Balancing Great Value and an Array of Choices

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One strain of critical commentary about the modern cruise offering is that the cruise lines are “nickel and diming” the customers. Technically I suppose it should be “nickeling and diming” but I don’t think anyone says it that way. The basic idea is that the cruise lines are charging for products/services that they should be providing for free. Even though most if not all consumers know there is very little that is truly free in life or in cruising, many argue vigorously that one charge or another should not exist. It should not surprise the reader that we spend a lot of time thinking about what should be included in the ticket price and what should be offered for an additional charge.

Our philosophy at Royal Caribbean International is that the ticket price should include a guest’s accommodations as well as enough of the culinary options and entertainment and activity choices to enable a fulfilling cruise experience without the necessity of many additional charges. We are confident we meet this standard and we are committed to continue doing so in the future. At the same time, we are also committed to offering an ever greater variety of options and choices for our guests. Why? Because all of our research and guest feedback indicates this is the preference of the market. In essence, this is why our ships have increased in size over time.

Many of the extra costs of cruising have been well established and well accepted for a long time such as gaming, excursions, beverages, retail, spa, photo and gratuities. To the extent there is controversy, it tends to surround the introduction in recent years of features that appeal to a relatively narrow subset of our guests, e.g., yoga or spinning classes, Johnny Rockets’ hamburgers, Flow Rider, Tattoos, Ben & Jerry’s, etc. There is not a scientific answer to the question of what should or should not be included in the ticket price. The ticket price needs to reflect value for money for all of our guests. The extra charges need to reflect value for money for those accepting the charge for the particular activity. The cost of any activity that is included in the ticket price is borne by all guests as a fraction of the ticket price.

Most guests, but certainly not all, would agree there should be an extra charge for consumption of premium ice cream. We think that’s a pretty obvious call – if it were “free” a percentage of our guests would be eating a significant amount of ice cream yet all guests would be paying a share of the cost of that ice cream.

Flow Rider is not as obvious. We offer the basic opportunity to enjoy this amazing amenity for no extra charge although we incur specific costs such as sports deck staff that are necessary for the activity to function. Only a fraction of our guests use Flow Rider yet there are lines at peak times. We believe there is a fair trade-off between the experience (great) and the lines (bad). On the other hand, we now offer individual instruction in Flow Rider surfing for a charge. This is a more in depth experience the cost of which we believe should be borne by those who specifically value the opportunity. The charge also regulates demand for the opportunity.

It’s easy to imagine we have had many of these discussions surrounding the new features on Oasis of the Seas. There will be a charge in some cases and not in others. Although we clearly could (and maybe even should) charge for the zip line above Boardwalk, we will include this activity in the ticket price. The overall goal remains the same as on our existing fleet – great value for our guests and a huge array of choices during every cruise.

  • Capt bob

    I think RCI has a good balance about pay or included. Where some work needs to be done is in the area of pool chairs. So many get “reserved” by people who have no intention of using them for hours that when one comes down to the pool at 11am they are all gone and 1/ 2 empty. Maybe there should be a charge to reserve a chair??? Or, better yet, enforce the current policy . On CC there is a very positive discussion going on about how on Liberty the “chair police” are using stickers with the time noted and thus clear off the chairs if no one shows up in 30-45 minutes. IMHO, this should be rolled out fleet wide. Keep up the good work and make sure Oasis is ready for 1/10.

  • thomas lamb


  • Scott Jensen

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Charging extra for “premium” ice cream?! Seriously, you’ve got to be kidding me. What’s next? Are you going to charge for ice in our water?

    And charging for Flow Rider? Come on! Think! I’m serious. Think! What is your background, Adam? Accounting? Did you get promoted to the CEO job after being the VP of Accounting???

    Your idea seems to be that anything that the mob doesn’t ALL do is something that can be charged extra for. Such attitude now makes me less want to go on a cruise with you, Carnival, or any other cruiseline.

    And I sure hope that your photographers ASK before they take our photographs! I’m going to ask around and see if others say if they do or don’t. If they don’t and just take my photograph without my permission, I’ll never go on board one of your ships. I want and demand my privacy … ESPECIALLY when I’m on vacation!

    I just read an article on cruises. Here’s a link to it:

    I agree with the writer. I think you should not advertise any ticket as “all inclusive” and I wouldn’t be surprised if a class-action lawsuit will soon be filed against you and other cruiselines that advertise their tickets this way.

    Oh, and yes you are nickeling and diming us with such practices. Lie all you want to yourselves but you’re not fooling us.


    I really enjoy reading your posts and I think that Royal Caribbean has a fair & equitable balance between included and additional amenities. Your candor on here is much appreciated. I had a lot of respect for you guys before and this blog is increasing my respect for the top management.

    I don’t understand how someone can feel that just because everything was included 10-15 years ago – when all that COULD be offered was accomodations and dining – that today’s ships and cruiselines should offer everything they have now gratis when the base price of cruising has come down (in relative terms).

    Why is that?

  • Ines

    Dear Adam,

    Here I will share my knowledge and experience with you. … where the vacation activities are exciting and the experience is priceless!

    If the ambiance is great and the staff is friendly, people may not mind spending their money … as such an experience is priceless!

    The tranquility and comfort you will experience are indeed priceless …

    If you’ve ever been to the Caribbean, you can appreciate the serenity and beauty of a tropical paradise.

    If you’ve ever dreamed of a magical alaskan salmon fishing adventure, then you need to look no further.
    All these glaciers keep us cool and by helicopter offer an even richer view than any imagination can paint.

    Discover an adventurous side to Europe and fill your holiday snaps with something colorful and different.

    If you’re like me and you like your adventure a little on the wild side then South America may well be the place for you.

    It is as simple as this Adam, the ambiance and the fun is priceless!

  • Ronald Garing

    Adam, I just finished a western caribbean cruise. We were on the Freedom of the Seas and my wife and I couldnt have been more pleased. One thing we are dissapointed in is the fact that if we are relaxing in our stateroom and would like to have a cocktail this becomes a problem. Why not have mini-bottles available so you can sit out on your balcony and enjoy the moment without having to call room service or going my self and spilling have of our beverage. I know this is not a major problem for you guys but I believe it is a valid request. Thanks for the best cruise that we have been on. Hope to do it all over in May 2010

  • Albie

    What would you charge for the zip line $ 5.00 ? Would 20 % of the people ride it ( $ 5,000). If you added $ 1.00 per person to the cruise you would avoid aggrevating your customers. I had a negative balance on my sea pass and took $369 out of the casino. I hope the $ 11.07 made a difference to your bottom line.

  • Karen


    I do not mind paying for Ben & Jerry’s or a latte or the spa or if I wanted to take a yoga or spinning class. My sons have also paid to take lessons on the Flowrider. I have always considered waiting in line for the flowrider or searching for a pool chair or a regular coffee part of my ticket price. With all of your advertising about the nation of “Why Not” here are a few reasons I ask myself why…..

    cruise prices are higher (which I am happy to pay if there are not additional cost)

    decrease in diamond benefits

    Yes RCL is building bigger and better ships and I am looking forward to the Oasis in December but at what cost to your loyal cruisers.

  • Cassie

    I agree, the food and lodging are a non-brainer. At home, I would never go out to a bar and expect free drinks or expect a free hamburger from a specialty restaurant.

    I think the people who are whining should sit down and figure out how much it would cost them to stay in a first rate hotel with excellent accommodations and 3 free meals (not fast food!) a day plus snacks and entertainment! They will find the price of the cruise is well worth it! Figure out a week in Vegas (and I’m not talking about staying in a dive like Circus Circus), three meals a day (not fast food!) and snacks, shows and entertainment, they will find it exceeds the price of the cruise ticket.

    I just went to and priced out a 7night Mariner cruise for 2, OV stateroom.. 7 nights with taxes it works out to $655.53 pp! No way could you stay in Vegas for that AND have the price of your meals and shows included.

    Friends and coworkers often ask me how I can afford to cruise all the time and I know they don’t believe me when I tell them it’s less expensive than a “land” vacation. More bang for your buck!

  • julia lichtenberger

    Some of my friends and I who have 17+ cruises under our belt are quite disappointed in RCCL taking away our lounge privledges as Diamond Club Members. We’ve been loyal to you and only to you for many years. To take away some of our benefits especially in an economy that it’s lucky that you still fill your ships is unheard of.

    In our opinion, you should have grandfathered in those that already had Diamond Status. We’ve slowly gathered out “points” for many years, only now to be set back by a great deal. It’s not appreciated. We’re still being loyal to RCCL so far, and have booked another cruise, but I can tell you it’s making us look around and consider our options.

  • Mandy

    As someone who saves all year in order to cruise, I appreciate the fact that I don’t HAVE to take advantage of the premium items in order to have a GREAT vacation experience. I’ve never dined in a specialty restaurant on any of my eight previous cruises. I feel that plenty of wonderful dining options are included in the price of my cruise. Passengers can still get free soft-serve ice cream by the pool, so I don’t understand the problem with paying for premium ice cream. It’s no different than paying for specialty restaurants.

    In fact, the nickeling and diming you refer to probably HELPS me to afford my cruises each year. I can only assume that those willing to pay extra for premium perks, help to reduce the cost of my cruise fare. That’s good news for me.

    My only complaint would echo Captain Bob’s regarding the reserved pool seating. I don’t mind that suite passengers get extra perks. They’re paying more for their cabin than I’m paying for my ocean view cabin down on Deck 2. However, seating by the pool is extremely limited on sea days. There are more passengers than chairs and it’s a constant battle. Passengers who have circled the decks several times, looking for a chair, don’t like seeing all the empty reserved seats. While reserved seating in the theatre doesn’t keep me from enjoying the shows, reserved seating by the pool could very well keep me from enjoying the pool.

    I did read the thread on CC that Captain Bob referenced about the Liberty “chair police” and the time stickers. Maybe expanding this policy is the answer. We all know that many of those chairs with books or towels sitting on them are not actually occupied. Maybe if time limits were enforced, the reserved suite seating would cease to be an issue.

  • Lisa k.

    I completely agree with Mr. Goldstein. What IS included in the ticket price, I feel , is substantial and an excellent value. That is why I continue to cruise RCCL and am a Diamond member. However, I do take exception to the fact that the promotions being offered currently ( $50 off Per person and other on board credits) are NOT combinable w/ my Diamond discount. The Crown and Anchor members (your most valued and loyal customers ) are being penalized for being members of the society? It’s not fair. Also, stopping the shareholder $100 onboard credit was very petty. Not paying the dividend anymore, I can understand, but now the shipboard credit is gone too? I hope the company will reconsider allowing past passengers to receive these benefits as well as new customers. So that your new customers will become repeat customers in the future like me. These small incentives may save money in the shortterm, but in the long term you may lose customers. It seems like a small price to pay. Thankyou

  • Jamie Snyder

    I happen to have been on ship before and right after the Johnny Rockets charge was instituted and it was an immediate difference. Before: tweens, teens and adults were getting all kinds of food and scattering throughout the ship, the ship was a mess of half eaten food and half drank shakes. After: well….the Rockets was empty, but no food was scattered all over the place and folks eventually came back and paid what is a nominal fee at best.

    If RCI provides a service that only affects a small group of passengers then there should be a charge. I have no interest in paying for everyone’s ice cream.

    By the way that “story” from Christopher Elliott (Five ways passengers are getting even with cruise lines) is the biggest load of ——- I have ever read.

    Billed as “all-inclusive” experience, mandatory gratuity, Drinks were extra too (surprised) and assaulted by about a thousand ship’s photographers.

    WHAT? WHO? Dude what a load of …………

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  • Bill J

    I have just made Diamond, and have not booked any cruises with RCI due to the nickle and dimers taking away the Concierge Lounge. It took over 4 years to make Diamond, I have no interest in making Diamond +, because by then the plusses will be kicked out too……..

  • Bryan A

    I think that scott jensen’s post is ridiculous!!!! Come on man, the photographers are just capturing fun memories for us and everyone enjoys them! You should NOT go cruising if your attitude is like that. And the whole bit about a class-action lawsuit, you really need to chill out. We go on the ships to relax and have FUN and thats exactly what RCCL provides us.

  • Linda A

    For once Adam I agree with you regarding the extra charges for those items that are only used by a few ppl. However, I do not agree with the benefits that have been taken away from your loyol customers. As I have stated in several of my post, it is the diamond plus customer that is your best source of advertising that you could get. We tell our friends, co-workers, family members how great your line is. With the loss of the “perks” that we were able to receive, why should we promote RCCL. You may think that the company will be saving money by limiting the number of discounts that Diamond Plus members and shareholders can use toward a cruise, but what happens when we decide not to be loyal to RCCL any more. We take our business and your free advertising and go to a different cruise line. Remember the first thing that you learn in account class, ‘Penny wise, pound foolish’. Put the combine discounts back and leave well enough alone. As a stockholder, I dont want the price of my shares falling any farther than they have. If enough of “loyal” repeat customers leave, what will happen to the stock price then? Be happy that ppl still have the funds to cruise, dont out price your company just to save a few bucks.

  • Colton B.

    Dear Adam,

    I am taking my first Royal Caribbean cruise in December, and am obsessed with your company. I understand your charge for Johnny Rockets since it is a small restaurant, and i understand your charge for the private flowrider lessons and specialty dining. However the ice cream charge is ridiculous. Ben and Jerry’s would get so much more advertisement if the ice cream was free and unlike the specialty dining, and flowrider and things every passenger CAN get ice cream. Plus ice cream is something EVERYONE likes, and even if you add some money on to our original price, it would be worth it. I love talking to people about your company and when people ask what the ships have I talk about the features and i get to the food and say “all of your food is included EXCEPT specialty beverages, specialty dining, Johnny rockets, Ben and Jerry’s and Seattle’s best.” and every time the smile they had gets smaller, it would sound much better if all i had to say was “all your food is included except specialty drinks and the specialty restaurants, plus RC even has Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream and Seattle’s Best coffee included!”
    but it would be even better if you added more to the cruise fare and included sodas free, that’s what Disney does. By hiding these cost it makes us MUCH happier because I know if you added 50 bucks to my fare but i got free ice cream and soda. Plus you could even say that’s included, and that would be a nice surprise for potential first time RC cruisers. Thank you for your time and I hope you read this and seriously consider implementing my idea.

    -Thanks a billion
    Colton B.

  • Bob D

    We just completed our Baltic cruise on Jewel of the Seas a couple of weeks ago. This was a first for us in many ways, being diamond C&A members. It was the first time we, as Americans, were greatly outnumbered by Europeans (British) more than two to one. It was a delightful experience as the British were great to cruise with. Kudos to RCCL for gaining that much of a European market. It was the first cruise we have had where LOBSTER was not served. So much for the balance between choices and value. It was the first time we had no chocolate in our pillows at night. It was the first time we had no complimentary wine tasting. It was the first time we did not have the game show QUEST. It was the first time the only useful coupon in the diamond value book for me was a $10 internet credit. It was the first time I did not get one free photo. The only complimentary one is the “lifestyle” photo that is not to our taste. It was our first in trying out My Time Dining which we found not to our liking. I think these firsts are somewhat indicative of where value and array of choices are leading us to. I really am starting to look at river cruises a lot more seriously.

  • Jim & lynne conkey

    we’ve been on a few rccl cruises, and intend to sail at least once on every ship. where else can you book an all-inclusive, luxury hotel that takes you from port to port, from one adventure to another? if you don’t want to pay for johnny rockets on the voyager,then don’t order anything.(but at least go watch the staff sing YMCA !!!). also,the last time I was on Majesty and Enchantment, they both had soft ice cream machines on the pool deck anyway.(free). this is a ridiculous premise, that everything should be free. How about shore excursions, let’s have them give away Dolphin encounters in Bermuda and Helicopter rides over volcanoes too. maybe then they can go broke just like GM and Chrysler.

    Bottom line: it’s a business that caters to people who love to cruise!
    Don’t like it? Don’t go, but don’t try to ruin it for the rest of us. We don’t want to hear complaints while we’re having a ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • H.M. Steele

    Thank you for your comments about your team, and introducing a few of your stars. We think that the Officers, Staff and crew on your RCCL ships are the best of the best! Each time we sail we marvel at how wonderful each person on board makes us feel. They consistently deliver the “WOW”… and make us feel they are so happy to be on board and to meet each and every passenger. We also want to say how professional, competent and generous the team in Wichita is to help with every call we make. You really have some stars on your RCCL team, congratulations… and keep up the great job you and your team are doing.

  • Maureen Hanlon

    I am just patiently waiting for Adam Goldstein to read and answer my leter I sent via post office and on this blog about my transfers situation in Rome for my June 28,2009 mediterranian cruise aboard the Navigator…see my email above…i would appreciate an answer.

  • Katiel53

    I agree that there should be charges for specialty ice cream, Johnny Rockets etc. I also believe there should be charges for the rock climbing wall, flow rider, childcare etc.

    I never felt that even though we didn’t use the children’s facilities etc. that there were people who did and got the enjoyment from them. I realize that I am paying for people to use these items.

    Now, that you have taken away the benefits for Diamonds, ie combining of coupons and balcony discount, the full use of the Concierge Lounge, the welcome back gifts, shareholder benefits, great food for lower quality food, I feel that I no longer wish to pay for others to enjoy the things they do without charge, when now, in fact, I am paying a lot more for them to do so.

    I think that Royal Caribbean is no longer a great value for me and I have and will continue to use other lines. Up until this year, almost every cruise was on RCI. I felt your line treated me well, and I would give my business to you. I no longer feel any loyalty to you as you have certainly shown none to us.

    In your land of Why Not? I have found that why not try other cruises that are considerably less expensive than RCI? I do believe you have alienated your most valuable cruisers, but perhaps that was the entire idea.

    I am not saying I will never cruise Royal Caribbean again. I will only do so when the value is there. At this time, I just don’t see that it is though.

  • mommabean

    Why not find one positive result of the changes to the Crown and Anchor Diamond/Diamond + benefits. Unless I’m mistaken, weren’t we all just given a few hours of free beer and wine on ALL Royal Caribbean ships (beginning Sept. 1) which includes the ships with NO concierge lounge? No concierge lounge hasn’t stopped me from cruising on the smaller, older and quite charming ships. But now we can all enjoying getting together for some free before or after dinner drinks and meeting other frequent cruisers on ALL ships. Or am I missing something here?

    I admit I will miss seeing the chocolate on my pillow although I won’t miss eating it since I don’t need the extra calories. For that matter, “why not” start charging for dessert. That’ll be sure to keep me from bringing home from my cruise the 5 extra pounds I neither want nor need. :) No way will I pay for dessert.

  • Linda A

    I wonder why you keep deleting my posts regarding the shareholders and the onboard credit we use to receive. Are you afraid that we just might unite and ask for a special vote?

  • Walter

    This was my first visit to this blog and I thank Adam for opening this up for both positive and negative feedback about recent RCI changes.

    I have cruised many times on both RC and Celebrity ships and will be taking my first Azamara cruse shortly.

    My question is why don’t you combine cruise credits on all three of your brands and consolidating into one overall reward system.

    This would certainly save your Company money and also reward your customers that choose to stay loyal to ALL your brands.

    • kyra

      I know that this has nothing to do with this but my family is going on a cruise and im like disney cruise is much better so my dad is like look up royal carribean so i did and im more excited to go on the royal carribean. But im going in feb of 2014 :'( so i have to wait also i can bring a friend and i do not know who.

      • Adam

        We’re sure the time will fly by, Kyra. We look forward to welcoming you onboard.

  • http://150.10TOLMAN marie fisher

    I am Diamond Plus on RCCL and have many wonderful memories because of your cruiseline. I have seen quite a few changes some I like some I don’t, but I can understand the reason behind them. My husband and I love the specialty restaurants but we are in our 50’s. My kids could care less and don’t spend the money to go. I like that the option is there for those that choose to go. Since you can get free ice cream, I don’t see a problem with the Ben and Jerry’s charge. The fact most of the things young families like to do are included, kids club, pools, entertainment and most food, enables my family to travel with us. Taking away access to the Diamond Club on some ships, I feel is very disappointing, but again I understand the reason. Basically we stopped going, except for morning coffee, because it was way too crowded. We really enjoyed the seperate Diamond lounge on Freedom, that was a great idea. I sure hope you can continue to offer this on your ships, it does make us feel special and that RCCL appreciates our loyalty.

  • Tom L

    I enjoy having room service available 24/7, but I don’t believe in paying a late night surcharge. I am quite sure that the staff who prepare and deliver the food are already on the clock anyway. If this is true, then it is just another way the line has found a way to nickel and dime me. I also think that tips should be included in the cruise fare. Afterall, there are published “minimums” for this sort of thing. Anything extra should be at the discretion of the passenger.

  • http://marie marie fisher

    I feel that RCCL must charge for certain things inorder to appeal to the most amount of people. The first thing my husband asks when I book is do they have a specialty restaurant. But we are in our 50’s,60’s. My children on the other hand can care less. Most of the things young families want are included, kids club, pools, self serve ice cream, most food, flowriders, rock climbing walls and entertainment. So this makes it affordable for them. I am Diamond Plus so changing the benefits, I understand how this would upset loyal passengers. But the lounge became so crowded we stopped going, except for morning coffee. Something needed to be done. Taking away the booking on board discount was a mistake. I always planned atleast one cruise while on board, now there is no reason too. So when I get home I search all the cruise lines for my next trip. The urgency to book with RCCL is gone. We have many great memories from our cruises with Rccl and have enjoyed them all.

  • Thomas Young

    I feel that you are wearing this issue out of what to have, what to give, what to charge extra for, and what benefits to give Crown and Anchor Members.

    Let me say that anything I do I do on a budget. When I went on my first cruise I did everything I wanted to do. Slot tournaments were 20.00 as well as Blackjack and Daily Bingo. This Cruise last year they went up to 25.00 and bingo has this outrageous computer deal now that was about 60.00. You could still get the little tear cards but your chances of winning were not as good. My solution was I did not play in any of the tournaments. They were tied to some Grand Cruise if you won and I opted out. I only played Bingo once. The Cruise I will be going on in the fall I will play bingo if I partner up with two other people so your net will remain 20.00. This is what happens. Nickel and dimng on your end leads to nickel and diming in return.

    What made the cruise special to me was the euphoric feeling I felt of leading a lavish lifestyle for a week. That feeling lead me to tip more, do more and in the end look at my bill and say wow but it was worth it.

    The last cruise I took on the Mariner made me feel that if you are going to tighten up so am I. It is a downward spiral and not healthy for you or the people that like to Cruise. Sure you deserve more for Ben & Jerry’s. I enjoy the soft Ice Milk you get for free all over the Cruise Ship. I agree if there was no choice the price would go up. If it were free you would see melting ice cream in cups all over the ship. Lattetudes deserves money for a specialty coffee. This again protects those who don’t drink special brews. What hurt was on the last cruise you hid the Chocolate Milk and hopefully this has changed. The only way you got it was to ask for it. That is terrible.

    As far as the Gold and Gold Plus Members if you are being sincere that the facility is no longer large enough to accomodate most members then so be it. However on the last cruise, the Welcome Back Party was one frozen drink and no Hors Douvres for most in the room. That again leads me to think why bother. All the welcome back party was that night was a pitch for the Oasis of the Seas. If you give something away and it only annoys people or frustrates people why bother. Again, the answer will probably be, too many repeat cruisers so we will have to eliminate the Welcome Back Party.

    The Captains Party was more frustration. I hope you see where this is going. If nothing is free and what is does not work well then the value of the deal diminishes and your customers tighten their strings and all suffer. If you keep tightening down then eventually there is nothing left to cut. This happens in most industry that tighten rather then expand.

    Please don’t let the experience diminish. Spend and people will spend. Watch your pennies and the consumer will do the same. A business must thrive and do so at a profit. A comsumer must get bang for their buck. The happy medium is what makes customers spend on the service and product you offer. Get twelve in your dozen but let me think I am getting twelve in mine

  • Adam Abner

    I agree with how Royal Caribbean charges. Actual, I think most new cruisers do not realize what is free and what is not and would suggest that this is better advertised on the website. Example, we recently convinced my in laws to take a cruise with Royal Caribbean over Carnival so we could show them the difference (this was our fourth cruise with Royal). Where they surprise at what they got for free and the difference in experience was like a three star hotel to a four star hotel. We plan on booking our next year cruise with Royal once again and have successfully converted two other people to Royal.

    In addition, I wanted to illustrate what I feel like what Royal is doing and why I like it. First, Royal has mega ship (the ship Voyager Class and above) with a whole lot of things you can do for free however, the tickets prices are higher than those of non-mega ships (even within Royal and other companies who does not have mega ships). I am willing to pay the higher price because Royal is like going to a 4 star hotel with tons of freebies. Now, if they started to charge for the flow rider (for regular use), ice skates, and etc there tickets prices would have to be reduced or I would consider the alternative. I think Royal is better off with its current strategy and hope they never change it and will illustrated why.

    Companies who have better product charge larger upfront cost then nickle and dime you once you get there or do it less perform better in the long run and are more profitable and in the customers enjoy it more. Just compare Disney Parks to Cedar Point (where Disney charges more upfront and has better experience but have lower food cost then Cedar Point this is the best example I know).

    Another, note why are people talking about the Crown and Anchor in this blog there is another blog for those statements. I will say I do not care about the recent changes because it has not impacted me. The only suggestion is that I recommend that Royal ensures that the saving certificates are a better deal then other deals they offer to first time cruisers. You want to reward loyalty by giving good discounts.

  • Brad

    I agree with Mandy regarding premium charges. My wife and I have cruised twice on the Grandeur of the Seas, the first time taking only the basic service, the second time a wine list upgrade. We have no problem paying extra for the upgrades, or the occasional cappucino. The value is great, and the basic package more than meets our expectations. We sailed once with Cunard on the QE II on a Trans Atlantic crossing yars ago, and I feel that your cruise line compares very favorably with that experience.
    I really like Walter’s idea about a combined rewards system for your various cruise lines. That would make us more open to trying those offerings as well.
    My wife and I are looking forward to our next cruise with you this Fall off the coast of New England, with hopes of seeing whales!

  • roland allgayer

    I just finished my fourth RCC on the Mariner. Our itinerary was changed due swine flu. Unfortuately I decided to keep our cruise (RCC did offer full refunds which was more than anyother cruise line). The Pacific Northwest does not have the greatest weather at this time of year and so outdoor activities at sea were almost non existent. The 2 days that we could use the deck and pool areas half the pools were closed for maintenance as well as some of the precious deck space. As far a charging for a sundary of things, I can see the charge for the specialty restuarants (and it is well worth it), the Excursions, however there seems to be a great profit margin here – In San Francisco the Alcatraz excursion was billed out at $81 pp, yet you could get the same tour from the people who do the tour for $26 pp. There was no transportion required – so what’s the deal. Also at breakfast in the wind jammer, they tried to sell you a glass of fresh squeezed OJ for $3 – come on. If you want to charge for something at least make it reasonable. Having a cover charge for Johnny Rockets is good – but then why charge extra for the milkshakes especially since you jacked up the cover charge. Also charging me 15% gratuity for every drink or food item you pay for – I should decide if the service deserves a gratuity and how much. Some one in a previous post put it in persective – the more you nickle and dime the patron, the more the patron decides not to use that particular service or worse yet look to other cruise lines or vacation types. By the way, overall food quality and quantity have greatly deminished in the dining room and wind jammer. I enjoy cruising because it was like going to a 4 or 5 star resort – this time it felt more like motel 6

  • http://N/A Manny

    Dear Sr.
    Adam Goldstein, President and CEO,

    I apologise if I´m not using a proper page to contact you, but due to the matter of the fact, I´m here to anounce to the Royal Caribbean International, that i´m the man with an Unique Technology and Equipment to make the biggest Cruise Boat Emissions FREE along with NO visible emissions PLUME.

    If you could take the time to know more details about this Leading-edge technology, I will be very please to have the oportunity to embrace this new market and make the seas navigation more Environment Friendly.

    I will look forword to your responsse to take this exiting new project further if you could give me this oportunity.

    Thank you for your time,


    President of Clearwinds Systems S.A.

  • Mike L

    Hey commenter Scott Jensen,

    You are a complete idiot with no business sense at all. Since when does a mass market cruiseline give away “premiums” for free? If you can’t afford it then stay home and play checkers with your wife, Rover.

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget to compalin about the photographers. If you don’t want your pictures taken(which probably will break their cameras) then just say no, thanks and keep going. Idiot

  • shelley

    I would like to comment on the food available on my last cruise with RC – Liberty of the Seas. I agree with the comments from others guests, the food on RC is definitely going downhill. When I switched from Carnival to RC I was thrilled with the difference. Now I am not to sure. The dinners in the dining room were excellent. However, the Windjamer fare was just adequate – a slight cut above eating at a fast food joint. Even the softdrinks that they give you are lousy. One of the barmen in the Windjamer went to give me a real Diet Coke which the manager quickly took away from him and replaced it with a fountain drink. For $48 they could at least serve a decent Diet Coke!

  • Elenor Snow

    Just came off the Serenade (again) to Alaska. The new program, where for ~$15 you can have the Chops filet mignon brought to you in the main (Reflections) dining hall, is tremendous! Good price, GREAT steak, and you’re still dining with your ‘regular’ table mates! Great great program! Thanks RCCL!

    And before we sailed, I was dreaming of the beef bolognase (and my husband was dreaming of the tacos) up in Windjammer — and we enjoyed them several times! (Yeah, weird, I know — but the beef bolognase is just stellar!)

  • David S

    We have enjoyed RC for several years and are Diamond, 13 cruises with the latest being the Freedom in May. We still love the ships and service but must admit were disappointed by the recent change in the Diamond benefits and the change in the savings booklet in our stateroom. We feel benefits for the most loyal should get better, or at least remain, rather than take away. We are considering the Oasis in April but may consider looking into the competition. They have loyalty benefits also!

  • Mary aka Cruise Geek

    Ok, I disagree with Scott Jensen as ALL cruise lines have but back.

    Who here in America hasn’t cut back? I can do without a lot of things, what I can’t do without is cruising. I hope that RCCL keeps up with most of their free items included in our ticket price, but I don’t mind paying a fee at Johnny Rockets to experience it at sea. I can cut back at HOME. When i’m cruising I want to experience it all!

  • Katy H

    Dear Adam, Just wanted to agree with you on the fact that cruising is a great value. Where else could you have a room, food and transportation for the price. This great value is not only true for RCCL it holds true for all the cruise lines – so the difference is how you treat you customer and how you appreciate your loyal customer and your stockholders. Adam it seems to me that YOU have penalized the very people who have been loyal too RCCL – Diamond Club members and your stockholders – which my husband and I are of both. We have been cruising with Royal Caribbean for over 10 years – we have been almost all over the world with your cruise line – we have taken good cruises and really horrible cruises with RCCL and ven with those horrible cruises we always gave RCCL another chance to redeem themselves – we have never taken a cruise shorter then 7 days – we earned every cruise credit – and we earned it the hard way – no short cruises. If RCCL really wanted to take care of their ever growing Diamond Club membership problem perhaps you need to review on how you reward cruise credits. For cruises 5 days or shorter only a 1/2 cruise credit should be given with the exception for those who pay for suites. I also agree with the blogger who wrote that the Diamond Club members should have been grandfathered in, instead of penalized.

    In September we will get to see the new RCCL and get to experience the changes that have been made. For us this will be our third time on the Freedom of the Seas, the last being in January of this year, if we really don’t see any real major changes in our cruise experience then we will continue with RCCL, however, if your services have decline then,of course, it will be ADIOS – this time there will be no second chance. FYI – Princess has informed us that they have added a new program that rewards their loyal cruise customer, unlike RCCL who penalized their Diamond Club members and stockholders. Just a little advice Adam – You (RCCL) need to be a little more humble – you (RCCL) need us – we don’t need you. Thank you for this opportunity to write you! Kate

  • Linda a

    Kate, thank you for stating what alot of RCCL diamond and diamond plus members feel. I have written several postings, most of which have been removed, stating almost the same as you. Now is the time that many people are finding it hard to afford cruising, and instead of lower the prices or allow the combine benefits to fill up those mega ships, RCCL turns the other way. I dont understand why the company doesnt change things back to the way they were instead on risking losing those who MADE RCCL. I have heard that other lines are willing to match the diamond plus and diamond level to try their line. If enough ppl switch, then maybe RCCL will take a closer look at this blog.

  • Paul F Davis

    Mr. Goldstein,

    Greetings to the nation of why not revolutionizing the cruise industry!

    RCCL ships and staff are wonderful. Congrats on all of your tremendous accomplishments.

    I just completed a 10 day cruise with Celebrity serving as an enrichment speaker in the Mediterranean.

    Considering I’m based out of Orlando, Florida RCCL seems like a viable option for me to serve enrichment programs.

    Do please consider me for your upcoming enrichment programs. I shall be in contact with Linda Givens.

    I can also officiate weddings, vow renewals & conduct nontraditional, non-denominational services for holidays such as Easter, Christmas, etc.

    Please contact me to receive a full complimentary listing of all my extensive lectures & topics I talk on aboard cruise ships to energize and empower passengers from the following categories:
    – Creative Writing
    – Current Events
    – World Affairs
    – Cultural
    – Radio / TV
    – Health & Wellness
    – Self Help
    – Personal Empowerment
    – Healthy Relationships
    – Marriage Builders
    – Youth Enrichment Talks

    Celebrating cruising worldwide!

    Paul F Davis