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What's changed since 2015?


LissyTx
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What's new?

 

I haven't cruised Royal in about 4 years.  What's new or changed since I last cruised?  (Besides new ships.  I mean things I might want to be aware of when cruising in a few weeks.)

 

Thanks!

Melissa

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4 minutes ago, bluehorizonlover123 said:

Hard beds is what I remember.

Hard beds are luck or bad luck of the draw . It’s all relative. 
 

Nothing Has drastically changed . 
 

just enjoy . 

 

Edited by ssb
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Hmmm...4 years...could be wrong but here's a few:

 

* The Key

* Downloading a photo online (some ships)

* No, room service is no longer free...unless you're in a suite.

* Most specialty restaurants, including JR, may have gone up in prices.

* Seemingly more aggressive in selling specialty restaurants.

* Izumi has "all you can eat prices"...some ships.

* More concierge lounges turned into suite lounges.

* Less bathroom toiletries.

* Ok, something really minor but we noticed last week they no longer use saucers under you coffee cup.

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1 hour ago, bonsai3s said:

Hmmm...4 years...could be wrong but here's a few:

 

* The Key

* Downloading a photo online (some ships)

* No, room service is no longer free...unless you're in a suite.

* Most specialty restaurants, including JR, may have gone up in prices.

* Seemingly more aggressive in selling specialty restaurants.

* Izumi has "all you can eat prices"...some ships.

* More concierge lounges turned into suite lounges.

* Less bathroom toiletries.

* Ok, something really minor but we noticed last week they no longer use saucers under you coffee cup.

 

Most CL's turned into inside cabins, and a new SL was created in the VCL😉

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It's been since 2016 for us.  As expected, prices have increased for everything.  An example:  Chops used to be $25 or maybe $35.... now it's $50pp.  And the Unlimited Beverage Package?  Holy Moly!  So in addition to what others have already mentioned, here are some things I found that have changed since we last sailed:

 

  • RC has an app, I find it handy for a couple thing:  It has a nice deck plan and MDR menus are available.  It says you can reserve dining and excursions with it, also view your ship board account.  The calendar doesn't work for me (none of my reservations show on it).  I've heard the built-in messaging app doesn't work well.
  • Speaking of reservations, you need to make all of your main show reservations online through your Cruise Planner.  Otherwise the time slots you prefer may fill up.
  • Making purchases online with your Cruise Planner -- prices fluctuate!  Frankly, I think this stinks.  So you must do some research and then watch for a good price on the things you want to buy (excursions, drink pkg, etc).  That said, you CAN make a purchase and then later cancel if the price drops (re-purchase at the lower price).  Apparently prices on board will be higher, so get what you want online pre-cruise.
  • Dining Packages are new to us.  Seems it may be intentional that food quality in the MDR has declined in an effort to get us to pay for the specialty restaurants.  But you're in luck... you can buy an unlimited dining package and eat almost anywhere for dinner (and some lunches).
  • If you are a wine drinker, you are now only allowed to bring 2 bottles per stateroom (750ml).
  • Internet:  No longer per minute (maybe that still exists but I've not seen it).  Now you buy a package for the entire week... 1, 2, 3 or 4 devices, priced accordingly.  Then there's WiFi Calling to enable so you don't run up your cell bill.
  • Reef Safe sun screen is now required in most places while swimming in the ocean.
  • WOW bands nearly replace the need for a Sea Pass Card.  Still need the card to get on and off the ship, band will work for just about everything else.  And Sea Pass Cards are no longer distributed in the terminal upon check-in.  Now they are at your stateroom door on board.

I'm sure to be forgetting some things.... I'll come back if something occurs to me.  Have a great cruise!  And do some reading to catch up on all you've missed.

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4 hours ago, blackshirt said:

No change there. It has always been 2 bottles per stateroom.

I swear we used to bring 1 bottle per person.  But no matter.

 

5 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

Royal OBC can also be used pre-cruise now, via the Cruise Planner on Royal's website.

This is a great thing EXCEPT apparently it's policy for them to apply it only 2 weeks prior to sail date.  If you want it to use sooner (and who wouldn't?), you gotta call and sweet talk them into "making an exception".  Seems not everyone meets resistance but we sure did.

 

5 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

Non-refundable deposits started in 2017.

When we booked, it was after final pmt was due, so we passed deposit and went straight to paying in full.  Is the non-refundable deposit for ALL bookings?

 

Sorry, I should have realized some of the things I listed are class-specific (and sometimes ship-specific).  OP didn't mention which ship they are considering.  But here's something I forgot:  If you use the BOA rewards card, any unused OBC can be obtained in cash with a visit to Guest Services on the last day.

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6 hours ago, kruzerci said:

You genuinely have to go to a specialty restaurant to get a decent meal now. 

 

And even that is no guarantee.  Reviews on Chops have been pretty negative the last few years.   When I went in 2011, I would compare it with the finest steakhouses Ive ever been to, at least as far as service and ambiance goes.  The food was delicious too.  2015 wasnt near as great of an experience

Edited by ryano
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19 minutes ago, Ren1216 said:

...

 

This is a great thing EXCEPT apparently it's policy for them to apply it only 2 weeks prior to sail date.  If you want it to use sooner (and who wouldn't?), you gotta call and sweet talk them into "making an exception".  Seems not everyone meets resistance but we sure did....

 

That's true for Visa points OBC.  However for Next Cruise OBC or GAP (group booking) OBC, those show up right after booking.

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17 minutes ago, ryano said:

 

And even that is no guarantee.  Reviews on Chops have been pretty negative the last few years.   When I went in 2011, I would compare it with the finest steakhouses Ive ever been to, at least as far as service and ambiance goes.  The food was delicious too.  2015 wasnt near as great of an experience

We went to chops this week on Enchantment, we won't be going again.

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