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A Royal Tarnishing


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In all the times I've called RCCL (I don't use a travel agent but deal with RCCL myself), I've never had more than a couple minute wait. Guess I'm lucky! ;)

 

In the past, I would have agreed with you. However, we had 2 separate instances recently of being on prolonged hold while trying to make changes on our upcoming cruise. One of these calls was the C&A line.

 

We've never had this much trouble while planning previous cruises. Not sure what the issue it, but it's really unacceptable.

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We too are booking more land based holidays again.

The costings for Indy and Anthem from the UK are crazy for 2014 and 2015, £4800 14 night for 2 in a D1 cabin, normally about £3700/£3800 with tips.

 

Same here and I'm from this side of the pond!!;)

 

I've got a few land based vacations booked and might hold off on cruising this coming year. Sometimes I need a change and step back from a picture and then walk in again at a later time. Need to spend some time on land and at places I love for some time instead of on and off a ship. Many resorts are having great deals right now and its time to pounce where the getting is good!!

 

Little by little the cost of cruising has gone up. These changes are hard to catch if not paying attention. Tiny things get taken away bits at a time and not noticed until, all those small things add up to WHOA!!:eek: Changes the way things are done and what is included in your cruise fare gets less and less. I have been watching where it is going and need to get away for a bit while the loyal royals complain on here and on board the ship.;)

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Same here and I'm from this side of the pond!!;)

 

I've got a few land based vacations booked and might hold off on cruising this coming year. Sometimes I need a change and step back from a picture and then walk in again at a later time. Need to spend some time on land and at places I love for some time instead of on and off a ship. Many resorts are having great deals right now and its time to pounce where the getting is good!!

 

Little by little the cost of cruising has gone up. These changes are hard to catch if not paying attention. Tiny things get taken away bits at a time and not noticed until, all those small things add up to WHOA!!:eek: Changes the way things are done and what is included in your cruise fare gets less and less. I have been watching where it is going and need to get away for a bit while the loyal royals complain on here and on board the ship.;)

 

To be honest, I'm tired of Rccl constantly taking the pee and tired of being disappointed.

The costings have gone up drastically again, any excuse to raise the price, Independence last season from UK, let's hike the price, new ship coming to the uk, let's hike the price!

We spend a lot of monies when onboard the ships too, last cruise on Allure we dined in the speciality restaurants 8 out of 14 and also spent a lot in the shops and art gallery.

The prices fluctuate enormously, only when sales are slow do they bring the price down, this time it's too late as we've spent our £ elsewhere now.

We worked it out yesterday after getting a quote for a cruise we were £50 better off than a first time cruiser booking the same room. That's with D+ discount while the newbie gets the $200 that we don't get anymore.

Enjoyed the cruising but value for money is coming into it more and more now.

There are lots of options for holidays, and they don't all include spending them with the same 4000 people and their germs in a confined relatively small area.

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I agree. At some point the diamond happy hour will likely be reduced to beer and wine.

 

Expansion can truly cause a downward spiral sometimes. I think RCI needs to reduce the number of ships, or they will continue to make cutbacks.

 

Don't give them any more ideas!

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Despite the constant predictions of doom for Diamonds, what exactly has changed over the last ten years? We got kicked out of the CL and then RCI started building D Clubs and gave them back all of the perks that were lost. The $25 lost on less than 6 months, is a minor policy change. 10 years ago there was no free Internet minutes and no WiFi. Isn't 30 free minutes a new perk?

 

There is also this perception that Diamonds are cheap. You would think that RCI would have figured this out and stopped encouraging them to sail again. :confused: All of these other changes have nothing to do with C&A status. RCI has decided to reduce AND EXPAND OBC for future specific bookings.

 

The Diamond Club cost to RCI for beer and wine, against standard mixed drinks is so small per night, why would you change?

 

While it sounds good to say increasing the number of berths has somehow cheapened the experience. I disagree, expansion has nothing to do with the cost or service on a cruise. Remember the company has expanded beyond it's Royal Caribbean name to port ships all over the world. As many have noticed, and a few have even complained about, locals make up a large portion of cruisers on all ships.

 

I have no doubt that RCI will continue to tweak the model, but I don't think there will be any major changes soon.

 

Since everyone is making predictions, I have one. Points for C&A status will move to the total amount spent on your cruise.

 

Enjoy your future cruises!

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RCI just has too many berths to fill. Disney is the smartest cruise line of the bunch in that they realize they can't control the quality nearly as much and provide a great experience if they overexpand. Hence only 4 ships with a total of maybe 10,000 berths to fill, and they sail full despite the high prices because the demand is high for so few cabins. They can command the high prices and give good service and good food.

 

Expansion can truly cause a downward spiral sometimes. I think RCI needs to reduce the number of ships, or they will continue to make cutbacks.

 

Disney attracts because it sells something the other cruise lines do not. A Disney experience. I suspect the number of ships is based on the size of the audience willing to pay that premium for that experience.

 

I suspect RCL has run the numbers and repeat "loyal" cruisers as a group spend less on board per person than the same of people who have never cruised. It is not just filling the cabin, but it is revenue per person on board. Airline loyalty programs target repeat business travelers since they pay more per seat to travel when they must travel for business reasons. Cruise lines can only target vacationers who travel only when the price is right. As long as they can offset the loss of a loyalty program cutback by filling with those new to cruising RCL, the cuts will continue. At some point, a new balance will be found. The one thing loyal cruisers offer are early bookings and the chance for RCl to hold their deposits for a longer time.

 

I support voting with your dollars. And a healthy cruise industry financially benefits everyone since they keep investing in better ships and safety.

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Love it! When we were in the Bahamas over Christmas there were three Carnival ships in port. When we saw that all three ships had generators strapped onto the top deck we about died laughing. Granted they were big generators, but definitely not big enough to run the entire ship! My hubby is in construction and he couldn't believe what he was seeing. We even took pictures so we could laugh about it later! :D

 

Sounds interesting. Can we see the pictures?

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I agree. At some point the diamond happy hour will likely be reduced to beer and wine.

 

Unfortunately there are not enough people who can afford to pay a couple hundred extra to get the perks back.

 

RCI just has too many berths to fill. Disney is the smartest cruise line of the bunch in that they realize they can't control the quality nearly as much and provide a great experience if they overexpand. Hence only 4 ships with a total of maybe 10,000 berths to fill, and they sail full despite the high prices because the demand is high for so few cabins. They can command the high prices and give good service and good food.

 

Expansion can truly cause a downward spiral sometimes. I think RCI needs to reduce the number of ships, or they will continue to make cutbacks.

 

I disagree with your logic. If Disney wanted only to maintain their prices why did they build 3 more ships? Why does Disney continue to add hotels in Orlando?

 

RCI does not serve the public in a vacuum. Will Carnival and the others stop building ships? RCI has to assume they are winning, and more cruisers want to cruise on their line than the other mass market cruise lines. While RCI has sold some ships, many more have been added. New and improved also commands a higher cabin rate.

 

I think we have a very long way to go before there is a shake out in the cruise industry. At some point you will be correct, but I think that's a long way off.

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Despite the constant predictions of doom for Diamonds, what exactly has changed over the last ten years? We got kicked out of the CL and then RCI started building D Clubs and gave them back all of the perks that were lost. The $25 lost on less than 6 months, is a minor policy change. 10 years ago there was no free Internet minutes and no WiFi. Isn't 30 free minutes a new perk?

There is also this perception that Diamonds are cheap. You would think that RCI would have figured this out and stopped encouraging them to sail again. :confused: All of these other changes have nothing to do with C&A status. RCI has decided to reduce AND EXPAND OBC for future specific bookings.

 

The Diamond Club cost to RCI for beer and wine, against standard mixed drinks is so small per night, why would you change?

 

While it sounds good to say increasing the number of berths has somehow cheapened the experience. I disagree, expansion has nothing to do with the cost or service on a cruise. Remember the company has expanded beyond it's Royal Caribbean name to port ships all over the world. As many have noticed, and a few have even complained about, locals make up a large portion of cruisers on all ships.

 

I have no doubt that RCI will continue to tweak the model, but I don't think there will be any major changes soon.

 

Since everyone is making predictions, I have one. Points for C&A status will move to the total amount spent on your cruise.

 

Enjoy your future cruises!

 

 

Yes its a new perk, 10 years ago, wireless was barely on the radar, now its practically a necessity! Keeping up with the times! :)

 

I think you may be right about points going to dollars spent! :eek:

 

***

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Disney attracts because it sells something the other cruise lines do not. A Disney experience. I suspect the number of ships is based on the size of the audience willing to pay that premium for that experience.

 

I suspect RCL has run the numbers and repeat "loyal" cruisers as a group spend less on board per person than the same of people who have never cruised. It is not just filling the cabin, but it is revenue per person on board. Airline loyalty programs target repeat business travelers since they pay more per seat to travel when they must travel for business reasons. Cruise lines can only target vacationers who travel only when the price is right. As long as they can offset the loss of a loyalty program cutback by filling with those new to cruising RCL, the cuts will continue. At some point, a new balance will be found. The one thing loyal cruisers offer are early bookings and the chance for RCl to hold their deposits for a longer time.

 

I support voting with your dollars. And a healthy cruise industry financially benefits everyone since they keep investing in better ships and safety.

 

 

 

More than plenty of tarnish in the land of the Mouse. They just had a bigger reputation to fall. The ivory walls over there, and at sea, are showing the years of drastically reduced budgets and CASTMEMBER layoffs. Hubby is a 35 year CASTMEMBER 2 1/2 years from retirement. Tough to watch.

Edited by Donut23
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I disagree with your logic. If Disney wanted only to maintain their prices why did they build 3 more ships? Why does Disney continue to add hotels in Orlando?

 

RCI does not serve the public in a vacuum. Will Carnival and the others stop building ships? RCI has to assume they are winning, and more cruisers want to cruise on their line than the other mass market cruise lines. While RCI has sold some ships, many more have been added. New and improved also commands a higher cabin rate.

 

I think we have a very long way to go before there is a shake out in the cruise industry. At some point you will be correct, but I think that's a long way off.

 

 

 

Hi!

 

Disney only built 2 ships, the Fantasy and the Dream. The resorts they continue to build on property are Disney Vacation Club-time shares and one of the most successful cash cows Disney has along with ESPN they acquired with ABC purchase.

 

So far their most successful DVC properties have been add ons to current deluxe hotels on property. They build fewer restaurants, pools, etc. so the overall cost is less than a standalone resort. Just finished Grand Floridian DVC and now in the middle of Polynesian DVC. Cheapest way to add a resort.

Edited by Donut23
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More than plenty of tarnish in the land of the Mouse. They just had a bigger reputation to fall. The ivory walls over there, and at sea, are showing the years of drastically reduced budgets and CASTMEMBER layoffs. Hubby is a 35 year CASTMEMBER 2 1/2 years from retirement. Tough to watch.

 

I'm curious as I haven't looked on the Disney board...what types of things are being affected on the ships?

Edited by time4u2go
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There is also this perception that Diamonds are cheap. You would think that RCI would have figured this out and stopped encouraging them to sail again. :confused: All of these other changes have nothing to do with C&A status. RCI has decided to reduce AND EXPAND OBC for future specific bookings.

 

The Diamond Club cost to RCI for beer and wine, against standard mixed drinks is so small per night, why would you change?

 

While it sounds good to say increasing the number of berths has somehow cheapened the experience. I disagree, expansion has nothing to do with the cost or service on a cruise. Remember the company has expanded beyond it's Royal Caribbean name to port ships all over the world. As many have noticed, and a few have even complained about, locals make up a large portion of cruisers on all ships.

 

I have no doubt that RCI will continue to tweak the model, but I don't think there will be any major changes soon.

 

Since everyone is making predictions, I have one. Points for C&A status will move to the total amount spent on your cruise.

 

Enjoy your future cruises!

 

 

I can guarantee you diamonds spend on average less than a new cruiser. A diamond is less likely to buy into all the random crap that RCI sells like the 20 dollar photos, many of the spa products, etc. They also get balcony discounts, and likely have OBC in some form or another. This all reduces the amount a Diamond spends.

 

You seem to think the happy hour is an inconsequential amount of money.... While the liquor is cheap, the fact that they are losing out on selling the drinks is what is pricey. Sure i might only drink 3 vodka tonics that actual cost is a dollar or two. Well that would have been a 20 dollar bar tab.... Not so cheap now is it.

 

I disagree. The mass cruise ship boom of the 90s is why cruising got so cheap. Soooo many cabins, they have to fill them and not everyone could afford 5000 dollars (inflation adjusted) per person to cruise. This lowered prices and in lowering prices lowered the profit per head and thus cutbacks and staffing had to suffer. The idea of going on a 14 day med cruise back in the early 90s for 1,300 dollars back then woulda been impossible. Now in 2014 dollars its the norm.

 

I do agree that points will likely go the way of the Delta mileage program that it will come down to how much you spend.

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Hi!

 

Disney only built 2 ships, the Fantasy and the Dream. The resorts they continue to build on property are Disney Vacation Club-time shares and one of the most successful cash cows Disney has along with ESPN they acquired with ABC purchase.

 

So far their most successful DVC properties have been add ons to current deluxe hotels on property. They build fewer restaurants, pools, etc. so the overall cost is less than a standalone resort. Just finished Grand Floridian DVC and now in the middle of Polynesian DVC. Cheapest way to add a resort.

 

The 4 Disney Cruise Line ships—with their distinctive designs and decorative gold swirls across their bows—inspire awe wherever they pull into port. Mixing grand elegance with an element of fun, the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream, and the Disney Fantasy were created specifically with families in mind. Now, discover the enchanting delights of sailing to exotic destinations aboard ocean liners that have "something for everyone" built right in.

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The 4 Disney Cruise Line ships—with their distinctive designs and decorative gold swirls across their bows—inspire awe wherever they pull into port. Mixing grand elegance with an element of fun, the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream, and the Disney Fantasy were created specifically with families in mind. Now, discover the enchanting delights of sailing to exotic destinations aboard ocean liners that have "something for everyone" built right in.

 

Um...OK.:confused::rolleyes::D

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I can guarantee you diamonds spend on average less than a new cruiser. A diamond is less likely to buy into all the random crap that RCI sells like the 20 dollar photos, many of the spa products, etc. They also get balcony discounts, and likely have OBC in some form or another. This all reduces the amount a Diamond spends.

 

You seem to think the happy hour is an inconsequential amount of money.... While the liquor is cheap, the fact that they are losing out on selling the drinks is what is pricey. Sure i might only drink 3 vodka tonics that actual cost is a dollar or two. Well that would have been a 20 dollar bar tab.... Not so cheap now is it.

 

I disagree. The mass cruise ship boom of the 90s is why cruising got so cheap. Soooo many cabins, they have to fill them and not everyone could afford 5000 dollars (inflation adjusted) per person to cruise. This lowered prices and in lowering prices lowered the profit per head and thus cutbacks and staffing had to suffer. The idea of going on a 14 day med cruise back in the early 90s for 1,300 dollars back then woulda been impossible. Now in 2014 dollars its the norm.

 

I do agree that points will likely go the way of the Delta mileage program that it will come down to how much you spend.

 

We will have to agree to disagree! That's not a problem.:)

 

But why does RCI spend so much to keep us Diamonds cruising? To lose money?

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I disagree with your logic. If Disney wanted only to maintain their prices why did they build 3 more ships? Why does Disney continue to add hotels in Orlando?

 

RCI does not serve the public in a vacuum. Will Carnival and the others stop building ships? RCI has to assume they are winning, and more cruisers want to cruise on their line than the other mass market cruise lines. While RCI has sold some ships, many more have been added. New and improved also commands a higher cabin rate.

 

I think we have a very long way to go before there is a shake out in the cruise industry. At some point you will be correct, but I think that's a long way off.

 

Disney actually only added two more ships for a total of 4 ships in their fleet. In doing so, I believe they actually did have a service drop, at least based on what I was told by some who cruised with them before the expansion. I only cruised with them after they added the Fantasy. With less berths, you are able to control service level more, and if you put out a good enough product, command more cash for that berth. Now there are sooo many berths, the prices have to keep dropping to fill the cabins.

 

I agree it is likely a long way off, before we hit a breaking point, but at some point, there will be too big of an expansion, and the number of beds will have to go down. We aren't there yet, but soon RCI and all the other lines they hold, celebrity, pulmantur, azamara, etc, will have over 100,000 berths. It is getting harder and harder to fill those beds, and with carnival, ncl, etc. expanding their lines, there are even MORE berths. There will be a breaking point, but not for a while. However, at some point, the lines will be nearly giving away the cabins, and they are almost doing that now, taking a near loss just to get you on the ship to spend more money.

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Sounds interesting. Can we see the pictures?

 

Maybe you've already seen these. If not, they were posted on CC a few months ago. I've seen only one personally but I don't recall the ship and never took a picture.

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTKZAvK92TK4SUdvTGbFZogstn7DsysH5O518dZobkv-phbSqbxnA

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSEfsjTNQOJjjqgmBSHwtiecWdz6fo_y7ADBgDUaAf90xpgwi5wlw

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Maybe you've already seen these. If not, they were posted on CC a few months ago. I've seen only one personally but I don't recall the ship and never took a picture.

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTKZAvK92TK4SUdvTGbFZogstn7DsysH5O518dZobkv-phbSqbxnA

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSEfsjTNQOJjjqgmBSHwtiecWdz6fo_y7ADBgDUaAf90xpgwi5wlw

 

That is interesting. I have to wonder if those are temporary. It would seem likely with the yellow tie-down straps, but who knows? Thanks for the pics.

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I can guarantee you diamonds spend on average less than a new cruiser. A diamond is less likely to buy into all the random crap that RCI sells like the 20 dollar photos, many of the spa products, etc. They also get balcony discounts, and likely have OBC in some form or another. This all reduces the amount a Diamond spends.

 

our first cruise as D+ and we only spent $35 for a weekend cruise.

Balcony Discount, BOGO @ Chops on Friday, two free pics, free gratuities, free beer in cabin, free Asti in cabin. NO OBC, but we did get a generous FCC because of a backed up shower on FOS last summer. Paid for a soda package, 3 or 4 drinks (DL provided the rest), and two bottles of vodka in shops.

 

we did drop $400-$500 in casino though. :o

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E

I'm curious as I haven't looked on the Disney board...what types of things are being affected on the ships?

 

 

Disney Gtownups each year reduce the operating budgets of each cost center. Burbank doesn't really care what is done, just don't spend a penny more. Most tried for a long time to do things guests would not see, not driving the ship as hard reducing fuel expenses, stretching maintenance times is a biggie. Then at the beginning of the recession Disney Worldwide had a mandatory 10% staff reduction. Through that year they then went to each business an slashed staff....some places up to 40%. These people have never been rehired. Ship engineers, cabin attendants, etc. They continue with buyouts to long term employees hiring cheep kids in return. One of my favorites is, many of their Pension funds are underfunded. Hubs will have a pension from 2 cost centers, one is funded 123% controlled by his Union, the other is funded 64%.

 

Next, they began to reduce the quality of food purchased for parks and ships.....from steaks to lettuce. That budget has struggled the last 5 years or so. The chefs have done an excellent job but when menus change, it's often not for the better.

 

Training....small example. Each castmember has to attend Traditions. In the past, it was actually a 2 week session where each person was taught Disney history, the importance of customer service and company guidelines to handle problems. Now Traditions is 1/2 day.

 

Don't even get most people started with Disney's IT department. They are known industry wide for that.......from the first days of the Magic to current day. Do it cheep, take 3 times as long. In the end it will be more complicated than it has to be and nowhere near as good as it should be.

 

Holiday Services has been hit very hard.....Holiday Decorations. In the past they were completely changed/updated more often. Now when something gets shabby, it often is not replaced.

 

Merchandise assortment has been reduced and overall quality reduced. Don't you think it's odd that ABC (Disney owned) has an ongoing series "Made in America" but it's rare to find anything in any of their stores actually made in America. They have brought on ultra high end merchandise, Dooney bags, Vera Bradley, but otherwise much of the quality is much changed.

 

Sorry to hijack the thread. These were a few things I thought of off the top of my head. They are like a cancer, slowly eating away at the experience from inside........hoping no one notices. And next year, there will be another cut in every Disney division.

Edited by Donut23
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our first cruise as D+ and we only spent $35 for a weekend cruise.

Balcony Discount, BOGO @ Chops on Friday, two free pics, free gratuities, free beer in cabin, free Asti in cabin. NO OBC, but we did get a generous FCC because of a backed up shower on FOS last summer. Paid for a soda package, 3 or 4 drinks (DL provided the rest), and two bottles of vodka in shops.

 

we did drop $400-$500 in casino though. :o

 

YOU are waiting your print trying to explain this to some. They don't have a clue that 75% of RCI's income comes from booking cabins and d's and above have spent many thousands contributing to that 75%, way more than 1st timers

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YOU are waiting your print trying to explain this to some. They don't have a clue that 75% of RCI's income comes from booking cabins and d's and above have spent many thousands contributing to that 75%, way more than 1st timers

 

I think the point they were trying to make was that on any given cruise, the average spent per person on cabins and everything else by D's and above is most likely less than the average spent per person by new cruisers.

Edited by time4u2go
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That is interesting. I have to wonder if those are temporary. It would seem likely with the yellow tie-down straps, but who knows? Thanks for the pics.

 

I think those are temporary -- they'll be removed as the ships go to dry dock and are retrofitted with redundant back-up systems to run the essential hotel services in case of an emergency.

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