News from Royal Caribbean: about Increased Gratuities and More…

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Royal Caribbean International Raises Gratuity

If you booked your cruise already and wish to lock your gratuities at previous level – act quickly!  You have to add pre-paid gratuities to you reservation: $12 per day per person.

Royal Caribbean International raises the suggested daily gratuity amount fleet wide from $12 to $12.95 per person per day starting June 1, 2015.

Suite guests will expect to pay $15.95 per person per day,  which is up from $14.25.

Even your cruise is in 2016 you have a chance to lock your gratuities before June 1, 2015.

Please don’t contact me with this matter if you didn’t book your cruise with me personally or Aurora Cruises and Travel. You have to contact your travel agent or agency in records only. If you book with Royal Caribbean International – contact reservation and discuss this issue.

Royal Caribbean last raised its suggested tip amount in February 2013, from $11.65 to $12.

Redefining Dynamic Dining

As you probably know, Royal Caribbean International introduced Dynamic Dining last year on Quantum of the Seas. The idea was simple: replace the main dining room with four complimentary restaurants. This gives more variety and flexibility to  guests.

Not so simple in reality: guests couldn’t get into the restaurant of their choice, and overall service suffered.

So, Royal Caribbean International introduced revised Dynamic Dining on the newest Anthem of the Seas that just entered the service.
A few things were changed:

  1. Two menus were devised for each restaurant, and they’re switched out halfway through the cruise.
  2. About 200 seats were added to complimentary restaurants.
  3. Service fee was eliminated at the Devinly Decadence health-food eatery, opening up another free 135 seats.

Dynamic Dining is now offered in two formats: Choice and Classic.

Dynamic Dining Choice lets people make reservations for the four complimentary restaurants online in advance, at kiosks onboard or through the Royal iQ app.

Dynamic Dining Classic allows guests dine at the same table, with the same companions and wait staff,  but in the different restaurants. When they start repeating restaurants, the second menu is in place.

RCCL Stops Discounting Close-in Bookings

A lot of cruisers have a habit of  booking  their cruises at last minute to enjoy deep discounts. I even post  those specials on my website to attract deal seekers.

Recently, Royal Caribbean International stopped this practice on the North American market.  Richard Fain, RCI Chairman and CEO, called the practice damaging to its brand image.

“They upset many of our most loyal customers by creating uncertainty about the price they pay … and they undermine our brand image,” Fain said.

Fain said the only exception to the policy is short cruises of up to four days, sailings that typically attract close-in bookings.

Royal Caribbean to Offer Suite Class in 2016

Royal Caribbean International is working on a Suite Class package of amenities to make it an all-inclusive product.
Exact list of all-inclusive elements is  still being determined.

Guests staying in upper-level suites on Royal Caribbean ships already get privileges and benefits, including priority check-in, Concierge Club access on select ships, tender priority on select cruises, VIP pool deck seating where available, and private breakfast and lunch seating in specialty restaurants as well as Coastal Kitchen – restaurant dedicated to suite guests only.

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News from Royal Caribbean: about Increased Gratuities and More…
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News from Royal Caribbean: about Increased Gratuities and More…
Royal Caribbean International news from Nadia Jastrjembskaia: gratuities increased, discounting stopped, and more
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Elite Cruise Counselor

Nadia Jastrjembslaia. PhD. is a CLIA certified Cruise Counselor in the highest rank of Elite Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist. CLIA stands for Cruise Line International Association. She is a managing director of Aurora Cruises and Travel - storefront cruise travel agency in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She experienced more than 80 cruise ships and sailings. Nadia is a published author with her new book Suite Cruising on Royal Caribbean Fleet is scheduled to hit market in March 2016.

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