just can not understand why people would do more cruises or upgrade to a suite just so they can receive more C&A credits
What is hard to understand? It is more than a free hat and some drinks. Higher level membership means priority embarkation, priority debarkation for diamond level, complimentary air deviation if you use cruise line air, discounts on balcony and suite cabins. Those things make it worthwhile to get points. Granted, the cuts from the program are not huge, but they are things that diamond members were given and now have had taken away. Other similar program have grandfathered current members and only put new members under the revised program. Make a new level for the grandfathered members (Classic Diamond for example) so you can keep the groups separate. Celebrity did this when they revised their loyalty program. I was made a "founder" Captain's Club member which meant I kept the original perks yet new members didn't get them.
That really is an interesting take of RCI's view of the serious problem faced by the cruise industry. I truly hope the company isn't in as bad of shape as I see things. I would hate to see them get absorbed into another cruise line as there would be one less big player in the field, which could only equate to higher prices from the remaining competition. I'm reading about more & more cruisers coming over to Princess each day.
I hope I haven't given the wrong impression in this thread. I love my RCI cruises and think the basic RCI cruise experience is worthwhile. My problem is with the increase in "extra" fees and the decrease in C&A perks over the past year. I am not throwing RCI overboard, but the cruise line has essentially given me a slap in the face which has awakened me from my C&A coma.
I think that article states what RCI's belief truly is. We're so good, we don't have to do what everyone else is doing because we're better than the rest of the cruise lines. I hope this isn't what their belief is, but it sure seems like it is. They do offer more "glitz" like the rock wall and the ice skating rink, but that doesn't make up the price difference to me. (Just my opinion, don't shoot me). I actually think the food is better on other lines, the service is on par if not better on other lines, the cabins are larger on other lines, but what Royal has always had in the past were loyal customers. They should respect that their loyal customers have made them what they are today and never forget that. I remember when they only had 2 or 3 ships.