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North Star & IFly charges??

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Thanks for your effort JohnJen but I think you might have rang Sesame Street rather than RCI. I can assure you they are charging for them on Quantum for my March 12th booking which was fully paid for in November. I know this because I have just made payment through the RCI website for my North Star and IFly bookings. Even though I started this thread with the breaking news a few days ago, this will be my wife's and I first time on a Quantum class ship and I don't want to miss out on the experience. The booking times were very limited already, so to wait till I was on-board would have been crazy. Make no mistake, I will be really happy if RCI refund my money and before I made the first post on here, I wrote a rather stern letter to RCI showing my unhappiness with the decision. I guess we will see how it plays out. You were right though, it may not happen on Anthem. It seems RCI may be a little judgmental on their decision to only hit the Asian market and even though it cost me an extra AUD$100, I will make sure I have a good time anyway. It may sway my decision to by a t-shirt this time though.

 

PS - It never came from any blog... It came from me and a Canadian family booked on a Quantum cruise and it has shown up on our cruise planners. I never mentioned a blog at all. Thanks anyway!

 

Happy sailing!

Quantum, yes.

 

Anthem, no.

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Just off the phone with RCL about this ~

 

If you have booked already, there's no additional charges to be imposed on iFly and Northstar, and, as of now, no official future charges to be made on both of these. The RCL rep wanted to know exactly where this was coming from, I told her it was the RCL blog - which is not official anyway.

 

So, if you have already booked a cruise on this class of ship, you will NOT be imposed any additional fees for iFly or Northstar. I made sure to have her annotate this on our booking for Anthem in June.

 

Lastly, she told me there are no plans on charging additional fees for this on Anthem.

 

I suspect the rep looked up your booking and answered the current state in respect of that.

 

That said, I agree with your estimation about the legal state that, as these were sold as complimentary inclusions with the cruise, they need to remain that way for bookings already made.

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Will be interesting to see what happens with the Ovation. Being in both Asia and Australia, where both usually get charged for things Americans don't. With Australia being that way because they think they can get away from it. However Australia has strong consumer protection laws. If they decide to charge here on the Ovation they better make sure they like looking at the inside of a courtroom.

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Ok, thank you very much for the link, maybe it differs from ship to ship, or Egg Benedict was added to the menu later.

 

Nope, has been on the menu before and on other ships (actually all RCI ships I´ve been on).

 

PS - It never came from any blog... It came from me and a Canadian family booked on a Quantum cruise and it has shown up on our cruise planners. I never mentioned a blog at all.

 

No, the RCI blog read it on here (from you) and made a news item out of it.

 

steamboats

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I'm surprised that the rep gave you this info. It seems as though quantum passengers ARE being charged. Also, you said that you spoke to a "rep"-- assuming you mean the people answering the phone in the call center, not a "rep" for the CEO or COO. I don't think the call center people have ANY IDEA about "plans on charging additional fees", even once they actually start charging fees.

 

Yeah, I used the term "rep" loosely. It was just an answering agent, not a rep for CEO level. But, someone told me in another forum, and it really is true - you can call RCL five times with the same question and you will get five different answers!

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Thanks for your effort JohnJen but I think you might have rang Sesame Street rather than RCI. I can assure you they are charging for them on Quantum for my March 12th booking which was fully paid for in November. I know this because I have just made payment through the RCI website for my North Star and IFly bookings. Even though I started this thread with the breaking news a few days ago, this will be my wife's and I first time on a Quantum class ship and I don't want to miss out on the experience. The booking times were very limited already, so to wait till I was on-board would have been crazy. Make no mistake, I will be really happy if RCI refund my money and before I made the first post on here, I wrote a rather stern letter to RCI showing my unhappiness with the decision. I guess we will see how it plays out. You were right though, it may not happen on Anthem. It seems RCI may be a little judgmental on their decision to only hit the Asian market and even though it cost me an extra AUD$100, I will make sure I have a good time anyway. It may sway my decision to by a t-shirt this time though.

 

PS - It never came from any blog... It came from me and a Canadian family booked on a Quantum cruise and it has shown up on our cruise planners. I never mentioned a blog at all. Thanks anyway!

 

Happy sailing!

 

Loved the "Sesame Street" bit....hehehe! I do believe the Quantum folk are being charged. I further looked into this. If you've made a reservation, even paid just a portion of it, you're making an agreement with RCL that everything listed is complimentary and part of the cruise. It is not fair and maybe illegal for them to backtrack and say there's a charge now for those two amenties.

 

I hope that RCL didn't charge the Quantum people after they made initial reservations....that is not fair.

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My $.02 is that the comparative length of Quantum cruises (shorter) versus Anthem cruises (longer) creates a unique problem for Quantum passengers trying to do so much in so little time. Not an issue on most Anthem sailings. Only time will tell if crowd control is the real reason for imposing this new charge on Quantum... If it also shows up on Anthem, you'll know its nonsense.

 

I've been mulling booking another Anthem cruise when the next set of bookings open in the next 2-3 months, but will probably look elsewhere if they start charging for North Star and iFly. The RCI value proposition is already taking a hit with their high base prices and refusal to include anything with the high base price like most of their competition here in the U.S...

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My $.02 is that the comparative length of Quantum cruises (shorter) versus Anthem cruises (longer) creates a unique problem for Quantum passengers trying to do so much in so little time. Not an issue on most Anthem sailings. Only time will tell if crowd control is the real reason for imposing this new charge on Quantum... If it also shows up on Anthem, you'll know its nonsense.

 

I've been mulling booking another Anthem cruise when the next set of bookings open in the next 2-3 months, but will probably look elsewhere if they start charging for North Star and iFly. The RCI value proposition is already taking a hit with their high base prices and refusal to include anything with the high base price like most of their competition here in the U.S...

 

There are quite a few 5 day Bermuda sailings on Anthem. Slots are going to be tight there as well

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My $.02 is that the comparative length of Quantum cruises (shorter) versus Anthem cruises (longer) creates a unique problem for Quantum passengers trying to do so much in so little time. Not an issue on most Anthem sailings. Only time will tell if crowd control is the real reason for imposing this new charge on Quantum... If it also shows up on Anthem, you'll know its nonsense.

 

 

There are quite a few 5 day Bermuda sailings on Anthem. Slots are going to be tight there as well

 

From the start (Quantum), it seems RCI did not have a good plan for access to North Star on Quantum or Anthem. Initially, iirc, it was by first come first served tickets, then by the free for all of lining up and waiting (sometimes for hours), then most recently by making advance reservations, and now there's a charge on Quantum.

 

What puzzles me is that the limited capacity of the capsule on North Star (14 guests plus the RCI crew member) and the time for each flight were known at the outset. RCI could easily have calculated how many guests per hour could be accommodated (about 56, maybe 70), and how may per day --- a small fraction of the capacity of these ships. (And sometimes weather prevents North Star from operating.)

 

So it was totally knowable in advance that it would be hard to accommodate everyone, yet RCI seems to have put North Star on these ships without a good plan. (And query whether it even makes sense to have something with such a limited capacity on a mega-ship.)

 

Also, at least on our cruise (the TA), RCI did not take full advantage of the daylight to maximize the operating hours. It was daylight well before 7 AM, yet North Star did not start running for the day until 9 am, and at that time, the crew was usually doing a test flight. So it was maybe 9:15 or 9:20 am before guests could ride. And even though North Star was closed for several days because of weather on our crossing, the ship still did not start operating North Star any earlier once weather permitted operations to resume.

 

I loved North Star, it was HUGE fun, but the execution doesn't seem to have been very well thought out.

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These kind of attractions will never be for everybody. What would happen if even 10% of the passengers wanted to do Flowrider. Lines are never 100 deep, let alone 400-600.

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A seemingly informed member of my Anthem of the Seas roll call said that he called RCI and they are charging for these as of 12/30/15. I warned that RCI is notorious for misinformation.

 

Anyway, we should know for a fact whether or not that rumor is true shortly.

 

JC

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A seemingly informed member of my Anthem of the Seas roll call said that he called RCI and they are charging for these as of 12/30/15. I warned that RCI is notorious for misinformation.

 

Anyway, we should know for a fact whether or not that rumor is true shortly.

 

JC

 

This is not true. I have confirmation just now, in writing. :)

Edited by CruiseDivaNJ

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Just as increasing your pre-paid dining meal is unacceptable...it as just as unacceptable to try and increase the cost of your pre-paid activity.

 

The Florida Attorney General should probably be notified again. They can't raise prices when people have already paid for things. Well, they can try, but I think it is illegal.

 

IT they did not charge then they are not increasing the price. and if it really bothers you don not take part if enough people refured to pay they will would chnage. I would think the enough people will pay that it will never happen.

 

Glad we went on them on Quatuam while free.

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This is not true. I have confirmation just now, in writing. :)

 

Good to know. Is a confirmation in writing from the clueless RCI customer service guaranteed to be more accurate than the verbal confirmation or unconfirmation?

 

There is a degree of bad information, and I agree if they are willing to put it in writing then it is up to a 2% accuracy rating, as compared to the regular 1%.

 

JC

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A seemingly informed member of my Anthem of the Seas roll call said that he called RCI and they are charging for these as of 12/30/15. I warned that RCI is notorious for misinformation.

 

Anyway, we should know for a fact whether or not that rumor is true shortly.

 

JC

 

12/30/15 is when the charges are starting on Quantum.

 

Taken directly from the Quantum of the Seas page on the Royal Caribbean website: "*Kindly be advised that beginning on Dec 30th, 2015, fees will apply for North Star on all Quantum of the Seas sailings in Shanghai, China." This is not on the Anthem or Ovation page.

Edited by OfTheSeasCruiser

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12/30/15 is when the charges are starting on Quantum.

 

Taken directly from the Quantum of the Seas page on the Royal Caribbean website: "*Kindly be advised that beginning on Dec 30th, 2015, fees will apply for North Star on all Quantum of the Seas sailings in Shanghai, China." This is not on the Anthem or Ovation page.

 

So, now we have a third level of trust. Do we trust the screwy website more than verbal communication, or Written communication. Are we up to a 3% accuracy rating, or 100%.

 

I am mostly joking. I believe that this only affects the Quantum, that said, I warn anyone posting here to be very leery of communication from RCI, or any cruise line for that matter.

 

JC:D

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I just read a post on the blog site from someone who just received notification that there was now a $20US charge per ride on Northstar and Ripcord on Quantum. They had existing reservations for $0.00 and were told they would be charged.

I sure hope they don't start charging for it. We did both last month and loved it but if they charge will not do it again.

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We have our NorthStar reservation already for our cruise in the spring. Just checked my cruise planner and it still has $0.00. Hope it stays that way, and they don't try to pull a fast one on us. We did NS already on Quantum, so will cancel if they decide to charge us. I also didn't see anywhere it says there's a charge. Maybe I need to do a dummy booking for iFly.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Read there is only a charge on the Quantum out of Shanghai for whatever reason.

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Here is the response I got from my email to RCI about the charges on Quantum:

______________________________________________________________

Dear Tony,

 

I hope this email finds you well.

 

Allow me to apologise for not answering sooner, as we strive to provide the

best possible service on and off our ships.

As per your query, I am sorry this decision has made you upset. However,

please try to understand that when this was complimentary, we were having a lot of issues with guests that were booking everything before hand and then not showing up to their reservation and then several guests would miss the option of enjoying the attractions. You can rest assured that the

information will be shared with our management team in Miami and please try to understand that we need to remain equal to all our guests.

 

Should you have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us as we

are eager to help.

 

Kind regards,

Marco Vinicio Velasquez

Cruise Administration

 

Telephone: 1800 754 500 • Fax: 02 4322 0326 • Email:

cruiseadmin.au@rcclapac.com

____________________________________________________________

 

In my email I asked how they can change it after final payment has been made. My understanding is once final payment is made there is a contract between RCI and myself. I cannot make any changes without some form of penalty, why should they be allowed. Guess they forgot to answer those bits. I guess my response is all those travelling on Anthem must be model citizens and turn up for their appointments every time because they are not having the same issues there apparently. Isn't that what a booking process is for. Seems the issue is they can't control it. Asian or not, this is wrong!

 

Oh well.. Guess I get screwed this time!

Happy sailing everyone!

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Here is the response I got from my email to RCI about the charges on Quantum:

______________________________________________________________

Dear Tony,

 

I hope this email finds you well.

 

Allow me to apologise for not answering sooner, as we strive to provide the

best possible service on and off our ships.

As per your query, I am sorry this decision has made you upset. However,

please try to understand that when this was complimentary, we were having a lot of issues with guests that were booking everything before hand and then not showing up to their reservation and then several guests would miss the option of enjoying the attractions. You can rest assured that the

information will be shared with our management team in Miami and please try to understand that we need to remain equal to all our guests.

 

Should you have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us as we

are eager to help.

 

Kind regards,

Marco Vinicio Velasquez

Cruise Administration

 

Telephone: 1800 754 500 • Fax: 02 4322 0326 • Email:

cruiseadmin.au@rcclapac.com

____________________________________________________________

 

In my email I asked how they can change it after final payment has been made. My understanding is once final payment is made there is a contract between RCI and myself. I cannot make any changes without some form of penalty, why should they be allowed. Guess they forgot to answer those bits. I guess my response is all those travelling on Anthem must be model citizens and turn up for their appointments every time because they are not having the same issues there apparently. Isn't that what a booking process is for. Seems the issue is they can't control it. Asian or not, this is wrong!

 

Oh well.. Guess I get screwed this time!

Happy sailing everyone!

 

I think that it's been mentioned here before or possibly on another thread that the issue is that the cruises on Quantum are generally of a short duration. When the ship was designed with all these unique features it was planned that they would have 8 or more day sailings in which to accommodate the guests. On the short sailings there is no way that they can accommodate every guest wanting to do it. By charging for it it does put everyone back on an equal footing. As crappy as the situation is I'm not sure that there is a way around it other than holding a lottery for the available spaces but if they can charge people and sell out all the time slots you know that a free scenario won't happen.

 

They certainly could have handled a lot better from a PR point of view for those that had already booked who should have been grandfathered in for free.

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We are doing B2B in March. The first sailing is 8 days!!!! It is the longest cruise they are doing out of Shanghai so it's not a short cruise. 2nd cruise is 5 days.

 

My idea would be to charge for it upfront and if you show up at your timeslot they refund it back. If you don't show, they charge sticks! Seems there only issue is not being able to control it. They should be better at it!

 

I just don't think they should be able to start charging on cruises that are already past their final payment date and fully paid!

 

My 2 cents..

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Hi Tincoll,

 

I did receive a broadly similar response to my e-mail contact. However, I do agree with you that I believe there is a legal case to answer, at least in terms of bookings made through Australia (where mine was), and the information they advertised as well as the booking terms and conditions, if you found and felt there was a need to take it further.

 

I would say that from what I observed, it appears that after the introduction of charging that these facilities are still well booked and often booked out for their sessions.

 

Also like others have said, as a personal impression for those considering paying, I would question the value of the Northstar charge. It's only a ~5 minute trip, and just like going up an observation tower, which is often free or a much lower cost for such a height. While ifly has a commercial value, its pricing also appears comparable to standalone entities elsewhere (so why pay a premium for the ship?).

Edited by The_Big_M

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