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Zenith Members What are our benefits now?


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With regards to the news of the Retreat Lounge usage for Zeniths I spoke to Kathleen Barbrooke who is the Director of Sales and Trade Services for UK and Ireland (and therefore near the top of the tree here) to voice my concerns for its future use for us. I was told that there were no plans to make this a permanent change, but that the decision had been made in light of Covid.

 

Like others here I'm dubious about it returning. I hope I'm wrong as this for me was a major benefit. I'm no longer a fan of the music or musak that permeates the ship these days and Retreat was a nice haven. 

 

There has been a gradual erosion of all Captain's Club benefits for many with the advent of special offers, pricing structures and now Always Included. This could be another. 

 

Oh and finally, there is no way they will wheel me up in front of the camera to chat to the Cruise Director. No way José!

 

Phil

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3 hours ago, Shadow9612 said:

No, I haven't.  Since I am not Zenith, I'm only expressing my opinions in this forum as part of a discussion, based on what I'm reading from others.

 

I do regularly provide feedback to Celebrity via the questionnaire and email after each sailing I take, highlighting what I was impressed with, and any shortcomings (IF any, which isn't always the case). 

 

In particular, I try to highlight outstanding crew as I believe this is important for their promotion/progress, and this is where I would provide constructive feedback.

 

So, if I ever achieved Zenith (not likely), this feedback letter would be when I mentioned this point about Retreat for Zenith - at a time when it actually affects me.  (I feel out of place complaining about something that is not my experience to complain about).

 

However, as I complete this post reply, it just occurred to me I could mention it next time onboard to the Captain Club Host, as a discussion/comment rather than a 'complaint' per-se, so thank you 🙂.

 

 

I consider it the trickle down effect as any changes will have an impact on most of us at sometime. I concern myself with any Captains Club changes, no matter the tier level and do voice my opinion, concern, complaint, and comments (for what's it's worth) to the CC rather than here on CC. Also I'd rather not waste my time or the Captains Club host time while on the ship.  

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4 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

With regards to the news of the Retreat Lounge usage for Zeniths I spoke to Kathleen Barbrooke who is the Director of Sales and Trade Services for UK and Ireland (and therefore near the top of the tree here) to voice my concerns for its future use for us. I was told that there were no plans to make this a permanent change, but that the decision had been made in light of Covid.

 

Like others here I'm dubious about it returning. I hope I'm wrong as this for me was a major benefit. I'm no longer a fan of the music or musak that permeates the ship these days and Retreat was a nice haven. 

 

There has been a gradual erosion of all Captain's Club benefits for many with the advent of special offers, pricing structures and now Always Included. This could be another. 

 

Oh and finally, there is no way they will wheel me up in front of the camera to chat to the Cruise Director. No way José!

 

Phil

Celebrity is using COVID as a convenient excuse to take away benefits!!!!
I agree with Orator that we are the only ones in the Lounge much of the time just looking for a quiet place to relax. I also agree that we will not do an interview with the Cruise Director advertising their product.

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45 minutes ago, cruising teacher said:

Celebrity is using COVID as a convenient excuse to take away benefits!!!!
I agree with Orator that we are the only ones in the Lounge much of the time just looking for a quiet place to relax. I also agree that we will not do an interview with the Cruise Director advertising their product.

I disagree about using COVID to take away benefits. I might be missing something, but my line-by-line comparison of the Zenith benefits before vs after the closure, the only benefits I see missing are very specific to those that one would expect to be affected by COVID - gathering in enclosed space (lounge) and crowding (priority embarkation). Even the addition of AI did not exactly take away benefits - it watered some down, but those benefits still exist when not sailing under AI. Other benefits have been added or expanded. The changes are not simply all negative.

 

And the interview is only for the top cruiser. In addition to the opportunity for the interview is a complimentary dinner at a specialty dining restaurant, along with complimentary flowers and wine.

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8 hours ago, Shadow9612 said:

 

 

I'm not sure the total number of suite guests on an avg sailing, but really... if there are 8, 10, or 20 Zeniths on that same cruise, what are the chances of them all showing up at the same time?

 

I realize suite guests pay a lot on a sailing and may feel their space is being intruded upon, but it's not easy to get to Zenith without suite sailings, which means those guests who have achieved Zenith have also paid $$$ over the many many years.  This benefit should not be removed.  

 

Not a logical decision to remove Zeniths from MC/Retreat imho.

Actually many of those people that are Zenith probably reached it without cruising in Suites. Under the old program, I'm not sure when it changed, but within the last 10 years, they did not go by points but number of cruises. Any room was 1, if the cruise was over 14 days it was 2, stay in Concierge or higher and get an extra point, regardless of cruise length. It took 100 to attain the Zenith level. I personally made Elite in 5 cruises under that system. It took 10 to reach Elite. They begin to be overrun with Elites which was one factor in the change. I think you'll also find many of the Zeniths are FL residents that could jump on the last minute deals that are pretty much non existent these days. There are of course exceptions. 

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7 hours ago, ORV said:

........ I think you'll also find many of the Zeniths are FL residents that could jump on the last minute deals that are pretty much non existent these days. There are of course exceptions. 

 

As someone who actually reached the Zenith level of the Captain's Club I don't agree that "many of the Zeniths are FL residents......"

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12 hours ago, cruising teacher said:

Celebrity is using COVID as a convenient excuse to take away benefits!!!!
I agree with Orator that we are the only ones in the Lounge much of the time just looking for a quiet place to relax. I also agree that we will not do an interview with the Cruise Director advertising their product.

I wouldn't disagree with you. We will just have to wait and see. I remember being on a cruise to Hawaii not long before Covid and there were quite a few Zeniths (probably 22. I just checked the Blu lunch group photo they did for us) and I didn't see them all crowding into Michael's Club. And of course a few of them were staying in suites so would have access to it anyway. 

 

If they do tell us we are no longer welcome after all this it would be an awful cop out. 

 

Phil 

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It’s a deal breaker for us.  I don’t cope with crowds and noise so well nowadays hence why I liked Blu and having access to The Retreat.  My dollars will be with smaller ships if this change stays. 

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A couple we have cruised with cruise Royal Caribbean solely for the points through low priced cabins.  They said they are a half-dozen cruises from reaching the highest level - "Pinnacle?"  No real enjoyment in being at sea, just a quest to reach a goal.  They said they have no idea what they will do once at the top level and have no cruises planned beyond that objective.  

 

This is the benefit of so-called "loyalty programs."  Keeps people coming back.  Of course, it now appears that changes will eliminate some "perks."  Which is a business decision by, in this case, Celebrity.  The company is also focused on new customers who have never cruised or are looking to "move up" from RCCL or "party ships" as they mature, instead of those of us who have been cruising with them for decades. 

 

I'll be a "devil's advocate" and say that as a suite-level guest (Retreat?) I don't want to be mingling (crowded in with/stuffed in with) non-suites.  Just for whining's sake.  If cruise lines want to "reward" for cruising with them 100 times then set up a special room for those "quests."  Stay out of "my" Retreat and "my" Michael's Club during embarkation and debarkation.  Maybe those cruise lines with separate areas for different levels of paying guests have it right.  Used to be that way.  I recall trans-Atlantics on ocean liners in the 1950s where First, Second and Third classes had their own spaces to include dining rooms.

 

Its a new normal.  Get used to it.

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7 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I wouldn't disagree with you. We will just have to wait and see. I remember being on a cruise to Hawaii not long before Covid and there were quite a few Zeniths (probably 22. I just checked the Blu lunch group photo they did for us) and I didn't see them all crowding into Michael's Club. And of course a few of them were staying in suites so would have access to it anyway. 

 

If they do tell us we are no longer welcome after all this it would be an awful cop out. 

 

Phil 

No.  Just a  business decision.

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On 5/21/2021 at 8:09 AM, Orator said:

There are lots on TA,s but I would say that there are under 8 on the average cruise. Many times my DW and I were the only ones aboard. We not only lost MC/Retreat but the services of the MC/Retreat Concierge and priority boarding. I'll believe that they will restore the benefit when I see it! I have 4 cruises booked. One with Celebrity and 3 with Crystal. My Celebrity cruise is a TA that will be transportation to a Crystal cruise. I have voted with my dollars and notice many formally Celebrity loyalists on the Crystal board. It's their program and they can revise it at any time. My time and money and I can use it as a choose.

 

I normally have eight cruises on the horizon. I have two in November and none in 2022. I would really appreciate Andrea Shey providing clarity on the Zenith changes. I believe that is part of her job. I could then weigh my options for 2022.

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I’m slowly working my way up the ranks and am disappointed to read some of these posts.

Many years ago I was behind the scenes at British Airways’  HQ and a billboard about their reward programme is still firmly in my memory:

 

BEHIND EVERY BLUE EXECUTIVE MEMBER THERE’S A GOLD ONE WAITING TO GET OUT.

 

 

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On 5/21/2021 at 9:54 AM, PTC DAWG said:

More whining Captain Club members...great.  

 

I'm convinced you can't do enough for some of them.  

 

The ones who come and say they have quit Celebrity are a bit baffling to me.  

.

Lodging a legitimate complaint is not "whining."  We don't think that anyone is doing either on this thread.

 

Regarding your last sentence ... There is no reason to be "baffled."  Those who "say they have quit Celebrity" are probably just hoping to take that position temporarily -- until Celebrity undoes the damage they have done within their loyalty program.  They will "un-quit," if "X" removes the dagger from their backs.

.

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Lots of false assumptions in this thread. I was from PA when I became Zenith. Arno is the top cruiser in points and he is.a proud Canadian as are many of Zeniths. One of the top cruisers are from Texas and many Europeans are Zeniths. The top points family is from Florida.

Another misconception is that many achieve the Zenith level without cruising in Suited . While I’m sure that some did they most likely paid the same in the end. I know that one Zenith who travelled alone and was a Blue Chip member who always stayed in the PH and made it in 26 cruises while a couple that traveled in balconies and below tool over 100 cruises to reach Zenith. 

 

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On 5/22/2021 at 12:06 PM, Ride-The-Waves said:

... Its a new normal.  Get used to it.

.

No way, Jose'!

.

There are many things in life where it makes perfect sense to use that phrase ("the new normal"), but what is being discussed in this and other threads is not one of them. 

.

Whenever an injustice has been perpetrated (as in the case of "X" and its loyalty program), that can never be referred to as "normal."  Instead, it is ABnormal

.

And whenever an injustice has been done, we will not be "wimps" that will silently "get used to it."  We will keep speaking out until justice is done (or until we "kick the bucket" trying to get it done).  That is the way we have always been taught, and have observed, for almost seven decades, that decent people approach life.  We are not "sissies" that will just "get used to the new abnormal."

.

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On 5/21/2021 at 9:20 AM, mahdnc said:

 

On our 14 night Caribbean cruise aboard Reflection in Jan 2019, we had 23 Zenith members according to our Captain's Club Hostess.  I would expect that to be the upper range of what you can expect.  The 14 night Caribbean cruises were popular among CC members as there were 1,137 passengers that were Elite or above on our Reflection sailing.

 

I think we had 29 Zenith members on the Reflection at the end of January 2019. It was considered to be one of the highest numbers of Zenith members for a Caribbean cruise.

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1 minute ago, TourDeCruise said:

 

I think we had 29 Zenith members on the Reflection at the end of January 2019. It was considered to be one of the highest numbers of Zenith members for a Caribbean cruise.

 

No doubt that a good many of the 23 on mine were on yours.  I know that @Arno. was on both sailings.

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On 5/21/2021 at 9:25 AM, Orator said:

I understand that a few Suite passengers have complained about Zeniths in their private space. I think that Celebrity is reacting to them and that's why I don't believe that access will be restored unless and until Celebrity realizes that their decision was a poor financial strategy.

some suite busybodies always complain, many loyal members take 10-15 cruises per year, but these "people ie. meghan and harry types" act like  their  1 cruise , they  should be treated as if they were HRH Queen of England.  i live in a semi tourist area and we have these NYNJ types that do the same thing here on their 2 day weekend.  they zip around town like they own the place.  they might be sick of us, but we are also sick of them .

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The bottom line is that Celebrity's focus is no longer on loyalty, but rather on younger and more affluent passengers (not that some of them can't be loyal also).  I know full well that not all Zenith or Elite Plus passengers are in the silver-haired crowd, but I think the truth is that most are.  (and I am both silver-haired - before the dye - and Elite Plus so this is not meant to be insulting🙂).  Very frequent cruisers and us older folks tend not to spend as much onboard on all the extras (shore excursions, photo packages, jewelry, specialty dinners) as the newer and younger cruisers.  We've been there; done that.  So LLP prefers to focus on attracting passengers who will spend that money.  There are exceptions of course - if you are one you don't need to argue that point as I agree.  But I think that is an overall fact.

 

I think the loyalty program was put in place a very long time ago on an emerging cruise line and it did it's job very well.  But from a marketing standpoint I doubt it is really needed anymore (and certainly not once things get back closer to "normal").  For those threatening to leave after many, many Celebrity cruises - frankly I don't think Celebrity cares.  You are not their target market anymore.  Cynical?  Perhaps.  Realistic?  I think so.

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So just discontinue the loyalty program all together.   If you don't need/value loyalty then just get rid of it and figure out how to really attract those younger affluent passengers (which we were when we started with them, and are less so given what we have spent with Celebrity!).

 

They keep talking about what the GenX wants but I don't see the product changing at all to attract them.

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As we age, do you think Celebrity is going to adjust their marketing to account for our advancing age? Or are they going to aim for our kids and grandkids so maybe they'll join us on cruises?

 

My experience with Celebrity tells me that I am going to enjoy my cruise completely independent of their marketing, so I will continue with them. They want marketing to get those not already hooked.

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Did Celebrity ban Blue Chip VIP's from the suite lounges?

 

If so then perhaps this really is a temporary move.

 

If not then it is likely permanent, in my opinion.

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I’m cruising in 13 days as a Blue Chip big loser ( but not in a Suite ). After reading this thread and the exclusion of the Zs I was also pondering whether we would be treated to the same exclusion. The published Blue Chip benefits still list admittance as a perk. I can report back here on this specific situation. I assume there will be other bloggers reporting other aspects of this cruise. IF excluded I will need to count to 100 because I cannot let my left brain anger overwhelm my right brain “ hey I’m still having a great time so do NOT get all worked up”

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4 hours ago, wrk2cruise said:

So just discontinue the loyalty program all together.   If you don't need/value loyalty then just get rid of it and figure out how to really attract those younger affluent passengers (which we were when we started with them, and are less so given what we have spent with Celebrity!).

 

They keep talking about what the GenX wants but I don't see the product changing at all to attract them.

I hope that Celebrity would continue to reward loyalty while it is also marketing to (and attracting) new/next generations.   

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