Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Recognizing Royal Caribbean’s Diamond and Diamond Plus Members

Last week we announced our December Diamonds event celebrating our Diamond and Diamond Plus members all month long. Our goal is to recognize these valued guests and thank them for their loyalty. Our whole fleet is excited and looking forward to welcoming record numbers of Crown & Anchor members aboard. I will be participating in a few special member recognition events on the December 5th inaugural Oasis sailing. I look forward to a jog on our 600+ meter track and to a Presidential Ping Pong tournament. We have a phenomenal number of Diamond and Diamond Plus members on that cruise and still have room for more (it’s a large ship). I hope to see you there!

Diamond Breakfast

As you know, we made changes to some of our onboard programming for our Diamond guests on September 1st, so we’ve had roughly 6 weeks to get feedback on the changes. One of those changes was the addition of a continental breakfast service in the dining room that replaced the breakfast offering in the Concierge lounges. Our ships do an amazing job providing us with weekly feedback on how programs are being received by our guests, as well as any suggestions on how to improve, and it was clear that there was a lot of feedback on this new breakfast format.

Our fleet is reporting that since we began the new breakfast offering, typically we are only seeing a daily attendance of a maximum of 10 guests, and on many ships no Diamond guests are participating at all. With this low attendance, you can imagine that with the continental breakfast set up already, the food waste is extremely high based on the very low attendance. (That isn’t good.) Our guests are also saying that what they really valued from the previous breakfast offering was the free specialty coffee, and that they would prefer a full breakfast, not continental.

So, in order to improve the service to our valued Diamond guests (with added benefit of reducing food waste), effective November 1, we will be offering a dedicated special seating area in the main dining room for breakfast. Diamond members should look for the special signage and then identify themselves as Diamond members in order to be seated in the reserved section. The dining room service features a full breakfast menu and our Gold Anchor service, complete with the highly requested complimentary specialty coffee during the breakfast service. In addition, we will continue to offer the services of a crew member for any special requests.

We are confident that this enhanced level of service and offering will be well received by our Diamond members. We will continue to receive the weekly feedback from our shipboard teams and will keep everyone updated on additional feedback or suggestions. I am happy to relate that the feedback to date has been very positive on the fleetwide Diamond evening event in a designated venue onboard. That’s excellent news.

On a personal note, Go Phillies!

33 responses to:
“Recognizing Royal Caribbean’s Diamond and Diamond Plus Members”

  1. marie fisher

    I think it is great you are really listening to your customers, especially the loyal ones. What I find really amazing is that you and Mr. Fain are taking the time to inform us what your thoughts are. With Oasis just around the corner, I think it’s great you even care about what D and D+ think of breakfast. I always book a cabin close to the concierge lounge just for morning coffee. I thought I was the only nut, here I find out others loved it too. Thank you again for your info. Can’t wait till 12/1 on Oasis

  2. P Webster

    I think that you should start a new level for Crown and Anchor loyalty members:
    After 17 cruises, members would be able to go to the concierge lounge (or diamond club). This would be the new Diamond Plus level!!! (See below!)
    I believe that this addition would not cause overcrowding in the concierge lounge. And, it would also serve as a real motivation for Diamond members, who could envision achieving a realistic short-term goal of 17 cruises.

    The following new proposed loyalty levels:
    “Diamond Member” Level: After 10 cruises
    “Diamond Plus” Member Level: After 17 cruises
    “Royal Diamond” Member Level: After 24 cruises

    Thanks! Phillip

    • Adam

      Thank you for your suggestion, P Webster. We are always looking for the best ways to recognize and reward our most loyal guests and will add your suggestion to our review process.

  3. KATE SWANBORG

    My family and I will be sailing on the upcoming 10-day Panama Canal/Caribbean itinerary on Jewel of the Seas (Nov. 20th).

    While I think it’s wonderful that Royal Caribbean is looking for ways to improve the service to Diamond members (we are); I am curious to know how that is effecting those that booked Grand Suites but are not Diamond members (such as my parents). Will they no longer be able to get breakfast and coffee as they had in the Concierge Lounge? That would be a horrible adjustment. In fact, they booked a Grand Suite close to the Concierge Longue specifically for the access to breakfast and coffee.

    Furthermore, we (the Diamond members)are parents traveling with kids – and we much prefer the continental offering in the close-by Concierge Lounge to the prospect of sitting for breakfast in the dining room. As you encourage us to be – we are active in the mornings and do not choose to have time for a sit-down breakfast.

    Please reconsider having a light breakfast and lots of coffee available in the Concierge Lounge as well as the seating in the dining room.

    To me it feels as though you’ve reduced our amenities, not enhanced them.

    Please advise.
    Many thanks.

    • Adam

      All Suite guests have access to the Concierge lounge as well as Diamond Plus Crown + Anchor members. With regard to breakfast in the Dining Room, there is a full continental and hot breakfast buffet set up there in addition to the opportunity to order a cooked-to-order breakfast, so if you prefer a self-service breakfast you can still enjoy that in the reserved area in the dining room along with your complimentary specialty coffees.

  4. Bob k

    I think its great what you are doing for the dimond members. Last time I sailed I booked a suite and the concierge lounge was so crowded that you could not even find a place to sit let alone enjoy the company of others. Im Looking foward to the dimond aera on my next cruise, Christmas/New Years Mexican Riveria Can’t wait, Let the rest of the dimond members get over it and enjoy what they have

  5. Tom B

    Let me get this straight… you’re giving Diamond members a special breakfast place in the Dining room where breakfast is already being served and giving specialty coffees and saying it makes up for the decreases in Diamond amenities… ??

  6. ChipLondon

    As always it is good to hear that any suggestion from clients is being listened to, and clearly recent events have caused alot of discussion between Diamind Members, so any enhancement is always welcome. However it is surely time to address the benefits of cruisers that have completed 50 or more cruises, I consider the Diamond Plus benefits to be a fair offering considering the number of cruises they have taken. However I know several people who have cruised double the number of times that it takes to become Diamond Plus, and now is the time to increase the benefits to those extremely loyal guests. More benefits are offered to a first time cruiser in a Suite than to those that cruise alot, so surely it is time for a new higher C&A status. I hope you are listening.

  7. Peter Cal

    We just got back from our b2b Med cruises on Navigator of the Seas which was booked through a Certified Vacation Planner at RCL. Check in went fine. Getting on board was easy and we avoided the long lines by using the diamond entrance line. We got settled in the room and went about seeing the ship. She is beautiful…and bigger than we remember. We ate in the windjammer and could not help but notice the difference in food offered and how it was prepared. We were assured that it was because of the number of Italian passengers on board. For instance, they do not like crispy bacon. And they like more spice than I am used to. There was also a noticeable lack of choices compared to other cruises.

    This is our 15 cruise with RCL and the third time on this ship. We went to the nightly “Special Diamond Event”…the free wine and 25% discount. There was a great deal of confusion about that until at least day two of the cruise. I was originally charged for my drinks at full price, then they took those off the bill and charged me full price minus 25%, then I went to the customer service desk and they took them off altogether. The way we were treated the first few days, set aside in a small area off of one of the lounges, someone dubbed us “the leper colony” and it stuck for the entire cruise. That whole event needs work! There could have been some snacks served at these gatherings. They had one barman assigned. He did a great job, running most of the time, considering the second cruise there were about 20-25 people there drinking each afternoon/evening. The first cruise there were six of us and 7 Diamond Pluses were announced at the Capt. event. The “special event breakfast” was a bust. No one came. We went 7 or 8 of the 13 times and never saw anyone but the wait staff. There was no representative of RCL to take requests for tender tickets or ice show tickets or anything else for that matter. At the end of the time (10AM) the waiters threw all the food in the trash. It was enough to make you cry, considering that it was still good food. To be specific, they set out two large cheese and meat trays (nice cold cuts) along with fruit and breads, rolls, cereal, juice and it was hardy touched. We ate a bowl of cereal and a couple pieces of fruit and at 10AM the extra that was not in boxes or prepackaged was all thrown away. The breakfast perk is a big waste of time and money, and as a shareholder I want to get it stopped if I can. The main dining area was a much better experience. At least you could order off the menu there, otherwise you just ate what was set out. We are not big breakfast people so food selection was not a problem for us. The main dining each evening has also changed. Besides the fact that there is no more “lobster tail dinner”, the food was not as good as in previous years. Some of the items were even rather bland and lacked taste. Any sort of beef seemed more tough and chewy than in previous years. At first I thought it was just me so I asked a table mate and they agreed. The quality has slipped. I was told I could order a Portofino steak and pay extra if I wanted. I declined.

    The rest of my experience was as in years before except for the coupon books, which are a joke. Many of the nicer coupons have disappeared.( i.e. 2 for one Johnny Rockets, the free photo, and the free wine tasting.) No pillow chocolates. Not for me, but my wife is addicted. As other people have already written, I noticed on the first cruise of the b2b, which started and ended in Rome, the cruise, the announcements, some activities, and the food were geared toward the Italian population on board. They take a bit to get used to. Everyone smokes. And the ship smells bad b/c of it.

    We have another b2b paid for in Jan on Voyager OTS out of Galveston. Hope things work out better than this cruise or we will be casting our nets in different waters.

  8. Kate Swanborg

    Adam,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry.

    I am hopeful that both the Diamond and Conceirge Lounge experience on our upcoming cruise are as top-notch as they have been in the past.

    Truly, I am impressed by your choice to “blog” about aspects of Royal Caribbean and thoughtfully listen to our comments and concerns.

    Best,
    Kate

  9. Anna kent

    Thanks for the changes on your ships for D# members. We have been on 2 since the changes.the breakfast was a wonderful our own special area.there were only around 10 each day. the continental breakfast should be cut out.everyone seemed to order a full breakfast. wich is offered.enjoyed fast service and great menu. one great change was having the viking lounge for one hr. and NO smoking .also schooner bar no smoking.Its great passing through and not having your clothes smell like smoke.Keep up the great changes.We are looking forward to our Dec cruise on Navigator and enjoy.life is to short to stay home,So cruising RC is our home away from home.

  10. Diamondplusinseattle

    To add to what P Webster said, I think if there is any debate on recognizing loyal cruisers with say 100+ cruises, that should be done by maintaining Diamond Plus as the highest level on the C&A Society and by adding additional perks to the 75 and 100 credit benchmarks.

    That way both mega loyal cruiser and loyal cruisers can continue to be recognized jointly as Diamond Plus Members, but additional benefits can be given to those that really go above and beyond the D+ tier requirement.

    Thanks for listening
    DiamondPlusinSeattle

  11. bjorn jakobsen

    dear Sir.
    Sorry to tell you that the membership program statet
    wrong.You should not count cruises,but nauticle miles.
    A 3day cruise from Miami is like 10 days elsewere.
    And another thing, you should also not forget people
    that started cruising with RCCL before even before you was born, and those cruise does not count.
    Well we startet in oct.5 1980 and we are still
    cruising .Last week back to back on Liberty in
    april back to back Oasis. and then Voyager in oct.
    Weare Norwegian with 98 long cruises
    merry Christmas & happy New Year BJORN

  12. rosie

    hi i will be sailing on the oasis of the seas in december 18 how do you get an invite to the captains table i have done 14 cruises with your company and have always wondered how people get an invite many thanks rosie b

  13. Fiona

    As I am reading all the comments posted from so many loyal RCCL cruisers, it prompts me to think about why we keep coming back after so many cruises. I have to admit that things like the welcome back/loyalty parties, special events, recognition and appreciation of our continued patronage in many small ways as well as the special activities, etc that are offered on member cruises have kept us loyal to RCCL. The cruising is always a great experience, but without those extras, what is to keep people from looking at other cruise lines, like Princess, which may offer a comparable experience for a similar price. I believe that RCCL needs to really consider the importance of their “repeat customers” to their business, especially in this economy, and find some other ways to make them feel valued before they begin to stray. I wish you luck in this endeavor and hope that you will listen to your customers and keep them coming back. Are we not your “Bread and Butter”?

  14. Nancy

    We have finally reached Diamond status and were looking forward to the many perks offered. However, since we are shareholders of RCL we cannot utilize member savings certificates or future cruise credits. Consider rewarding your loyal customers who are also “owners” of the corporation with the right to combine benefits again.
    Thank you

  15. Mike

    Adam, I agree that the breakfast for diamonds and plus was not working out and applaud your recognition of that. I hope that you are making some other considerations of changes. After taking 7 years to reach diamond level (the old fashion way by taking 7 day cruises), my wife and I looked forward to our Diamond Perks on our recent 14 day Panama Canal Cruise on Serenade. Of course we went on Oct 3 and the perks we looked forward to have changed. My wife drinks soda pop and I drink beer, neither are offered for free at the new diamond events. Can you formally change that decision just like you were able to for the diamond breakfast? It certainly would make my day, I ended up purchasing soda and beer (25% off) while others had free wine and champagne. I do appreciate what I get but hope you would consider this as an option for those of us who dont drink wine or champage.

    • Adam

      We appreciate your suggestions to make beer and soda free at the Diamond events, but at this time we do not have plans to change our approach at this time. Thank you Mike.

  16. Bob D

    Mike,
    I share your disappointment. My wife and I love to have a beer or two at the (Concierge) now Diamond events before 2nd seating. We always order a wine package for dinner during the cruises to begin with. I know this perk has been abused by a few ordering numerous cocktails and high end liquor in a matter of a few hours from 5:30 to 8:30,never even finishing them before ordering another one. I’m sure it hits the company’s bottom line somewhat. Those are a few, not everybody. If I were the “big cheese”, that’s where I’ll put the lid on. However, the reaction almost always never matches the reason for it. Now, why beer and soda, something that is cheaper than most bottled water in the local markets is beyond me. I’m sure RCI “bean counters” have their stats to prove it out. Our answer to that is we booked with another cruise line for the first time in our cruising lives. Something we never imagined before. Diamond Plus no longer an aspiration. I’m sure RCI cost analysts have that figured out in their projections. Cheers!

  17. Daniel N. Terrell

    “Savings as big as the Adventure You’ll Find on Every Cruise Vacation”

    Hi Adam,

    My wife and I are Diamond Plus Members and recently sailed on Jewel Of The Seas out of Boston. We agree with other DP member’s dissatisfaction with “The Ultimate Value Booklet” being a disappointment, I call it “FLUFF”. While on a tour we talked with other DP members and they expressed disappointment in the booklets as well. How many people purchase a $50.00 or $100.00 bottle of wine? We always buy a wine package; therefore we didn’t use the 2 for 1 glass of wine coupon (actually 50% off a glass). At Johnny Rockets (not on the Jewel) I would not pay admission (was FREE for Diamond Members) just to get “2 for 1 milkshakes” (actually 50% off a shake). Nothing is FREE if you have to buy something to get something FREE. We miss enjoying a FREE Cocktail in a Souvenir glass in the Schooner Bar. We miss the FREE 8 X 10 photo. The booklets still contains coupons that cannot be used on certain ships, so why not make the booklets applicable to the class’ of ships (i/e Voyager Class etc.)? The only disappointment on our last cruise was the “Ultimate Value Booklets”. We did use the internet coupons, but then doesn’t everybody on every ship?

    We thoroughly enjoyed the new Diamond Breakfast along with 45 to 50 other Diamond Members.

    As always the staff and crew continue to deliver “WOW”. We are looking forward to our next Cruise Vacations in April and November 2010.
    Ship Happens ;)
    Daniel

  18. dan

    Adam, While my wife and I have always enjoyed crusing, it’s not the stuff we receive on board, but the people you have their that keeps us coming back. Everyone likes deals and I will take any I can get. If I really had to say one thing bad about cruiseing, its the lack of sports packages on-board. I see above that you are a PHILLIES fan, we are also, and this year during the playoff’s we missed a game because we were on a cruise. We have found that during football season, we will only cruise when the Eagles are on a bye week, or playing a prime time game so we may get it.

  19. Mike McGuinness

    We are leaving on our Diamond level cruise in just under 2 weeks. Our first cruise on RCCL was on the very old (now) Sun Viking. The nice part about this cruise is, we are sailing on the Radiance again – last time we were on her was her (or his) maiden sailing.

    Would be nice for RCCL to do a very little something to “plank owners” – to borrow a US Navy term – on subsequent trips aboard – even just embossing the embarkation card (no cost at all there guys).

    Not looking for freebies since times are tough, but a little noogie would be nice.

    We love RCCL, own stock & bring new folks aboard whenever we can.

    Sign me,

    An old retired USAF fighter pilot.

  20. sTEVE GOLDBERG

    Glad you have discontinued continental breakfast. We much prefer full breakfast but love the specialty coffees idea. Why not extend that perk to dinner instead. Nothing better than a cappucino or latte AFTER a wonderful meal.

  21. Linda A

    It has been awhile since I visited this blog. I find it rather sad that the same discontent that was posted months ago still apppear in the comments. I was hoping that with enough diamond and diamond plus members complaining about the removal of benefits and perks, someone at the top of the chain would react. The fact that the stockholders benefit still can not be used with the balconey credit is un-acceptable. How many of the diamond and diamond plus members also invested money into the company?

  22. jimmy knight

    as a diamond member and stockholder and currently on the liberty of the seas cruise i was wonderring if you were aware that carnival has the same program that rccl did away with ( stock holder and on board credit combinding on there ships. ive owned rccl stock now for years and the value has not ben what it was. not paying a dividend, no combinding on board credits and still a poor performing stock.i’d like to see something returned to give us a reason to continue buying and holding it.also i would like to commend you on your crews performance. i’m just concerned in this economy about the comtinued value of holding your stock. thanks for your time

  23. John

    It’s to bad that RCCL gave the most loyal of cruisers the shaft on the conciere lounge. I would be glad to cruise RCCL again if Diamonds were treated like they once were. Carnival gets my business now.

  24. JK

    Just want to let my fellow cruisers know you can save 20 to 30% by sailing with Carnival. The food is better and the service is the same. Long time RCCL Diamond, now a Carnival cruiser.

  25. KK

    With all of the recent changes in Diamond perks we are glad to look elsewhere for cruises. We are also more than happy to warn others to avoid RCCL as well as redirect to another cruiseline all of the customers we’ve brought to RCCL over the last several years. Keep building the big ships and treating your most loyal customers like crap. Good luck and I hope you go bankrupt soon.

  26. winter-devereux

    Well,we too have done exactly the same thing for exactly the SAME reasons
    WE NO LONGER FEEL VALUED BY RCCL
    SO FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER WE HAVE BOOKED 5 SAILINGS FOR 2010
    AND NOT ONE OF THEM IS RCCL OR SISTER COMPANY CELEBRITY
    GUESS WHAT when the other cruiselines found out our diamond /plus level
    they have REALLY DELIVERED THE WOW FACTOR
    as we have been upgraded to a suite on 2 sailings WOW
    The ironic thing is WE WOULD NEVER HAVE EVEN LOOKED AT A DIFFERENT CRUISE LINE in the past before RCCL lost the plot !!!!……and the business along with it
    way 2 go BUSINESS PLAN 101 LOL!!!

  27. Arvids Ernstsons

    As a Diamond member I am happy with what is offered by RCCL. Some may curse me but being in the service industry for well over 25 years. I am can see the need to downsize some areas.

    What I would like to see RCCL possibly offer to Diamond Members and above is a drink package similiar to Celebrity. However rather than buying just a Alcohol package or Beer or Floozy drinks. Make it like the group drink package that RCCL has in play. Offer it to those that cruise more often. I spend alot on drinks during a cruise and I would love to just show my card at the bar and get a drink without having to sign my name multiple times a day. Lower tier alcohol and beer say $50 per day. Middle tier $70 a day and top shelf brands $90 a day. And as with Celebrity tips are included. I for one with buy the package for both my wife and I on every trip. And the friends that I cruise with would jump at this chance. We are still loyal to royal and our best friend will hit 100 cruises this year. Hope this is read by someone in R & D.

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