Ask Adam Blog Series – August 2012 Q & A

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Summer is coming to a close but that’s not stopping the August edition of our Ask Adam blog. To see responses from July please click here, or if you have a question you would like to ask Adam regarding Royal Caribbean or what he’s been up to, please follow this link to our Facebook Discussions page and submit your questions there.

We have been members of the Crown & Anchor Society for quite a few years (17 years and 8 cruises), but we never seem to get upgrades like many other passengers we talk to, some with less cruises, some with more. On a recent (but LAST) Princess cruise, we were given a cabin upgrade on our first cruise with them, yet we never seem to receive the same benefit with Royal Caribbean. What determines the who, why and how of upgrades? We love Royal Caribbean, but we always seem to come out on the short end. – Bob H.

From time to time we have a small number of staterooms that become available for upgrades prior to the sailing. Should we make these staterooms available, Pinnacle Club and Diamond Plus members will be offered a complimentary upgrade first. This is done by looking at which stateroom category was reserved and highest cruise points descending downward. Complimentary upgrades are only available for one category upgrade; for example, Inside to Outside, Outside to Balcony, Balcony to Junior Suite, Junior Suite to Grand Suite and Grand Suite to Owner’s Suite. Complimentary upgrades will not be offered above an Owner’s Suite. We ask our members to complete their upgrade preference online, as this will allow us to assign your upgraded stateroom as quickly as possible. Remember, that to guarantee the type of stateroom you wish to sail in, please reserve your stateroom of choice at time of booking, as upgrades are rarely available and are dependent on available inventory. In addition, there are occasions when for operational reasons guests need to be moved. This may have the effect of a guest in a lower Crown & Anchor tier or one who is not in the Crown & Anchor society receiving an upgrade.

What are the prospects of cruising out of Savannah, Charleston, or even Jacksonville in the near future? Being in the Atlanta area, I can see a real need for a closer port than Tampa or Port Canaveral, both a 7-7 ½ hour drive. There is a large population in this corner of the Southeast and to have a drivable port would be a real plus, especially since I am part of a travel agency! – Victor C.

We continue to review additional cruising options along the Atlantic coast. Unfortunately, we do not have enough ships to be in all markets that we would like to be. However, we do have ships sailing from Tampa and Port Canaveral with itineraries ranging from 3 to 7 nights. We have announced that starting next April we will replace Monarch of the Seas with the newly enhanced Enchantment of the Seas on the 3 and 4 night cruises from Port Canaveral.

Are there any plans for a British Isles cruise? Princess has a 13 night Ireland, Scotland and England trip I really like, but Royal Caribbean does not. I really like Royal Caribbean but really want this kind of cruise. – Diane S.

Based on the demand from our guests, we have added some British Isles cruises to our itinerary mix. Next season, we will have two 10 night departures on Vision of the Seas, leaving from Copenhagen. The August 7, 2013 sailing is roundtrip from Copenhagen while the September 14, 2013 sailing starts in Copenhagen and ends in Southampton.

I am a Diamond member and cruise every year. I think it should be considered that the menus in the dining room be on some kind of alternation, as the menus from the last three years have been the same. What happened to the early nineties when you changed the menus each year? – Linda S.

Hi Linda, we are currently reviewing our menus and will send your comment to the culinary department. Thank you for your feedback.

Mr. Goldstein, Royal Caribbean talks a good game of being ecologically responsible with the Save the Waves program. On every cruise we see constant reminders to shut off our TV when leaving the stateroom and turning off the water when brushing our teeth. This is great advice, and every little bit counts, but have you ever considered a few other things that Royal Caribbean should be doing? For example, low-flow faucets and shower heads in stateroom bathrooms, waterless urinals, Dyson airblade hand dryers in the public bathrooms, light controls in the staterooms, turning off the big screen TV on the pool deck when it is not being watched, etc.

My biggest pet peeve is at the end of every cruise I notice how many photographs are thrown away because people did not want them to be taken or simply did not like them. I am sure it is quite costly to print them, not only for the paper but the chemicals and their effects on the environment. Perhaps a better solution is a system using Sea Pass cards, much like you do at the muster drill. When the photographers take a picture they can swipe a Sea Pass card and have that image assigned to that guest. You could then have kiosks that the passenger could use to view their photos and have the option of creating a disc or having prints made. – Brian H.

Hi Brian, thank you for your feedback. Our company is highly dedicated to our Save the Waves program and will be celebrating 20 years of commitment this year. Just a couple of examples to show how we are committed:

  • We’ve reduced fuel consumption per person per day by 19% since 2005
  • We’ve reduced the amount of waste going to landfill per person per day by 50% since 2007
  • We doubled the amount of waste we recycle per year between 2008 and 2011 (in 2011 we recycled or reused 22.53 million pounds of waste)

As you mentioned, we have also installed low-flow faucets and shower heads. Our toilets typically use only a third of a gallon of water (as compared to a typical low flow toilet at a shoreside hotel which uses 1.5 gallons). For more information on all the different things we are working on at Royal Caribbean to Save the Waves please visit here.

Since we are conscious about being environmentally friendly, we are proud to offer digital photo systems onboard over half of our fleet with plans to add another four ships in 2013. Guests can swipe their Sea Pass card at the interactive photo kiosks to view and purchase their photos and have them delivered digitally on a Get the Picture! disc. While we are still printing photos for guests, we anticipate reducing printing in the future as more guests opt to purchase their memories digitally.

We have been cruising for many years with Royal Caribbean and have enjoyed the children’s programs. Unfortunately my 19 and 20-year olds don’t want to cruise with you since they feel they are in no-man’s land. They are too old for the kids programs but not allowed to join the 20ish folks drinking and dancing. What are their options? – Judy R.

Hi Judy, 18 year olds are allowed in the nightclub and disco areas, including the casino. While they cannot drink alcohol, there are still plenty of activities for them to participate in, from sporting events to our surf simulator to rock climbing and more. We also have game shows most evenings that 18 year olds can enjoy. For an endless list of things to do please visit here.

Hi, I’ve been on a couple Royal Caribbean cruises. I am a musician and would love to see a jam room set up for people to play guitar or other instruments. With all the people on the cruise there is bound to be some talented people. I would love to be able to sit on deck and play as the ocean passes in the evening. – Mike H.

Hi Mike, most of our ships offer a Guest Talent Show where the guests can be the star, as well as Karaoke on all sailings. We would love to hear your talents on your next cruise! We’re sorry that there are not typically rooms available for jam sessions.

Hi Adam, I have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Jewel of the Seas and our table companions were fantastic. I was wondering how you choose who sits with who when planning the seating arrangements as we were all from similar backgrounds and location? Thank you. – Kay W.

It’s interesting that we receive this kind of question because seating our guests is actually a very complex operation! While nearly one third of our guests select My Time Dining as their preference, the remaining two thirds select traditional dining at a set time with the same table and table mates for their cruise. We assign nearly 75,000 seats each week!

Seating assignments is one of the many planning tasks handled by a special restaurant operations group shore side. In addition to the shipboard team, a team of five in Miami handles the seating arrangements, which includes the reservations process for My Time Dining, traditional dining and all of our specialty restaurants. My Time Dining and specialty dining seat assignments may also be done by guests themselves online through our Royal Caribbean web site.

Traditional dining seat assignments with table mates are largely handled by a seat assignment system using a specially designed algorithm. However, both our shore side team and the shipboard team personally coordinate the seating for guests with special circumstances, including those guests enrolled in our Crown & Anchor loyalty program or with a group. Other guest bookings that require personal attention include those guests in Suites, with children or guests who have special needs or special requests. We often get requests from guests to be seated with guests of similar age or demographic.

Once the seating process is completed our shipboard restaurant coordinator spends additional time on seating to ensure other needs are met such as those with similar languages and age range. Special attention is paid in this area for our international itineraries as well. We are not always able to put guests with the same language or age range together but we realize how important it is to the cruise experience if guests are able to relate well with their table mates.

Adam, let me first thank you for taking the time to talk to your loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers. My wife and I have taken multiple European cruises on Royal Caribbean and on our last sailing we fell in love with the crepe station on the ship. We fell in love so much we were going to book the sister ship on a future sailing just because it would have the crepe station (this is not an exaggeration). However, shortly after we looked into the booking we found out that the ship had been refurbished and the station was taken out. Can you tell me if any of the ships in the line have a crepe station, and if not, can we please get them back? Thanks again. – Mark Z.

Hi Mark, the crepe stations are not a standard fleet wide offering on our ships. Ships take their own initiative to create such stations; however we will certainly review the recommendation for crepe stations if it is operationally feasible and executable.

Thanks to everyone for submitting questions, and remember if you have a question you would like to ask, please click here. If you have a customer service related issue, the quickest way to obtain a response is to fill out our contact form here: http://bit.ly/c44GkU

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