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Elite cocktail hours extended...permanent change

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The elite cocktail hours are now 4:30-7:30 and you can get drinks at all bars and restaurants  except the cellar master.  This is permanent on reflection and most likely on other ships that have converted to coupons on your sea card..per our captains club hostess. 

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RCI has done this for some time now with three coupons loaded nightly that can be used at the bars and restaurants on board, but they also utilize the Diamond (and Concierge) lounges to serve unlimited drinks in addition to the coupons.

 

Is this new policy with Celebrity similar or are they eliminating the lounge with coupons only to be used at the different venues?  Or do they still have the lounge available with unlimited drinks as well as the coupons for other venues?

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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The Elite lounge is still available, but, it is not unlimited.  Your three drinks will be deducted from your card whether in the lounge or another bar area on the ship.

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If they’re going to give us three drinks anyway, I wish they would just gives us the whole evening to drink them.  We like to eat at around 8.30.  So ideally, we’d like a couple of cocktails starting at about 7.30.  We’ve barely used any of the Captain’s Club coupons or drinks in the years since they started offering drinks packages.  I don’t usually want a drink mid-afternoon, I want it before dinner.  So the new change doesn’t really help everyone.

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18 minutes ago, FlorenceItaly said:

The Elite lounge is still available, but, it is not unlimited.  Your three drinks will be deducted from your card whether in the lounge or another bar area on the ship.

 

So the Elite lounge benefit is now limited to three drinks with the option of also going to other venues.  Not that three drinks isn't generous but not sure I like the change in that they are now taking something away that was once provided based on the loyalty one has shown - and money spent - over the years.  Kind of like saying we thank you for your loyalty but just not quite as much as before.  Not a good business practice IMO.  

 

And being able to go to other venues also is not something new as this was offered in the same manner previously when the number of Elites (and higher) would overcrowd the lounge.  

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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You don't use the 3 drinks offered when you have the beverage pkg.  I still prefer the event in the lounge, meeting other cruisers, and enjoying a few 'naps.

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Where are all the people who used to grouse “we want to go to the Elite party straight from the beach but they won’t let us in wearing shorts”.  Problem solved.  “We like the sunset bar better than the sky lounge”. Problem solved.

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14 minutes ago, oceangoer2 said:

You don't use the 3 drinks offered when you have the beverage pkg.  I still prefer the event in the lounge, meeting other cruisers, and enjoying a few 'naps.

 

True, but you pay for the beverage package (when selected as a booking perk it is in the cost of the stateroom fare - choose not to include any perks and your fare is lower), whereas the Elite lounge drinks are at no cost and are offered as a tier level loyalty benefit.  Apples and oranges.

 

My only point is only that the change with unlimited v three coupons is a change in a loyalty benefit which results in it being a lesser benefit.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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20 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

True, but you pay for the beverage package (when selected as a booking perk it is in the cost of the stateroom fare - choose not to include any perks and your fare is lower), whereas the Elite lounge drinks are at no cost and are offered as a tier level loyalty benefit.  Apples and oranges.

 

My only point is only that the change with unlimited v three coupons is a change in a loyalty benefit which results in it being a lesser benefit.

 

Not questioning the fact we 'pay' for the pkg...we're aware and it's our choice; we include other drinks, water, juices.  Just saying that the 3 drinks pp is an advantage to other cruisers, not me.  I'm probably paying for your 3 'free' drinks.  If we chose to accept the '3' per day offer, we would appreciate they don't have to do that for us, and when they don't insist you enjoy them in the 'lounge' but in any venue you choose, that's an added bonus to be thankful for.  We're not big drinkers and would find it difficult to enjoy 3 drinks in the space of a few hours, so that probably colours our opinion.

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Not particularly surprising...  Best I can tell, Edge will not have a lounge of similar size/capacity to the Sky Lounge on Solstice-Class ships [or equivalent on Millennium-Class ships] to serve as the venue for the Elite [and above] Cocktail Gatherings...

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24 minutes ago, oceangoer2 said:

 

Not questioning the fact we 'pay' for the pkg...we're aware and it's our choice; we include other drinks, water, juices.  Just saying that the 3 drinks pp is an advantage to other cruisers, not me.  I'm probably paying for your 3 'free' drinks.  If we chose to accept the '3' per day offer, we would appreciate they don't have to do that for us, and when they don't insist you enjoy them in the 'lounge' but in any venue you choose, that's an added bonus to be thankful for.  We're not big drinkers and would find it difficult to enjoy 3 drinks in the space of a few hours, so that probably colours our opinion.

 

Again, not arguing your point. And you are correct,  if you are not yet Elite, then upon reaching that tier you will welcome the three drinks as it would then be a new benefit to you,  But to those of us who are currently Elite, this change takes away from a benefit we've already enjoyed and makes it less of one to us.

 

And as to you paying for our 3 free drinks, perhaps you are.  But I am certain that with my 26 years+ loyalty to RCI and Celebrity I have - and as a result have earned that benefit.

 

And we, too, are not big drinkers - which is a big reason why we don't buy the packages, finding it more economic for us to pay a la carte for all of our drinks.  That is not the point.  As I've indicated before, my only point is that it is a change to a loyalty benefit that lessens that benefit to those who are in a position to have enjoyed it over the years. And that is not a good business practice IMO.  Nothing more than that.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Are the 3 drinks limited to the list of beverages offered under the unlimited drinks system, or can you order pretty much anything?

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We are E+ only went to the Elite cocktail hour once and have never used a coupon,  the reasons were the same that many complained about: 

- most days hours to early for us as we are later diners and don’t want cocktail at 5 or 6

- cocktails had to be consumed in the Lounge, so not able to go just before 7 and grab a glass of wine to take to dinner, or grab a drink to take to the cabin and enjoy on the balcony 

 

-had to be properly dressed to go to the Lounge.

 

IMHO extending the hours and allowing coupons to be used in almost all venues is an improvement to the Elite/E+  benefits.

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1 hour ago, Xport said:

Not particularly surprising...  Best I can tell, Edge will not have a lounge of similar size/capacity to the Sky Lounge on Solstice-Class ships [or equivalent on Millennium-Class ships] to serve as the venue for the Elite [and above] Cocktail Gatherings...

 

Correct, no venue on Edge for Elite cocktail party. 

 

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1 hour ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

Again, not arguing your point. And you are correct,  if you are not yet Elite, then upon reaching that tier you will welcome the three drinks as it would then be a new benefit to you,  But to those of us who are currently Elite, this change takes away from a benefit we've already enjoyed and makes it less of one to us.

 

And as to you paying for our 3 free drinks, perhaps you are.  But I am certain that with my 26 years+ loyalty to RCI and Celebrity I have - and as a result have earned that benefit.

 

And we, too, are not big drinkers - which is a big reason why we don't buy the packages, finding it more economic for us to pay a la carte for all of our drinks.  That is not the point.  As I've indicated before, my only point is that it is a change to a loyalty benefit that lessens that benefit to those who are in a position to have enjoyed it over the years. And that is not a good business practice IMO.  Nothing more than that.

 

We are Elite +.  Most of us enjoy our 'free' perks and appreciate the effort to reward our loyalty...they didn't provide these when we first started sailing with X.

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Seems like a significant improvement and enhancement to the benefit.  Expanded time, ability to use the benefit at dinner before 7:30 PM, and an  option for drinks at other bars on every cruise is a significant improvement.

Since Celebrity will also still offer a gathering, the only take away is the unlimited drinks for two hours.  (Now three drinks). The positive changes outweigh that change IMO.  

 

Looks like an excellent business practice to me.  Improve the program for the majority of the people using the benefit and expanding the options for using the benefit to others.

Edited by jagoffee

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1 hour ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

Are the 3 drinks limited to the list of beverages offered under the unlimited drinks system, or can you order pretty much anything?

The 3 voucher drink selections at the other venues are limited to the same drink menu that is offered in the HH lounge. 

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Are you saying that the "coupons" loaded on your sea pass have extended hours but the Elite Happy Hour (which I understand now will be just three drinks) will remain 5-7 or will it be extended as well?

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3 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

So the Elite lounge benefit is now limited to three drinks with the option of also going to other venues.  Not that three drinks isn't generous but not sure I like the change in that they are now taking something away that was once provided based on the loyalty one has shown - and money spent - over the years.  Kind of like saying we thank you for your loyalty but just not quite as much as before.  Not a good business practice IMO.  

 

And being able to go to other venues also is not something new as this was offered in the same manner previously when the number of Elites (and higher) would overcrowd the lounge.  

Yes. It was that way on our 2 September 2018 Infinity cruise. We were surprised when we went to the HH event and the server asked for our Seapass cards. I thought maybe the server thought these riff raff aren't elite 😜. At that time the Captains Club Hostess was walking by so we asked her about it. She advised us the three drinks loaded on our Seapass cards was a new change and going fleetwide. On that cruise the HH event was still 5:00 to 7:00 including if you wanted to get your three drinks at other venues. 

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3 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

True, but you pay for the beverage package (when selected as a booking perk it is in the cost of the stateroom fare - choose not to include any perks and your fare is lower), whereas the Elite lounge drinks are at no cost and are offered as a tier level loyalty benefit.  Apples and oranges.

 

My only point is only that the change with unlimited v three coupons is a change in a loyalty benefit which results in it being a lesser benefit.

 

Three drinks is plenty. I have no compliant about that. 

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5 hours ago, ghstudio said:

The elite cocktail hours are now 4:30-7:30 and you can get drinks at all bars and restaurants  except the cellar master.  This is permanent on reflection and most likely on other ships that have converted to coupons on your sea card..per our captains club hostess. 

Thanks for posting. That would be nice if the change went fleetwide. 

Edited by davekathy

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We are happy with the change as we enjoy ordering a drink with dinner in the dining room or specialty restaurants.  System worked great on our recent Canada/New England cruise on the Summit. Also is nice when traveling with friends who do not have access to the Elite function.  We can drink together and we still can use our Elite benefit. Thanks, Celebrity.

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