For the past 3 years some of us have been taking advantage of the Diamond Celebration in December to get double points - especially if we were near the next level on the Crown and Anchor ladder. Well, this year it's not going to happen. I, for one, booked Back to back 10 night cruises on the Explorer. Now I'm going to cancel one of those cruises. I'm sure there will be a lot of people doing the same. The first two weeks in December usually had great prices, but the December Celebration Promotion really made it a no brainer.
There is talk about RCI doing some special in January but it's just talk for now. I will be interesting to see what they come up with - especially after cancelations in December.
Obviously one reason is to reduce the number of people making D+ and Pinnacle by getting the bonus points in December. RCI knows that people at the Diamond and Diamond Plus level will still want to move up the ladder, double points or not, so they will just book more cruises to get there - more revenue and it also slows down the C&A program a bit.
I also suspect the point structure will be adjusted again and they might make D+ harder to achieve...perhaps make it 300 points instead of 175, and thereby make it closer to Pinnacle. This also plays into the ultimate plan of kicking everyone who doesn't have a gold card out of the Concierge Lounge once all ships are retrofitted with a Diamond Lounge.
I'm not that upset by this. I figured it wouldn't last, and got the hint last December when there were no special gifts, just a lapel pin and cheesy kitchen magnet.
I haven't received it yet, but there is an e-mail being sent to C&A members. I found the text on another site.
"It is with our deepest regret that we must inform you that the Crown & Anchor Society will not be hosting a December Celebration for the 2013 holiday season. In the past, this promotion served as a surprise appreciation to our top tier members. Here at Royal Caribbean International, we are always thinking of new ways to reward our most loyal guests. While we understand the disappointment this announcement may cause, we ask for your continued patience as we prepare new and exciting programs for the future."
Having JUST reached the lower level of Diamond, it smacks (to me) of changing the finish line, and the rules, mid game. I don't see me making Diamond+ any time soon, because I can't cruise that often, so I'll be happy with the level I've finally attained. I already enjoy the discounts for cabin upgrades, and the Diamond lounge. Used the concierge club once before, and will again this coming October because I booked a GS. But, I think, from now on I'll stick with a JS or balcony, and use the diamond club. Changes won't effect me that much, but others may have a different opinion, and RCCL could loose some revenue, as Sonny has said earlier, if enough people start to feel that this is unfair. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
I think the JS is the best option if you want to build points and not blow a budget on what RCI considers a 'full' suite. Sure, you don't get the suite amenities but the double points is nice as is the extra room. We're getting $250 off our balcony cabin on the Serenade cruise as the D+ discount, so that is a nice member amenity. I'm happy in a balcony cabin too. No more insides though! Too confining.
They are going to move D+ members out of the concierge lounge anyway, so I'll be seeing you in the Diamond Lounge down the road. We went to the Diamond Lounge on Oasis one night and enjoyed it. Had the same snacks and bar set up as the Concierge Lounge, great service, and the Diamond Concierge was much more friendly than our Suite Concierge. We came in and sat down and she came over and introduced herself and asked 'where have you been?' in a joking manner. Very nice lady.
We have been booking JS ever since our second cruise and really like the added room over a normal balcony. My GS booking this time was a two-fold idea. One, it's our first extended cruise and to celebrate I wanted to use the concierge lounge again and two, we're going with three other couples and our GS can be a focal point for a drink or gathering before dinner for the whole bunch.We want to do a transatlantic next year, but that'll be back to the JS I'm sure. Just trying to pick the longest one on a ship that'll keep me occupied. So far there is a 16 day from Barcelona to New Orleans that we're leaning towards. Hope springs eternal........