Dave, I feel for everyone that has the benefits and perks taken away or diminished after being loyal customers for sooooooo long. I guess we are FREE now to consider other lines to see how the other ones stack up.. We have only cruised on Celebrity and RCI up till now.
I also like your quick and witty comeback on RCI's explanation of lack of benefits.
The airlines have done this forever. They start perks to get people in, then years later when membership is so high and there are so many points out there, then they downgrade stuff a bit to realign.. In a couple years it will all be back.
For example, delta took away flight segments as a way to each medallion status a few years ago. this year however, they reinstated that you can reach medallion status based on flight segments.
so as much as it seems to suck now, just deal with it. it will be back. chances are, they did it because they are losing money on the cruises now, due to people booking at the low cost. they have to cut somewhere.
It won't be back. We used to have a saying in the Marines about trying to polish something and when you were done it still looked the same. Looks like no more complimentary booze at the Captain's cocktail party too.
- no more C&A party for Gold level. (They get "recognized" by the Captain at the basic welcome aboard reception and have to buy their own drinks if you look at the double **. I guess this means no complimentary booze for anyone)
- no more balcony discounts for diamond level, only for suites? That is what is seems to be saying although I could be wrong.
- and it remains to be seen, but the "new" coupon books will no doubt be thinner or of less value too
I can appreciate the crowding issue in the Concierge Lounges. That is a valid point. So why not simply offer diamond members complimentary drinks at one or two ship's bars during the happy hour? Or at least give them some coupons for a couple free drinks each day? As Dwayne noted, it is the "spin doctor" approach used in all of these press releases.
RCI's customer relations gaff machine continues to roll on unabated. Last year it was testing the extra-fee steaks (which I guess is still being "tested") in the main dining room, followed by the "no more combining" credits debacle, and roping off public areas for suite guests. This year we had the Royal Champions being outed, and now this change to loyalty member perks.
And in all of the above instances the RCI spokesmodel has done his best impression of Ralph Kramden trying to explain something to Alice.
A while back we had a thread about no more cocktails at the Captain's cocktail party, but only glasses of wine. I guess this will hold true and anyone wanting a high ball will have to buy it.
I don't pick an RCI cruise just because it has a CL. Look at my next cruise. It has no private lounges. But if my next cruise happens to be on a ship with the lounges, then I want to be able to use them. And now I won't be able to unless I go on a ship with 4 or 5 thousand fellow passengers. Can you imagine what those diamond lounges will soon look like? Think Chicago stock yards.
We are not portrait people, so giving me back the free portrait (which apparently had vanished last year) isn't going to impress me.
They are going to have one special diamond reception on ships without a diamond lounge. Can you imagine the mood at the these events? I'm sure the CD and loyalty ambassador are looking forward to it!
Again, the wording of the new perks is confusing. It shows the "Ultimate Value" coupon book under Gold member but doesn't show special books for platinum, D, or D+. Does this mean there will be just one coupon book for all C&A members regardless of member level?