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Allowed medical exemption to both having to buy Drink Package - consequences if exempted person drinks anyway?


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7 hours ago, PhoenixCruiser said:

OMG, no one is going to read all of that. Paragraphs are your friend.

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I read all that without any problem.

 

@Sandman799 As I posted earlier, I was impressed with your honorable intentions. The trouble you've gone to explaining your rationale, and this follow-up conversation with RC asking specifically whether your plan is ok, are further proof. I wish you good luck with you imbibing on board. As always, hopefully the ship acts as the rep assured you.

 

But you should know it is impossible to put any thread to bed on CC!

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So the written policy is "Every adult in a cabin must get the deluxe package if one adult in the cabin gets the deluxe package."  Is that correct?

 

BUT, if you call RCI, they don't force people to follow the policy, and instead allow them to purchase a refreshment package for adults that don't want the deluxe.  Is that correct?

 

So, since RCI doesn't enforce their policy, it's OK to bypass it?

 

So, since RCI doesn't enforce their saving seats policy around the pool, we should no longer hear complaints about chair hogs?  

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3 hours ago, S.A.M.J.R. said:

So the written policy is "Every adult in a cabin must get the deluxe package if one adult in the cabin gets the deluxe package."  Is that correct?  That is only partially correct.  That is the written policy that applies when ordering packages on line through the Cruise Planner.  That is not the policy that applies when ordering packages over the phone.

 

BUT, if you call RCI, they don't force people to follow the policy, and instead allow them to purchase a refreshment package for adults that don't want the deluxe.  Is that correct?  That also is only partially correct.  They don't force people to follow the same policy as enforced through the Cruise Planner, but do enforce a different policy as detailed in my post below.

 

So, since RCI doesn't enforce their policy, it's OK to bypass it?  That's an invalid analogy.  RCI does enforce their policy, but it's a different policy when you call than the one enforced on line through the Cruise Planner.  The inference that "if RCI doesn't enforce their policy, it's OK to bypass it" is yours, not mine.  Of course it's not OK to bypass any policy, but that is not the case in this instance.

 

So, since RCI doesn't enforce their saving seats policy around the pool, we should no longer hear complaints about chair hogs?  That again is your inference, not mine.  You should expect complaints to continue for any policy not being followed by other passengers or not enforced by RCI.  That however is not the case in this instance.  There is no policy violation here, or failure to enforce policy, so there's this comparison is also invalid.

 

Please read above replies in Red Font.  I cannot understand how (or why) someone would try to twist this into some sort of abuse that should then excuse other abuses, unless this is a reflection of their own habit that they assume others also follow.  I find the implication that I encourage bypassing policy, extending to chair hogging, to be mean spirited and undeserved, not to mention a ridiculous stretch of the imagination.  

 

It's important to distinguish that there are two separate policies, not a single policy.  Being given the two different packages when you call does not mean RCI is not following their own policy, or that the customers purchasing these packages are intentionally bypassing policy along the same lines as chair hogging.  The policy when you call is simply a different, more relaxed policy.  Rather than require all persons in the same cabin of legal age to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package, the policy when you call requires that all persons in the same cabin of legal age who do not purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package must instead purchase the Refreshment Package.  You cannot buy them the Soda Package or Water Package, or no package at all.

 

This policy does help curb sharing, although to a lesser extent, since the Refreshment Package covers everything except alcoholic drinks.  Drink sharing may still occur, but the losses are limited to alcoholic drinks, not the juices, specialty coffees, sodas, and water that the other person can just buy for themselves with their Refreshment Package.  Contrast this to the losses that occur due to sharing when others aren't required to purchase any package at all, which would extend to the specialty coffees, juices, sodas, and water, in addition to alcoholic drinks.  I do not condone drink sharing in any way, but believe the profit from the Refreshment Packages is probably high enough to greatly offset losses due to alcoholic drink sharing from those that do, or at least enough that RCI has determined the losses to be minimized enough to allow this different policy to exist.  Certainly RCI would have already done a cost/benefit analysis and determined this policy would be more advantageous overall to both the customer and their bottom line.

 

I can't say why the policy when ordering through the Cruise Planner is not the same.  I can only assume that the over the phone policy is a relaxation from a time when there was only one policy that required all persons of legal age to buy the Deluxe Beverage Package.  I further assume the software used in the Cruise Planner has not been changed to match, possibly due to the cost being higher than can be justified, given the limited cases where one person buys the Deluxe Beverage Package but the other does not.  I wouldn't say failure to make the software match is intentional in the interests of maximizing profit from those who don't know they can request a different mix of packages if they call, but there is that aspect.

 

I encourage others to call for separate packages when that's their best value, not to bypass the on-line policy, but to make use of the over the phone policy that RCI allows when that combination of packages best fits the customer's situation.  Of course that assumes they're honest people who will not share the alcoholic drinks.  Yes, that is not always the case, but we can't make all decisions based on the actions of the minority who are not honest.

 

For the record, I am completely against Chair Hogging, for which there is a single policy that both RCI and customers have been seen ignoring.  I have my own remedies to suggest to curb that, but won't go into it as I don't want this thread to be diverted into that subject.

 

Edited by Sandman799
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I think a better analogy would be comparing pricing on RCI's sister Celebrity for internet packages for Captain's Club members. There is supposed to be a discount for members. But if you buy it through the Planner, the discount does not show up. You only get it if you call. Why? They don't say. But many people can get lower prices for many things upon asking at all types of businesses. A marketing accommodation. 

 

The drink thing is not a policy that is "bypassed" by calling. It is simply a different way of promoting the same general category of beverage packages and actually helps RC get at least one sale of both the CDP and the RP when otherwise they might get only a la carte sales of all drinks. 

 

The fact that there are those of us who might seek it out for medical reasons does not, apparently, mean that it is intended solely for those reasons as I had feared. Happy to be sitting corrected!

 

So, Bravissimo to @Sandman799 and to RC!

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On 2/1/2020 at 7:46 PM, Sandman799 said:

My wife takes a lot of heavy duty medication, so she generally does not drink alcohol, other than very rarely a single drink in an entire day, or a glass of wine with dinner.  For our Symphony of the Seas cruise this fall, I called Royal Caribbean and told them that for medical reasons, my wife could not drink, so based on that they allowed me to purchase the Deluxe drink package for myself, and the Refreshment package for her.  It was probably an over-exaggeration to say she cannot drink as she can have a single drink, such as a drink with dinner with no ill effect.  I really have thought about just buying a separate package for her, but at a minimum cost of $61/per day (Black Friday sale) to current price of $65/per day, it's just a waste of money when she would only have one or at the very most, two drinks per day.  I know we can bring two bottles of wine on board, but we're not big wine drinkers.  

 

I have no intention of sharing my drink package because I personally believe that's stealing, so if she wants a drink with dinner I plan to pay separately for it.  I just wonder what would happen the first time we attempted to buy her an alcoholic drink.   Would the computer flag that as a violation of the basis for her being given the exemption which allowed her to buy the Refreshment package instead?  Would we then be charged for another Deluxe drink package?  If that would happen from buying a drink with her SeaPass card, I could always just use my card and tell the bartenders that it's for someone else and to ring it up separately from my package, then pass it off to her, but don't want to have to be sneaky about it.  If I'm sitting at a bar and she is able to have a single drink, I'd like to be able to buy that separately without any issues and without having to sneak off somewhere to give it to her.  We're not trying to cheat the system, as we'd be paying full price for those drinks, but at the same time, it's a bit of a gray area when we were allowed this exemption, saving the cost of a second drink package, but would nevertheless like to order an occasional drink for her, even if paid for separately (again, no more than one or two per day).

 

I just don't know what the policy is for those who for medical reasons are given this exemption - does that mean they cannot drink at all, even a single drink, and if they do, would they then have to buy the full Deluxe drink package?  If anyone else has been given this same exemption, please let me know what happened if you then ordered a drink for the person to whom the exemption was granted.  Thanks!

 

Order a drink a la carte and be charged for it.  Simple. 

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1 hour ago, Sandman799 said:

It's important to distinguish that there are two separate policies, not a single policy. 

OK.  With the drink package, you get "Policy A" if you sign up online and "Policy B" if you call.  Of course, everyone will want to take advantage of Policy B because it's more advantageous.  No problem.

 

With chair hogging, you get "Policy A" (no chair hogging allowed) if you ask anyone about it, but "Policy B" (go ahead, we won't enforce it unless someone complains.) when you get on the ship.  Same same.

 

Now, why bring it up?  Because it's fun to watch people get their knickers in a twist to justify what they do. 

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, S.A.M.J.R. said:

OK.  With the drink package, you get "Policy A" if you sign up online and "Policy B" if you call.  Of course, everyone will want to take advantage of Policy B because it's more advantageous.  No problem.

 

With chair hogging, you get "Policy A" (no chair hogging allowed) if you ask anyone about it, but "Policy B" (go ahead, we won't enforce it unless someone complains.) when you get on the ship.  Same same.

 

Now, why bring it up?  Because it's fun to watch people get their knickers in a twist to justify what they do. 

 

 

 

 

 

You're comparing apples to oranges.  Nobody is breaking any policies with the drink packages.  There are two policies - one for online and one by phone.  Policy B actually isn't more advantageous if both people in the cabin plan to drink several alcohol beverages per day.  With chair hogging, there is one policy which isn't enforced.  Not the same thing at all.

 

The only people I see getting their knickers in a twist are those who weren't aware that by calling they could have opted for a drink package and a refreshment package.  A lack of awareness on your part does not mean the rest of us are cheating the system.

Edited by lovemylab
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If I recall, when the policy was changed requiring all in cabin there were no exceptions. Then after a bunch of complaints, they allowed medical exceptions. It seems the policy has evolved. 
 

The policy was changed because of people sharing. I’ve seen it. Some are a bit more clever than others. 
 

This would be a good question for MB on next Presidents Cruise. I’m sure he would be glad to address the “current” policy. 

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There are not 2 policies, there are exceptions to the single policy. RCI has set these exceptions and no one is doing anything wrong by utilising it. 

 

Anyone who thinks it’s reasonable to compare that to chair hogs is ridiculous 

Edited by BekkaW
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On 2/1/2020 at 9:06 PM, Sandman799 said:

 

True, that is an option, but as stated in the OP, we'd prefer to not have to be sneaky about it.  Who needs the stress of worrying about getting caught doing something wrong while on vacation?  I thought they may be OK with us paying full price separately if we really only bought a few drinks for her.  I could keep all purchases on my card to be on the safe side, but what if anyone took note of the fact that the drinks were given to her, and she was given the exemption?  Not sure they'd go to that amount of trouble, but wanted to at least know how this has worked for others.

They won't care.  You don't even need a medical exemption in order to buy one package.

 

Once on board, they certainly aren't going to say no to your money.

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29 minutes ago, constable145 said:

They won't care.  You don't even need a medical exemption in order to buy one package.

 

Once on board, they certainly aren't going to say no to your money.

Exactly

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4 hours ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

If I recall, when the policy was changed requiring all in cabin there were no exceptions. Then after a bunch of complaints, they allowed medical exceptions. It seems the policy has evolved. 
 

The policy was changed because of people sharing. I’ve seen it. Some are a bit more clever than others. 
 

This would be a good question for MB on next Presidents Cruise. I’m sure he would be glad to address the “current” policy. 

When the policy was first rolled out they listed 5 reasons for sn exemption and if you fell into one of those reasons you could purchase the package without the other person having to purchase anything additional. It evolved into Royal getting an extra $19 a day by allowing the purchase of the refreshment package. 

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My 2 cents, I bet The drink package defaults to 2 passengers on purpose knowing that new cruisers won’t challenge it and the majority who purchase it want it for both adults anyway. In life exceptions are always made and the only guarantees are taxes and death. 

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Wouldn't this problem go away if they just sold a drink card package with x amount of drinks for a discounted price... then they could just sell drink cards online in advance with an additional  pre cruise discount like specialty dining??  If they can put 3 drinks on your card for diamonds and up for certain times every day during the cruise which we use on the oasis class ships, it does not see too far a stretch to put a specific amount of drinks on a seapass card for the entire cruise .. 

they track most everything else you do with that card..  but maybe I am not seeing a down side that others may... 

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My husband temporarily took a medication which made it very ill advised for him to drink. He also could not drink sodas or caffeine while taking it. Even after he stopped taking it there was a period when it still made him a bit uncomfortable if he had more than one alcoholic drink in a day or more than 2-3 in a week.

 

We got the medical exemption for him on two cruises. On one cruise he just drank the free stuff and on the other cruise where he could have an alcoholic drink occasionally he just paid for his alcoholic drinks. On the cruise where he wasn't on the medication any longer we did get him the soda package because he did drink a little of that.

 

No one seemed to be monitoring it that closely as far as we noticed, but then again we weren't concerned because we were paying for his drinks. I would not buy an expensive alcoholic drink package for someone who wasn't going to use it to any reasonable degree. I don't feel badly about not purchasing something we didn't need. Royal doesn't care about your wife who can only drink in very limited amounts and who pays for what she does drink as she should. They only care about people who try to share drink plans. 

Edited by CoolNickname
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On 2/1/2020 at 9:25 PM, icsys said:

Your card or her card, it goes on the same folio number doesn't it?

What I find totally bizarre is why someone who has purchased a refreshment package cannot then purchase an alcoholic drink!

 

I would bet that Royal Caribbean flags your folio if you request an exemption. Otherwise everyone could request one. It is their policy and they have the right to defend and protect it from abuse.

 

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1 hour ago, rcclmiami said:

I would bet that Royal Caribbean flags your folio if you request an exemption. Otherwise everyone could request one. It is their policy and they have the right to defend and protect it from abuse.

 

How can anyone abuse a policy that has zero limitations?

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2 hours ago, rcclmiami said:

I would bet that Royal Caribbean flags your folio if you request an exemption. Otherwise everyone could request one. It is their policy and they have the right to defend and protect it from abuse.

 

 Do you really believe what you are saying? This would actually promote sharing the deluxe package if they thought they were being  monitored  when they purchased a cocktail, beer or wine with a medical exemption. They would also be assuming that they are purchasing it for themselves when they could actually be buying someone they just met a drink.

Edited by Iamcruzin
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On 2/18/2020 at 4:35 PM, TennisCaptain said:

Wouldn't this problem go away if they just sold a drink card package with x amount of drinks for a discounted price... then they could just sell drink cards online in advance with an additional  pre cruise discount like specialty dining??  If they can put 3 drinks on your card for diamonds and up for certain times every day during the cruise which we use on the oasis class ships, it does not see too far a stretch to put a specific amount of drinks on a seapass card for the entire cruise .. 

they track most everything else you do with that card..  but maybe I am not seeing a down side that others may... 

Sure, Royal could do it with drink cards loaded on SeaPass but they choose not too. It’s their Sandbox. 

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On 2/8/2020 at 6:59 PM, marci22 said:

My comment pertains to the worker found deceased. 

 

On 2/1/2020 at 9:25 PM, icsys said:

Your card or her card, it goes on the same folio number doesn't it?

What I find totally bizarre is why someone who has purchased a refreshment package cannot then purchase an alcoholic drink!

 

 

21 hours ago, mayleeman said:

How can anyone abuse a policy that has zero limitations?

The limitations are that all people in a cabin have the package. They (reclusive) see this as eliminating sharing. Granting an exemption takes this safeguard away. So they have to ensure that the exemption is legitimate by tracking alcohol usage by the exempt passenger. If they have ONE drink recliner can see this as a breach of contract.

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15 hours ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

And you know this how?

I know it because a VP of Royal told me so. There were a bunch of company VIPs on our first cruise because it was a new ship. I ended up chatting with a couple of company VIPs seated in the bar one afternoon. I didn't know she was a VP at the time but friends I made on CC from our roll call later told me that is who she was. 

 

The topic of drink plans came up and I mentioned my husband was going in for treatment so he either wouldn't be able to drink or would be extremely limited on our next cruise and he doesn't drink coffee or tea either. She told me flat out Royal doesn't care about forcing people who legit can't drink to pay for an alcoholic drink plan they cannot use. They just don't want people stealing by sharing one drink plan. Which I thought was very reasonable. I asked was it ok if he didn't get a plan but paid for any alcohol he did end up being able to have a la carte and she said that was perfectly fine.

 

When I called to ask for permission for just one drink plan for the cruise where we knew my hubby could have a little alcohol I did not say my husband could not drink as that would have been a lie. I told them straight up my husband was extremely limited on the amount of alcohol he could drink due to a medication he'd recently taken, and he doesn't drink coffee or tea at all either. They said it was fine and allowed me to just purchase a drink plan for myself. 

 

Clarification: There was one cruise husband could have no alcohol or caffeine and one where he was able to have limited amounts of either. We did not buy an alcoholic drink package for him either cruise.

 

Over the entire 7 day cruise my husband was able to have limited alcohol he had 2 alcoholic drinks. A pina colada one day in a bar and another he picked up in the casino bar before dinner on another day. He paid full price for both. As far as we could tell no one cared. I assume they watch for things like people getting a drink and handing it over to someone else. 

 

Our next two cruises we both had the drink plan because we purchased during sales where those were included in the price when we booked.

 

Edit: Both times my husband did not have an alcoholic drink package but I did were after Royal instituted the everyone in the cabin has to have a drink plan rule. 

Edited by CoolNickname
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