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What are peoples thoughts on Always INcluded?


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Not liking it at all!

 

I prefer to pay for what I actually want or use and not for a full package I don´t require.

I don´t drink so I am fine with a soda package and DW is fine with her few glasses of wine.
If we got the Beverage Package for a good price we booked it for convenience. If not we simply paid for the drinks we had.

 

We also don´t need the internet package. We are on vacation. In the few cases were we required internet to check on work projects we used Skyroam. 


I was always able to do the math and always had the choice to book according to our actual requirements. Being forced to take it all is no benefit for us. And it´s definitely not cheaper... We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch 🙂

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I can only go by our experience as to how we have approached the change.

 

At any given time in the last decade, we have always had 4-5 Celebrity cruises "in the bank" for the next 2 years or so, after completing something around 30 sailings and Elite +

 

Since the change (and the nosebleed pricing that has accompanied it) we have booked a total of 8 sailings, none of which are with =X=.  5 with NCL (better itinerary and considerably lower cost), 1 with Azamara (the upcharge from =X= well worth it), 1 with Princess (ability to book either with perks or without) and 1 with HAL (same:  Perks or no perks).

 

Which means we now have 13 sailings "in the bank" between now and mid-2023 and only 1 is with =X=.

Would I be happier if there were more with Celebrity?  Absolutely.  But no way I pay approaching double to sail with them.

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9 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

beachfanatic there are hundreds of posts on this topic from when it was first announced if you do a search here on the Celebrity board.

Exactly --- For a minute I thought Pinboy's memory is worse than it is --

Maybe it's time for some new topics--- Like , 

" Strange " Birds " we met while cruising " .

" Dining room " Slip Ups ".

" My encounter with the Captain " 

" Why the hell am I on CC so much "

or, LOL---bring back my favorite " Who's On Board " ?????

 

 

 

 

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We have two cruises booked on Celebrity in Oct 2022. My travel agent offered me two prices - all included or with no perks. Just for the record, we like having the drink package, WiFi, and prepaid grats. The OBC, not so much.

 

I did the math. For the first cruise, it made sense to book no perks because  it was cheaper to buy the perks separately that we’d use.. The second cruise, it was cost effective to pay the fare with the perks. 

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1 minute ago, Pinboy said:

Exactly --- For a minute I thought Pinboy's memory is worse than it is --

Maybe it's time for some new topics--- Like , 

" Strange " Birds " we met while cruising " .

" Dining room " Slip Ups ".

" My encounter with the Captain " 

" Why the hell am I on CC so much "

or, LOL---bring back my favorite " Who's On Board " ?????

HaHa.  I actually like your topic suggestions!

But "Who's On Board" is too simple-  Answer is Nobody.

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I am not new to cruising- we absolutely love it... but our trip to Alaska 2022 will be our first cruise on Celebrity.

Honestly, we booked Celebrity because it had the itinerary we wanted at the time frame we needed AND because of "Always Included".

This was very attractive to us. It was the thing that helped us make the decision to book with Celebrity. They "sold" us on choosing them by offering this for the future. We adore cruising- but we have always said we would prefer to have the costs upfront instead of in the bill at the end.  

We like having drinks, wifi, and tips already in the price- and we upgraded to the "Elevate" package to get the premium drinks included. Certainly, we are prepared for any additional costs like souvenirs, specialty dining, and such to be on a bill at the end... but the idea that we can step on the ship and just enjoy is something we are very interested in.

We had booked on a different line for Alaska in 2020- but that did not happen, obviously.

So when we started to plan for 2022, we considered many options... but Celebrity's "Always Included" really was the deciding factor. The company attracted new customers in us because of it.

We are looking forward to our Alaska cruise with Celebrity... Can't wait!

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I'm not likely it at all.  It took a long time to get to Elite + and now I feel like benefits are being taken away.  Usually do not get the beverage package nor unlimited internet, as whatever was included was more than sufficient for me.  Also as a single, who usually cruises with a friend, but has cruised solo also, it's not fair to the solo cruiser. 

 

The cruises I have booked on Celebrity now have all been lift&shift or booked before All Inclusive came to be, so I'm not sure what I will do in the future.  At this point, I don't see booking another cruise till the cruise lines actually start sailing as I'm booked through 2022 as it is.

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20 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

HaHa.  I actually like your topic suggestions!

But "Who's On Board" is too simple-  Answer is Nobody.

That's what I was going to say.

 

" Why the hell am I on CC so much " is easy for me - essentially all of my other idle entertainment options are gone, so this at least still exists.

 

As to the question at hand - I like the "Always Included" approach. At this point, it is not really possible to draw a conclusion as to whether prices will be proportionally higher because of it, since the market as it exists right now is not operating under the usual economic patterns. I personally do not like to pay attention to what I spend on glasses of wine (or a bottle) with dinner every night and can make use of Internet minutes, as I am a self-employed consultant (no one to cover for me during "vacation"). OBC isn't that critical, but on our last Celebrity trip, which was in a suite and came with the AI inclusions regardless, we used the OBC to pay for a behind-the-scenes tour.

 

Understand that this is situationally specific to me and may or may nor apply to anyone else. If the question had been, "Do you think AI is a good marketing idea for Celebrity?" my answer would differ.

 

 

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My first thought is what ever email promotion comes from Celebrity will go right to my trash box.

That save me a lot of times now a day.

Thank you Celebrity. 

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14 hours ago, TeaBag said:

I don't like the idea of paying for what I used to get for free as Elite+.  So Celebrity has lost me except for the cruises I had booked before the AI was introduced.

My words exactly.  The main perks included for  Elite+ must now be paid for with the AI pricing.  What is the benefit of being a Captain's Club member?

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1 minute ago, jmfdr said:

My words exactly.  The main perks included for  Elite+ must now be paid for with the AI pricing.  What is the benefit of being a Captain's Club member?

What perks/benefits are being lost as elite or elite plus? 

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I don't really drink. I might have one or two per cruise. I am Elite so I took those couple from the Elite hour. So now having to pay for something I really won't use. Also I go on vacation to get away and disconnect. I only use the internet to check in for my return flight and maybe check email once or twice...there again that was an Elite perk.

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11 minutes ago, davekathy said:

What perks/benefits are being lost as elite or elite plus? 

The perks I am losing as an Elite are the daily cocktail hour and included free drinks that more than cover out total beverage needs and  choice the free wifi minutes or a discount on a wifi package.  Neither of us drink much so any alcohol package is a waste for us and we prefer to have the choice of using our free minutes to taking the discounted package depending on the cruise length.  

 

Looking at the prepaid grats that are now "included", for years I have used TAs that paid those for me so that is another loss for me.  Bundling is fine when I can pick and choose what I want to bundle but when it is take or not, I lean towards the not.  We bought a new car last summer. One dealer had a car I liked but it had $600 in extras that I had no use for, another dealer had the same car without the unwanted extras, guess which car I bought?    Why pay for something I don't need or want?  I know everyone's needs and wants are different but AI is not for me.

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The 123, 123 Go, BBB , etc. programs  have been around for a long time.  IMO those programs have always created confusion among Celebrity cruisers.  People would say my TA gave me some perk, or we got the perks because we booked on board.  In realty the perks were from Celebrity and available at the same price from Celebrity for everyone. (Except the on board OBC offered)


It has been a long time since many of us have cruised without the BBB bundle.  The CC benefits have  been less valuable to most of us for a long time.  
 

The AI is very easy to understand.  It is not all inclusive, but covers many  of the items that are of value to many cruisers.  At the same time, it may provide some “none AI” bargains after final payment.  
 

Until cruising restarts and the demand stabilizes, we will not really know the cost impact of the AI change.  For those large numbers of us who normally cruise with all the perks of the previous programs,  it should not impact the cost.  (Perhaps lower due to the volume?).

 

Pricing is really crazy right now.  Personally I think the  previous very generous L&S program has driven up prices for all of us.  Certainly looks bad when the remaining cabins have such high prices. This leads to Celebrity being less competitive. 

 

I also  believe that most of us will continue to compare prices with Celebrity’s  competitors.  The Celebrity “false” higher prices will drive more people away.  The irony is that many people booked on those cruises are paying much less than prevailing rates due to the L&S program.  If everyone had access to those lower rates, they might book with Celebrity instead of a competitor.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jmfdr said:

My words exactly.  The main perks included for  Elite+ must now be paid for with the AI pricing.  What is the benefit of being a Captain's Club member?

Well, from just checking X's website, there are a whole host of benefits members of CC can take advantage of at all levels which do not include drinks, WiFi or gratuities...

 

YET, if one only uses CC status for drinks and WiFi, then there is no value to continue to sail on X and the point is valid.

 

bon voyage

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1 hour ago, Mr. Click said:

The perks I am losing as an Elite are the daily cocktail hour and included free drinks that more than cover out total beverage needs and  choice the free wifi minutes or a discount on a wifi package.  Neither of us drink much so any alcohol package is a waste for us and we prefer to have the choice of using our free minutes to taking the discounted package depending on the cruise length.  

 

Looking at the prepaid grats that are now "included", for years I have used TAs that paid those for me so that is another loss for me.  Bundling is fine when I can pick and choose what I want to bundle but when it is take or not, I lean towards the not.  We bought a new car last summer. One dealer had a car I liked but it had $600 in extras that I had no use for, another dealer had the same car without the unwanted extras, guess which car I bought?    Why pay for something I don't need or want?  I know everyone's needs and wants are different but AI is not for me.

We aren't wild about the whole AI concept either. Maybe it will be short lived (?). We'll continue to cruise with Celebrity so we'll adjust accordingly.  Losing the 2 hour CC HH in the Sky Lounge is a bummer. Snacks were ok but we won't miss them. The Sky Lounge was a nice place to start out the evening. But we only would have one or two drinks before heading down to the MDR. Now we'll find another bar to enjoy our predinner drinks. Once in the MDR we used the CBP for wine and water for the meal.  Pre CV-19 cruises we always selected the CBP as one of our bundled perks. Glad it's one of the AI. Depending on the length of the cruise we selected gratuities or OBC as the other bundled perk. Glad gratuities is one of the AI. WiFi is a huge waste for us. We always stay disconnected while on cruises. I never used all of our CC internet minutes. Maybe 15 minutes to book airline tickets for the trip home. When doing B2B cruises I never used any of the CC internet minutes for the first leg. There are other elite CC perks/benefits we never used and won't use. And there are still a lot of CC perks/benefits that have not been taken away and we will still continue to use them. Gratuities was never a CC perk/benefit so no loss there. I have no problem with gratuities being added to the cost. Maybe you can negotiate with your TA concerning gratuities. If not give the extra to the staff that went above and beyond. So do you take advantage of all the elite CC perks/benefits that you have paid for? So other than what you posted what other CC upper tier level perks/benefits have been eliminated with the AI concept? Have you voiced your dissatisfaction with the CC (1-800-760-0654)?

Edited by davekathy
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32 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

The 123, 123 Go, BBB , etc. programs  have been around for a long time.  IMO those programs have always created confusion among Celebrity cruisers.  People would say my TA gave me some perk, or we got the perks because we booked on board.  In realty the perks were from Celebrity and available at the same price from Celebrity for everyone. (Except the on board OBC offered)


It has been a long time since many of us have cruised without the BBB bundle.  The CC benefits have  been less valuable to most of us for a long time.  
 

The AI is very easy to understand.  It is not all inclusive, but covers many  of the items that are of value to many cruisers.  At the same time, it may provide some “none AI” bargains after final payment.  
 

Until cruising restarts and the demand stabilizes, we will not really know the cost impact of the AI change.  For those large numbers of us who normally cruise with all the perks of the previous programs,  it should not impact the cost.  (Perhaps lower due to the volume?).

 

Pricing is really crazy right now.  Personally I think the  previous very generous L&S program has driven up prices for all of us.  Certainly looks bad when the remaining cabins have such high prices. This leads to Celebrity being less competitive. 

 

I also  believe that most of us will continue to compare prices with Celebrity’s  competitors.  The Celebrity “false” higher prices will drive more people away.  The irony is that many people booked on those cruises are paying much less than prevailing rates due to the L&S program.  If everyone had access to those lower rates, they might book with Celebrity instead of a competitor.

 

 

 

 

If I were a person that takes multiple cruises each year, I would definitely "channel surf" but as we only do one each year, and are extremely satisfied with Celebrity, it works for us.  Understand why it does not for others though.

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Just now, PTC DAWG said:

It's a shame this hasn't been discussed in other threads.  🙂

LOL--- I'm happy this topic came up for the xx time--- Just this morning , around 3 AM,  I was thinking , " I wonder if anyone on CC changed their mind about the AI in the last month " ??  

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Pinboy said:

LOL--- I'm happy this topic came up for the xx time--- Just this morning , around 3 AM,  I was thinking , " I wonder if anyone on CC changed their mind about the AI in the last month " ??  

 

 

Thanks for lurking, sharing and keeping the thread going. Twice.  🤣

Edited by davekathy
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1 minute ago, UnorigionalName said:

I think everyone will eventually move to WiFi included.  Can't wait for the day that airlines also start having free wifi. 

I only wish I was that important, that I couldn't stay out of touch for a few hours.  

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Davekathy, yes I have voiced my concerns directly to the Captains Club.  I know it is fine for some but being required to pay for the whole bundle is a waste of money for me. We currently have a Panama Canal cruise booked for this Sept, not likely to sail but if it does I get free grats and about $375 in OBC on a cruise that will cost me under $8K.  If I move it to next year the cost goes up to over 10 to 11k depending on the dates.  That is a lot of extra money for someone whose daily "drinks" consist of a diet coke and a water or two.  The Sky Lounge time was much more about having a nice place to hang out with friends and meet some of the staff who came by to interact.   As I told the nice lady at the Captains Club, the only good thing in AI for me is it now gives me a reason to look beyond Celebrity if we ever start cruising again.  We have really enjoyed our trips with them and without the pandemic we would be close to Elite Plus now but that is not happening.  Stay safe and be well.

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1 minute ago, Mr. Click said:

Davekathy, yes I have voiced my concerns directly to the Captains Club.  I know it is fine for some but being required to pay for the whole bundle is a waste of money for me. We currently have a Panama Canal cruise booked for this Sept, not likely to sail but if it does I get free grats and about $375 in OBC on a cruise that will cost me under $8K.  If I move it to next year the cost goes up to over 10 to 11k depending on the dates.  That is a lot of extra money for someone whose daily "drinks" consist of a diet coke and a water or two.  The Sky Lounge time was much more about having a nice place to hang out with friends and meet some of the staff who came by to interact.   As I told the nice lady at the Captains Club, the only good thing in AI for me is it now gives me a reason to look beyond Celebrity if we ever start cruising again.  We have really enjoyed our trips with them and without the pandemic we would be close to Elite Plus now but that is not happening.  Stay safe and be well.

Glad to hear you voiced your concerns with the Captains Club. More should. I have. Like I said in a earlier post maybe this whole AI thing will be short lived and go away like the dumb idea Celebrity had with the pay for so called gourmet 'burgers at the Mask/Pool Grill a few years ago. 😉 Take care.

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