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ValerieJo

Royal Eliminates Neighborhood Balcony Perks

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This is going to cost them more in bad publicity than they will ever save in cancelling the perk. I would doubt each package cost them more than $20 a person. Even less than that if some people didn’t even use it. I don’t have any skin in the game because I don’t have any Oasis class reservations. But if I did, I’d still go on the cruise, the only money I would spend onboard would be the $50 OBC. Then in my post cruise evaluation, I’d let them know why. 

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I see several facebook comments saying they will file a dispute with the credit card company. RCL is totally ignoring the complaints while responding to other posts that are not about this issue.

 

If the perks really were not being used as Royal claims why not just keep them. Unused perks would be cheaper than $50 OBC.

Edited by MoniMommy

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If you are on a 14 NT cruise the BW perk is a BIG value and they are cutting about $350 or more per cabin - this is totally not acceptable!

We will try to cancel our non-refundable for a FULL refund!🤬

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15 minutes ago, ATC cruiser said:

This is going to cost them more in bad publicity than they will ever save in cancelling the perk. I would doubt each package cost them more than $20 a person. Even less than that if some people didn’t even use it. I don’t have any skin in the game because I don’t have any Oasis class reservations. But if I did, I’d still go on the cruise, the only money I would spend onboard would be the $50 OBC. Then in my post cruise evaluation, I’d let them know why. 

I highly doubt this.  Relatively few prospective cruise passengers will ever even hear about this.  Has any major news site even mentioned it?

Edited by time4u2go

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We booked a boardwalk balcony, because of the perks, a b2b to boot.  Not happy at all We usually do an

 inside. Have not read all comments but the Grandfathering of those already booked and honor they.

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17 hours ago, P.A. said:

I am FURIOUS about this change! Not because now we don't get the "FREE PKG" but because they are "taking away" something they already gave me!! That's just not good customer service. I can see if they need to discontinue the "perk" and no longer give it...but take it away from people who booked a long time ago is just not right. I booked my sailing on Allure for Feb 2020 back in Nov 2018. There will be 3 of us in our boardwalk balcony. And then to give you $50 per cabin as a replacement is a slap in the face!! And they've already changed our port of St Thomas because of the propulsion problem. 🤬

 

I called customer relations and spoke with them and they said they would give me $50 more but that doesn't even cover one drink pkg let alone two, plus the Johnny Rockets!! I have already sent off an email to corporate so we'll see what response I get.

Good luck.

I think ANY change should not apply to existing bookings especially as people book a long time in advance.

Any changes should be for NEW bookings only.

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5 hours ago, MoniMommy said:

I see several facebook comments saying they will file a dispute with the credit card company. RCL is totally ignoring the complaints while responding to other posts that are not about this issue.

 

If the perks really were not being used as Royal claims why not just keep them. Unused perks would be cheaper than $50 OBC.

Very good point.

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21 hours ago, Judyrem said:

We (my grandaughter and I) loved 😍Harmony in July and I have a spring break trip in April on Oasis with her. I am not saying I won't cruise again, but I will be more cautious about where and when and how much.

 

Our Airbnb is an oceanfront cottage on La Jolla's Coast rd.  I can snorkel albeit it will be chilly, we can see the Zoo, Safari Park, go whale watching etc,  personally I think it will be a spectacular trip!

You will LOVE La Jolla!  My family has vacationed there several times.  Be sure to make a reservation for drinks or a meal at George's Rooftop!

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1 hour ago, momofmab said:

You will LOVE La Jolla!  My family has vacationed there several times.  Be sure to make a reservation for drinks or a meal at George's Rooftop!

Thanks maybe in the future you can give me more recs!  When my husband and I went we usually stayed in San Diego and visited La Jolla, I thought we would  stay there because I love it so and I feel safer in La Jolla with just my grandaughter and me going.

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 11:33 AM, John&LaLa said:

The OBC is a win for a couple staying in CP

Family in BW got shafted

Wow, this sucks.  I don't understand why they do not implement this new policy as of a certain booking date and leave current bookings with the perks.  I chose the Oasis class for my family (4 CP cabins) sailing on Easter and the perks was one of the selling points, otherwise I could have sailed out of Bayonne and saved the hassle of flying and associated cost.  $50 does not cover the lunch for 2 and a bottle of wine.

 

Can anyone provide me with RCL's "Customer Relations" e-mail.  Since RCL changed contract terms, wonder if I can cancel without any NR fare penalty and simply get my deposit in full back.

 

Wonder what other perks will they remove, eg; D+ bogo, etc.

Edited by nelblu

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15 hours ago, doones2 said:

I agree.  We cruise around every other year.  And I love it but I also love my land vacations.  Cruising has allowed  me to decide which islands I would like to spend more than a day on.  

Yes, after my last cruise on Allure in Aug, we visited St Martin and I decided a week there would be great for a family vacation.

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On 9/18/2019 at 12:46 PM, tomservo said:

I just told the news to a friend who has an upcoming cruise on the Oasis. He booked a neighborhood balcony cabin specifically for the soda package, and he's pissed. As he put it, the 50 OBC doesn't even cover a third of the total worth of the soda package and the Johnny Rocket's lunch. He would have booked an Ocean View balcony, but it's too late now because prices have gone up. They couldn't have grandfathered in people who've already booked it?

I agree they should be grandfathered. I don't have a problem with change but I can't swallow selling one experience and then switching it to a cheaper version of what you paid for. This is just another Royal Caribbean bait and switch tactic that I'm sure I will be flamed for just by suggesting it. This is also another reason that I refuse to book any line with NRD. There are so many stupid cutbacks on all of the lines. Booking over a year ahead may not deliver the same experience you paid for by the time sail away arrives. This is not exclusive to Royal Caribbean. I read these types of threads on Celebrity and Princess as well.

Edited by Iamcruzin

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9 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

I agree they should be grandfathered. I don't have a problem with change but I can't swallow selling one experience and then switching it to a cheaper version of what you paid for. This is just another Royal Caribbean bait and switch tactic that I'm sure I will be flamed for just by suggesting it. This is also another reason that I refuse to book any line with NRD. There are so many stupid cutbacks on all of the lines. Booking over a year ahead may not deliver the same experience you paid for by the time sail away arrives. This is not exclusive to Royal Caribbean. I read these types of threads on Celebrity and Princess as well.

Remember RCI took Independence away from Southampton for next year after months of selling itineraries from Southampton.

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Sigh.  Checked email today while in port, sailing Brilliance, and had the email.  We booked the 2020 Allure westbound TA the week it was released.  I love Central Park balconies but chose to spend about $30 more to book in Boardwalk specifically because I wanted the soda package, and we thought we'd enjoy Johnny Rockets too. (At booking time it was actually about the same price fir ocean view, I chose BW for the perks)

 

I didn't log in to check, but I think that is a 12 night cruise?  Maybe longer?  So two soda packages costs 240 at least, plus another 25 for the meal.  So they take away 260+ dollars worth of promised benefits and give us $50 obc as "compensation"?!  We're down over $200.   Totally unethical on RCIs part.

 

As others say, the right thing to do would be grandfather in those who already booked.

Or, if IT can't figure that out, give OBC in the amount needed to buy those benefits onboard on the booked sailing.

 

At a MINIMUM, cancellation with no penalty should be offered (and that would still be crap customer service, as prices have gone up for that time period at just about any destination in the months that I've had the booking and believed RCI would be giving me what I paid for).

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I am sorry those who booked under the old terms are getting the shaft. I hope there is some resolution for those who complain to the cruise line. Keep us posted. On the Celebrity board they decided to remove the free movies and charge $15 each to view them. This did not go over well as you can imagine since they advertised in room movies as a selling point in the room description. There were enough complaints via phone calls and social media that they went back to offering the free in room movies. This situation only applies to a few so there may not be reason for them to change the policy but they should honor it for those who booked under those terms.

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8 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

Remember RCI took Independence away from Southampton for next year after months of selling itineraries from Southampton.

While I can imagine the disappointment and don't condone it, I do understand that they have the right to change itineraries according the the cruise contract and as long as they returned any NRD they are in the clear. This situation is totally different. You don't offer a benefit to sell a product and don't deliver. Would it kill them  to let the current bookings stay the same and only apply the new terms to new bookings? 

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10 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

While I can imagine the disappointment and don't condone it, I do understand that they have the right to change itineraries according the the cruise contract and as long as they returned any NRD they are in the clear. This situation is totally different. You don't offer a benefit to sell a product and don't deliver. Would it kill them  to let the current bookings stay the same and only apply the new terms to new bookings? 

I agree with you.  We bought their product in good faith that we would receive these items and now we are not but we are getting $50 OBC per cabin to, according to their email, “spend on anything and anywhere we want! No limits, oh yeah!”  

 

I haven’t received any response to my emails from Royal. I’m hoping it’s because they’ve been flooded with complaints.😀

 

Sherri

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

I agree they should be grandfathered. I don't have a problem with change but I can't swallow selling one experience and then switching it to a cheaper version of what you paid for. This is just another Royal Caribbean bait and switch tactic that I'm sure I will be flamed for just by suggesting it. This is also another reason that I refuse to book any line with NRD. There are so many stupid cutbacks on all of the lines. Booking over a year ahead may not deliver the same experience you paid for by the time sail away arrives. This is not exclusive to Royal Caribbean. I read these types of threads on Celebrity and Princess as well.

 

Fortunately I convinced him to book it Refundable, he always books NRD, so he could cancel if he wanted to. The issue is he can't switch to another cabin because the prices went up significantly. I think he'll probably end up taking the cruise anyway because it might be the only time the Oasis comes up to NJ and he's never done the Oasis before. Of course Royal is counting on people to grin and bear it. This is a blatant cash grab.

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24 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

I am sorry those who booked under the old terms are getting the shaft. I hope there is some resolution for those who complain to the cruise line. Keep us posted. On the Celebrity board they decided to remove the free movies and charge $15 each to view them. This did not go over well as you can imagine since they advertised in room movies as a selling point in the room description. There were enough complaints via phone calls and social media that they went back to offering the free in room movies. This situation only applies to a few so there may not be reason for them to change the policy but they should honor it for those who booked under those terms.

15$ =Absurd!

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The old adage of "penny wise, pound foolish" sure applies to Royal.

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18 hours ago, mayleeman said:

 

Thank you. We are not affected (our CP cruise is a month from now) but I see it as a larger problem, indicative of a (blank)you attitude dissuading me from booking any more RC cruises.

 

I encourage any RC customer to join the stream of complaints to the email provided. Here is one I just sent:

 

Dear Mr. Bayley:

 

We have been following an extensive discussion on Cruise Critic about the new Royal Caribbean plan to cancel neighborhood perks for cruises in 2020. You are offering a mere pittance of $50 allegedly to compensate, ignoring that for some folks the value you are withdrawing may be upwards of $500.

 

It is unfathomable to me that your company is unilaterally disavowing your obligation to provide the perks to people who booked neighborhood staterooms as far back as 2018. And the letter informing people suggests how lucky they are to still have a wonderful view. This is insulting at best to your customers, whom you apparently think are stupid enough to consider this a benefit.

 

Not offering perks for new bookings is understandable, but I have never before seen a company not in financial distress fail to honor promises to literally thousands of people made to induce them into a contract. In law school, we learned that this is breach of contract, pure and simple.

 

I understand people have written to your office and have been rebuffed in their attempts to register their distress on this issue. 

 

I have been looking forward to cruising with Royal Caribbean and have enthusiastically recommended Royal to family and friends.  However, if this action is not reversed, and if existing bookings' perks are not reinstated, I will have to tell anyone who asks me that Royal Caribbean abuses its customers by changing their bookings.

 

I am shocked that you and the company wish to adopt a policy that proves you cannot be trusted.

 

Cruise Critic member "mayleeman"

 

 

You're better off using more economy with your words...  a brief to the point letter will be more likely to be read than one filled with terms like "extensive discussion", "mere pittance", unfathomable", I am shocked", etc.  Just state your case with bullet points - get to the point.

 

And ending with "you cannot be trusted" and "I will have to tell anyone who asks me that Royal Caribbean abuses its customers by changing their bookings" is like telling them "I'll never do business with you"; they'll just dismiss you.

Edited by billslowsky

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4 minutes ago, tomservo said:

 

Fortunately I convinced him to book it Refundable, he always books NRD, so he could cancel if he wanted to. The issue is he can't switch to another cabin because the prices went up significantly. I think he'll probably end up taking the cruise anyway because it might be the only time the Oasis comes up to NJ and he's never done the Oasis before. Of course Royal is counting on people to grin and bear it. This is a blatant cash grab.

I think a lot of people will be in the same situation especially on the Oasis out of N.J. It wouldn't be cost effective to switch to another cruise if you have to fly to port. He should call and complain and elevate it until he gets results. This shouldn't be hard to fix. I feel this is boarder line illegal. It's the textbook definition of bait and switch. 

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25 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

On the Celebrity board they decided to remove the free movies and charge $15 each to view them. This did not go over well as you can imagine since they advertised in room movies as a selling point in the room description. There were enough complaints via phone calls and social media that they went back to offering the free in room movies.

 

This does work sometimes. NCL started piloting a "Haven experience" for non-Haven guests, it was something like 50pp for an hour in the Haven Lounge for cocktails and dinner in the Haven restaurant. The NCL board exploded and it was quickly and quietly removed. NCL does read those boards and has posted on them when things get out of control.

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18 hours ago, mayleeman said:

In law school, we learned that this is breach of contract, pure and simple.

 

But the contract protects them from breach of contract! 🤣

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7 minutes ago, tomservo said:

 

But the contract protects them from breach of contract! 🤣

That's the thing. The cruise line operates under a foreign flag but sells cruises out of the U.S. They also sell the service internationally and laws vary. Is the cruise contract the same for U.K. passengers for this situation as it is for U.S. passengers? To be honest I have never read the cruise contract fully I just know the basics. Years ago you never had to worry about such things as this so I'm not sure if there is a clause to cover them or not.

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