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jazzycitrine

Pinnacle travelling pattern (popular dates/itineraries) + Coastal Kitchen Q

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Hi! While we have cruised before, it has been a couple of years and so everything seems new and we are grateful to find this forum which is full of information!  For our return to cruising, we are thinking about travelling to the Caribbean on either Harmony or Symphony to test the waters (pun intended).  We don't mind crowds (hence the big ships are okay) but it would be nice to have a quiet area for dinners/drinks without fighting for seats.  Hence the thought is going Sky or Star class.  

 

It seems that that Coastal Kitchen and the Suite Lounge are for Sky/Star suite guests and Pinnacles; and while number of suite guests is somewhat predictable, the number of Pinnacles on a cruise can range highly.  

 

From reading some past posts, it appears the President's cruise would be one to avoid if overcrowdedness at the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen is a concern.  Is there any rhythm or reason as to what other cruises may be popular with Pinnacles?

 

Also, when it comes to Coastal Kitchen dinner reservations, is there a pecking order (e.g. pinnacles first and then star and then sky, etc) or is it first-come first served?  Would some tables be reserved for Star?

 

Just want to be clear - nothing against Pinnacles - it's quite an accomplishment of the loyalty and admirable!  Just trying to levelset expectations as to how easy to get a table/seat in the aforementioned area!

 

Thanks in advance for any insight!

 

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5 minutes ago, jazzycitrine said:

 ... Also, when it comes to Coastal Kitchen dinner reservations, is there a pecking order (e.g. pinnacles first and then star and then sky, etc) or is it first-come first served?   ...

 

Suite Guests first, then Pinnacle, then JS guests that are not Pinnacle.

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The pecking order for the Coastal Kitchen is Star and Sky suites first choice, then Pinnacles. The Suite lounge is anybody's guess.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, jazzycitrine said:

  Is there any rhythm or reason as to what other cruises may be popular with Pinnacles?

Value would probably be one of them - you are likely to see fewer Ps during the summer high season.

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You have to add another group to the equation, now it says that Masters from the Casino program also get to use CK and the lounge.

 

  • Bob, I just have to ask, would a pinnacle staying in a JS have priority over a pinnacle staying elsewhere?  :classic_cool::classic_cool:

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16 minutes ago, itsmeagain said:

You have to add another group to the equation, now it says that Masters from the Casino program also get to use CK and the lounge.

 

  • Bob, I just have to ask, would a pinnacle staying in a JS have priority over a pinnacle staying elsewhere?  :classic_cool::classic_cool:

 

No, I don't think there would be a difference between a Pinnacle in a JS vs a Pinnacle in any other non-suite stateroom.

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51 minutes ago, itsmeagain said:

You have to add another group to the equation, now it says that Masters from the Casino program also get to use CK and the lounge.

 

  • Bob, I just have to ask, would a pinnacle staying in a JS have priority over a pinnacle staying elsewhere?  :classic_cool::classic_cool:

Doesnt one in the masters program stay in full suites anyway?

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1 hour ago, frank808 said:

Doesnt one in the masters program stay in full suites anyway?

Some most likely do, but I don’t think all do.  I don’t think they just give them full suites every cruise but I guess it’s based on the money.

 

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4 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Suite Guests first, then Pinnacle, then JS guests that are not Pinnacle.

 

4 hours ago, bogey man said:

The pecking order for the Coastal Kitchen is Star and Sky suites first choice, then Pinnacles. The Suite lounge is anybody's guess.

 

 

 

I know someone who would definitely disagree with both of you.  😁

 

FWIW, Pinnacle who are repeat passengers and acquainted with the staff seem to have priority.

 

YMMV

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7 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

...

 

FWIW, Pinnacle who are repeat passengers and acquainted with the staff seem to have priority.

 

YMMV

 

This has been going on for years with B2B guests.  We've been offered preferred MDR seating, excursion priority, specialty restaurant reservations, etc.

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4 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

This has been going on for years with B2B guests.  We've been offered preferred MDR seating, excursion priority, specialty restaurant reservations, etc.

 

Yep, plus email addresses for CK managers/hosts never hurts. 

 

Just curious, are there any Royal  documents that specifically state Sky trumps PC?

 

This sign doesn't reflect that. 😇

 

 

20180922_112118.jpg

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4 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Yep, plus email addresses for CK managers/hosts never hurts. 

 

Just curious, are there any Royal  documents that specifically state Sky trumps PC?

 

This sign doesn't reflect that. 😇

 

 

 

 

I've never seen those documents, but I'd bet that there are internal documents with those guidelines.

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4 hours ago, jazzycitrine said:

 

From reading some past posts, it appears the President's cruise would be one to avoid if overcrowdedness at the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen is a concern.  Is there any rhythm or reason as to what other cruises may be popular with Pinnacles?

Thanks in advance for any insight!

 

They seem to love the New ships and transatlantics.  Just got off the Symphony transatlantic and there were over 260 pinnacles, which set a record. There were close to 2600 Diamond and above.  Over 3500 total C&A. Pinnacles took over Dazzles and the SL each night and they closed the Bistro several nights just for pinnacles.  2/3 of the Ice show seating was set aside for D+ and above, the entire upper level of the showroom was for D+ and above, fully 1/2 of the Aqua theater was for D+ and above.  D & D+ had the Diamond Lounge, Jazz on 4, and the Attic as their private party area each night.  All three clubs had long lines at least 30 minutes before opening at 4:30. There were so many D and above that the 3 drinks loaded onto the sea pass card each night was changed to unlimited during Diamond hours.  D+ and Pinnacles had run of the house. There was a Disney springs transport set up for Port Canaveral at a price of $29.00 for the one hour drive, so many complaints from the upper tier that all who pre-paid got a full refund and it was a no charge trip for everyone.

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All I can tell you from lots of experience as a Diamond who pays for full suites is this - if there are Pinnacles on your sailing (whether 3 or 300) they will take up limited seats in CK and they will hog the SL from the start of happy hour until way after happy hour.  Forget about window seats in SL.  I don't care what many other pinnacles say on here -  they wear their pin, the staff knows who they are and they will cater to them before you.  If you don't mind you will have a great time.  If it does not bother you to pay for a suite and have your experience cheapened and diluted by pinnacles and what is clearly an undisclosed RCI policy of having staff kiss their butt and serve them before you, then go ahead and sail with all the pinnacles in the world.  

 

Caveat Emptor!

 

P.S. - the only people on CC who will tell you otherwise are pinnacles and many regulars on here.  Do your own research.  The hundreds of reviews and threads speak for themselves.  

Edited by Andy C

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RCI is NOT NCL!  There really is no "fighting" for seats at dinner.  If you choose to do MTD, and you make reservations, it's little to no wait.  If you don't have reservations, but want to eat at an earlier or later time than the 7 pm hour...you'll be fine.

 

Traditional seating has the table waiting for YOU!  The other restaurants (specialty) charge a fee, and you do reserve them...either in advance but sometimes (usually) the day of is perfectly fine.

 

Unless you really want to spend the money on the SKY class, you don't have to, to have a great cruise!

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6 hours ago, jazzycitrine said:

Hi! While we have cruised before, it has been a couple of years and so everything seems new and we are grateful to find this forum which is full of information!  For our return to cruising, we are thinking about travelling to the Caribbean on either Harmony or Symphony to test the waters (pun intended).  We don't mind crowds (hence the big ships are okay) but it would be nice to have a quiet area for dinners/drinks without fighting for seats.  Hence the thought is going Sky or Star class.  

 

It seems that that Coastal Kitchen and the Suite Lounge are for Sky/Star suite guests and Pinnacles; and while number of suite guests is somewhat predictable, the number of Pinnacles on a cruise can range highly.  

 

From reading some past posts, it appears the President's cruise would be one to avoid if overcrowdedness at the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen is a concern.  Is there any rhythm or reason as to what other cruises may be popular with Pinnacles?

 

Also, when it comes to Coastal Kitchen dinner reservations, is there a pecking order (e.g. pinnacles first and then star and then sky, etc) or is it first-come first served?  Would some tables be reserved for Star?

 

Just want to be clear - nothing against Pinnacles - it's quite an accomplishment of the loyalty and admirable!  Just trying to levelset expectations as to how easy to get a table/seat in the aforementioned area!

 

Thanks in advance for any insight!

 

 

We always make our Coastal Kitchen Dinner Reservations thru the Concierges when we respond to their Welcome E-Mail. Have never had a problem getting a 6:30  PM dinner reservation.

 

We sailed Star Class twice this year on the Oasis, Both times we were able to reserve a table in the Coastal Kitchen for dinner.

 

See Andy C's post for some valid comments.

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1 hour ago, Host Clarea said:

 

I've never seen those documents, but I'd bet that there are internal documents with those guidelines.

 

Laura boards Oasis on Sunday.  I'll see if she can investigate 

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1 hour ago, Andy C said:

All I can tell you from lots of experience as a Diamond who pays for full suites is this - if there are Pinnacles on your sailing (whether 3 or 300) they will take up limited seats in CK and they will hog the SL from the start of happy hour until way after happy hour.  Forget about window seats in SL.  I don't care what many other pinnacles say on here -  they wear their pin, the staff knows who they are and they will cater to them before you.  If you don't mind you will have a great time.  If it does not bother you to pay for a suite and have your experience cheapened and diluted by pinnacles and what is clearly an undisclosed RCI policy of having staff kiss their butt and serve them before you, then go ahead and sail with all the pinnacles in the world.  

 

Caveat Emptor!

 

P.S. - the only people on CC who will tell you otherwise are pinnacles and many regulars on here.  Do your own research.  The hundreds of reviews and threads speak for themselves.  

 

See post #10.  I only speak the truth

 

Why are you so hung up on window seats?

Edited by John&LaLa

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2 hours ago, taglovestocruise said:

They seem to love the New ships and transatlantics.  Just got off the Symphony transatlantic and there were over 260 pinnacles, which set a record. There were close to 2600 Diamond and above.  Over 3500 total C&A. Pinnacles took over Dazzles and the SL each night and they closed the Bistro several nights just for pinnacles.  2/3 of the Ice show seating was set aside for D+ and above, the entire upper level of the showroom was for D+ and above, fully 1/2 of the Aqua theater was for D+ and above.  D & D+ had the Diamond Lounge, Jazz on 4, and the Attic as their private party area each night.  All three clubs had long lines at least 30 minutes before opening at 4:30. There were so many D and above that the 3 drinks loaded onto the sea pass card each night was changed to unlimited during Diamond hours.  D+ and Pinnacles had run of the house. There was a Disney springs transport set up for Port Canaveral at a price of $29.00 for the one hour drive, so many complaints from the upper tier that all who pre-paid got a full refund and it was a no charge trip for everyone.

 

So, I guess having Pinnacles aboard was a good thing for everyone.

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40 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

So, I guess having Pinnacles aboard was a good thing for everyone.

Thanks everyone for the input - very helpful!  Given that a Star/Sky suite could be $8-$12K+ I just want to make sure I know what to expect.  Certainly I am hoping that it will be possible to have access to what the suite class provides and the concern is that wITH a huge number of Pinnacles, it would not be possible to enjoy some of the perks which comes with the hefty price tag.

 

For example, what @taglovestocruise was describing on his Symphony cruise is something we might want to avoid - regardless as to what type of cabin we might be in :classic_smile:

 

@cb at sea  Totally agree that we can enjoy the cruise without Sky or Star.  But if it is doable, we don't mind spending more to have the suite experience, which of course includes more cabin space, etc!  

 

@John&LaLa   I am not sure why this means having Pinnacles aboard would be a good thing for everyone.  E.g. if a significant number of seats for the Ice Show and the Aqua Show is reserved for Pinnacles, wouldn't it mean fewer seats for others?  I am probably missing something since I am new at this!

 

@Andy C   I am hoping that if there's 3 Pinnacles it's going to be a lot better than having 300 :classic_rolleyes:  (By the way I read your recent cruise report and it didn't sound like fun at all!)

 

Thanks again everyone who replied!

Edited by jazzycitrine

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25 minutes ago, jazzycitrine said:

 

@John&LaLa   I am not sure why this means having Pinnacles aboard would be a good thing for everyone.  E.g. if a significant number of seats for the Ice Show and the Aqua Show is reserved for Pinnacles, wouldn't it mean fewer seats for others?  I am probably missing something since I am new at this!

 

Tongue in cheek comment. I was referring to the last sentence. 

Edited by John&LaLa

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John, that is only the tip of the iceberg my friend.  Many pinnacles will ruin the suite experience for those who actually paid to have a suite experience.  

 

Jazzy, it was an awesome cruise and we are going back for more.  My goal is to make people aware of the huge downside to traveling with many pinnacles.  They dilute the suite experience and most are quite demanding.  Just ask the staff quietly and off the record and they will tell you.  You don't have to believe a word I say.  

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Jazzy, while John is a gentleman and a scholar he is also a pinnacle and has a vested interest in the current set-up hence his comments above.  

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15 minutes ago, Andy C said:

John, that is only the tip of the iceberg my friend.  Many pinnacles will ruin the suite experience for those who actually paid to have a suite experience.  

 

Jazzy, it was an awesome cruise and we are going back for more.  My goal is to make people aware of the huge downside to traveling with many pinnacles.  They dilute the suite experience and most are quite demanding.  Just ask the staff quietly and off the record and they will tell you.  You don't have to believe a word I say.  

 

My not so sweet Harmony December suite experience had 140 Pinnacles on board.  I won’t be returning to RCI as a suite guest.  After cruising RCI 3-4 times a year I haven’t booked in more than a year - just can’t book with RCI and feel good about it.  Still have one next cruise so the cheapest balcony will get booked sometime in 2019 or 2020 or 2021. Has to fit in around already booked cruises.

 

If I was cruising with the grandchildren, RCI is a good product fit for us.  Without the kids, I like the suite experience and now prefer alternate cruiselines.  Princess, Celebrity and HAL have a good product, differing benefits and provide me with a good cruise experience. 

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