gratified by the enthusiasm these Royal Champions have for cruising and our goal is to continue to incorporate their insights to continually improve the Royal Caribbean vacation experience for all of our guests. Here is an official statement from Cruise Critic: Royal Caribbean contacted Cruise Critic and asked us to obtain permission from a group of members they gave us, so that they could extend an invitation to Liberty of the Seas pre-inaugural sailings in May, 2007. We agreed to forward the information on to this group of members, and asked for their permission to share their contact information with Royal Caribbean. This is Cruise Critic's sole involvement in this program. We did not help develop the program, nor did we help choose the participants. At the time of the request there was no formal name associated with this group or program; we were merely asked to forward an invitation to an event on behalf of Royal Caribbean. We received a second, similar request, in October, 2008. We have absolutely no reason to believe that any Royal Champion has done anything other than express his or her own candid opinion about Royal Caribbean’s products. They share both positive and negative opinions and give helpful advice and information. They did this before they became a Royal Champion and they continued to do so after. As a result, Cruise Critic welcomes them along with any other member who wants to share his or her opinions about Royal Caribbean in this forum. Some have requested that Cruise Critic have a formal policy requiring Royal Champions to identify themselves as such. While we can suggest that members disclose their affiliations, it’s unrealistic for us to require it and impossible to enforce. We are operating an anonymous online community and there’s no way for us to verify that anyone is or isn’t who they say they are. As a result it will continue to be a policy that we will not require Royal Champions or any member of any other group to identify themselves. At this time, we have decided that it is not in Cruise Critic’s best interest going forward to contact members on behalf of Royal Caribbean or any other cruise line. For more information about the Royal Champions program, see Cruise Critic’s Q&A with Bill Hayden, Royal Caribbean’s Associate Vice President of Marketing: [URL]http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=18545037&postcount=287[/URL] Kathleen Tucker Publisher, Cruise Critic[/quote] Should I really get into this post? :eek: Again, no word on the selection process, like details. Enthusiasts? What does that include? Someone with 200 posts or someone with 10,000. A Gold member with one cruise? :eek: And if you want just enthusiasts why not pick only new cruisers? Do you really have to invite DPs to ve RCs to 'learn' about the product? This is becoming hilarious. Actually quite sad. Such easy questions yet no answers.
  5. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='CruisesOnMyMind']This is not going to be popular, but everyone could add Royal Champions to their signature. It would lose it's appeal as no one would know who is a RC or not:eek:[/quote] There is a problem with that. A person tried that a few months ago and was lambasted by a Royal Champion. You tell me how that could be if only RCI has a list. Do members of the Royal Champions have a list? Or is that really a 'friend-pick-friend' program.
  6. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='emdia43']Which abbreviation is correct? If I go to Royal Caribbean's website I go to [URL="http://www.rccl.com"]www.rccl.com[/URL] so that's what I call them in posts.[/quote] which is being forwarded to royalcaribbean.com. RCI = Royal Caribbean International (cruise line) RCCL = Royal Caribean Cruises Ltd (company who owns cruiselines including but not limited to Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Azamara) [IMG]http://www.royalcaribbean.com/img/hom/homepgnew/images/placeholder_loggedin_logo_hdr.gif[/IMG] [quote name='xpcdoojk']RC = royal champion not Royal Caribbean International or Royal Caribbean Cruise Line jc<---- still finds a lot of information about RCI in the RCI forum jc[/quote] Your defense of RCs are truly honorable but this is getting weird now. I clearly indicated that the Royal Champions at times use the abbreviation RC, RCL and RCCL for Royal Caribbean International. So my point was that of all people shouldn't RCs know the correct abbreviation of the brand they represent?
  7. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='aqhacruiser'][SIZE=3]Now wait a minute........if we do not display the RC in our sigs we are "sneaky plants" working for RCCL, if we do display the RC in our sigs we are now only Sam's Club worthy? LOL :D[/SIZE] [SIZE=3]I'll tell you exactly what I think RCCL is going to do with the RC program. Nothing. They are leaving it exactly as it is. Why? [/SIZE] [SIZE=3]Despite what you think the program is crystal clear in the details RCCL has provided us a few days ago. They are giving us an opportunity/invite to events to get our opinion on the brand but we must pay all our own expenses to go to the event to give our opinion. [/SIZE] [SIZE=3]Prior to Sept 2008 when I was first selected as a RC, I gave my opinion on the brand all the time and it didn't cost me anything! Now I have to pay. lol:D All RCCL is giving us is the "opportunity/invite" we will pay to be part of the opportunity/invite and they get our opinion for free. Its pure genuis! WHY would they cancel it? lol:D AND they have everyone talking about RCCL and it didn't cost them anything. I've lost count of the stories of the RC's and RCCL that are in various forms of media now which is all free marketing for RCCL. You may think this has hurt RCCL but there are many that would say there is no such thing as bad press. Free press is even better! The details of the program are very clear in this email from RCCL. [/SIZE] [SIZE=3][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Here is a brief summary about the Royal Champions program. Royal Champions are a small group of passionate travel enthusiasts and prolific individuals, who were identified by an independent third party on behalf of Royal Caribbean International, as frequently engaging in online discussions and sharing information about cruising on the internet. With the proliferation of online social networks, blogs and discussion boards on the internet – many of which serve as forums where vacationers visit consistently in search for travel information and advice – Royal Caribbean decided to engage these enthusiasts knowing that they would be a valuable source of information for our current and prospective customers. [/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][SIZE=3][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Thus in early 2007, in keeping with our legacy of innovation, we initiated a program in which the Royal Champions were invited to learn more about our brand, our ships and our amenities. [/SIZE][/FONT] [/SIZE][SIZE=3] [FONT=sans-serif][SIZE=2]We have provided the Royal Champions with the opportunity to experience our product during inaugural sailings so that they can provide their opinions and informed reviews in the online spaces they are participating in. On a few occasions, they also have served as focus groups providing us with valuable feedback on a number of topics. Royal Champions have been invited - along with traditional media, top travel partners, and loyal Crown & Anchor Society members - to preview new ships and programs and share their opinions if, when and how they see fit. They are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses, which are not paid by Royal Caribbean. Royal Champions do not receive any compensation for their participation nor do we influence what they share or how they participate in their online discussions.[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=sans-serif][SIZE=2]We are gratified by the enthusiasm these Royal Champions have for cruising and our goal is to continue to incorporate their insights to continually improve the Royal Caribbean vacation experience for all of our guests.[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/quote] This bottom statement hurts more than it helps. So some say they were invited because they talked positively about RCI. Then you have those who say they were invited because they are probably DP. Now my question is: [QUOTE][SIZE=3][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Thus in early 2007, in keeping with our legacy of innovation, we initiated a program in which the Royal Champions were invited to learn more about our brand, our ships and our amenities. [/SIZE][/FONT] [/SIZE][/QUOTE] Why would a DP or someone with 10k posts, mostly on the RCI board need to learn about the RCI brand? Based on that information every RC should be a newbee. To be honest: after roughly 15 cruises or so with RCI (on different classes) nobody can tell me any news on the RCI brand. I would expect that cruisers with 30 plus know even more about the RCI brand. Which brings me to the point of RCI. How come Royal Champions and even the 'charter' members still refer to RCI as RC or RCL or even RCCL? As a Royal Champion shouldn't they all know it is RCI. Not all of them do but I see quite a few doing that. How can one be a brand advocate referring to a non existing cruise line?
  8. FL_Cruiser64

    Pullmantur Gets New Ship by end of 2009!

    The Galaxy is beginning to sail for TUI Cruises which is a new co-op between TUI (German Vacation Agency) and RCCL. The new name of the Galaxy is 'Mein Schiff' which translates as "My Ship". My thought on that is that if RCCL moves another ship over from its RCI fleet it would be Monarch and then Majesty - in that order though some ships in the Vision Class (same tonnage) might not be safe either.
  9. It may not be illegal but highly unethical. It is truly misleading. TA business as usual. :cool:
  10. FL_Cruiser64

    Do you turn up the TV volume...

    Here is a great Princess commercial. [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahpMmFZy6U&NR=1"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahpMmFZy6U&NR=1[/URL]
  11. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='xpcdoojk']Oliver, you just made a whole bunch of statements that you have absolutely no proof of. Where did you come up with this? The friends picking friends bit. Didn't some marketing company pick these based on some computer program analysis? That was the way I thought it happened when this stupid debate began. Facts really are needed and not tin foil hat imagination. JMHO. jc<---- wants those who think they can bully me into silence that they don't know me very well.[/quote] My assumption are based on facts: Facts: - no common denominator - RCI officials contradict each other - no RCer not even 'charter members' can say for sure what the reason is that they were selected. And if they know the reason they do not say it. For a marketing study this is an absurd program. It should be in the therasurus under "bad marketing strategies". For a research study it is even worse. Thats all I am interested no. Facts. This whole debate actually has sparked my curiosity.
  12. FL_Cruiser64

    Royal Champions

    [quote name='jaxon41']say huh?? In any case, another I just saw: [URL]http://www.usatoday.com/travel/cruises/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=64050869.blog[/URL][/quote] I think this link was the most valuable link. One person says this, the other says this and tries to cover for the first person. Interesting.... I find it absolutely fascinating that this issue has so many pages and posts when it could be solved so easily. I am not sure but when I join anything I usually asked what it is for. The one thing none of the RCs ever came up with is why do the RCs exist in the first place. That is the entire question which was asked from the beginning. Just why? What are the requirements? What about the charter members? Wouldn't you know as a charter member why you are a charter member of something you should know about? There is over 50 RCers and nobody knows a thing. Some say because we are long time cruisers which has been rebutted. Some say because of our posting history which has been rebutted. Some say we get nothing in compensation or benefit yet in the article the word "perks" was mentioned. I tell you why nobody is saying a word on how most became RCers or so called 'charter members'. Because there would be a whole lot of embarrassement on part of RCI and some RCers especially here on CC. Since there is no common denominater amongst the RCers, not one, it is a 'friend picks friend' program using RCI as a 'donor'. RCI may not have been aware of that. I doubt that a man like Mr Goldstein really knows all the details. His job is to bark orders and have the right people execute such. His order or one of his marketing team order was simple: find me a group of cruisers for marketing purposes. Unfortunately as human behavior is it may have just been spiraling out of control. It would be a tremendous embarrassement for RCI and RCers if one has to stand up and say "yes, we pick our friends." RCI has to admit the failure of a marketing ploy and let it go on and some RCers who thought they were invited by RCI as an honor have their dreams squashed of being an important person. So, RCers or all of you who have signed up: what is the common denominater amongs all of you? Are you all diamond plus? do you all have 5k or 10k posts? did you all always talk positive about RCI all the time? If you could answer just the reason 'why' the discussion ends immediately. I bet you. Initially it really didn't affect me much since I never had the desire to be an RC nor do I get hot flashes being invited to a pre-inaug or meet any RCI official. I guess my life is or was quite a bit too interesting to get my panties in a wad over stuff like that. But all this sarcasm coming out of one corner and not being able to answer a very simple question sparked my curiousity. Because at one point it was a marketing ploy. And at one point it turned into a 'friend picks friend' kinda thing. I am now curious who really picks RCs and how the decision is being made and who is involved. I'd love to out this person or these people who do not have the guts to step up to the plate and say "here is the deal....". They are now protecting themselves and leaving the average RCer [B][U]AND[/U][/B] RCI high and dry. They are hurting the very business they are supposed to support.
  13. FL_Cruiser64

    2010 TAs are out

    I rather end vacation with a cruise. :D
  14. FL_Cruiser64

    What is a NOOTS?

    [quote name='Schplinky']I see that in folks signatures and it's been discussed on some threads but I never did know what it was. I've been around about 4 years and I think it pre-dates me.[/quote] Before the Oasis boards were opened this board was cluttered with Oasis here..and Oasis there threads. Mostly repeat questions and info. Our good friend Coxswain opened a thread for those who were sick of the Oasis stuff and had no interest in sailing Oasis. You see quite often threads like [B]Everything Explorer of the Seas[/B]... etc. Someone on that thread dubbed our thread "Everything [B]N[/B]ot [B]O[/B]asis [B]O[/B]f [B]T[/B]he [B]S[/B]eas...NOOTS was born. The thread was moved to the floating lounge but I haven't checked on it in a while since..well...someone somewhat...oh never mind. So I am now the renegade resident NOOTS - no home, no friends, no companionship but like a true hero fighting the good fight. :D
  15. FL_Cruiser64

    2010 TAs are out

    I was booked on 9390 from MIA to Rome. But dropped it 5 minutes later and grabbed 8690 on the navigator Rome to FLL. You must have grabbed 9390 right after I dropped it. :D
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