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Poor treatment of Platinum Cruisers!

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2 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

I get that there are certain promotions / incentives to entice new cruisers to Royal. But why does it have to come at the expense of the loyal customers?

 

 


First off, I was speaking in general terms, not just about that specific promotion, which is obviously aimed at new to Royal cruisers. 
 

Secondly, you missed my point. At Platinum, you’re not a “loyal customer.” That label comes with Diamond, when you start seeing some really good perks. 
 

If I run a convenience store, and you come In and buy a pack of gum once a week, and threaten to leave, fine. You don’t spend enough in my store to be worth the effort to try to keep you. But, if you come in and buy, say, 10 cartons of cigarettes per week (yes, smoking is gross, but they turn a nice profit for convenience stores), that equates to about $120/week. Yes, I will spend some effort to keep your business.

 

Airlines do the exact same thing. They will bend over backwards for their frequent flyers, but if you haven’t hit that status, you’re not one of their “loyal customers” they have any interest in trying to retain. You can become one of those customers, and you do it by flying a lot. 
 

Same thing with cruise lines. The difference is they give you “status” after your first cruise. I use that term loosely because and airline certainly won’t do that after 1 flight (generally...I got Silver on my flight to Australia, and that was one of the longest flights available in the world).  But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention. 

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7 hours ago, legaljen1969 said:

I get a pin??  Do people actually wear these pins?

I pin them on my beach bag. DH had a hat he’d put them on....unfortunately he lost the hat guess he’ll have to start over! 😆 

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2 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:


First off, I was speaking in general terms, not just about that specific promotion, which is obviously aimed at new to Royal cruisers. 
 

Secondly, you missed my point. At Platinum, you’re not a “loyal customer.” That label comes with Diamond, when you start seeing some really good perks. 
 

If I run a convenience store, and you come In and buy a pack of gum once a week, and threaten to leave, fine. You don’t spend enough in my store to be worth the effort to try to keep you. But, if you come in and buy, say, 10 cartons of cigarettes per week (yes, smoking is gross, but they turn a nice profit for convenience stores), that equates to about $120/week. Yes, I will spend some effort to keep your business.

 

Airlines do the exact same thing. They will bend over backwards for their frequent flyers, but if you haven’t hit that status, you’re not one of their “loyal customers” they have any interest in trying to retain. You can become one of those customers, and you do it by flying a lot. 
 

Same thing with cruise lines. The difference is they give you “status” after your first cruise. I use that term loosely because and airline certainly won’t do that after 1 flight (generally...I got Silver on my flight to Australia, and that was one of the longest flights available in the world).  But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention. 

 

The hardest thing to measure is the value of a lost customer with new history. Although the gum cigarette analogy is good, in both cases effort should be made to retain customers, new customers can cost more to develop and keep. But the RCII sales are not always lower priced, just like the online stores that offer 50% off but they double the price. I think they value every customer, they just do more to retain existing customers that have proven a consistent willingness  to spend.

 

That said I kept my $100 balcony discount both directions on a B2B and saved about $300 over both directions. The latest sale costs more.  The previous sale on the same B2B I saved about $550 after giving up $150 in OBC.

 

I use an online watch site to notify me of price drops and then do mock booking.

 

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2 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

Secondly, you missed my point. At Platinum, you’re not a “loyal customer.” That label comes with Diamond, when you start seeing some really good perks. 
 

If I run a convenience store, and you come In and buy a pack of gum once a week, and threaten to leave, fine. You don’t spend enough in my store to be worth the effort to try to keep you. But, if you come in and buy, say, 10 cartons of cigarettes per week (yes, smoking is gross, but they turn a nice profit for convenience stores), that equates to about $120/week. Yes, I will spend some effort to keep your business.

 

 

Ok, fair enough. Except I did not threaten to leave. You did not give me an incentive to come into your store to spend more money more often so I'll check out the competition that sell be cheaper gum or more variety.

 

In the meantime, you decided to spend your effort to attract new customers who have spent $0  in your store rather than try to keep my meager business.

 

2 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention. 

 

The OP did enough business with Royal to be awarded $75 off a balcony.  Unless, of course, there is a "fake" sale going on.....which there always is....so it's a useless benefit.

 

 

Edited by HBE4

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9 minutes ago, AlanF65 said:

he hardest thing to measure is the value of a lost customer with new history. Although the gum cigarette analogy is good, in both cases effort should be made to retain customers, new customers can cost more to develop and keep.

 

The gum analogy is good. But I think a more relatable scenario would be if I worked for a company for, say, 3 years. And after 3 years, my boss says he could give me a 5% raise. But instead decided to use that money to hire a new worker at the same salary I'm making now.

 

Now, I love my job, the people and the location and am happy to be working so I'm not going to quit.  But I might be a bit miffed.

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9 hours ago, mattb31 said:

 

It's because people are sucked in by the 'perks'. They're willing to forego a $500 savings with another cruise line because they have 'status' with RCCL that only gets them $100 in perks. Loyalty programs are like a bonus for me, I don't cruise because of them, but it's a nice extra surprise when you get something out of them.

 

In a weird comparison, it's like loyalty to a company. Job hoppers (aka the people who try different cruise lines), frequently end up better off than people who are blinded by loyalty (aka the people stuck to one cruise line).

 

We like Royal for the ships and the quality of service they offer. Loyalty perks are just an added bonus.

 

I will happily try the first cheaper cruiseline that has a flowrider.

 

jc

PS, does cheaper mean less quality food, entertainment, etc.?  Saving a few bucks without equal product seems a bit of a miss.  I have cruised on 7 different ocean lines, stayed in 100s of different motels done river cruises, he$$ I even did a European bus vacation once when I was young and dumb.  I have gone camping, and I have gone camping with a 3* chef and camping doesn’t suck in anyway then.

Edited by xpcdoojk

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9 hours ago, HBE4 said:

 

 

Ok, fair enough. Except I did not threaten to leave. You did not give me an incentive to come into your store to spend more money more often so I'll check out the competition that sell be cheaper gum or more variety.

 

In the meantime, you decided to spend your effort to attract new customers who have spent $0  in your store rather than try to keep my meager business.

 

 

The OP did enough business with Royal to be awarded $75 off a balcony.  Unless, of course, there is a "fake" sale going on.....which there always is....so it's a useless benefit.

 

 

 

You're absolutely free to go check out the competition, and if you can get your gum cheaper somewhere else, more power to you.  As the store owner, you aren't really budging my bottom line much, so what incentive do *I* have to retain *you*?  You haven't given me any incentives either.  Business is a two way street - the business has to be attractive to the customer, but the customer also must be attractive to the business.

 

Cruising is no different.  Repeat cruisers tend to fall into one of two categories - brand loyalists and deal hunters.  Royal wants to take care of their brand loyalists, because those are the cruisers that will sail Royal and only Royal....unless Royal pisses them off to the point where they go shopping for another line.  Deal hunters are just that - they book based on price, itinerary, sail date, etc, and they're not particular about which cruise line they sail on.  If you've only done a few cruises with Royal, they're not sure yet which category you fall into.  So yes, you get a few small perks for coming back (there's you meager incentive for you so far meager business), but there's not much incentive yet for them to give you deep discounts or any perk that's more than a nominal value.  They'll give the big incentives to their brand loyalists, who come back cruise after cruise.  All Royal has to do to get a deal hunter back is offer the best deal.  Perks are irrelevant to those types of customers.

 

As for that specific sale, since I don't have it in front of me, there's not much to say about it.  My guess (and it's just a guess) is that there was something in the Terms & Conditions about who it applies to because there always is.  No, I don't agree that Royal runs "fake sales" because the conditions are always spelled out in the fine print, if you take the time to read it.

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9 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

I will happily try the first cheaper cruiseline that has a flowrider.

+1.

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10 hours ago, HBE4 said:

 

The OP did enough business with Royal to be awarded $75 off a balcony.  Unless, of course, there is a "fake" sale going on.....which there always is....so it's a useless benefit.

 

 

I was wondering about that since there's always a sale going on. 

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:26 PM, HBE4 said:

 

Couldn't agree more. Why people are willing to pay more for an itinerary / ship that may not be your first choice just for the loyalty status is beyond me. I'd much rather save the money and go with my first choice, even if it 'll take me a few more years to reach diamond.

 

The same goes for Hotel and Airline loyalty programs. I let my wallet do the talking. 

Even worse is when I read about people taking an extra cruise that they really didn't plan  or booking an extra room to sail solo just to reach the next status. Honestly if you have that much money to burn just buy the drink package and don't worry about the cheap free booze and over crowded lounges.

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I love posts that start off with "I'm special because I am a 'xxxxxx' ".  A sale price is always off the posted price.  Sometimes you have various sales, based on your 'status' that might give you a bigger discount then the other sale.  You choose what sale you want.  But you never get both. 

 

Did you ever get a coupon for a free flashlight because you have a loyalty card in a store.  The flashlight is $3.99.  Another customer has a coupon for the flashlight for $0.25.  A savings of $3.74.  Do you think the store should give you money back because you only saved $0.25 being loyal?  No, you just pick the better deal and get your flashlight. 

 

The same is for the cruise.  You buy it on sale, and take the best option.  You status only gives you a coupon off the posted price.  If another sale is going on, than you compare which sale you want and take the best one. 

 

Your status gives you "free" items not tied to the price of the cruise.  Those are the real perks.  Free water in the room (Yay) but most important to many is the free happy hour drinks at Diamond.  That a real savings.  24 hours of WiFi.  That's nice.  A free picture.  Those are the perks.  The discount is just a coupon that is not always worth the face value if another sale is going on.

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35 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

Even worse is when I read about people taking an extra cruise that they really didn't plan  or booking an extra room to sail solo just to reach the next status. Honestly if you have that much money to burn just buy the drink package and don't worry about the cheap free booze and over crowded lounges.

 

This is the first time I have purchased the drink package.  It honestly is very freeing.  I've tried drinks I would never have paid for separately and I've been able to get a nice champagne.  If I want to go to  the suite lounge I get the drink I want and take it in.

 

There have been quite a few kids in the lounge this week--some noisy and some not.  But mostly they are just being kids and I try to keep this in mind.

 

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14 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

Same thing with cruise lines. The difference is they give you “status” after your first cruise. I use that term loosely because and airline certainly won’t do that after 1 flight (generally.  But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention. 

 

Actually, just joining the airline's program (not automatic like C&A is now), you are treated better than a non-FF program member.

 

Not a lot, but SLIGHTLY.  Mainly when it comes to disruptions and rebookings.

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14 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

Same thing with cruise lines. The difference is they give you “status” after your first cruise. I use that term loosely because and airline certainly won’t do that after 1 flight (generally...I got Silver on my flight to Australia, and that was one of the longest flights available in the world).  But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention. 

 

Also cruise lines don't drop your status! Airlines will bring you back to earth very quickly if you don't maintain it. We booked a cruise for the first time in 15 years, I was a little surprised to see an email welcoming us back as 'gold' members. Soon checked to realize that meant diddley-squat. If I ever get to Pinnacle and swan around the promenade with a huge badge, make me walk the plank!

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:26 PM, HBE4 said:

 

Couldn't agree more. Why people are willing to pay more for an itinerary / ship that may not be your first choice just for the loyalty status is beyond me. I'd much rather save the money and go with my first choice, even if it 'll take me a few more years to reach diamond.

 

The same goes for Hotel and Airline loyalty programs. I let my wallet do the talking. 

Totally agree.  If I had only cruised with RCI I would be a D+ but instead I have enjoyed trying different cruise lines and I always look for price and itinerary first.  I feel that eventually the perks associated with the loyalty program will get less and less.  

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13 hours ago, kidless said:

I pin them on my beach bag. DH had a hat he’d put them on....unfortunately he lost the hat guess he’ll have to start over! 😆 

I have no idea where my pins are.

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4 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

 

You're absolutely free to go check out the competition, and if you can get your gum cheaper somewhere else, more power to you.  As the store owner, you aren't really budging my bottom line much, so what incentive do *I* have to retain *you*?  You haven't given me any incentives either.  Business is a two way street - the business has to be attractive to the customer, but the customer also must be attractive to the business.

 

Cruising is no different.  Repeat cruisers tend to fall into one of two categories - brand loyalists and deal hunters.  Royal wants to take care of their brand loyalists, because those are the cruisers that will sail Royal and only Royal....unless Royal pisses them off to the point where they go shopping for another line.  Deal hunters are just that - they book based on price, itinerary, sail date, etc, and they're not particular about which cruise line they sail on.  If you've only done a few cruises with Royal, they're not sure yet which category you fall into.  So yes, you get a few small perks for coming back (there's you meager incentive for you so far meager business), but there's not much incentive yet for them to give you deep discounts or any perk that's more than a nominal value.  They'll give the big incentives to their brand loyalists, who come back cruise after cruise.  All Royal has to do to get a deal hunter back is offer the best deal.  Perks are irrelevant to those types of customers.

 

As for that specific sale, since I don't have it in front of me, there's not much to say about it.  My guess (and it's just a guess) is that there was something in the Terms & Conditions about who it applies to because there always is.  No, I don't agree that Royal runs "fake sales" because the conditions are always spelled out in the fine print, if you take the time to read it.

 

All good points.

 

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3 hours ago, Joseph2017China said:

I love posts that start off with "I'm special because I am a 'xxxxxx' ".  A sale price is always off the posted price.  Sometimes you have various sales, based on your 'status' that might give you a bigger discount then the other sale.  You choose what sale you want.  But you never get both. 

 

Did you ever get a coupon for a free flashlight because you have a loyalty card in a store.  The flashlight is $3.99.  Another customer has a coupon for the flashlight for $0.25.  A savings of $3.74.  Do you think the store should give you money back because you only saved $0.25 being loyal?  No, you just pick the better deal and get your flashlight. 

 

Hopefully a long time C&A member will help me remember but I could have sworn  that when I first started cruising 10+ years ago, the C&A Balcony Discount could be combined with at least some sales events.  At the time, I was a mere Gold member so I didn't pay much attention to the T&C. And by the time I reached a level where I could benefit from the Balcony Discount, the T&C had been changed.

 

At least, that is what I recall.

 

 

 

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FWIW, Pinnacle Club members get treated the same on balcony discounts and sales as Platinum members. 😉

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On 10/13/2019 at 11:02 PM, BirdTravels said:

Yes. Loyalty is  not recognized like others in the travel industry. 

 

I do not think I am better than new cruisers as they probably spend more than me being new... Majority of them are still not comfortable to use excursions outside of cruise line, they take photos like there is no tomorrow, buy company logo products etc.

I cruise to have fun, not to be recognized, but I sure love Diamond benefits and reciprocal Elite on Celebrity a lot. 

Edited by Tatka

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For me chasing Diamond for the benefits isn't worth it (I will need 1 more cruise after my B2B next May).

I drink very little, no caffeine, so I would rather have a (3*$9 (drink)) per day credit to use elsewhere on board like specialty dining or OBC.  The $225 balcony discount is nice.

I like RC but my journey's will be based on ports and destinations, not brand.

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On 10/16/2019 at 6:33 PM, BensonFan711 said:


First off, I was speaking in general terms, not just about that specific promotion, which is obviously aimed at new to Royal cruisers. 
 

Secondly, you missed my point. At Platinum, you’re not a “loyal customer.” That label comes with Diamond, when you start seeing some really good perks. 
 

If I run a convenience store, and you come In and buy a pack of gum once a week, and threaten to leave, fine. You don’t spend enough in my store to be worth the effort to try to keep you. But, if you come in and buy, say, 10 cartons of cigarettes per week (yes, smoking is gross, but they turn a nice profit for convenience stores), that equates to about $120/week. Yes, I will spend some effort to keep your business.

 

Airlines do the exact same thing. They will bend over backwards for their frequent flyers, but if you haven’t hit that status, you’re not one of their “loyal customers” they have any interest in trying to retain. You can become one of those customers, and you do it by flying a lot. 
 

Same thing with cruise lines. The difference is they give you “status” after your first cruise. I use that term loosely because and airline certainly won’t do that after 1 flight (generally...I got Silver on my flight to Australia, and that was one of the longest flights available in the world).  But as far as actual status goes, Royal hasn’t done enough business with you until you reach Diamond for there to be motivation for customer retention. 

So you are saying if I have a friend who cruises in Suites with Royal 6 times and reaches Diamond, she is more loyal to Royal than I am for cruising with them 11 times and I am still Emerald?   Because she spent more money, she is more loyal?  What if she bails on Royal after 6 cruises and never comes back?  I have chosen to cruise with them five more times and I am still not "loyal"? 
I certainly wish I knew the name of your convenience store so I could let your customers know that the guy who comes in weekly for a cup of coffee every week on the way to visit his grandpa at the assisted living home is NOT loyal, but the guy who drives up in his BMW and buys 10 cartons of cigarettes every year on his way to his guy's weekend is definitely a loyal VIP customer that you are going to bend over backwards to keep.   How do you know that your loyal coffee guy isn't the one who told cigarette boy about how great your store is and how he enjoys coming in every week to get his coffee on his way to visit grandpa?  How do you know coffee guy isn't the one who defends you when people say you are only nice to people who come in and spend lots of money, and he is telling people that you are nice to everyone and treat him with respect every time he comes in your store even when you buy "just a cup of coffee?" 
 

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In the world of business..... unfortunately money = loyalty.  

Enjoy your cruises and stop dwelling about the meaningless "perks" 

I rather know I'm going to beautiful places, on an amazing ship, and can afford the trip I booked.

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35 minutes ago, legaljen1969 said:

So you are saying if I have a friend who cruises in Suites with Royal 6 times and reaches Diamond, she is more loyal to Royal than I am for cruising with them 11 times and I am still Emerald?   Because she spent more money, she is more loyal?  What if she bails on Royal after 6 cruises and never comes back?  I have chosen to cruise with them five more times and I am still not "loyal"? 
I certainly wish I knew the name of your convenience store so I could let your customers know that the guy who comes in weekly for a cup of coffee every week on the way to visit his grandpa at the assisted living home is NOT loyal, but the guy who drives up in his BMW and buys 10 cartons of cigarettes every year on his way to his guy's weekend is definitely a loyal VIP customer that you are going to bend over backwards to keep.   How do you know that your loyal coffee guy isn't the one who told cigarette boy about how great your store is and how he enjoys coming in every week to get his coffee on his way to visit grandpa?  How do you know coffee guy isn't the one who defends you when people say you are only nice to people who come in and spend lots of money, and he is telling people that you are nice to everyone and treat him with respect every time he comes in your store even when you buy "just a cup of coffee?" 
 


Actually, yes, your friend IS more loyal to Royal. Those 5 cruise added up to 80 points, which is 40-80 nights, depending on whether or not there were double points on any of them. Your 11 cruises could have been 3 or 4 nights each, and unless you got double points on all of them, you didn’t get close to 80 points. 
 

Double points for suites are because of the price difference. A JS (generally) is about 2x the price of an interior - you get rewarded for that. 
 

Virtually every single business works this way. Ever change cell phone companies? If you have an individual plan with one phone, you won’t get much incentive to stay. Manage a corporate account? They will TRIP over themselves to keep you. I’ve been a decision maker in vendor selection in my professional life, and this happens every single day - the more money you spend with a particular company, the more appealing you are as a customer, and the more effort they will expend to keep you. 
 

Also, I never said I wasn’t nice to the guy buying groceries (or coffee, in your scenario). What I said is that I’m not going to offers a whole lot of discounts or perks, if that customer chooses to shop elsewhere. Same is true with Royal - the ship crew is (generally) a nice bunch who do their best to create a good trip for you. But, they have zero control over the rewards system - that comes from corporate. It’s not personal; it’s business. The better the customer (which means money spent); the more you work to keep them. 

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22 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:


Actually, yes, your friend IS more loyal to Royal. Those 5 cruise added up to 80 points, which is 40-80 nights, depending on whether or not there were double points on any of them. Your 11 cruises could have been 3 or 4 nights each, and unless you got double points on all of them, you didn’t get close to 80 points. 
 

Double points for suites are because of the price difference. A JS (generally) is about 2x the price of an interior - you get rewarded for that. 
 

Virtually every single business works this way. Ever change cell phone companies? If you have an individual plan with one phone, you won’t get much incentive to stay. Manage a corporate account? They will TRIP over themselves to keep you. I’ve been a decision maker in vendor selection in my professional life, and this happens every single day - the more money you spend with a particular company, the more appealing you are as a customer, and the more effort they will expend to keep you. 
 

Also, I never said I wasn’t nice to the guy buying groceries (or coffee, in your scenario). What I said is that I’m not going to offers a whole lot of discounts or perks, if that customer chooses to shop elsewhere. Same is true with Royal - the ship crew is (generally) a nice bunch who do their best to create a good trip for you. But, they have zero control over the rewards system - that comes from corporate. It’s not personal; it’s business. The better the customer (which means money spent); the more you work to keep them. 

But your assumption is that I am choosing the cheapest interior cabin to get to my points, and doing the cheapest thing I can to get my points.  Maybe that's actually the way I should be doing it now that you mention it.  I should quit spending my money on balcony cabins since my loyalty recognition is the same if I stay in the smallest worst cabin on the ship or the nicest most expensive balcony that is not a suite.  
Thanks. 

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